Assault and Battery Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City
While Utah has numerous laws regarding assault, there is not a single “battery” crime in the statutes. In most cases, the crime of battery is not separate from assault, except for sexual battery, which has its own distinct definition. Battery falls under the realm of assault: an attempt with unlawful force or violence to do bodily harm or risk to another individual.
The punishments for these types of cases will depend on the exact charge, the circumstances, the intent, and whether a dangerous weapon was used during the crime. If you are charged with assault and battery in the state of Utah, take the charges very seriously as there are very serious penalties associated with a conviction. Speaking to an experienced Sale Lake City assault and battery defense attorney from the law firm of Conyers & Nix is a great first step in taking control of your future.
What is Considered Assault and Battery in the State of Utah, and Do I Really Need a Salt Lake City Assault and Battery Defense Attorney?
Simple assault is detailed under Utah’s criminal code 76-5-102, with other types of assault similarly defined. Simple assault occurs when an individual acts in a threatening or aggressive manner, instilling fear in another person, or when an individual acts with unlawful force or violence to seriously harm another person. Simple assault charges can increase to aggravated assault when a weapon is involved or when the violence could potentially have been fatal to the victim. All levels of assault are serious, with some carrying felony charges as serious as second or third degree.
If you have been charged with assault in the state of Utah, it is extremely important that you have a strong legal advocate in your corner as quickly as possible. An assault conviction can end up derailing your life, both currently and in the future. The attorneys from Conyers & Nix fully understand this. Attorneys Kate Conyers and Jesse Nix represent clients charged with all levels of assault and are extremely familiar with the defense required. We will ask you questions regarding the incident to determine the best way to proceed with your case.
The Conyers & Nix legal team provides zealous advocacy and professionalism at every turn. The exceptional representation you receive reflects your goals combined with our effective advocacy, thorough examination of the evidence, and meticulous preparation. We fight for the best interests of our clients, no matter how challenging the case may be. We believe in helping our clients through the difficult time following criminal charges in the best way possible. We will never plead your case out because it’s the easy way—we will only discuss a plea deal when it is truly in your best interest. Our clients trust our legal advice because it is sound and backed by significant experience.
What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery Under Utah Law?
Assault is an act of violence that injures another individual—or creates a significant risk of serious bodily injury to another individual. Assault can include attempts at force or violence, or threats of force or violence, although the exact charges will depend on the injuries sustained by the victim as well as the circumstances surrounding the offense. Battery is considered an act of physically attacking another individual, causing injury to that individual. As noted, in the state of Utah, battery crimes fall under assault crimes—making the law extremely confusing in certain instances. The exception in the state is sexual battery, which has its own statutes and punishments.
What are the Different Types of Assault Crimes in Utah?
In the state of Utah, assault crimes may include the following:
- Simple assault
- Aggravated assault
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Domestic violence assault
- Sexual assault
- Assault with intent
- Assault against a police officer
- Assault against a healthcare provider or medical emergency service worker
If convicted, your penalties will depend on the type of assault you are charged with, along with the circumstances surrounding your assault charges.
What are the Penalties for Assault Crimes in Utah?
Simple assault is generally a Class B misdemeanor, although may be charged as a Class A misdemeanor in some cases. If convicted of a Class B misdemeanor, you face up to six months in jail, and a fine up to $1,000. If the person sustained bodily injury from the assault, or if you were aware the person was pregnant at the time of the assault, you will likely be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in jail, and a fine up to $2,500.
If a weapon was used, or if the assault could have conceivably resulted in death or serious bodily injury, you could face third-degree felony charges. If convicted of a third-degree felony, you could spend up to five years in prison and receive a fine of up to $5,000. If severe damage was inflicted on the other person in the course of the assault, you could face a second-degree felony. A conviction for a second-degree felony can result in from 1-15 years in prison, and a fine up to $10,000.
Can These Assault and Battery Crimes Be Expunged?
An expungement seals or restricts access to your criminal investigation, detention, arrest, or conviction under Utah Code 77-40-102(8). To expunge an arrest, investigation or detention, you must wait 30 days from the arrest, there must be no criminal case pending, or charges must not have been filed. Applying for expungement for an assault conviction will depend on what level of criminal offense you were charged with.
For a Class A misdemeanor, you must wait five years, and for a Class B misdemeanor, four years. Remember, however, the waiting time starts when you have served your sentence and completed all court requirements. Further, while a misdemeanor assault is eligible for an expungement, aggravated assault as a felony is not expungable because it is considered a violent crime.
What are the Potential Defenses for Assault and Battery in Utah?
The defense crafted by our legal team will depend on your exact charges, as well as the circumstances and facts surrounding your case. The most common defense for assault and battery charges is self-defense. Self-defense is when you use force against another person because you reasonably believe that force is necessary to prevent harm. Although you are justified in using self-defense against an assault, it is not always that simple because the court must ensure your claim of self-defense is true.
You will need to provide evidence that the other person used unlawful force against you. If the other person has a history of violent or aggressive acts, any pattern of abuse, or you felt there was an immediate likelihood of death or severe bodily injury, then your act of assault may be justified as self-defense.
You might also claim that you committed the assault in defense of others. This is similar to a claim of self-defense, meaning you must have had a real perceived fear of harm for the other person. If you were defending your property, your attorney may be able to show that the use of reasonable force was allowed, particularly if you were defending your own home.
Your attorney could claim mutual consent. This means you and the other individual were both willing participants in the fight. Finally, lack of mental state could be a valid defense for your assault charges if it can be shown you did not act knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally when the crime was committed.
How an Experienced Salt Lake City Assault and Battery Defense Attorney Can Help
When you choose a highly experienced assault and battery defense attorney from Conyers & Nix, you will have a legal team that is absolutely willing and able to fight for you every step of the way. We are never afraid of going to trial and because prosecutors know this, our clients receive better plea offers. We meticulously prepare every case as though it is going to trial, and we never accept the first offer because we know there is always room for negotiation. We will stay in constant communication with you, always ensuring your questions are fully answered. During your initial consultation, we will listen more than we talk, and we will never judge you or the situation you find yourself in. Contact Conyers & Nix today!