Assault & Battery

If you have been accused of assault, it’s essential to understand the state’s specific laws and the range of charges you may face. In Utah, assault and battery vary in definition with a wide range of misdemeanors and felonies.

But no matter the type of charge, Schmidt Law Firm has more than 25 years of experience as one of the top-rated Utah assault & battery lawyers. Learn more about Utah’s assault and battery charges and how Stacey Schmidt and her team can help you.

Understanding Assault & Battery in Utah

Although there are numerous assault laws, there is no single “battery” crime in the state of Utah. In most cases, battery isn’t considered separate from assault. The only exception is sexual battery, which has a very distinct definition.

Even so, this doesn’t mean that if you’ve been charged with battery that your case won’t be tried. Battery falls under the realm of assault, which is an attempt with unlawful force or violence to do bodily harm or substantial risk to another person. The punishments for these types of cases depend on the circumstances, the intent, and whether a dangerous weapon was used.

The Difference Between Assault and Battery in Utah

Although Utah law generally categorizes battery as assault, it’s a good idea to know the difference, especially if you’ve been charged or plan to press charges against another person. An assault & battery attorney in Salt Lake City or surrounding areas can better help your case by understanding the exact circumstances.

Here are the main differences between the two:

  • Assault is an act of violence that injures or creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to another person. This can include attempts or threats of harm from force or violence. The exact charges depend on circumstances and the extent of the victim’s injuries.
  • Battery is the act of physically attacking and causing injury to another person, which could result in serious bodily damages. In Utah, most crimes that are considered battery are considered assault—which can make the laws confusing in many ways.

The only exception to this unique law is sexual battery. If one person intentionally touches another person sexually with the knowledge that it may be unwanted or cause alarm. Some common cases include rape, sodomy, and harassment.

Types of Assaults and Criminal Penalties

In Utah, there are a few different types of assault that you or the other person may be charged with, such as:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Sexual assault
  • Assault with intent
  • Assault against a police officer
  • Assault against a healthcare provider or medical emergency service worker

Combined with several other factors, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, which varies between:

  • Class B Misdemeanor:
    • General types of assault fall under the Class B Misdemeanor realm, but this can progressively get more severe depending on the circumstances
  • Class A Misdemeanor:
    • The person causes bodily injury to the other person, or
    • The victim is knowingly pregnant by both parties
  • 3rd Degree Felony:
    • The person uses a weapon, or
    • The assault may result in death or serious bodily injury
  • 2nd Degree Felony
    • The person inflicts severe damage upon the other party

Both parties’ circumstances and potential history or relationships play an important role when determining the type of charge. The good news is that an accomplished team like the attorneys at Schmidt Law Firm will accurately analyze the information so that they can fight for the fairest outcome.

What Is Self-Defense?

Self-defense is when a person uses force against another person when they reasonably believe it’s necessary to prevent harm. Under Utah law, a person is justified to use self-defense assault—but unfortunately, claiming self-defense isn’t always as simple as it should be. This is because the court needs to ensure that the claims are accurate.

For self-defense to be a viable reason, you would have to prove reasonable cause that the other person would use unlawful force against you. In the courtroom, there are several factors that your lawyer may present to the judge and jury, such as:

  • Histories of any violent or aggressive acts
  • Any patterns of abuse in the relationship for both parties
  • The circumstances and causes of danger
  • The immediacy or likelihood of death or severe bodily injury

Gathering this data and facts could be complicated, especially if you don’t have any official reports or records with the other person. In instances like these, working with an experienced assault and battery lawyer is the best way to help defend your case when you want to claim self-defense.

What Is Mutual Consent?

Mutual consent is when two parties willingly choose to fight. Unfortunately, unlike self-defense, this isn’t a valid legal excuse in Utah: Both people will be tried according to the type of attacks committed.

While it’s wise to stay away from a fight whenever possible, it’s sometimes easy to get carried away. If this happened to you, then having a lawyer on your side will only benefit your case’s outcome. An experienced lawyer like the team at Schmidt Law Firm will gather any necessary information to minimize any penalties against you—if any at all.

What Happens If You Get Convicted for Assault & Battery in Utah?

If you’ve been convicted for assault or battery, you may face a combination of fines, probation, jail time, community service, and anger management classes. In any case, these are the maximum penalties depending on the type of assault charge:

  • Misdemeanor B: 6 months in jail with a $1,000 fine
  • Misdemeanor A: 1 year in jail with a $2,500 fine
  • 3rd Degree Felony: <1 to 5 years in prison with a $5,000 fine
  • 2nd Degree Felony: 1 to 15 years in prison with a $10,000 fine

While everything comes down to the exact events and intentions, Schmidt Law Firm will do its best to defend you and minimize your charges.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if we both chose to fight? Why am I getting in trouble when he punched me, too?

This is called mutual consent, and it pertains to situations where both parties knowingly and willingly enter into the fight. In the state of Utah, this is not a valid legal excuse. In other words, it doesn’t matter what circumstances led to the fight or how willing the people were to enter into it, both people can be tried and convicted if their actions amount to assault according to the outlined statues above.

I felt like I had to defend myself, so I did. Now I’m being charged with assault. Isn’t self-defense a valid excuse?

In some circumstances, it is a legal excuse according to Utah laws. Through the courts, you must prove that you had a “reasonable” cause to believe that the other person was going to use unlawful force against you. Some factors that a judge and jury consider when making this decision include: both parties’ history of violent acts; any patterns of abuse in the relationship; the cause of danger involved; the perceived likelihood of death or serious injury; and the immediacy of danger.

Have You Been Charged with Assault or Battery? We Can Help You

With more than 25 years of expertise in Utah as a Salt Lake City assault & battery lawyer, you can depend on the experts in criminal defense at Schmidt Law Firm to help you achieve the best outcome possible. If you’ve been accused of assault or battery, then contact our office today at 801-990-6390 or to schedule a consultation to get started.


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