Simple assault is the attempt to cause someone serious physical harm by placing him or her in fear of an imminent battery. A battery is the unlawful or unauthorized use of force on another person, which causes an offensive touching or physical injury. In Utah, assault and aggravated assault are different criminal charges.

How is Aggravated Assault Defined in Utah?

Simple assault is upgraded to aggravated assault when the defendant uses a dangerous weapon or any other means that will likely cause serious injury or death to the victim.

The state defines “dangerous weapon” as anything that can cause serious physical injury or death. The item can even be an imitation weapon the victim believes is a real weapon.

What is the Criminal Sentence for an Aggravated Assault Conviction?

The severity of the punishment depends on the seriousness of the injury sustained by the victim. If the victim doesn’t sustain a physical injury, it’s a third degree felony. A third degree felony is up to five years in prison and fines. 

If the victim sustains serious physical injury, it’s a second degree felony. The punishment is up to 15 years in prison and fines.

Should I Consult a Criminal Attorney about My Aggravated Assault Charge?

Yes. A criminal defense attorney will explain your rights and possible defenses to the charge. The attorney will also work to get the charge reduced or dropped.