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Criminal Defense Attorney - Utah Assault Defense Lawyer

Assault and aggravated assault are serious charges that can result in substantial jail and or prison time if you are convicted. To give yourself the best chance of achieving the results you need, you should have an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney on your side. Based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard has represented thousands of clients during his career, and has the experience, skill, and determination to achieve real results for his clients. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

Elements of a Utah Assault Charge

A "simple" assault (sometimes called "battery") charge in Utah is a misdemeanor. A Utah assault charge begins as a class B misdemeanor (punishable by up to 180 days in jail). However, it can be enhanced to a class A misdemeanor if the assault results in "substantial" bodily injury to another person, or if the other person is pregnant and the suspect knows the person is pregnant.

"Assault" is defined under Utah statutes as: (a) )an attempt, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; (b) a threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; or (c) an act, committed with unlawful force or violence, that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another. (Utah Code Ann. 76-5-102.) "Substantial bodily injury" is defined under Utah statute as an injury that creates or causes protracted physical pain, temporary disfigurement, or temporary loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.  (Utah Code Ann. 76-1-601.)

If the assault involves the use or threatened use of a weapon or involves a "serious" bodily injury then it can be filed as a felony aggravated assault. Penalties for a Utah aggravated assault conviction are substantially higher and can include prison time.

Self Defense in Utah Assault Cases

You may be found not guilty of an assault, even if you committed the acts that are alleged. Under Utah criminal law, the use of force can be justified under some circumstances if it is done in self defense, defense of your home, or in defense of your property.

Application of Utah's self defense laws is not always straightforward. The self defense statute allows for the use of "reasonable" force in defending yourself against the use or threatened use of force by another. If you believe that one of these defense may apply to your case, you should contact an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible to determine how self defense may play a role in your criminal case.

Finding an Experienced Criminal Attorney in Salt Lake

If you are facing charges for assault or other criminal charges in Utah, it is critical to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Stephen Howard has protected his clients' rights in thousands of serious felony and misdemeanor cases, including homicide, aggravated assault, domestic violence, and more.
Salt Lake criminal defense attorney Mr. Howard has a record of getting real results for his clients.  Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation.


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  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pointing handgun at and threatening another driver during a road rage incident. Defense investigation and analysis, combined with effective cross-examination at trial indicated the alleged victim was the initial aggressor and suported client's self-defense claim. Jury acquitted client at trial.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • Utah Expungement Lawyer Expunged - Client with prior conviction for violent felony was ineligible for expungement through the courts. A successful 2-step reduction restored expungement eligibility and ultimately led to the court's decision to grant the requested expungement.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Dismissal - Client was charged with first-degree felony home burglary and facing potential life in prison. Defense analysis revealed flaws in prosecutor's case which led to abeyance agreement intended to lead to a full dismissal of the case.
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Best Utah Criminal Defense Strategy

Successfully defending against criminal prosecution requires more than just an 'aggressive' defense. The best defense attorneys understand that a sophisticated defense requires a thorough understanding of a variety of nuanced legal issues, real experience in the courtroom, good negotiation skills, and much more. Fighting hard is good. Fighting smart is better....

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Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Defending against a criminal prosecution in Utah is a job that has to be done right the first time. Choosing the right attorney to defend you can be the most important decision you make. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling some of the most serious felony and misdemeanor charges on the books in Utah. No matter what charges you are facing, we can help....

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A Utah criminal prosecution can result in a lifetime of consequences. Beyond jail and prison, a conviction can affect many areas of life, including employment, housing, finances, family, and much more. Never plead guilty without first consulting with an experienced criminal attorney. Understanding what is at stake is the first step....

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Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. But just being charged can affect more than you may have imagined - jail, job, family, bills, rent or mortgage. It can feel like everything has gone wrong, and may you wonder if anything can go right. But facing criminal prosecution does not mean giving up hope....

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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.