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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 alleged attack using broken bottle as a weapon. Despite the testimony of numerous prosecution witnesses, thorough defense investigation to support a self-defense claim resulted in acquittal by jury at trial.
  • Minor Possession Alcohol - MIP AttorneyDismissed - Minor in possession charge (MIP) was dismissed by prosecutor when defense analysis demonstrated that the police had failed to obtain necessary evidence against client. Police had raided a large party involving underage drinking. Several individuals were charged, but police did not obtain evidence showing that client had personally consumed or possessed alcohol. Case was dismissed.
  • Utah 402 Reduction Attorney Felony Reduced - Client with prior felony conviction was granted a 402 reduction to the misdemeanor level over the objection of the prosecutor. Based on information provided to the court in support of the defense motion, the judge ruled in favor of the defense.
  • 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.
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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Conviction Consequences in Utah Criminal Prosecutions

Jail time, prison time, thousands of dollars in fines, and the lifetime collateral consequences of having a criminal conviction on your record - all of these and more are at stake when you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah. Understanding what is at risk is critical. Even so-called "minor" misdemeanor cases can have serious consequences....

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Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Hope

Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can feel like your world is collapsing. But there are reasons to remain hopeful, and there are things you can do right now that can help increase the odds of a successful outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the various options you have, and can help you....

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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.