Criminal Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Criminal attorney, also known as criminal defense lawyers and public defenders, work to defend individuals, organizations, and entities that have been charged with a crime. Criminal attorneys handle a diverse spectrum of criminal cases, ranging from domestic violence crimes, sex crimes, violent crimes and drug crimes to driving under the influence (DUI), theft, embezzlement, and fraud.
Criminal Attorney Duties & Responsibilities
Criminal attorneys represent defendants facing criminal charges in state, federal and appellate courts. Their scope of practice includes bail bond hearings, plea bargains, trial, revocation hearings (parole or probation), appeals and post-conviction remedies. As part of the attorney’s job functions, a criminal attorney will:

• Investigate the case and interview witnesses
• Research case law, statutes, crimes codes, and procedural law
• Build a defense and develop a case strategy
• Negotiate with the prosecution to plea bargain to lesser charges
• Draft, file and argue motions such as motions to dismiss and motions to suppress
• Advocate for the defendant at trial
• Draft, file and argue appeals
Criminal Attorney Salary
Criminal attorney salaries vary, depending on the size and scope of the practice. Public defender and non-profit salaries are usually modest (the $30,000 to $50,000 range is common). Criminal attorneys employed in law firms generally earn the highest salaries; experienced criminal attorneys can earn well into the six figures. The highest paid criminal attorneys are often those that represent high-profile, wealthy defendants in high-stakes cases.
Education, Training & Certification
The education and other requirements to practice as a criminal attorney are as follows:
• Education: Like all attorneys, criminal attorneys must first complete a bachelor’s degree, and then obtain a law degree. The two degrees typically take a total of seven years to complete.
• License: Criminals attorneys must pass the bar examination in the state in which they intend to practice.
• Certification: Some criminal lawyers earn a board certification from the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC). The NBLSC is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Bar Association to provide board certification for attorneys and is an outgrowth of the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Criminal Attorney Skills & Competencies
Criminal attorneys must possess a variety of additional skills to succeed in their jobs, including the following:
• Writing and speaking skills: Excellent oral and written advocacy skills in order to argue a client’s case before a judge and persuade a jury.
• Research and investigative skills: Investigative and research skills are also important in building a client’s case and establishing a strong defense.
• Creative and analytical skills: Strong creative thinking and analytical skills to develop a legal strategy analyze case law and litigate complex cases.
• Legal knowledge and experience: In-depth understanding of state, federal and local rules, court procedures, evidentiary laws, and local judges to navigate the criminal justice system efficiently and competently.
• Interpersonal skills: Excellent interpersonal skills are necessary to build a strong client-attorney relationship. Criminal defendants are a finicky group who sometimes go through many lawyers before settling on one they like. Therefore, the ability to attract and retain clients is essential to a thriving criminal defense practice.

Types Of Cases Criminal Attorneys Deal With And Types Of Criminal Attorneys
Criminal attorneys specialized in criminal law. This could be a misdemeanor or criminal, where you have been charged with a crime. When you are charged with a crime, you are not considered guilty until proven guilty; it is your duty to try to make sure that you are not guilty. This means that they review your case, work with you to gather all the relevant information, and then deal with other lawyers working on the case to try to find a quick solution. One of the reasons why you may want to engage a criminal defense attorney is if you are charged with a DUI. Driving under the influence is a serious condition that can result in the loss of your license, a large fine, or even a prison sentence. It is your attorney’s duty to try to achieve the best results through a good agreement that can benefit you in the long term. They will gather evidence against you to help you determine the best appeal for the best outcome. Domestic violence is another crime that you may want to appoint a criminal attorney to act on your behalf. Although you may feel that you can execute the law in your hands, having a lawyer who works for you can provide a variety of benefits that will help you achieve the best agreement and the best results. Your lawyer will work with the available evidence, advise you, present relevant documents, and attend all pre-trial conferences to try to minimize the possibility of the case being resolved. In any case, your goal should be not to go to trial. You want your criminal lawyer to decide to take the case to court, while it can cost you a lot of time and money. This applies if you have been accused of sexual abuse, domestic violence, or even abuse of children. In advance, you can reach a solution, the sooner you can continue with your own life. If you are accused of theft, for example, you will have the opportunity to hire a criminal lawyer. They are the defense lawyers who will review the police report, documentation, and supporting evidence. They will review any evidence on the camera to determine if you are guilty of the crime. If they are found guilty, they will discuss your case with you and help you identify the best solutions to proceed. In some cases, if this is your first charge, your culprit may be at fault, and you may leave the service or community service instead of incarceration. Remember that your criminal lawyers will come to expert witnesses, they will know what to do when it comes to presenting documents, and they will know how best to challenge any evidence against them. This can make choosing this type of lawyer the best solution to help you reach a quick and fair solution.
Types Of Criminal Lawyers
• Panel lawyers: Each government will have a committee of private defense attorneys who will be compensated hourly for their services and time. In general, the use of a group of defense lawyers is usually complementary to the public defense service and not as an alternative.
• Private Lawyers: Private lawyers are hired by the defendants who can afford them for legal services. They are mostly employed by large, medium and small to represent their clients on criminal defense and justice. Private lawyers are surely expensive in which a middle class or poor person cannot afford.

• District Lawyer: It is the responsibility of the Government to prosecute persons accused of a crime. In most countries, this process is carried out by the local prosecutor. Local district attorneys generally have some district attorneys who can be summoned when necessary.
• Legal Aid Societies: Indigents defendants are represented by this lawyer who is employed by numerous non-profit organizations. For example, every state owns an organization which employee lawyers for the poor defenders who cannot afford to hire private lawyers.
• Public Defenders: The public defender is a lawyer whose main task is to provide legal advice and representation in cases of low quality, as well as to assist people who cannot compensate for legal assistance. The system appoints public defenders and assigned to a particular state or state.
What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?
A criminal defense attorney fulfills many important roles during the course of a criminal case. He or she is responsible for defending a person who is charged with a crime. He or she speaks on the client’s behalf.
Assignment of the Case
A criminal defense attorney may be contacted directly by the defendant or may be assigned the case by the court. Many criminal defense attorneys are public defenders who are paid by the public defender’s office. They are appointed cases by local, state or federal courts. Other criminal defense attorneys are hired by private firms. Some criminal defense attorneys have an independent legal office that they man themselves. Public defenders tend to be paid a lower salary than private lawyers and also tend to have a higher case load due to the referral process and the pay coming from individuals other than defendants. In some cases, a court may appoint a private lawyer to take a specific case.
Interview about the Case
Once the criminal defense attorney has the opportunity to meet personally with the client, he or she should try to get as many details about the case as possible. By asking specific questions about the case, he or she can learn about possible defenses and strengths and weaknesses about the case. This requires a careful and thorough questioning of the defendant.
Investigation into the Case
In addition to asking the criminal defendant pointed questions about the case, he or she must further investigate the case to determine any possible avenues of acquitting the defendant. This often includes questioning police about the procedures that they used in conjunction with the case. It may also include talking to witnesses who have information about the case and collecting information about the case. All of this information is used to try to build a strong defense for the case. If an expert witness is used in the case, the criminal defense attorney may interview him or her about the testimony he or she may provide and the evidence that may be presented in case. A criminal defense attorney has the right to review the prosecution’s case before it is submitted to the jury. This allows him or her to find any holes in the case against the defendant and to try to find evidence that may refute the prosecutor’s case, such as hiring an independent lab or expert to test evidence in the case.
Analysis of Evidence
Analyzing the evidence against a criminal defendant requires the criminal defense attorney to carefully study the facts and theories of the case. He or she may have evidence independently tested. Additionally, he or she may examine the evidence to determine if there are any legal theories that work against the conviction of his or her client.
Continued Contact with the Client

A criminal defense attorney must stay in contact with his or her client to explain any developments in the case and to keep him or her informed about the case. The attorney must ensure that conversations with the client are kept confidential. The attorney must also ensure that he or she communicates information about the case to the client so that he or she has a better understanding of the possible consequences.
Jury Selection
A criminal defense attorney assists with the jury selection process. He or she may try to have jurors removed for cause if they may be biased against the defendant or even if he or she simply has a bad feeling about a potential juror.
Plea Bargaining
A criminal defense attorney is also responsible for talking about the status of the case and negotiating with the prosecutor regarding any particular plea bargain. A criminal defense attorney may be able to help secure a favorable deal for the defendant that result in a reduction of charges or the possible punishment.

Trial Participation
A criminal defense attorney fights for his or her client during the trial. He or she examines witnesses, cross-examines the state’s witnesses and tries to convince the jury that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden of proof.
Sentencing
If the criminal defendant is sentenced for the crime either because he or she accepted a plea bargain or was convicted by the judge or jury, a criminal defense attorney can represent the defendant during the sentencing phase. He or she may discuss factors that can help convince the judge or jury to limit the amount of time that the defendant serves and to discuss possible alternatives to incarceration.
Criminal Law
Criminal law concerns the system of legal rules that define what conduct is classified as a crime and how the government may prosecute individuals that commit crimes. Federal, state, and local governments all have penal codes that explain the specific crimes that they prohibit and the punishments that criminals may face. Individuals who violate federal, state, and local laws may face fines, probation, or incarceration. Lawsuits against criminals are initiated by prosecuting attorneys who act on behalf of the government to enforce the law. A crime is any act or omission of an act in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it. Most crimes are defined by statute, and they vary tremendously across different states and counties.
Prosecution of Crimes
Unless a crime is a strict liability crime (meaning that no particular mental state is required), statutes typically break crimes down into two elements: an act and a mental state such as knowingly or recklessly. In order to be convicted of a crime, a prosecutor must show that the defendant has met both of these elements. For example, larceny is the taking of the property of another with the intent to deprive them of it permanently. Thus, the defendant must have committed the act of taking the property and have done so with the mental intention to take the property of another (as opposed to believing that the property belonged to him). It is not enough for a prosecutor to suggest that the defendant committed a crime. Rather, the prosecutor is required to prove each and every element of a crime “beyond a reasonable doubt” in order for a defendant to be convicted. Police officers, prosecutors, and other government officials must also follow certain procedures in pursuing criminal activity. This is because all citizens have certain constitutional rights that the government must respect and protect. If these rights are not respected, it may prevent a prosecutor from obtaining a conviction in a case.

Criminal Lawyer

When you need a Criminal Attorney, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Why Should You Get Divorced?

Utah Probate Code Disclaimer

How To Obtain An FFL License

Mortgage Servicing Rules And Foreclosure

Cannabis Law Policy And Expungement

Can You File A Hardship On A Garnishment?

Ascent Law St. George Utah Office

Ascent Law Ogden Utah Office

Utah Criminal Code 76-5-201

Utah Criminal Code 76-5-201

Utah Criminal Code 76-5-201: Criminal Homicide–Elements–Designations Of Offenses–Exceptions

1. Except as provided in Subsections (3) and (4), a person commits criminal homicide if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, with criminal negligence, or acting with a mental state otherwise specified in the statute defining the offense, causes the death of another human being, including an unborn child at any stage of its development.  There shall be no cause of action for criminal homicide for the death of an unborn child caused by an abortion, as defined in (b) Section 76-7-301.
2. Criminal homicide is aggravated murder, murder, manslaughter, child abuse homicide, homicide by assault, negligent homicide, or automobile homicide.
3. A person is not guilty of criminal homicide of an unborn child if the sole reason for the death of the unborn child is that the person:
a) refused to consent to:
i. medical treatment;  or
ii. a cesarean section;  or (
b) failed to follow medical advice.
4. A woman is not guilty of criminal homicide of her own unborn child if the death of her unborn child:
a) is caused by a criminally negligent act or reckless act of the woman;  and
b) is not caused by an intentional or knowing act of the woman.
When someone takes the life of another, regardless of intent or other details surrounding the incident, it is called a homicide. Homicide is not always a crime, such as in cases of self-defense or the state-sanctioned execution of certain convicted criminals. Criminal homicides involve either negligence or willful intent, and range from involuntary manslaughter (killing another motorist in a drunk driving accident, for example) to first-degree murder (stalking and killing a member of a rival gang, for instance). Sentences also vary widely, depending on the severity of the crime and other mitigating factors. For example, some states sentence convicted murderers to death but provide psychiatric treatment to those acquitted by reason of insanity. This section provides in-depth information about homicide in its various forms. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local criminal defense attorney.
First Degree Murder Defenses
There are two general categories for murder defenses. One is when a defense attorney tries to show that the prosecution is trying the wrong person and the second is when an attorney admits that the accused murderer killed, but did so in a manner that was justified including self-defense, defense of others, and exercise of duty, insanity and more.

First Degree Murder Penalties and Sentences
The possible sentences for first degree murder vary widely by state. However, punishment for first-degree murder is among the most strict that can be handed down by the court. It is one of the few crimes that can be legally punished by death in certain cases. Certain aggravating factors include aspects of the crime, of the defendant, or of the victim(s) will render the defendant eligible for either the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Voluntary Manslaughter Defenses
There are several defenses an attorney can assert to fight a charge of voluntary manslaughter. The most common include self defense (the killing resulted from a reasonable use of force to resist a reasonable fear of death or bodily harm), defense of others (use of force must be timely and proportional to the threat faced, and the perceived threat of death or bodily harm must be reasonable), and accidental killing (the death occurred as the result of an accident). Having an attorney during criminal proceedings is critical for those charged with committing homicide. A murder or manslaughter case can involve hundreds of hours of work for an attorney. It is the job of criminal defense attorneys to represent those charged with crimes in court. Homicide crime penalties can range in severity including years in prison or even death. Your homicide defense attorney’s job is to protect your rights and ensure your access to a fair trial. By examining the circumstances surrounding your case and weighing the strength of the evidence against you, your defense lawyer will apply current law, along with previous legal precedent, to your specific situation and use it to devise a solid legal strategy and build the best possible case for acquittal. Not all homicides are crimes. However, all killings of humans are included in the homicide definition. Many homicides, such as murder and manslaughter, violate criminal laws. Others, such as a killing committed in justified self-defense, are not criminal. Illegal killings range from manslaughter to murder, with multiple degrees of each representing the gravity of the crime.

Legal Homicides
Some killings within the definition of homicide aren’t illegal. Criminal laws carve out exceptions for some killings which would otherwise fall under criminal laws against manslaughter or murder. These are referred to as “justified homicide”. One primary example is a killing in justified self-defense or defense of someone else. Such a homicide is deemed justified if the situation called for self-defense and state law allows lethal force in that type of situation. Most state laws allow justified homicide to defend oneself or another from credible threat of serious crimes such as rape, armed robbery and murder.

Related Wrongful Death Claims
No matter where a homicide falls on the criminal spectrum, it may also bring a civil lawsuit for wrongful death. In the case of a homicide, the family of the victim may sue the alleged perpetrator to collect damages for that person causing the death of their loved one. While wrongful death lawsuits offer monetary results rather than criminal punishment, they also have a much lower standard of proof than the criminal standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Regardless of the circumstances, any charge that meets the definition of homicide is among the most serious that is made in the criminal justice system. Defense in homicide cases is often complicated and requires intensive preparation. If you’ve been charged with a homicide-related offense, or any crime for that matter, meeting with an experienced criminal defense attorney can provide valuable information about how to defend yourself.
Justifiable or Excusable Homicide
A homicide may be justifiable or excusable by the surrounding circumstances. In such cases, the homicide will not be considered a criminal act. A justifiable homicide is a homicide that is commanded or authorized by law. For instance, soldiers in a time of war may be commanded to kill enemy soldiers. Generally, such killings are considered justifiable homicide unless other circumstances suggest that they were not necessary or that they were not within the scope of the soldiers’ duty. In addition, a public official is justified in carrying out a death sentence because the execution is commanded by state or federal law. A person is authorized to kill another person in self-defense or in the defense of others, but only if the person reasonably believes that the killing is absolutely necessary in order to prevent serious harm or death to himself or herself or to others. If the threatened harm can be avoided with reasonable safety, some states require the person to retreat before using Deadly Force. Most states do not require retreat if the individual is attacked or threatened in his or her home, place of employment, or place of business. In addition, some states do not require a person to retreat unless that person in some way provoked the threat of harm. Finally, police officers may use deadly force to stop or apprehend a fleeing felon, but only if the suspect is armed or has committed a crime that involved the infliction or threatened infliction of serious injury or death. A police officer may not use deadly force to apprehend or stop an individual who has committed, or is committing, a misdemeanor offense. Only certain felonies are considered in determining whether deadly force may be used to apprehend or stop a suspect. For instance, a police officer may not use deadly force to prevent the commission of Larceny unless other circumstances threaten him or other persons with imminent serious injury or death. Excusable homicide is sometimes distinguished from justifiable homicide on the basis that it involves some fault on the part of the person who ultimately uses deadly force. For instance, if a person provokes a fight and subsequently withdraws from it but, out of necessity and in self-defense, ultimately kills the other person, the homicide is sometimes classified as excusable, rather than justifiable. Generally, however, the distinction between justifiable homicide and excusable homicide has largely disappeared, and only the term justifiable homicide is widely used.

Other Defenses
Other legal defenses to a charge of criminal homicide include insanity, necessity, accident, and intoxication. Some of these defenses may provide an absolute defense to a charge of criminal homicide; some will not. For instance, a successful defense of voluntary intoxication generally will allow an individual to avoid prosecution for a premeditated murder, but typically it will not allow an individual to escape liability for any lesser charges, such as second-degree murder or manslaughter. As with any defense to a criminal charge, the accused’s mental state will be a critical determinant of whether he or she had the requisite intent or mental capacity to commit a criminal homicide.
Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
The killing of oneself is a suicide, not a homicide. If a person kills another person in order to end the other person’s pain or suffering, the killing is considered a homicide. It does not matter if the other person is about to die or is terminally ill just prior to being killed; the law generally views such a killing as criminal. Thus, a mercy killing, or act of Euthanasia, is generally considered a criminal homicide.
Is Murder Different From Homicide?
Homicide is a legal term for any killing of a human being by another human being. Homicide itself is not necessarily a crime—for instance, a justifiable killing of a suspect by the police or a killing in self-defense. Murder and manslaughter fall under the category of unlawful homicides. Under the common law (law originating from custom and court decisions rather than statutes), murder was an intentional killing that was:
• unlawful (in other words, not legally justified), and
• committed with “malice aforethought.”
Malice aforethought doesn’t mean that a killer has to have acted out of spite or hate. It exists if a defendant intends to kill someone without legal justification or excuse. In addition, in most states, malice aforethought isn’t limited to intentional killings. It can also exist if the killer:
• intentionally inflicts serious bodily harm that causes the victim’s death, or
• behaves in a way that shows extreme, reckless disregard for life and results in the victim’s death.
In today’s society, murder is defined by statute, rather than common law. Though today’s statutes derive from common law, one has to look to these statutes for important distinctions like the difference between first and second degree murder. Even within the universe of those who kill with malice aforethought, the law regards some as more dangerous and morally blameworthy than others. First degree murder applies to those defendants. Killings involving malice that don’t amount to first degree murder tend to constitute second degree murder. The rules vary somewhat from state to state as to what circumstances make an intentional killing first degree murder, but the following circumstances commonly do so: The killing is deliberate and premeditated. In other words, the killer has formed the intent to kill and has had time, however brief, to reflect on the matter. The killing occurs during the course of a dangerous felony. This crime is often known as “felony murder.” Someone can be guilty of murder if a death occurs during the course of a dangerous felony, even if the person is not the killer. In most states, the death must be a foreseeable result of the initial felony. In most states, a defendant who didn’t directly cause the death of an accomplice isn’t automatically criminally liable for that death. In California, for example, the statute defining first degree murder specifies several ways in which the crime can occur. In part, it states, “All murder which is perpetrated by means of a destructive device or explosive … or by any other kind of willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing … is murder of the first degree.” Many states have mandatory minimum sentences for murder. The mandatory minimum for first degree murder is almost always higher than that for second degree murder. Defendants convicted of first degree murder can also be eligible for the ultimate penalty: death. Many states and the federal government still have the death penalty. In other states, the maximum penalty is life in prison without the possibility of parole (LWOP). Defendants convicted of second degree murder are often sentenced to a term of years rather than life in prison and are often eligible for parole.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you need a criminal defense attorney in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Family Attorneys In South Jordan

Utah Probate Code 75-3-403

What Happens If I Can’t Get A Loan Modification?

Good Resources On Estate Planning Trusts

File Bankruptcy Or Try To Settle?

Does Chapter 13 Take All Disposable Income?

Ascent Law St. George Utah Office

Ascent Law Ogden Utah Office

Utah Criminal Code 76-5-102

Utah Criminal Code 76-5-102

Utah Criminal Code 76-5-102: Assault–Penalties
1. Assault is:
a. an attempt, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another;  or
b. an act, committed with unlawful force or violence, that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another.
2. Assault is a class B misdemeanor.
3. Assault is a class A misdemeanor if:
a. the person causes substantial bodily injury to another;  or
b. the victim is pregnant and the person has knowledge of the pregnancy.
4. It is not a defense against assault, that the accused caused serious bodily injury to another.

What Is An Assault?

In legal terms, an assault refers to “the intentional creation of a reasonable apprehension of harm.” This refers to situations in which one person causes another person to fear being harmed. Thus, assault is an attempt or threat that causes another person to be apprehensive of imminent bodily harm. An example of this would be if a person pulls their fist back as if they were going to punch someone, and that person believes that they are going to be punched. Assault is often confused with battery, due to the fact that assault and battery are commonly charged together. However, assault is a separate charge from battery. Assault refers to the fear of being harmed, whereas battery refers to the actual act of harming another person. Battery is the unlawful use of force against a victim, with the intent to cause injury, or offensive touching. In some jurisdictions, assault may also be considered to be attempted or unsuccessful battery. Although assault is considered to be an intentional tort, every state has its own criminal statutes for both assault and battery. This means that an assault could serve as the basis for a civil lawsuit as well as prosecution by a state court, which could result in fines and/or jail time. An assault is carried out by a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm. It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in either criminal or civil liability. Generally, the common law definition is the same in criminal and Tort Law. There is, however, an additional Criminal Law category of assault consisting of an attempted but unsuccessful Battery.

What Are The Elements Of Assault?

Generally, the essential elements of assault consist of an act intended to cause an apprehension of harmful or offensive contact that causes apprehension of such contact in the victim. The act required for an assault must be overt. Although words alone are insufficient, they might create an assault when coupled with some action that indicates the ability to carry out the threat. A mere threat to harm is not an assault; however, a threat combined with a raised fist might be sufficient if it causes a reasonable apprehension of harm in the victim. Intent is an essential element of assault. In tort law, it can be specific intent, if the assailant intends to cause the apprehension of harmful or offensive contact in the victim or general intent if he or she intends to do the act that causes such apprehension. In addition, the intent element is satisfied if it is substantially certain, to a reasonable person, that the act will cause the result. A defendant who holds a gun to a victim’s head possesses the requisite intent, since it is substantially certain that this act will produce an apprehension in the victim. In all cases, intent to kill or harm is irrelevant. In criminal law, the attempted battery type of assault requires a Specific Intent to commit battery. An intent to frighten will not suffice for this form of assault. There can be no assault if the act does not produce a true apprehension of harm in the victim. There must be a reasonable fear of injury. The usual test applied is whether the act would induce such apprehension in the mind of a reasonable person. The status of the victim is taken into account. A threat made to a child might be sufficient to constitute an assault, while an identical threat made to an adult might not. Virtually all jurisdictions agree that the victim must be aware of the danger. This element is not required, however, for the attempted battery type of assault. A defendant who throws a rock at a sleeping victim can only be guilty of the attempted battery assault, since the victim would not be aware of the possible harm.

What Is An Aggravated Assault?

An aggravated assault, punishable in all states as a felony, is committed when a defendant intends to do more than merely frighten the victim. Common types of aggravated assaults are those accompanied by intent to kill, rob, or rape. An assault with a dangerous weapon is aggravated if there is intent to cause serious harm. Pointing an unloaded gun at a victim to frighten the individual is not considered an aggravated assault.

What Is The Punishment For Assault?

A defendant adjudged to have committed civil assault is liable for damages. The question of the amount that should be awarded to the victim is determined by a jury. Compensatory Damages, which are aimed at compensating the victim for the injury, are common. Nominal damages, a small sum awarded for the invasion of a right even though there has been no substantial injury, may be awarded. In some cases, courts allow Punitive Damages, which are designed to punish the defendant for the wrongful conduct. The punishment for criminal assault is a fine, imprisonment, or both. Penalties are more severe when the assault is aggravated. Many states have statutes dividing criminal assault into various degrees. As in aggravated assault, the severity of the crime, the extent of violence and harm, and the criminal intent of the defendant are all factors considered in determining the sentence imposed.

To prove that a person is guilty of misdemeanor assault a prosecutor must prove that:
• the accused did an act that by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to a person;
• the accused did that act willfully;
• the accused was aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to realize that the act would directly and probably result in the application of force to someone;
• when the accused acted, he or she had the present ability to apply force to a person, and
• the accused did not act in self-defense, or in defense of someone else.

The terms application of force and apply force mean to touch in a harmful or offensive manner. The slightest touching can be enough if it is done in a rude or angry way. Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.

To prove that a person is guilty of felony assault a prosecutor must prove that:
• the accused did an act:
• with a deadly weapon other than a firearm that by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to a person, OR
• the act by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to a person, and the force used was likely to produce great bodily injury, OR
• the accused used a firearm,
• the accused did that act willfully,
• the accused was aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to realize that the act would directly and probably result in the application of force to someone,
• when the accused acted, he or she had the present ability to
• apply force likely to produce great bodily injury, OR
• with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, OR
• with a firearm, the accused did not act in self-defense, or in defense of someone else.
Great bodily injury means significant or substantial physical injury. It is an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.
A deadly weapon other than a firearm is:
• any object, instrument, or weapon that is inherently deadly, or
• one that is used in such a way that it is capable of causing and likely to cause death or great bodily injury.
Punishment For Assault In Utah
The punishment for assault in Utah ranges from misdemeanor probation and county jail, to felony probation and state prison sentences.
Simple assault is a misdemeanor punishable by:
• up to six months in county jail,
• a fine of $1,000.
Please note that the punishment for simple assault can be doubled if committed against specified people (police officers, firefighters, medical personnel, and others).
Aggravated assault can be either a misdemeanor or a felony punishable by up to:
• one-year county jail as a misdemeanor,
• two, three, or four years state prison as a felony,
• a $10,000 fine.
Assault with the intent to commit certain felonies is a felony and generally punishable by:
• two, four, or six years state prison
• a $10,000 fine.
Please note that certain sentence enhancements or other factors might increase these penalties and make assault charges strikes under Utah law.
Defenses to assault charges in Utah could include;
• mistaken identity,
• self defense,
• defense of others,
• the force used was not likely to cause great bodily injury,
• no use of a deadly weapon.
An experienced criminal defense attorney defending a Utah assault case will:
• work with private investigators,
• interview and re-interview witnesses,
• visit crime scenes, and
• consult with experts.

What Are The Types of Assault?

In the legal context, assault implies a threat or an attempt to physically strike or touch a person in an offensive way. This is regardless if or not the contact has been made or not. The assault is a misdemeanor but it is regarded as a felony since it is an act of criminal violence against an individual. There are varied types of assault and the penalties for the same vary vehemently.

 Felony Assault: This is regarded as an attempt to attack or an unlawful attack through violence or force that has caused a physical injury to a person. In this assault, the weapon is utilized and is regarded as an assault irrespective of whether or not the victim suffers from physical pain or injury.
 Simple Assault: In this assault, the weapon is not utilized and the injuries occurred to the victim is minor in nature. This is also known as a lesser degree of assault and is usually considered as a misdemeanor and is charged for the same. The mere threat of the serious injury which the victim fears from is immediate and real enough to regard this as an offense.
 Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is regarded as the use of force against the will of the victim. This is also considered as rape and includes sexual penetration without the consent from the victim. For example, a husband can be charged and also convicted for sexually assaulting or raping his wife. Even voyeurism or improper touching is also deemed as a sexual assault. There are more serious penalties for a sex crime and the offender can be sentenced to life imprisonment. If you have faced such an issue, you can hire an assault lawyer.
 Aggravated Assault: This assault occurs with the use of a weapon or an increased amount of force. In order to be considered as an aggravated assault, the offender should have the intent to cause a serious bodily injury or use a deadly weapon like a bat, gun, knife, in order to cause a permanent or temporary injury. Assaulting a public official like a fireman, police officer, or judge is considered as a felony even if the victim has sustained only minor injuries.
What Is Needed to Prove Assault?
When proving assault, there are specific elements of proof that the prosecution must fulfill in order to prove an assault occurred. These elements of proof must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, as it could be a defense against the assault charge if one or more elements cannot be successfully proven.
These elements of proof include:
 Intention: In order for assault to be proven, the defendant must have intended for their acts or conduct to create an apprehension of fear or harm in the victim. As such, accidental or unintentional acts are not considered to be an assault;
 Reasonable Apprehension: The victim must have been reasonably apprehensive of being harmed by the defendant. Alternatively, the victim must have reasonably perceived that a harm or threat of harm was being directed towards them. If the victim was not aware of the threat, it may not be enough to successfully prove an assault. An example of this would be when a person aims a weapon at a person, behind that person’s back, without that person being aware of what’s happening behind them;
 Imminent Harm: The victim’s harm must be a direct response to an imminent threat of harm, or a threat that is immediately about to occur. The harm can either be physical, such as a kick or a punch, or a threat of unwanted and offensive contact, such as a sexually suggestive touch or embrace. No matter the type of harm, future threats will not result in assault charges; and
 Harmful or Offensive Conduct: The defendant’s actions or conduct must have presented a physical threat, or their behavior must have been offensive to the victim. An example of this would be pretending to kick or punch the victim, or attempting to spit on them. When proving an assault, the theory of reasonableness is often brought up.

Do I Need an Attorney for Assault Charges?

You should always have an attorney. Call Ascent Law LLC if you believe you have been assaulted, or you are being accused of assault, you should immediately contact a skilled and knowledgeable criminal attorney. An experienced criminal attorney can help you understand your state’s laws regarding assault, and compile evidence supporting your claim. Finally, an attorney can represent you in court as needed.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Parent Time Utah

Lawful And Unlawful Use Of Force

Divorces In Utah

Drafting LLC Operating Agreements

Utah Divorce And Custody Law

American Sign Language Attorney

Ascent Law St. George Utah Office

Ascent Law Ogden Utah Office

Sexual Abuse and Assault

Sexual Abuse and Assault

William Estell was being prosecuted on multiple counts of forcible sodomy, sexual abuse, and aggravated sexual abuse of a child in two different Utah cases. He pleaded guilty, and expressed remorse in the courtroom, as documented by commentary in KSL news. Estell’s actions have met public dismay since 2008, when he was sentenced to 93 days in jail for a misdemeanor count of sexual battery. But the case most recently prosecuted by Utah attorneys to receive attention speculates that his perpetration of abuse could go back as many as 20 years.

UTAH ATTORNEYS ON WHEN SYSTEM FAILS

Estell’s remorse seemed genuine enough to his sister (present on the day of his sentencing in court) but she worries about his safety and well-being in his 25-year prison sentence. “Prison isn’t a place for people with mental disabilities,” she said. 41-years-old, Estell is himself a victim of repeated sexual abuse at the hands of his father, leading to problems in his adult life and his own illegal actions. The sentencing judge commented on the situation before the court, saying, “This sentence is appropriate for the crime that has been committed, but I understand you were the victim. There was a tremendous breakdown in the system and that led to other victims.”

Utah attorneys prosecuting cases of sexual abuse and assault, especially of children, have a mountainous task ahead of them. Testimony from children is notoriously difficult to obtain – but not because of their traumatic experiences and sudden immersion into the monstrously intimidating adult world of courtrooms, gavels and technical names for private parts. Forced to recount their experience to obtain justice, children often shy away from the task that makes them feel re-traumatized and more vulnerable, which is something Estell knew well. The perpetrator selected his victims carefully, one of the Utah attorneys Coral Rose-Sanchez reported; he chose boys who spoke English as a second language, who were poor and whose parents knew little or nothing about navigating the legal system. With the deck stacked against them already, many of Estell’s victims didn’t even attempt to speak out or press charges, and for those who did, at least one had enough of a negative experience when law enforcement didn’t take the abuse report seriously that the family’s mistrust of the legal system has deepened. Another of Estell’s victims is in jail in another state for criminal activity, and still another struggles with depressive episodes around his sexual activity which he links to his abuse.

But it’s not only Estell’s victims that the system has failed to protect. As the judge acknowledged, it was Estell himself and his own prolonged experiences of sexual abuse as a child. Utah attorneys working in a court of law to right the wrongs of generations of abuse may find the situation more complex and more heartbreaking than anticipated, and society may find its own dark secrets continue to be hidden away in the mouths of children who are too traumatized to speak up. This is an age-old problem with no clear answers.

Free Consultation with a Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you need help from a criminal defense lawyer, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Child Support and parental Relocation

SEC Charges Pastor with Defrauding Retirees

Family Legal Advice Utah

Collections and Bankruptcy

Contract Drafting Basics

Grounds for Divorce in Utah

Attorney Criminal Defense

attorney criminal defense

Attorney for Criminal Defense

Criminal law is among the most complex areas of law. It takes a special type of person to become a criminal defense attorney. These types of attorneys must work with clients to prove their innocence of crimes that range from minor to major offenses.

Criminal law is the body of law commonly referred to as penal law. This body of law prosecutes a person or entity by the federal or state government for crimes that are classified as criminal. Criminal justice incorporates the theories of punishment, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. By imposing sentences for criminal acts, the law seeks to serve justice, peace, and social order.

Criminal law deals with a wide array of crimes. Criminal defense attorneys defend clients who have been charged with crimes that range from minor to major offenses. Such offenses include murder, manslaughter, arson, assault, DUI (Driving Under the Influence), fraud, theft crimes, white collar crimes, identity theft, child pornography, sex crimes and a host of other crimes.

Criminal defense lawyers, as do all attorneys, must put aside their personal beliefs and opinions of a person in order to properly and fully defend them of criminal charges. Often, the people being defended did not commit the offense and are innocent. Other times they are not. But all people in the State of Utah (and the entire United States) are entitled to representation when there is the possibility of jail time. As Utah criminal defendants attorneys, we do not pass personal judgment on a client charged with any crime – even if it is murder, rape or even child molestation.

In Utah, the Criminal Code has several provisions that the criminal defense lawyers at Ascent Law are very familiar with. We can help you resolve your criminal charges in the best way possible for you.

To the best of our ability, we defend our clients who may be guilty of the crime in which they are charged. Again, we put aside personal beliefs and opinions and defend a client that has been charged with committing any types of crimes because everyone deserves the best defense they can get. We are here to help people when they are down.

Therefore, becoming a criminal defense attorney not only takes work but true character to defending each and every person’s rights granted under the law. Criminal defense attorneys attend law school just as any other person who seeks to obtain a law degree. They must also pass the Utah state bar exam in order to practice law.

A person interested in becoming a criminal law attorney will find it extremely beneficial working as an intern in this area of law while attending law school. Internships within the judicial law system or for a criminal defense law firm will allow potential criminal defense lawyers to gain valuable experience that cannot be obtained elsewhere.

Another way to gain valuable criminal law experience is to work as a clerk for a law firm, prosecutor’s office, or judge after passing the bar exam. Places such as these allow you to gain a wealth of knowledge in the area of criminal law. Most attorneys that want to practice in criminal law often begin their careers by working as prosecuting attorneys. We have former prosecutors and former judicial clerks working as criminal defense lawyers in our office.

Criminal law is a field of law that provides many challenges and benefits. Most legal cases, aside from criminal cases, are settled outside of court and never actually reach a trial. Criminal defense attorneys try more cases in a courtroom and before a judge and jury than any other type of attorney. As such, criminal defense attorneys are able to hone their skills that make them extremely adept at their job and in many ways more well-rounded attorneys. Criminal defense attorneys are a special breed and not just any person can practice in this area of law.

Conclusion on Attorney for Criminal Defense

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in the State of Utah, please give our office a call for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you in your criminal case.

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews


Criminal Defense Law Resources

Home Page

What Can Someone Expect After Getting Out of Jail

Utah Criminal Defense Lawyers

How Does a Prior Arrest or Conviction Impact a Criminal Case?

Criminal Lawyer in Utah

DUI Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Lawyer

Michael R. Anderson, Utah Criminal Law Attorney