Salt Lake City Criminal Defense
If you have been charged or arrested for violence, whether it is domestic violence, assault, or another charge, you may have many questions about the consequences you are facing if convicted. At Utah Defenders, our Salt Lake City lawyers can answer your questions and guide you through the difficult challenges you are facing. The attorneys at our office are experienced court room attorneys who understand the legal elements involved in violent crimes. Often, individuals charged with violent crimes were acting in self-defense. Our Utah Criminal Defense team will investigate your case and zealously represent you.
Violent Offenses in Utah
Violent crimes are among the most serious and actively prosecuted offenses in Utah. The penalties for violent crimes range from lighter sentences such as fines to some of the harshest penalties imposed by the law. Violent offenses in Utah include:
- Assault - Placing someone in imminent fear of harm or actually causing someone physical harm is an assault. This charge is most commonly brought in domestic situations between people living together. Currently the assault statute is located in section 76-5-102 of the Utah Code. A simple assault is either a class A or B misdemeanor depending on the nature of the injury caused and the person who was assaulted.
- Domestic Violence - This is a moniker or category attached to other specific crimes. It is not it’s own unique charge. ”Domestic violence,” as explained in Utah Code 77-36-1, is any criminal offense involving violence or physical harm or threat of violence or physical harm…when committed by one cohabitant against another. Thus, an assault, harassment, kidnapping, violating a protective order and other crimes involving violence can be considered domestic violence. When attached that moniker to a crime it brings with it other legal consequences such as affecting your right to bear arms.
- Conduct Warranting a Protective Order - If a person is in danger of being abused or has been abused by a cohabitant or former cohabitant, a court can issue a protective order to prevent a threatening person from having contact with them.
- Violating Protective Orders - Doing something as simple as making a phone call, sending a text message or email, or driving by a home may constitute a violation of a protective order which is a class A misdemeanor and can result in a significant amount of jail time.
- Kidnapping - Taking someone by force against their will is a felony. Add a weapon to that and the kidnapping becomes “aggravated,” a first degree felony and minimum 15 years in state prison.
- Harassment - Utah Code 76-5-106 provides the very simple definition of harassment “A person is guilty of harassment if, with intent to frighten or harass another, he communicates a written or recorded threat to commit any violent felony.” Sending a text message such as “I’m going to kill you” or “I’m going to tear you apart” can be considered harassment.
- Stalking - The crime pops up often in situations involving scored lovers. Driving by a home, following someone, recording them with a camera phone, etc. are acts that support a charge for stalking.
- Child Abuse - This is a crime, but in addition to that DCFS is likely to get involved and the attorney general’s office, possibly to remove the children from the home and put the children with new guardians or foster parents.
- Reckless Endangerment - This is reckless conduct that that creates a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury. For example, recklessness can be used to describe pranks. Playing with fire, firearms, explosives, or driving like a maniac can all result in these types of charges.
- Abuse of Vulnerable Adult - Anyone over 65 years old is “vulnerable” so these types of charges are commonly derived out of nursing homes and brought against individuals who are tasked with caring for seniors. It can also include taking financial advantage of a senior.
- Gun Crimes - Make sure you have all your ducks in a row when purchasing a firearm. Buy them through the right channels. If you have been convicted of a felony or domestic violence in the past you may have restrictions on your ability to own or possess a firearm as well. Finally, even if you have legal possession of a firearm, make sure you use it legally.
- Homicide - Along with sex crimes these types of charges are the most serious and require a lot of detail-specific investigation. Homicide can be intentional, reckless, and even negligent so there are a number of different types of homicide crimes.
If you have been charged with one of these violent offenses, it is important to choose a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney who understands the applicable elements and laws specific to your case. Our lawyers will be able to tell you within a matter of minutes what consequences you are facing and how best to defend yourself against such criminal charges.
Speak With a Criminal Defense Attorney at Utah Defenders Today.
Do not hesitate to contact us with questions you may have regarding your charges. We provide excellent legal representation at affordable prices. We don’t charge for intial consultations and provide payment plans in many cases. To speak with a criminal defense lawyer today regarding your violence charges, call now at 801.618.1334. You can also reach us by email by filling out the form to the right or by clicking here.