The separate crimes of assault and battery are recurrently confused in everyday discussion. While both include physical violence, they are not the same type of charges. To ease the misconception, the legal definitions of “assault” and “battery” differ from one state to state. Essentially, in Utah, an assault is committed when you threaten to hit or harm someone. Battery is committed when you really do hit or harm someone.
Utah Assault 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.
Amended by Chapter 430, 2015 General Session
Punishment for Misdemeanor Assault
Most assaults are class B misdemeanors, and are punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
(Utah Code § § 76-3-204, 76-3-301, 76-5-102.)
The following assaults are Class A misdemeanors:
- assaults that cause considerable bodily injury
- assaults against pregnant women
- assaults against protected officials and employees
- throwing things at a correctional or law enforcement officer, and
- hate crimes.
Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
(Utah Code § § 76-3-203.3, 76-3-204, 76-3-301, 76-5-102, 76-5-102.3, 76-5-102.4, 76-5-102.6, 76-5-102.7.)