Assault & Battery


The separate crimes of assault and battery are recurrently confused in everyday

Criminal Defense Attorney Salt Lake City
Criminal Defense Attorney Salt Lake City

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 defines assault as a threat or act that causes injury and/or bodily harm to another person or people. The severity of the charge depends on the extent of the harm or injuries caused, how the injuries were caused, and who was assaulted- for example assaulting a healthcare worker, policeman, or school worker can have steeper consequences.

Aggravated assault is the same as regular assault, but with a more serious sentencing. Some examples are-

  • Use of a deadly weapon (any item capable of causing grave injury or death)
  • Loss of breath, blood, or consciousness
  • A greater substantial risk of bodily harm
  • Injury great enough to cause death


When you actually physically attack someone this is considered battery.

A term we often hear is sexual battery. This is when someone deliberately touches another person, even if its through clothing, in the genital area, buttocks area, or breasts against the persons will. The perpetrator knows and enjoys the alarm and discomfort that the touching causes.


At Stevens & Gailey we will work above and beyond on your case to make sure your rights are protected. With offices in Ogden and American Fork we can help you no matter where you live! Don’t hesitate to call us NOW and set up your initial consultation.



Utah Assault Code

Effective 5/12/2015
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.)