Simple assault in Utah is differentiated from aggravated assault because the actor allegedly:
(1). Uses a dangerous weapon, or
(2). Applies a choke hold or another strangling technique designed to obstruct human airways, or
(3). “Uses” means or forces likely to produce death or serious injury.
“Dangerous weapon” means:
(a) Any item capable of causing death or serious bodily injury; or
(b) A fake or representation of the item, if:
(i) The actor’s use or apparent intended use of the item leads the victim to reasonably believe the item is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury; or
(ii) The actor represents to the victim verbally or in any other manner that he is in control of such an item.
If you are charged with aggravated assault upon a police officer, it is a 1st Degree Felony. If the allegations are that you choked someone out, or actually cause serious bodily injury, it is a 2nd Degree Felony.
Defenses to Aggravated Assault:
Credibility Undermining of the Complaining Witness.
Aggravated assault charges, just like simple assault or domestic violence charges often are all about conflicting “He said,” “She said” allegations. Sometimes the most persuasive person who calls the cops wins and the other person is charged, even though the reverse is actually true.
Good criminal defense trial lawyers know how to undermine the credibility of accusing complaining witnesses who are allegedly the victim of an assault. Good criminal defense attorneys will lay the foundation for self-defense arguments and prove your defense through superior cross- examination and preparation.
Self Defense Arguments. Self-defense is a common defense to aggravated assault. In Utah, you have the right to defend yourself, even with deadly force under appropriate circumstances. Utah law on self-defense, defense of property and defense of other is found at Utah Code Ann. 76-2-4.