You have a right to defend yourself, your family and your property in the State of Utah. When you decide to use force to protect your liberty, you should expect to possibly get charged with a crime because prosecutors seem to only think the police should be able to use force to protect themselves—Not Ordinary Citizens. Either way, you need to be very careful when using force to protect your family and your liberty. Utah’s criminal law is statute-based and can be found at Title 76 and Title 77 of the Utah Code. Utah’s self-defense laws are found at Utah Code Ann. 76-2-4 Part 4 (2017).
The Basics Factors in Claiming Self-Defense.
(1). A person can defend themselves and use non-deadly force against an aggressor when and to the extent that the threatened person “reasonably believes” that force or a threat of force is necessary to defend the person or a third person against the aggressor’s imminent use of unlawful force.
(2). A person can defend themselves using deadly force or force likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if the threatened person “reasonably believes” that force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the person or a third person as a result of aggressor’s imminent use of unlawful force, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
The jury or judge, when adjudicating the facts and determining whether you were justified in using force in self-defense, or defense of others, will look at the following non-exclusive statutory factors:
(1) The nature of the danger;
(2) The immediacy of the danger;
(3) The probability that the unlawful force would result in death or serious bodily injury;
(4) The other’s prior violent acts or violent propensities; and
(5) Any patterns of abuse or violence in the parties’ relationship.
When you are facing Assault charges or aggravated assault charges and you did not start the fight, but were merely protecting yourself, you will need an aggressive Utah criminal defense attorney who will dig deep in preparation on your case.