An Overview Of Assault And Domestic Violence Cases In Utah

Interviewer: In relation to assault and domestic violence, it seems that it’s become a lot more prevalent over the years. Have you seen it increase over the years or has it kind of stayed the same?

Court Koehler: It’s all something that’s pretty common. I don’t know that I’ve seen it increase, necessarily recently, but it is very common.

The Different Kinds Of Assault Charges  Both Pertaining To Domestic Violence and Not

Interviewer: What are the different kinds of assault that are not really pertaining to domestic violence and the ones that do pertain to domestic violence?

Court Koehler: Assault, just your basic assault is a Class B misdemeanor, that’s the lowest level. Then there are enhancements from there, depending on the character of the assault. You can have an aggravated assault that is a Class A misdemeanor. It can be aggravated by factors like if someone was injured, if the person charged with is accused to have used a weapon, things like that. You can actually have a 3rd degree felony assault if the person, if the victim is substantially injured, seriously injured. There’s those kind of three basic levels.

An Assault With A Deadly Weapon Does Not Include Just Guns But Any Weapon That Can Cause Lethal Damage

Interviewer: When they refer to assault with a deadly weapon, what does that typically refer to? Is that always with a gun?

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Court Koehler: It doesn’t have to be a gun. That would be a 3rd degree felony. It’s commonly a gun, but a deadly weapon can be any sort of implement that could cause death or serious bodily injury. It could be a knife, it could be something like a bat or a pipe that you would hit somebody with. I’ve heard even about cases where people have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon if they have certain, like martial arts skills or fighting skills. That can be considered assault with a deadly weapon. Although, I think a case like that would be easier to defend than if you had an assault where someone was carrying a gun or something like that. Really, it depends on what the prosecutor wants to try to define a deadly weapon as, but it can really be a wide range of things.

Domestic Assaults are More Common as Opposed to Street Fights or Barroom Brawls

Interviewer: Do you ever see situations where an individual gets into some sort of street fight that may occur in the streets, or inside, like in a bar, but something along those lines?

Court Koehler: I think the domestic assaults are more common. Yeah, you do see people getting charged with assault, someone’s injured in a street fight or in a bar of something like that, at concerts, I’ve seen things like that where there’ll be a fight at a concert or some sort of public event. Yeah, definitely you see that.

Typical Scenario In An Assault Not Involving Domestic Violence

Interviewer: What’s the typical scenario in assault, outside of domestic violence? What’s a scenario that you see or what’s the story that you most commonly hear about?

Court Koehler: Problem the most common story is going to be in a public place, or sometimes maybe at a party. It’s not necessarily public, but kind of public in a large gathering of people. You have an altercation, you have an argument and somebody gets hurt in a fight, there may or may not be a weapon involved, maybe something like a knife or a bat. Gun kind of assaults and assault with a deadly weapon is a little bit less common.

A Lot of Times in Fistfights the Person Who Calls the Police First Can Avoid an Arrest

The most common thing is just a fist fight, or something a little bit less serious than a gun like a bat or something like that. Usually those kinds of cases are really based on witnesses. It can be kind of a he said, she said, type of a situation. A lot of times who’s arrested and who’s charged can even depend on just who called the police first. Sometimes you even get two people charged, two parties, both of them charged with assault for the same fight, which is kind of strange. It’s not like any other crime where you can have a person be a victim and the defendant in the same time.

By Court Koehler

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