Although, in the past years there has been a decreased in reports of violent crimes and property crimes, recently reports have spiked. In 2013, Utah had reported 224 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants. However, recent reports released by the Salt Lake City Police Department demonstrate that in 2020, violent crimes increased by 21.6% and property crimes are up to 24.9% higher than the previous year.
Being charged with a violent crime in the state of Utah, can seem overwhelming. The uncertainty of the legal procedure, what are your legal options, and how a conviction can have a detrimental impact on an individual's life. It is important that if you are facing a violent offense charge, that you seek legal representation. Understanding your legal options based on the your situation and circumstances can help you retain your freedom and protect your future. A conviction of a violent offense can result in a loss of housing, employment, and educational opportunities, and not being eligible for certain academic scholarships. There are other ways that being convicted of a violent crime can have a negative impact on an individual's life.
Some of the most common violent crimes occurring in Utah each year include the following:
If you are facing charges for any of the aforementioned crimes, it is vital to weigh all your legal options. However, it will likely be most beneficial for you to seek counsel from an experienced defense attorney.
Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law is an experienced defense attorney with decades of experience defending clients against violent crime charges. She will work with you to develop a defense strategy tailored to your circumstances. Facing criminal charges should be taken seriously because of the detrimental impact that it can have in your life. A conviction can lead to imprisonment and/or fines. It is important to retain legal representation in the earliest stages of your case to achieve a favorable outcome.
Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law, actively pursues every possible option to obtain the best possible result in each case, including dismissal and reduction of the charges. If you have been charged for a violent crime contact Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814.
Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law routinely works with clients in Salt Lake County, Davis County, Layton, Bountiful, Clearfield, Layton, North Salt Lake, Centerville, Woods Cross, West Point, and Kaysville.
A person is guilty of murder if he or she does any of the following:
A person commits rape when he or she has sexual intercourse with another person without the victim’s consent.
An actor commits assault when he or she uses unlawful force or violence to commit or attempt to commit bodily injury to another; or if the actor uses unlawful force or violence to cause bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another.
Aggravated Assault- §76-5-103
An actor is guilty of aggravated assault when he or she commits or attempts to commit assault as defined by §76-5-102, and uses a dangerous weapon or other means of force likely to produce death or serious bodily injury to another.
An individual may be found guilty of burglary if he or she enters or remains unlawfully in a building or any portion of a building with intent to commit any of the following:
A person may be found guilty of robbery if he or she unlawfully and intentionally takes or attempts to take another person’s personal property out of his immediate possession by force or fear, against his will, with the intent to deprive the property owner of said property; or
Intentionally or knowingly uses force or fear of immediate force against another in the course of committing theft or a wrongful appropriation.
Negligent Homicide - §76-5-206
An actor commits negligent homicide when he or she causes the death of another with criminal negligence.
A person commits manslaughter when he or she recklessly causes the death of another; commits homicide reduced to manslaughter by 76-5-203(4); or commits murder but with special mitigation under 76-5-205.5.
This occurs when a person intentionally or knowingly, without legal authority, and against the victim’s will, does any of the following:
In Utah, violent crimes can carry a wide range of sentences depending on the circumstances and the victims involved. In most cases, violent crimes require a mandatory prison sentence. In less serious circumstances, fines and short jail times may result. The following is a sample of some of the penalties attached with violent crimes.
Most violent crimes require both elements of knowledge and intent. Any defense strategy that calls these elements into question can provide the defendant with a better argument in court.
Specific defense strategies can be discussed in person with a defense attorney to better fit them to your specific circumstances. Listed below are some of the most common defenses against violent crime charges.
Defendant Lacks Knowledge- Most violent crimes require a knowledge element. This means that the prosecution has to prove that the defendant had knowledge of his or her actions at the time of the alleged offense.
If the defendant did not or could not have had the requisite knowledge that the offense calls for, the charges must be dismissed or reduced.
Defendant Acted out of Self-Defense- for some violent crimes, the defendant can utilize a self-defense argument. This defense allows a defendant to admit to the act, but to mitigate penalties by asserting that he or she acted in defense.
For example, an individual may have his charges dismissed or reduced for an aggravated assault where he used force which he believed necessary to defend against an opposing party’s imminent use of unlawful force.
Lack of knowledge and self-defense are just two of several defenses a person can use against violent crime allegations.
Equality Utah- Site for victims of violent crimes targeting minority groups
West Valley City- Advocacy group for victims of violent crimes offering treatment and counseling
Call Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 to discuss your legal options. Our firm represents accused individuals in Davis County, South Weber, West Point, Woods Cross, and Centerville.