Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Utah
Domestic violence calls are handled by law enforcement with procedures for on-the-spot evaluations that can sometimes erroneously lead to arrests. With emotions running high, minor domestic incidents may be interpreted as serious crimes. In some cases, police have potentially erred on the side of caution. Then, prosecutors who are highly experienced in these cases take over, and they’re tough opponents. You will need a Utah defense attorney with a strong track record in domestic violence cases to defend you effectively against the government’s charges and arguments.
We are experts in getting domestic violence charges reduced or dismissed. Call us today for a no-obligation consultation.
Click to jump to section:
- Threat Of Violence
- Violation Of Protective Order
- Violation Of No Contact Order
- Domestic Violence In The Presence Of A Child
- Domestic Violence Is a Serious Criminal Offense in Utah
- Sentencing for Domestic Violence
- Additional Consequences of Domestic Violence Conviction
- Frequently Asked Questions About Domestic Violence
- Have You Been Accused of Domestic Violence?
- Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, UT
- Contact the Top Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Threat Of Violence
A threat of violence charge is when an offender threatens injury, death, or substantial property damage to frighten a victim. The threat of violence is a Class B misdemeanor, so you could be facing a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
Violation Of Protective Order
A protective order is typically filed between two people due to a personal conflict, but once the protective order is filed, the conflict is no longer personal. If a person is accused of violating a protective order and the officer-involved determines the accusation is well-founded, a protective order requires the accused to be arrested.
Due to the nature of these situations, the officers involved must make snap judgments, which can make life hard for the accused. These situations are particularly volatile when parental custody is at stake.
Violation Of No Contact Order
A no-contact order is an order issued by the court regarding a criminal case in which there were allegations of a violent or threatening act, most commonly domestic violence. A no contact order requires the alleged abuser to:
- Have no personal contact with the victim
- Neither threatens nor harass the victim
- Avoid visiting the premises of the victim’s residence or anywhere the victim is temporarily living.
- Also, avoid sending messages through third parties.
The difference between a protective order and a no contact order is the situation in which they are filed. The victim must request a protective order – while the court can order a no contact order. Violating a no contact order is classified as a Class B misdemeanor and can also lead to other charges.
Domestic Violence In The Presence Of A Child
Committing an act of domestic violence in the presence of a child can double the criminal charges you face since each child present serves as the basis for a separate charge. Utah law has a broad definition for the presence of a child in terms of domestic violence, so a child doesn’t have to witness the violent act. They could, for example, simply be in the next room.
Domestic Violence Is a Serious Criminal Offense in Utah
Domestic violence is a severe criminal offense in Utah. Sometimes it involves multiple victims. Incidents can affect adult family members and children as well. This domain of criminal law overlaps with issues of family law. Therefore, a domestic violence case requires a legal defense by an attorney well experienced in both areas of specialization.
Sentencing for Domestic Violence
The extent of domestic violence punishment in Utah depends on the frequency and severity of the harm to the victim and other factors weighed by the court. Penalties for people convicted of this crime can range from probation with fines to long prison sentences. Additionally, the offense may be “enhanced” by the court’s decision. For example, enhancement of the charge(s) is sometimes applied in cases of repeat offenses of domestic violence. That increases the punishments in this type of case.
Additional Consequences of Domestic Violence Conviction
In addition to the legal consequences, there can be many other unexpected life-changing repercussions of a criminal conviction for domestic violence, including:
- Job loss and difficulty obtaining new employment
- Irreparably damaged reputation in the community
- Impacted rights to child custody or visitation
- Restrictions on where you’re allowed to go physically
- Loss of freedom to participate in community activities
- Loss of your right to possess a firearm
- Other serious personal consequences
Frequently Asked Questions About Domestic Violence
What Are the Different Types of Domestic Violence?
Although most people associate domestic violence with physical abuse, domestic violence charges can also be filed for Control, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, psychological, Emotional Abuse & Intimidation, Isolation, Verbal Abuse: Coercion, Threats, & Blame, or financial abuse. In Utah, any crime committed against a cohabitant is considered to be domestic violence. For instance, someone who destroys the property of a cohabitant can be charged with domestic violence.
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in Utah?
Penalties for domestic violence in Utah vary by the seriousness of the crime and by the existing record, if any, of the perpetrator. Subsequent offenses come with increasingly severe consequences in Utah. Situations involving serious injuries, the use of a weapon, aggravated assault, or damage involving more than $2,500 are prosecuted as felonies in the state of Utah.
Does Domestic Violence Charge Stay on Your Record
Unless you are found eligible for an expungement, a domestic violence charge will remain on your record for an indefinite period of time. Expungement regulations vary, so those considering going this route are advised to consult a domestic violence attorney for the most up-to-date and accurate information. Generally, misdemeanor charges may be eligible for expungement in 3-5 years, while felonies require a waiting period of 7-10 years.
What Makes Domestic Violence Charge a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor Domestic Violence conviction carries a jail sentence of up to one year in Utah, while felony convictions result in sentences of at least five years. Sentencing is dependent on factors such as prior convictions, the severity of the injuries, whether or not a weapon was involved, whether or not a child was present, when the act took place, and whether monetary damages of $2,500 or more were a part of the picture.
Is Threat of Violence Gross Misconduct in Utah?
The definition of Gross Misconduct is intentional actions designed to shock the conscience of the average reasonable person. Certain acts of domestic violence fall within this legal parameter in Utah — it depends on the nature of the threat and how and where it is delivered.
How Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody?
Although child custody laws in Utah trend toward joint or shared custody situations, a history of domestic violence will make a difference in the eyes of a judge in family court when it comes to custody issues, and it no longer matters whether the parents were ever married or lived together as domestic partners. A recent domestic violence act has strengthened laws in Utah to include those who have never lived together or been married but have children together, which means that parents in those situations stand to lose significant child custody rights if they’re convicted of domestic violence.
How to Drop Domestic Violence Charges in Utah?
Utah’s harsh domestic violence laws make it extremely difficult for charges to be dropped — the alleged victim, for instance, usually can’t get the charges dropped simply by making an appeal to the District Attorney because the state is the prosecuting body.
How Much Does a Domestic Violence Lawyer Cost?
The rates of domestic violence vary by experience and expertise. Although you can sometimes get a bargain but hiring an inexperienced lawyer often has negative consequences.
Have You Been Accused of Domestic Violence?
The extreme negative effects of domestic violence charges can be wide-reaching, impacting the lives of entire families and their futures. To help prevent an outcome that can have these life-altering effects, you will need an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney with a strong track record in domestic violence cases.
If you are charged with domestic violence, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will make sure that all your rights are fully protected and build the best possible case for your defense. Wasatch Defense Lawyers are highly experienced in defending people against domestic violence charges in the Utah court system.
Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, UT
Wasatch Defense Lawyers have helped clients with defenses against domestic violence charges in Utah for many years. We can often overcome serious charges and obtain favorable outcomes in these sensitive, high-stakes cases. We make sure that all your rights are fully protected throughout the process in the Utah courts, and we build the best case for your defense. We are focused on keeping you from being convicted, suffering punishments, and having a criminal record.
If You Face Domestic Violence Charges, We Can Help.
For 33 years, Wasatch criminal defense lawyers have been defending people in Utah criminal trials. We have built our reputation by quickly moving to have charges dropped or significantly reduced to keep clients from going to jail. We will guide you through the Utah criminal court system, build the strongest case for your defense, and stand up for you in court to fight for your freedom and future.
If you have been arrested for domestic violence, contact Wasatch Defense Lawyers at (801) 980-9965, or contact us online to schedule a free case review.
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