Violation of protective orders is a serious legal issue in Utah. Although it is considered a misdemeanor, its ramifications could result in a wide range of punishments including incarceration and monetary penalties. Also, the mandatory arrest provision applies if you violate a protective order. If you have been charged for violating a protective order, an experienced criminal defense attorney from Wasatch Defense Lawyers will help you combat these allegations.
Violation of a Protective Order Laws in Utah
A protective order refers to a court order or injunction imposing strict restrictions on a person accused of harassing or harming a victim. The harm could be in the form of physical or verbal abuse, sexual assault, aggressive behavior, stalking, kidnapping, or even stopping the victim from getting help. Protective orders are issued when a conflict arises between people who have a personal relationship.
For a protective order to be issued, the petitioner must prove that they were subjected to physical violence, or they are in danger of abuse. Utah’s Cohabitant Abuse Act applies to cohabitants who include spouses, parents, siblings, roommates, boyfriends, and girlfriends among other people who live together. Applicants have to complete a petition referred to as the Request for Protective Order.
A protective order is quite different from a restraining order. The latter is issued to prevent a wide range of acts that do not necessarily have to be violent. On the other hand, protective orders seek to address domestic violence by limiting the accused’s ability to contact the victim. Also, protective orders could have criminal provisions, while restraining orders are purely civil.
Consequences You Face if Found Guilty of Violation of a Protective Order in Utah
Depending on the circumstances of the case, a protective order may restrict you from:
- Harassing or hurting the petitioner or any other cohabitants such as the petitioner’s children
- Possessing weapons such as guns even if you have a license
- Getting within a certain distance from the petitioner
- Trying to get to the petitioner’s workplace, school, or residence
Should the petitioner claim that you have violated the protective order and there’s probable cause to support these allegations, you risk immediate arrest without a warrant. This is according to Utah Code 77-36-2.4. Protective order violation is classified as a Class A felony which could land you in jail for one year as well as up to $2,500 in fines.
The violation could have far-reaching effects if you are out on parole or bail even though the previous charges are not related to the purported abuse. Probationers, parolees, and those out on bail risk their freedom and additional criminal charges once they violate a protective order.
Charged with Violation of a Protective Order in Utah? Get a Free Case Evaluation
If you feel that the terms outlined in the protective order are unfair, avoid confronting the plaintiff. Rather, have an attorney file a request for their dismissal. Call us at 801-845-3296 for an obligation-free case review. During the free consultation, we will take the time to explain the possible charges as well as Utah’s criminal justice processes and procedures. Contacting us as soon as you are arrested will help us gather time-sensitive evidence and testimonies that will help us build a strong defense.