What is Considered Domestic Violence in Utah?
Domestic violence is a very big issue in Utah. There are commissions convened and task forces created to deal with the problem. Utah law grants the police sweeping powers to arrest and jail those suspected of domestic violence. Utah courts enter protective orders forthwith against those merely accused of domestic violence. And do not think this is a male-specific problem. Women are often prosecuted for domestic violence.
Now, what you may think of as domestic violence (a husband an wife yelling and physically fighting with one another) is a bit limited. In Utah, domestic violence encompasses a wide range of activities, both between husband and wife, and between cohabitants who are not married. Some behaviors that qualify as domestic violence include:
“any criminal offense involving violence or physical harm or threat of violence or physical harm, or any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a criminal offense involving violence or physical harm, when committed by one cohabitant against another.”
The Utah code (from which the preceding quote was taken) actually goes on for another page defining domestic violence. Stalking a cohabitant can be domestic violence, as can harassment, as can discharging a firearm from a vehicle, near a highway.
It is also a separate crime if domestic violence was committed in the presence of a child. For more on that crime, click here.
What Are Potential Utah Domestic Violence Penalties?
Domestic violence is complicated because it includes both criminal and civil penalties. The criminal penalties include jail time and fines. The civil penalties usually revolve around protective orders, which can severely limit your rights to travel, to communicate with your spouse, to use your property, etc., etc., etc. In addition, a domestic violence conviction or entry of a protective order may preclude you from ever possessing a gun. (This is an especially problematic element for military and national guard personnel.)
How Will Brown Law Defend You Against a Utah Domestic Violence Charge?
There are many ways Brown Law’s Utah domestic violence attorney attacks domestic violence charges. For example, while there are many, many legitimate domestic violence accusations, domestic violence charges are often used to get a leg up in future divorce proceedings. So, one of the first things our criminal defense team does is to determine if this is the case. We will also examine if the police followed proper procedures when making an arrest and gathering evidence. If they did not, we will attack their case immediately.
Brown Law is also your Utah protective order law firm. While protective orders are a civil matter, we will vigorously defend the rights of those against whom a frivolous protective order has been requested.
Contact Brown Law if You Have Been Accused of Domestic Violence.
Brown Law has your Salt Lake domestic violence lawyer. Our Utah criminal defense team will protect your liberties. Call 24/7: 801.685.9999 or 800.299.1016.