Violating Protective Orders

A protective order is a court order that places restrictions on an individual who is accused of harming or harassing a victim. A petitioner is a person who requests a protective order and a respondent is a person who responds to the request for a protective order. Harm to an individual is defined as verbal abuse, physical abuse, threats of harm, sexual assault, stopping someone from getting help, breaking and throwing things, kidnapping, stalking, and other aggressive behaviors aimed at the victim.

Under section 77-36-2.4 of the Utah Code of Criminal Procedure, when a person intentionally or knowingly violates any ex parte protective order, they face criminal charges. Under this provision, a law enforcement officer shall arrest an alleged perpetrator whenever there is probable cause to believe that the alleged perpetrator has violated any of the provisions of an ex parte protective order or protective order – the arrest may be made without a warrant.

Violating an existing protective order is a Class A misdemeanor and a domestic violence offense unless a greater penalty is provided.

Second or subsequent violations of protective orders carry increased penalties including incarceration of up to a year in jail and/or up to $2,500 in fines. Furthermore, a violation can carry very serious consequences for individuals who are on probation, parole, or bail, even if those charges are completely unrelated to the alleged abuse.

An ex parte protective order is one that requires only the petitioner’s request, without the respondent or their attorney present.  If the respondent presents enough evidence, then a protective order shall be issued. When a court issues an ex parte protective order, the court shall set a date for a hearing on the petition within 20 days after the ex parte is issued. If after a hearing has been held, the court does not issue a protective order, the ex parte order shall expire.

Ex parte protective orders are usually granted temporarily until a hearing where both the petitioner and the respondent can appear before a judge. Ex parte protective orders protect victims from further abuse.

A respondent who has been served with an ex parte protective order may seek to vacate the ex parte protective order prior to the hearing scheduled by filing a verified motion to vacate. The respondent's verified motion to vacate and a notice of hearing on that motion shall be personally served on the petitioner at least two days prior to the hearing on the motion to vacate.


Protective Order Attorneys in Salt Lake City

Whether you wish to have a protective order in place or if you are the respondent to a protective order, it is important to speak with the lawyers of Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP as soon as possible. At Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP the criminal defense attorneys pride themselves on protecting the rights of all of their clients.

The lawyers of Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP are very knowledgeable about protective orders and have been dedicated to helping those seeking legal counsel reach a positive resolution. If you wish to speak with an experienced protective lawyer today contact at (801) 532-5297 for a no obligation consultation.


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What can a Protective Order do?

A Protective Order can:

  • order the respondent to not harm the petitioner, their children, or anyone who lives with the petitioner;
  • order temporary possession of the home, car and essential personal property;
  • order the respondent to stay away from the petitioner and the petitioner's home, job,
  • order temporary custody, parent-time and support for the children;
  • vehicle or school, and not to contact or harass the petitioner in any way;
  • order the respondent to not possess any guns or other weapons;
  • order temporary spousal support if the petitioner and respondent are married; and
  • order the children not to be removed from Utah.

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Who can get a Protective Order?

The petitioner can get a protective order if the following has occurred:

  • the respondent has harmed the petitioner, and
  • the petitioner and respondent are related, live with or used to live with each other, are parents of a child together, or if the petitioner is pregnant by the respondent, and
  • the petitioner and respondent are at least 16 years of age, married or emancipated.

- OR -

  • The petitioner is afraid the respondent will harm her or him, and
  • The petitioner and respondent are related, live with or used to live with each other, are parents of a child together, or if the petitioner is pregnant by the respondent, and
  • The petitioner and respondent are at least 16, married or legally an adult.

If the petitioner and respondent are under 16 and not married or legally considered to be an adult, an adult can ask for a child protective order. If the petitioner does not qualify for a protective order, they may still be able to file for other court injunctions.


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Protective Order Additional Resources

Utah Courts: Online Court Assistance Program- Visit the website of Utah’s state courts to see information about the Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP) which provides assistance in preparing protective orders.

Utah Judicial Code: View the website of Utah’s State Legislature to see the laws that govern protective orders and petitions in the state of Utah. On this website, you will find protective orders for abuse, modifications to protective orders, hearings on ex parte orders, mutual protective orders and other related laws.

Petitioner's Request to Dismiss Order: Visit this website to view the form needed for a petitioner to request a dismissal of an existing protective order. An attorney can help you fill out this form and inform you on the legal steps you must take in order to submit such a request.


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Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP | Salt Lake City Protective Order Lawyer

Obtaining a protective order or contesting one can be a very complicated process if you do not know or understand federal and local protective order laws. If you have been served with protective order papers or have violated an existing protective order it is important you contact Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP as soon as possible.

Our experienced criminal lawyers seek to ensure that you are treated fairly and that your rights are fully protected whether you are the respondent or the petitioner.  They may be able to file a request for the protective order to be vacated or dismissed. They will also be able to advise you on the best next steps to take if you have violated a protective order in Salt Lake City, Utah or surrounding areas.

Contact Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP at (801) 532-5297 for a free initial consultation.

This page was last updated on May 22, 2017.


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