Domestic Violence

Under the laws in Utah, the term "domestic violence" can be defined as a pattern of abusive or aggressive behavior in a relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be abusive emotionally, sexually, or psychologically to the victim. From the prosecutor's perspective, domestic violence allegations also affect family members, friends, and co-workers.

According to Utah code 77-36-2.2, when any peace officer responds to a domestic violence call, the responding officer can make an arrest or issue a citation if there is probable cause to believe domestic violence has been committed.

However, a peace officer will take the alleged perpetrator into custody by arrest if there is probable cause that the accused may continue to hurt the victim or that the accused has recently caused serious injury to the victim or used a dangerous weapon. There is no leeway for a citation in these instances.

Additionally, if the accused has violated a protective order, the peace officer has a mandatory arrest law to arrest the alleged perpetrator.  

In many of these cases, the officer makes an arrest based on mere allegations from one person that are unsupported by any physical evidence in the case. Domestic violence offenses can include hurting the victim, causing serious injury to the victim, or violating a protective order. In many of these cases, the officer will help the alleged victim obtain emergency housing, shelter, and/or medical treatment if needed.

Lawyer for Domestic Violence in Salt Lake City, UT

If you have been arrested for a domestic violence offense in Salt Lake City, Utah, you need an experienced attorney to make sure your rights are protected. The attorneys here at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP, are experienced in fighting charges of violence within a domestic relationship.

Talk to our attorneys about your pending case today. Call (801) 532-5297.

Additional Information About Domestic Violence Crimes in Utah

  • Utah's Definition of a Domestic Violence Offense
  • Allegations of Violence in a Domestic Relationship
  • Consequences of an Allegation of Domestic Violation

Utah's Definition of a Domestic Violence Offense

The Utah State Legislature has enacted Title 77, Chapter 36, Section 1 of the Utah Code which defines a domestic violence offense to mean 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.

"Domestic violence offense" also means the commission or attempt to commit, any of the following offenses by one cohabitant against another:

  • aggravated assault
  • aggravated cruelty to an animal with the intent to harass or threaten the other cohabitant
  • assault
  • criminal homicide
  • harassment
  • electronic communication harassment,
  • kidnapping, child kidnapping, or aggravated kidnapping
  • mayhem
  • sexual offenses and sexual exploitation of a minor and aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor
  • stalking
  • unlawful detention or unlawful detention of a minor
  • violation of a protective order or ex parte protective order
  • any offense against property such as property destruction, burglary and criminal trespass, or robbery
  • possession of a deadly weapon with criminal intent
  • discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, near a highway, or in the direction of any person, building, or vehicle
  • disorderly conduct, (with a number of specific stipulations described in the Utah code subsection 4
  • child abuse
  • threatening use of a dangerous weapon
  • threatening violence
  • tampering with a witness
  • retaliation against a witness or victim
  • unlawful distribution of an intimate image or unlawful distribution of a counterfeit intimate image
  • sexual battery
  • voyeurism
  • damage to or interruption of a communication device
  • an offense described in Subsection 78B-7-806(1)

Allegations of Violence in a Domestic Relationship

After the arrest, the person accused of domestic violence must often sign a contract as part of the conditions of pretrial release to do the following:

  • have no contact with the alleged victim
  • not threaten or harass the alleged victim
  • not enter the alleged victim's residence or workplace

A violation of the terms of pretrial release can result in a new crime and a violation of the pretrial release conditions. The officers will also encourage the alleged victim to fill out a Protective Order Petition with the Third District Court (Matheson Courthouse - 450 South State Street).

Consequences of an Allegation of Domestic Violation

Many people learn too late that domestic violence and protective order offenses are serious business. Many of these charges carry hidden consequences that can only be avoided with the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.

Failure to understand your rights can result in the following:

  • being designated as a "restricted person" and being precluded from ever possessing a firearm
  • having a former spouse use your conviction to achieve an advantage in a divorce or custody matter
  • facing a felony charge because the next domestic violence allegation is subject to enhancement and can be filed as a felony depending on the prior domestic violence conviction or violation of protective order conviction

Domestic Violence Lawyers in Salt Lake City, UT

The Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyers at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat are experienced in defending men and women charged with domestic violence offenses. We can help you understand the charges, potential penalties, and possible defenses to the charges. Contact Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat today if you have any questions about domestic violence charges.

Call (801) 532-5297 for a free consultation.

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