Utah Domestic Violence Charges Defense Lawyer
If a person is charged with domestic violence, they can face a number of severe penalties if they are convicted of those offenses. In some cases, being charged with domestic violence could lead to other issues for the defendant. For example, the alleged victim could file for a restraining order that could lead to other complications for the defendant if they cohabitate with the alleged victim. If you were arrested for domestic violence, contact an experienced Utah domestic violence defense lawyer.
Overson Law, PLLC, is committed to working with you to help pursue a desirable outcome for your domestic violence case. Our firm understands the stress and uncertainty that can accompany being charged with a serious offense like domestic violence, and we are here for you in your time of need. To discuss your domestic violence claim, contact Overson Law, PLLC, at (801) 758-2287. You may also contact the firm online using our short submission form.
Utah Domestic Violence Laws
The State of Utah defines domestic violence as physical harm or a threat of violence made by a cohabitant against another cohabitant. Domestic violence is different from other claims like assault and battery because domestic violence typically occurs between family members, spouses, or other parties that reside in the same household. Utah also criminalizes the attempt, conspiracy, or the solicitation of a domestic violence crime.
Domestic violence can be charged as part of a number of other crimes. For example, harassment is often charged in conjunction with domestic violence. An individual can be charged with harassment if they frighten or attempt to intimidate another person using a written or recorded message. Harassment is often added to a defendant’s list of domestic violence-related offenses if the defendant contacts the victim after being arrested for domestic violence.
In some cases, a court may issue a restraining order against a defendant after an incident of domestic violence. The purpose of this restraining order is typically to prevent the defendant from abusing the alleged victim any further. However, this is not the only reason that a court may issue a restraining order. Other reasons for a restraining order include:
- Preventing the defendant from contacting the alleged victim
- Prohibiting the defendant from visiting the home, workplace, school, or any other place frequented by the alleged victim
Ex Parte Orders
If a court issues a pre-trial restraining order, the defendant will be charged with additional offenses if they violate the order before their trial.
Additionally, a court may also issue an ex parte order even when a person has not been formally charged with domestic violence. This may occur if a victim has been abused or believe they will face abuse petitions the court for protection. An ex parte order can result in the following circumstances:
- Prohibiting a defendant from owning a firearm or another dangerous weapon
- Awarding the petitioner of temporary custody of children
- Preventing a defendant from committing domestic violence
This is not an exhaustive list. To learn more about the penalties for domestic violence, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Utah domestic violence defense lawyer.
Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction in Utah
The criminal penalties imposed for a domestic violence offense will vary depending on the circumstances of a case. For example, if a defendant was previously convicted of domestic violence, the prosecutor in the case may cite this as an aggravating factor to increase the possible penalties if a defendant is convicted.
An offense for domestic violence can range from Class C misdemeanor to a third degree felony. Misdemeanors are offenses that do not impose more than a year of jail time for a criminal conviction. Felonies carry penalties of at least one year.
In Utah, if a defendant is convicted of a Class C misdemeanor for domestic violence, they can be sentenced to a maximum of 90 days in jail and up to $750 in criminal fines. As Class C misdemeanors are the least severe type of misdemeanor, they carry the least amount of penalties.
If a defendant is charged with domestic violence after being convicted of domestic violence within the past 10 years, the grade of the offense can be increased to a Class B misdemeanor. Class B misdemeanors have a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail and $1,000 of criminal fines.
As mentioned, domestic violence can also be graded as a Class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors are the most severe type of misdemeanor. If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, a defendant can be sentenced to up to 364 days in jail and owe up to $2,500 in fines.
A third degree felony is typically the highest grade of felony imposed for domestic violence. When a defendant is convicted of a third degree felony, they can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison and may owe up to $5,000 in criminal fines.
Work with Our Committed Utah Domestic Violence Charges Defense Attorney
If you were charged with domestic violence, you should consult with an experienced Utah domestic violence charges defense attorney. Criminal defense attorney Darwin Overson has represented defendants in complex criminal cases for over 16 years, and he would be honored to work with you. Our firm recognizes how a domestic violence claim can affect a defendant’s life, and we are here to help weigh your legal options. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your charges, contact Overson Law, PLLC, at (801) 758-2287.