How to Handle a Domestic Violence Case in Utah

A domestic violence case can be an extremely challenging and emotionally charged situation to handle for all involved. In Utah a domestic violence case means a crime that is committed or attempted to be committed that involves violent physical harm or a threat of violent physical harm to someone who is living together in cohabitation. Some of the types of violent crimes, may include assault, harassment, stalking, and the violation of restraining or protective orders Those who are considered to be living in a cohabitate situation in Utah include spouses, ex-spouses, common law marriages or partnerships, people living together presently or formally, people with children together, cohabitants must be 16 and not in parent-minor child relationship.

Legal Matters and Utah Domestic Violence Law

A police officer in Utah has the right to make an arrest in a domestic violence situation as long as there is probable cause that a violent act has already taken place or things that there is a strong possibility that one will occur. The police officer has to make an arrest against the aggressor, or the future defendant in situations like these. In Utah, once a person is convicted of a domestic violent crime any other subsequent domestic crimes may lead to an increase in the possible punishment.  Once an arrest is made there can be orders to limit or prevent any contact, if this no contact order is violated future charges could be cited. If there are children involved and visitation rights are permitted the courts will address this.

Now that you have a good understanding of what some of the details are for Utah domestic violence cases how should you handle one if you are involved?

  • Take a Breath- Because of the emotional component of domestic disputes it can be overwhelming. It is important to stop and take a breath, be patient and try and be as calm as possible. Domestic cases, just like other legal matters take time to work out. Nothing is going to happen overnight, so it is best to try and be patient as the case unfolds.
  • Stay Organized- Keep your facts straight, be prepared and don’t miss any court appearances. It is important to stay organized to prevent further issues or delays from occurring in your case.
  • Ask Questions and Know Your Rights-If you are unsure of what is happening in your case and what your rights might be it is important that you ask. If you are the defendant be sure to fully understand your Miranda rights. You can ask a court clerk, arresting police officer or an attorney.
  • Get Help- Hiring an attorney can be the smartest decision possible, whether you are the defendant or the victim an attorney will be able to help sort through the case. It is important to have an attorney to help you be aware of what your rights are as well as defend those rights if need be. An attorney will also be on your side and keep the details of your case straightened out, file any papers needed and be your voice.  Find a Utah Attorney to help with your domestic case.
Kelly Peterson
About the Author

Experienced Divorce Lawyer Kelly Peterson handles child custody, visitation, paternity, grandparent rights and mediation cases.

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*Child Welfare Law Specialist Nat’l Assoc. of Counsel for Children