How to Handle a Domestic Violence Case in Utah
A domestic violence case can be an extremely emotional and challenging situation for anyone involved in the incident. In Utah, a domestic violence case means that a crime was committed by an aggressor, in which they acted violently with intent to physical harm against an individual living in the same home, or cohabitated environment. Most types of domestic violence crimes include assault, harassment, stalking, and the violation of a restraining or protective order. Those considered to be living in a cohabitated environment in Utah are generally spouses, ex-spouses, common law marriages, partnerships, people living together formally, and people who have children together.
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 if there is a strong possibility that one will occur. The police officer then has to make an arrest against the aggressor, or the future defendant in situations like this. In Utah, once a person is convicted of a domestic violence crime, any other subsequent domestic crimes may lead to an increase in possible punishment. Once an arrest is made, there can be orders put in place to limit or prevent any contact between the individuals involved. If the 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 accordingly.
Now that you have a good understanding of what some of the details on domestic violence cases are for Utah, how should you handle it if you are ever involved in one?
- Take a Deep Breath– Because of the emotional components that domestic disputes can cause, one can become overwhelmed with emotion. You must stop, take a deep breath, and be patient. Try to be as calm as possible. Just like any other legal matter, domestic cases take time to work out. Nothing is going to happen overnight, so it is best to try and be as patient and calm as possible while the case unfolds.
- Stay Organized– Keep your facts straight. Be prepared, and don’t miss any of your court appearances. Staying organized will help to prevent any further issues or delays from occurring in your case.
- Ask Questions, and Know Your Rights– If you are unsure of what’s going on in your case, it’s imperative that you ask your attorney or defender to explain to you what is happening. You have a right to know what your rights are, especially if you are the defendant. Be sure you fully understand what your Miranda rights are. You can ask a court clerk, an arresting police officer, or an attorney for additional details, if necessary.
- Get Legal Help– Hiring an attorney can be the smartest decision you make if ever find yourself involved in a domestic violence case. Whether you are the defendant or the victim, an attorney will be able to help you properly sort through the case. An attorney will be aware of what your rights are, as well as defend them if needs be. They will be on your side, and keep the details of your case straightened out. They will file any papers necessary, and be your voice in court. Contact Kelly Peterson Law today if you need assistance with your domestic violence case.