Caring, Professional Domestic Violence Attorneys Serving Ogden Utah
Each state has its own set of rules pertaining to domestic violence. In Utah, it is defined as violence within individuals who live together and includes assault or a threat of violence or physical harm or an attempt to commit an act of violence or harm. The cohabitants can include spouses, unmarried couples or parents of a child.
This is a broad category of the law. Even if there is no actual domestic abuse perpetrated, a person can be arrested. For example, if two people living together get into an argument and one of them throws an object at the other, the thrower can be arrested.
Severity of Such Allegations in Utah
When the police arrive at a residence for a domestic altercation, in most cases, there is around a 95 percent chance that one party is going to be arrested and put in jail. Generally speaking, there is a rule that if the police have to investigate and intervene, someone is definitely going to wind up in jail. While it isn’t an official rule, it happens all the time. Additionally, the individual who is arrested doesn’t automatically get bail or a bond as they would with other offenses. Often, the person is also required to wait until a judge can see them. The individual is also prohibited from seeing or even contacting the victim.
Once the person is released from jail, they are also provided with terms of their release, which also prohibits them from having contact with the victim. This means they also cannot enter the residence even to get their belongings unless accompanied by a police officer. If the individual violates this, they can face additional charges.
Orders of Protection and How to Get One
Protective orders can be issued to the victim if they file charges. However, an order of protection isn’t automatically granted. The prosecutor is required to contact the victim to see if they want one. If there is a situation of abuse, protective orders should be issued. In most cases, the orders can stay in place for 12 to 18 months. They are meant to keep the victim and their children safe from the alleged abuser.
How is an Abuser Charged with a Misdemeanor or a Felony?
Depending on the situation surrounding the domestic violence case, the defendant can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. For example, if the abuser committed aggravated assault, used a weapon, caused damages over $2,500 worth or caused a serious injury in the victim, they can be charged with a felony. There are other factors that can determine whether the individual is charged with a felony, such as having a prior criminal record. If the previous instance of violence occurred more than a year prior, it could end up with a charge of a Class A misdemeanor. However, if the incident occurred within six months, the charge can be raised to a felony. Of course, the severity of the crime can also factor into whether the individual is charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
Stopping Domestic Abuse
If you are in a situation of domestic violence make a Domestic Violence Safety Plan, your safety is the most important. If in immediate danger, CALL 911, then contact an attorney specializing in domestic violence cases in Ogden Utah. Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman is here to assist you at your earliest convenience.