There are varying offenses that could be considered domestic violence in Salt Lake City. If you are charged with a domestic violence offense, you will need an attorney experienced in domestic violence law and litigation. These charges should be taken seriously. They could keep you away from your family, your children, and you could be detained until your court date. Call Jardine Law Offices in Salt Lake City at 801-350-3506. Let our criminal defense attorneys build you the best defense possible and protect your future.
By definition of Utah Legislature, “Domestic violence or a domestic violence offense means 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.” Some of these possible offenses could include:
The penalties for being convicted of domestic violence or a domestic violence offense could depend on which offense has been committed, whether or not there was a violation of a previously forced protective order (restraining order) or ex parte order. Charges could range from a class B misdemeanor to a felony. There could be career consequences, marital consequences (forced alimony, the division of assets), the possibility of limited visitation or adverse custody arrangements, and permanent damage to your criminal record.
When children are involved, the courts tend to magnify the penalties of domestic violence, even if the child is only within earshot of the offense. If you are convicted of domestic violence in the presence of a child and you are found to have used a weapon or attempted to cause serious bodily harm to the alleged victim, you could be found guilty of a third-degree felony. This charge is in addition to the primary domestic violence charge and alone can add up to 5 years in prison and/or up-to a $5,000 fine to your sentence if convicted. The violation of domestic violence itself, in the presence of a child, is a class B misdemeanor and carries up to six months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine.
Keep in mind that, in accordance with Utah law, if you plea “no contest” to the domestic violence charges against you, this will be taken as a guilty plea and is the “equivalent of a conviction, even if the charge has been subsequently reduced or dismissed in accordance with the plea in abeyance agreement.”
When you take a guilty plea or plead “no contest” for a domestic violence charge, this can have a serious impact on your future. Many people think that they can avoid most, if not all, of the negative consequences of a domestic violence case if they plead out, but that is not the reality. Yes, you may be able to negotiate a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea, but you will still have a permanent mark on your criminal record, you may still be required to serve jail or prison time, and you may be required to serve time on probation.
When making decisions about whether or not to plead guilty to a case as opposed to going to trial, you need to work with a skilled Salt Lake City domestic violence defense attorney. An attorney will be able to explain every aspect of these cases and discuss whether or not it is in your best interest to accept a plea.
If you or somebody you love has been charged with domestic violence in Utah, your first phone call needs to be to a skilled attorney. A Salt Lake City domestic violence defense lawyer is going to be an invaluable asset for your case. The consequences of a guilty verdict are severe, and you do not want to rest your case in the hands of an overworked public defender.
At the Jardine Law Offices, our Salt Lake City domestic violence defense attorneys will be able to use their resources to:
If you or somebody you care about has been charged with domestic violence in Salt Lake City, we understand this is a confusing and scary time for you. We want to stress that is important not to hesitate when securing assistance from an attorney to help with your case. Before speaking to law enforcement officials or prosecutors, speak to an attorney from the Jardine Law Offices.
If charged with any domestic violence offense, you will need determined criminal defense attorneys with outstanding history litigating domestic violence cases. Contact Jardine Law Offices, P.C. today at 801-350-3506 or, visit our website at www.jardinelawoffices.com for a free case evaluation.