In Utah, domestic violence happens when an individual harms or threatens to harm a cohabitant. These violent offenses are also considered to be harassment, stalking, violating a restraining order and assault. A cohabitant is classified as a spouse (current or former), roommate, siblings, in-laws, an individual that has been intimate with the abuser and a person who the offender shares child custody with.
When law enforcement gets involved, you need the help of a Layton domestic violence attorney to help you through this trying time. A law enforcement official can come to the determination that there is reasonable cause to believe that domestic violence has occurred and issue an arrest without the need for a warrant. If there is cause for the law enforcement official to believe that the victim will continue to be in danger, or if the offender has recently caused serious injury or employed a firearm, the officer must issue an arrest and take the defendant into custody. Should you find yourself arrested for domestic violence in Layton, you will not be released before the next court date (at a minimum), and you will be barred from contacting the victim for any reason. This can be detrimental to your job, daily activities and future.
A protective order, often called a restraining order is defined as a court order requiring one person to avoid contact of any kind from another person. In Layton, it is illegal for the defendant in the case to contact the other person resulting in a protective order violation. Additionally, Utah allows for its judges to issue pretrial protective orders, in effect prohibiting the defendant from committing and/or threatening violent acts against the victim, as well as banning any communication between the two parties. Pretrial protective orders remain in effect until the date of the trial. If you have questions, your criminal defense lawyer will help outline what needs to be done.
Even in the absence of charges, any cohabitant who has been the victim (or is in danger) of domestic violence or abuse in Layton also has the option to file a petition for an ex parte order. Your Layton domestic violence attorney will guide you through the process. These orders are made without notice to the defendant and without the defendant first appearing before a judge. In theory, ex parte orders prohibit the offender from engaging in violent acts against the victim. They also ban any and all contact between the two parties and prohibit the defendant from showing up at the victim’s residence, school or place of employment. During an outstanding ex parte order, the offender is also barred from owning a weapon and sharing custody of his or her children.
In Layton, domestic violence in the presence of a child carries even stiffer penalties, with Utah state law allowing for an individual to be charged with separate counts for each child present. Based on our experience with previous clients, this statute does not clearly define its own parameters, meaning that something as simple as being within earshot of the violence can, legally speaking, be considered domestic violence in the “presence of the child.”
Jardine Law Offices P.C. knows what it takes to help you and your family secure the future you deserve. For a domestic violence attorney with a stellar track record, Call 801-350-3506 today to schedule your free consultation.