St. George Domestic Violence Attorneys
Unyielding Representation in Your Time of Need
If you have been accused of committing an act of domestic violence, your future is at stake. You need a capable and competent attorney who can protect your rights and build a strong defense on your behalf. The St. George domestic violence lawyers at Park Law Firm are ready to provide you with the personalized and compassionate service you deserve.
Call us at (435) 222-5869 or contact us online to get started with a free consultation.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Violent crimes such as assault, stalking, kidnapping, sexual offenses, harassment, mutual property damage, or violating a protective order against a cohabitant is considered domestic violence.
- Former spouses
- People who are living together
- People related by blood
- People who have children together
In the State of Utah, if a police officer has probable cause to believe that domestic violence has taken place, they will make an arrest without a warrant or a citation. The purpose is to protect the victim by taking the defendant into custody.
Typically, if a defendant is arrested for domestic violence, they are ordered to not personally contact the victim before they are released from jail prior to the next Court day. In some cases, a defendant may be released from jail prior to a Court proceeding if he or she agrees on a number of conditions.
The defendant must agree not to:
- Personally contact the victim
- Harass the victim
- Go to the victim’s residence
Sometimes referred to as restraining orders, protective orders are issued by the Court. It is typically considered a crime to violate a protective order in Utah. Defendants charged with domestic violence are often issued a pretrial protective order.
This order may involve a number of restrictions, including:
- Prohibiting the defendant from further acts of violence or threats
- Mandating the defendant not contact the victim
- Excluding the defendant from the victim’s residence, school, or work place
Ex Parte Orders
Protective orders may be filed by a cohabitant in danger of domestic violence even if there aren’t any charges pending. This is called an ex parte order. These orders are issued by the Court without notice to the defendant and without the defendant first appearing in Court.
Ex parte orders call for a variety of different restrictions, including:
- Prohibiting the defendant from contacting the petitioner
- Ordering the defendant to stay away from the petitioner’s residence, school, or work place
- Prohibiting the defendant from possessing a firearm
- Appointing a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of any children
- Granting temporary custody of the children to the petitioner
- Permitting the petitioner the use of vehicles or other personal property
It is a crime in Utah to violate any provisions of a protective order or ex parte order.
Punishment for Violating Protective Orders
In Utah, contacting a victim before being released on a domestic violence arrest is a class B misdemeanor. Punishment may be up to six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
Defendants who have been convicted of domestic violence within five years of a new crime face increasingly severe penalties for both jail time and fines.
To learn more about how Park Law Firm can assist with your domestic violence case, please call (435) 222-5869.