Domestic Violence Attorney in Layton, Utah

Domestic Violence


Defending Your Innocence in a Domestic Violence Case

As criminal defense lawyers it is our job to defend you and your case. If you are have been charged with a violent crime in Utah, or you are currently under investigation for a violent crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Layton, Utah today. It is crucial you do not wait. You are innocent until proven guilty. We will treat you and your case accordingly. The police reports do not always tell the whole story. You are innocent until they prove otherwise.

You might not have broken any laws or committed any crimes– even if you have been charged or accused of doing so. In some cases there is not sufficient evidence to convict you of a crime. It is our job to make them prove their case. Our Layton criminal defense lawyers understand what it takes to defend your innocence. Our law firm has been successful in defending clients facing criminal charges for more than 25 years, including winning acquittals in murder, rape and kidnapping criminal cases in Utah.


Defending Domestic Violence Cases in Utah

Domestic violence is a serious issue. As tragic as domestic violence is, false allegations of domestic violence do occur for a many reasons, such as to gain advantages in divorce suits or child custody battles.

In many domestic violence cases there can be misleading information and even unsubstantiated reports or false claims made against another individual. This can be due to failed relationships, ongoing divorce and child custody disputes,  revenge against a cheating spouse or lover, or the result of an ongoing abusive relationship.

Unfortunately, false accusations of abuse or domestic violence can lead to an arrest or criminal charge. If you have been accused of committing a domestic violence crime, it is imperative that you speak with an experience domestic violence attorney. Everyone involved in a domestic disputes deserves the right to legal counsel and representation, whether you are the victim, an accused offender, or a convicted offender.

Utah has strict domestic violence laws. Because of the strictness of the laws there are severe penalties associated with domestic violence. We take domestic violence very seriously and want to make sure you are not charged with a serious crime you did not commit.


Domestic Violence- Understanding the Utah Laws

Utah Criminal Code §77-36-1

Utah has very strict domestic violence laws. The state of Utah defines domestic violence as a criminal offense that involves two people who are “cohabitants.” This includes physical harm or threat of violence or physical harm.

What is a cohabitant?

Utah state law defines a “cohabitant” as an emancipated person or a person who is 16 years of age or older who meets the following criteria:

  • Is or was a spouse of the other party
  • Is or was living as if a spouse of the other party
  • Is related by blood or marriage to the other party
  • Has or had one or more children in common with the other party
  • Is the biological parent of the other party’s unborn child
  • Resides or has resided in the same residence as the other party

Domestic violence can arise as a result of a failed relationship, ongoing divorce, child custody disputes, a disagreement between siblings or a fight among roommates; and in many cases it is a pattern of behavior of ongoing abuse in a relationship. Many people, both men and women, are victims of abuse because of domestic violence. There are many different crimes, both violent and non-violent, that are associated with domestic violence, such as:

  • Aggravated Assault
  • Assault
  • Burglary
  • Criminal Homicide
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Electronic communication harassment
  • Harassment
  • Kidnapping, Child Kidnapping and Aggravated Kidnapping
  • Possession of a deadly weapon with intent to assault
  • Property Offenses
  • Robbery
  • Sexual Offenses, Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Stalking
  • Unlawful Detention, Unlawful Detention of a Minor
  • Violation of a Protective Order, Ex Parte Protective Order, or Restraining Order

You can learn more about Utah domestic violence laws by visiting the Utah.gov website.


Domestic Violence- Consequences of a Guilty Verdict

You can learn more about Utah domestic violence laws by visiting the Utah.gov website.

Because domestic violence laws in Utah are very strict, there are severe penalties for offenders. Depending on the severity of the crime and the criminal history of the accused offender, the penalties can vary from fines, to probation, to significant jail time and even a prison sentence.

Domestic violence evaluation

By law, in the state of Utah, if you receive a domestic violence conviction, you will be ordered by the court to undergo an assessment or evaluation. Based on the results of the evaluation, the evaluator will recommend specific treatments or classes you must complete which will ultimately be enforced by the court.

You could lose your Second Amendment rights

There are also consequences of a conviction outside of jail time and court imposed fines. Often times these consequences can be more severe. A domestic violence conviction will appear on any background checks for new employment, renting a place to live, and other situations which require background checks. Also, a conviction can make travelling outside of the country challenging, many countries will not allow anyone with a domestic violence charge to enter their country. If you receive a domestic violence conviction, you also lose your Second Amendment Rights, meaning for the rest of your life you cannot legally posses a weapon.

The penalties and charges associated with domestic violence are too severe and too strict. If you have been accused of a domestic violence crime, you need to meet with a domestic violence lawyer. The criminal defense lawyers at Helgesen, Houtz & Jones will fight to secure your rights and keep you free from the consequences of a domestic violence charge. We want to help you.


Domestic Violence- Protective Orders

A protective order is an action which is initiated with a request or a petition and is filed with the local court. The purpose of a protective order is to protect the petitioner from a violent or potentially violent cohabitant. In order to obtain a protective order from the court, the petitioner must present to the court past instances of violence or abuse and demonstrate fear that a threat of violence or abuse exists from the respondent. The respondent must be the petitioners current or former cohabitant.

If you are in need of filing a protective order or you need legal help defending yourself against an order that has been filed against you, contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers.

Learn More about Protective Orders

Domestic Violence- Restraining Orders

A restraining order does essentially what is says, it restrains or stops any type of behavior or action by another, such as contacting the other party, committing a violent act, protecting property, or using drugs or alcohol. Generally a restraining order is obtained by filing a motion in an on going court case, such as a divorce, child custody case, paternity action, or other civil lawsuit.

Learn More about Restraining Orders

Domestic Violence- Civil Stalking Injunctions

If you feel someone is stalking you, you can request from the court a Civil Stalking Injunction. This is an order from he court for the stalker to stop stalking you.

According to the Utah state law, “stalked” means that a person stayed physically or visually close to you, or made threats directed at you.

If you need help filing a civil stalking injunction to stop someone from stalking you, or you have had a civil stalking injunction filed against you and you need help defending yourself, contact one of our experienced civil stalking injunction lawyers.

Learn More about Civil Stalking Injunctions

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