Domestic Violence in Utah
In Utah, domestic violence covers any pattern of abusive or aggressive behavior in a relationship when one individual uses that behavior to gain or maintain power and control over another. Domestic violence can be psychological, sexual, physical, or emotional, but in Utah, domestic violence can only occur between people who are considered “cohabitants.” The law defines cohabitants as people who live together or have previously lived together with someone you are related to by blood or marriage or with whom you have had a sexual relationship or a child. Roommates, ex-roommates, siblings or other family members, spouses, ex-spouses, romantic partners, and ex-romantic partners are all considered cohabitants—even if you are not currently living with them.
When police respond to a domestic violence call, an arrest will be made if the officer believes the accused is the primary aggressor, if the alleged victim has an injury, if the accused may continue to hurt the alleged victim, or if the accused has violated a protective order. Unfortunately, in some instances, an arrest can be made based on mere allegations from one person that may be wholly unsupported by physical evidence. If you have been arrested for a domestic violence offense, it is imperative that you contact a Sandy domestic violence lawyer from Conyers & Nix to ensure your rights and future are protected.
Why Choose a Sandy Domestic Violence Lawyer from Conyers & Nix?
Attorneys Kate Conyers & Jesse Nix are highly experienced, knowledgeable, skilled, and compassionate attorneys. They have a deep understanding of domestic violence offenses in Utah, and they have what it takes to secure the best possible outcome for your charges. At Conyers & Nix, we offer exceptional representation and effective advocacy as we thoroughly examine evidence and meticulously prepare your case.
We are never judgmental, understanding that everyone makes mistakes, and these mistakes do not define who you are. When you choose our law firm, you will always be treated with respect as we help you through the difficulties associated with domestic violence charges. You should never face domestic violence charges alone—we can help!
What is the Difference Between Felony and Misdemeanor Domestic Violence?
Whether your domestic violence charges will be charged as a felony or misdemeanor will depend on the exact charges. Many charges can fall under the umbrella of domestic violence—including the following:
- Domestic Violence in the Presence of a Child–Misdemeanor or Felony, depending on the offense
- Criminal Mischief–Misdemeanor or Felony, depending on the offense
- Unlawful Detention–Misdemeanor
- Criminal Trespass–Misdemeanor
- Electronic Communication Harassment–Misdemeanor
- Violation of a Protective Order–Misdemeanor or Felony
- Sexual Offenses—Misdemeanor or Felony, depending on the offense
- Aggravated Assault–Felony
- Child Abuse—Misdemeanor or Felony, depending on the facts
- Disorderly Conduct (usually the result of a plea agreement in which the defendant was initially charged with another domestic violence offense and a misdemeanor offense)
What Are the Steps in a Domestic Violence Case?
If you’ve been arrested and charged with domestic violence, take a deep breath and try to be as calm as possible. Domestic violence cases take time to work out, so the more patient you can be, the better. Stay organized throughout the process—write down every single detail you can remember that occurred prior to your arrest. Even the smallest detail could be helpful to your attorney as your case is being built.
Following your arrest, you will likely spend some time in jail. You will be taken to the police station, where you will be photographed and fingerprinted (“booked”). You will then be kept in a holding cell until your bail hearing is held, usually within 72 hours. During the bail hearing, the judge can release you on your own recognizance with no bail, set bail, or keep you incarcerated (although bail is usually set).
Having an attorney on board by the time your bail hearing is held is a good idea. Your attorney can usually negotiate bail or your release much better than you could do on your own. Your attorneys will work closely with you and your family or loved ones so they are fully prepared to represent you at this hearing.
If this is your first domestic violence offense, your attorney could potentially get the prosecutor to allow you to enter into a “plea in abeyance.” This is essentially a guilty plea that is held for a period of time while you comply with conditions set by the court. The charges will be dismissed if you comply with all conditions and do not get into any other legal trouble. Your attorney could also have your charges reduced to something less severe or ask for more lenient sentencing. A conviction for your DV charges could lead to jail and high fines, depending on the charges.
How an Experienced Sandy Domestic Violence Lawyer from Conyers & Nix Can Help
When you choose Conyers & Nix, you will find that we are very different from other lawyers. We listen more than we speak because we want to hear from you so we can really understand your charges. We are always transparent and will let you know the potential outcomes of your case—both the best and worst-case scenarios. If you have questions, we will answer them thoroughly yet in an easy-to-understand manner. Domestic violence charges are serious and should never be taken lightly—contact Conyers & Nix today.