Approximately 20 people die each year from domestic violence in Utah. Approximately one in three women will suffer some form of domestic violence in their lifetimes. That number continues to grow each year despite the state implementing new educational programs aimed at notifying women what they can do if they become a victim of domestic violence. If you or a friend are a victim of domestic violence, then it is important that you get help immediately.
The Law in Utah
If a police officer has reason to believe that you are telling him the truth when you report a domestic violence situation, then the officer must issue a ticket or make an arrest. Unlike other circumstances, the officer does not need to wait for a warrant to be issued by a judge. If the person is taken to jail, then they cannot be released until the next court day without being told to not approach the victim’s residence, workplace or any other place that the victim may be. They also may not contact the victim through their cell phones or on social media.
Ex Parte Orders for Domestic Abuse
A judge may choose to issue an ex parte order without the person being accused of doing the domestic violence being present. In addition to prohibiting contact, this order also forbids the person accused of committing domestic violence from carrying a firearm. This order also grants temporary custody of children to the domestic violence victim. The person accused of committing domestic violence also loses the right to use any vehicle that is held in both names. This order may be in effect for 20 days before a court date and if the proceeding is delayed, then it can remain in effect for up to 180 days.
Punishment in Utah for Breaking Ex Parte
People who are accused of breaking an ex parte order can be found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. They can be fined up to $1,000 and spend up to six months in jail. If they are arrested on a felony charge, however, then the consequences become much higher as the person can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor carrying with it a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
If you are involved in a domestic violence situation, then you need to get help immediately. Then, call Utah attorney Rex B. Bushman who can make sure that your abuser gets the maximum charges allowed under Utah law.