What is Domestic Violence?
Under Utah law, domestic violence (sometimes called domestic abuse or domestic assault) is an enhancement that can be added to almost any crime through a show of force. This means if you yell at your spouse and your neighbor hears it (disorderly conduct-an unreasonable noise heard in a public place), the government can charge you with disorderly conduct, domestic violence.
Additionally, while most people automatically assume “domestic” means spouse; it does not. In Utah, “domestic” basically means any person you’ve lived with that’s over 18. It includes:
- 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 one or more children in common with the other party;
- is the biological parent of the other party’s unborn child; or
- resides or has resided in the same residence as the other party.
A very broad definition.
“Violence” is likewise legally defined in very broad terms and can include “knowingly placing a cohabitant in reasonable fear of imminent physical harm.” So if your cohabitant was scared, you could be charged with domestic violence.
Defend Yourself from Domestic Violence Charges
No matter which “flavor” of domestic violence you are charged with, a good criminal defense attorney can help. Every charge has a viable defense and in most cases, domestic violence charges are based only on one person’s account; a classic “he said, she said.” A good domestic violence attorney knows that every story has two sides. But it’s important to develop evidence for your side in order to win. Theses situations are not hopeless. Get a free case evaluation today to see how we can start fighting your case.