Domestic violence is one of the most common forms of violent crimes in this country. Specifically, instances of domestic assault and battery are a reoccurring crime nationwide.
While Utah code does not have a specific domestic assault and battery law, it contains laws addressing violent acts of abuse against individuals sharing a residence or related by marriage or by blood.
The state of Utah takes domestic violence (intimate partner violence) very serious and penalizes those accused accordingly. Penalties for domestic violence can include fines, jail time, and even a lowered chance of finding employment.
If you were involved in a domestic dispute that became physical, you are at risk of losing your freedom. This can be addressed by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Utah Domestic Assault and Battery Information Center
- Domestic Assault and Battery Defined
- Penalties for Domestic Assault and Battery Conviction
- Pleas in Abeyance
- More Information on Domestic Abuse
Domestic Assault and Battery Defined
Utah Code §77-36-1 states domestic violence includes any criminal offense involving violence, physical harm, or threat of violence or physical harm, or any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a criminal offense involving violence or physical harm when committed by one cohabitant against another.
Domestic violence also includes attempts to commit any of the following by one cohabitant against another:
- aggravated assault;
- criminal homicide;
- electronic communication harassment;
- kidnapping (including child and aggravated categories);
- sexual offenses,
- unlawful detention of an adult or minor;
- any offense against property in Title 76;
- possession of a deadly weapon with intent to assault; discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, near a highway, or in the direction of a person, building, or vehicle;
- disorderly conduct as a domestic violence offense; or
- child abuse
Penalties for Domestic Assault and Battery Conviction
Domestic assault and battery are typically considered misdemeanors; however, penalties may become more severe if committed within five years of a previous qualifying domestic violence conviction.
In addition to jail time and possible fines, a domestic assault and battery conviction can result in protective orders barring access between the alleged actor and victim. It could also result in required electronic monitoring programs, court mandated counseling, or therapy.
Pleas in Abeyance
One option for those accused of domestic assault and battery to avoid an actual conviction is to make a plea in abeyance.
A plea in abeyance is a court order, upon agreement between the prosecution and defendant, for the defendant’s acceptance of guilt or no contest which does not lead to a judgment of conviction so long has he or she complies with specific conditions set forth in the plea in abeyance agreement.
This may be an attractive option for some defendants as it results in either a lower degree of offense or a complete dismissal of the defendant’s case upon successful completion of the terms of the agreement.
More Information on Domestic Assault and Battery
Crime victim.org: This state site offers victims of domestic violence with resources for counseling, sources for protective orders, statistics, and help information on victims’ rights.
State Child Welfare Policy Database: This site offers victims of domestic violence with support information for children who witnessed said violence.
Free Consultation with Domestic Assault and Battery Lawyer
If you need help with a Domestic Assault and Battery charge, please give our office a call for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We’ll help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Additional Utah Law Resources