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Salt Lake City Domestic Violence Attorney

Home > Violent Crimes > Domestic Violence

Attorney Representation in Salt Lake City, Utah for over 30 years

     DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Anyone who resides with you or has ever resided with you may bring a domestic assault charge be they a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, roommate, parent or sibling.  The standard for domestic violence is quite low, and  can consist of relatively innocuous acts such as a verbal threat,  pushing someone or preventing them from leaving or restraining them by the wrist.  The most common types of domestic violence involve   pushing, slapping, kicking or striking someone, throwing an object at a person or breaking an object (criminal mischief).  Other categories of domestic abuse may include stalking of an individual, interrupting a 911 phone call  and the broad spectrum of crimes that are sometimes labeled as "child abuse".

     Legal Definition

At the law office of Paul Grant we can help make sense of the legal definition of domestic violence. Utah law  defines domestic violence as follows: "Domestic violence" means any criminal offense involving violence or 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 means commission or attempt to commit, any of the following offenses by one cohabitant against another  (a) aggravated assault,  (b) assault, as described in Section 76-5-102 (c) criminal homicide, as described in Section 76-5-201(d) harassment, as described in Section 76-5-106 (e) electronic communication harassment, as described in Section 76-9-201 (f) kidnapping, child kidnapping, or aggravated kidnapping, as described in Sections 76-5-301, 76-5-301, and 76-5-302(g) mayhem, as described in Section 76-5-105  (h) sexual offenses, as described in Title 76, Chapter 5, Part 4, Sexual Offenses, and Section 76-5b-201, Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (i) stalking, as described in Section 76-5-106.5;  (j) unlawful detention or unlawful detention of a minor, as described in Section 76-5-304;(k) violation of a protective order or ex parte protective order, as described in Section 76-5-108  (l) any offense against property described in Title 76, Chapter 6, Part 1, Property Destruction, (m) possession of a deadly weapon with intent to assault, as described in Section 76-10-507  (n) discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, near a highway, or in the direction of any person, building, or vehicle, as described in Section 76-10-508   (o) disorderly conduct, as defined in Section 76-9-102.  Call Paul Grant and he will explain how your case fits within this definition.

ENHANCEMENT

Domestic violence convictions can be enhanced. What that means is that if you are convicted of an act of domestic violence the prosecutor can use that conviction in the future and charge you with a felony or a more serious misdemeanor.

A plea in abeyance counts as a conviction for purposes of enhancement so a plea in abeyance in a domestic violence case is not always advisable.

Domestic violence convictions remain on your criminal record longer than other convictions because prosecutors want to be able to use the conviction to enhance future offenses. Thus, you need to be very careful before pleading guilty to domestic violence and  that includes a plea in abeyance. If you are convicted of domestic violence it is very difficult to get that conviction expunged.

WEAPON RESTRICTIONS

Most domestic violence convictions  make you a restricted person. That means you cannot possess a weapon which includes guns, knives, clubs  and bows. Your ability to defend yourself will be seriously compromised. Your freedom to hunt will be eliminated.

PROTECTIVE ORDERS

Any domestic violence charge may be accompanied or followed up by a restraining order or a protection order.  At The Law office of Paul Grant we are prepared to defend you in the initial protection order proceedings and at any time you may have been charged with violation of an existing order.

COLLATERAL DAMAGE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONVICTION

Domestic abuse crimes are among the most common in our society.  Even so, they must never be taken lightly.  A domestic violence conviction will haunt an individual for the rest of their life where potential employers or landlords may avail themselves of it.  In addition you may be compelled to labor under a number of restrictions resulting from a protective order.

ORGIN OF THE EVENT

Domestic abuse allegations must be examined carefully and the facts sorted out in order to mount an effective defense.  Often times there is no clear cut "right and wrong" synthesis of these events and the accuser often shares a great deal of the guilt and responsibility for the outcome. Domestic violence can erupt as a consequence of many years of pent up resentment and provocation until the event takes place. The police are compelled to arrest or issue a citation to one of the parties when they respond to a domestic violence call and often they choose the wrong person or don’t  consider that a claim of self- defense exists. An experienced domestic violence defense attorney can identify your self-defense claim and Paul Grant has successfully done so many times.

PROACTIVE STEPS

Talking with an experience domestic violence defense attorney who can listen to your side of the story and assemble a defense for you is invaluable.      

In many cases we can negotiate with prosecutors to have charges reduced and/or dropped entirely.  When necessary we will fight the charges in court. Paul Grant has tried hundreds of cases; he has the skill and experience to represent you before a judge and jury.   

You need not have your future happiness and success compromised by having to drag around with you the ball and chain of a domestic abuse conviction for the rest of your natural life. We protect the rights of clients accused of domestic violence in Salt Lake City, Provo, Orem, Park City and surrounding communities in Utah.  Call us today at The Law Offices of Paul Grant at 801-447-2773.