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If you have been arrested for any type of domestic violence charge, you may be wondering what your next move is. The first step in any case like this is hiring an experienced domestic violence defense attorney. With over 40 years combined experience, the attorneys at Schatz, Anderson, & Associates have the knowledge and expertise to fully handle your case to get you the best possible outcome.
Unlike other charges, such as driving under the influence, domestic crimes aren’t as clearly defined. Under Utah law (pursuant to Utah Code Ann. § 77-36-1) there is not a defined “domestic violence” crime. However, there are many crimes considered to be domestic crimes. If you are a victim of an assault, Schatz, Anderson & Associates can help you set up a protective order.
The reasons these crimes can be considered domestic violence charges are because they occur in a residence or between persons:
The most common types of domestic crimes include:
Domestic violence charges in Utah carry significant consequences both direct and collateral, and these types of cases can get very complicated due to the high emotions and stakes involved. When faced with this type of case, a domestic and assault defense attorney can help you navigate this sensitive situation and help you achieve the best outcome.
A common misconception is a conviction can be dropped simply if the alleged victim “drops the charges.” In Utah, the prosecutor’s office may still choose to prosecute the crime even if the alleged victim no longer wants to press a complaint. If you are convicted or enter into a plea in abeyance agreement for a charge of a Domestic Violence–related crime, you face several potentially severe collateral consequences:
Any crime classified as a Domestic Violence–related crime carries certain minimum mandatory penalties, such as completion of at least 16 hours of Domestic Violence counseling. A conviction for Domestic Violence can also be used against you as a basis for obtaining a protective order or in a divorce proceeding if the parties are having a custody dispute. Those convicted of Domestic Violence–related crimes in Utah may also be subject to enhanced or increased penalties if they receive future convictions for other Domestic Violence offenses.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, you cannot apply to have the conviction expunged from your criminal record for at least three years after your probation has been terminated (probation for a misdemeanor domestic violence offense is typically 12 months from the date of sentencing). If you are convicted of a felony domestic violence crime, you cannot apply to have the conviction expunged from your criminal record for at least seven years after your probation has been terminated (probation for a felony domestic violence offense is typically 36 months from the date of sentencing).
If you have found yourself with a domestic violence charge against you, Schatz, Anderson & Associates is here to defend you. Our initial one-hour consultation is always private and free of charge. Our domestic violence defense attorneys make jail visits when necessary, will travel to courthouses, and flexible appointment scheduling is available. We handle many cases on a flat-fee basis, so our clients know the upfront cost of their defense. With over 40 years’ combined legal experience, you can have peace of mind knowing that your case is being handled by experienced professionals.
Note: We only handle Utah cases. If you have a case or charge in another state, please contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that state.