Domestic Violence

Utah Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic Violence:

Utah’s domestic violence laws can be found at Utah Code Ann. 77-36-1 et seq. –LINK

Utah law as of 09/2017 defines domestic violence crimes as follows at Utah Code Ann. 77-36-1 (2017).

(4) “Domestic violence” or “domestic violence offense” 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” or “domestic violence offense” also means commission or attempt to commit, any of the following offenses by one cohabitant against another:

(a) aggravated assault, as described in Section 76-5-103;

(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, 76-5-301.1, 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 — Offenses;

(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, Title 76, Chapter 6, Part 2, Burglary and Criminal Trespass, or Title 76, Chapter 6, Part 3, Robbery;

(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, if a conviction of disorderly conduct is the result of a plea agreement in which the defendant was originally charged with a domestic violence offense otherwise described in this Subsection (4). Conviction of disorderly conduct as a domestic violence offense, in the manner described in this Subsection (4)(o), does not constitute a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 921, and is exempt from the provisions of the federal Firearms Act, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 921 et seq.; or

(p) child abuse as described in Section 76-5-109.1.

Utah Domestic Violence Enhancement Laws:

As you can see, many offenses in the State of Utah qualify for a domestic violence tag which have significant collateral consequences. Further, domestic violence offenses qualify for enhancement.  Meaning, that if you accumulate two more convictions within a five year period, the pending charge can be enhanced one grade up, to a Felony or higher grade Misdemeanor.

Lautenberg Amendment:

A Utah conviction for domestic violence will bar you from owning or possessing a gun and much more.  The gun restriction consequences of a domestic violence conviction are very difficult to reverse.  The Lautenberg Amendment to the 1986 Gun Control Act restricts those with a conviction for a domestic violence misdemeanor crime from using, possessing, or transporting a firearm/ammunition.  For hunters and gun lovers, it is very serious business.

The Lautenberg Amendment can be found at 18 USC 922(d)(9) [LINK http://uscode.house.gov/] .  As of 09/19/2017 the pertinent parts of the statute reads:

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person–

. . .

(9) has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

This subsection shall not apply with respect to the sale or disposition of a firearm or ammunition to a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector who pursuant to subsection (b) of section 925 of this chapter is not precluded from dealing in firearms or ammunition, or to a person who has been granted relief from disabilities pursuant to subsection (c) of section 925 of this chapter.

It is also a federal crime if you violate the Lautenberg Amendment and federal courts carry much stiffer prison sentences than state courts

UTAH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DRIVER LICENSE SANCTIONS:

If you are convicted of Custodial Interference, your driver’s license can be suspended for up to 180 days.

Often, domestic violence cases have numerous defenses and the stakes are high.  If you are charged with a crime of domestic violence, you should consult a Utah trial lawyer who is capable of trying the case in front of a jury.