Domestic Violence Charges | Marital Privileges

Domestic violence charges in Utah are more common than one may think. In some cases the charges are justified. In many other cases, the charges are not quite as justified and may be a result of over reaction from responding police. Domestic violence statutes in many states are so broad, that many different types of actions fall under the law and result in criminal charges being filed. Police officers have the difficult task of responding to a domestic violence call and then trying to sort out who, if anyone, may be charged with domestic violence, assault, or perhaps domestic violence in the presence of a child. Well intentioned officers often error on the side of overcharging, because they fear if someone isn’t cited and forced to leave the home, violence could ensue. It is not uncommon for one spouse to later request dismissal of a case against a spouse only to find out the prosecutor refuses to do so. These types of cases present unique challenges in our legal system because in many cases, the alleged victim spouse does not want the other spouse to go to jail or face charges. On the other hand, the so called battered wife syndrome certainly occurs in some cases so the wife’s desires for termination of cases cannot alone be the only consideration for the prosecution. If you have been charged with domestic violence or a related offense and you find yourself in the situation described above, you need representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney in Utah who understands the complexities of the matters and can help resolve your case in the best possible way.

Marital Privileges

A married couple is entitled to certain evidentiary protections under the law. Specifically, a husband and wife cannot be compelled to testify against each other. This often has a substantial impact in a domestic violence case. If a spouse does not want to testify against their spouse, they do not have to. The privilege applies only to married couples. Couples who are living together and not married may not be entitled to the same protections. In a domestic violence case, the holder of the privilege is the alleged victim spouse. This means if the accused does not want the spouse to testify, the spouse can still choose to do so and the accused cannot prevent such testimony.

Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a violent offense against your spouse, call and speak with a domestic violence defense attorney in our office today. We understand that not everyone is guilty and everyone deserves a second chance. We fight hard in your defense and will ensure your rights are protected in the process. For more information, call us today at 801.618.1334.

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