Get Advice About Domestic Violence in Presence of Child Charges
A Separate Offense in Utah
One of the problems with being charged with domestic violence in Utah is that there is a separate law on the books which lists as a separate offense domestic violence in presence of child. It carries additional penalties to a simple domestic violence charge.
What is in a Child’s Presence?
Even more problematic is the fact that whether domestic violence was committed in the presence of a child can be almost entirely within the discretion of the prosecutor. Perhaps a child is a asleep in an upstairs bedroom while his parents are arguing downstairs. Such a situation could be considered in the presence of a child.
DCFS Will Get Involved
If you have been charged with domestic violence in presence of child you can expect to have the the division of child and family services (DCFS) knocking on your door as well. DCFS is even more difficult to deal with than the court system. It is entirely possible that you can get your Utah criminal charges dismissed but still have to deal with the DCFS. If DCFS makes a supportive finding for child abuse it can take you to a juvenile court and attempt to remove your children from the home or exact other penalties.
What to Do?
If you are facing charges for domestic violence in the presence of a child the first thing you should do is retain an attorney. Your attorney can defend you in your criminal proceedings as well as against the DCFS. Going it alone is just not a good idea.
Remember that anything you say to the police or DCFS can be admitted against you in a court of law, so make sure you get an attorney and if you do not have an attorney, politely tell the police and DCFS that you choose not to talk to them until you have a lawyer present.
Salcido Law Protects Individuals Against DV Child Charges
Let us help you if you are facing these type of charges. Contact us by email or phone anytime and we will jump in your case to protect your rights and your family. We have offices in Salt Lake City and Provo.
For victims of domestic violence the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition has a number of helpful resources.