For victims of domestic violence, finding a way to feel safe again may be a daunting task. Protective orders are designed to alleviate some of that stress. Victims of domestic violence have the option of obtaining protective orders against their abusers.
Protective orders allow survivors of domestic violence to feel a sense of comfort again. These orders can protect an individual against numerous circumstances in which contact with an abuser may be otherwise inevitable.
An attorney can work with you to file for a protective order which can help you get your life and peace of mind back.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you deserve to feel safe in your home again. Susanne Gustin is a criminal defense attorney who can use her years of experience to your benefit. She can provide you with both legal options and non-profit sources to aid in your protection.
If you are a domestic violence victim ready to get the full protection you deserve, call Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 to schedule a consultation. This firm represents clients from Salt Lake City, Davis County, South Salt Lake, Herriman, East Millcreek, Kaysville, Syracuse, and surrounding areas.
Utah Code §78B-7-103 states that any cohabitant subjected to abuse or domestic violence, or to whom there is a substantial likelihood of abuse or domestic violence, may seek an ex parte protective order or a protective order in accordance with this chapter.
An individual may file for the protector order whether or not he or she has left the residence in an effort to avoid further abuse. He or she may also file regardless of whether an action for divorce between the parties is pending.
Petitions for protective orders may not withdrawn without court approval.
Protective orders are categorized depending on the act they are intended to prevent or perform. Listed below are some of the areas protective orders may cover:
Abuse or Danger of Abuse-Protective Order:
These types of protective orders are granted by courts to victims of domestic abuse. Under this protective order, cohabitant abusers are barred from committing violence, threatening violence, harassing, or contacting a cohabitant domestic violence victim and any designated family or household member listed in the order.
Ex parte protective orders may also be accompanied by child support or spouse support orders which may require immediate income withholding or a written agreement providing alternative payment arrangements to the victim.
Child Protective Order:
Child protective orders are intended to protect a child in imminent danger of being abused, or who is currently being abused. Any interested person may file a petition on behalf of said child; however, the adult filing on the child’s behalf must first make a referral to the division.
The court will review the petition and determine whether the minor is being abused or in danger of imminent danger according to the evidence available. If the court finds child abuse or danger of child abuse, a protective order will be granted.
Dating Violence Protective Order:
Protective orders of this kind can be obtained by anyone substantially likely to be subjected to abuse or dating violence by a dating partner. An individual may obtain a protective order of this sort whether or not he or she has ended the relationship.
A person seeking this order may also include another person in the petition if the initial party meets the aforementioned requirements and the other party is a family or household member substantially likely to be subjected to abuse by the dating partner of the petitioner.
The conditions imposed on an order of protection can be incredibly restrictive and could complicate your life immensely. You may share children or a home with the petitioner and if you’re subject to a protection order then you will be forced to move out and not see your children for a period of time. The court order may also prohibit you from certain locations you visit daily such as the petitioner’s workplace, their friends or family, or common public spaces.
However, if you violate a protective order you should expect to face serious consequences. If the petitioner alleges you violated the order and there is probable cause to those accusations, then law enforcement can arrest you on the spot without a warrant. You will then be charged with violating a protective order, which is a class A misdemeanor.
The maximum penalty for violating a protective order includes:
If you are out on parole, probation, or bail, then you may face added consequences because you violated your court order. A violation of a protective order could put your parole, probation, or bail in jeopardy. The judge may determine you are a risk to society because of the violation and therefore send you back to jail or prison.
Each subsequent violation committed after the first violation has the potential to be a third-degree felony. That means you could face a prison sentence of up to 5 years if you’ve violated your protective order multiple times. Thankfully, the state of Utah does allow you to contest a violation accusation by requesting the protective order to be vacated or dismissed. The court will then schedule a hearing where you and your defense team can present your case.
Protective order violation allegations could uproot your entire life. That is why it’s imperative you act if you’re subject of a protective order so you can dismiss it and avoid any possible violations that could occur in the future. The first step to getting a protective order dropped is to file a motion to the court to dismiss the protective order. The process from there will depend on how long the order has been in effect.
Protective orders that have been in place for more than two years will be dismissed if there is proof there is no longer a reasonable fear of abuse. The court will determine this by analyzing various factors including, but not limited to:
If the protective order has only been in effect for one year or longer (no longer than 2 years), then the court may dismiss it for multiple reasons. These include:
If your attorney can prove any of the above, then the court will dismiss your protective order.
You may be confusing the term “restraining order” with what is actually known as a “protective order” in the state of Utah. A restraining order are not a separate action, but they are instead part of an existing legal action such as a divorce or paternity case. A protection order is a stand-alone action that must be filed by a victim of domestic violence, spousal abuse, or general harassment. However, a restraining order doesn’t have to be issued for one of these acts and is considered much more versatile.
Usually, a restraining order is issued in a pending civil case. The court will utilize a restraining order to prevent one party from doing something related to the case. For instance, the court may impose a restraining order that requires the defendant to undergo supervised visitations with their kids they share with the petitioner.
Protective orders are exclusively for domestic violence situations. The petitioner must present evidence as to why they are the subject of physical threats or violence. In addition, the defendant must qualify as a cohabitant defined under Title 78B, Chapter 7, Part 1, Section 102 of the Utah Code. Protective orders don’t need to be attached to an open case and can therefore be requested at any time.
Utah Code- Search Utah’s state site to find a more detailed description of Utah’s protective order statutes.
Women’s Law- This site provides information on how to obtain a protective order, who it can protect you from, and steps to take after the hearing.
If you are in a position where you or your loved ones’ safety is at risk, call Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 to speak with a defense attorney with experience in this area.
This firm serves clients in Salt Lake City, Davis County, and the surrounding areas.