domestic violence attorneys in Utah County


In the state of Utah, an arrested person is charged with domestic violence when committing, or attempting to commit any crime which involves physical harm or violence against a cohabitant. Cohabitants are defined as:

  • Spouses, former spouses, couples that are in a relationship, people that live or have lived together, parents of children, and people who are related to each other by blood or by marriage.

A restraining order, protective order, or a domestic violence conviction can have serious long-term consequences. Utah Domestic Violence Lawyers, Dennis Pawelek & Richard Gale represent clients who have been accused of violating a protective order or arrested for domestic violence. They have successfully had felonies reduced to misdemeanors and had domestic violence charges dismissed completely.

What is Domestic Violence?

Under Utah Criminal Code 77-36-1,  Domestic Violence is any crime involving violence, the threat of physical harm such as harassment, stalking, assault, violating a restraining order, or physical harm committed by one cohabitant against another. Domestic violence cases can be charged as felonies or misdemeanors, with penalties such as fines, jail time, and incarceration in prison.

If you are NOT a first time offender for domestic violence charge in Utah, the penalties for subsequent offenses are subject to increased fines and imprisonment.

Protective Orders

According to Utah Code 76-5-108,  a protective order (restraining order) is a court order requiring the defendant to not contact the respondent (victim) in any way,including text, email, phone, or in person. This order, which is  approved by a judge can be issued for three periods of time:

  • Pre-Trial Protective orders  

Whenever a defendant is charged with domestic violence, the court may issue a pre-trial protective order which prohibits the defendant from committing any act of domestic violence or from contacting or communicating with the respondent until the defendant’s trial.

Pursuant to Utah Code 77-36-2.7 any person who violates this protective order will be charged with a domestic violence crime.

  • Ex parte orders

Even if no domestic violence charges are pending in Utah, any cohabitant who has previously been the victim or in danger of physical harm may file a petition for a restraining order in Utah. There still needs to be a hearing, but an ex parte order may be in effect for up to 20 days before the hearing is held.

  • After the Hearing,

If the court issues an order approving the protective order the protective order will stay in effect for 2 years from the date of the original petition.

Penalties for Domestic Violence in Utah

In the state of Utah, Domestic Violence crimes carry severe and collateral penalties ranging from class C Misdemeanors to Felony convictions. Both may significantly affect your personal freedom, your career, and your reputation. Here are the criminal penalties:

  • A misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can carry up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2500
  • A Felony conviction carries up to 5 years in the Utah State Prison and up to $5000 in fines.

In need of an experienced and aggressive defense for your case?Contact Us Today

Domestic Violence cases we defend:

  • Assault
  • Stalking
  • Aggravated assault
  • Harassment
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Violation of protective order

Pawelek is the best attorney around. He knows the in’s and outs with the Law and is very well connected. Thanks to him my husband did not go to prison… I would highly recommend him. Without him my family would be separated.

– Haddie H.

Utah Domestic Violence Attorneys

Domestic Violence charges in Utah can be rather complicated, especially if false claims or exaggerated allegations of domestic violence have been brought against you or a loved one. Utah Domestic Violence Attorneys, Pawelek, and Gale have the knowledge and the expertise to help each client, regardless of the severity of the charges. They give individual attention to every client, taking the time to investigate the facts of the case and to build a strong defense. Call 801-362-996-9996 for a complimentary consultation with one of our Utah criminal defense lawyers.