As used in Utah’s domestic violence statutes, the term “domestic violence” is broadly defined as any criminal offense involving physical harm or a threat of violence when committed by one cohabitant against another. The term “domestic violence” also means any attempt to commit or any commission of the following crimes by one cohabitant against another.
Note: While there aren’t any specific charges for domestic violence in Utah, these crimes are prosecuted under the related charges. They are only considered domestic violence when they involve a former or current spouse, partner, child, or other family member. The following are crimes under Utah Criminal Code 76-5:
- Assault (Utah Criminal Code 76-5-102.) – This crime is charged against individuals who succeed or attempt to do bodily harm to another individual. It also includes threats of physical violence and situations that put another individual at risk of sustaining injury. This is a Class B misdemeanor, but is escalated to a Class A misdemeanor if there was substantial injury or if the injured party was pregnant.
- Aggravated Assault (Utah Criminal Code 76-5-103.) – This criminal offense refers to individuals committing an act of assault with a dangerous weapon or other type of force that can cause death or serious bodily injury. This is a 3rd degree felony, but is escalated to a 2nd degree if serious bodily injury resulted.
- Harassment (Utah Criminal Code 76-5-106.) – It is a Class B misdemeanor to frighten or harass another person through written or recorded communication.
- Stalking (Utah Criminal Code 76-5-106.5.) – Stalking charges range from a Class A misdemeanor up through a 3rd degree felony and as high as a 2nd degree felony offense. Stalking can be alleged if the accused approaches an individual, confronts them at their workplace or place of residence, contacts friends or family of the individual, communicates with the individual over electronic media, or other acts that cause emotional stress in another individual.
- Threat of Violence (Utah Criminal Code 76-5-107.) – Even the threat of violence can lead to a Class B misdemeanor, regardless of whether or not the accused was capable of actually carrying out the threat.
- Violation of a Protective Restraining Order (Utah Criminal Code 76-5-108.) – It is a criminal offense to violate a protective order, child protective order, ex parte protective order, or ex parte child protective order.
- Child Abuse/Abandonment (Utah Criminal Code 76-5-109.) – Individuals are charge with this crime when it is alleged that they intentionally failed to make reasonable arrangements for the care and safety of their child. This includes providing the child with food, shelter, and clothing. Child abuse also refers to acts of physical violence to a child, minor or serious acts. This is a Class C misdemeanor offense, but can be escalated to Class B or Class A offense depending on the severity of the alleged misconduct.
- Domestic Violence in the Presence of a Child (Utah Criminal Code 76-5-109.1.) – In Utah, it can be a Class B or A misdemeanor, or 3rd degree felony, to commit acts of domestic violence while a child is present.
- Endangerment of a Child or Vulnerable Adult (Utah Criminal Code 76-5-112.5.) – Exposing a child or vulnerable adult to the dangers of chemicals or controlled substances is a felony offense.
- Child Kidnapping (Utah Criminal Code 76-5-301.1.) – Kidnapping a child, regardless of the circumstances, is charged as a first degree felony.
- Kidnapping (Utah Criminal Code 76-5-301.) – Kidnapping another individual, holding them for long periods of time, placing them in servitude, moving them across state lines, or otherwise going against the will of a victim is a 2nd degree felony offense.
Other related charges include:
- Criminal homicide, as described in Section 76-5-201
- Aggravated kidnapping, as described in Section 76-5-302
- Mayhem, as described in Section 76-5-105;
- Sexual offenses, as described in Title 76, Chapter 5, Part 4, Sexual Offenses, and Title 76, Chapter 5a, Sexual Exploitation of Children;
- Unlawful detention, as described in Section 76-5-304;
- Possession of a deadly weapon with intent to assault, as described in Section 76-10-507;
- 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;
- 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 any of the domestic violence offenses otherwise described in subsection of this section. Conviction of disorderly conduct as a domestic violence offense, in the manner described in subsection (4)(o), does not constitute a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under federal law (18 U.S.C. Section 921), and is exempt from the provisions of the federal Firearms Act, (18 U.S.C. Section 921 et seq.