Domestic violence cases are not always straight forward. Aside from cases of false or exaggerated charges, there are other avenues for the accused to pursue. Under Utah Criminal Code 76-5-305 defenses to domestic violence charges can include:
- Necessity – The conduct was necessary to protect another individual from imminent bodily injury or death
- Lawfulness – The detention or restraint was authorized by law
- Consent – If the alleged victim is a minor or mentally incompetent and the accused was under the reasonable belief that the victim’s custodian would have consented to the conduct if present.
Individuals who have reason to believe that a vulnerable adult has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation are required to notify a law enforcement agency or Adult Protective Services office. If the report is made in good faith, then the individual has immunity from civil and criminal liability with the report.
Intentional failure to report these incidents can lead to a Class B misdemeanor. Threatening the person who made the report or the object of the report is also a Class B misdemeanor. These charges are made pursuant to Utah Criminal Code 76-5-111.1.