Custodial Interference in Utah
In most states, court-ordered visitation and custody plans are enforced through the civil process and contempt of court proceedings. Utah, however, has taken a different approach by making it a criminal offense to intentionally violate a custody or visitation order. Parents and other caretakers involved in bitter custody disputes should be especially concerned with these charges. If accused, they should contact an experienced Utah custodial interference lawyer immediately. Intermountain Legal has defended numerous parents and guardians who have faced such charges in the midst of bitter custody disputes. We are aware of the sensitive nature of these disputes and make our clients’ concerns a priority. But we are also prepared to defend them to the fullest extent of the law.
Utah custodial interference law
In Utah, it is a crime for a custodial or noncustodial parent or guardian to intentionally violate a custody or visitation order by denying access to any person entitled to visitation or custody during arranged visiting times. Under normal circumstances, doing so is a Class B misdemeanor. For repeat offenders, however, it may be a Class A misdemeanor. And if the offender removes the child from the state while committing custodial interference, it becomes a third-degree felony. These are serious charges that can bring about fines, imprisonment and a criminal record and should be addressed by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
There are many methods Utah custodial interference lawyers can use in defending clients against these serious charges. Because intent is a factor, the surrounding circumstances are very important. If a defendant was unable to produce a child for scheduled custody or visitation due to circumstances beyond his or her control or with the consent of the person whose custody or visitation was interfered with, an acquittal or dismissal may be possible. In addition, a person is not criminally liable if he or she acted under the reasonable belief it was necessary to protect the child from abuse and reported that belief to the Division of Child and Family Services or law enforcement.
Call the firm for a free consultation about your custodial interference charge
At Intermountain Legal, we understand the delicate nature of custody disputes and how custodial interference charges can affect them. We make it a priority to provide a high-quality legal defense in a manner that is sensitive to our clients’ concerns. We know the law and we know the process. Call our office today at 801-990-4200 or contact us online to begin taking control of your legal troubles.
Intermountain Legal is located in Salt Lake City, UT and serves clients throughout all of Northern and Central Utah including Salt Lake City, Midvale, Sandy, West Jordan, North Salt Lake, Bountiful, South Jordan, Clearfield, Woods Cross, Draper, Farmington, Centerville, Layton, Ogden, Lehi, Provo, Orem, Park City and the counties of Davis, Salt Lake, Weber, Utah, Tooele and Summit.