Based in Salt Lake City, Intermountain Legal provides strong criminal defense representation to clients throughout Utah. Our experience includes handling criminal mischief charges, which often arise from a moment of anger, but can result in serious and lasting consequences.
Facing Domestic Violence Criminal Mischief Charges in Utah
Under Utah law, a person commits criminal mischief if he or she “intentionally damages, defaces, or destroys the property of another. Anytime a person intentionally or recklessly breaks something that is partially or wholly owned by his or her spouse (i.e. marital property) or other cohabitant, that person can be charged with domestic violence criminal mischief.
In some cases, a domestic violence classification is appropriate and justified. In others, however, the law is so broadly written and applied that the consequences can be quite severe for very minor criminal charges. For example, if a wife gets angry with her husband and throws his clothes out into the rain, she may be charged with domestic violence criminal mischief. Likewise, if a husband gets angry with his wife and slams the door hard enough to damage it, he can be charged with domestic violence criminal mischief as well.
A domestic violence conviction can mean jail time and large fines, which may be enhanced because of aggravating circumstances. For example, potential penalties are more severe if children were present at the time of the incident. The offense becomes a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and as much as $1,000 in fines.
Intermountain Legal can help you avoid the strict consequences associated with criminal domestic violence charges. In some cases, we may negotiate with the prosecution, looking at sentencing alternatives, such as anger management classes or substance abuse programs, if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the incident. In other situations, it is in the client’s best interests to fight the charges. For example, we may be able to show that the destruction was not intended or that it was not directed at the complaining party.
Seek Experienced, Dedicated Defense Representation
As a prosecutor, principal attorney Steven K. Burton oversaw several domestic violence programs in Salt Lake County and cities throughout the Salt Lake Valley. He now uses his experience to give clients the best defense strategy possible. If you face criminal mischief charges, please contact Intermountain Legal for a free attorney consultation to discuss your situation. Do not let a minor incident negatively impact you or your family.