Domestic Violence in the Presence of a Child in Utah

Domestic violence in the presence of a child is charge that often accompanies other domestic violence charges. The law defines it as any time a person commits a crime of domestic violence “in the presence of a child,” or “having knowledge that a child is present and may see or hear an act of domestic violence.”

Because it is defined so broadly, police will often charge it simply because a child was inside the house when an act of domestic violence occurred, even if the child was asleep or in a completely different part of the house. Additionally, you can be given a separate charge for each child that was present.

Our lead trial attorney, Steven K. Burton, is a former prosecutor who has extensive experience in domestic violence cases. To speak with Steve or another skilled attorney, please call 801-990-4200 or email an attorney at Intermountain Legal today.


In Utah, this offense is usually charged as a Class B misdemeanor. However, the charge may be enhanced to a third-degree felony if the underlying charge is an “aggravated” charge, such as aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, or homicide.

A conviction can have several consequences. The judge may impose fines, jail time, community service, domestic violence classes, and probation. Domestic violence convictions may also have indirect consequences such as causing you to lose your job and causing damage to your reputation. You may also lose your constitutional right to possess a firearm.

As a Class B misdemeanor, the recommended fine for domestic violence in the presence of a child is $1,940 for each separate charge. The judge does not have to follow the recommended fine amount, and may lower the amount or substitute community service. The possible jail time for a Class B domestic violence is 0 – 180 days in jail.

Contact a dedicated legal team today

An experienced domestic violence lawyer can evaluate your case and determine the best defense strategy for your situation.  Our lead attorney, Steven K. Burton, has extensive experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney.  He has had great success defending domestic violence cases because he knows the ins and outs of the law and knows what strategies win a case and what strategies don’t. To hire a defense attorney at Intermountain Legal, call 801-990-4200.