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Domestic Violence in presence of children

Saint George, UT |

My husband was arrested 2 months ago when our neighbor called the police after he witnessed an argument between us (with the kids watching unfortunately) in the front yard. I was unaware he had called until he lured me outside just in time to see the officers arrive. After the police showed up, I told them numerous times I did not want to make a statement against my husband, press charges, nor did I want them to pursue him. The officer basically told me I didn't have a choice, but that I had to make a statement and allow them to take any pictures of me they wanted because it was state law. My husband (in the mean time) drove himself to the police station and voluntarily tried to give his statement, but the officers would not allow him to make a statement OR leave, just took him into custody without reading him his Miranda rights. The next morning I showed up to his hearing to try and have him released and was approached by the prosecutor, who proceeded to show me the file on my husband. The only statement in the file is my neighbor's, and the "statements" the officers stated that I said are inconsistent with the written statement I did finally give them. I have been trying to contact the prosecutor since then to find out what he discovered about the inconsistencies, but to no avail. All the research I have done says that Utah only holds a pre-trial hearing if the charges are felonies, but both charges against my husband are class B misdemeanors. Basically I am wondering what will happen at the pre-trial they have scheduled, and if we have any chance of having the charges dismissed based on the mistakes made by the officers.

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Attorney answers 1


In general most states enforce laws related to domestic violence very strenuously. You don't say if there was actual violence involved as opposed to a verbal dispute. Even so if the verbal dispute was loud and abusive it may come within the scope of your state's DV laws. I do not see any mistakes by the police officers in your narrative. They didn't have to read your husband his rights unless they were going to interrogate him in custody. Inconsistencies in your statements to police are more your problem than theirs. Depending on the facts you may convince the prosecutor to lower the charges to simple assault or disturbing the peace but you'd best hire a lawyer to do that.