Child Witnesses to Domestic Violence - Utah

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Circumstances That Constitute Witnessing

Citation: Ann. Code § 76-5-109.1

In criminal law: The term 'in the presence of a child' means the following:

  • In the physical presence of a child
  • Having knowledge that a child is present and may see or hear an act of domestic violence

Consequences

Citation: Ann. Code § 76-5-109.1

A person commits domestic violence in the presence of a child if the person does any of the following:

  • Commits or attempts to commit criminal homicide against a cohabitant in the presence of a child
  • Intentionally causes serious bodily injury to a cohabitant or uses a dangerous weapon or other means or force likely to produce death or serious bodily injury against a cohabitant in the presence of a child
  • Under circumstances not amounting to criminal homicide or serious bodily injury as described above, commits an act of domestic violence in the presence of a child

A person who violates either of the first two subsections is guilty of a third-degree felony. A person who commits domestic violence in the presence of a child is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

A charge under this section is separate and distinct from, and is in addition to, a charge of domestic violence where the victim is the cohabitant. Either or both charges may be filed by the prosecutor.

A person who commits a violation of this section when more than one child is present is guilty of one offense of domestic violence in the presence of a child regarding each child present when the violation occurred.