A restraining order helps add a layer of legal protection to someone who needs it. If you have someone in your life, particularly a romantic partner, who is abusing, stalking, or harassing you, a protective order can help keep you safe.
Protective orders forbid someone from threatening you, harming you, harassing you, and so on. You may be asking yourself, “Those behaviors are already illegal, so how does a protective order help?”
This is a good question. Essentially, a protective order can help make justice move faster. When someone threatens you, you must formally accuse them of assault. From there, the police must investigate the matter. After formally charging the offender, authorities take time grinding the case through the system.
A restraining order can help you get around all that. When someone with a restraining order threatens you, you can simply accuse them of violating the order. This is a much easier crime for the police to charge and prosecute. The penalties for violating the order are much lower than they would be for assault, battery, and the like. However, quickly slapping your abuser with these penalties sends a strong message to them, and it can help keep them away from you.
Keeping someone away is another advantage of issuing a restraining order. In most cases, the orders forbid your abuser from going to your home, work, school, and so on. They can keep the offender from contacting you in any way, and they can order the abuser to stay within a certain distance of you.
Each state handles protective orders differently. Some have one general order that covers any harassment, and others break the orders down into categories. Utah breaks them down.
Cohabitant Protective Orders in Utah
This is the order that normally applies to domestic assault cases.
You can issue this order against:
- Anyone you live with now or lived with in the past.
- Anyone with whom you share a child or are expecting a child.
- Anyone with whom you are related. This can include siblings, parents, adult children, aunts and uncles, and more.
- Anyone with whom you are or were sexually involved. This includes spouses, girlfriends/boyfriends, and so on. Technically, it could apply to someone you had a one-night stand with years ago.
Dating Protective Orders in Utah
A cohabitant protective order specifically applies to sexual relationships. This doesn’t help someone who went on a few dates with someone, never consummated the relationship, and suddenly discovered their date was an abusive stalker.
For them, Utah has a special “dating” restraining order. It can help protect you from someone you saw romantically but never slept with. It can also apply to short relationships where sex is or was present.
Sexual Assault Protective Orders in Utah
If you were assaulted by a total stranger, you can file a sexual assault restraining order against them. This can help give you extra protection while the authorities handle the main assault charge.
Utah has a broad definition of sexual assault. The abuse does not have to be directly physical. For instance, you can file an order against someone who shares explicit photos of you without consent.
Child Protective Orders in Utah
Many of the above orders can apply to children as well. If the child directly experienced or witnessed abuse in the home, you can file for an order to help keep them safe.
Civil Stalking Injunctions in Utah
As you can see, many of Utah’s protective orders revolve around intimate relationships. Sometimes, however, you could be stalked by a coworker or an obsessed stranger. In these situations, you should seek a civil stalking injunction.
If someone engaged in stalking behavior against you two or more times, you can file for this injunction.
Our firm is here to help you file for a restraining order. If you need immediate help, go to the police first. Afterward, call us at (801) 901-7046 for a free consultation or schedule time with us online.