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Protective Order Defense Attorney - Criminal Lawyer Utah

Protective order violations are taken seriously by Utah prosecutors and judges. A criminal charge for violating a protective order can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A conviction can result in lengthy jail or prison terms and thousands of dollars in fines.

If you are facing criminal charges for violating a protective order, an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected. Stephen Howard has defended clients facing both misdemeanor and felony protective order violation charges, as well as many other domestic violence related charges. His track record includes dismissals, not guilty verdicts, and appellate reversals in some of the most serious criminal charges in Utah. Based in Salt Lake City, Mr. Howard offers legal services to clients throughout the state. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation and case analysis.

Criminal Charges for Violating a Protective Order in Utah

A protective order in Utah is a civil order that typically prohibits one person (the "respondent") from contacting or communicating with another person (the "petitioner") or coming to the petitioner's home, workplace, school, or other specified locations. While the protective order itself is a civil order, a violation of a protective order can result in serious criminal charges.

Criminal charges for violating a protective order can be filed even if the petitioner initiated the contact or invited the respondent to commit the act that violates the protective order. Even if the petitioner decides that he or she no longer wants the protective order, the protective order will remain in effect until a court vacates or dismisses the protective order. Only a judge can lift the protective order. And until the judge formally does that, a respondent can face criminal charges for failing to follow the terms of the protective order. Any violation, even a harmless or minor violation, can result in criminal charges being filed.

What are the consequences for violating a protective order in Utah?

In Utah, a first violation of a protective order is normally charged as a class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to 365 days jail).  But the charge can be enhanced for priors, resulting in a third-degree felony (punishable by 0-5 years prison). A judge does not have to impose the maximum penalty for a conviction. And if a prosecutor is convinced that the circumstances are appropriate, a resolution may be reached that results in a dismissal through a plea in abeyance, a reduced offense level, a probation recommendation, or other possible negotiated resolutions.

What should I do if I am contacted by police?

Sometimes people think that if they are contacted by police, they can explain their way out of the charge. Such attempts often backfire and end up providing police with information that will be used to prosecute the case. Most of the common excuses people present for violating a protective order can end up becoming a confession to the crime itself. If you are contacted by police regarding allegations you have violated a protective order, you would be well advised to assert your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and request an opportunity to consult with a criminal defense attorney before speaking with police.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah

A Utah violation of a protective order is a serious charge. But having an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney on your side can give you the best chance at achieving positive results in your case.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout all of Utah. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and case analysis now.


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  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Charges of insurance fraud were brought when investigators found reason to believe that client's claim of injury was fraudulent. Client was seen kicking a soccer ball, and investigators concluded that the injury claim was false. By obtaining medical records and other administrative records, and by pointing out to the prosecutor that the alleged injury interferred with the client's ability to lift - not his ability to kick a ball - the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case.
  • Criminal Appeals Defense AttorneyDismissed on Appeal - DUI case was dismissed after a successful appeal where the Utah Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's denial of the defense motion to suppress. Without the suppressed evidence, the prosecutor acknowledged that they did not have sufficient evidence to proceed to trial and the case was dismissed.
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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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