What Constitutes Domestic Violence in Arizona?
Relationships like this are often oversimplified as romantic partnerships. While this may be the case for some people, there are numerous factors the court will examine to determine if a domestic relationship exists. This examination is done on a case-by-case basis.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3601, some of the factors the court uses to determine if you and the plaintiff have a domestic relationship include whether you and the alleged victim:
- Are married or were formerly married;
- Have a romantic or sexual relationship;
- Are related by blood or marriage;
- Are pregnant by the other party;
- Have a child in common;
- Live in the same household as the injured party who is a child.
The court will determine that no domestic relationship exists if none of the above-listed factors are met. Without the underlying relationship, the family violence charge cannot be added to the base crime. Our well-versed domestic abuse attorneys in Phoenix could help you determine if an underlying relationship exists.
If you have been charged with a crime under Arizona domestic violence laws, don't panic. Our team has handled numerous domestic violence cases that should never have been filed. Let a Phoenix domestic violence lawyer from our team review your case to see how we can help you face these charges.
What Offenses Count as Domestic Violence in Gilbert, AZ?
Domestic violence charges in Arizona involve two principal elements: a domestic relationship and one or more acts of violence or threats of violence. The victim or perpetrator of a domestic violence offense might be a spouse, former spouse, roommate, child, or parent.
Acts of violence or threats that qualify a person for a domestic violence offense include:
- Assault and aggravated assault
- Threatening and intimidating behavior
- Threatening conduct or actions
- Kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment
- Criminal trespass
- Manslaughter and murder
- Abuse of a vulnerable adult or a child
- Property damage
- Disorderly conduct
Some of these actions are minor crimes. However, if the alleged victim is in a domestic relationship with the alleged perpetrator, the prosecutor may bring domestic violence charges.
What Falls into the Category of Domestic Violence in Arizona?
Domestic violence laws in Arizona specifically state that there must be a domestic component to the relationship between the victim and the aggressor.
As long as this relationship exists, domestic violence charges can be applied to a broad range of actions:
- Striking, slapping, or kicking
- Shoving and pushing
- Forcefully restraining
- Biting and scratching
- Abusing sexually
- Isolating or imprisoning
- Recounting jokes of sexual nature at the victim's expense
- Financially abusing or exploiting
- Abusing psychologically
- Threatening or intimidating
- Stalking and electronic stalking
There does not need to be physical contact between the aggressor and the victim for a charge of domestic violence to apply. Arizona's domestic violence statute is broad enough that a mere squabble between two people in a domestic relationship could result in domestic violence criminal charges for one of the parties. In almost all of these cases, no matter how minor, once the police arrive you can bet someone will be arrested.
However, being arrested due to domestic violence allegations does not always mean you will be charged. In fact, police often unreasonably arrest individuals for domestic violence when the facts simply do not warrant the charge.
In order to be arrested for domestic violence, all it might take is a phone call to the authorities from someone in your household. The responding officers can even carry out an arrest based on the words of the caller like a neighbor. They need not have witnessed the alleged domestic violence, and they do not need evidence of the crime to take you into custody.
After your arrest, you may be charged with domestic violence crimes, even if the charge is unwarranted. An experienced criminal defense attorney can confidently dismantle charges based on exaggerated or downright false allegations.
Schedule a Meeting with a Domestic Violence Lawyer in Phoenix
A domestic abuse charge may have lasting ramifications on someone’s life, even if they are not convicted. Child custody, job security, and freedom are only some of the changes that could occur after a charge.
An experienced Phoenix domestic violence lawyer ready to fight for you and protect your innocence. Call our office today to learn about your legal options.
What Is the Punishment for Domestic Violence in Arizona?
Domestic violence charges carry negative social stigmas and legal consequences that can follow someone for the rest of their life. Because domestic abuse charges are only used in addition to underlying criminal charges, the severity of the penalties is often determined by the underlying crime itself.
Nonetheless, there are commonly occurring penalties that are associated with family violence charges. The accused party may have to forfeit any weapons or have restraining orders against them before there is ever a trial. In some cases, a Phoenix family violence attorney may be able to mitigate these additional measures against an accused person.
If convicted, a person may face jail time, probation, mandatory classes, limited visitation or custody of their children, and loss of the right to legally purchase and own a firearm.
Per Arizona domestic violence sentencing guidelines, how much jail time a person receives depends on the underlying violent act that is the basis of the domestic violence charge. Many individuals who are looking at domestic violence charges in Arizona face one of three levels of misdemeanors and their corresponding punishments:
- Class 1: This is the most serious level of misdemeanor and can lead to probation, six months in jail, and a fine of up to $2,500;
- Class 2: A class 2 conviction can result in up to four months of jail time as well as fines of up to $750;
- Class 3: A class 3 conviction results in up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500.
However, if the underlying charge is a felony, then felony punishments are on the table. These may include prison time as well as substantially higher fines. Additionally, a repeat charge involving domestic violence is punished more harshly than a first-time domestic violence charge in Arizona.
Domestic Abuse Diversion Programs
In some cases involving first-time misdemeanor offenders, an accused person may qualify for an alternative form of sentencing involving a family violence diversion program. These programs seek to help teach and reduce the recurrence of family violence. In order for this to happen, the court will expunge/delete the charge from the defendant’s record altogether upon successful completion of the program and all other court requirements. Our qualified domestic violence attorneys in Phoenix may be able to present a successful argument to the court to allow this alternative penalty.
Protective Orders in Arizona
Protective orders in Arizona are court orders that are meant to protect one person from another. Although they are available in many different contexts, they are frequently used in cases involving domestic relationships to protect a person from future acts of domestic violence.
Many types of protective orders exist in Arizona:
- Orders of Protection: Orders of protection forbid the person named in the order from contacting or approaching the person who filed for the order. It also forbids the person from engaging in threatening or violent behavior against the petitioner. Additionally, a person named in an order may also be required to move out of their home, relinquish firearms, or attend domestic violence classes or a treatment program;
- Emergency Orders of Protection: Emergency orders of protection are expedited orders of protection that are issued in cases where there is an imminent threat of danger or harm to the petitioner of the order;
- Release Orders: A release order is meant to protect a plaintiff from a person who has been arrested for domestic violence and is set to be released from custody. They are frequently granted to individuals who live in rural areas and cannot reach a judicial official during business hours;
- Injunctions Against Harassment: Injunctions against harassment are specifically directed at alarming, annoying, or harassing behavior.
While acquiring a restraining order, a person may request a temporary restraining order. A temporary restraining order can be granted without initially informing the person who is named in the order. However, the person named in the order must receive a copy of the order within 24 hours of its issue. The order will be valid for only 10 days, after which the alleged victim can seek a full protective order lasting 12 months.
Effects of a Domestic Violence Conviction on Your Life
Those convicted of domestic violence crimes face not only criminal penalties but also negative impacts on their personal and work lives. With an Arizona domestic violence case on your record, the following important areas of your life will likely be affected:
- Current and future employment;
- Housing prospects;
- Current and future personal relationships;
- Professional licenses;
- Firearms possession.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, contact an attorney to help prevent these consequences from affecting your future.
Schedule Your Case Evaluation with Our Phoenix Domestic Violence Attorney
Call today to schedule a case evaluation with an experienced Phoenix domestic violence attorney from our Team today.
Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges in Arizona
Domestic violence allegations are just that: allegations. Sadly, they are sometimes fabricated or made unreasonably in the heat of the moment. When they are, a skilled criminal defense attorney can mount one of many defenses for their client, such as:
- Insufficient Evidence: Allegations may be enough initially to get a restraining order. But the hard proof is necessary to sustain a charge and a conviction for domestic violence;
- False Allegations: Domestic violence charges are typically backed up by allegations from an alleged victim. Sadly, vindictive, bitter individuals sometimes make false allegations in domestic violence cases. A thorough investigation is often enough to discredit these untrue claims;
- Self-Defense: You have the right to defend yourself against violent or aggressive behavior. If the evidence shows that you were attacked, your attorney can potentially argue self-defense;
- Alibi: If you have a strong alibi, a felony or misdemeanor domestic violence charge will likely be dropped. If you were not present when the alleged domestic violence occurred, your attorney will present evidence of your alibi against the charges;
- No Proof of Criminal Intent: Prosecutors must typically prove criminal intent to charge someone with one or more of the crimes that form the basis of a domestic violence claim;
- Illegally Obtained Evidence: The Constitution of the United States requires that any evidence used against you must be seized in a reasonable fashion. During your preliminary hearing, your attorney can potentially argue that your Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures has been violated and move to suppress the evidence against you.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, the sooner you have an experienced domestic violence attorney crafting your defense, the stronger your position.
How We Can Help with Your Domestic Violence Case in Gilbert
You can fight domestic violence charges to prevent a conviction from ending up on your record. The domestic violence attorneys at Brandon White Law have the experience and the passion it takes and will make every effort to help you beat or reduce your charges.
When you choose Brandon White Law, you choose a firm with:
- A Law Firm Owned and Founded by a Former State Police Officer who knows how the state works;
- A history of successfully defending against domestic violence charges;
- 24/7 availability for client emergencies.
You deserve to be represented by a Phoenix domestic violence defense attorney who cares about your case. Contact Brandon White Law Team for a consultation today.
Regular Phoenix DUI or DWI
A regular DUI is considered driving with a BAC of 0.08-0.14% or driving with a controlled substance in your bloodstream.
- Undergoing a substance abuse screening assessment;
- Completing substance abuse treatment program;
- Serving 10 consecutive days in jail and payin g jail costs;
- An additional 9 days in jail will be suspended if the substance abuse program is completed;
- $250 fine plus any surcharge;
- $500 State Prison Construction and $500 State General Fund payments.