Domestic Violence Charges
Many victims of a Domestic Violence are unjustly arrested. This happens when, a domestic dispute takes place, and a victim calls #911 for police: When police arrive, the aggressor denies everything, and claims the victim was the aggressor, or provoked the argument. The victim is then arrested. If convicted, penalties are severe, and call for jail terms, fines, fees, anger management counseling and treatment, probation, and other penalties. Consequently the victim is victimized twice.
Often if police are unsure of the facts; who is telling the truth; and there were no eye witnesses, they will arrest the victim as well as the domestic aggressor. It is not uncommon for them to arrest the innocent party. The victim is left wondering why they ever called police in the first place. This happens because police feel pressured into making arrests, less they may be liable for death or serious injury resulting from disputes.
Arizona Domestic Violence Laws
Domestic Violence offenses are very similar to assault and other offenses with regard to criminal conduct. The factor that sets them apart is the familial or domestic relationship element.
Under Arizona Law ARS § 13-3601, Domestic Violence is defined as violence against violence against a family member or spouse and other certain other relationships specified under the law.
It includes: brother, sister, father, mother, daughter, son, partner, grandmother, grandfather, and more specified relationships.
The offenses themselves that qualify under the Domestic Violence Provision may include but are not limited to:
- Child or Vulnerable Adult Abuse;
- Assault, Sexual Assault, or Aggravated Assault;
- Dangerous Crimes against Children;
- Custodial Interference;
- Disorderly Conduct,
- Harassment, Threatening and Intimidating, Stalking;
- Kidnapping; and/or
- Manslaughter, Murder, or Negligent Homicide,
Domestic Violence Charges are often coupled with other counts, and are commonly charged with assault, criminal trespassing, and disorderly conduct.
Most Domestic Violence charges that are not classified as Dangerous Offenses; and do not fall within the category of a felony under A.R.S. 13-3601.2 are charged as Class 1 Misdemeanors. Arizona Class 1 Misdemeanors expose a person to jail terms and other harsh penalties.
Aggravated Domestic Violence Laws
A.R.S. 13-3601.02 defines and classifies Aggravated Domestic Violence, which are charged as felonies. These carry particularly severe penalties, including prison terms, if convicted. A misdemeanor is raised to a felony under this provision, when aggravated factors are present. Some aggravated factors include but are not limited to:
- Repeat offenses: convictions of a third or subsequent domestic violence offense within 7 years;
- Repeat offenses include convictions for violations of valid and properly served Domestic Violence Protective Orders.
Non-Dangerous Aggravated Domestic Violence offenses are classified as a Class 5 Felony. All Felony convictions in Arizona expose a person to prison sentencing and other harsh punishments.
Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Tempe AZ
Both men and women may find themselves as victims or aggressors of Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence penalties can be severe, especially for aggravated (felony) charges. That is why you should always consult a criminal defense attorney before pleading guilty to domestic violence charges. You should never settle for a conviction without proper representation by a qualified Tempe domestic violence attorney.
An experienced domestic violence defense attorney will gather the facts and tell your side of the story. They will make sure your rights are protected and defend your charges. There may be defenses you are not aware of, that can lead to a dismissal of charges, or reduction in penalties. First time, non-violent offenses may be eligible for anger management counseling, in place of jail. Your Attorney will see to it that you qualify for any diversion programs in place of harsh jail sentencing in the event of a conviction.