If you are facing domestic violence allegations, you may be tempted to try to resolve things on your own. After all, the case likely involves one or more people who you have a close relationship with.
But attempting to contact the accuser is almost always a mistake, and can result in additional charges. This is true even if you know you did nothing wrong, or even if the accusations are exaggerated.
If you have been arrested or charged with domestic violence (DV) in Phoenix, contact Goldman Law, LLC as soon as possible. Our domestic violence defense attorney Howard Dworman has effectively protected the rights and freedoms of Arizonans charged with a crime. As a former Parole/Probation officer who has supervised thousands of DV offenders, Mr. Dworman is uniquely experienced in the intricacies of domestic violence laws and how they work in real life. Talk to us and see how we can fight the domestic violence charges against you. Call Goldman Law, LLC today at (602) 698-5520.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence In Arizona?
“Domestic violence” is a broad term referring to acts or threatened acts of violence between persons having a domestic relationship. Two factors are essential here: the act (or threat) itself, and the relationship between the defendant and the victim.
In Arizona, a wide range of acts may qualify as domestic violence. These include:
- Physical violence – hitting, slapping, punching, shoving, kicking, hair-pulling, burning, cutting, battery, sexual abuse, marital rape, homicide, murder, and more
- Verbal aggression – verbal threats, intimidation, name-calling, and more
- Mental/emotional harm – isolating the victim, psychological abuse, harassment, stalking, child custody interference, preventing victim’s communication, unlawful imprisonment, and more.
Arizona also includes a variety of relationships in its domestic violence law (Arizona Revised Statute 13-3601).
Domestic violence laws in Arizona apply to:
- Romantic partners (dating couples)
- Roommates or other co-habitants
- A person who shares a child with the defendant.
With this broad coverage, numerous individuals in Arizona have been charged with domestic violence over something seemingly minor such as a marital dispute or a verbal altercation between roommates.
The state does not take domestic violence lightly, so even if you believe that you caused no harm to any person, you’ll want to be protected by a competent defense attorney.
How A Person Is Charged With Domestic Violence In Arizona
Possible arrest without warrant
When police officers respond to a domestic violence report, they can arrest you with or without a warrant, as long as they can find probable cause to believe that you committed the crime. Law enforcers don’t need to witness the offense, and they don’t need to have strong evidence in order to take you into custody. Many arrests have taken place based on exaggerated or outright false allegations of domestic violence.
Possible charges pressed even when accuser withdraws
A DV charge is brought by the State, not the alleged victim. If a person reports you for domestic violence and then later takes back their accusation, the prosecutor could still decide to press charges against you if it finds enough merit to pursue the case. Even if the alleged victim comes forward to say you did not commit the crime, the charges could still stick.
State prosecutors are aggressive in pursuing domestic violence cases. Protect yourself with a defense attorney who is deeply familiar with the Arizona criminal justice system.
Consequences Of A Domestic Violence Conviction In Arizona
Arizona criminal courts charge domestic violence as a specific underlying crime, such as physical assault, sexual assault, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, or battery. The punishment then depends on the exact criminal charges.
For example, a charge of criminal trespassing or offensive touching (simple assault) is a Class 3 misdemeanor, which is the lowest level of misdemeanor in AZ. It is punishable with a maximum of one month jail sentence, $500 fine, one year probation, and domestic violence counseling.
On the other hand, if a person is convicted of domestic violence crimes three times within seven years, they could be charged with aggravated domestic violence, which is a Class 5 felony in AZ. Possible penalties include 2.5 years in prison, with potential to increase depending on certain circumstances (such as if the victim was pregnant).
Being convicted of a DV offense has far-reaching consequences aside from jail time and fines. The conviction goes into permanent record, negatively affecting one’s employment prospects, housing opportunities, social relationships, and professional licenses. If the conviction was of a felony, the person also loses their rights to vote and bear a firearm.
If the convicted person is involved in a child custody case, they could lose their custody or visitation rights. At the very least, they will have the burden of proving to the court that their parenting would still be to the child’s best interests, and this will be an uphill climb because family courts do not look kindly on domestic violence convictions.
How Goldman Law Handles Domestic Violence Charges
Here at Goldman Law, domestic violence defense lawyer Howard Dworman is highly experienced in the Arizona legal and criminal justice system. With his experience and skill, he has obtained case dismissals and Not Guilty verdicts for many clients.
These are some of the things we can do:
- Build the best defense strategies against your domestic violence charge – from insufficient evidence and lack of intent, to courtroom technicalities and affirmative defenses (e.g. self-defense)
- Help you respond to or challenge protective orders, release orders, and injunctions
- Alleviate the impact of the arrest and the potential penalties
- Ensure that your rights are upheld throughout your case
- Guide you to avoid costly mistakes such as contacting the victim, making statements, admitting to things, violating existing orders, and signing away your rights.
Contact a Phoenix Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Today
Arizona aggressively prosecutes domestic violence – act right away to protect yourself. Call Goldman Law, LLC at (602) 698-5520 today. We serve clients in Phoenix and all throughout Arizona.