Family life can get complicated quickly. What begins as a calm disagreement can very quickly escalate into a heated argument or war of words. Depending on the nature of the debate, the situation can end up becoming much more than a simple dispute. If you have found yourself in the middle of a domestic abuse case, your top priority should be securing experienced and trustworthy legal representation. Once the authorities are involved, your innocence means very little. With an experienced Phoenix criminal attorney working alongside you, your future will be in the right hands.
How is Domestic Violence Defined under Arizona Law?
There are two aspects to a domestic violence charge. The first is the relationship between the parties. Applicable relationships include more than spouses, parents and children. They also include step-children, people residing (or who previously resided) in the same household, former spouses, those who have or had a sexual or romantic relationship, among others.
The second aspect of a domestic violence charge is the nature of the offense itself. There are a host of crimes that can be charged under the domestic violence law, including certain crimes against children, assault, sexual assault, criminal damage, trespass, disorderly conduct, harassment, and many others.
The effect of being convicted of a domestic violence offense can significantly affect the penalty you face. It can result in additional jail time, parole and probation restrictions, and other provisions of your sentence.
Guidelines to Follow if Accused of Domestic Abuse
Many of our clients ask what they should do when they are faced with domestic violence charges. The result in your case ultimately depends on the evidence against you, combined with the way the case is handled throughout the process. While each case is unique, there are things you can do up front to increase your chances of a successful case:
- Obey court orders. If you are ordered to stay away from someone in your family as a result of the incident in question, you should obey that order, even if you are reconciled with the loved one. Failing to do so can damage your case.
- Avoid controlled substances and alcohol. Whether it is alcohol, or legal or illegal drugs, the use of these substances can affect the investigation in your case. If the prosecution can demonstrate that you were under the influence at the time of the incident, and it can seriously complicate your defense.
- Do not talk to the police. Law enforcement will work diligently to accumulate enough evidence to convict you of a crime. It is their job, and it should not come as a shock that they are not your allies in your time of need. Instead of discussing anything related to your case with police, discuss it with your lawyer.
Phoenix Domestic Abuse Defense Lawyer
Hire the right attorney. You may think that your defense is solid enough that you don’t need one. You are probably wrong. An attorney who understands the law will be able to help you immensely, and you will have peace of mind knowing that you are being protected. Since the consequences of a domestic abuse conviction can have lasting ramifications on your family, investing in a lawyer is the responsible thing to do.
July 18, 2014