Phoenix Domestic Violence Lawyer
Although being charged with domestic violence carries a stigma, the allegation may simply involve a verbal exchange where no one was injured or placed in jeopardy. In some cases, you may have uttered an empty threat with no malicious intent in the heat of the moment, and with no physical contact whatsoever. And the factual underpinning of the charge may simply be one person’s word against another. But because the mere existence of the domestic violence charge can have a negative impact on your life, it is important to deal with the situation quickly and decisively.
At the Law Offices of David A. Black, we understand that some claims of domestic violence are baseless, that others are the result of misunderstandings, and that still others need to be dealt with through counseling and other methods. We are experienced domestic violence defense lawyers who can guide you through the process in a manner that resolves the issue with a minimum disruption to your life. Call us to schedule an appointment. Your initial consultation is free.
When you meet with one of our attorneys, our initial goal will be to cut through the confusion. We do this by explaining the laws relating to domestic violence.
Have you been charged with domestic violence and are surprised? Did you never consider yourself the type of person who would have these types of charges?Well, I’m here to tell you that sometimes thing…
Who Can Be Charged with Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a term used to describe a variety of acts committed by one person against another person where the two are parties – or were parties – to any one of many possible relationships. Those relationships include the obvious ones such as married people and close relatives. But it also includes former spouses, couples where one person was impregnated by the other, where the two have a child or children in common, children living in the household of the defendant, and even those who have or had a romantic or sexual relationship. Not all romantic relationships will qualify, and the statute provides guidance for a court to consider the nature and length of the relationship, along with other factors, to determine whether it falls within the purview of domestic violence. But the upshot is that the list of those who can theoretically be the subject of a domestic violence complaint is a lot longer than you might think.
Crimes Covered Under Arizona’s Domestic Violence Law
The list of offenses that can form the basis for a domestic violence charge (given the existence of a covered relationship) is lengthy. It includes, among other crimes, some serious felonies, such as sexual assault, child abuse, homicide and kidnapping. The underlying offense in most domestic violation cases, however, is much less serious. Examples include threats, intimidation, misdemeanor assault, harassment, trespass, and even certain types of disorderly conduct.
Domestic violence is not a separate offense in Arizona. It is a label describing certain crimes committed by a defendant and another person who are in a covered relationship. Generally, the classification of a domestic violence charge is the same as for the underlying offense itself. The primary differences are:
- A misdemeanor domestic violence conviction requires that the judge order the defendant to complete a domestic violence treatment program;
- Penalties can increase in the case of multiple domestic violence convictions within certain time periods. In the case of aggravated domestic violence (third or subsequent conviction within 84 months), a misdemeanor conviction could lead to mandatory jail time; and
- Arizona and federal law affect the rights of those who are convicted of domestic violence (and those who are subject to domestic violence orders of protection) to possess firearms. But it is possible in many cases to file a set-aside motion to have your gun rights restored.
At the Law Offices of David A. Black, we will advise you how best to proceed in the face of a claim of domestic violence so that your rights are protected.
Defenses to a Domestic Violence Case in Phoenix, AZ
Most domestic violence cases arise out of events where only the participants are present, and no other witnesses exist. That leaves lots of room for differences of opinion on what was done to whom and by whom, as well as what was said by the parties. When you add to that the fact that many domestic violence offenses require specific intent by the person charged, the possibility for a successful defense increases significantly.
Take the example of disorderly person domestic violence, specifically A.R.S. 13-2904A. That statute makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally disturb the peace by, among other things, making “unreasonable noise” or using “abusive language.” You can readily see that this could describe behavior which takes place in the ordinary course of living life, but which could be twisted into an act that falls within the definition of domestic violence. These cases are open to serious challenge, and can often be defended successfully.
Justification is also a defense in Arizona. And in the context of a domestic violence case, if you have been the victim of past acts of domestic violence, that fact can affect whether you were justified in using self-defense or physical force to protect yourself or another person.
If you are facing a domestic violence charge, do not be discouraged. Our attorneys are experienced at pursuing all possible defenses to the charge. Call today for a free consultation, and find out how we can help in your case.