Our domestic violence attorneys have helped hundreds of people charged with domestic violence and we understand that this type of charge can destroy careers and people’s lives. Many times the police will arrest people without understanding all the evidence. As a result, innocent people sometimes face very serious criminal charges.
Various charges including assault, criminal damage, and crimes against children can be classified as domestic violence offenses. What makes a domestic violence charge different from regular charges? In general, the police will look to see if the accused and victim have a romantic relationship, are related or are living together.
Many people who are charged with domestic violence offenses do not understand why they were charged or what the consequences can be for such a crime. Domestic violence is a very serious allegation, because a conviction can result in substantial penalties, including significant jail time, counseling classes, and the loss of one’s right to bear arms. Furthermore, prosecutors many times seek greater jail sentences when domestic violence is alleged.
If you look on your ticket and see the letters “DV” or ARS 13-3601, then you are probably facing an allegation of a domestic violence offense. A DV offense is alleged not due to the severity of the crime, its based on whether or not the person charged has a relationship with the listed victim. “Domestic Violence” designation can be added to the following charges. Homicide, Assault, Kidnapping, Sexual Offenses, Criminal Trespass, Criminal Damage, Interference with Judicial Proceedings, and Disorderly Conduct. Note, however, that domestic violence does not require “violence” per se. You can be charged with domestic violence for disturbing the peace and quiet, trespassing or unauthorized telephonic or in person contact. The deciding factor is whether or not the “victim” has a relationship with the accused.
Domestic Violence Offenses:
Domestic violence is a special category of crimes in Arizona’s criminal code, often referred to as an enhancement. Enhancements are not crimes by themselves; instead they are statutes that create additional penalties when their elements are satisfied. Domestic violence, or DV offenses, require that a person have a special relationship with the victim of the crime.
What does that mean?
It means that, if someone commits a crime against a family member, that crime can be considered a domestic violence offense. If the crime is a domestic violence offense, there may be additional jail or prison time, extra fines and fees, the loss of the right to bear arms, and the court might issue a no-contact or restraining order.
Crimes like assault, criminal damage, endangerment, and criminal trespass can all be assigned a domestic violence enhancement.
A.R.S. § 13-3601 is the statute that defines domestic violence:
(a) The type of relationship.
(b) The length of the relationship.
(c) The frequency of the interaction between the victim and the defendant.
(d) If the relationship has terminated, the length of time since the termination.
Domestic Violence Penalties:
Because domestic violence offenses are not crimes by themselves, the penalties vary based on the underlying crime. For example, if a person commits a misdemeanor assault against their spouse, he could be charged with DV-Assault.
Common penalties for domestic violence include:
Our lawyers understand that many innocent people are charged with domestic violence when they did nothing wrong. Many times the police arrive at the scene of a disturbance call and arrest first and ask questions later. Without question there is a preference to arrest men over women. Oftentimes the police will make an arrest based solely on the testimony of one witness versus the other.
The goal of our law firm is to win your case. If you are charged with a domestic violence offense, let us help you today. Give us a call and allow us to work to develop constructive strategies to give you your life back.
We are dedicated to helping YOU. The first step is to understand your case. We will take the time to get to know you and your legal situation so that we are best able to answer all of your questions. After your initial consultation with our attorneys, you will know what you are facing and what can happen to your case.
EVERY CONSULTATION IS COMPLETELY FREE AND COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL.
Alcock & Associates P.C.
2 North Central Avenue, 26th Floor
Phoenix AZ 85004