Domestic violence is a special category of crimes within Arizona’s criminal code, often referred to as an enhancement. Enhancements are not crimes when they are simply by themselves; rather, they are statutes that create additional penalties when their elements have been satisfied. Domestic violence, or DV offenses, requires that a person have a special relationship with the victim of the crime. For more information on what is a Domestic Violence offense see A.R.S. §13-3601.
Although a person may want to argue the order should not be in place that is not one of the elements the court will look for in determining guilt. In court, the State needs to prove the order was lawful, which means it was properly served. This can often times be confusing because certain steps need to have been taken for such an order to be lawful. The most important is that the order was physically handed to the receiving party. The State also needs to prove the individual “knowingly” violated the order. This is important because often times an individual may not be aware they are limited to certain contact. The order may only restrict certain types of contact such as phone calls but may be silent on other forms of contact. Furthermore, restraining orders only protect those listed on the order and not others.
Although the underlying basis for the restraining order is not an element of culpability, they can at times be used to negotiate with the State because it provides context to the alleged violation. These are but a few of the defenses that can be raised. Our firm specializes in being able to find these issues and leverage them to your benefit. To assess the extent of your defenses contact our office for a free consultation.
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Finding answers is not something you need to do alone. Our firm has the experience and expertise to help you navigate these and other defenses. We handle Judicial Interference cases across the valley and in all of Arizona. We fight rigorously for you and make sure your story gets told. Contact us for further strategies specific to your case.