Domestic violence is described as a pattern of assaults or coercive behaviors which one uses against their current or former partner, and these charges often have long-lasting repercussions on the defendant, regardless of the conviction. The social stigma alone can negatively affect one’s career, child custody, and other aspects of your life. Therefore, it is important to contact a Phoenix domestic violence attorney immediately after you have been accused to begin drafting a secure defense strategy. Craig Orent understands the severity of domestic violence accusations and the impact they can have on your daily life.
Domestic violence charges are considered a violent crime in Arizona and are often brought as the result of a domestic dispute which got out of control. 1 in 3 females and 1 in 4 males have experienced domestic violence by an intimate partner at some point in their life. Most think of physical assault when it comes to domestic violence, however, any of the following acts are deemed domestic violence by the Arizona law: intimidation, harassment, stalking, videotaping without consent, endangerment, kidnapping, emotional abuse, and various other aggressive behaviors. All of these acts mentioned fall into one of five general forms of domestic violence that one can be charged for:
In 2016, various data was gathered in regards to domestic violence in Arizona. Reports indicate how many hotline and referral calls were placed this past year due to domestic violence, as well as information about domestic violence shelters throughout Arizona. Below are a few facts derived from reports in Arizona:
|Domestic Violence Info, 2016|
|Hotline and Information and Referral calls||28546|
|Adults and Children receiving shelter and transitional housing||7428|
|Emergency shelter nights provided to adults and children||283170|
|Average length of stay in emergency shelter (days)||40|
|Non-residential service hours provided (counseling, case management, legal advocacy, transportation)||50691|
According to Arizona law, a “family or household member” can be any of the following:
Any of the forms can have serious repercussions on the rest of your life. Arizona law provides that domestic violence occurs if the accused defendant commits an illegal act such as assault and the relationship between the victim and the defendant includes one of the following:
Often, the question of a restraining order arises during or after a domestic violence dispute. An order of protection (OOP)- commonly referred to as a restraining order- aims to prevent the abuser from coming near the victim and is issued by a judge in Arizona. It prohibits a person from committing acts of domestic violence or from contacting a person protected by the order. An order of protection lasts for one year after it is formally issued; however, the alleged abuser can request the order be changed or dismissed at any time.
While it sounds simple enough, an OOP is an official court order. Therefore, restraining orders are often complicated and violating a restraining order can lead to serious consequences, that often complicate a domestic violence charges. If someone files a restraining order, on top of the domestic violence charge, it is important to consult with Phoenix domestic violence attorney to understand all ramifications concerning your charges.
Lying about anything is wrong, but putting into perspective the impact a false allegation of domestic abuse can have on someone could be earth-shattering for the innocent person blamed. Most often, with a domestic violence claim comes a restraining order. A restraining order is designed to prohibit an abuser from contacting the victim. This is a safety procedure put in place so the victim can feel more at ease knowing that the abuser will face even more jail time if he or she breaks the restraining order. However, 70% of restraining orders are false, or made up. If you put that percentage into number of people, there are 1.5 million temporary restraining orders created on false allegations. Taxpayers spend $20 billion dollars every year for public services to financially assist homes that were split up due to a false domestic violence allegation.
1. Breaking or throwing of items during an argument, especially when the items thrown are not directed towards the other person
2. Act of self- defense during an argument (ex. pushing your partner away if he/she attacks you)
3. Holding the arms of the other person during an argument
4. Yelling and screaming at the other person (this varies depending on what was yelled)
5. Accidents during pillow fights, horseplay, or any form of physical games
6. Using of profanity during an argument
7. Accidentally blocking the other person from exiting the house during an argument
8. Intentionally restraining the other person to prevent him/her from hurting themselves
9. Violent and un-intention reactions cause by pranks, nightmares, or traumatic events
700,000 people are falsely accused of committing domestic violence against a partner every year in the United States. These allegations are serious and if they are fabricated, they can inflict unfixable damage to another person’s reputation, career, and family life. If you are charged with domestic violence, you could lose custody of your children, use of your home, restriction of civil liberties, loss of communication with loved ones, and potentially forced to enroll in an anger management program.
Because domestic violence is a sensitive charge and can often be complex, many questions arise on the topic. Below are a few frequented questions regarding domestic violence charges:
If you are convicted of domestic violence, typically a judge will enforce a 30 day jail sentence for a misdemeanor domestic crime conviction. This can change based on seriousness of the injuries that the allegedly abused has undergone as well as previous jail time or prior convictions. Additionally, the type of abuse factors into the allotted jail time, which can be divided into four categories:
First, be cooperative with the police. Second, consult a criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix with extensive experience in domestic violence to assess the situation and determine how much evidence is against you. From there, your lawyer will begin gathering evidence to build a defense case to prove your innocence.
There are 21 states the require mandatory arrests following a domestic violence allegation. The laws regarding domestic violence as based around ‘probable cause,’ but some arrests take place due to law enforcers being trained to “always believe the accuser” and “error on the side of caution,” meaning that an arrest is better than no arrest if there is an allegation. In Arizona, an domestic violence arrest requires probable cause and is mandatory when a physical injury occurs and/or a deadly weapon is present or discharged.
In general, violent crimes have a longer stature of limitations, which is the period of time allotted for legal action. Assault and battery, two common subcategories of domestic violence, has a 2 year period where a victim is able to sue the other person in Arizona.
Due to the severity of domestic violence, the case can not be dropped in Arizona even if the victim refuses to testify or if they want to drop the charges. Only the district attorney has the ability to drop the charges after they are filed. If the prosecutor requests to drop the charges, the judge must first approve this action.
After you have been charged with domestic violence in Arizona, a defendant has two legal options: fight the allegations or plead guilty. Consulting with a Phoenix domestic violence lawyer can better help you decide the right path to take. If you have been convicted of domestic violence, certain rights will be revoked. For example, those with domestic violence charges are not allowed to purchase or own a gun and can face harsh penalties if caught doing so. Additionally, domestic violence convictions can affect any child custody issues or divorce hearings.
A Phoenix criminal attorney at the Orent Law Offices has handled many domestic violence cases and will work tirelessly to ensure that you are not unfairly punished for a crime you did not commit. Domestic violence cases so often turn on the specific facts of the case, which require research into surrounding incidents and any witness testimonies. Contact our criminal defense attorney law offices today to schedule your initial consultation, and Craig Orent will begin to put together your defense strategy.