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Arizona has recently passed legislation to enforce the zero-tolerance approach to domestic violence in the state. Since the laws have been strengthened, the penalties associated with convictions have become more severe as well. In cases where victims refuse to press charges, state prosecutors will pursue convictions against the accused to support the stance against domestic violence.

Even the mere accusation of domestic violence is enough to throw your life into turmoil. Because of the serious nature and aggressive prosecution tactics, domestic violence charges are extremely difficult to defend.

What is Domestic Violence in Arizona?

According to ARS § 13-3601, domestic violence is defined as any dangerous crime against any of the following: spouses, romantic partners, children, family members or others that reside with the accused. Crimes that are categorized as domestic violence include:

 

  • Assault

  • Disorderly conduct

    • Threatening or intimidating
    • Criminal trespassing or damage
  • Harassment

    • Order of protection violation
  • Stalking

    • Sex crimes
    • Kidnapping
    • Imprisonment
    • Custodial interference
  • Child abuse and neglect

When law enforcement is called to a residence on domestic violence accusations, it is up to the person who called whether an arrest is to be made, in most situations. However, police are required to make an arrest under certain circumstances and often based on witnesses and conflicting stories. As stated above, even the allegation of domestic violence carries consequences.

Serious Charges Mean Serious Punishments

The most difficult aspect of defending individuals facing domestic violence charges is that if the victim refuses to press charges, the State will pursue a conviction. In this case, the victim is only a witness for the state but has the right to refuse participation.

The initial police reports are often the details used in cases against accused individuals, even when the stories may change from the victims after the situation has been diffused. When children are involved or live in the residence, Child Protective Services will become involved in the case to ensure that the children are safe and protected.

The punishments for these convictions are the same as assault charges, but an additional factor comes when it pertains to a divorce or child custody case. Not only do accused individuals face punishments that can include jail time, rehabilitation counseling, probation, and fines, but they can lose custody or visitation rights to their children and be severely disadvantaged in divorces.

It is important to remember that each case will be different and the punishments equally as different. Subsequent charges result in increasingly more severe punishments attached to the convictions.

You Need the Experience of Sonoran Law Group

It is easy to see just how difficult it becomes to face a domestic violence charge — having a defense team that understands the disadvantages that accused individuals experience and how to navigate the complex and strict laws can make an impactful difference in the outcome of each case.

At Sonoran Law Group, we urge you to seek knowledgeable counsel with our team of experienced criminal defense lawyers instead of trying to handle things on your own because we understand domestic violence laws. Taking a proactive and aggressive approach to your defense strategy is how we can help defend your rights and get your life back on track! Contact us today for a no-cost consultation to review your case.

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