Arizona Domestic Violence Laws
To clarify, assaults and domestic violence have similar legal components, yet one involves battering those we don’t know while the other involves violent actions against cohabitants, spouses, love interests and family members living with alleged assaulter.
- Simple assault is what Arizona statute calls the striking of individuals we coexist with. This could involve kicking, biting, punching, slapping or performing similar acts designed to cause bodily injury.
- Battery comes into play when there’s recklessness or intent involved with simple assaults.
- An even more serious form of assault, strangulation, involves impeding an individual’s blood flow or depriving an individual of oxygen.
Charges filed against persons accused of simple assault and battery will usually fall under misdemeanors, while strangulation or harsher forms of assault, such as with weapons or other objects, may be filed as felonies.
Possible sentences for domestic violence
Persons convicted of simple assault or battery under could face misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of crime.
It’s clear that Arizona doesn’t take offenses like this kindly, the reason domestic violence attorney help is always advised. Felonies and other battery charges may impede one’s ability to maintain employment, possess firearms and blemishes an otherwise clean criminal record which could hamper other areas of life.
Defending domestic violence charges
Law enforcement will initiate contact by either presenting defendants with an arrest warrant, by visiting a residence after being called, or TRO (temporary restraining order) preceded by a letter containing a court date and cause of action. Say nothing to any law enforcement official; listen to their spoken commands, comply with simple requests, and phone your domestic violence attorney at once.
The exact strategy each firm uses to defend clients accused of battering persons within their home varies. As for Platte River Law Firm, our approach is as serious, and focused, as the offense you’ve been charged with. It will happen in these steps (not necessarily in order as some cases have additional, or redacted, steps):
Challenging validity of charges/arrest
They’ll first challenge the jurisdiction of the arrest, and whether that jurisdiction binds both parties to the case. Then, they’ll attack specific codes used to charge defendants, questioning whether the underlying offense applies to the statute quoted. If prosecution fails to produce evidence backing both scenarios, the case has sufficient grounds for dismissal.
Once the court agrees the arrest and charges are appropriate, there’s the discovery phase. Every Arizona domestic violence arrest, including charges, tests and evidence collected, gets put into a case file, which is then sent to the prosecuting attorney for formal representation. An attorney will request the prosecutor allow evidence to be presented for review (‘discovered’) so an accurate defense can be mounted. These can range from several pages to several hundred, depending on amount of evidence collected.
After clawing through the state’s discovery material, a criminal defense firm mounts an independent fact-finding investigation of their own. In domestic violence cases, this means they’re looking for:
- Physical evidence supporting the state’s claim that defendant struck the alleged victim;
- Uncorroborated statements from witnesses the state may subpoena;
- Evidence that you were actually elsewhere during the alleged incident;
- Was the alleged battering of victim an act of self-defense? They’ll find out.
- Was any person under the influence of drugs and alcohol? Tests will show it.
- Does the defendant have uncontrollable fits, PTSD or similar mental health issues?
Once they’ve concluded our findings, they’ll move forward in one of three distinct manners:
- Request the state dismiss domestic violence charges as no evidence supports such claims;
- Take case to trial to fully exonerate defendant of all charges based on our findings;
- Discuss lesser charges through plea bargaining (usually when both state and defense cases are equally strong, reasonably questionable or ‘on the fence’).
Click here for additional information on what constitutes domestic violence in Arizona.
Domestic violence charges are serious. Is your law firm?
Arizona is no different than any U.S. state; domestic batteries, assaults and other physical crimes are just as prevalent from Phoenix to Yuma, and all municipalities between.
Your freedom, spotless criminal record and ability to maintain certain rights and privileges hinges on the level of defense your charges receive. Simply put, investing little time and money into the defense of your charges will render equally undesirable results.