Even though you might consider an allegation of domestic violence to be a private family matter, once you have been charged you need to take these claims seriously and protect yourself by hiring an Arizona criminal defense attorney. What follows is some information about the laws in Arizona and the critical steps you should take after you have been arrested for domestic violence.

Arizona Laws

Arizona defines domestic violence as  any act that is a dangerous crime against children as defined in A.R.S. section 13-705 or an offense prescribed in section 13-1102, 13-1103, 13-1104, 13-1105, 13-1201, 13-1202, 13-1203, 13-1204, 13-1302, 13-1303, 13-1304, 13-1406, 13-1425, 13-1502, 13-1503, 13-1504, 13-1602 or 13-2810, section 13-2904, subsection A, paragraph 1, 2, 3 or 6, section 13-2910, subsection A, paragraph 8 or 9, section 13-2915, subsection A, paragraph 3 or section 13-2916, 13-2921, 13-2921.01, 13-2923, 13-3019, 13-3601.02 or 13-3623, if any of the following applies:

  1. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is one of marriage or former marriage or of persons residing or having resided in the same household.
  2. The victim and the defendant have a child in common.
  3. The victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party.
  4. The victim is related to the defendant or the defendant’s spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
  5. The victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.
  6. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship. The following factors may be considered in determining whether the relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship:

(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.

What to Do After the Arrest

How you behave after the arrest can be just as important as the alleged incident for which you were charged. Do not try to handle the problem on your own, as continued contact with the victim could result in other charges. You could also be facing a protection order or possible loss of visitation with children, gun privilege losses, probation, or jail. You should also want to exercise your right to remain silent until you’ve had the opportunity to speak with your attorney. Comments you make to the police, even if you believe you are just being honest and helping yourself, could be used against you in the future.

It’s tempting to think that you can work things out with someone who has alleged domestic violence, but it’s not a good idea. You should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney to get the representation you need. A domestic violence conviction could have a serious impact on your future and it’s essential to get legal advice even if you believe the incident was minor. An experienced attorney can help you walk through the facts of the case and determine the most appropriate next steps. Legal strategy and admissibility of evidence are two primary factors in a domestic violence case, so you need an attorney who has handled this kind of defense before.

The Nature of Domestic Violence Charges

There are a broad range of offenses that could be liked to domestic violence, including everything from vulnerable adult abuse to negligent homicide to child abuse. Likewise, the way that domestic violence is charged depends on the nature of the incident in question. An endangerment charge, for example, is categorized as a class 1 misdemeanor, but a disorderly conduct domestic violence charge involving a weapon is categorized as a class 6 felony. To get the details on the possible penalties linked to your charges, speak directly with a criminal defense lawyer.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Mesa Criminal Attorney, Garrett L. Smith at 480-540-6021 log on to www.mycriminaldefenselawyeraz.com, or contact an attorney in your area.