True or False: Domestic Violence Crimes in Arizona 

Domestic violence charges are relatively common throughout the state of Arizona, but they can be treated differently under the eyes of the law when it comes to penalties. Read on to learn more about some of the myths about domestic violence and what you should do if you’re accused. For more specifics on legal issues, you should speak directly with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Despite that domestic violence charges happen so often, the specifics of such a charge often is clouded with misunderstanding. Some of the most popular myths about domestic violence charges are laid out below.

If The Other Party Doesn’t Pursue Charges, I’m Safe 

The decision about whether to arrest someone and charge that individual with a crime is left largely up to the police and prosecutors. Many family situations that get out of control might be followed up with a charge retraction by the alleged victim, but you should be aware that the wheels of the legal system could start spinning as soon as the police show up. The state will certainly consider the views of the victim when determining whether to pursue charges or not, but this doesn’t mean that all you need to avoid charges is a retraction from the victim.

If you’ve been arrested for domestic violence, it’s in your best interest to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible just in case you are eventually charged. You’ll have a better understanding about your legal rights just by taking this step.

I Haven’t Touched Anyone, So I Can’t Be Charged With Domestic Violence 

The domestic violence designation can apply to a wide variety of charges. The basis of any of these charges is that the alleged perpetrator has a personal relationship with the victim. While some of these allegations do involve claims of physical violence like assault, others reference issues like disorderly conduct or criminal trespassing. These are not physical violence charges per se, but they can be related and still lead to prosecution and penalties. Don’t assume that lack of physical violence protects you from charges.

Domestic Violence Offenses Carry The Same Penalties As Other Violence Charges 

Even if you’re charged with a domestic violence misdemeanor, the penalties for this crime are not necessarily the same as other misdemeanors. A person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor for domestic violence that involves use of physical force, a weapon, or the threat of either one could be barred from owning a firearm under federal law. This additional and quite significant penalty would usually only apply to felony offenses. It’s important to discuss the specifics of your charges with an experienced criminal defense lawyer so you understand all of the possible implications.

What To Do If You’re Charged

Regardless of whether or not you assume the charge is minor, you need to take it seriously and retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your reaction to charges and allegations could be very important for the outcome of your case, so don’t hesitate to get legal help when you need it.

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, or contact an attorney in your area.