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Everything You Need to Know if You’re Charged with Domestic Violence

Posted on November 9, 2023 in

domestic violence attorney in Arizona

A domestic violence conviction has terrible consequences throughout your life. If you’re convicted of being violent to your family members, not only will you be facing prison time and fines, your record may also cause trouble with employment, friends, and relationships. 

In this article, we’ll give you a comprehensive list of things you need to know about domestic violence. If you’re facing criminal charges, it’s best to get help from our experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney. Call our law office today to get skillful legal representation! 


Overview of Domestic Violence in Arizona

Domestic Violence Defined

In Arizona, domestic violence is not a crime by itself but is attached to other criminal acts like 

  • Threatening;
  • Homicide;
  • Rape;
  • Stalking;
  • Kidnapping; 
  • Disorderly Conduct;
  • Criminal Trespass; and
  • Assault and Battery;

There are many different types of abuse including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or psychological abuse, financial abuse, and neglect. A.R.S. 13-3601 defines what counts as domestic violence in Arizona. 

According to Arizona law, an act is considered as domestic violence if done against your family or household member which include: 

  • A person you have been married to, whether currently or in the past;
  • A person who resided in the same household;
  • A person with who you have gotten pregnant or had a child;
  • A person related to you or your spouse which include a:
    • Parent
    • Child
    • Grandparent
    • Grandchild
    • Sibling;
  • A person with whom you have a current or previous intimate sexual or romantic relationship;
  • A child who has lived with you and is related to someone who lived in the same household as you;

Penalties for Domestic Violence

Since domestic violence is simply a special category for other crimes, the punishment you’ll face will be related to the associated crime. A special penalty for conviction can include domestic violence classes. 

If you’re accused as a perpetrator of physical violence or abusive behavior, our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys can help you. Call our office today for a case evaluation!

Aggravated Domestic Violence

If you’ve been convicted under ARS 13-3601.02, then that means aggravated domestic violence. It’s a class 5 felony with up to two and a half years imprisonment for the first offense. Additionally, you will not get a pardon, probation, or a suspended sentence until you’ve served four months in jail. 

Aggravated domestic violence occurs once you’re convicted thrice for domestic violence in seven years.

If you’re arrested for causing an abusive relationship, don’t plead guilty. Our Phoenix criminal law specialist will fight against violence and abuse charges. Don’t wait, call us today! 


Protection Orders

These are also known as restraining orders, of which there are three types for domestic violence:

Emergency Orders of Protection (EOP)

These immediately protect the victim in immediate danger of domestic violence. The validity of an EOP lasts until the close of the business day after issuance or 72 hours, whichever is longer. 

Registered Release Orders

This is given to the local sheriff within 24 hours of your arrest. This has conditions that prevent you from getting close to the alleged victim. 

Orders of Protection

This is issued by a judge without needing your presence. This order usually lasts for a year. 


What Can I Do About a Protective Order?

While the order is in effect, you can request a hearing to have the order dismissed or changed. 


Violating a Protective Order

The protective order will include the conditions that you have to follow. In general, however, the following acts can count as violations and can land you in serious trouble:

  • Not following child visitation rules
  • Not moving out of the shared home of the victim
  • Possessing or purchasing a firearm
  • Not paying bills or child support if ordered to do so
  • Showing up at a workplace or school
  • Coming in close proximity to the victim
  • Contacting the victim by phone, text, email, or social media

Penalties for Violating the Order

This is a serious offense under Arizona law. This counts as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which means no more than six months of jail time and a maximum of $2500 fines with an 84% surcharge. 

If you’ve done anything that violates your restraining order, get in touch with our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys immediately. We can defend you against these allegations and prevent any further punishment issued by the criminal justice system. Call our office now!


Frequently Asked Questions about Arizona Domestic Violence

Domestic violence in AZ can be complicated. There are many forms of abuse and each case has its specific circumstances that can change, even between the same charges like child abuse cases or economic abuse cases. So we’ve answered some of the most common concerns down below.

If you still have questions after going through the article, it’s best to ask an experienced Phoenix family violence defense attorney.  


How are Charges Filed?

In general, the following have to occur before you’ll be charged with domestic violence:

  • Law enforcement responds to a 911 call. The police officers see the signs of abuse and determine that the charges are appropriate for domestic violence. 
  • The officers send the case over to a detective or issue a charge themselves at the scene. 
  • The case is then submitted to the appropriate prosecuting agency to review the charges. 
  • Once the attorney has reviewed the case, then they will decide whether to file charges. 

Can a Victim Drop the Charges?

It’s not the abuse victims who file the charges, so they don’t have the authority to have the case dropped. 

Only the district attorney can have the case dismissed with the approval of a judge. In many cases, the State will proceed with prosecution even if the abused family member does not testify. 


What Happens Once in Jail?

Within 24 hours of being booked in jail, you’ll stand in a special court so that the judge can arraign you. 

In this arraignment, the judge decides whether or not to release you. If the judge releases you, there will usually be some conditions for staying out of custody. The most common conditions are:

  • Posting bond money
  • Surrendering the use of firearms and weapons
  • No contact with the alleged victims of domestic violence.

Final Thoughts

Domestic abuse allegations are complicated. One misstep can land you in jail along with paying some hefty fines and restitution for the victims of abuse. A convicted abuser will have a hard time landing jobs or getting into healthy relationships. 

Our lawyers at Snader Law Group, LLC have years of success defending people in AZ criminal court. With our knowledge of criminal defense law and the legal system, we can protect you from all the consequences that come with a misdemeanor conviction.

The law is harsh but we can fight for you to protect your future. Call our Phoenix criminal defense law firm today to schedule a consultation with our competent defense attorneys.