Why Do I Need a Domestic Violence Attorney in Arizona?
For those suffering domestic abuse, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. Acts of domestic violence are among the most underreported crimes. The physical and emotional impacts can leave you feeling devastated.
Although domestic violence crimes are a common occurrence in Arizona, they should not be taken lightly. A conviction can damage your life, sometimes in unpredictable ways. It can also come with harsh penalties in terms of jail time, probation, fines, and counseling. If you are in this difficult situation, you must have a reliable Phoenix domestic violence defense attorney by your side.
At Snader Law Group, we have extensive experience in defending clients against domestic violence and other types of serious criminal matters. We can discuss your legal rights and the steps that you can take, including seeking a protective order to keep you and your family safe. Contact us now and schedule an initial consultation with our criminal defense law firm.
What is Domestic Violence in Arizona?
Domestic violence is a term that refers to acts, threatened acts, or violence between people involved in domestic relationships. It is a criminal charge that has two main factors: its definition and the relationship between the victim and the alleged assailant. Although situations may vary, domestic violence charges can be filed for actual acts of violence or threatened acts to harm, abuse, or inflict violence.
Domestic violence can take many forms, including emotional, sexual, and physical abuse and threats of abuse. Abusive relationships always involve an imbalance of power and control. An abuser uses intimidating, hurtful words and behaviors to control a partner. If you or a loved one has been accused of domestic violence, seek legal advice from a credible Phoenix domestic violence lawyer to find out your legal options.
The Potential for False Allegations
Violence and abuse should never occur within a domestic relationship. However, for many years, when it did, law enforcement wrongly looked the other way. Today, however, the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme.
Domestic violence has become highly politicized. In addition, the courts now take it extremely seriously. Therefore, it is an area that provides fertile ground for false allegations. As your experienced Phoenix domestic violence attorney can tell you, reports of domestic violence are fairly common. People may use them as a means of exacting revenge against a domestic partner based on an emotional response to infidelity or other perceived wrong-doing in the relationship.
Which Domestic Relationships Allow a Domestic Violence Charge to Be Filed?
Domestic violence is not in itself a specific crime. Rather, it is an aggravating factor to criminal charges or abuse that affects someone with whom you are currently or have been involved with, in any type of domestic relationship, for example:
- Your spouse or ex-spouse (spousal abuse)
- Someone you’re dating or were dating
- Your live-in partner
- Your child or grandchild
- A current or former romantic partner’s child
- Your child’s other parent
- A woman who is pregnant with your child
- Your parents or grandparents
- A roommate or housemate
- Your brother or sister
- Your in-laws
Arizona’s Domestic Violence Statute lists abusive behaviors that can be charged as domestic violence when the alleged victim falls into one of the categories constituting a “domestic relationship.” These are just a few:
- Sexual assault
- Violating a protective order
- Malicious mischief
Enhanced Penalties for Domestic Violence
Arizona has extremely severe penalties for all violent crimes, including domestic violence. Domestic violence is usually classified as either a misdemeanor or felony. Aside from assessing criminal penalties, a conviction will also go on your permanent record, potentially affecting your rights in the future. You can avoid these harsh consequences with the help of our knowledgeable domestic violence attorneys in Phoenix. Penalties for domestic violence offenses will vary depending on the unique facts and circumstances of your case, including:
- The nature of the criminal charge
- Whether victims were minors or elderly
- The injuries suffered by a victim
- Criminal history / prior DV convictions
- The use of weapons
On top of any jail time or probation, if convicted, you may be required to:
- Take domestic violence classes (at your own expense)
- Lose your right to possess a gun
- Lose visitation rights or custody of your children
When you are charged with domestic violence, there will be other penalties in addition to what you would ordinarily be subjected to if convicted of the crime you’ve been accused of. Some of the penalties begin immediately at the time of the accusation, without requiring a conviction. These penalties include seizure and impounding of any weapons you own and issuance of an emergency order of protection against you. This is a situation where you may feel that you have been denied your constitutional right to a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
What are the Possible Defenses for Domestic Violence Charges in Arizona?
The most appropriate legal defense in your case will be determined based on the charges you are facing. However, the prosecution has the burden of proving you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In Arizona, to prove a domestic violence case, the prosecutor must establish evidence proving that you had a domestic relationship with the alleged victim under state law and you committed a specific offense listed under Arizona’s domestic violence statute.
The defense strategy that is right for your criminal case will depend on the specifics of the situation, the details of the arrest, and the evidence the state has against you. Your qualified Phoenix domestic violence attorney may recommend the following defense strategies to fight your charge:
Lack of evidence is one of the most common defenses against domestic violence. Many domestic violence cases have very little or even no evidence aside from allegations from the alleged victim. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you have committed the domestic violence offense you have been charged with. If the prosecution fails to meet this burden of proof, you must not be convicted.
Suppression of Evidence
Violations such as Miranda violations, illegal search and seizure, forced confessions, and violations of your right to counsel are not uncommon. If your rights have been violated, evidence that has been obtained can be ruled inadmissible against you. Your competent Phoenix domestic violence lawyer will investigate your case to determine if your constitutional rights have been violated at any stage.
In some cases, self-defense or acting in defense of someone else can be one of your possible defense strategies against domestic violence charges. With this type of defense, you are claiming that you did commit the alleged actions, but they have been justified and unavoidable to protect yourself or others.
No Proof of Recklessness or Intent
The state has the burden of proving you are of the required mental state to commit the domestic violence crime you are being charged with. If you lack intent or you have not behaved recklessly, it can undermine the state’s case.
False Domestic Violence Allegations or Alibi
A false allegation of domestic assault is not uncommon. It may be the result of a difficult break-up, divorce, or a heated child custody battle. Furthermore, it can also be motivated by revenge. It can even be another form of abuse and control used by an abusive partner.
Depending on the circumstances, your lawyer may be able to prove the police arrested the wrong person during a dispute involving domestic violence. You may have an alibi that places you somewhere other than the alleged crime scene.
COVID-19 Stressors that Cause Domestic Violence Crimes in the United States
In this video, Phoenix criminal defense lawyer Howard Snader discusses the pressures that COVID-19 has placed on American families and how these pressures may eventually result in reports of domestic violence.
Finding the Right Domestic Violence Attorney When You’re Facing Accusations of Domestic Violence
A domestic violence conviction carries far-reaching consequences. Therefore, you will need to fight the charges with every legal means at your disposal. That means hiring the best Phoenix domestic violence lawyer you can find. The State of Arizona Bar has a system in place for helping you to identify the most experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable attorneys in their practice area using their board certification process. Consult our criminal defense attorney now.
Look for an Arizona Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist to represent you. To earn this prestigious credential, a lawyer has to pass a demanding exam, and professional peers in the legal community must recommend him. Because a domestic violence conviction can be potentially life-destroying, you should insist on a Phoenix domestic violence lawyer who is Board Certified.
You’ll also want to find a domestic violence attorney with a documented track record. Don’t hesitate to ask your lawyer questions, including the following:
- How frequently do you defend people facing domestic violence charges?
- Are you willing to take your criminal defense cases to trial?
- Do you focus solely on criminal defense matters?
- Do you handle both misdemeanor and felony charges?
- How many years have you specialized in criminal defense?
- How does your professional experience, including any work as a prosecutor, help you with your cases?
- Will you handle my case or pawn it off on a junior associate?
Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist in Maricopa County
To hire a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, look no further than The law office of Howard A. Snader, LLC. A former Maricopa County prosecutor with offices in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Howard obtained his board certification as a Criminal Law Specialist in 1995. In addition, he has earned an AVVO rating of a perfect 10 (superb), the highest possible. He has a long and enviable record of having charges dismissed or reduced for his clients and of obtaining full acquittals at trial.
Howard will conduct his investigation of the allegations against you, as well as plan the best strategy for your unique circumstances. This may include:
- finding flaws in the prosecutor’s case
- identifying constitutional violations in police procedure
- discrediting witnesses
- uncovering possible motivations for a false accusation
Call Our Experienced Phoenix Domestic Violence Attorney Now!
The nature of a domestic violence charge can create a stigma surrounding the accused. Law enforcement officials, judges, prosecutors, and the public take reports of domestic violence very seriously. The consequences of a conviction can be very severe.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, call Howard Snader as soon as possible. Don’t tell the police your side of the story, discuss the event with them, or answer any questions until your attorney arrives to safeguard your constitutional rights. Moreover, don’t lose hope. With a superb Phoenix domestic violence lawyer working for you, you have the very best shot at a resolution that will minimize any disruption of your life and freedom. Contact our Phoenix domestic violence attorney now and schedule an initial consultation.