Arizona Revised Statute §13-3601 defines an act of Domestic Violence if one of the following scenarios exist:
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.
- The victim and the defendant have a child in common.
- The victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party.
- 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.
- 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.
- The relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or a sexual relationship.
Typically, domestic violence charges and convictions carry the same criminal punishment as Assault charges. However, if the spouse was pregnant when the Domestic Violence Offense happened, the judge is required to take the pregnancy into consideration and may increase the sentence for that reason. If you are charged with a felony offense, and the victim was pregnant and the defendant knew the victim was pregnant or if there was injury to the pregnant woman and the defendant knew the victim was pregnant, the court shall increase the sentence. If there was a minor child at home when the Domestic Violence offense happened, the consequences may be more severe. A second conviction Domestic Violence carries more serious ramifications. While a third or subsequent conviction of Domestic Violence in seven years can be treated as a class 5 felony, Aggravated Domestic Violence.
Often times, the collateral consequences of a Domestic Violence Offense are more severe than the actual criminal conviction for Domestic Violence. A Domestic Violence conviction can be used against a parent in a future Child Custody/ Divorce proceeding. A Domestic Violence conviction may result in a parent losing custody and the right to have visitation with his/her children. In addition, most potential employers will not hire a person with a Domestic Violence conviction on his/her record. If you are convicted of a Domestic Violence Offense, you can no longer carry a firearm unless and until a Judge so orders. This could result in a police officer, security guard, or military officer their job. If you are a healthcare professional or are required to have a fingerprint card issued by the Department of Public Safety, you may be denied a fingerprint card; or worse, your fingerprint card may be pulled. Your ability to own a gun will also be compromised.
If you are being investigated or charged with a Domestic Violence offense, ask to speak with a lawyer immediately and before you give any statement. Any statement you make will be used against you. If you are charged with domestic violence and an officer determines a weapon was used or there was infliction of physical injury to the victim even if you are just being charged with a misdemeanor, the officer shall arrest you and you will be held until you see a Judge. If a Judge releases you, one of the conditions of your release usually is for you not to go back to the scene of the alleged crime, often times your own home. The judge may restrict who and what means you are to have contact with the victim. These restrictions may result in not being able to see your own children or your loved ones and may result in you having to maintain a separate household until you are able to have the restriction lifted. For this reason, it is important to not delay in contacting an attorney. There may be a justification defense that applies to your case, click here for more.
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