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Domestic Violence

Arizona Domestic Violence Attorney

Arizona Domestic VIolence Attorney

When it comes to defending against charges related to domestic violence crimes in Arizona, DwaneCates.Com, PLLC stands as a beacon of experience and legal expertise. Our firm has a strong history of successfully representing clients in cases involving various domestic violence offenses. If you or a loved one is facing charges related to domestic violence crimes, it’s essential to have a dedicated Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney with the right experience by your side.

If you or a loved one is charged with a domestic violence crime in Arizona, remember that you don’t have to face the legal process alone. Contact Dwane Cates, PLLC today for a consultation. Our firm is committed to providing top-notch legal representation, protecting your rights, and striving for the best possible outcome in your case. Trust us to be your advocates during this challenging time.

What Is Domestic Violence?

In Arizona, domestic violence isn’t a standalone offense like theft or assault; instead, it’s a factor that can be attached to another criminal charge, potentially leading to more severe penalties. Let’s delve into what domestic violence entails under ARS §13-3601:

Defining Domestic Violence: Domestic violence occurs when certain criminal acts involve a family or household member. These relationships can encompass various situations:

  1. Marriage or Cohabitation: If the victim and the accused person are currently or were previously married, or if they’re living together or have lived together at some point.

  2. Child in Common: When the victim and the accused person share a child, domestic violence laws apply.

  3. Pregnancy: If the victim is pregnant with the accused person’s child, this also falls under domestic violence provisions.

  4. Family Ties: Domestic violence extends to cases where there’s a blood or marital connection between the victim and the accused person or their spouse. This includes relationships like parent-child, grandparent-grandchild, sibling, parent-in-law, and more.

  5. Children in the Household: When a child, related by blood to the accused person’s former spouse or another individual residing in the same household, is involved, domestic violence laws come into play.

  6. Romantic or Sexual Relationships: Even if the victim and accused person aren’t married or related, if they share a romantic or sexual connection, it could be considered domestic violence. Factors like the nature and duration of the relationship, how often they interact, and how long it’s been since the relationship ended are taken into account.

Understanding these conditions helps clarify when domestic violence becomes a concern in Arizona. It’s crucial to remember that domestic violence allegations can significantly impact legal proceedings and consequences for other associated criminal charges.

Common Domestic Violence Offenses

In Arizona, domestic violence can be linked to various crimes, and it’s essential to understand which offenses fall into this category. Here are some common crimes that can be charged as domestic violence:

  1. Assault and Battery: Whether it involves physical harm or the mere threat of harm, domestic violence can be connected to assault and battery cases, even if a dangerous weapon is not involved.

  2. Criminal Trespass: Illegally entering someone’s property or dwelling can lead to domestic violence charges, particularly when a familial or household relationship is part of the equation.

  3. Disorderly Conduct: Engaging in disruptive or disturbing behavior that affects family or household members can result in domestic violence allegations.

  4. Dangerous Crimes Against Children: Acts that pose a risk or harm to children within a domestic setting can be considered domestic violence.

  5. Endangerment: Putting family or household members in a dangerous situation, whether through reckless actions or negligence, may lead to domestic violence charges.

  6. Harassment: Repeated and unwanted actions causing distress or fear can be linked to domestic violence if they involve family or household members.

  7. Kidnapping: Restraining or abducting a family or household member against their will can result in domestic violence charges.

  8. Stalking: Engaging in a pattern of unwanted attention or harassment towards a family or household member may lead to domestic violence allegations.

  9. Sexual Assault: Non-consensual sexual acts within a familial or domestic context can be charged as domestic violence.

  10. Murder: The most severe crime, such as homicide, can also carry domestic violence charges when it occurs within a family or household setting.

  11. Unlawful Imprisonment: Restricting the movement or freedom of a family or household member can be considered domestic violence.

  12. Threats and Intimidation: Making threats or using intimidation tactics against family or household members can lead to domestic violence allegations.

Understanding that these crimes can be linked to domestic violence emphasizes the serious legal consequences and the need to address and prevent such behaviors within familial and household relationships.

Domestic Violence As A Felony

In Arizona, the law takes a firm stance against repeat domestic violence offenders. If someone has committed their third or subsequent domestic violence-related offense within a seven-year timeframe, they can face the serious charge of aggravated domestic violence. It’s important to note that this applies even if their previous convictions were for misdemeanor offenses.

Aggravated domestic violence is a significant legal designation, and it carries substantial consequences. Here’s a closer look at what this means:

  1. Third or Subsequent Offense: To be charged with aggravated domestic violence, an individual must have a history of at least three domestic violence-related offenses. These can include various misdemeanor convictions related to domestic violence within the past seven years.

  2. Misdemeanor Offenses Included: It’s crucial to understand that prior convictions don’t have to be felonies to lead to an aggravated charge. Even if the earlier convictions were for misdemeanor offenses, they count toward this serious designation.

  3. Class 5 Felony: Aggravated domestic violence is categorized as a Class 5 felony in Arizona. This classification represents a high level of severity within the legal system, and it comes with severe penalties.

The consequences of an aggravated domestic violence conviction can be life-altering, including the potential for imprisonment, fines, mandatory counseling or intervention programs, and the creation of a criminal record that can impact various aspects of one’s life.

Understanding the legal implications of aggravated domestic violence underscores the importance of seeking legal counsel, exploring defense strategies, and addressing the root causes of such behavior

Penalties For Domestic Violence

The consequences for domestic violence convictions vary based on whether the offense is categorized as a misdemeanor or felony, and the specific classification within each category. Several factors come into play when determining the severity of the sentence, including:

  1. Victim’s Age: Whether the victim was a child at the time of the domestic violence incident.

  2. Injuries or Fatality: Whether the victim sustained injuries or, tragically, lost their life as a result of the domestic violence.

  3. Pregnancy: Whether the victim was pregnant during the domestic violence incident.

  4. Weapon Use: Whether a weapon was involved in the commission of the offense.

  5. Prior Convictions: Whether the defendant has previous convictions related to domestic violence on their record.

Individuals convicted of domestic violence are typically mandated to complete a domestic violence counseling program, which can range from 28 to 52 sessions. The range of possible sentences varies depending on the offense’s classification, and here are some examples:

  • Class 1 Misdemeanor: Conviction can result in a jail term of up to six months and a fine of up to $2,500.

  • Class 2 Misdemeanor: Penalties may include a jail sentence of up to four months and a fine of up to $750.

  • Class 3 Misdemeanor: Conviction can lead to up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

  • Class 2 Felony: The most severe domestic violence offenses can carry a prison sentence ranging from 7 to 21 years and a maximum fine of $150,000.

  • Class 3 Felony: Penalties for this category can involve imprisonment for 5 to 15 years and a maximum fine of $150,000.

  • Class 4 Felony: Convictions in this class may result in a prison term of 4 to 8 years and a maximum fine of $150,000.

  • Class 5 Felony: Offenses in this category can lead to imprisonment for 2 to 4 years and a maximum fine of $150,000.

Understanding the potential legal consequences of domestic violence underscores the importance of seeking legal counsel and addressing the root causes of such behavior.