Domestic violence is considered a serious violent offense in Phoenix, Arizona. Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-3601, domestic violence is defined as an offense against a protected person or a dangerous crime against a child.
The people protected under the domestic violence statute are:
- Household members, including roommates
- Current and former spouses
- Someone pregnant with the alleged assailant’s child
- Family members related by law or blood such as siblings, in-laws, or parents
- Child victims who share the same household and are related by blood, a spouse, or former spouse
- Romantic or sexual partners or former partners
Dealing with domestic violence charges may be complex and stressful. It is critical to hire a Phoenix domestic violence lawyer who will guide you throughout the entire process of the domestic violence case and stand by your side at every step. It is tricky to determine when a relationship meets the threshold of domestic violence. The court will determine whether there was a domestic relationship by how often the two parties interacted, the length of the relationship, and more.
Types of Domestic Violence
Some victims of domestic violence do not necessarily need to provide physical evidence to obtain an Order of Protection. While some forms of domestic violence are physical, others may involve stalking, verbal threats, harassment, or other actions. The Arizona Revised Statutes state that domestic violence includes, but is not limited to:
- Dangerous crimes against children
- Reckless endangerment
- Threatening or intimidating a person
- Threatening to cause injury to a person or severe damage to property
- Assault (intentional or reckless)
- Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke.
- Custodial interference without lawful right to keep a child from the other party (exceptions may apply)
- Knowingly restraining a person from leaving (unlawful imprisonment)
- Criminal trespass (breaking in or refusing to leave another’s property)
- Intentionally damaging property
- Disorderly conduct
- Recklessly displaying a weapon
- Use of a telephone or other communication to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend (may include obscene language)
- Anonymous telephone calls
- Stalking or following a person with no legitimate purpose
- Surveillance of another person for no legitimate purpose
- Makes false reports to law enforcement, social service agency or possibly other sources
- Emotional abuse to a vulnerable adult or minor
Of all the mentioned acts of domestic violence, some may require statutory proof. If you have been charged for any of the above, our law firm is here to help you get on with your life. It is critical to understand that the state of Arizona will not dismiss domestic violence cases once an individual has been accused. If you have been accused of a crime in which the alleged victim is related to you, has been in a sexual relationship with you, or lives with you, the offense may fall under the domestic violence definition in Arizona. Contact our Phoenix domestic violence lawyers as soon as possible at 520-882-8823 today, and learn more about domestic violence charges, and criminal law in Phoenix.
Domestic Violence Statistics in Arizona
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 40% of people living in the state of Arizona were subject to domestic abuse in 2017. Every 44 minutes, one or more children witness an act of domestic violence in Arizona. Some of them experience these acts every day and risk becoming the next generation of abusers and victims.
On the other hand, 20 people per minute are physically abused by their partners in the United States. Only in 2020, there were more than 10 million victims. One in three women and one in four men have been victims of physical violence by their partners in their lifetime. Moreover, one in three female victims and one in twenty male victims are killed by a partner.
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Phoenix, Arizona
A domestic violence conviction may have a tangible impact on the abuser. If you are facing a domestic violence conviction, you should know that your employment and rights may be affected, or you could end up being forced to leave your home. Additionally, federal law prohibits anyone convicted of Phoenix AZ domestic violence from owning a firearm.
Misdemeanors are classified as 1, 2, and 3. Most of the domestic violence offenses in Phoenix, Arizona, are Class 1 misdemeanors, but the misdemeanor classification determines misdemeanor domestic violence sentences. The maximum jail sentence for misdemeanors is the following:
Maximum Jail Sentences
When it comes to the maximum jail sentences in Phoenix, they are as follows:
- Class 1 Misdemeanor = 6 months
- Class 2 Misdemeanor = 4 months
- Class 3 Misdemeanor = 30 days
The maximum fines for misdemeanors are as follows:
- Class 1 Misdemeanor = $2,500
- Class 2 Misdemeanor = $750
- Class 3 Misdemeanor = $500
Maximum probation sentences
Maximum misdemeanor probation sentences are as follows:
- Class 1 Misdemeanor = 3 years probation
- Class 2 Misdemeanor = 2 years probation
- Class 3 Misdemeanor = 1 year probation
Additionally, if you are found guilty of domestic violence, a misdemeanor conviction can also be punished with one to three years of probation plus domestic violence classes and counseling. In Arizona, a counseling program of 26 to 52 sessions is mandatory for every person convicted of domestic violence.
Other courts may consider domestic violence diversion programs as an option. By following a domestic violence diversion program, you might avoid a domestic violence conviction or have the penalties reduced. Usually, the participant needs to pay a fine and attend domestic violence and anger management programs. Once the program is successfully completed, the case will be dismissed.
However, a domestic violence diversion program is available only at the prosecution’s discretion. By hiring a Phoenix criminal defense attorney, you will increase your chances of proving that you deserve to be a candidate. If you need a legal defense or have been charged with a domestic violence charge, contact the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC.
Orders of Protection
Restraining orders can be obtained in many scenarios, but they are more common when it comes to allegations of domestic violence. After the police respond to an alleged domestic violence dispute, they must inform the victims of the resources available, including the protective orders.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3602, restraining orders may be granted to protect a victim against any potential future acts of domestic violence. In Arizona, there are different types of protective orders:
- Order of Protection. This protective order prohibits the named person from contacting the plaintiff and committing domestic violence. Depending on the order, the abuser can be asked to remove any firearms from their use, or the plaintiff may be offered the sole use of a shared home.
- An emergency order of protection. If someone is in imminent danger due to domestic violence, the authorized judges in Arizona can grant emergency orders over the phone or in writing. These orders go into effect faster than a standard order of protection.
- Release order. The release order is specially created for rural residents who cannot get a judicial officer after-hours. When such a case occurs, a registered Release Order enforces some forms of protection when the state has released someone from custody after a domestic violence arrest.
- Injunction against harassment. This protective order was created to bar the accused person from annoying, alarming, or harassing the plaintiff. When someone claims domestic violence, they can obtain a temporary restraining order. This usually happens after the charges are pressed and can only be obtained through an ex parte court hearing. At the hearing, the victim can testify and show evidence that domestic violence occurred. If there is enough evidence, the temporary restraining order must be delivered by law enforcement within 24 hours.
Why Should You Hire a Phoenix Domestic Violence Attorney?
A domestic violence conviction can have a negative impact on your life. You might lose the right to bear arms, to obtain employment, or it could prevent you from renting an apartment or obtaining a professional license. If you are about to be charged or convicted of domestic violence, a judge may revoke visitation or ask for supervised visitation with a child.
It is crucial to start building your defense case as soon as possible if you are facing domestic violence allegations in Phoenix, Arizona. Otherwise, you could end up facing immediate consequences, including restraining orders that could impact your daily rights. A domestic violence lawyer could make a difference when facing criminal charges.
At the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, P.C, we will fight for your rights and use our decades of experience to work for you. Contact us for a free consultation with an AZ domestic violence attorney at 520-882-8823, and get the legal advice that you need right now.
FAQs on Domestic Violence in Phoenix, Arizona
Are men victims of domestic violence?
Yes, men can also be victims of domestic violence. According to data collected from 2012 to 2013, 82% of domestic and sexual violence was committed against women, and 18% against men. Another study shows that about 4 in 5 victims of domestic, dating, and sexual violence between 1994 and 2010 were women. On the other hand, domestic violence victims who are men are less likely to seek legal help or to report the abuse.
Can I own a gun if I’m convicted of a domestic violence offense?
Arizona only prohibits possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a domestic violence offense while the person is serving a term of probation for that conviction. Moreover, federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain domestic misdemeanants.
How long does a restraining order last in Arizona?
Your order will last for one year from when the abuser is served. The abuser has the right to request a hearing at any time during the year your order is in effect to ask the judge to change or cancel the order of protection.
How long does a restraining order stay active?
A temporary restraining order (also known as a TRO) is active as soon as they are issued. They will regularly have a set expiration date, which can be anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks. They can also last as long as it takes to arrange a consequent hearing.