In Arizona, the term “domestic violence” describes various crimes (such as assault, kidnapping, criminal damage, disorderly conduct, etc.) committed against a person’s current romantic partner or former partner or family member. Domestic violence offenses often have long-lasting repercussions for the defendant, regardless of whether he or she is convicted. The social stigma that accompanies domestic violence charges can negatively affect one’s career, child custody, divorce, professional licensing, and other important aspects of your life. Even a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction and strip you of your gun rights for the rest of your life.
What’s Considered Domestic Violence in AZ
At the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, we understand the severity of domestic violence accusations and the terrible impact that can have on your freedom and your daily life.
Domestic violence charges are considered “violent crimes” under Arizona law and often occur as the result of a domestic dispute which got out of control. Statistics show us that about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced domestic violence during their lifetimes. Most think of domestic violence as “wife beating,” but many acts can be considered domestic violence offenses in Arizona: intimidation, harassment, stalking, voyeurism, revenge porn, endangerment, kidnapping, and assault with a deadly weapon.
According to Arizona law, a “family or household member” can be any of the following:
- Spouses, both current and former
- Anyone who resides in a household (i.e., roommates)
- People who share a child in common
- Anyone involved in a romantic or sexual relationship
- Anyone who used to be involved in a romantic or sexual relationship
- A family member such as an aunt/uncle, grandparent/grandchild, etc.
- Anyone related by blood or as a parent
Domestic violence penalties can be severe and can disrupt the rest of your life. Arizona law provides that domestic violence occurs if the accused defendant commits an illegal act (such as assault) and the relationship between the defendant and the victim is domestic in nature, such as:
- The two were married or are married
- The two live together now or lived together in the past
- The two have a child in common
- The two have a familial relationship
Often, the question of a restraining order arises during or after a domestic violence dispute. The police routinely encourage alleged domestic violence victims to obtain a restraining order in domestic violence situations. A restraining order can also be called an “Order of Protection.” These orders aim to prevent the abuser from coming near the victim and must be issued by a judge. It prohibits a person from committing acts of domestic violence or from contacting a person protected by the order. The order lasts for one calendar year after it is formally issued and served on the defendant, but the alleged abuser can request to have the order altered or dismissed at any time. Violating a restraining order is a criminal charge and, under some circumstances, may be charged as a felony.
At the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, we have handled literally hundreds of domestic violence cases for our clients. If you or a loved one are facing a domestic violence case, contact our office in Tucson, Arizona to schedule a free consultation.