Domestic Violence

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

The state of Arizona defines domestic violence as almost any criminal act of abuse committed by one "family or household member" against another. Several Arizona laws can be considered domestic violence offenses if there is a qualifying victim. These crimes are not all violent in nature. See A.R.S. § 13-3601 et. seq.

“FAMILY HOUSEHOLD” DEFINITION

The following qualify as victims under Arizona’s domestic violence laws:

  • Current or former spouses

  • Persons who reside or resided in the same household

  • Persons who have a child together

  • The defendant or the victim is pregnant by the other party

  • The victim is related to the defendant or 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 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 has resided in the same household as

    the defendant

  • The defendant and victim are or were in a romantic or sexual

    relationship

TYPES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIMES

Domestic violence abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, economic control and neglect. Examples of crimes associated with domestic abuse include:

  • Assault and Battery

  • Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon;

  • Criminal Trespass

  • Criminal damage;

  • Disorderly Conduct

  • Threatening Words or Conduct

  • Intimidation

  • Harassment by phone or in person

  • Stalking

  • Photographing, Videotaping, Recording, or Secretly Watching

    without victim’s consent

  • Witness Intimidation

  • Preventing or interfering with the use of a telephone in an

    emergency

  • Endangerment (placing you at risk of immediate death or physical

    injury)

  • Unlawful imprisonment

  • Kidnapping

  • Disobeying a court order

  • Custodial interference

  • Negligent homicide, manslaughter and murder

  • Neglect, abandonment or cruel mistreatment of an animal

  • Abuse to a vulnerable adult or child

  • Certain crimes against children; and/or disorderly conduct

Some of the above listed crimes are misdemeanors and some are felonies. How the case is charged depends on the nature of the underlying crime

and the previous criminal history of the defendant.

The consequences of a Domestic Violence conviction can be severe. A conviction could result in limitations in child visitation rights, loss of gun

privileges, mandatory counseling of up to 52 hours, probation, jail, or prison. First time misdemeanor offenders are generally offered diversion,

but are still required to complete extensive mandatory counseling.

Aggravated Domestic Violence Charges

If a defendant is found guilty of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge for a third time in a seven-year period, he is she can be charged with a felony and sentenced to prison time. Aggravated domestic violence is considered a Class 5 felony and carries up to 2 1⁄2 years in prison for a first conviction.

CAN A VICTIM DROP A CHARGE?

No, domestic abuse crimes are aggressively prosecuted and even if the victim tells the court and prosecutor they do not wish to "press charges", the case will not be dismissed.

If charges are filed, only the county attorney has the authority to drop them. A judge must approve the prosecutor's request to dismiss a case. The victim is a witness for the state and has no authority to drop charges. In many cases, the State will prosecute a case even if the victim refuses to testify. The State may subpoena the victim to testify at trial, and the victim will be in contempt of court if he or she does not appear. The prosecutor may also choose not to file charges. In that event, the victim will be notified of that decision

WHERE VICTIMS CAN FIND HELP IN ARIZONA

  • Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence: 1-800-782- 6400

  • Arizona Crime Victims Services: 1-877-785-2020

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

  • UMOM New Day Center, (602) 275-7852

  • Arizona Sheriff Departments

For a list of additional resources, visit

https://www.azcourts.gov/domesticviolencelaw/DomesticViolenceInform

For further information, or questions about Child Texting and Porn Laws, please contact Adams & Associates, PLC at 480 219 1366, or E-mail Ashley at aadams@azwhitecollarcrime.com.