Domestic violence charges are some of the most common criminal cases we see at Grand Canyon Law Group in Arizona. Some charges result from truly perilous circumstances where police intervention is necessary to address or prevent domestic abuse victims from suffering serious harm.
However, in our experience, the vast majority of people face domestic violence charges after simple domestic disputes and arguments have escalated and the police take it out of the hands of the people involved.
Sadly, sometimes when people are angry, they lie or exaggerate in an effort to use the criminal justice system to punish someone else or to gain an advantage in an ongoing family law matter, such as a divorce or custody case.
You have options. Domestic violence charges are some of the most dismissed charges we see. But the process is not easy, and it must be handled correctly.
If you are facing domestic abuse charges, you should reach out to a skilled defense attorney who has spent time both prosecuting and defending criminal charges. Call a Mesa domestic violence lawyer today to schedule a consultation to learn about your options.
Domestic violence is misunderstood and confusing. In truth, it is badly named. It is not about violence, necessarily. And it is generally not a crime in itself. It is what we call a “tag” or enhancement that is placed on other crimes. So a person can be charged with Disorderly conduct, assault, criminal damage, or something else, and these crimes will be charged as domestic violence charges if the victim is related or connected to the defendant in a certain way (see below).
It is not about how “violent” the crime is, it is purely about the relationship between the “named victim” and the accused.
Domestic violence can be charge even if an alleged domestic abuser has not physically harmed an alleged victim. They could face serious domestic violence charges for threatening future physical or emotional harm. Local attorneys could vigorously defend someone against domestic abuse charges and work to avoid or reduce the penalties and the stigma of a domestic violence conviction.
A person can face domestic charges for alleged physical or emotional abuse of anyone with whom they have a domestic relationship. They can face charges of domestic abuse for violence against any of the following victims:
A domestic violence conviction can have lifelong and devastating effects. If convicted, people:
Arizona law classifies domestic violence charges as enhancements of actual criminal acts. That means that domestic violence charges can enhance or escalate the charges of the underlying crime. In cases with domestic abuse allegations, people often face the consequences of their alleged domestic violence immediately, even before a trial or conviction. In Arizona, upon being charged with domestic violence, people often receive emergency orders of protection or restraining orders, which may prevent them from being near their family. Also, Arizona police will often immediately seize and impound any weapons from people charged with domestic abuse.
Since “domestic violence” is a tag or enhancement placed on other offenses, it can either be misdemeanor or felony. It is a type of “3 strike” law. Even if an offense would be a misdemeanor under the facts, it can be charged as a felony if a person has two prior domestic violence convictions. This exposes the accused to prison, as well as all the other negative effects of a “DV” conviction.
An experienced Mesa domestic violence attorney will know exactly how to defend these charges for the best outcome. It often results in dismissal after a “diversion program” or at trial, although going all the way to trial can be riskier and more stressful. It is vital that you know your options and the effect of any decision you make.
A domestic violence conviction can permanently alter a person’s life. It can affect personal and professional reputation, employment, housing, freedom, right to bear arms, and their right to raise their own children. If you are facing abuse charges, it is essential to meet with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to fight these charges vigorously. Call a Mesa domestic violence lawyer today to see how they can help.