Rather than describing a specific crime or behavior, domestic violence is defined by the relationship between an accused person and the alleged victim. For example, an assault charge could be prosecuted as a domestic violence offense if the named victim is the defendant’s romantic partner, roommate, family member, or another close relation.
These charges can have a significant and long-lasting impact on a person’s life. For one, convictions for domestic violence charges in Mesa can carry hefty penalties, including potential prison sentences. Additionally, a person on trial for domestic violence offenses may face various challenges with maintaining their social relationships, or even knowing where to live. If you are accused of criminal behavior against a partner or family member, contact the domestic violence attorneys at Grand Canyon Law to contest the allegations and restore your normal way of life.
Essentially, a crime can only be considered a domestic violence offense if the relationship between the accused and the named victim is domestic. Arizona law outlines a long list of qualifying relationships, which includes two people who:
Most people think of spouses when they hear “domestic relationship,” but this definition also includes roommates and separated co-parents. A knowledgeable attorney at our firm can further explain who could be involved in a domestic violence charge.
Although domestic violence describes a wide variety of criminal offenses within a domestic relationship, these charges can be grouped into two degrees of severity: misdemeanor and felony. The majority of domestic violence offenses are misdemeanors. However, if the underlying offense is a felony, such as aggravated assault, the domestic violence charge would also be prosecuted as a felony.
Typically, these types of charges are either for assault, disorderly conduct, or criminal damage. Disorderly conduct could involve disturbing the peace through loud and disruptive behavior, such as yelling at a spouse or roommate. Criminal damage in a domestic violence context may involve a person breaking or destroying the property of someone who has a close relationship with them.
In Arizona, domestic violence charges are generally treated as a “three strikes” type of crime. Even a very minor incident could be charged as a felony for a person with two prior domestic violence charges. In this way, an offense that would normally be charged as a misdemeanor could come with a potential prison sentence and other severe penalties.
Additionally, domestic violence charges could result in a person losing various rights, such as the right to possess a firearm. There are also many consequences of having a criminal record, including denied employment opportunities, decreased housing options, and heightened social stigma. If you face these charges, it is recommended that you contact the proactive lawyers at Grand Canyon Law to protect your rights, freedoms, and reputation.
Domestic violence accusations can seriously impact your way of life. Even if the charges are dropped, a pending trial can cause significant stress and damage your reputation and social relationships. As such, it is crucial that you seek immediate legal advocacy from a skilled attorney at our firm.
Our former prosecutors know how to advocate for reduced or dismissed charges, mitigate potential criminal sentencing, and help convicted individuals to pursue rights restoration or have their record set aside. If you are dealing with domestic violence charges in Mesa, call us today to learn how we can fight these allegations on your behalf.