Any incident involving alleged violence toward another person is a serious matter. However, allegations involving violence against a household member are even more severe. Not only do you face penalties upon conviction, but you also face the consequences of a restraining order even before you have been proven guilty.
It is critical for anyone accused of committing a violent act against a family member to work with a dedicated attorney on their defense. Hiring a New River domestic violence lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group is a step in the right direction. Our former prosecutors can work to combat the underlying criminal accusations in your case and dispute any potential protective orders to protect your way of life.
There is no crime known as domestic violence in the state’s penal code. Instead, the concept of domestic violence describes an otherwise criminal act that affects a household member. A household member is defined in Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3601 as any person with whom the defendant has ever lived. This could include:
The court may construe any alleged violent or threatening act as an incident of domestic violence. It is not the type of conduct that makes a case an incident of domestic violence as much as it is the target of the supposed offense.
Typical examples of criminal offenses in domestic violence cases include:
The underlying charge determines the severity of the punishment for a domestic violence crime. For example, AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-1203 says that an assault involves an intentional, knowing, or reckless act that causes bodily injury to another. Normally, an assault is a misdemeanor. However, AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-1204 states that any assault on a child under the age of 15 falls into the category of aggravated assault. This means that a conviction is a class 2 felony.
Even a first conviction for a felony with mitigating factors means that a court must sentence a defendant to three years imprisonment. Aggravating factors could lengthen a sentence to as long as 12.5 years. An experienced local attorney at our firm is ready to fight back against the criminal charges at the core of the domestic violence case.
Defendants charged with domestic violence face enhanced sentencing based on the victim of the alleged abuse. However, the law also allows courts to penalize defendants in other ways, often before the case goes to trial.
During an initial arraignment, the prosecutor or alleged victim can ask the court for a protective order. This order will require the defendant to cease all contact with the alleged victim. This may result in the defendant moving out of their home, losing property, and even surrendering visitation rights with children. If the prosecutor secures a conviction for a domestic violence charge, that order may become permanent. To avoid these life-changing consequences, it is essential to fight back against domestic violence charges with a relentless New River attorney.
Even minor charges such as misdemeanor assault can become felony-level charges if the allegations involve violence towards a household member. A conviction under these laws may require a lengthy prison sentence and could result in the loss of other rights.
For this reason, it is essential to present a robust defense from day one. A New River domestic violence lawyer can help build a strategy tailored to your situation and fight for your best interests. The Grand Canyon Law Group is prepared to work with you to identify your goals, analyze the prosecutor’s case, and mitigate the penalties you face. Contact us today to preserve your rights and freedoms.