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Phoenix Domestic Violence Lawyer

It is common for disagreements to emerge within a household or in any other domestic setting. However, such disputes can quickly escalate to physical or verbal confrontations. If law enforcement gets involved and one party makes allegations of abuse against the other, the situation can escalate even further.

If you are accused of domestic violence, you have legal options. A Phoenix domestic violence lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group can help you fight these allegations. We are former prosecutors and know how the state will try to prove its case. Call today to learn more about how a dedicated criminal defense attorney can help defend against these serious charges. We are available at any time of day!

Laws Regarding Domestic Violence in Phoenix

Domestic violence is defined as any conduct that is a serious crime against a minor or an assault against someone with whom a close relationship is shared, according to Arizona Revised Statute §13-3601. This could include current or former partners, relatives, roommates, and more.

Domestic violence includes a variety of offenses ranging from physical abuse to verbal and emotional harassment, along with:

  • Sexual harassment or rape
  • Endangering, harassing, or trolling
  • Isolation
  • Material exploitation and domination
  • Psychological exploitation

It is important to note that “domestic violence” is not a crime in itself but is rather a tag that is placed on other crimes, such as assault, when the two parties have a close relationship.

Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges

A conviction for a domestic violence charge will not only result in criminal punishments but will also go on a person’s permanent record. This can have a lasting negative impact on a person’s way of life, including their ability to vote, their ability to find housing, and more.

Domestic violence charges can be either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the details of a particular case. Generally, a first domestic violence offense will be charged as a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are classified into three categories, with Class 1 being the most severe. A Class 1 domestic violence offense could result in up to 180 days in jail, $2,500 in fines, and one to three years of probation.

Aggravated Domestic Violence

Repeat domestic violence offenses can result in felony charges. Once convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense for the third time within seven years, the offense will be raised to aggravated domestic violence, which is a felony.

Aggravated domestic violence is classified as a Class 5 felony, punishable by up to two and a half years in prison. Because the potential consequences of a domestic violence charge in Phoenix can be so severe, it is crucial to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to get started on building your defense.

Vacating or Modifying a Protective Order

A person accused of domestic violence may have a protective order placed against them, which forbids them from contacting or interacting with the person they are accused to have been violent with.

A protective order can be vacated or canceled if the person who requested it goes back to that judge. Most judges will vacate it, though some of them will say it needs to remain in place for a year. It is also possible for the person who had the order made against them to request cancellation. They must argue before the judge that the accusations against them are false or that the incident does not justify an order of protection. They can get the order modified by agreement, which involves a hearing where a lawyer requests the other party agree to a modification. Sometimes the challenger might lose their dismissal request at the hearing, but the judge might find it to be appropriate and modify the order in some way.

If someone is suspected of having violated an order, the other party will usually report the violation to the police, who will investigate whether there is evidence to prove the violation. If they did, then they could be arrested for interfering with judicial proceedings or violating that court order, which is typically a misdemeanor offense.

When the alleged conduct was harassment, then they could be charged with aggravated harassment, which is a felony. The penalties range from four months to two years in prison; or up to six months if it is aggravated harassment.

Domestic Violence Investigations

If you have learned that you are the subject of a domestic violence investigation, you need to act quickly to protect yourself. While your status as a suspect in a case does not guarantee an arrest, it is a strong indicator that the police already have evidence that points toward this outcome. It is essential that you protect yourself at every opportunity.

Law enforcement does not inform a person that they are a suspect in an investigation for no reason. In most cases, they already have information that appears to connect an individual to a crime. This could include physical evidence or a witness’s statement.

Police need probable cause to arrest a person for a crime. In other words, it must be more likely than not that a suspect committed an offense. In many investigations, the police’s goal is to obtain more information through interviews or confessions.

However, a case may stay in the investigation phase even if law enforcement believes that they have a just cause to make an arrest. They may be attempting to pressure a suspect into making statements against their interest or providing information about other suspects. In any situation, it is crucial to have a savvy Phoenix attorney present to explain the law and maintain control over questioning during a domestic violence investigation. For that reason, among others, you need to call us as soon as you can.

The Role of Legal Counsel in a DV Investigation

Being the subject of a criminal investigation is always a serious matter. At the very least, police officers may request an interview that can be both stressful and time-consuming. In the most extreme case, they may hold a person in custody in an attempt to obtain further evidence. From the moment a person learns that they are under investigation for a crime, a lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group can provide effective assistance.

We know the common tactics that law enforcement may use during a domestic violence investigation and can work to protect your Constitutional rights. This includes the right to have an attorney present during all encounters with police, the ability to leave an interview at any time if there is no arrest, and the right to be secure in one’s privacy. These concepts can lead to legal challenges concerning police interviews without a lawyer present, failure to properly read Miranda rights, or the admissibility of evidence from a faulty search warrant.

Evidence in Domestic Violence Cases

When it comes to evidence in domestic violence cases, our lawyers in Phoenix will compile witness statements, audio, video, text messages, emails, body cam footage, police reports, and officer interviews, among anything else that could be helpful.

Evidence is collected from anybody we can get it from, including witnesses, the prosecutor, or the defendant. Evidence can be presented as part of negotiation to either get a case dismissed or reduced, and if that is not successful, then it can be used in trial to discredit accusations and prove innocence. Lawyers must make smart decisions on what they present and what they do not present to the court, which is why you should consult the former prosecutors at the Grand Canyon Law Group now.

Getting Evidence Dismissed

There are many evidentiary rules (from both the federal and state governments) for what evidence is relevant and admissible. If there is any domestic violence evidence that was unfairly or illegally obtained, a Phoenix lawyer could make pretrial motions to get it disqualified or they can challenge the evidence in trial.

Sometimes, the admissibility of a witness’s testimony is one of the biggest hurdles for the prosecution to prove their case, because the alleged victims or witnesses in a domestic violence case do not want the defendant to get in trouble. If they do not attend, a lawyer can use the hearsay rule so the statements they previously made to law enforcement are not admissible, unless they meet a certain exception.

Defense Strategies for Domestic Violence Charges

In order to prove a domestic abuse charge against an individual, the prosecution will need to prove two primary elements. First the prosecution must establish that the defendant committed a specific crime. Second, they must prove the defendant committed the crime against a person they have a personal connection with. There are a number of defense strategies that a domestic violence attorney in Phoenix can raise in these cases. These include:

  • Self-defense
  • Criminal mitigation
  • Third-party protection
  • Protective weapons display

Another defense that is commonly used in domestic battery cases is wrong identity or existence of an alibi. During a domestic violence conflict or false allegation, a defense attorney can demonstrate that the authorities arrested the wrong individual or oftentimes an accused will have an alibi that positions them somewhere outside the alleged crime scene, which could be sufficient to get the charges dropped entirely.

Discuss Your Defense Options With a Phoenix Domestic Violence Attorney

When confronted with domestic violence charges, it is crucial to take swift legal action to protect yourself. As soon as you are able, get in touch with a dedicated attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group. Our Phoenix domestic violence lawyers have the experience needed to defend your case in court and will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected. To learn more about how we can help you with your domestic violence case, schedule a free consultation at our office today.

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