Spousal abuse situations are often complicated and highly emotional. In the heat of the moment, it can be challenging for police officers to sort out the details of what occurred in a domestic dispute.
If you are accused of spousal abuse, consult a seasoned attorney on the next best steps to take. At the Grand Canyon Law Group, a Phoenix spousal abuse lawyer can help tell your side of the story and work toward a favorable resolution in your case.
Arizona does not have a separate charge for spousal abuse. Instead, it is a form of domestic violence defined by Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3601. Spousal abuse allegations are not limited to physical harm and may involve emotional harm, sexual exploitation, neglect, and economic manipulation. Certain threatening behavior may also justify criminal charges.
Various Arizona criminal code sections can be the basis for prosecuting spousal abuse accusations. Some crimes commonly associated with spousal abuse include:
Defending against spousal abuse allegations can be tricky, as every case involves unique circumstances. Defendants should work with an experienced Phoenix attorney for a defense tailored to the specific spousal abuse charges.
Arizona takes violence against a spouse seriously and imposes significant prison terms and fines for this crime. A defendant may face felony or misdemeanor charges depending on the underlying conduct.
Felony incarceration guidelines are set out in Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-702 and 13-703, and sections 13-707 and 13-802 establish penalties for misdemeanor offenses. The court may also order misdemeanor offenders to attend domestic violence treatment programs per Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601.01 at their own expense.
If individuals commit repeated spousal abuse within seven years, authorities may charge them with aggravated domestic violence under Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601.02. This criminal infraction is a Class Five felony and carries a presumptive sentence of 1.5 to five years in prison, depending on the defendant’s criminal history.
Other ramifications of a spousal abuse conviction may include:
The criminal justice system is not easy to navigate. When facing the severe penalties associated with spousal abuse charges, defendants should consider retaining skilled legal counsel to help develop a sound defense strategy.
Not every claim of spousal abuse leads to a conviction. When all the facts come out, defendants may be able to show that their actions were justified or did not rise to the level of domestic violence. The defendant may have acted in self-defense, or the complainant may have exaggerated their injuries or lied about the events. In some cases, the injuries may have occurred inadvertently without any intent or malice.
The seasoned lawyers at our Phoenix office can help those accused of spousal abuse to bring these facts to light and undermine the State’s ability to prove their case.
Spousal abuse cases are complicated because of the close relationship between the alleged victim and the accused. Often, things look different in retrospect once everyone has had time to cool off. The accusing party may change their mind and not pursue charges.
However, Arizona does not allow for this to happen. Once authorities charge a person with domestic violence, only the prosecuting attorney can drop the case with the court’s approval. The State can move forward with the case even without the alleged victim’s cooperation. In any situation, it is best for those facing spousal abuse charges to seek representation from a diligent attorney at our firm who can work to get the charges reduced or dropped.
It is unwise to face the criminal justice system alone. Crafting a robust defense to domestic abuse allegations takes knowledge and experience. A Phoenix spousal abuse lawyer at the Grand Canyon Law Group knows how to handle these cases to protect your way of life and minimize the impact of the charges on your future. Call us today to set up a consultation about your case.