Violent CrimesHave You Been Charged with Domestic Violence?

If you have been arrested for a domestic violence offense, you are facing serous potential consequences.

If you have been arrested for a domestic violence offense, you are facing serous potential consequences. On top of the usual penalties in the event of any criminal conviction, the imposition of restraining orders and other effects of a domestic violence charge could turn your life upside down. A Phoenix domestic violence lawyer can guide you through the system, and make sure that your rights are protected at all times.

At Feldman & Royle, we understand the impact of being charged with domestic violence. In addition to having to defend against accusations within the criminal justice system, the stigma of domestic violence can have a dramatic effect on your life. We can’t guarantee a specific result in your case, but we can promise you that we will use our knowledge, skills and experience to provide you with a thorough and aggressive defense. In the process, you will be treated with the respect you deserve no matter what the charges against you may be.

How is Domestic Violence Defined in Arizona?

There is no specific crime in Arizona that constitutes “domestic violence.” The question of whether a particular charge may constitute domestic violence is a function of two factors:

The underlying crime. The domestic violence laws are contained in Chapter 36 of the Arizona Criminal Code (Family Offenses). That chapter specifies numerous crimes that may constitute domestic violence. The list includes many violent crimes such as assault, as well as crimes against children. It also includes many offenses that are not generally considered violent, such as criminal trespass, non-violent harassment, and others. Moreover, some crimes, such as robbery, which is typically not classified as a violent crime, are not within the scope of domestic violence offenses in Arizona. As a result, the classification of the underlying charge as violent or non-violent does not answer the question of whether it could be charged as a domestic violence offense.

The relationship between the parties. A necessary component in determining whether a domestic violence offense may properly be charged is the relationship between the parties. In some situations, this can be a simple issue. For example, if the parties are married, or if they were formerly married, their relationship, coupled with an allegation of one of the specified offenses (above), can support a domestic violence charge. However, numerous other relationships may likewise fit easily into the definition. These include relationships such as (a) having a child in common, (b) being related as parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling (c) in-laws, (d) stepparent, stepchild, etc. These are often, although not always, fairly simple matters. But the definition also includes offenses allegedly committed where the parties are or were in a “romantic or sexual relationship.” The determination of whether there is, or was, such a relationship involves an examination of a number of factors that are outlined in the statute. Those factors include the length, nature, and frequency of interaction between the parties, among others.