A.R.S. §13-3601 lays out exactly which crimes qualify as being eligible to have a DV allegation. Examples of Arizona crimes that domestic violence is often associated with include:
Under Arizona law, only the prosecutor has the power to drop charges. While the victim’s input and unwillingness to pursue charges against the defendant can be a factor heavily weighed by the prosecutor, the victim does not control the decision to drop charges. Should the prosecutor be unwilling to drop charges, having the case dismissed can only be accomplished via a plea agreement to diversion or through a victory at trial. Successfully navigating plea negotiations or prevailing at trial is best handled by a skilled domestic violence lawyer.
SIDE NOTE: Utilizing a domestic violence attorney on behalf of the victim is an option and can be tremendously beneficial in negotiating the criminal justice system and urging the State to drop charges.
If the State can prove both the underlying crime (i.e. assault, disorderly conduct, etc.) and the domestic or familiar relationship between the defendant and victim, a person must be sentenced under Arizona’s DV laws. These laws require that in addition to any punishment prescribed by the underlying criminal charge:
The court must order that the individual:
The court may also:
It’s often said that the best defense is a good offense. Choosing a qualified domestic violence lawyer is a key component to ensuring that your charges are properly defended against. Your attorney should be able to assert any and all defenses necessary to obtain an acquittal. The exact defense strategy for a domestic violence offense depends on the underlying crime for which you have been charged. For example, the defenses asserted in defending a domestic violence assault crime will likely differ from those used in defending a domestic violence harassment charge.
That said, self-defense in domestic violence cases is a primary defense asserted in many of the strongest defense strategies. Because so many of the crimes associated with domestic violence have self-defense as a possible defense tool, evaluating this option is a necessary part of any case evaluation. Consulting with an attorney can provide valuable insights into how self-defense can be used to combat domestic violence charges.
If you have been charged with an Arizona domestic violence crime, you want an experienced and reliable domestic violence defense attorney to help you navigate the legal system. Feldman & Royle is a trusted criminal defense law firm with attorneys experienced in defending domestic violence cases throughout Arizona. We know that reaching the best outcome for you requires that we specifically customize our criminal defense representation by learning about you, your circumstances, and the details of your case. Call us for a free, no obligation consultation.
No. As with all victim related crimes in Arizona, the State is the party that brings charges, not a particular victim. Once police have been called and an arrest decision has been made, police refer the case to a prosecutor for charging. Only a prosecutor can opt to have charges dropped after review of the case.
Whether DV is a felony depends on which underlying crime the domestic violence allegation is associated. While statistically more domestic violence charges are filed as misdemeanors, even misdemeanor domestic violence charges can have severe consequences.
The statue of limitations depends on the underlying charge associated with the DV allegation. Generally, the statute of limitations for a domestic violence offense in Arizona is 1-year for a misdemeanor or 7 years for a felony. However, some domestic violence offenses have no statute of limitations.
Domestic violence (DV) charges are not necessarily charges in Arizona but rather allegations or enhancement to underlying criminal charges. For example, you can commit assault without it being a DV Assault but if you assault a romantic partner, it would be charged as DV Assault.
Yes. If police learn a gun is present or a gun is either in plain view or found after a consensual search of the property, the police may seize the weapon. In these situations, if a gun is seized by police it must be held for at least seventy-two hours. Receipt of the weapon must be given to the lawful owner.
No. While many cases do go to trial, many other DV cases are dismissed prior to trial or negotiated via a plea agreement.