What are Domestic Violence Charges in Arizona?
Arizona statute defines domestic violence as any act that is a dangerous crime against children or as an offense against a marriage partner, a previous marriage partner, or of persons residing or having resided in the same household. Domestic violence also applies if the victim and defendant have a child together or if the victim or defendant is pregnant by the other party. Furthermore, the victim or defendant can also be related to one another or related to the spouse and the violence would be considered “domestic” in the state of Arizona.
When marital or family disputes go beyond a simple argument and a spouse or family member loses control, a verbal disagreement can become physical. With emotions running high, especially if someone has been hurt and the police are involved and an arrest is made, that’s only the beginning of trouble. What might have been resolved without violence becomes a criminal matter with consequences that could ruin families and lives.
At Belén Law Firm, the founder, attorney Belen Olmedo Guerra, knows how quickly domestic arguments can escalate when tempers flare, emotions explode, and people react irrationally. When physical injuries occur between family members and a person is charged with domestic assault, the consequences they face, if convicted, may be severe, especially when crossed with sex crimes charges.
Domestic Violence Charges
The charges and punishment associated with domestic violence convictions depend on my factors. Things taken into consideration can include any prior domestic violence history, victim’s age, and if the victim is pregnant. These factors determine the length of jail time for domestic charges, parole restrictions/eligibility, treatment and rehabilitation programs, and any protective orders issued. Mandatory minimum sentences are also considered.
Defense Strategies for Domestic Violence Cases
Unlike many other types of assault cases, Arizona prosecutors are usually unwilling to withdraw or dismiss charges upon a victim’s request. Therefore, since a domestic violence case is likely to proceed through the courts, an effective defense strategy is critical.
A successful defense may include the following factors:
- Disproving the victim’s claims or statements.
- Lack of evidence of any injuries.
- Proving the alleged victim’s claim was purely vindictive.
- The defendant’s assault happened in the act of self-defense.
- The injuries were an accident.
- Lack of witnesses or corroboration by others.
- Violence was committed in the act of defending others including children.
- Mutual combat.
- While defending property.
Though it’s unusual for a prosecutor to abandon a domestic assault case, if the alleged victim doesn’t want to pursue it, that may compel the district attorney’s office not to prosecute. With an attorney, like Belen Olmedo Guerra, on your side, they can speak to the victim to determine whether they’re willing to end the case before it proceeds to court. Although a victim not wanting to proceed with the case doesn’t always convince the district attorney not to prosecute, a victim’s wishes can be persuasive. However, whether the case proceeds to a plea hearing or trial is entirely up to the prosecutor.
For the best chance of having a domestic violence case dismissed or charges reduced, it’s essential that you involve a criminal defense attorney skilled in the nuances of these cases.
Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Attorney
When you consult with an attorney, the success of your defense depends upon your straightforwardness and honesty about what happened. While you may be embarrassed, or even angry about being arrested when you feel it wasn’t your fault, Belén Law Firm, will always treat you with non-judgmental respect. With substantial experience successfully representing clients charged with various types of assault, attorney Belen Olmedo Guerra understands that between intimate partners and family members, tempers can control the emotions of a person who is otherwise calm and reasonable.