Phoenix Domestic Violence Lawyer

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Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Attorney in Phoenix, AZ

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Phoenix Domestic Violence Lawyer

Domestic violence crimes are aggressively prosecuted here in Phoenix and throughout the state of Arizona. These crimes often involve acts of violence such as assault, yet are treated more seriously, for the most part, when they occur between family members or members of the same household. 

At the Belén Law Firm, our Phoenix domestic violence attorneys understand the complexities and sensitivities involved in domestic violence cases in Arizona. We also recognize the gravity of these charges and the potential repercussions they can have on your life. Whether you’re accused of assault, harassment, or another dangerous crime within the realm of domestic violence, we’re here to offer strategic and aggressive defense tailored to your specific situation. Our team, led by experienced attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra, will vigorously advocate for your rights in and out of the courtroom, working tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Phoenix, AZ or the surrounding areas, don’t wait – the sooner you reach out to our Phoenix criminal law attorneys, the better. Call (602) 715-0908 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation regarding your DV case today.

What is Considered Domestic Violence in Arizona?

Domestic violence in Arizona encompasses various forms of abuse within domestic relationships. Most people assume that committing domestic violence simply means physical assault and/or sexual assault against a spouse or dating partner. However, DV doesn’t always have to be a result of outwardly violent or aggressive behavior, and it doesn’t always have to be against a significant other. 

While physical altercations are often associated with domestic violence, the legal definition encompasses a broader spectrum of harmful actions. Emotional abuse, coercion, threats, and controlling behaviors within intimate or familial relationships can all lead to DV-related criminal charges.

Phoenix Domestic Violence Attorney

Examples of Domestic Violence Offenses

Domestic violence charges can be filed for real acts of violence or threats of damage, abuse, or infliction of violence, depending on the circumstances. Examples of criminal charges that are often associated with domestic violence include:

  • Threats – Threatening to harm the victim, their loved ones, their pets, or threats of suicide.
  • Intimidation – Making the victim feel afraid through threats, gestures, or the use of weapons.
  • Isolation – Restricting the victim’s movements, isolating them from friends, family, or support networks.
  • Sexual Assault – Any non-consensual sexual act or behavior towards the victim.
  • Assault/Aggravated Assault – Hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, or any form of physical assault.
  • Economic Control – Controlling the victim’s money or resources, including withholding access to funds, or forcing the victim to be financially dependent.
  • Verbal and Emotional Abuse – Insults, name-calling, constant criticism, or any behavior that aims to control or demean the victim emotionally.
  • Stalking – Repeatedly following, surveilling, or harassing the victim.
  • Cyber Stalking – Sending unwanted messages, monitoring online activity, or using technology to track the victim’s movements.
  • Sextortion – Threatening to distribute explicit images or videos if the victim does not comply with certain demands.
  • Aggravated Harassment – Frequent unwanted contact or any behavior that causes the victim to feel constantly watched or harassed.
  • Kidnapping – Unlawfully restraining or confining an intimate partner or family member against their will.
  • Child Abuse – Any act or omission that causes harm or risk of harm to a child by a family member or caregiver.
  • Elder Abuse – Mistreatment or harm inflicted upon an elderly individual by a family member or caregiver, including physical, emotional, financial, or neglectful behaviors.
  • Coercion – Forcing the victim to do something against their will through threats or intimidation.
  • Violation of Protective Order – Contacting, harassing, or approaching the protected individual or locations specified in the order.
  • Custodial Interference – Withholding or taking a child from the custodial parent without permission, refusing to return the child at the agreed-upon time, or any act that interferes with another parent’s legal custody rights.
  • Criminal Abandonment – Deserting or leaving a dependent family member without reasonable means of support or care.
  • Criminal Neglect – Failing to provide necessary care or support to a dependent family member.
  • Criminal Trespass – Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on a property.
  • False Imprisonment – Unlawfully restraining or confining a family member against their will.
  • Disorderly Conduct – Engaging in fights, making excessive noise, or engaging in offensive or abusive language or gestures directed at a family member.
  • Murder – Unlawful killing of a family member or intimate partner.
Arizona Domestic Violence Laws

Arizona Domestic Violence Law - ARS § 13-3601

As mentioned above, many people wrongfully assume that domestic violence can only occur between two people who are married or otherwise in an intimate relationship. This is not always the case. Under Arizona’s domestic violence statute (ARS § 13-3601), domestic violence victims may include anyone who the offender:

  • Is currently or was formerly married to;
  • Lives with or used to live with;
  • Currently has or used to have a romantic or sexual relationship with;
  • Is related to by either blood or court order;
  • Has a child with.

Domestic abuse is taken very seriously by law enforcement officers, courts, prosecutors, and the general public. This criminal charge comes with harsh punishments that may very well result in significant and long-term consequences.

Aggravated Domestic Violence in Arizona

Like many other criminal charges, certain factors can heighten the severity of a domestic violence conviction. According to Arizona law (ARS § 13-3601.02), a person may be charged with aggravated domestic violence if they have prior domestic violence convictions, use a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument during the commission of the offense, or cause serious physical injury to the victim.

As you might expect, Arizona domestic violence cases that involve aggravating factors can significantly elevate the severity of penalties, often leading to lengthier sentences, increased fines, and more severe legal consequences overall. 

Is Domestic Violence a Felony or Misdemeanor in Arizona?

Domestic violence charges in Phoenix can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony in Arizona depending on the nature of the violence and the number of incidents. A first offense is generally considered a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. Those found guilty of domestic abuse three times in a seven-year period, on the other hand, might be charged with a felony domestic violence offense, which usually carries a lengthy prison term. The charges might also become more severe if the offender used a weapon or inflicted serious injury on another person. 

For less serious domestic violence convictions, you may only face probation and be required to attend domestic violence counseling. If children are involved, custody and visitation rights will also likely be limited or revoked.

Arizona Domestic Violence Penalties

Penalties for Arizona Domestic Violence Conviction

When it comes to jail time for domestic violence charges in AZ, there is no one set sentence. The specific class of the charge, as well as the circumstances surrounding the case and the defendant’s criminal history, play significant roles in determining the severity of the criminal conviction. 

Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charges

  • Arizona Class 3 Misdemeanor:
    • Maximum jail time of 30 days
    • Fines up to $500
    • Up to 1 year probation
    • Possible domestic violence counseling
  • Arizona Class 2 Misdemeanor:
    • Maximum jail time of 4 months
    • Fines up to $750 plus surcharges
    • Up to 2 years probation
    • Possible domestic violence counseling
  • Arizona Class 1 Misdemeanor:
    • Maximum jail time of 6 months
    • Fines up to $2,500 plus surcharges
    • Up to 3 years probation
    • Mandatory domestic violence counseling

Felony Domestic Violence Charges

  • Arizona Class 6 Felony:
    • Prison time from 1.5 to 3 years for a first-time offense
    • Maximum fines up to $150,000
    • Mandatory domestic violence counseling
  • Arizona Class 5 Felony:
    • Prison time from 2 to 4 years for a first-time offense
    • Maximum fines up to $150,000
    • Mandatory domestic violence counseling
  • Arizona Class 4 Felony:
    • Prison time from 4 to 8 years for a first-time offense
    • Maximum fines up to $150,000
    • Mandatory domestic violence counseling
  • Arizona Class 3 Felony:
    • Prison time from 5 to 15 years for a first-time offense
    • Maximum fines up to $150,000
    • Mandatory domestic violence counseling
  • Arizona Class 2 Felony:
    • Prison time from 7 to 21 years for a first-time offense
    • The highest level of fines and surcharges
    • Mandatory domestic violence counseling

A felony conviction on your criminal record may bring additional felony penalties in Arizona, including the loss of the right to possess firearms, loss of voting rights while incarcerated, and difficulty in finding employment or housing. Not to mention, the stigma associated with domestic violence charges can affect personal and professional relationships. This is why it is so important that you equip yourself with the help of a dedicated criminal attorney like Belén.

Penalties for Arizona Domestic Violence Conviction

Order of Protection Attorney Phoenix

Under A.R.S. 13-3602, an Order of Protection, sometimes referred to as a restraining order, is a civil court order that allows an alleged victim to seek protection from an alleged offender in order to prevent harassment or other forms of domestic abuse. A court-issued Order of Protection forbids the defendant named in the order from contacting any other person also named in that order. The defendant, or person served with the order, must remain completely out of contact with the plaintiff, both physically and verbally, for a year. 

These civil orders, unlike criminal domestic violence charges, can be imposed on a defendant with little proof of actual or threatened harm. The court will consider the petition, any additional pleadings on file, and any prior evidence presented by the plaintiff. The Order of Protection will be granted if the court decides that there is reasonable cause to suspect any of the following:

  1. The defendant may commit domestic violence.
  2. The defendant has committed a domestic violence offense within the previous year (or longer if the court decides that there is sufficient cause to examine a longer period).

AZ Order of Protection Violations

Violating an order of protection in Arizona is considered a serious offense and can lead to significant legal consequences. If someone is found to have knowingly violated a protective order, they can be charged with a misdemeanor. The specific penalties for this violation include fines, jail time of up to a year, and probation. Additionally, the violation can negatively impact any related legal proceedings, such as custody battles or ongoing domestic violence cases. 

Order of Protection Attorney Phoenix

How To Get Domestic Violence Charges Dropped in Arizona

Getting domestic violence charges dropped involves skilled negotiation and a thorough understanding of the law. That is where an experienced criminal defense attorney comes in. Your attorney must convince the prosecution that there are significant doubts about the veracity of the allegations or prove insufficient evidence to support a conviction. As such, many domestic violence cases hinge on the credibility of the involved parties and the evidence presented. 

A Phoenix domestic violence lawyer like those at Belén Law Firm can play a crucial role in having your DV charges dropped, employing strategies such as presenting alternative evidence that contradicts the prosecution’s claims, negotiating for lesser charges if applicable, or arguing for a dismissal based on procedural errors or rights violations during the arrest or investigation process.

The fact of the matter is this: it isn’t easy to get domestic charges dropped in Arizona. Sometimes, the only way dismissal occurs is if the victim signs a drop-charge affidavit in a criminal or civil proceeding. Even with this signing, the district attorney may still choose to pursue charges against you. That is precisely why you need the knowledge and experience of domestic violence attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra who will fight aggressively on your behalf through the entirety of your case.

How To Get Domestic Violence Charges Dropped in Arizona

Defenses for Domestic Violence Charges

If you’ve been involved in an alleged domestic violence dispute and face criminal charges as a result, Phoenix domestic violence lawyer Belén Olmedo Guerra will carefully and diligently listen to your side of things and do a comprehensive investigation of the matter in order to prepare your defense. By doing so, she will be able to find the best possible defense strategy that applies to your unique case. Below are some of the defenses Attorney Belén and her experienced legal team may employ for your Arizona domestic violence case.

False Accusations or a Changing Narrative

A person may falsely accuse you of domestic abuse for a number of reasons. For example, they may be attempting to sway the outcome of a child custody fight or a divorce. There is also the possibility that they’re so angry at you that they’ve gone to the extreme measure of fabricating domestic violence allegations. You have a good chance of being acquitted if your defense counsel can show that your accuser made a false claim, which might be shown in part by discrepancies in the accuser’s narrative about what happened.

Lack of Evidence

In certain situations, the prosecution may lack sufficient evidence to make a strong case against you. Your lawyer will double-check the prosecutor’s evidence and question anything that simply doesn’t add up.


You can use reasonable force to stop an attack if you are protecting yourself or another family or household member. It’s crucial to remember that you can’t claim self-defense if you initiated or otherwise worsened the situation. As a result, telling your defense counsel the truth about what transpired during the event is crucial.

Solid Alibi

Belén can weaken the evidence against you if she can show that you were not there during the alleged event and that you were not involved in any violence. Other persons who can attest to the fact that you were with them when the supposed incident happened may serve as your alibi. It’s also possible that other members of your household or family will testify that you were not involved in any violence.

Phoenix, Arizona Domestic Violence Attorney

Why You Need a Phoenix Domestic Violence Attorney

At the Belén Law Firm, we understand that aggressive criminal defense representation is required in cases involving domestic violence charges. These charges must be taken very seriously. When accused of certain types of physical abuse (this includes spouse or child abuse), you may be presumed guilty before all of the facts are even shown. The penalties for a first conviction are harsh and can even include jail time, and subsequent convictions bring enhanced penalties and may potentially result in lengthy prison sentences. And remember, law enforcement officers and prosecutors do their due diligence to put alleged domestic violence offenders behind bars and rarely drop charges, even if the alleged victim does not wish to press them.

With every case she takes, Phoenix criminal defense attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra closely scrutinizes every piece of evidence the prosecution intends to use against her clients. Armed with a thorough understanding of each case, she drives the case towards the best possible outcome, whether that is convincing the state of Arizona to dismiss or reduce the charges against her clients or crafting a successful defense at trial. 

How Much Does a Domestic Violence Lawyer Cost?

The cost of hiring a domestic violence attorney can vary widely based on several factors, including the severity of the domestic violence charge, the lawyer’s experience and reputation, the geographic location, and the anticipated length of the case. Generally, attorneys may charge either a flat fee for simpler cases or an hourly rate for more complex legal matters. 

For domestic violence cases specifically, legal fees can range from a few thousand dollars for less complicated cases to tens of thousands for more involved situations requiring extensive litigation or trial work. However, consulting with an experienced domestic violence attorney is the best way to get a clear estimate of how much you can expect to pay based on the specifics of your case. At Belén Law Firm, we offer completely free initial case evaluations to discuss the unique nature of your case and what you can expect to pay for our services. Call today to set up your consultation.

AZ Domestic Violence Attorney

Why Choose Belén As Your AZ Domestic Violence Attorney?

If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Arizona, you’re also facing extremely high stakes and serious consequences. That’s why you need the help of an experienced Phoenix domestic violence lawyer like those at Belén Law Firm. Within the Arizona legal community, Belén Olmedo Guerra stands out for her dedication, skill, and deep understanding of the nuances of criminal law. Her approach is thorough, evidence-based, and tailored to the unique circumstances of each case, offering the best possible defense against the charges you face. 

As a renowned Phoenix domestic violence attorney, Belén understands the specialized circumstances surrounding the preparation and defense of a domestic violence charge. She has the courtroom experience and skill required to stand up against the state in the face of these allegations.

Domestic violence charges often involve highly emotional situations and complex family dynamics. Recognizing this, our team at Belén Law Firm provides the necessary objectivity and strategy to address these charges, ensuring that your side of the story is heard and fairly evaluated. The Phoenix domestic violence lawyers at our law firm have successfully handled a number of high-profile cases, and we are ready to handle your case, too. Don’t wait to protect your future – call today.

Phoenix AZ Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

Call for a Free Consultation With an Experienced Phoenix Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Today

The threat of a domestic violence conviction in Arizona is one that should be taken extremely seriously, as there is a lot on the line. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this challenging time alone. At the Belén Law Firm, our Phoenix, AZ domestic violence attorneys are here to provide the dedicated guidance and aggressive defense you need to secure the best possible outcome for your case.

Don’t let the weight of these charges overwhelm you. Reach out today and take the first step towards securing your future. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your domestic violence case and are available for 24-hour criminal defense assistance. You can reach us at (602) 715-0908 or by completing our online case evaluation form below.

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