Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
We Defend Those Accused of Every Type of Crime
Phoenix Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer
Professional & Experienced Lawyer – Available 24/7
Domestic violence crimes are aggressively prosecuted here in Phoenix. These crimes often involve acts of violence such as assault, yet are treated more seriously, for the most part, when they occur between family or other household members. 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. As a 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.
Belén Olmedo Guerra is known for providing aggressive defense representation for her clients throughout Phoenix. She has successfully handled a number of high-profile cases. For a free case evaluation of your Arizona criminal charges, call 602-715-0908 today.
What are Arizona's Domestic Violence Laws?
Domestic violence refers to acts of violence, or threats of violence, between persons who are in a domestic relationship. Domestic violence charges can be filed for real acts of violence or threats of damage, abuse, or infliction of violence, depending on the circumstances. Domestic violence charges in Arizona may result from any of the following acts:
- Sexual Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Aggravated Stalking
- Cyber Stalking
- Economic Control
- Child Abuse
- Elder Abuse
- Violation of Protective Order
- Criminal Abandonment
- Criminal Neglect
- Emotional and Verbal Abuse
- False Imprisonment
- Disorderly Contact
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 A.R.S. 13-3601, to be considered domestic violence, the state prosecutor must demonstrate that the offender threatened or physically assaulted someone who they:
- Are currently or were formerly married to
- Live with or used to live with
- Currently have or used to have a romantic or sexual relationship with
- Are related to by either blood or court order
- Have 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.
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. First offenses are generally a misdemeanor. 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 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.
Order of Protection in Arizona
Under A.R.S. 13-3602, an Order of Protection is a civil court order that allows a person to seek protection from someone they live with now or have lived with in the past, or who is a member of their immediate family. The objective of a Protective Order is to prevent one person from harassing or perpetrating domestic abuse against another.
A court-issued Order of Protection forbids the defendant named in the order from contacting any other person also named in the 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:
- The defendant may commit domestic violence.
- 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).
Defenses for Domestic Violence Charges
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, which might include any of the following:
- False Accusations or a Changing Narrative
- A person may falsely accuse you of domestic abuse for a variety 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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. Subsequent convictions for domestic violence in Phoenix bring enhanced penalties and result in jail sentences.
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.
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 will sign 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 on your behalf through the entirety of your case.