Tucson criminal defense attorney D. Jesse Smith, Attorney at Law provides effective defense representation to clients facing domestic violence charges in Arizona. With over 35 years of experience, Jesse Smith helps clients avoid or minimize the potentially serious consequences of a domestic violence conviction.
What makes a crime a domestic violence crime in Arizona?
Many offenses may be classified as domestic violence crimes, ranging from assault and battery to emotional abuse to violating a protective order. Disorderly conduct, criminal damage, trespass, and custodial interference may also be designated as domestic violence crimes. More than the offense itself, what makes a crime a domestic violence crime is the relationship between the alleged victim and the defendant. Under Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3601, any of the following relationships may give rise to a domestic violence charge if one party is accused of a crime against the other:
- The alleged victim and the defendant are married or former spouses, or people residing in the same household, now or in the past
- The alleged victim and defendant have a child in common
- The alleged victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party
- The alleged victim is related to the defendant or the defendant's spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister, or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law
- The alleged victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant
- The relationship between the alleged victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship
Domestic violence crimes can be charged as felonies or misdemeanors. Many people do not realize that even relatively minor offenses, such as calling an estranged spouse while a protective order is in place, can lead to a domestic violence charge. In some situations, the alleged victim decides not to press charges, but once the state is involved, the prosecution will often pursue its case with or without the cooperation of the alleged victim.
What are the penalties for a domestic violence conviction?
Penalties for a domestic violence conviction depend on the type of offense charged and the existence of any aggravating factors, such as a prior record, resulting bodily injury to the victim, and possession of a weapon. In addition to fines, probation, and jail time, a domestic violence conviction can result in the loss of gun privileges, limitations on child visitation rights, and mandatory anger management counseling. Indirect consequences of a domestic violence conviction could include job loss and a damaged reputation in the community.
Seek Experienced, Dedicated Criminal Defense Representation
Given the serious and lasting ramifications of a domestic violence conviction, anyone charged with a domestic violence crime needs an experienced criminal defense attorney on their side. If you face domestic violence charges in Arizona, contact D. Jesse Smith, Attorney at Law for a free initial consultation. Se habla español.