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Scottsdale Domestic Violence

A domestic violence charge on your record can negatively impact your life in many ways, from custody rights with your children to your criminal record affecting your job prospects. If you have been charged with domestic violence, it is essential that you work with a defense attorney to present a carefully constructed defense that effectively applies the law to the unique facts and circumstances of your case in support of an acquittal.

One of the experienced Scottsdale domestic violence lawyers from The Law Offices of John Phebus is available to give a free consultation on your case and ready to begin building a strong defense on your behalf.

Domestic Violence Is a Serious Charge in Arizona

Domestic violence charges in Arizona are serious crimes and can result in intense penalties and lengthy periods of incarceration. Under Arizona statute 13-3601, domestic violence is defined as any act that is a dangerous crime against a child, family member, or partner. The statute specifically outlines the following relationships:

  1. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is one of marriage or former marriage or of persons residing or having resided in the same household.
  2. The victim and the defendant have a child in common.
  3. The victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party.
  4. The 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.
  5. The 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.
  6. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship. The following factors may be considered in determining whether the relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship:

When a peace officer has probable cause to believe that domestic abuse has been committed, or cause to believe the person to be arrested was about to commit the offense, they can arrest, even without a warrant.

Types of Domestic Violence Charges

An arrest for domestic violence will lead to processing and ultimately the charge itself. Many different crimes committed against someone with whom the offender has a domestic relationship can constitute domestic violence. For this reason, domestic violence includes a range of charges, including:

  • Assault and battery
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal trespass
  • Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon

Some charges are misdemeanors, while others are felonies, depending upon the facts and circumstances of the incident that led to the charges. Misdemeanor charges can lead to fines and imprisonment, while felonies generally carry a sentence of at least a year in prison. A domestic violence charge can also impact your child custody rights and create a permanent criminal record that will follow you into the future.

Common Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction

The penalties for a domestic abuse crime are unique in that rather than having its own set of consequences, domestic violence is penalized according to the underlying offense on which the charge is based. This means that violating ARS 13-3601 can have a wide range of criminal consequences for a defendant. Some examples include:

  • Domestic violence sexual assault: Class 2 felony charge, punishable by up to 7 years in prison.
  • Domestic violence disorderly conduct: Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony, punishable by 6 months to 3 years in jail or prison.
  • Domestic violence kidnapping: Class 2 felony, punishable with 10 to 20 years in prison.
  • Domestic violence criminal trespassing: Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail.

In addition, because the crime was committed against a victim who was in a domestic relationship with the offender, the defendant could face other penalties on top of the base sentence. A judge could order additional jail or prison time, for example, or mandatory enrollment in a domestic violence offender treatment program. Another possibility is the revocation of the defendant’s right to own a firearm.

What to Do After Being Arrested for Domestic Violence

If you get arrested due to domestic violence allegations against you in Scottsdale, there are certain things that you should do – and not do – to protect your legal rights as much as possible. Follow these tips to defend yourself against these charges from the very beginning of your case:

  • Don’t say anything. Use your right to remain silent to protect yourself from saying anything incriminating. Politely decline to answer police questions until you have a defense attorney present.
  • Don’t resist arrest. Even if you’ve been falsely accused, cooperate with the police during the arrest. Resisting arrest will only result in further charges against you. You will have time to fight the charges later.
  • Contact a criminal defense attorney. Connect with a lawyer as soon as possible to get your defense started. If you call your attorney from the police station, the police cannot listen in on your phone call to an attorney.
  • Obey court orders. Do not miss any of your hearings or court appearances. If a protective order has been issued against you, do not break it or reach out to the alleged victim.
  • Build your case with help from your lawyer. After you hire an attorney, he or she can make court appearances on your behalf and argue against the domestic violence allegations using the most appropriate defense strategy for you.

The sooner you hire a lawyer, the better. Your lawyer will give you advice about what to say, what not to say and what actions to take to protect yourself from being convicted as much as possible.

The Importance of Hiring a Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

Whether you are facing a misdemeanor domestic violence charge or a felony, working with experienced legal representation is essential to protect both your rights and your freedom. Once a domestic violence charge has been started, the prosecution will aggressively pursue the charges. The charges will not be dismissed even if they decide to drop charges after they are filed, and may be asked to be a witness in the case. Even when the victim refuses to be a witness, the prosecutor may still bring forward the case to court.

Potential Defenses to Domestic Violence Allegations

Knowing how to defend against domestic violence allegations is critical if you have been arrested for this crime. You could be facing a wide range of penalties that impact your future, career, relationships, rights and personal freedoms. A strong defense may have the power to get the charges against you dropped or reduce the penalties you face. Potential defenses to a domestic violence charge include:

  • No crime committed
  • Lack of intent
  • Accidental or unintentional injury
  • Wrong defendant (alibi)
  • False allegations, such as lying for revenge
  • Self-defense or defense of others
  • Insufficient evidence
  • Police misconduct
  • Civil rights violations

You have the right to an attorney after being arrested for domestic violence – either private counsel or a public defender if you cannot afford an attorney. Utilize this right to protect yourself by hiring a skilled domestic violence defense lawyer in Scottsdale. The strength of your defense can make all the difference to the outcome of your case. When your future is at stake, the right lawyer will devise a defense that is designed for optimal results.

Reach Out to a Scottsdale Domestic Violence Lawyer Now

If you have been accused of domestic violence in Arizona, it is essential that you contact a defense attorney as soon as possible to support your case. Your Scottsdale criminal defense attorney will collect evidence and review how the law and the outcome of other cases apply to the unique facts and circumstances of your charge. The prosecution can only charge defendants with crimes that they can prove each and every element of beyond a reasonable doubt, and your Scottsdale domestic violence lawyer ensures that the law is fairly applied to the decision in your case.

Connecting with a dedicated Scottsdale domestic violence lawyer from The Law Offices of John Phebus will provide you with the support you need to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Reach out to schedule a consultation or call (623) 400-5675 to discuss options on how we can put forward the best possible defense in your domestic violence charge.