Domestic violence charges are especially painful for everyone involved, because of the emotionally intimate relationships you share with those closest to you. Although your first instinct might be to attempt reconciliation with your accusers, doing so can significantly damage your case and put you in serious legal jeopardy.
By the time the police and courts get involved in your domestic situation, you should already have begun to protect yourself. The first step to doing this includes retaining a competent, aggressive defense attorney who will help protect your legal rights.
The second step is to limit contact with your accuser, make no admissions and say nothing.
What is Domestic Violence in Phoenix?
Arizona considers domestic violence any act of aggression involving your immediate family members, or a member of your household like a roommate. Victims can also include:
- Former spouses
- Pregnant partners living apart
- Children related to the victim but not living in the household
- Former romantic or sexual relationship partners
- Grandparents and in-laws
- Even pets and service animals belonging to the victim
Some offenses that fall under the umbrella of domestic violence include:
- Assault (sexual or physical)
- Criminal Damage
- Criminal Trespass
- Disorderly Conduct
- Aggravated Stalking
Even though some of these crimes are not considered violent in nature on their own, if you have a domestic relationship with the victim(s), then Phoenix considers you a domestic violence offender (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3601).
Domestic Violence Penalties in Phoenix
In Phoenix, penalties for committing domestic violence crimes depend on the crime that was committed. A domestic violence crime can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on its severity.
Misdemeanor Domestic Violence- Misdemeanor domestic violence offenses, like simple assault, can result in up to six months in jail and fines up to $2500. In addition, many offenders will be sentenced to ongoing probation, and successful completion of a domestic violence offender treatment program. Even if you do not serve any jail time, misdemeanor domestic violence charges can result in:
- A limitation of child visitation
- The loss of your firearm privileges
- Orders of protection filed against you
Felony Domestic Violence- Felony domestic violence charges are based on the severity of the specific crime. For example:
- Murder is punished under class 1 felony guidelines, which can include a sentence of up to life in prison, or even the death penalty
- Unlawful imprisonment is considered a class 6 felony, and therefore is punishable by a maximum of 2 years in prison
However, if a judge finds aggravating circumstances in your case, like unlawfully imprisoning a pregnant victim, then you can be facing up to five years in prison for the same charge. Furthermore, if you have been found guilty of either misdemeanor or felony domestic violence crimes in the past, a judge can serve you with a harsher sentence than the current crime carries.
Phoenix Criminal Attorney Focuses on Domestic Violence Crimes Defense
There are so many variables involved with domestic violence crimes in Phoenix that you should never attempt to navigate your situation alone. Rather, it is absolutely essential to retain an attorney who knows your rights, and who can help you make the best decisions possible during this trying time. Phoenix Criminal Attorney provides our clients with focused legal defense for even the most severe domestic violence charges.
We will not stop fighting for your rights by making sure that every possible legal option and defense strategy is available to you. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence crime in Phoenix, contact us today for a private, no obligation consultation at 602-551-8092.