On many occasions, a husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend or other family members get into a brief argument and police are contacted. Subsequently, and whether one partner actually desires prosecution, an individual is arrested, booked into jail and is charged with a criminal offense. Of course, there are a number of circumstances where domestic violence incidents result in serious physical injuries. However, whether it involves a misdemeanor or felony offense, police and prosecutors take domestic violence complaints very seriously and often prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. People charged with domestic violence can face mandatory probation terms, counseling, jail and even prison.
People involved in a domestic violence incident quickly learn that they don't have a whole lot of control over what may happen in court. In circumstances where the incident is minor, doesn't involve injury or where parties are seeking to reconcile, they will be advised that the decision to arrest or prosecute is not theirs. Rather police will often arrest someone even over the victim's objection and prosecutors will use all the tools at their disposal to gain a conviction. This occurs for a number of reasons including protecting people against future harm, attempting to educate and re-shape an offenders thought process and finally, to guard against civil liability of their own.
Arizona law defines domestic violence where:
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:
(a) The type of relationship.
(b) The length of the relationship.
(c) The frequency of the interaction between the victim and the defendant.
(d) If the relationship has terminated, the length of time since the termination.
Crimes which can be designated as domestic violence offenses involve:
- Abuse of a Child or Vulnerable Adult Abuse
- Aggravated Assault
- Criminal Trespass
- Custodial Interference
- Dangerous Crimes against Children
- Disorderly Conduct
- Interfering with Judicial Proceedings
- Kidnapping or Unlawful Imprisonment
- Negligent Homicide
- Sexual Assault
- Threatening and Intimidating
Again, these offense can be prosecuted as misdemeanors which involve a maximum penalty of three years probation, six months jail, mandatory counseling and up to $2,500 in fines. Alternatively, if prosecuted as a felony the sentence could include probation for ten years, prison between 3 months and life and fines up to $150,000.
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Defend Your Legal Rights and Reputation Against Domestic Violence Charges
If you have been charged with Domestic Violence in Tempe, Phoenix, or any other city within Maricopa or Pina County, it is vital that you contact a highly skilled criminal lawyer immediately. Tempe domestic violence lawyer Raymond Kimble will recognize available defenses and has been defending people charged with these crimes for many years. Mr. Kimble knows how to prepare a solid defense, challenge the prosecution's evidence and negotiate a reduction or dismissal of the charges
With a seasoned Tempe criminal defense lawyer on your case, you will have your rights protected as your attorney fights to secure a favorable outcome on your behalf. Attorney Raymond Kimble has successfully represented hundreds of individuals throughout Arizona over the last twenty years who have been accused of domestic violence.