When police respond to a domestic dispute, there is a strong likelihood that someone is going to be arrested. Of course, for serious felony offenses, police have a responsibility to take action. With respect to less serious or misdemeanor crimes, police will usually arrest the "at fault" party even if the complainant does not wish to cooperate in prosecution. This is to avoid any escalation of the dispute and potential injury which might occur.
What is Domestic Violence in Arizona?
Although it may not sound logical, domestic violence is not actually a crime in Arizona. Rather, specific offenses which are committed against a spouse, family member, intimate partner, etc. may be labeled "domestic violence" based upon the relationship between the alleged victim and suspect. When someone is charged with domestic violence, penalties over and above the usual punishment for their particular criminal conduct can be imposed.
Some of the offenses which can be characterized as domestic violence in Arizona include:
- 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
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Arizona
The State of Arizona imposes harsh punishment upon anyone convicted of a domestic violence crime. Depending upon the severity of an offense, individuals can be sentenced to jail or prison terms, placed on probation, ordered to complete counseling programs and pay fines and restitution. Additionally, a conviction can affect housing and employment opportunities, the right to possess a firearm and child custody.
Can Your Domestic Violence Charges be Dismissed?
Many people arrested for domestic violence will attempt to contact the alleged victim and talk them out of pressing charges. Unfortunately, this is a terrible idea as the decision to prosecute someone rests solely with prosecutors employed by the cities or county. Moreover, a standing order issued by courts in domestic violence cases is that a defendant cannot have contact with any alleged victims or witnesses. Consequently, attempting to influence an accuser can result in additional charges being filed.
To obtain the most favorable outcome possible, a person arrested and charged with domestic violence in Arizona should hire an experienced domestic violence defense attorney. There are a number of issues which can be utilized to obtain a dismissal of domestic violence charges. These include:
Uncooperative Witnesses - On many occasions, domestic violence arrests result from an argument, anger, jealousy, etc. Victims often ask that charges be dropped very soon after their significant other has been arrested. If witnesses fail to accurately recollect an incident or refuse to appear in court, a prosecutor's case becomes much more difficult.
Lack of Evidence - The prosecutor must prove each and every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt in order for someone to be convicted of a domestic violence offense. If there is not sufficient evidence to meet their burden of proof, if stories are inconsistent, or if there is no physical evidence, the prosecutor may decide to dismiss charges.
Motive of the Accuser - In some cases, a domestic violence allegation may be motivated by a person's desire to get the upper hand in a divorce or child custody proceeding. In these scenarios, a qualified defense attorney must use this information to convince the prosecutor that charges are not warranted.
Attorney, Raymond Kimble
-- Former Police Officer
-- Former Prosecutor
--Experienced Criminal Defense
Call (480) 833-8613 for Immediate Help with Your Domestic Violence Case
Domestic violence charges and the strategies used to defend against them can become very complicated. Additionally, the punishments imposed following a conviction can be harsh and have negative consequences on your future. Therefore, consultation with a qualified defense attorney who can closely examine the facts of your case, negotiate a resolution and achieve the most favorable outcome possible is always in your best interest.
Attorney Raymond Kimble is a former police officer and felony prosecutor and has successfully represented hundreds of individuals throughout Arizona over the last twenty years who have been accused of domestic violence. If you have been charged with Domestic Violence in Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler 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, prepare a solid defense, challenge the prosecution's evidence and do everything in his power to negotiate a reduction or dismissal of the charges