Arrested for a Domestic Violence Offense in Arizona?
Although Domestic Violence is a serious matter, I often speak with Clients who have been arrested and charged with a Domestic Violence Offense in the Greater Phoenix Area whose spouses decide they don't wish to prosecute or want to recant their initial allegations. Domestic Violence is treated seriously by both police and prosecutors in Arizona and can involve many offenses including assault, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, criminal damage, kidnapping, etc. If you are convicted of domestic violence, you face the possibility of probation, counseling, jail or prison.
In many cases, alleged victims of domestic violence will later change their story, decide not to cooperate with the prosecutor or try to avoid testifying in court. Unfortunately, this does not simply mean the case will be dismissed. Rather, there are many ways a prosecutor can attempt to secure a conviction even without the victim's cooperation. These include:
- Issuing a Subpoena for the Victim to Appear at Trial - A subpoena is a court order. If it is properly served upon someone, they must appear as directed. If they ignore the subpoena, they can be held in contempt and be fined or put in jail.
- 911 Calls - Statements made to a 911 operator by the victim of a crime may be admitted at trial even if the alleged victim does not appear to testify. This will occur in situations where the call is placed while an event is ongoing and while the victim is determined to be under the stress of the startling event.
- Statements Made to Medical Professionals - If an alleged victim of a domestic violence crime is transported to a hospital or other treatment facility for injuries suffered during an incident, any statements made to a treating doctor or nurse which describe the incident may be admitted at trial without the victim being present. This is because the statements were made to describe a medical condition and for purposes of treatment.
- Prior Inconsistent Statements - In cases where an alleged victim does appear but changes their story while testifying, any statements they may have previously made to the police can be used to impeach them and show that they are now lying.
Certainly, domestic violence cases are very complex and require representation from an attorney who regularly practices criminal defense in Arizona. I have represented thousands of people during the last fifteen years who have been arrested and charged with domestic violence offenses. If you or someone you know has been charged with a domestic violence offense in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert or Tempe, Arizona, call (480) 833-8613 for a free consultation.