If you are facing domestic violence charges, you shouldn’t hesitate to obtain legal representation. In Arizona, these charges are serious and have the potential to create consequences even years down the road.
How Domestic Violence Is Charged in the State of Arizona
Domestic violence is tacked onto many other crimes such as assault and battery, unlawful imprisonment, child endangerment, and disorderly conduct, to name a few. What makes an act domestic violence is if the crime is committed in context with specific relationships.
Those relationships include spouses or romantic partners, former romantic partners, people cohabitating, or other family members such as children, siblings, and in-laws, for example. If any of these relationships exist, prosecutors may charge you with domestic violence in conjunction with another crime as a way to enhance the penalty.
What Penalties Could You Face for Your First Domestic Violence Offense?
Even with a first offense, you may face jail or prison time for domestic violence. The severity of your penalty will depend on the underlying crime. This means you could be facing a misdemeanor or a felony conviction.
It’s important to discuss your situation with a criminal defense attorney to let them evaluate your case. Regardless of how serious your domestic violence charges are, a conviction means that law enforcement will seize your firearms. You will also be subject to a restraining order that prevents you from seeing those affected by these charges. Pretrial bond conditions, GPS monitoring, and mandatory domestic violence treatment are some of the other penalties.
What Defense Can Be Used for a First-Time Domestic Violence Offense?
Your best chance to fight a domestic violence offense is by hiring a domestic violence lawyer in Tucson, Arizona. They can decide the best possible defense in your situation.
Some of the following defenses may be applicable in your case.
Many domestic violence cases involve he-said-she-said scenarios. Without evidence to corroborate the facts, it can be a massive challenge to determine what happened. It’s not uncommon for a spouse or romantic partner to fabricate evidence in situations involving child custody disputes.
Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty, and that burden of proof must be met by the prosecution without a reasonable doubt. A good attorney will look for the evidence in these situations and poke holes in the prosecution’s story.
Perhaps you were defending yourself against your loved one’s aggressions. When the police arrive, your relative may exaggerate the details of your actions. You should not have to endure abuse, and you are entitled to protect yourself through self-defense.
Lack of Sufficient Evidence
Sometimes, things may work themselves out when an alleged victim no longer wants to have you prosecuted. Perhaps they made it all up and called the prosecutor to have them drop the charges. Unfortunately, the state must uphold things once charges are filed, and it has sole discretion on this decision.
That means they can subpoena the alleged victim to court. If they give inconsistent statements, it’s not going to hold water, and it will be clear that there is no evidence that you committed domestic violence.
In short, the laws are strict because there are circumstances where people are put in danger. However, many people wind up on the wrong side of the law because of tall tales or mistaken intentions. If you have been arrested with domestic violence tacked onto your charges, do not waste time in retaining legal representation.