Tempe Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

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Tempe Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

If the police get involved in a familial conflict, you may find yourself facing criminal charges. Being accused of domestic violence can be a scary and overwhelming experience, and these claims should not be taken lightly. Domestic violence charges can take away your freedom, damage your reputation, and ruin family relationships.

As such, it is crucial to get help from a Tempe domestic violence lawyer to aggressively combat the allegations against you. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our skilled attorneys can inform you of your rights and work tirelessly to preserve your future.

DOMESTIC RELATIONS PROTECTED BY LAW

Under Arizona law, domestic violence is not limited to incidents that take place between a husband and wife. Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3601(A) protects all family and household members. This statute also applies to:

  • Current or prior romantic partners
  • Siblings
  • Children
  • Grandparents
  • In-laws
  • Roommates
  • Individuals who are expecting or share a child

We all know that relationships can be complicated and can occasionally involve conflicts. Sometimes, arguments can become heated. To ensure that the authorities do not misinterpret escalated disagreements or conflicts as domestic violence, accused Tempe residents should retain a seasoned attorney at the Grand Canyon Law Group.

WHAT COUNTS AS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

Physical harm is not necessary for someone to be charged with domestic violence. Emotional distress, excessive noise or fighting, damage to property, sexual abuse, or neglect can also amount to criminal conduct. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601(A) identifies a long list of acts that qualify under the legal definition of domestic violence, including:

  • Assault or battery
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Criminal damage
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Kidnapping
  • Threats of violence or intimidation
  • Stalking
  • Trespassing
  • Psychological manipulation

For any of these alleged crimes, the prosecution must prove multiple elements in order to earn a domestic violence conviction. The former prosecutors at Grand Canyon Law Group know how to find weaknesses in a case and aggressively advocate for those accused to achieve the best resolution.

SENTENCING FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIMES IN TEMPE

Domestic abuse can be a felony or misdemeanor offense depending on the classification of the underlying crime (e.g., assault or criminal damage). In many cases, the court imposes fines, restitution, and community service. Depending on the degree of the offense, a defendant may also face incarceration. All convicted individuals must attend a court-approved treatment program as outlined in Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601.01.

Prior domestic violence convictions may lead to aggravated charges and mandated minimum jail terms under Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601.02. If the alleged victim is pregnant, Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601(L) allows the court to consider this fact when sentencing, potentially leading to an additional two years of incarceration.

In addition to criminal penalties, a domestic violence conviction can impact a person’s familial relationships as well as their opportunities for employment, education, and housing. A criminal record can negatively impact all aspects of a person’s future. The best way to combat these severe consequences is to retain a seasoned domestic abuse attorney.

WORKING IT OUT WITH FAMILY MEMBERS

In some domestic violence cases, the parties to the conflict may wish to reconcile after everyone has had time to cool down. However, once the criminal justice system is involved, forgiving and forgetting may no longer be an option. The accused person generally must stay away from the alleged victim or risk adding criminal counts to their indictment, especially if a protective order is in place. This is true even if the alleged victim changes their mind and wants to drop the charges, as only the prosecutor can authorize that. However, our attorneys understand the local domestic violence laws and can help an accused person avoid these pitfalls and return to their normal life as soon as possible.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PENALTIES IN TEMPE

If the domestic violence charge is a misdemeanor, the defendant faces up to six months in jail, three years on probation, and $2,500 in fines. At a minimum, the defendant may be required to take domestic violence counseling and give up their right to possess a firearm.

However, aggravating factors could lead to a judge imposing harsher sentences. These factors include repeat domestic violence offenses or significant injury to the alleged victim. The court may enhance the potential penalties in these cases, especially for felony charges. Those accused of domestic violence should discuss the potential penalties with an experienced Tempe attorney who can work to present mitigating factors in the case.

MITIGATING THE PENALTIES IN A DOMESTIC ABUSE CASE

To prevent domestic violence penalties, our seasoned Tempe lawyers may explore various avenues of defense. One option is to argue a self-defense angle. Another is to attack the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence or proof against the defendant.

Additionally, the prosecution may have difficulty introducing evidence for various reasons, such as if the alleged victim does not want to cooperate. The skilled attorneys at our firm explore every dynamic in the domestic abuse case to protect a defendant’s rights and prevent criminal repercussions.

CONSEQUENCES OF PROTECTIVE ORDERS

A civil order of protection is separate from a domestic violence charge, but the two things often go hand-in-hand. This order prevents the defendant from contacting the alleged victim. There are various forms of these orders ranging from no united contact to no harmful contact to no contact whatsoever.

The judge may impose various conditions on the accused person, including bans on:

  • Returning to the scene
  • Contacting the alleged victim
  • Possessing firearms

Usually, the no-contact order includes no third-party contact. This means that friends and family cannot contact the alleged victim on behalf of the defendant. It is crucial to follow the terms of the order to avoid additional charges and penalties.

PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING A PROTECTIVE ORDER

If the defendant violates the protective order, they may face additional charges on top of the domestic violence charge. They may also have their release revoked and face arrest. Violating a protective order can sometimes lead to aggravated harassment or aggravated domestic violence charges. This elevates the potential penalties to felony-level sentencing, making it crucial to speak with a Tempe lawyer about resolving the situation.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INVESTIGATIONS IN TEMPE

When police are called due to a fight or disturbance in a home, this may begin an investigation into potential domestic violence charges. These allegations typically involve people in a relationship, such as spouses or romantic partners. The police are tasked with figuring out who started the dispute and who did what. Often, it is unclear exactly who is at fault.

Suspects in domestic violence investigations in Tempe should reach out to legal counsel as soon as possible to protect their rights. Even if you think you can explain your situation, talking to the police often gives them evidence against you. They may twist your words or misinterpret your statements to support their case. You need a dedicated attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group to defend you.

POLICE INVESTIGATING CALLS FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

After an alleged victim or witness calls the police, the responding officers will gather the evidence they believe is applicable. They often investigate the situation hastily or fail to ask the right questions. Determining the primary aggressor is often a complex process involving statements from both parties involved and any witnesses to the event. The police often make mistakes in these situations, as the relationship between the two parties can complicate things.

During a domestic violence investigation, an accused person has the right to remain silent and call a Tempe attorney for legal counsel. In these situations, it is crucial to avoid making statements. Although an accused person might feel the need to say something and explain their situation, they may end up making incriminating statements that lead to charges.

TIMELINE OF A DOMESTIC ABUSE INVESTIGATION

Domestic violence investigations in Tempe are often quick. The police may determine who they believe is at fault within an hour or two, leading to their immediate arrest. The person will then be taken into custody and booked into jail before they see a judge. The judge may tell them they cannot return home or contact their spouse or partner. These situations can often feel like an accused person is being sentenced without a chance to defend themselves, which can be overwhelming. Our Tempe lawyers can be important allies throughout the domestic abuse investigation process and fight for a suspect’s rights.

CAN AN ACCUSER DROP CHARGES DURING THE INVESTIGATION?

When someone makes a domestic violence allegation, they are usually asking for police intervention. However, once they make the allegation, the accuser does not have the authority to drop charges. The investigation is out of the accuser’s hands once they call the police; the prosecutors now have discretion over what to do with the case.

The accuser can drop any civil protective order that may have been implemented following a domestic violence investigation. However, the prosecutor can still proceed with the case and subpoena the accuser to participate in the investigation and trial.

Anyone under investigation for domestic violence should avoid speaking with the police and contact an attorney right away. Anything you say or do could be used against you, so it is crucial to have legal counsel on your side during any police interactions.

PROSECUTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN TEMPE

In Arizona, law enforcement and prosecutors pursue domestic violence cases aggressively. These charges are filed every day in every jurisdiction across the state. Convictions can lead to severe penalties that impact your career, family life, and reputation.

Prepare yourself for success in your case by speaking with an attorney about the prosecution of domestic violence in Tempe. The dedicated lawyers at Grand Canyon Law Group can explain your rights and represent you throughout the process.

FACTORS IN PROVING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES

Just like in any case, the prosecutor has the burden of proof to prove the elements of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. In Arizona, domestic violence is an add-on allegation that prosecutors may attach to charges like assault, criminal damage, or disorderly conduct. In addition to proving the elements of the underlying offense, the prosecution must prove a relationship between the accused and the alleged victim.

This relationship is what constitutes the charge of domestic violence. The state’s domestic violence statute outlines various qualifying relationships, including family members, roommates, spouses, and current or former romantic partners. As our Tempe attorneys can explain, proving this relationship is one step in the process of prosecuting domestic violence charges.

TESTIMONY IN DOMESTIC ABUSE CASES

Generally, the alleged victim in a domestic violence case will testify at trial. The alleged victim and the defendant are often the only two people present at the incident. If the prosecution brings the alleged victim to the stand in a domestic violence trial, our experienced Tempe attorneys can cross-examine them for any inconsistencies or inaccuracies in their testimony.

In some cases, the alleged victim may no longer support prosecution. They may recant or take back their allegations, deciding that they now support the defendant. The alleged victim cannot choose to drop the domestic violence charges—only the prosecutor can make this decision—but an uncooperative witness may hurt the prosecution’s case.

OTHER EVIDENCE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROSECUTION

Beyond the alleged victim’s testimony, prosecutors must rely on other types of evidence. They may bring additional witnesses to the stand or present items that support their testimony. This could include photographs of injuries, medical records, and physical evidence from the scene.

Those facing domestic violence prosecution need representation from a skilled lawyer in the area. At Grand Canyon Law Group, we can gather evidence to support the defendant’s case and ensure the prosecution obtained its evidence through proper procedures.

CONTESTING THE PROSECUTION IN FAMILY VIOLENCE CASES

There are several ways to defend someone charged with domestic violence. Our Tempe lawyers will want to get the defendant’s version of events and understand what happened from their perspective. Often, we can pursue a self-defense angle. There may be other justifications for the incident.

In other cases, the victim supports the defendant and does not want prosecution. They may testify inconsistently from what they previously said and refuse to cooperate with the subpoena. They may try to get the prosecutor to drop the charges. In these situations, our dedicated attorneys can work to convince the prosecution to lower or drop the domestic violence charges.

When facing domestic abuse allegations, you want to know what to expect throughout the process. Going in blind will leave you at a disadvantage. By understanding the prosecution of domestic violence in Tempe, you can better prepare yourself and pursue a positive outcome in your case.

WORK WITH A SKILLED TEMPE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEY

It can be difficult to effectively respond to domestic violence accusations, as these situations are often highly emotional. Let an experienced Tempe domestic violence lawyer at our firm guide you through these difficult times. The attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group have significant experience helping individuals resolve their legal and familial issues. Contact us today to discuss your circumstances and protect your way of life.

Schedule A Consultation With The Grand Canyon Attorney Who Can Help