Domestic Violence

A charge of domestic violence in Arizona is a designation given to certain crimes when committed by a person with a special relationship to the victim. This special relationship is defined by law, and for a person to be a victim of domestic violence, that person’s relationship to the defendant must fall within one of the following five categories.

Those relationships are:

  1. By marriage or former marriage
  2. By residing or having resided together
  3. The parties have a child in common
  4. They are related such as a:
    • Parent
    • Brother
    • Sister
    • Grandparent
    • Child
    • Grandchild
    • Grandparent-in-law
    • Stepparent
    • Brother-in-law
    • Sister-in-law
  5. The victim is a child who resides or had 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 had resided in the same household as the defendant.

Any other relationship does not qualify for this special relationship for domestic violence.

Sometimes law enforcement officers will designate an offense as domestic violence based merely on the relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend. This is wrong and does not create the defined relationship necessary for domestic violence required by Arizona law.

Arizona Domestic Violence Offenses

Certain offenses are subject to a designation as domestic violence. An assault is a common charge either by causing physical injury, the threat of immediate injury or an unwanted touching. A charge of disorderly conduct will lead to such a designation as well. A criminal charge of endangerment, making threats and criminal damage are frequently cited also.

Those offenses that can lead to a charge of domestic violence in Mesa Arizona are:

  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Domestic Violence
  • Any Dangerous Crime Against Children
  • Assault
  • Child or Vulnerable Adult Abuse
  • Criminal Damage
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Custodial Interference
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Endangerment
  • Harassment
  • Interfering with Judicial Proceedings
  • Kidnapping
  • Stalking
  • Surreptitious Photographing, Videotaping, Filming or Digitally Recording or Viewing
  • Threatening or Intimidating
  • Unlawful Imprisonment
  • Use of Telephone to Terrify, Intimidate, Threaten, Annoy or Offend

Other offenses include trespass, kidnapping, and interfering with judicial proceedings such as violating an order of protection can lead to a domestic violence designation. Some other lesser-cited offenses include telephone intimidation, harassment, stalking and surreptitious photographing or recording.

Defenses to a Domestic Violence Charge

Law includes these offenses and any other crime not designated will not be the basis for a Mesa domestic violence charge. A defendant will have a defense should the state charge an offense not so designated.

Care must be taken when the underlying crime is criminal damage. Under Arizona’s community property law, property owned by spouses may be owned jointly thereby establishing the required element of damage to property of another. However, if the victim and defendant are not married then the victim to satisfy the damage element of a criminal damage charge must own the property.

Other defenses include defenses to the actual underlying offense charged like self-defense when one is charged with assault or on a trespass charge a person has permission to be on the premises.

Possible Domestic Violence Penalties

Penalties for a domestic violence offense are determined by the underlying offense. Foe example, if the conviction is for a class one misdemeanor then the penalty for the class one misdemeanor is applicable, such as three years of probation, up to six months in jail, and a possible fine up to $2,500. The domestic violence designation then adds the mandatory domestic violence counseling and the potential of seizure of all weapons in the household for six months, and possibly the permanent revocation of the right to possess firearms. The added designation of domestic violence could further result in a felony prosecution for a third offense domestic violence charge.

Brian DiPietro Law, PLLC Mesa Domestic Violence Lawyer

Contact Brian DiPietro Law, PLLC today for a free case evaluation about your pending domestic violence charges throughout Maricopa County in Arizona. Brian DiPietro is an experienced, tough and aggressive Mesa criminal defense attorney who will work hard to fight the charges against you to achieve the most favorable outcome for your particular circumstances. Contact Brian DiPietro Law, PLLC now at 623-242-2655 for a free confidential case evaluation about your domestic violence charges throughout Maricopa County in Arizona.