Understanding Domestic Violence Offenses in Arizona

Category: Criminal

In Arizona, domestic violence is characterized as any act of violence or threat directed towards a member of a family or household. The law encompasses a variety of relationships, including spouses, ex-spouses, relatives, cohabitants, or romantic partners. The acts constituting domestic violence can range from misdemeanors like assault, disorderly conduct, criminal damage, and threats to felonies such as aggravated assault, aggravated harassment, and aggravated criminal damage. As per the Arizona Revised Statute §13-3601, “domestic violence” is an offense occurring between parties who meet certain relationship criteria, including current or former spouses, individuals sharing a child, blood or marriage-related individuals, and individuals who are pregnant by the other party.

Potential Consequences of a Domestic Violence Offense

A conviction for domestic violence in Arizona can lead to several collateral consequences that can significantly affect an individual’s life. These potential consequences include:

  1. Mandatory Counseling: The State of Arizona may require the offender to attend a Domestic Violence treatment program ranging from 26 to 52 hours at their own expense.
  2. Probation or Jail Time: The severity of the offense can lead to probation or jail time.
  3. Firearm Restrictions: A domestic violence conviction can lead to the offender being barred from owning or possessing firearms.
  4. Aggravated Penalties: In certain cases, domestic violence charges can lead to additional penalties depending on the specifics of the case. Misdemeanors can include up to six months of jail. Felonies can include lengthy prison terms.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and the exact consequences can vary based on the specifics of the case and the nature of the offense. It is always advisable to seek advice from a legal professional for guidance tailored to your specific situation.

Domestic Violence Diversion in Arizona

In Arizona, defense attorneys can negotiate with prosecutors to offer diversion for domestic violence cases under certain circumstances. Here are some typical terms of this program:

  1. Eligibility: The prosecutor determines eligibility for an accused person with specific lower-level eligible domestic violence charges. Typically, to be eligible, the person must not have any prior criminal convictions and must not have participated in a diversion program before.
  2. Treatment Program: Instead of prosecution, the accused person is diverted into a treatment program. This program includes an assessment to determine the overall risk of reoffending, treatment to understand the context and use of violence, challenging attitudes and beliefs, cognitive restructuring, managing relationships, and establishing healthy boundaries. This usually requires 26 hours of domestic violence classes.
  3. Restitution: If applicable to the case, the accused person must pay full restitution to achieve successful completion.
  4. Completion: For offenders who successfully complete diversion, the prosecutor will file a motion to dismiss the charges with prejudice.

Please note that this is a general overview, and the exact terms can vary based on the specifics of the case and the nature of the offense.

If you are accused of a domestic violence offense, Russ Richelsoph and the attorneys at Davis Miles Law firm are available to help. Please call us to schedule a consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.