When dealing with a domestic dispute, an officer in Arizona only needs to have probable cause. This means that an officer only needs to reasonably believe that domestic violence has occurred. It is also up to the officer to decide whether any further violence or disruptions will occur if someone is not removed. If the officer believes that there will be further violence or another disruption then you can be arrested. The officer can also arrest both parties if they believe that each party independently committed an act of domestic violence.
To be convicted of a domestic violence-related offense a prosecutor must first prove that you committed a certain violent act or property crime. You must have committed one of the specific crimes listed in A.R.S. §13-3601.
Secondly, a prosecutor must prove that the relationship between the aggressor and the victim falls within the domestic violence laws. The following relationships are protected:
Current or former spouses
Persons who have a child together
The defendant or victim is pregnant by the other party
Persons who reside or resided in the same household
Persons related by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister OR by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law
The victim is a child who resides or 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 has resided in the same household as the defendant
Persons who are or were in a romantic or sexual relationship
Domestic violence is taken very seriously in Arizona. Criminal charges involving domestic relations tend to be prosecuted more aggressively. If you have been charged with domestic violence, contact Van Norman Law immediately so we can build a strong defense right away.
It is highly imperative that you contact an attorney if you are facing a second domestic violence offense because the associated penalties are more severe. The same goes for a third offense or more. If you have committed 3 domestic violence offenses over an 84-month period, you may be charged with aggravated domestic violence (A.R.S § 13-3601) which is a Class 5 felony and subject to mandatory jail time. Regardless of severity of the situation, Van Norman Law will help you every step of the way.