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How Is Domestic Violence Defined In Arizona?


In Arizona, a domestic violence offense occurs when you have a traditional criminal offense, most commonly assault, disorderly conduct, criminal damage or criminal trespass, along with a particular relationship between the defendant and the victim. Some of these typical relationships are family relationships, such as husband and wife, parents and children, siblings and so on and so forth. Any time you have some type of familial relationship between a defendant and a victim, it can qualify as a domestic violence offense.

Domestic violence statutes extend to relationships where individuals have a child in common, even if they are not married, and even the more attenuated circumstance where individuals have had some type of romantic or sexual relationship, even if they are not married. Those relationships that are outside of familial relationships also donot require the individuals to be living together or occupying the same residence; their status is purely based on the relationship that they’ve had or are currently having.

Are Domestic Violence Offenses Usually Associated With Divorce Scenarios?

The answer is yes, absolutely. Many law firms that specializein domestic violence cases have very good family law colleagues to consult with when any aspect of their cases may be better handled by a family attorney, such as a divorce, separation or any type of child custody agreement or modification.

How Can Domestic Violence Allegations Impact A Parent’s Contact With The Children?

Contact really depends on who the victim is in a case. In the example of a husband accused of domestic violence against his wife, he would not be able to have contact with his wife. That would be the presumptive starting point for the length of the criminal case against him. Sometimes, courts can modify contact and allow for limited contact during a case, but it would only extend between the two parties, so contact with children in a case like that would not be restricted. Parental rights arenot affected unless a family court has ordered a change in status. A criminal court cannot dictate the relationship between parents and children. Obviously, if the children are victims in a criminal case as well, then no-contact orders can extend to them as part of the case.

Unless it’s a very serious or extreme situation,courts try to accommodate individuals in relationships that involve children and need to provide child care and assistance with the children. There have been cases where judges do not feel that even limited contact is going to be appropriate or necessary, and then that is when other arrangements have to be made. Sometimes, getting help from other family members, grandparents, aunts and uncles, while the case is going on, is required, but that can be very disruptive and inconvenient for all parties involved. Most of these domestic violence cases are misdemeanor cases,but they still can take three to six months from start to finish to either resolve them in some way or go to trial.

Do Law Enforcement Agencies Consider Allegations Of Domestic Violence As A Serious Issue?

These allegations are considered more serious now than in the past.There are even situations now where both the husband and wife are charged; as an example, both parties could be charged, one with disorderly conduct and the other with assault, but despite the fact that both are cooperative with police and fairly well-behaved, the police could decide that one of themis getting arrested.Essentially, the parties would be given a choice as to who that should be and who would take care of the kids while the other person spends a night or two in jail. One or both of the parties, depending on the circumstances, could be arrested.

Can Professional Licensing Be Affected By A Domestic Violence Charge?

Law enforcement professionals can end up on the wrong side of the bench for domestic violence, and their certification can definitely be at stake if they get a conviction of this nature, depending on what the actual offense involves. Doctors and nurses have had licensing board issues as a result of cases like this, as well as other criminal charges. Teachers, as well, can suffer board and licensing issues, including a note in their file, some kind of censure and sometimes, in extreme cases, the loss of their certification or license.

For more information on Domestic Violence In Arizona, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (602) 456-1982 today.

Jared Allen, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (602) 456-1982.

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