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Will Someone Always Be Arrested In A Domestic Violence Situation?


It’s pretty typical for someone to always be arrested in a domestic violence situation. In today’s day and age, police officers have become more nervous about just ignoring or cooling off domestic violence situations temporarily, because they’ll typically be back, and it could be something worse. The perfect example of that is obviously looking back at the OJ Simpson case. We know police were called out there dozens and dozens of times for domestic violence before Nicole Simpson was murdered. If you believe, like a lot of people believe that OJ Simpson actually killed her, then people feel that if things hadn’t been taken so lightly earlier on, and so many passes hadn’t been given, or if the immediate danger had been cleared, then it might not have ended up that way, or some punishment upfront might have been a deterrent.

Can The Prosecution Use Past Instances Of Domestic Violence In An Ongoing Case?

Past instances of domestic violence can’t necessarily be used against someone in trial, but if some type of defense is asserted that says their actions were completely out of character, and the defendant doesn’t have any history of violence or this type of behavior, then certainly past incidents can be used to impeach them on their statements, to the extent that they have to be verified. There have to be separate hearings held on how much of that material, and the credibility of that material, and who would testify about it, but obviously prior conviction of domestic violence can definitely come into play, and have an impact on future incidents of domestic violence. After two or more incidents in a period of 7 years here in Arizona, the third misdemeanor domestic violence offense can be charged as a felony, so the penalties get increasingly more serious with the prior acts alleged.

What Happens If The Alleged Victim Recants Their Statements Or Does Not Want To Press Charges?

Alleged victims sometimes recant their statements, and what happens next depends on several things. As a former prosecutor, one of the things I learned was the most frequent issues with domestic violence cases were victims recanting or not wanting to prosecute after the initial incident. In those cases, the prosecutors usually don’t dismiss them, they continue to move forward with them. They know that if they may have to arrest the victim, or bring the victim in by force, to make them testify. If they testify inconsistently with their previous statement, we’ll impeach them with their original statement that they made to the police, if they feel that it’s a serious enough case where they want to convict the defendant for what they did. In some of the less serious cases, in the smaller jurisdictions, they set those cases for trial. If the victims don’t show up, because they don’t want to participate, the case then gets dismissed, and it can only be refiled a certain amount of times. Many times prosecutors don’t want to deal with unwilling victims, but if it’s a serious enough case, they’ll typically deal with it because they want to protect that person in the future.

What Does Someone Generally Go Through When They Have Been Served With A Protection Order?

Most of the time, a protection order is specific to one person. If children are involved, or were in danger during the allegations that got the order, then they can be included, but they are not included automatically. Some allegations have to be made that they are also being harassed or in danger in some way. Because of this, most orders don’t include them. The way it works is if someone goes to court, it’s a fill out or a sworn affidavit that basically says these are the reasons why I need a protection order. You have to allege specific incidents on specific days that show that person is either a threat to you, or a continuing harassing person in your life. You can’t just be funneling, and somebody that poses a true either danger or detrimental distraction in your life, to the point where the court needs to intervene, and so that’s the standard set when seeking a protection order.

Once it’s granted by a judge, the presumption is that it stays in place. It gets served on the party on which the order is being placed, and then that party has one opportunity within a 12-month period, because an order is good for 12 months, to challenge it. If they challenge it, there will be a hearing where the judge hears testimony from both sides, and determines if the order should stay in place. Many times orders are granted, but sometimes the people getting the orders lied about incidents, and you can come in and defend yourself against those orders, and show that this order was gotten with either exaggerated or false information. Many times, in these cases, that order can be dropped. I have done proceedings where I’ve successfully had the order dropped, even though the presumption is that the order stays in place.

For more information on Domestic Violence Arrests 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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