Charged With A Domestic Violence Offense in Arizona?
Who can be the victim of a domestic violence offense:
The first thing to understand about Arizona’s Domestic Violence statute is that it is not a crime but a designation of a certain crime. For example, if you hit a stranger you could be charged with assault. If you hit a romantic partner you can be charged with domestic violence assault.
When most people think of domestic violence offenses they think of cases where the victim is a husband, or wife, or boyfriend, or girlfriend. Arizona’s domestic violence statute is actually much broader. A person can be charged with a domestic violence offense when the victim is a romantic partner, a former romantic partner, relative, or even a room mate. I represented a defendent a while ago who got into a fist fight with a roommate and was charged with domestic violence assault.
Consequences of a domestic violence offense:
There are broad consequences to being convicted of a domestic violence offense. One consequence is having a domestic violence conviction on your record. Such a conviction can hamper your ability to find employment or get into school. Another possible collateral consequence is that your right to own guns could be affected. Another consequence is mandatory education classes. The minimum number of classes in Arizona is 26 classes but he approved provider can assign more. Failure to complete the classes can lead to further consequneces such as more jail. One other collateral consequence can be your immigration status being impacted. If you are in the country on the visa or not a citizen of the United States a domestic violence conviction could affect your ability to stay in the country.
There is no minimum jail sentence for domestic violence offenses but often times the prosecutor will seek jail. Having a good defense lawyer on your side can be the difference between you going and not going to jail.
Which defense lawyer should you hire:
Not all defense lawyers are equal. While there are plenty of lawyers that will take your money and will tell you they have experience with domestic violence offense this is not always true. Many defense lawyers claiming to have experience in domestic violence cases don’t. Before hiring a lawyer ask them how many cases they have actually handled. Ask for an actual number. Don’t accept vague answers such as “many” or “lots.” The Benikov Law Firm has handled over 1,000 domestic violence cases over the past eight years. Our experience can be the difference to you going to jail and you staying out.