Domestic violence is a serious crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony in Arizona. If you have been accused of this offense, you face harsh punishments and long-term consequences if convicted. You need to retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to mount an aggressive defense to fight the charges you face. Strong defenses may be available to you—even if you are guilty.
What Is Domestic Violence in Arizona?
Domestic violence is not a separate crime in Arizona. Instead, the allegations of domestic violence would be added to another criminal charge and could result in increased penalties. Under ARS §13-3601, domestic violence is defined as a dangerous crime against a child or an act involving violence against a family or household member in the following situations:
- The victim and the accused person are or were married or are residing or have resided with each other.
- The victim and the accused person have a child together.
- The victim or the accused person is pregnant by the other party.
- The victim is related to the accused person or their spouse by blood, marriage, or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, 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 who has resided in the same household as the accused person and is related by blood to a former spouse of the accused person. They could also be related to another individual who resides or has resided in the same household as the accused person.
- The relationship between the victim and the accused person is currently or was a romantic or sexual relationship. Factors that may be considered in determining this include the type and length of the relationship, frequency of interaction between the victim and accused person, and if the relationship has ended, how long it has been since it ended.
What Are Common Domestic Violence Offenses?
Many crimes are charged with domestic violence in Arizona. Some common crimes include:
- Assault and battery, with or without a dangerous weapon
- Criminal trespass
- Disorderly conduct
- Dangerous crimes against children
- Sexual assault
- Unlawful imprisonment
- Threats and intimidation
When Is Domestic Violence Charged as a Felony?
If an individual has committed a third or subsequent domestic violence crime within a seven-year period, they can be charged with aggravated domestic violence. This is true even if the prior convictions were for misdemeanor offenses. Aggravated domestic violence is classified as a Class 5 felony in Arizona.
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in Arizona?
The punishments for domestic violence will depend on whether the conviction is for a misdemeanor or felony and the classification of the offense. Several factors can affect the severity of the sentence, such as:
- Whether the victim was a child
- Whether the victim was injured or killed
- Whether the victim was pregnant at the time of the domestic violence
- Whether a weapon was used
- Whether the defendant has prior convictions for domestic violence
Anyone convicted of domestic violence would be required to complete a domestic violence counseling program that can include between 28 and 52 sessions. Examples of possible sentences include:
- Class 1 misdemeanor: Up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500
- Class 2 misdemeanor: Up to four months in jail and a fine of up to $750
- Class 3 misdemeanor: Up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500
- Class 2 felony: 7 to 21 years in prison and a maximum fine of $150,000
- Class 3 felony: 5 to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $150,000
- Class 4 felony: 4 to 8 years in prison and a maximum fine of $150,000
- Class 5 felony: 2 to 4 years in prison and a maximum fine of $150,000
Are you facing misdemeanor or felony domestic violence charges in Flagstaff or Northern Arizona? Order our free book, Accused of a Crime in Arizona: What Happens Next Is Up to You. Then call our Flagstaff office at 928-226-0165 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers to learn how we can mount an aggressive defense strategy for you.