A domestic violence conviction can have serious legal consequences, along with a permanent stigma. If you have been wrongfully accused, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side. Contact Scott David Stewart in Surprise, Arizona today for a free case evaluation.
Why Choose Scott David Stewart?
- Domestic violence conviction can have a negative impact on your life. We are committed to tenaciously pursuing the best possible outcome in your case.
- With single-minded dedication, our criminal defense attorneys at Scott David Stewart, provide high-quality, client-focused representation in Surprise and the surrounding areas.
- We have experience successfully defending our clients against domestic violence charges.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-3601, domestic violence is a criminal act of abuse committed by one household or family member against another. However, not all offenses in the general category of domestic violence are actually violent in nature. Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or economic control and neglect.
Relationships Present in Domestic Violence Cases
As stated in the statute, any of the following relationships must be present for domestic violence to exist:
- Victim and defendant are current or former spouses or reside together or have resided together in the same household.
- Victim and defendant have a child together.
- Victim is pregnant by the defendant, or vice versa.
- Victim is related to the defendant or the defendant’s spouse by blood or court order as a parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister, or brother; or by marriage as a step-parent, parent-in-law, stepchild, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, step-grandchild, sister-in-law, or brother-in-law.
- Victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or a person who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant.
- Relationship between the victim and the defendant is or was romantic or sexual in nature. Factors considered in determining if a relationship is romantic or sexual include: type of relationship; length of the relationship; frequency of interaction between defendant and victim; and length of time since termination, if the relationship has ended.
Domestic Violence Crimes
A range of crimes may be included in the domestic violence category, including
- Assault and battery
- Criminal trespass
- Criminal damage
- Disorderly conduct
- Violation of an order of protection
- Child abuse
What Is Aggravated Domestic Violence?
A domestic violence crime that would be charged a misdemeanor for a first or second offense may be charged as a felony for the third offense in a seven-year period. This is aggravated domestic violence. It is a class five felony with penalties that include up to two and a half years of prison time.
Can the Victim Drop the Charges in a Domestic Violence Case?
Only the district attorney has the authority to drop domestic violence charges once they have been filed, and a judge must approve it before the case can be dismissed. The victim is a witness for the state. Even if he or she has a change of heart and no longer wants to press charges or refuses to testify, the State is still likely to prosecute the case.
Domestic violence charges can seriously impact your future if you are convicted. Call Scott David Stewart in Surprise right away if you have been accused of domestic violence.