Violation of Injunction Against Harassment (IAH)
In Phoenix and other areas of Arizona, A.R.S 13-3602 refers to an order of protection (OOP) or injunction against harassment (IAH). A judge issues such an order or injunction, also referred to as a “restraining order,” to prevent someone from committing an act of domestic violence against a victim. The victim may also have suffered sexual assault, harassment, or other family crime.
A judge or justice of the peace will issue an IAH after hearing a statement from the person seeking protection. As such, the person being accused often has no idea that such proceedings are occurring. Once the IAH is in place, the defendant can’t contact the person seeking protection or go within a preset distance of the person’s place of work, school, or residence.
Penalties for Violating an IAH
If the defendant contacts the accuser in any way or violates the IAH, one or more consequences may play out. The charge of violating an IAH is a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona.
After the alleged violation occurs, the first consequence is an immediate arrest. The accused will be held in custody until a judge determines what the release conditions should be, depending on the severity of the offense. If the accused is convicted, the punishment includes up to six months in jail with a fine of up to $2,500.
What Happens in a Violation
If you’ve been accused of violating an IAH, your best bet is to deny that your behavior violated the injunction. In some cases, the accuser will invite the defendant to meet with him or her, whether to discuss the matter or to patch things up in the relationship. This, however, is not acceptable behavior on the part of the accuser. Because the injunction is put in place by a judge, only a judge can reverse it.
An example of this type of case would be if a couple reconvened to discuss the situation, resulting in a loud or violent argument. This may prompt neighbors or other bystanders to call a law enforcement officer, who will run a background check on both individuals to look for prior arrests.
If the officer discovers the order, the accused may be arrested. In this case, it doesn’t matter if the accuser tells the officer he or she invited the defendant to meet with him or her; the arrest is still fully warranted.
Finding an Attorney to Handle a Violation of an IAH
In complex cases like the one outlined above, an attorney can help negotiate between the two parties. An attorney can also help each party deal with law enforcement. At the Stewart Law Group, you’ll work specifically with criminal defense Attorney Scott Stewart who knows the legal world inside and out, from all perspectives – including a prosecutor’s.
We may also be able to prove that the officer who arrests the defendant didn’t properly convey what’s referred to as “Miranda rights” – that is, the right to remain silent, where whatever the defendant says may be used against him or her in court. If the defendant makes a statement without knowing his or her rights, this statement can be nullified.
If you’ve been accused of a violation of IAH in Arizona, there are options. At the Stewart Law Group, our Phoenix criminal defense lawyers understand each case is unique and deserves an individualized approach. We’re behind you each step of the way to help you reach the verdict you deserve and move on with your life. Contact our team of Phoenix lawyers who specialize in violation of IAH cases today.
Criminal Defense FAQs
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
A crime falls under two classifications, felony or misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are more considered lesser crimes and include offenses like petty theft, DUI, domestic violence, or being a public nuisance. Felonies on the other hand are serious crimes such as murder, assault & battery, grand theft, and more.
What happens to a person after being arrested and put in jail?
When a person is arrested in Arizona they will then appear before a Judge or Judge Magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. It is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer near you to help you handle your arraignment, enter your plea, and guide you through the next steps of posting bond, and preparing for a future court appearance.
Do I need to hire a criminal defense attorney for violation of an IAH?
Arizona has particularly tough criminal laws. A Phoenix, Arizona attorney experienced in handling violated IAH cases, knows the ins and outs of these laws. They will work to defend your rights, work with the justice system with your best interests in mind, and apply the strongest defense strategies to your case. If you are facing criminal charges of any kind it is best to reach out to a criminal defense attorney near you.
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