Make no mistake, Arizona is tough on domestic violence to the extent domestic violence is most often classified within the highest level of the three kinds of misdemeanor crimes the state has. Should you be convicted of domestic violence, you can be looking at the following:
- Up to $2,500 in fines with additional surcharges to be paid as well as a jail sentence of six months.
- You may have the obligation of taking part in very intensive domestic violence classes totaling 52 hours of classes which may take between six to twelve months to successfully complete.
You may also face formal probation and the costs and penalties can escalate if you have some of the following convictions in your past. Read on to learn more.
First Offence Domestic Violence Charges in Arizona
Arizona law dictates the minimum a person who is convicted of domestic violence is a total of twenty-six rehabilitation classes which focus on domestic violence.
If the offense is classified as a misdemeanor, first time offenders may be sentenced to only spending a short time in the County jail. The confinement term will depend on the seriousness of the offense. For example, a class one misdemeanor may result in a jail sentence of up to six months. Most often, first time offenders who are convicted are spared jail but that is not always the case. The next step involves the convict having to do a mandatory unsupervised or supervised Probation term. You can expect fines to be levied against you but often the Court will forgive the fine if classes and counseling are successfully achieved. The Court may also request that the convict attend anger management classes or some form of behavioral counseling as well as mandatory domestic violence counseling. Community service may also have to be performed. There also may be a court order telling the convict to stay away from the victim and if a child or children is involved in the situation, you can expect Arizona CPS to become involved.
Second Domestic Violence Charge In Arizona
After you are one and done—the second strike is not as easy. In these circumstances you are looking at considerably greater jail time and, god forbid, for a third consecutive conviction of domestic violence, it is likely it may be a felony charge with prison time as part of the sentence. Prison terms exceed one year as opposed to jail which is one year or less.
Third Domestic Violence Charge In Arizona
If during a period of seven years you are found guilty for a third time, your life will not improve. What is known as aggravated domestic violence is a Class 5 felony under Arizona law and the punishment can be up to 30 months in prison for an initial conviction. Yes prison. Yes 2 and ½ years.
Will I Still Get Charged if the Victim Drops the Charges?
If you tell the police there was a physical altercation when they arrive but it is sorted out now and you both wish to be left alone – it is highly likely the police will interpret this as an admission of committing a crime – and arrests and subsequent charges may well follow as a result. Because many people are first time offenders, they often do not realize what they say may be interpreted by the police as self-incrimination, providing ample evidence to make an arrest or more. Do not ever talk to police. Another fallacy is that it is the choice of the victim to pursue charges. But once the charges are filed, the prosecutor gets to decide that and not the victim of the domestic violence. Think long and hard, before you dial 911—sometimes there is no coming back.
Sources: “Arizona Domestic ViolenceLawyers-Attorneys Misdemeanor-Penalites.” Tucson Criminal Law & Domestic Violence Information, https://www.tucsoncriminallaw.com/Arizona-Domestic-Violence-Lawyers-Misdemeanor-Penalites.
“Arizona Domestic Violence Laws.” Findlaw, https://statelaws.findlaw.com/arizona-law/arizona-domestic-violence-laws.html.
Contact Our Domestic Violence Attorneys In Scottsdale, AZ
Our domestic violence attorneys in Scottsdale can help with restraining orders and orders of protection. We will ensure thorough preparation of your restraining order or order of protection, or defense from them, and help you navigate the legal issues that inevitably arise.