Chandler Domestic Violence Lawyers | Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm

Chandler Domestic Violence Lawyer

Domestic Violence ARS 13-3601

What is Domestic Violence?

Under Arizona law, “Domestic Violence” (“DV”) is not a crime, it is an enhancement. It is vital for you to understand “Domestic”, and “Violence” are separate words.

“Violence” is behavior or criminal acts. Arizona identifies several crimes, both felonies, and misdemeanors. Some of the several crimes are assault; criminal damage; disorderly conduct; and even first-degree murder, to which Arizona law can attach a DV enhancement.

What do you mean ‘enhancement?’ There are several ways an offense can be identified as DV, but the enhancement(s) are the most important because, here, enhancement is synonymous with direct and collateral consequences.

“Domestic” is defined by the relationship. The types of relationships are:

  • Married, or have been married, or merely lived together at any time.
  • Have a child in common.
  • Either defendant or victim is pregnant by the other person.
  • Related by blood or through law (i.e., marriage): Parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling. Including stepparents, grandparents, children, and siblings.
  • Victim is a child who currently or formerly lived with the defendant AND related to defendant’s former spouse OR to any person who has lived with the defendant.
  • Current or Former romantic/sexual relationship (i.e., significant others).

Factors that may be used to determine if the relationship qualifies:

  1. Type of relationship.
  2. Length.
  3. How frequent the victim and defendant interacted with each other.
  4. How long has it been since the relationship ended (if it ended).

Pursuant to §13-3601.02, any (misdemeanor or felony) DV enhanced crime can be a class 5 felony “Aggravated [DV]” (§3601.02(F)) if the defendant:

  • Commits a 3rd or subsequent DV violation within 7 years either in Arizona or anywhere else in the United States, including tribal courts.[1] §3601.02(A).
  • Must serve “not less than [4] months in jail” before being placed on community supervision (parole or probation), pardoned, or received a commuted sentence. §3601.02(B).
  • Commits a 4th or subsequent DV violation within 7 years either in Arizona or anywhere else, must serve “not less than [8] months in jail.” §3601.02(C).

Arizona uses the offense date(s) to determine the 7-year gap. §3601.02(D). Understand this enhancement is offense-date driven, not conviction date is crucial. I cannot tell you how many clients meet with us and are shocked to learn this is the only reason their offense (usually a misdemeanor) is being charged as an Aggravated felony requiring mandatory jail time.

Pursuant to 3601(L) and (N):

  1. If the victim was pregnant at the time of the offense, the “court shall consider the fact . . . and may increase the sentence.”
  2. If the defendant committed a felony against a pregnant person and knew the victim was pregnant, “the maximum sentence SHALL be increased by [2] years.”

Collaterally, the defendant WILL LOSE THEIR GUN RIGHTS. Yes, even for the defendant’s first and only misdemeanor DV offense. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(9), “It shall be unlawful for any person who has been convicted in a court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to . . . possess any firearm or ammunition. . ..” More commonly known as part of “The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act” which was signed into federal law on November 30, 1993.

Offense Classifications and Punishments

Arizona’s laws afford a variety of punishments, many of which focus on rehabilitation. Noted, all punishments will require the defendant to pay the victim restitution.

Misdemeanors:

Arizona has 3 misdemeanor classes, the highest is a class 1 and is punishable by up to: 6 months in jail, 3 years on probation, and $2,500.00 in fines and fees.

Felonies:

Arizona has 6 felony classes, other than first-degree murder (class 1), the highest is a class 2 felony. Felonies have a wide range of punishments including not less than 1 year in prison, probation, and fines and fees.

Misdemeanors and some felonies are eligible for “Diversion” programs. Diversion programs are designed to focus on two things: 1) rehabilitate the defendant: provide the defendant with tools to prevent the behavior from being repeated; 2) make the victim whole: ensure the defendant financially reimburses the victim for any financial loss incurred as a result of the defendant’s behavior. Upon successfully completing a diversion program, the defendant’s case is dismissed with prejudice (the charges can never be brought again).

The attorneys at the Attorneys for Freedom law firm in Chandler, AZ have decades of experience defending domestic violence charges, including cases that have gone to trial. To schedule a Strategy Session with an experienced domestic violence attorney who will aggressively defend these charges, contact us or call our office at 480-755-7110.

Arizona Office Address:
3185 S. Price Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85248
Phone: 480-755-7110

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