If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Arizona, your first instinct may be to try to talk with your accuser. You may reason that most domestic violence cases involve close family members or someone you consider very close, and the best case scenario would be to resolve the issues without involving the courts or the police.
However, by the time you’ve been charged with a crime, both the police and the courts are involved. Speaking with the victim or anyone else can damage your case.
When faced with a domestic violence charge in Arizona, it’s essential to hire an experienced and qualified domestic violence defense attorney. Arizona has strict penalties on anyone found to have committed a domestic violence crime.
Moreover, a conviction has some long-term consequences. You could end up with a domestic violence criminal record that impacts your employment, child custody, and even gun rights.
What Constitutes a Domestic Violence Charge in Arizona?
Contrary to popular belief, domestic violence is not a crime in Arizona. Instead, it’s an allegation that the victim of the crime has a domestic relationship with the defendant. Also, depending on the circumstances, domestic violence charge can apply to people who are just dating or former partners. Arizona Statutes 13-3601 explain what constitutes domestic violence in the state.
The type of crimes classified as domestic violence include:
- Physical and verbal assault
- Violating an order or protection or a restraining order
- Sexual assault of a minor
- Child abuse
- Sexual or physical battery
- Elder abuse
In some cases, arguments can turn into yelling and verbal assault, which can get the cops called on you or your loved one. People can make decisions fueled by rage, jealousy, and anger when things spiral out of control. But what happens when they have a change of heart?
If you would like to get you or your loved one domestic violence charges dropped in Arizona, there are certain things you need to know.
Getting Charges Dismissed isn’t an Easy Task
While Arizona domestic violence prosecutors would like to believe that every person who files charges against another is a victim, sometimes this is not always the case. There are situations where people pressed charges for domestic violence when no violence happened.
Majority of those who are said to be victims try to have the domestic violence charges dropped against the defendant a few hours after they have filed. These people are likely to have made rash decisions out of character, anger, or hurt. However, they find out that dismissing a domestic violence case is not as easy.
Arizona is known for being vigilant against those accused and those who accused one of domestic violence, and later try to drop the charges.
Grounds for Dismissal in Domestic Violence Cases in Arizona
Lack of Evidence
Domestic violence charges can be dismissed if there is lack of admissible or sufficient evidence. The prosecution needs to be able to prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If there’s no evidence to prove that the accused is guilty, the prosecution may decide to drop the charges to avoid a not guilty verdict.
A victim may want to drop the charges, but this doesn’t get the case dismissed right away. The case can still move forward even if the victim refuses to testify. However, a victim who recants or changes their story can make it challenging for prosecutors to prove their case.
Someone is considered an uncooperative witness is they fail to remember some or all the facts of the incident, fail to avail themselves during depositions or downplay the impact of the incident. Guilt, fear, and embarrassment are other reasons why an alleged victim may be considered uncooperative.
Why You Need a Domestic Violence Attorney
Arizona domestic laws can get complicated. It’s therefore essential to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can get your charges reduced or dismissed. A good lawyer will be able to assess your case, examine the facts, and determine the best defense strategy.