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Scottsdale Domestic Violence Attorney

Don’t go up against state prosecutors in Arizona by yourself if you’re facing domestic violence charges. Domestic violence can be a felony offense with penalties such as months or years in jail, thousands of dollars in fines, and long-lasting ramifications on your personal and professional lives.

You need experienced Scottsdale domestic violence attorneys by your side for your best chance at a positive case outcome. The Hallam Law Group has polished, confident lawyers who can help. Speak to our Scottsdale defense attorneys to learn more.

Scottsdale Domestic Abuse Laws

The first step in fighting domestic violence or abuse charges is to learn what the state laws say about this crime. According to Arizona Revised Statute Section 13-3601, domestic violence is any dangerous crime against a child, spouse, former spouse, household or former household member, someone with whom the defendant has a child (or someone pregnant with the defendant’s child), a blood relative, step-relatives, relative-in-law, or someone with whom the defendant has or has had a sexual relationship with. Almost any action against a family or household member, resulting in harm, could end in a domestic violence claim.

A dangerous crime can mean a wide variety of things, including:

  • Physical/sexual assault
  • Child abuse or elder abuse
  • Negligent homicide
  • Threats or intimidation
  • Putting someone at risk of immediate injury or death
  • Harassment or stalking
  • Watching or recording someone without his/her consent
  • Unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping
  • Criminal trespass
  • Breaking a court order
  • Preventing use of a phone in an emergency

Injuries do not have to be physical. Victims can allege emotional or mental violence and abuse as well.

Section 13-3624 of the criminal code discusses emergency orders of protection, made available within 24 hours after a domestic violence arrest. It is against the law to breach the provisions of an order of protection. Doing so could exacerbate your domestic violence charge and lead to additional charges against you. To learn more about this, speak to a domestic violence lawyer in Scottsdale today.

How the Police Navigate Domestic Abuse Claims in Arizona

It is an unfortunate reality for families everywhere that domestic violence is one of the most flippantly-used criminal charges in the country. Many victims intentionally make false accusations of domestic abuse to serve their own purposes or call the police with domestic abuse stories when in reality the other person’s actions didn’t warrant the term. They don’t realize that the case is out of the victim’s hands once it involves the police. It’s impossible to “take back” a domestic violence or abuse allegation because it’s the state that prosecutes the defendant, not the victim.

Once the police investigate the domestic violence claim, it may go to the state for the prosecution decision if the police find enough evidence. Should the state press charges, only the district attorney will have the power to dismiss them. The victim may only act as a witness to the state’s prosecution and may not stop the lawsuit, even if he or she does not believe that domestic violence actually occurred. A web of legal processes and criminal investigations will entangle the alleged perpetrator at this point – issues that could follow the individual for life.

To get more in-depth information about this process, speak to a domestic abuse lawyer from Scottsdale today.

When is Domestic Violence a Felony?

A domestic violence charge does not exist in a vacuum. When someone accuses another person of domestic violence, the charge is in connection to another accusation, whether it be threatening someone, assault, or intimidation. The person who claims to have experienced the violence is a member of the accused’s family or household, including significant others, children, parents, and stepchildren.

Aggravated domestic violence is a felony. The state of Arizona considers a charge to be an incident of aggravated domestic violence if the defendant:

  • Commits a third domestic violence offense within 84 months (seven years), including out-of-state offenses.
  • Has convictions for two or more out-of-state domestic violence charges, these charges would warrant jail time in Arizona, but the defendant has only served four months or less.
  • Has convictions for three or more out-of-state domestic violence charges that would warrant jail time in Arizona, but the defendant only served eight months or less.

If the domestic violence incident involves a weapon or serious bodily harm to the other party, the courts may deem the offense to be a felony. To learn more about this, contact a domestic violence lawyer in Scottsdale today.

When is Domestic Violence a Misdemeanor?

In all other cases of domestic violence that do not fall under the aggravated domestic violence definition, the charge is a misdemeanor. For a charge to be domestic violence, a relationship must exist between the two parties, whether it be between spouses, a parent and child, or a parent and stepchildren.

If the two parties have a domestic relationship, law enforcement can add a domestic violence charge to any of the following crimes:

  • Kidnapping, including kidnapping of one’s own children without the consent of the other parent
  • Threats against another person, including death threats
  • Trespassing on another’s property
  • Assault
  • Harassment, including sexual harassment and verbal harassment
  • Damage to property
  • Witness intimidation
  • Battery

What to Expect From a Domestic Violence Hearing in Scottsdale

If you are facing a domestic violence hearing in Scottsdale, you may feel nervous and overwhelmed. You may be unsure what to expect from the process and what the potential outcomes are.

Having a skilled domestic abuse attorney by your side will help you navigate the complex litigation process involved for domestic violence cases. Before the hearing, your defense lawyer will meet with you to discuss the facts of the case. He or she will perform an investigation into the details of the incident to gather evidence to build your defense. Your lawyer may interview witnesses, family members, and friends, review security footage, and examine evidence collected by police, including photographs and victim statements.

Your attorney will prepare you for your trial. He or she will let you know what the prosecution and the defense will ask you to do, if you will have to testify, and even the best way to dress and present yourself in the courtroom. Your Scottsdale domestic violence lawyer will also let you know how the prosecution will attempt to portray you and how to compose yourself.

Each trial will be different based on the circumstances of the case and the severity of the charges. Hiring an experienced attorney, such as Josephine Hallam at Hallam Law Group, will ensure that you know what to expect and what to do before you step foot in the courtroom.

How A Scottsdale Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help

The best thing you can do for yourself as the defendant in a domestic violence case in Scottsdale is to hire an attorney. The Hallam Law Group understands how these criminal cases work in Arizona and on a federal level. We can help you create a strong, aggressive defense strategy.

Possible defenses to domestic violence allegations are that your actions don’t fit the definition of the crime, that the relationship between you and the victim doesn’t meet the jurisdictional requirements, that you were acting in self-defense, or that your actions were too trivial to be a criminal offense.

Learn about your potential defenses during a free legal consultation. Call for yours at (602) 237-5373.