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Domestic violence used to be viewed as a private matter between two individuals, usually a husband and wife. Given the prevalence of domestic violence and the effect it has on the lives of everyone involved, it is no longer seen as a private matter. All 50 states and the federal government have passed laws criminalizing domestic violence and offering civil relief to the victims. If you have questions about domestic violence, contact an experienced attorney in your area. Domestic violence charges are serious and should not be taken lightly.
Domestic violence occurs when an intimate partner or family member attempts to control the actions of another through the use of physical violence, threats, intimidation, isolation, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or economic abuse. Domestic violence can occur between spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends, divorced couples, parents, and children. It occurs across all cultural, religious, ethnic, sexual orientation, social and economic groups. Domestic violence is not just physical acts – it can include name-calling, put-downs, threats, and financial control.
Arizona law on domestic violence, violation of protective orders, and stalking has become extremely complex in the last few years. Penalties from felony convictions are more serious than for misdemeanor convictions. Penalties from offenses include:
Each state has a statute that defines domestic violence and determines who it applies to and in what circumstances. While some domestic violence statutes also provide criminal penalties, most of these statutes are civil in nature. This means that they provide civil remedies to victims of domestic violence and do not punish offenders. This can include offering victims the opportunity to sue the offenders for monetary damages.
Additionally, victims also can apply for orders of protection. While these orders will vary in name and format state to state, they are designed to provide victims with relief from the abuse. Orders of protection may require the offender to leave the home, return personal property to the victim, pay child support or perform other acts.
All states have made domestic violence a crime. But this does not mean all types of domestic violence are punishable as crimes. For example, most states do not criminally punish economic and emotional abuse.
Usually a person who has committed domestic abuse will be charged with a crime under the state’s penal code, such as:
Those convicted of a domestic violence crime may be ordered to pay fines, serve jail time or prison sentences, attend court-mandated treatment programs, pay restitution to the victim or be placed on probation. Other penalties also may be ordered, depending on the jurisdiction and severity of the crime.
Prior to the 1990s, domestic violence was handled as a state law issue. However, given the impact of domestic violence and the frequency of abuse crossing state lines, several important federal laws have been passed and others have been amended to add domestic violence provisions, including:
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Gun Control Act
We want to tell your side of the story and bring to light all the facts of the case. We will work closely with you to explore all legal alternatives, such as self-defense pleas or Miranda rights violations. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, it’s imperative that you seek legal counsel straight away. The Weingart Firm offers experienced and aggressive representation by lawyers who are results-oriented. Contact our domestic violence defense lawyers at our Tempe firm today.
Mark Weingart is a board certified criminal law specialist under the strict standards established by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. The Weingart Firm is an AV-rated* law firm under Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system, providing superior and outstanding representation. With our help, you have a chance of getting charges reduced or dismissed.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.