Tension is a normal part of living together. When tension mounts due to the holidays, illness, financial stress or relational difficulties, a breaking point is sometimes reached and the police may be called. Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion, but when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems.
What many people fail to understand is that in a domestic violence case, the arresting officer and/or prosecutor, not the victim, institutes and controls the case. The prosecutor may file criminal charges even if the victim doesn't approve, or may refuse to file criminal charges despite the victim's desire that criminal charges be filed.
In Arizona the relationship of the parties involved will determine whether assault or domestic violence charges are filed in the event of an altercation. Domestic violence charges come into play when:
1. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is one of marriage or former marriage or of persons residing or having resided in the same household.
2. The victim and the defendant have a child in common.
3. The victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party.
4. The victim is related to the defendant or the defendant's spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
5. The victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.
6. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship. The following factors may be considered in determining whether the relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship:
(a) The type of relationship.
(b) The length of the relationship.
(c) The frequency of the interaction between the victim and the defendant.
(d) If the relationship has terminated, the length of time since the termination.
In addition to possible jail time, fines and anger management classes, convictions of domestic violence in Arizona will also mean that an individual cannot possess a firearm and may have difficulty securing employment.
If you find that you are facing domestic violence charges, it is critical to defend against them in pursuit of the best outcome. Contact the lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod for a free initial legal consultation if you find yourself facing criminal or DUI charges. Craig's office has been involved in criminal and DUI defense for more than 25 years. Craig is certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, is AV® rated, the highest rating by Martindale Hubbell®, is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®, and has been selected for inclusion in Southwest Super Lawyers™ Editions 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.