Mesa Domestic Violence Lawyer
There are several offenses that can, depending on the circumstances, be considered domestic violence under Arizona law. Our Mesa domestic violence lawyers have been dealing with these cases for over 16 years. We understand the questions that people have, and the nuances of how the law will apply in each specific situation.
Above all, with our deep experience, we know that simply being accused of a crime is not the same as being guilty of that crime. Our job is to fight for defendants—for their freedom and their reputation--and that’s exactly what we do.
What Is Considered a Domestic Violence Crime in Arizona?
It’s important to understand that what classifies a crime as domestic violence is not the nature of the offense, but the nature of the relationship the defendant has with the alleged victim. For example…
- Assault is a crime regardless of who the victim is. But when the allegation involves an assault against a spouse, it becomes domestic violence.
- Trespassing is always a criminal offense, but when a defendant is alleged to have trespassed against an ex-spouse or ex-partner, this same act can be considered domestic violence.
- Battery—the physical striking of another human being is a crime often linked to assault (which is making a credible threat of violence), and it’s a crime a no matter who the victim is. But when the case involves allegations of a parent against a child or another family member living in the house, it can become a domestic violence case.
Possible victims of domestic violence under Arizona law include spouses, ex-spouses, or anyone that the defendant had a relationship with, either current or in the past. Children and other relatives of the defendant can also be the victims of domestic violence.
Is Domestic Violence a Felony in Arizona?
The wide range of possible crimes that might fall under the domestic violence umbrella mean that it’s possible for the crime to be either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Many domestic violence-related crimes in Arizona can be considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor, the most serious category of misdemeanors. Offenses such as disorderly conduct or criminal damage, for example, may be charged as a misdemeanor.
On the other hand, a person can be charged with a felony in more serious cases involving the use of a deadly weapon, or severe injuries to the victim. A domestic violence offense can also turn into a felony if the well-being of a child or unborn child is threatened.
Can the Police Make an Arrest Even if the Victim Doesn’t Want to Press Charges?
Yes. A police officer can make an arrest, and a prosecutor can still move forward with charges, even if the victim has a change of heart. It’s important to understand the difference between a criminal case, such as these, and a civil dispute. The latter is simply a private disagreement between two parties (i.e., over a contractual dispute), so if the parties themselves resolve things, the legal system will not intervene.
But criminal cases are different. While the events involved—in this case the allegation of domestic violence—may simply be between two people, the consequences are felt for society as a whole. Police and prosecutors cannot let a potentially dangerous person roam free based solely on the person who initially called the police changing their mind.
To be sure, an alleged victim who no longer wishes to cooperate, is a hurdle for the prosecution to overcome. But by itself, this lack of cooperation does not require a District Attorney’s Office to drop the charges.
As for Naegle Law Firm, PLC, we’re here to represent the defendant’s interests and to believe in them. Regardless of what the alleged victim may say or not say, we’re here to fight for the defendant. Contact us today, either by calling (480) 245-5550 or through the use of our online contact form.
How Can a Mesa Domestic Violence Attorney Help Me?
There are more than a few viable defense strategies for those accused of domestic violence. But the first point that has to be emphasized is that our lawyers should be called in as quickly as possible—when an arrest is made, and even before, if a defendant is aware that the police are going to be called.
The reason is that prosecutors will often try and pressure defendants into a plea agreement—to plead guilty in exchange for the prosecutor reducing the charges. Defendants are often scared and vulnerable in these spots. They may feel they have no choice. But that may not be true.
With literally tens of thousands of cases under our belt, Naegle Law Firm, PLC, has a deep understanding of the level of evidence prosecutors need to obtain a guilty verdict in court. We’ll know if the plea deal being offered is really in the best interests of the defendant. We can know this by reviewing evidence that includes:
- The written police report
- Footage from the officer’s body cameras
- Testimony from the defendant, alleged victim, and those who may have been in a position to understand the relationship and the alleged incident.
Based on our experience, we can start asking relevant questions like these:
- Was there probable cause to even make an arrest in the first place?
- Is it possible the allegation was rooted in a misunderstanding? For example, an assault charge can be based on a perceived threat of violence. But what if the victim’s perception was honestly mistaken? We’ll find out.
- Is the alleged victim’s story consistent throughout and aligned with how other witnesses describe the alleged incident and the relationship?
- Overall, is the evidence the prosecution has gathered likely to be considered “beyond a reasonable doubt” by a jury—keeping in mind that even a single holdout on a jury of twelve people would stop a guilty verdict.
Based on all of this, and more, our Mesa domestic violence lawyer can advise on the merits (or lack thereof) of a plea deal, prepare a viable defense strategy, and then fight vigorously in court.
We’ll Go the Extra Mile for You
With over 16 years of experience, our office has assisted countless clients charged with domestic violence offenses. We work hard to protect your record, your reputation, and your freedom.
Want all the latest news or updates? Browse through our blog to read our most recent posts and featured articles.