Man behind prison bars

How a Domestic Violence Charge Can Affect Your Life

Faussette & Faussette March 25, 2021

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, about 33.4% of Arizona men and 42.6% of Arizona women experience physical violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking with their spouse or intimate partner. Domestic violence is a serious offense that carries severe punishment in the state of Arizona. If convicted, an offender may be facing devastating consequences, including a lengthy prison sentence, massive fines, a protective order, loss of child custody, and other life-altering ramifications.

Our attorneys at Faussette & Faussette are committed to providing experienced legal guidance and reliable representation to individuals facing domestic violence charges. We understand the severity of these allegations and the impact they can have on your life moving forward. Our experienced Arizona domestic violence attorneys will fight vigorously to protect your rights and pursue the best possible outcome for your case. Our firm proudly serves clients throughout the Valley and its surrounding cities and across the state of Arizona including Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Goodyear.

How Arizona Law Defines Domestic Violence

A simple disagreement or argument between two spouses or family members can quickly escalate into a dramatic confrontation. According to Arizona Revised Statutes, 13-3601, domestic violence involves any dangerous crime or violent act committed by a person against another person with whom they have a domestic relationship.

Under Arizona law, any of the following relationships may be considered domestic relationships:

  • Current or former spouses

  • Persons who have a child together

  • Persons currently living together or previously lived together

  • A pregnant mother and the biological father

  • Persons who are related by blood or court order

  • Persons with a current or previous romantic or sexual relationship

Furthermore, violent acts may include assault, violating an order of protection, criminal damage, dangerous crimes against children, stalking, negligent homicide, criminal trespass, sexual assault, kidnapping, harassment, child endangerment, child abuse, unlawful imprisonment, and other forms of dangerous crimes or violent behavior.

Possible Consequences for a Domestic Violence Conviction

The possible consequences and penalties of a domestic violence conviction in Arizona can be significant, depending on the severity of the incident and whether or not it is a repeat offense. The penalties for a domestic violence conviction include:

Misdemeanor Domestic Violence

Most domestic violence offenses are classified as a class 1, 2, or 3 misdemeanors. The punishment for these are as follows:

  • Class 1 Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a maximum fine of $2,500 plus surcharges, and three years of probation.

  • Class 2 Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to 120 days in jail, a maximum fine of $700 plus surcharges, and two years of probation.

  • Class 3 Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a maximum fine of $500 plus surcharges, and one year of probation.

Felony Domestic Violence

If an individual receives a 3rd domestic violence charge, it can be an automatic felony (even if the parameters around the crime are misdemeanors) if that 3rd charge was within 5 years of the previous 2 charges. It doesn't matter if it's the same victim or a different victim.

Domestic violence against pregnant victims or aggravated domestic violence may be classified as a class 5 or 6 felony. Punishable by up to 36 months in prison and a maximum fine of up to $150,000.

Furthermore, where domestic violence charges also include negligent homicide or sexual assault, harsher penalties beyond a class 5 and 6 felony will apply.

Other Possible Consequences

  • 52 sessions of counseling and mandatory domestic violence classes

  • Inability to own or possess a firearm in Arizona

  • Ineligibility to apply for certain jobs, educational, or professional opportunities.

  • Loss of parenting privileges or child custody rights

  • Possible deportation from or inadmissibility to the United States.

  • Several hours of community service

  • A domestic violence protective or restraining order.

  • Future employment difficulties

  • A permanent criminal record

How Our Team at Faussette & Faussette PLLC Can Help

Allegations of domestic violence, physical acts against a family member, and other forms of domestic violence can cause irreparable damage to your quality of life, reputation, liberty, and future opportunities. However, defending such allegations without proper guidance or experienced representation can increase your risk of getting convicted and facing severe punishment.

Luckily, you don’t have to face these challenges on your own. Retaining an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney is paramount to protect your rights and craft your defense strategy.

Since 2013, our attorneys at Faussette & Faussette have been handling domestic violence cases and defending clients wrongfully accused of domestic battery. As your legal counsel, we can:

  • Review the facts of your unique situation and conduct a detailed investigation

  • Gather evidence to fight the allegations against you

  • Interview everyone involved in the incident to provide an accurate depiction of events

  • Identify witnesses who can testify on your behalf

  • Outline an effective defense strategy to maximize your chances of receiving a favorable outcome

  • If necessary, help you get a restraining order lifted

Our team will fight aggressively to defend your rights and make sure that you are treated fairly from start to finish. We will help you navigate the Arizona criminal justice system, do everything within our capacity to dispute the charges against you, and ensure that these charges don't ruin your life.

Facing a domestic violence charge can be a scary experience — especially when you feel like you’re facing them on your own. Call Faussette & Faussette today to schedule a one-on-one case evaluation with experienced domestic violence defense attorneys. Our team will offer you the comprehensive legal counsel, strong advocacy, and reliable representation you need to defend your charges. We are proud to serve clients across the Valley and its surrounding cities and across the state of Arizona, so call or reach out today to get the help you need!