Very often domestic violence penalties also include counseling and paying victims restitution for damages.
Domestic violence is a serious problem and unfortunately COVID-19 did not help the situation. There was a dramatic rise in reported cases of domestic violence in Arizona over the last year or so as people were forced to stay home in lockdown situations with each other. The Phoenix Police Department saw almost a doubling of domestic violence-related calls in 2020. People should feel safe in their own homes and with their relatives and it is tragic when this is not the case.
Just as tragic is when a person wrongfully accuses someone of domestic violence as an act of revenge, pettiness, or hatred. Unfortunately, at least 10 percent of reported domestic violence claims turn out to be false accusations and as our culture continues to shift into a more ‘guilty until proven innocent’ mindset this number is likely to continue to rise. People will use these allegations to attack someone’s character, reputation, or as a tactic to fight for child custody. When a person is accused of acts that they didn’t commit it’s very important to reach out to a domestic violence lawyer in Phoenix AZ for help to fight these charges so that they can reclaim their lives.
Types of Domestic Violence
When we think of the word domestic it’s easy to picture violence within the home but the term actually applies to any aggression or act of abuse towards someone with which a person is in a relationship, whether that be romantic, siblings, parent and child, or people that would be considered a family unit in some other way.
Domestic abuse can be classified in many ways, not just the laying of hands on another person in a violent way. The definition encompasses a much wider set of behaviors and actions. These include:
- Physical abuse (hitting, slapping, or shoving a victim in a forceful manner. Strong physical abuse could potentially be deemed to be assault.)
- Sexual abuse (molestation or rape)
- Economic abuse (holding power over finances in an oppressive way)
- Psychological abuse (verbal insults, lying in an effort to harm mental wellbeing, mind games, etc.)
- Isolation (i.e.. preventing a victim from using the phone or the internet)
- Endangerment (placing a victim in immediate danger of physical harm or death)
- Criminal trespass
- Threats and intimidation
Domestic violence charges, no matter whether they be physical abuse, neglect, threats, or something else, can have devastating consequences for a person. If a person is convicted of domestic violence, it will affect their chances at having custody and a relationship with their children, employment opportunities, and even reputation within the community. If wrongfully accused, it is incredibly important to fight those charges.
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Phoenix, AZ
The penalties for domestic violence charges vary greatly since the term applies to such a wide array of offenses. They range from probation to jail time to being registered on the Arizona sex offender list. The specific circumstances of the crime as well as the offender’s criminal history will be taken into account when it comes to sentencing.
Very often domestic violence penalties also include counseling and paying victims restitution for damages. If a judge believes the offender is likely to repeat their abusive actions, then the convicted offender could also face a restraining order or order of protection. There is also the possibility of losing their license to practice in certain professions, restrictions on visiting family members, or even being forced to secure new living arrangements after sentencing.
How to Defend Domestic Violence Charges
If a person has contacted the authorities to make a claim of domestic violence the state will take those charges very seriously. Even if the individual changes their minds and chooses not to press charges the state can still aggressively work to prosecute domestic violence offenses. Which is why it is so important to reach out to an experienced domestic violence defense attorney if you have been wrongfully accused of a domestic violence crime. Since it is only the district attorney who has the power to drop a criminal case.
A qualified domestic violence attorney will carefully review the evidence against the accused and look for proof of innocence or any other mitigating factors in your case. They will look at the relationship between the accuser and accused to see if there is a history of false allegations or anger and bitterness that could be directed towards trying to wreck that person’s life.
When an innocent person is accused of domestic violence they are in for a rough road. Even if these charges are disproved it can still taint the person’s reputation within a community which is why it is important to act quickly when accused of these sorts of crimes so that the truth can be unraveled swiftly and hopefully before too much damage is done. Having the right lawyer on your side in this situation could mean the difference between continuing to have your life as your own or having your name and reputation forever tarnished.