Your future may be on the line when you are accused of domestic violence. A domestic violence offense can follow you for years, and if you were accused of aggravated domestic violence, you might be facing felony charges that can alter your life.
Contact our Tucson domestic violence lawyer if you are accused of a crime. At Ferguson Hill Filous, PLLC, our domestic violence attorneys are ready to speak with you, identify the best defense for your claim case, and represent you in the courtroom.
Domestic Violence, Defined
First, what is a domestic violence charge? The state of Arizona defines domestic violence under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) §13-3601. Under A.R.S. §13-3601, domestic violence is defined as any type of violent or threatening behavior, as well as emotional abuse, committed by one family or household member against another. One of the following must apply:
- The victim and the accused are married, formerly married, or are or were residing in the same household.
- The victim and defendant have a child or are pregnant.
- The victim and defendant are related by blood or court order.
- 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 has resided in the same household as the defendant.
- The victim and defendant have a current or previous romantic or sexual relationship.
Arizona domestic violence charges may be brought for crimes against a current or former spouse or domestic partner, another relative, or a child.
Because domestic violence criminal charges cover many specific offenses, you may need a sexual assault attorney Tucson to help you choose the best types of legal defense. A Tucson domestic violence attorney can help you defend your case, gather evidence, and protect your future.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges
When you are charged and facing a domestic violence case, getting Tucson domestic violence attorneys on your side may help you avoid a conviction for domestic abuse. A conviction can leave you with devastating penalties that can impact your life for years.
When facing a misdemeanor or felony offense, you may be facing severe penalties that can impact your quality of life if you are convicted. A domestic violence lawyer can help you understand the exact penalties you may face, including imprisonment in jail or prison, hefty fines, or collateral consequences that can impact your future.
Even if you are prepared to serve time, your criminal record can impact any situation where you may be given a background check. For example, if you seek child custody, rent an apartment, or seek out a loan or mortgage, any violence within a domestic relationship you are convicted of will appear in your background check. Because of this, you may need to contact our Tucson domestic violence lawyers for guidance toward a charge reduction or dismissal.
Your Potential Legal Defenses
Fortunately, you do have options for legal defenses. Your Tucson domestic violence attorney can help you determine how to move forward when accused of violence within a romantic or sexual relationship.
For example, a local police agency may have wrongfully stated that the incident is considered domestic violence. You may not have had any physical contact with the person, and they did not feel threatened by you. However, your case may be different, so take a look at some common legal defense strategies an attorney may use for your case.
You may have simply been wrongfully accused as the perpetrator in some cases. For example, if a parent-in-law or former spouse has claimed that you were violent towards them, you may have evidence that disputes this claim. Your criminal defense lawyer can determine whether your case is a case of mistaken identity. Just as a burglary attorney would need to prove mistaken identity, your lawyer may also need to prove you simply could not have been there when the domestic violence incident happened.
In cases of self-defense, you may face criminal charges for a situation you could not have avoided in order to protect yourself or someone else. For example, the person claiming that you committed domestic violence against them may have committed a criminal offense themselves. They may have been trying to commit serious bodily injury to you or even been trying to commit first-degree murder.
In these cases, you may have the grounds to say that you acted in self-defense or in the defense of others. Under A.R.S. §13-404, the use of physical force is permitted when you believe it is imperative to defend yourself against physical force. Your lawyer can help you secure evidence that the other person was trying to harm you or a loved one and that you acted in a way immediately necessary to protect yourself.
Lack of Proof
When the defendant’s spouse or other people you are in a domestic relationship with accuse you of domestic violence, they may decide to drop the charges. However, this does not mean that your case will be dismissed. If this is the case, you may need a lawyer to further investigate and take action to prove there is a lack of proof to prosecute you.
In these cases, you can work with a law firm like ours to act and get answers. Our team can help you gather proof that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to continue the case, and reaching out for help from our attorneys is the first step in mediating your case.
How a Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help Your Case
When you are accused by family members or someone you are in a sexual relationship with of committing domestic violence, you may face felony charges. Whether you are accused of assault, child abuse, or another offense against a relative or cohabitant, you may need a criminal defense attorney on your side.
Hiring an attorney who understands the specifics of your case can help you avoid the devastating penalties that can come with a conviction. Just as a Tucson drug crime attorney or white-collar crimes lawyer Tucson can guide you through the specific statutes and related offenses you may face, your domestic violence attorney can lead you through your case.
When seeking a criminal defense attorney, you can expect help with gathering evidence, identification of the best legal defense for your case, and legal representation in the courtroom. Our team has the resources and experience you need for success in your case.
Tucson Domestic Violence FAQ
When you are accused of domestic violence, you need the proper guidance to help you protect your future and avoid the devastating penalties that these charges bring about. You may not have the resources to do this, leaving you struggling to handle misdemeanor or felony charges.
When you have questions, a domestic violence lawyer has answers. In the meantime, read the frequently asked questions and answers below to determine how they apply to your case.
What happens in a domestic violence case?
When a family member accuses you of domestic violence, it can lead to a criminal case. Before the police arrive, someone in your local community may have contacted emergency services after witnessing or hearing a domestic dispute in order to prevent further injury, even if you did not harm anyone and there was no physical altercation.
Once you are arrested and booked, you and your attorney will determine what the next steps are and what to anticipate throughout the process. This includes but is not limited to restraining orders, protective orders, court dates, and more.
Upon speaking to your attorney about your next steps, you will establish the representation you will receive for your case and the actions your attorney will take on your behalf to present your case effectively in the courtroom.
Is verbal abuse a crime in Arizona?
When facing criminal cases like domestic violence, you may argue that you didn’t inflict physical harm on the person making the accusations. However, a lack of physical injury does not always mean you will not face legal penalties.
Verbal abuse is a crime in Arizona under its verbal assault and domestic abuse statutes. In these cases, you may not be accused of physically hurting someone, but will still require a lawyer to fight verbal abuse and domestic violence charges.
What is the statute of limitations on domestic violence in Arizona?
The statute of limitations on criminal cases varies depending on the severity of the crime. For example, a Tucson theft crime lawyer may be looking for a different time limit than your domestic violence lawyer.
However, since domestic violence charges can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, you may be facing different time limits. In accordance with A.R.S. §13-107, misdemeanors have a statute of limits of one year, while most felonies have a statute of limitations of seven years.
If you are unsure how long the statute of limitations is for your case, reach out to an attorney about the specifics of your case to determine whether you may still be prosecuted under state law.
Seek a Domestic Violence Lawyer in Tucson
When you are accused of domestic violence, you may be surprised and dismayed by the drastic difference a domestic violence charge can have on various aspects of your life. These accusations could lead to penalties that impact your future and your success, your career, your family, and your ability to be a part of the community.
Due to this, you may need to seek out a domestic violence lawyer to gain further guidance on reducing or dismissing the charges you are facing.
Our team at Ferguson Hill Filous, PLLC understands that domestic violence is a serious charge to face, and we acknowledge that overcoming your charges without legal guidance can feel impractical. That is why we offer free consultations to those facing devastating criminal charges, especially those who may lack the necessary resources needed to navigate these circumstances and recover from these situations.
Getting in touch with our law offices is easy. Reach out to us via our phone number or fill out our online contact form to set up your consultation today.