Having a domestic violence conviction on your record can have serious implications on your life. Not only can you face serious jail or prison time, classes, fines and fees, but a domestic violence conviction can prevent you from seeing your family member, carrying a gun for life and can keep you from getting a job in the future.
What is domestic violence in Arizona?
In Arizona, domestic violence is not a formal charge. Rather, it is associated with a different type of crime such as assault, disorderly conduct, criminal damage or interfering with judicial proceedings. The domestic violence charge gets added to the criminal charge when the alleged victim of the crime is a spouse, ex-spouse, child, family member, or even a roommate. This means that a simple argument between a husband and a wife, a brother and sister or even two roommates can lead to a charge and a conviction of domestic violence in Phoenix.
What if the victim does not want to press charges?
When facing a domestic violence charge in Arizona, the victim is not pressing charges against you. Rather, the State of Arizona is the one who is attempting to prosecute you. This means that even if the victim no longer wants to press charges against you, it is extremely rare that the prosecutor will drop your charges. Having the right Phoenix domestic violence attorney can help you negotiate an alternative to a criminal conviction and have the charges dismissed or win at trial.
What can I do to avoid a domestic violence conviction in Phoenix?
The most important thing that a person can do when facing a domestic violence charge in Phoenix is hire an attorney that they can trust and who they know will fight for them. Many times, your attorney will be able to fight for a dismissal of the charges or a diversion program to avoid criminal prosecution before ever having to go to trial. A diversion program can often be negotiated that would allow first time offenders to complete anger management classes in exchange for a dismissal of the domestic violence charges.