Domestic Violence and Internet Crimes
Technological advances have expanded where communication takes place. While these platforms have helped us maintain contact with our family and friends, some of these forums also harbor dangerous threats and harassment. Law enforcement officers monitor some online sites, particularly for child pornography and other crimes against children. However, Internet crimes may also be committed against adults. Some Internet crimes also include a domestic violence component when the perpetrator has a specific type of relationship with the victim. If you have questions about being charged with domestic violence and Internet crimes, you should consult seasoned Phoenix domestic violence attorney James E. Novak.Domestic Violence and Internet Crimes
In Arizona, domestic violence is not a specific, separate crime. Instead, domestic violence allegations are made when the perpetrator has a domestic relationship with the crime victim. Those with domestic relationships include spouses, children, girlfriends, boyfriends, exes, roommates, in-laws, those with a child in common, those who share a pregnancy, or those in a current or prior romantic relationship. Arizona Revised Statutes section 13-3601 specifies that when a crime is perpetrated and there is a domestic relationship, the defendant can face enhanced punishment. This includes a prohibition on the perpetrator possessing firearms.
Most people consider domestic violence to cover assault, battery and other physical violence. However, when certain Internet crimes are committed between people with a domestic relationship, the enhanced punishment for physical domestic violence may also apply.
Internet crimes may be charged and sentenced as domestic violence include stalking; threatening words or actions; harassment; threatening or intimidating a witness; certain crimes against children; photographing, recording, videotaping, or secretly watching you without your consent such as when you’re in a private place, performing a private act or while your genitals, butt, or breasts are exposed in a way they aren’t usually exposed publicly. For example, if your ex-spouse installs a webcam on your computer, spies on you, and records you in your bedroom without your knowledge, this may be charged as domestic violence. Similarly, if on your social media page, your roommate threatens to kill you while you sleep, this might be charged as domestic violence.Prosecutor’s Decision
It’s not up to the victim whether you’re charged with domestic violence. The State pursues charges, not the victim. Once the matter is in a prosecutor’s hands, she can make a decision about whether or not to charge based on the evidence gathered. This is why it’s so crucial to retain an experienced lawyer who can explore options for defense of domestic violence charges and then select the strategy that’s most likely to be successful in your particular case.Penalties
Like other crimes, domestic violence charges must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. Depending on whether the domestic violence and Internet crime is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, penalties may be severe.
Crimes may be charged as class 1, 2, or 3 misdemeanors with class 1 misdemeanors being the most serious. For a class 1 misdemeanor, you could face up to 6 months of jail time. Felony charges are more serious. The class of felony will dictate the sentencing. There are six classes of felonies, with class 1 felonies being the most serious and class 6 felonies being the least serious.
Aggravated domestic violence charges may be pursued under Arizona Revised Statutes section 13-3601.02. A range of circumstances can lead to aggravated domestic violence charges. For instance, if you email your stepdaughter and threaten to rape and dismember her within 84 months of a second or subsequent domestic violence conviction, you could be charged with aggravated domestic violence.
If you’re convicted of domestic violence, you will likely need to complete 26 domestic violence classes in addition to potentially facing jail time and fines. You won’t be able to possess or own firearms.Hire a Seasoned Phoenix Attorney
If you’re facing charges for domestic violence and Internet crimes, you should call James E. Novak, an experienced lawyer who brings to bear his past experience as a prosecutor when strategizing about how best to defend a client. He represents clients in Phoenix, as well as Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale and throughout Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.