Domestic Violence With Prior Convictions

Phoenix Lawyer Defending the Accused

Domestic violence is not a separate charge in Arizona. Rather, it's a blanket term used for many different criminal charges when the victim and perpetrator of the crime have a familial, household or romantic relationship. Domestic violence convictions carry significant stigma. Moreover, domestic violence with prior convictions can result in particularly harsh sentencing that can significantly impact family law matters, along with your ability to seek employment or secure housing. If you have been charged with domestic violence, you should discuss the case against you with Phoenix domestic violence attorney James E. Novak. As a former prosecutor, he understands how to plan an appropriate defense strategy by evaluating the facts of your case.

Domestic Violence with Prior Convictions

Under the Arizona Revised Statutes section 13–3601, you can be charged with domestic violence if you commit any of certain enumerated crimes and one of the following is true: (1) you have a familial or household relationship with the victim; (2) you have a child with the victim; (3) you or your victim is pregnant with the other’s child; (4) you're related by blood or law to the victim; (5) the victim is a child who lives in your household and is related by blood to your ex-spouse or another who lives with you; or (6) you and the defendant were involved sexually or romantically.

Because some romantic and sexual relationships are ambiguous, the court will consider the following factors when determining whether a relationship was sexual or romantic, including the length of the relationship between victim and perpetrator, the nature of the relationship, the frequency of interactions, and whether the relationship is ongoing.

Charges that can be considered domestic violence in Arizona when the requisite relationship exists between victim and perpetrator include aggravated assault, criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct, harassment, kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, negligent homicide, sexual assault, physical assault, stalking, and unlawful imprisonment. In order to establish domestic violence with prior convictions, the prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of the underlying offense, the requisite domestic relationship, and the prior convictions.

Aggravated Domestic violence

When a conviction is designated as domestic violence in Arizona, you may face increased jail time and may not qualify for probation. In most cases, domestic violence is charged as a misdemeanor. However, if you are charged with domestic violence and have prior convictions, you may face harsher sentencing. Under Arizona Revised Statute section 13-3601.02, you will be guilty of aggravated domestic violence if you commit a third or subsequent domestic violence offense within 84 months. If you’re convicted of aggravated domestic violence, you won’t be eligible for probation, pardon, commutation or suspension of your sentence or release on other grounds until you’ve served at least four months in jail. If you’re convicted of aggravated domestic violence and you were convicted of three or more previous violations of a domestic violence offense, you won’t be eligible for pardon, probation, commutation, or suspension of sentence or release on other grounds until you’ve served at least eight months in jail.

The relevant time period for aggravated domestic violence charges and sentencing is determined by looking at the dates on which the domestic violence offenses were committed. Meet with an experienced lawyer to understand the potential sentence for the charges you are facing.

If you're convicted of aggravated domestic violence, you will face sentencing for a class 5 felony, which can result in incarceration for a term of years. Moreover, if the domestic violence involving prior convictions resulted in serious bodily injury to the victim, you could face class 3 felony charges, which is punished even more severely.

Hire an Experienced Phoenix Attorney

Domestic violence with prior convictions or aggravated domestic violence is a serious charge. You should consult James E. Novak. He is a seasoned lawyer who represents those charged with domestic violence in Phoenix, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, and throughout Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.

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