There is a lot more to domestic violence charges than what a lot of people think. Contrary to popular belief, these are not just serious physical injuries that are intentional.
Under relevant Arizona state law, domestic violence is a term that refers to any behavior, committed by offenders, that intentionally and knowingly causes physical harm to another.
What is domestic assault?
Domestic assault is usually defined as an instance where family violence or, in specific instances, spousal abuse took place. The phrase ‘assaulting an intimate partner or family member’, however, can pertain to several things. It could include child endangerment, harassment, touching, strangulation, rape, or possessing (and using) deadly weapons or firearms to cause serious bodily harm to another.
Abusers found guilty of the above-mentioned violent crimes are held punishable when brought to the criminal court for trial. However, when you are falsely accused of committing domestic violence or are facing charges related to such, below are the things you should do:
1. Seek legal help right away from a reliable criminal attorney
Getting the services of and working with an experienced and hands-on defense attorney is necessary if you want to avoid being convicted. Dealing with a misdemeanor or felony assault case is rarely simple. Under relevant statutes, various defenses could be used against misdemeanor charges (or felony charges, whichever is applicable). Get someone who will plan for defense strategies that you will use in the jury trial. Get someone who will take measures to defend you from being punished for domestic violence crimes you did not commit, or other false allegations.
2. Try to familiarize yourself with possible outcomes of the criminal case
Criminal charges where domestic abuse is involved are generally classified based on their severity. A perpetrator found guilty of a misdemeanor criminal offense, for instance, will often have to pay fines as punishment and be sentenced to up to a year of jail time. Criminal cases that are categorized as felonies usually have the same penalties as misdemeanors, except that fines are likely higher and imprisonment could be longer. When deciding on the criminal conviction, the prosecutor will consider these varying degrees.
3. Try to evaluate if there are possible aggravating factors
Depending on how the prosecution will work on your case and the evidence that you and your criminal defense lawyer will present, a simple assault could be aggravated to the first degree, second degree, or third-degree charges, whichever applies to the circumstance. If, for example, bodily injuries are visible on supposed domestic violence victims, the offender could be facing an aggravated assault conviction. Good defense attorneys evaluate your case and help explain aggravating factors in the criminal offenses that you have been charged with.
4. Check for possible defenses
If there is an absence of sufficient evidence to support arguments (or there are no witnesses to prove) that you committed the violent crime, the statement of the accuser can be regarded as false and was done as an act of revenge against the person who allegedly assaulted him or her. It is also possible that the defendant’s attack was a matter of self-defense or the serious physical injury of the victim was not intentional (caused by an accident, for instance). Furthermore, there are circumstances where the physical contact or act of violence took place during a fight, to defend a child, or to defend property during a burglary or robbery. If these can be proven, then you will likely have the case dismissed.
The main task of competent defense lawyers is to help you convince the jurors that you are falsely accused with the assault charge and are, thus, innocent. Assaults (or domestic violence charges, in particular) can lead to several unwanted circumstances. Also, some criminal defense cases could involve related charges, such as assault and battery or sexual assault. These must be handled by expert criminal defense attorneys if you want the best possible outcome. When speaking of a criminal domestic violence charge, this outcome is for the charge against you to be dismissed.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, violent crimes, or are facing assault charges as in above, contact our office to get legal representation. Talk to our experienced criminal defense lawyers at Snader Law Group. Call (602) 833-1651 for a free consultation.