Are you facing a domestic violence charge? If so, then you’ll want to understand what the state of Arizona defines as domestic violence, the different categories of domestic violence, and the potential consequences of a conviction. From there, with the proper legal representation, you can explore possible defenses and other options to protect yourself.
One of the more confusing aspects of domestic violence charges in Arizona is the “aggravated” domestic violence distinction. If you’ve been charged with aggravated domestic violence, there are some specific things you need to know.
Domestic Violence vs. Aggravated Domestic Violence
The state of Arizona defines domestic violence as a crime that is carried out against somebody with an existing relationship. This can include, for instance, violence against a spouse (or ex-spouse), blood relative, or child.
In Arizona, aggravated domestic violence is defined in ARS 13-3601.02. Compared to a standard domestic violence charge (which is serious enough), an offense is considered aggravated domestic violence when the defendant has already been convicted of domestic violence charges three times within a span of seven years. This type of charge is always a felony, whereas a standard domestic violence charge can be categorized as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Potential Consequences of a Conviction
Because aggravated domestic violence is characterized by multiple prior convictions and is automatically classified as a felony, the potential consequences of a conviction are far-reaching and serious. For starters, this crime is not eligible for a pardon, probation, or suspended sentence. In fact, time in prison for an aggravated domestic violence conviction can range anywhere from six months to 7.5 years, depending on how many prior convictions the defendant has and the severity of the crime.
Why You Need Legal Representation
Because of the severity of aggravated domestic violence and the serious consequences (including prison time with no possibility for probation or a suspended sentence), it is important to find yourself the best legal representation if you have been charged with this crime in Arizona. Specifically, you’ll want to work with an experienced criminal defense team that has experience handling this crime.
A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer will be familiar with common defenses for aggravated domestic violence as well as potential pleas to lesser crimes, such as criminal harassment or disorderly conduct. In some cases, it may even be possible to have these charges dropped if false accusations, self-defense, or other circumstances exist.
A felony conviction for aggravated domestic violence can have a serious impact on your life. With this in mind, it’s important to seek legal representation sooner rather than later for your case. Our team of criminal defense lawyers at Cates & Garvey Law Group is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation at (855) 965-4522 and to find out more about what we can do for you.