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Your Guide to ARS 13-3601.02, Aggravated Domestic Violence

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.

Mental Health Defenses and How They Can Help Your Court Case

A person’s mental health can significantly impact a civil, domestic, or criminal case. If you’re involved in a case being handled by a mediator or court system, it’s very important that you understand how mental health affects your case. Developing this understanding can help you and your lawyer decide whether any mental health issues should be highlighted in the case to secure a favorable outcome.

Is Insanity the Only Form of Mental Health Defense? No, It’s Not.

When you think of mental health defenses, you probably think of someone ‘pleading insanity.’ And while this defense is often used in court cases, there are many other ways to leverage a person’s mental health issues as a form of defense against the charges.

Another common mental health defense comes in the form of a self-defense claim. When this type of claim is presented, it means the lawyer wants the jury to look at the case’s situation from the defendant’s point of view. This claim is often used when the defendant suffers from PTSD in which the lawyer will ask the jury to consider how the offender’s PTSD caused him or her to react in self-defense.

Learning disabilities can be used as mental health defenses in many types of cases. Take for example that you have a learning disability or some type of development issue that caused you to waive some of your rights during the arrest process. If it can be proven that your mental health disability influenced your waiving of rights negatively, then you may be able to have the entire case dismissed or appealed.

A person who pleads insanity is someone who has a disease or illness of the mind that makes it impossible to tell right from wrong in a situation, thus resulting in the committing of a crime. Some who pleads insanity can secure a final outcome for their cases without having to go to trial. In other instances, some who use this mental health defense still have to go to trial and face a jury.

Who Should Use Mental Health Defenses in a Court Case?

Anyone with a mental health issue that directly impacts a case should speak with an attorney about the various forms of mental health defenses that can be claimed. A mental health defense is often the determining factor for defendants regarding their ability to secure a more favorable outcome for a case, and as mentioned before, in some situations, the mental health defense can have the entire case dismissed.

Hire a Mental Health Defense Attorney!

Not all attorneys have experience in representing offenders with mental health disorders. And when it comes to using mental health defenses in court, it’s crucial to hire an attorney who has prior experience in winning cases using the defenses. If you need representation in the state of Arizona and you suffer from a mental health disorder, contact our law office now to see if a mental health defense can help your case.