Mesa Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic violence is a serious criminal accusation that can come with life-changing consequences for a defendant. If your spouse or someone else has accused you of any act of domestic violence, contact a Mesa domestic violence attorney right away. At AZ Defenders, our domestic violence lawyers offer free initial consultations to potential clients. Call (480) 456-6400 or contact us online 24/7 if you need legal advice.

Domestic Violence Lawyer Mesa

Why Trust AZ Defenders With Your Domestic Violence Case?

  • We offer free consultations and are available to take your call around the clock. Our Mesa criminal defense attorneys are here for you when you need us the most.
  • We bring together more than 100 years of experience representing criminal defendants throughout Arizona. We will work hard for justice on your behalf.
  • We use aggressive and strategic defense maneuvers based on each client’s specific case. We obtain victories through our commitment to success.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence in Arizona?

Arizona Revised Statute 13-3601 defines domestic violence as any act that constitutes a dangerous crime against children or a violent crime between two parties that live in the same household. Any act of violence may qualify as domestic violence within certain relationships between the two parties.

  • The victim and perpetrator are or were previously married
  • The victim and perpetrator reside or used to reside in the same household
  • The victim and perpetrator have a child in common, including a current pregnancy
  • The victim and perpetrator are related by blood or by court order, such as a parent, child, brother or sister
  • The victim is a child who lives or used to live in the same household as the perpetrator and is blood-related to the perpetrator’s former spouse or roommate
  • The victim and perpetrator are involved or were previously involved in a romantic or sexual relationship

Domestic violence can refer to verbal abuse, emotional or mental abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, or economic abuse. It can refer to threats, intimidation, stalking, cyberstalking or internet crimes between two people in a relationship or members of a household. If you are not sure whether your actions meet Arizona’s definition of domestic violence, ask an experienced Mesa domestic violence attorney.

Protective Orders in Arizona

If someone obtains a protective order against you, you must legally obey the terms of the order. Different types of protective orders have different requirements. An Order of Protection provides protection from someone you live with, while an Injunction Against Harassment can protect against someone you do not live with. In a domestic violence case, a protective order restrains a person from committing further acts of violence or harassment. The order may force you to leave the house, stay away from the victim and the victim’s family, and cease all communication with the victim.

Is Domestic Violence a Felony in Mesa?

Domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony crime in Mesa. How it is charged depends on the severity of the underlying offense and the defendant’s history of violence or criminal convictions. In most cases, domestic violence is a misdemeanor. Many different offenses listed in Arizona’s domestic violence statute are misdemeanors, including criminal damage and disorderly conduct. Domestic violence could be charged as a class 1, 2 or 3 misdemeanor, where class 1 is the most serious. 

However, you could face a felony domestic violence charge in Arizona in certain circumstances. If the underlying offense was committed using a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon, for example, the charge will be upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony. If the victim suffered bodily injuries or was young in age, this could also lead to enhanced charges. Sexual assault will also lead to felony charges. Finally, if you are charged with three violence-related misdemeanors over a period of seven years, this will lead to a domestic violence felony. 

Facing a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor for domestic violence can have a number of consequences. Felonies carry much more significant penalties and punishments. A felony is punishable by a year or more in prison, for example, while misdemeanors may lead to a jail sentence of six months or less. It may be possible for your defense lawyer to negotiate a felony charge down to misdemeanor domestic violence, depending on the situation and your criminal record.

Penalties for Domestic Violence

Under state law, the penalties for a domestic violence conviction will match the underlying offense. For example, if the courts convict you of aggravated assault for causing a serious personal injury, you will face charges for a class 3 felony. The penalties for this type of felony include jail time, probation and fines. If your case has aggravating factors, such as a victim who is pregnant or under the age of 15, expect more severe penalties.

You could face the following penalties if convicted of domestic violence in Arizona:

  • Fines: $915 to $5,000 or more in fines, plus surcharges, based on the type of conviction. 
  • Jail sentence: 30 days to 7.5 years in jail or prison. An aggravated domestic violence conviction comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of four months. 
  • Probation: one to three years of mandatory supervised or unsupervised probation. 
  • Treatment programs: anger management or domestic violence treatment programs at an approved facility (paid for by the defendant).

In addition to a criminal sentence, you could face personal and/or professional consequences with a domestic violence conviction on your record. It may hurt your personal relationships, for example. Having a criminal record on a background check – especially a felony conviction – could also make it harder to find a job and housing. A conviction can affect your right to bear arms, vote, child custody rights, finances, employment and more.

Learn more about the penalties for domestic violence in Arizona by speaking with a qualified domestic violence lawyer in Mesa, AZ.

Collateral Consequences After a Domestic Violence Conviction

Receiving a domestic violence conviction can have a number of effects on your life and future. You may have to spend months or even years behind bars, surrendering your freedom and basic rights while you serve your sentence. Even after you complete a criminal sentence, you may still have to deal with a range of adverse effects on your life from having a conviction on your permanent record.

Common collateral consequences after a domestic violence conviction include:

  • Criminal record: employers, landlords, financial institutions, agencies and certifying organizations will all have access to your criminal record. This can interfere with your ability to find a job and housing.
  • Employment: you are unable to get some jobs as a convicted felon in Arizona – especially if charges involve the offense of sexual assault. You may also be disqualified from obtaining certain professional certifications.
  • Right to bear arms: if you are convicted of domestic violence, you may lose the right to own or bear firearms. Under state law, possessing a firearm is prohibited while serving probation for domestic violence. The loss of this right is permanent after a felony conviction.
  • Family law matters: a domestic violence charge on your record could negatively affect your parental rights during a child custody case, as well as be used against you by your ex-spouse during divorce proceedings.
  • Immigration status: if your domestic violence offense constitutes a crime “involving moral turpitude,” this could be grounds of inadmissibility during an immigration case. This means you could be denied immigration or visa rights.

 Do not underestimate the consequences that you could face upon being convicted of domestic violence in Arizona. The ramifications on your life can go well beyond a fine and jail time. You must take these charges extremely seriously. Give yourself the best odds of securing a positive case outcome by hiring an experienced domestic violence criminal defense lawyer in Mesa.

Mesa Domestic Violence Attorney

How a Mesa Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help

Hiring a Mesa domestic violence attorney to represent you could protect you from the worst possible penalties associated with this criminal charge. Your lawyer will personalize your defense strategy to fit your exact situation and criminal history. It may be possible to demonstrate that the alleged victim falsely accused you of domestic violence as a form of revenge, for example, resulting in case acquittal. Your lawyer may also be able to negotiate your charges down from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Domestic violence cases are often highly emotionally charged. Working with an attorney can help you keep things calm and civil throughout the legal process. Your attorney can take over the investigation, for example, and communicate with the prosecution for you. Your lawyer can help prevent things from escalating further between you and the alleged victim, especially if a protective order has been taken out against you. Hiring an attorney can give you greater peace of mind about your case and future while facing potentially life-changing charges. 

What Is a Domestic Violence Diversion?

An attorney at AZ Defenders will explore all available options for minimizing the penalties that you face as a domestic violence defendant. This may include a diversion program if you are a candidate. Diversion is an alternative to traditional sentencing. If the prosecution and judge accept your request for diversion, the charges against you may be reduced or dropped if you complete a partial sentence. 

For example, Rule 38 diversion could suspend your sentence while you complete an anger management program. Another option, A.R.S. 9-500.22 diversion, requires you to enter a guilty plea; then, the judge will put your case on hold while you complete a supervised domestic violence program. After the program is finished, a judge will dismiss your charges and set aside the guilty plea. Consult with an attorney to find out if domestic violence diversion is an option for you.

Defenses to Domestic Violence

Your future as the defendant of a domestic violence case in Mesa can depend on the strength of your defense. Working with a Mesa domestic violence attorney from AZ Defenders can improve your chances of a successful case. We can use proven defense strategies in your favor, such as no crime committed, consent, false accusation, lack of evidence, wrong defendant and self-defense. The right strategy will depend on your unique case.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Mesa Domestic Violence Lawyer

Do not hesitate to contact AZ Defenders if you are facing accusations or charges for a domestic violence crime in Mesa, AZ. These are major allegations that could change your life. Contact us 24/7 for more information about your case. Initial consultations with our domestic violence attorneys are free and confidential.