Defending Against Accusations Of Domestic Violence
Across the country, laws against domestic violence continue to expand as politicians and advocacy groups become more vocal and more powerful. Often, when someone accuses an intimate partner of abuse, the court of public opinion quickly finds that person guilty well before any hearing, verdict, or sentencing can occur.
If someone has accused you of domestic violence in Tucson, Arizona, you may be facing a future of uncertainty. Perhaps the mere allegation has already damaged your reputation. Your job may be on the line, as well as your ability to see your children.
You Have Rights
As with most violent crimes, the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense can affect the penalties. Generally, a conviction for a domestic violence-related offense may result in fines, jail time, probation, anger management and parenting classes, and will result in court-ordered domestic violence counseling.
If this is not the first time someone has accused you of domestic violence, and if the court convicted you of previous charges of domestic violence, your sentence may be increased substantially. A conviction for a domestic violence offense may also result in the loss of custody or visitation privileges with your children, and it may mean you are more likely to face subsequent accusations of abuse.
Despite the knee-jerk reaction of society to immediately condemn a person who is accused of domestic violence, our justice system protects the rights of anyone facing criminal charges. This is why having a solid criminal attorney by your side as quickly as possible may result in a more thorough plan of defense.
Examples Of Possible Defense Strategies
Your attorney will thoroughly examine the evidence, interview witnesses and, most importantly, he will get to know you. After a careful study of the case, your attorney may choose one of the following ways to defend you against the charges.
- By demonstrating that you acted in self-defense
- By pointing out inconsistencies in the accuser’s story that suggest it is a false accusation
- By showing that the accuser has named the wrong person as the perpetrator
- By pointing out weaknesses in the accuser’s testimony, which may mean the government has not met its burden of proof
- Insufficient evidence or witnesses at trial
These are only a few of the defenses that an attorney may use when someone is facing charges of domestic violence. No matter what strategy fits your particular situation, a dedicated attorney will use his skills to protect your future.
The Penalties For Domestic Violence
Arizona has a broad definition for a domestic violence-related offense. While DV-related charges typically apply to disputes between intimate partners, they can apply to someone who lives under the same roof as the victim. This includes siblings and parents with adult children, and even roommates.
The penalties depend on whether the charge is at a misdemeanor or a felony level. The majority of domestic violence cases in Arizona will be treated as the highest level of misdemeanor, although cases that involve serious injury or egregiously violent actions will almost always be charged as felonies.
Many domestic violence cases involve some kind of protective order. Emergency orders of protection generally expire one year after service, but they can be renewed for additional year terms. Oftentimes the Court will also issue an order forbidding you from contacting the accuser in any way. And, if you share children with the person who accused you of DV, these protective orders will make your life substantially more difficult, as you may not get to see your kids at all for a long time.
Sometimes, restitution will have to be paid to the victim. This restitution includes medical costs, as well as reimbursement for property that was damaged or destroyed during the incident. Long-term domestic violence counseling is almost always mandatory as a part of the sentence.
Arizona also allows civil lawsuits in cases of domestic violence, where victims can sue perpetrators. Small claims court allows for lawsuits up to $10,000, and anything larger requires the involvement of an attorney. Since small claims court is simple, domestic violence victims often use the option that’s made readily available to them.
What To Do When You’ve Been Accused Of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a serious issue that should not be brushed aside. Over 1 million women and men suffer physical violence each year at the hands of intimate partners. Because of the seriousness of this crime, people should not make accusations lightly, and you deserve vigorous defense against allegations of domestic violence.
Eeach and every case is different. Contact us for a free consultation, and we will go over the circumstances to create an ideal defense strategy for you. These accusations have the potential to damage your life irreparably. That’s exactly why you deserve lawyers like us working hard for you.