Tucson Domestic Violence Lawyer
Throughout Arizona, domestic violence charges are investigated and prosecuted aggressively. For example, in Pima County, there is a domestic violence prevention task force actively working on these matters. There is also a DV specialty court that handles only domestic violence cases, which is specially designed among other things to move quickly through the process. If you have been accused of domestic violence, you need to enlist a lawyer who is experienced in domestic violence specialty court.
At The Law Office of Douglas W. Taylor here in Tucson, we are well known for our swift and successful representation in domestic violence court. We really know how to navigate this system. We have been representing people in domestic violence court since its inception in 2007, and have more than 17 years of criminal defense experience overall.
A lot of people misunderstand domestic violence charges or make mistakes in the way they conduct themselves throughout the process. The first thing you should do is lawyer up – respectfully decline to answer any questions, stay calm, and wait for legal advice before you potentially make some damaging mistakes in the way you handle your charges.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES CAN BE EXTREMELY DAMAGING
We recognize how damaging domestic violence charges can be, and how a conviction cannot only result in criminal penalties, but also repercussions in related divorce, child custody, and other family law matters. If you have been accused, you may also have an order of protection, also referred to as a protective order or restraining order, taken out against you that can keep you away from your home and children indefinitely.
We know how much parents love their children, even if they don’t necessarily get along with the other parent. If you’re inadequately defended in a domestic violence case, you might lose your access to the children that you love so much. If you don’t have a history of violence or criminal behavior, there’s no reason you should accept a harsh impact on your relationship with your children – we know that they’re worth fighting for.
Domestic violence charges can also make it difficult to get certain jobs, particularly those that require a security clearance or any kind of background check. A lot of employers aren’t comfortable hiring people who have been found guilty of domestic violence offenses, and if you’re currently employed, it might affect the job you already have.
DV charges have the potential to be life ruining. Even if your behavior was in some way uncalled for, you shouldn’t lose the potential to live your life and build a future for yourself and your children. Everyone needs a way to support themselves and a connection with their family – don’t let domestic violence charges take all of that away from you.
The State of Arizona also allows domestic violence victims to demand restitution, and even file civil suits, to cover bills that they claim stem directly from the domestic violence incident, including medical bills or repair bills to property that was destroyed or damaged in the altercation. Civil lawsuits are also open to complaints of “pain and suffering”, which can be very vague while still being easily won by the victim.
WHAT COUNTS AS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES?
In Arizona, domestic violence, any “family or household” member who commits one of any qualifying acts against another family or household member can be charged with a domestic violence charge. It’s not just for people in romantic relationships – it could be for siblings who live together, parents and their adult children, or even non-related adult roommates in certain circumstances.
Domestic violence is unique in that it is not an individual criminal charge in and of itself, but rather, it is the term applied to a wide range of criminal offenses in which the alleged perpetrator and the victim are in a domestic (meaning household or familial) relationship of any sort. Most people mistakenly believe that domestic violence is limited to some kind of assault, but that is not the case in Arizona.
Domestic violence does encompass actual violent acts where an injury might occur, but the scope of the law goes much further. Some domestic violence charges might even be able to stem from a heated argument that gets a little carried away, whether or not anyone was actually injured. Sometimes, couples in discussions about divorce might even press domestic violence charges against each other solely based on verbal disputes, and/or to gain an advantage in divorce proceedings.
Since so many people misunderstand the various charges nestled under the umbrella of domestic violence, a lot of the context is unclear. This might lead to charges that a defendant feels are wholly inaccurate, because their so called “domestic violence” charge was merely the result of a messy argument.
Offenses that may fall under the banner of domestic violence include:
- Aggravated Assault/Choking
- Criminal Damage
- Violating a Protective Order
- Threats and Intimidation
- Disorderly Conduct
Some of these charges may even stem from pure accidents. A miscommunication can easily lead to trespassing or the violation of a protective order, especially if you share children with your domestic partner. These kinds of cases are unfortunately common – where a boundary was unknowingly violated or some kind of misunderstanding led to police involvement.
We can defend you well against any of these charges. You do not need to plead guilty – especially if you haven’t spoken with a lawyer first. We know that domestic violence cases are often complicated, personal, and nuanced. We’ll be able to examine all of the facts with you and review the evidence to help you establish a clear path forward.
People with domestic violence charges often have difficulty in life. If you made a mistake or if you believe the situation is being misrepresented, allow us to work with you. We can help you mitigate the damage or fight charges that you feel have been unfairly filed against you. Our experienced team of legal professionals can help you maintain your career and your reputation.
CAN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES BE DROPPED?
Technically, domestic violence charges can be dropped. Usually, they won’t. Once the authorities have become involved, the victim automatically becomes simply a witness with certain victim’s rights. The ability to drop charges rests solely in the county attorney’s hands. If the prosecutor wants to dismiss a case, that dismissal then needs to be approved by a judge.
Victims don’t have much of a say in what happens with their case after it’s reported to law enforcement. Even if they absolutely refuse to testify, the district attorney can potentially continue with the charges without their courtroom testimony as the victim and key witness. While a victim can independently ask of their own volition that charges be dropped, even if the state can confirm the victim was not pressured or harassed into doing so, it may not change anything, and usually doesn’t.
Even if the victim regrets pressing the charges and reaches out to you, that may not mean anything in the grand scheme of things. Once it’s done, it’s done, and nobody but the state can change it. If you attempt to change it by yourself, or if the victim stands by their claims, you can open yourself up to a world of trouble.
Asking the victim to drop the charges against you or discussing the events with them could easily be perceived as witness tampering. Even if you have someone else, like a friend or family member, talk to the victim on your behalf, you could be complicating your case. Never reach out to the victim, especially if any kind of protective order has been established. Even if you genuinely believe the victim may want to recant, it won’t make a difference, because the victim doesn’t have the option of dropping the case anyway.
FREE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFENSE CONSULTATION
When you’re dealing with domestic violence charges, you need to act quickly. You have the right to avoid incriminating yourself, and you don’t need to provide anything other than legally-mandated information without speaking to an attorney first.
We would prefer you reached out to law professionals like us who are well equipped to handle the situation before you have the chance to make an accidental misstep that may complicate your domestic violence case. Discuss your case with an experienced attorney. Call 520-884-5206 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your first consultation, which is free. Our law office is conveniently located downtown near the courts. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.