In the City of Phoenix or anywhere else in the State of Arizona, regular misdemeanor assault under A.R.S. 13-1203 itself is charged as a misdemeanor but an individual can be charged with a lower level, class two or three misdemeanor if there was no intent to commit the assault or if he or she did not cause injury. In the case of misdemeanor domestic violence, however, a domestic violence conviction can be used against a spouse in any future divorce or child custody hearing.
Additionally, the spouse can even lose the right to have visitation. When someone has a misdemeanor domestic violence charge against them (as evidenced by the citation having the “D.V.” box checked), another thing that can occur in the future is that potential employers will see the conviction on the individual’s record while conducting background checks, which often results in the person not being hired. A second or third conviction for this serious offense comes with equally serious consequences afterward.
If you find yourself arrested on such a charge, your attorney will most likely use the domestic violence assault as a self-defense tactic. In other words, he or she will attempt to prove that the individual who was deemed as the victim was actually the one to make the first move toward you (the defendant), during the altercation in question. In most instances, this scenario occurs when there is alcohol involved. A good example is the victim having been drinking and therefore impaired as a result, then attempting to strike, push or grab the defendant, with the end resulting in the victim falling because the defendant simply moved or pulled away from them. When this scenario happens, the defendant naturally becomes the number one suspect due to not being injured during the incident while the other individual does suffer some type of injury.
In addition, this type of charge typically involves a man and woman. In general, the man is normally the one who is charged with the crime of domestic violence, regardless of who instigated the situation. The woman, on the other hand, is typically viewed as being the victim. In this case, the defense attorney will have to emphasize the victim’s behavior as being aggressive or even violent and that in vast contrast, the defendant exhibited a calm demeanor.
In most instances, the defense will rely on testimony from eye witnesses, other witnesses who are not listed in police reports and physical evidence. The attorney may also look for security video cameras that might have been around the individuals at any point to explore the interaction between them as character evidence that can end up either working for or against the defendant. Often, it is also not unusual that the victim will decide to have the charges dropped, which is referred to as a “recalcitrant witness.” In spite of this change of heart on the part of the victim, it is actually the state of Arizona that is bringing the charges against the defendant. In some cases, when this happens, the defense attorney may convince the prosecutor to dismiss the chargers or bring them down to a lesser charge such as “disturbing the peace”.
If you or a loved one are suspected of Misdemeanor Domestic Violence in Arizona, give us a call to schedule a free case review with an attorney. Our offices are available 24 hours a day by calling (602) 737-2812 or by using our confidential email form.