Domestic Violence: Any allegation of domestic violence could have serious consequences. Please do not ignore or minimize this fact.

Simply put, even a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can detrimentally change your life forever. A conviction for a domestic violence offense is known colloquially as a “DV tag.” The result from such a conviction can be a significant loss of gun rights, and a blow to your reputation. Arizona Statutes that can be related to domestic violence use ambiguous and broad language like “reckless,” “reasonable apprehension,” “assault” (“touching with the intent to insult or provoke”), and “disorderly conduct.” These terms are hard to interpret.

How does an offense become a “domestic violence” offense? The applicable Arizona statute is A.R.S. §13-3601, the “Domestic Violence” statute. If you are charged with an offense involving another person – an alleged victim — and the police officers conclude that the relationship between you and the other person is covered by the domestic violence statute, they will include §13-3601 in the charges. There are numerous ways you can be charged per §13-3601. If you have ever lived with someone, have a child in common, lived with a child who is alleged to be a victim, if you are related to the alleged victim by blood, or if the relationship between you and the alleged victim is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship, the domestic violence statute may apply to you.

If you are charged with a “domestic violence” offense, you must aggressively defend yourself. Whether you have been involved in a family dispute, personal dispute, or any public dispute, you need to make sure that your defense gives a complete picture of the incident. There are always explanations. For instance, you believe that nothing happened, but were falsely accused; or what happened was not a criminal offense; or you acted in self-defense. Sometimes these cases boil down to the “race to the courthouse steps,” in which the first person to “cry foul” has the ear of law enforcement, and the prosecutor. It is vitally important to thoroughly investigate and interview all witnesses in order to expose the truth.

Equally important is your right to remain silent. You cannot make a bad situation better by trying to talk your way out of it. Each of your statements can and will be used against you. Each of your statements can be misquoted.

If you have contact with a police officer following a family dispute, personal dispute, or any public dispute, call Craig Williams, at 759-0000, immediately.