Being a politician means having every aspect of your professional and personal life scrutinized. Therefore, politicians who are charged with a crime may be judged harshly by the public, even if it turns out they are innocent. One Arizona man running for a seat in the state senate may face such scrutiny after having been charged with assault after an alleged altercation with his former girlfriend.

The incident reportedly took place back in April. Officers were called to an apartment that the man and his then girlfriend lived in. The man had allegedly pushed his girlfriend while they were fighting over a missing debit card. The man also reportedly destroyed his girlfriend’s computer, broke a television screen, and, when his girlfriend tried to hide from him in the bedroom, kicked a hole in the door. His girlfriend then reportedly ran outside and shouted for a relative who was waiting in an automobile to notify the authorities.

The man, however, maintains that he is innocent. He claims he only engaged in these activities in order to defend himself, and it was his girlfriend who first attacked him after he said that he didn’t want her kids residing with them because they were bad. He stated that his girlfriend then struck him in the face and attacked him with numerous kinds of items, for example, by throwing her computer at him, which broke it. He believes his girlfriend committed these acts and notified police in order to undermine his political career.

Initially, the man’s girlfriend was in favor of prosecuting the incident. However, in June she decided that she no longer wanted the incident to be prosecuted. However, in August the authorities charged the man with misdemeanor assault, which is a class-three crime. He is also facing a count of criminal damage, which is a class-one misdemeanor crime.

Even if this man’s innocence is proven in court, merely being charged with a crime can sink his political career. It is an example of how criminal charges can harm a person’s personal and professional reputation. Those accused of crimes who are unsure about their rights and are concerned about how the charges they face will affect them personally and professionally may want to consult with an attorney, who can advise them on how to proceed.

Source: azcentral.com, “Candidate for Arizona Senate charged in domestic-violence incident,” Dustin Gardiner, Oct. 26, 2017