Timothy J, Tobin, Attorney providing legal services in Apache Junction

Apache JunctionDomestic Violence Attorney

Our criminal defense law firm regularly defends clients in Apache Junction domestic violence cases. In Apache Junction, and the surrounding areas of Pinal County, when family, romantic partners, or roommates phone 911, the Pinal County Sherriff’s Office or Apache Junction Police Department sends police officers. Once police arrive, they look for physical evidence of domestic violence crimes, separate the parties, and take statements. The statements may be recorded by either body worn cameras or recorders. They may also take hand-written statements. Recordings and written statements are submitted to the evidence department. The responding officers rarely see the domestic violence unfold, and instead, rely on the statements of witnesses; as such, police sometimes charge the wrong person or make an arrest when no crime was committed.

When Apache Junction law enforcement makes a domestic violence arrest or submits domestic violence charges, the Apache Junction City Prosecutor or Pinal County Attorney’s Office handles the case until resolution; prosecutors go forward even when it’s not what the victim wants. Ultimately, it’s the government pressing charges, not the victim. While they might consider victim input, the prosecutor has the final say.

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Tobin Law Office Provides Clients with Dedicated and Experienced Defense Services in Domestic Violence Matters in Apache Junction and the Surrounding Areas of Pinal County.

Arizona’s domestic violence laws are complex, multi-faced, and harsh. For these reasons, it’s important to discuss your case with an Apache Junction criminal defense attorney to protect your future, liberty, and rights. Criminal lawyer Tim Tobin is a former prosecutor with many years of experience in defending clients against domestic violence charges.

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Apache Junction Communities Served By Our Domestic Violence Lawyer

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Courts Handling Domestic Violence Cases in Apache Junction and the Surrounding Areas.

Domestic violence cases that occur within Apache Junction’s city limits are investigated by the Apache Junction Police Department. The Apache Junction police department files misdemeanors in the Apache Junction Municipal Court. If an alleged misdemeanor incident took place in one of the surrounding areas, such as San Tan Valley, Gold Canyon, or Youngberg, the case is usually filed in the Apache Junction Justice Court. If the case is serious enough, or the accused has a sufficient criminal history, police will refer the case to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office for felony charges in Pinal County Superior Court.

What is a domestic violence offense?

Domestic violence is an added allegation to a criminal charge exposing a defendant to harsher, and sometimes mandatory, penalties. The domestic violence allegation states that a defendant is domestically related to the victim. Arizona’s definition of domestic relations includes roommates, spouses, romantic partners, relatives, in-laws, and roommates. The relationship can be past or present. Thus, any household, family, or romantic relationship will likely result in a domestic violence allegation.

With the domestic violence allegation comes harsher, and sometimes mandatory, penalties; these can include an intensive domestic violence program, loss of the right to bear arms, and child custody consequences. In addition, a record of domestic violence can be seen by companies, organizations, and individuals who perform background checks. Domestic violence allegations can also potentially elevate a misdemeanor to a felony.

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    Tobin Law Office's Domestic Violence Attorney Provides Legal Services For Apache Junction Residents

    Consequences, Penalties, and Implications for Domestic Violence Charges in Apache Junction and the Surrounding Areas of Pinal County.

    Domestic Violence charges, in Apache Junction, Arizona, can carry severe and lasting consequences. A major concern is that it leaves a permanent violent criminal record that cannot be expunged from public records. In addition, a domestic violence conviction impacts firearm rights, child custody cases, employment, and more. That’s why anyone charged with domestic violence in Apache Junction should consult an Apache Junction criminal lawyer who’s familiar with Apache Junction’s criminal courts and the agencies that process Apache Junction cases.

    Apache Junction domestic violence penalties will vary depending on the alleged criminal conduct and the defendant’s criminal history. The first step in understanding potential penalties is to determine whether the case is filed in felony or misdemeanor court. The justice courts, city courts, and municipal courts only handle misdemeanors. Conversely, domestic violence cases in the Superior Court have at least one felony charge. Below, we’ll respectively go over the potential penalties for misdemeanors versus felonies. We’ll then discuss the collateral consequences of any domestic violence conviction.

    Maximum misdemeanor penalties in domestic violence cases.

    Maximum domestic violence penalties hinge on the classification of each misdemeanor charged.

    • Class 1 misdemeanors carry up to 180 days jail, $4,575.00 in fines and surcharges, and three years probation.
    • Class 2 misdemeanors carry up to 120 days jail, $1,372.50 in fines and surcharges, and two years probation.
    • Class 3 misdemeanors carry up to 30 days jail, $915.00 in fines and surcharges, and one year probation.

    Misdemeanor probation can be ordered as summary, unsupervised, monitored, or supervised; moreover, a judge can order a variety of specific probation conditions. Jail time is served at the Pinal County Jail. The judge may allow weekend sentences or work release.

    Mandatory Domestic Violence Treatment Under A.R.S. 13-3601.01.

    Defendants convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence must complete domestic violence offender treatment, which takes at least twenty-six weeks, and as much as fifty-two weeks. The defendant is responsible for paying program costs. Failure to complete domestic violence treatment results in a probation violation, which allows a Judge to resentence the defendant to harsher penalties.

    Felony penalties in Apache Junction Domestic Violence Cases.

    The range of penalties for felony and aggravated domestic violence charges depend on the specific felony classification and a defendant’s criminal history. A felony conviction will result in anywhere from probation to prison in the Arizona Department of Corrections. A defendant who’s specifically charged with aggravated domestic violence, due to prior domestic violation convictions, under ARS 13-3601.02, faces a minimum of 120 days in jail.

    Aggravated Domestic Violence Penalties Under A.R.S. 13-3601.02.

    Prosecutors charge aggravated domestic violence when a defendant has two domestic violence convictions within the last eighty-four months. Aggravated domestic violence carries a minimum of four months in jail. Even worse, if the defendant has three prior domestic violence convictions, that mandatory minimum jumps to eight months in jail. Those are just the minimum penalties. As a class 5 felony, anyone convicted of aggravated domestic violence can receive 2.5 years in prison. And if the defendant has prior felonies, the prosecutor can seek 7.5 years in prison.

    Common Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges

    False Accusations & Inconsistencies

    In some cases, prosecutors determine that the initial accusations made of domestic violence were deliberately false. They may realize that stories or timelines are inconsistent, which means that one party is lying to cover something up.

    False Accusations And Inconsistencies
    Injuries Were Caused By An Accident Or Mistake

    Injuries Were Caused By An Accident Or Mistake

    When the plaintiff was injured by accident or mistake, rather than a deliberate action that was driven by intent to injure, the domestic violence charges will be dropped. The injuries may have been caused by an unintentional action, mistake, or misunderstanding.

    Wrongly Relate The Injuries To The Accused

    Domestic violence often occurs in situations where drugs and alcohol are present. The plaintiff may have been in an altered state of mind and accidentally made accusations against the wrong person, or done so with malicious intent.

    Wrongly Relate The Injuries To The Accused
    Self Defense And Use Of Reasonable Force

    Self Defense & Use Of Reasonable Force

    Sometimes, the plaintiff got hurt because the defendant was acting out of self defense, accidentally injuring the plaintiff in an attempt to protect themselves from a dangerous situation. The plaintiff may attempt to file false charges against the defendant.

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    FAQs About Domestic Violence Law

    Studies have shown that women are the most common victims in domestic violence situations. Domestic violence is a broad term referring to mental, physical, sexual, or emotional acts of abuse between family members, ex-spouses, intimate and former intimate partners, and dating or formerly dating couples. Domestic violence charges typically include a physical injury of some kind, because one party sought to gain power or control over the other. Couples can be the same sex or opposite sex.
    According to Arizona law, first time offenders convicted of domestic violence offenses receive a Class 6 felony charge, which typically includes a prison term ranging anywhere from 18 months to 3 years. In some cases, the offender may meet certain criteria that allow them to be on probation instead, while attending mandatory counseling sessions. To qualify for probation, the crime cannot have involved drugs, been a dangerous offense, or been a dangerous crime against children.
    In Arizona, courts are legally required to determine custody agreements based on the best interest of the child. If domestic violence charges are involved against one party, they will most likely be deemed unfit to have any custody rights at all. Visitation rights may be restricted or completely revoked to the party charged with domestic violence. In divorce cases, courts are legally required to grant sole custody of the children to the parent free of domestic violence charges.
    First and foremost, always remember your personal rights and freedoms. While you may be arrested and brought to a holding cell, you cannot be forced to speak to law enforcement without an attorney present on your behalf. Invoke your right to silence without an attorney, and politely refuse to answer any questions until a lawyer is present to represent you. Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you, even if you are being falsely accused and are completely innocent.
    Getting charges dropped or dismissed is not an easy task. If a spouse has claimed to be a victim of domestic violence and has filed charges, they are legally not allowed to drop charges. Arizona is known to be highly vigilant against anyone who files violence charges and then later attempts to drop the charges. Charges can be dismissed by the courts if there is lack of evidence. While a victim may want to drop the charges, the case must still be reviewed before it can be dismissed.
    If someone has a restraining order against them under domestic violence charges, it is imperative that they do not violate the restraining order. If they do, the punishment includes immediate arrest and being held in custody until a judge has made a determination of when they can be released. If they are convicted, it is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor and can be punishable by up to six months in jail.
    Lawyer Explaining Common Questions Regarding Domestic Violence Laws
    Handcuffed Man Next To Gavel Facing Consequences For A Domestic Violence Conviction

    Collateral Consequences to any Domestic Violence Conviction.

    • Permanent Criminal Record: A violent crime shows up in background checks done by employers and institutions.
    • Gun Rights: Federal law dictates that anyone with a domestic violence conviction cannot own or possess firearms.
    • Divorce And Custody Proceedings: A domestic violence conviction may raise a rebuttable presumption against custody.
    • Employment: Many employers are hesitant to consider or hire someone with a violent criminal conviction. If use of a firearm is required at work, it can lead to suspension or termination.
    • Immigration: Violent crimes are detrimental to one’s legal status.