Domestic Violence Assault

Experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Skillfully Defending the Rights of Clients Facing Family Assault Charges

Under Arizona law, domestic violence involves committing one of several crimes against someone with whom you have or have had a romantic or familiar relationship. Domestic violence assault is one of the most common DV offenses. In fact, 42.6% of women and 33.4% of men in Arizona report having experienced domestic violence at some point in their life. As a result, law enforcement in Arizona takes an aggressive approach to investigating these crimes. However, domestic violence assaults typically involve intense emotions from both sides and, sometimes, police officers get it wrong.

At the Law Office of James E. Novak, our dedicated Phoenix domestic violence assault lawyer has been defending the rights of clients facing serious crimes for more than 25 years. We also have specific experience handling all types of DV offenses, including assaults and aggravated assaults.

What is Domestic Violence Assault in Arizona?

Unlike other states, Arizona does not have a separate law for domestic violence assault. Instead, in Arizona, domestic violence assault refers to an assault committed against a family or household member. This includes physical harm, threats of harm, or any act that intentionally puts another person in fear of imminent physical harm.

The definition of family or household members encompasses spouses, former spouses, people residing or having resided in the same household, people who have a child in common, and people who are or were in a romantic or sexual relationship.

Punishments for Domestic Violence Assault

The punishment for an Arizona domestic violence assault depends on the severity of the offense and can range from misdemeanor to felony charges.

Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Assault: This can include acts such as pushing, slapping, or other physical contact that may cause minor injuries. However, the prosecution does not need to prove that the alleged victim suffered any injury at all if they can prove that you placed them in fear of an imminent injury. Depending on the circumstances, a DV assault can be a Class 1, 2, or 3 misdemeanor.

Felony Domestic Violence Assault: Domestic violence aggravated assault includes more serious harm or the use of a weapon. There are also several ways in which what might otherwise be an assault can turn into an aggravated assault . Felony assaults are classified into different classes based on severity, with Class 2 being more severe than Class 6.

In addition to incarceration and fines, individuals convicted of domestic violence assault in Arizona may be required to complete domestic violence counseling, lose the right to possess firearms, and face restraining orders or orders of protection.

Note that these penalties may be more severe if you have prior convictions for domestic violence or other criminal offenses. Additionally, the presence of children, the use of a weapon, and the severity of the victim's injuries can also influence the severity of the sentence.

The Importance of Cross-Examining Witnesses in DV Assault Cases

In the context of domestic violence cases, where evidence often includes testimony about personal and often private interactions, cross-examination becomes a vital tool to challenge the prosecution’s narrative and establish facts that could prevent the government from proving its case.

For example, our Phoenix domestic violence assault lawyer uses his cross-examination skills to do the following:

Testing Credibility and Reliability: Cross-examination allows us to question the credibility and reliability of the prosecution's witnesses, including the alleged victim.

Challenging the Evidence: Cross-examination also provides us an opportunity to scrutinize the evidence presented by the prosecution. Through cross-examination, we can highlight weaknesses, gaps, or biases in the evidence, potentially undermining the prosecution's case.

Establishing Alternative Narratives: We also can use cross-examination to introduce alternative interpretations of the events or suggest different motives or circumstances that could explain our clients’ actions. This can be crucial in cases where intent or the nature of the relationship between the parties is a key issue.

Influencing Sentencing or Verdict: Effective cross-examination can lead to doubt regarding the defendant's guilt, potentially resulting in a not-guilty verdict or a lesser charge. Even if a conviction is secured, it may impact the sentencing phase by highlighting mitigating factors or doubts about the extent of the alleged harm or intent.

Have You Been Charged With Domestic Violence Assault?

If you were recently arrested for a domestic violence offense, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of James E. Novak, we have a long history of successfully representing clients charged with DV crimes and know how to expose weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. We’re also skilled negotiators, which means we can often secure favorable plea agreements on behalf of those clients who wish to avoid the uncertainty of trial. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with our Phoenix assault lawyer today, call 480-413-1499. You can also reach us through our secure online contact form.