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Domestic Violence & Orders of Protection in Arizona

While domestic violence is a serious offense that cannot be taken lightly, it involves several important issues about people’s legal rights and it often involves the rights of children as well. If you are facing domestic violence charges, you’ll want to become familiar with this offense.

What is domestic violence? When a person threats, harasses, molests, attacks, batters, or strikes an intimate partner, a spouse, a family member, or his or her children, they are committing domestic violence. Domestic violence affects families from all ethnic, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

In Arizona, domestic violence is covered under the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) §13-3601. Under this Section, when a law enforcement officer responds to a domestic violence call, he or she shall determine if a minor is in the home.

If the officer finds that a minor is present at the scene, the officer will conduct a child welfare check to ensure the child’s safety and to determine if the child may be a victim of child abuse.

What You Need to Know About Protective Orders

If a victim of domestic violence wants to seek an Order of Protection from the courts, the victim, also known as the plaintiff must be able to show the court that their attacker (the defendant) has committed or may commit domestic violence in the future.

The plaintiff doesn’t have to be injured to ask the court for an Order of Protection. Aside from physical abuse, domestic violence can also occur when the defendant attempts to:

  • Harass the plaintiff
  • Threaten or intimidate the plaintiff
  • Interfere with child custody
  • Restrain or hold a person as prisoner
  • Threaten the plaintiff with a deadly weapon
  • Assault the plaintiff with a weapon
  • Trespass or damage the plaintiff’s property
  • Secretly photograph, videotape or record another person

Under Arizona law, the perpetrator only needs to threaten to harm the person once for the state to consider it domestic violence.

If you are a defendant seeking to get an Order of Protection against you dismissed, please note that the order is valid for one year after it’s served.

As the defendant, you’ll need to file a written request for a hearing with the same court that issued the Order of Protection against you.

A judge may order you to surrender ALL firearms in your possession if the judge finds you to be a credible threat to the plaintiff. If such an order is issued, you must turn over all firearms in your possession to your local law enforcement agency.

Facing domestic violence charges? Contact the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson, PLC to schedule a free case evaluation with a Phoenix criminal defense attorney who is a former prosecutor!

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