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Accused of Domestic Violence in Arizona?

A lot of people mistakenly believe that for abuse to be domestic violence, the abuser has to physically beat the victim, perhaps within an inch of the person’s life. This is not necessarily the case at all. While beating a spouse, partner, or child would count as domestic violence, domestic violence takes on many other forms, such as:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Harming the family pets
  • Destroying the victim’s property
  • Not letting the victim come and go freely

Under Arizona law, domestic violence does not have to occur between spouses, romantic partners, and parents and children. It can occur between any family members, including siblings, parents, and grandchildren, etc.

“Domestic violence is not physical violence alone. Domestic violence is any behavior the purpose of which is to gain power and control over a spouse, partner, girl/boyfriend or intimate family member. Abuse is a learned behavior; it is not caused by anger, mental problems, drugs or alcohol, or other common excuses,” according to the Arizona Coalition To End Sexual & Domestic Violence.

How the Law Helps Victims

If a victim is in immediate danger, they are encouraged to call 911. When the police arrive at the scene, the victim is advised to tell the police about the incident. The police can help a victim obtain an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP), which is typically issued by on on-call judge right away and served immediately to the accused.

If an Order of Protection is granted, it requires that the abuser stop contacting the victim and stay a certain distance away from him or her. EOPs are only good until the next business day. If a victim needs one for longer than that, he or she must apply for a traditional Order of Protection at the Superior Court during regular business hours.

If a regular Order of Protection is granted, the police can serve it upon the abuser for free, and it will be valid for one year from the date it is served. Abusers do have the right to a hearing, and they can ask for one any time while the order is in force.

What if an Abuser Violates an Order of Protection?

If a victim believes they are in danger, they are encouraged to call 911. If an abuser violates an Order of Protection, they are breaking the law. Depending on the facts of the case, the abuser could face criminal charges and other consequences for violating the order.

“Will I be arrested if an Order of Protection is taken out against me?” No, you will not. Orders of Protection are civil actions, they are not criminal. However, abusers can be arrested if the police have “probable cause” to believe that the accused did commit an act of domestic violence against the victim.

If an Order of Protection has been taken out against you, contact the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson, PLC to speak to a former prosecutor about your case. All of our initial consultations are free of charge.

Next: FAQs About Domestic Violence in Arizona

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