What You Need to Know About Arizona Domestic Violence Laws
No one deserves to feel unsafe in their own home. Domestic violence can be incredibly destabilizing, and it is important to be aware of your rights as a victim. Here’s everything you need to know about domestic violence laws in Arizona.
In Arizona, many crimes can be classified as domestic violence if they are committed against family or household members. Arizona offers a number of possible protective orders to prevent domestic violence victims from experiencing further harm.
Domestic Violence in Arizona
Arizona defines domestic violence as almost any dangerous crime or criminal act of abuse against a family or household member. Not all domestic violence crimes must be violent.
Examples of crimes that can constitute domestic violence when enacted against a family or household member include:
- Assault and battery
- Disorderly conduct
- Witness intimidation
- Sexual assault
These are just a few examples, as many crimes can be designated domestic violence in the right circumstances if the perpetrator commits them against a household or family member.
Related: Domestic Violence During COVID-19
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Arizona
In most cases, domestic violence crimes are Class 1 misdemeanors. Class 1 misdemeanors are the highest level of crime in Arizona and carry up to 180 days in jail and/or $2,500 in fines.
Certain domestic violence crimes are felonies. These crimes include those involving serious bodily injury to the victim, certain crimes against children, and crimes committed as the third or more within 84 months. These are felonies that can have penalties of up to 15 years in prison.
Additional Protections for Domestic Violence in Arizona
In Arizona, domestic violence victims can get orders of protection, which are specific kinds of civil court orders from judicial officers. There are three main types of orders of protection.
Orders of Protection
Orders of protection prevent the perpetrators of domestic violence from committing further harmful acts or contacting those protected by the order. There can be other attached forms of protective relief, like exclusive use of the home for the victim or removal of firearms from the perpetrator’s home.
Emergency Orders of Protection
Emergency orders of protection protect individuals who are in “imminent and present danger of domestic violence.” Usually, these only last for a day.
Related: Why Do Domestic Violence Victims Stay?
Injunctions Against Harassment
Injunctions against harassment order individuals to stop harassing, annoying, or alarming another person. These are different from orders of protection because they do not have the attached protective relief and because police officers are not mandated to enforce them. These orders can also protect against workplace harassment.
Arizona also has a victims’ Bill of Rights that applies to victims of all crimes and protects victims’ rights to justice and due process. These rights include:
- To be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse throughout the criminal justice process.
- To be informed, upon request, when the accused or convicted person is released from custody or has escaped.
- To be present at and, upon request, to be informed of all criminal proceedings where the defendant has the right to be present.
- To be heard at any proceeding involving a post-arrest release decision, a negotiated plea, and sentencing.
- To receive prompt restitution from the person or persons convicted of the criminal behavior that caused the victim’s loss or injury.
FAQs About Arizona Domestic Violence Laws
Can a victim drop domestic violence charges after filing them in Arizona?
Arizona takes domestic violence seriously, and law enforcement will investigate cases even if a victim wants to drop the charges.
Will I have to testify in front of my abuser at a trial in Arizona?
If an Arizona court holds a trial, you may have to testify in front of your abuser. However, in Arizona, victims may always have a victim advocate (someone who assists victims through the criminal process) with them at a trial.
If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Arizona Domestic Violence Laws, get your free consultation with one of our Domestic Violence in Arizona today!