Useful Defense Strategies for a Domestic Violence Charge in AZ
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Listen To This Page:
- What is Considered Domestic Violence Under Arizona Law
- What are the Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction
- What Strategies Will The Prosecution Use?
- Effective Defenses in Domestic Violence Cases
- What If I’m Facing a False Allegation Of Domestic Violence
- What to do If You’re Facing Domestic Violence Charges
- Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta
Domestic violence cases are complex and require careful and strategic defense. The use of various defense strategies can make a significant difference in the outcome of the case. Attorneys at Colburn Hintze and Maletta have extensive experience in defending individuals accused of domestic violence offenses.
They understand the sensitive nature of these cases and are well-versed in the legal strategies that can be used to protect their clients.
In domestic violence cases, defense strategies may include challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution, demonstrating self-defense or defense of others, and questioning the credibility of the accuser. These strategies require a deep understanding of criminal law and the ability to effectively present evidence and arguments in court.
If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence charges, it is essential to seek legal representation from experienced and knowledgeable defense attorneys who can provide effective counsel and advocacy. Contact us to learn more about the defense strategies used in domestic violence cases and how we can help protect your rights and freedoms.
What is Considered Domestic Violence Under Arizona Law
Arizona law categorizes domestic violence not by specific actions but by the relationship between the accused and the victim.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) §13-3601, domestic violence can include a wide range of offenses committed against a family member, a household member, or someone in a romantic or sexual relationship with the accused. The law covers physical violence, threats, intimidation, harassment, and other forms of abusive behavior.
What are the Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction
The penalties for a domestic violence conviction in Arizona are severe and varied, designed to reflect the gravity of the offense and its impact on victims. Under Arizona law, the consequences depend on several factors, including the severity of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and whether any aggravating factors are present.
Severity of the Offense and Criminal History
- Misdemeanor Charges: For many first-time offenders, domestic violence charges may be classified as misdemeanors, particularly if the incident did not result in serious physical injury. Penalties can include up to six months in jail, fines, probation, community service, and mandatory completion of a domestic violence offender treatment program.
- Felony Charges: More serious offenses, especially those involving physical injury, the use of a weapon, or a history of similar offenses, may be charged as felonies. Felony convictions carry more severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, larger fines, and longer probation periods. For example, under ARS §13-704, aggravated domestic violence (a third or subsequent offense within a seven-year period) is a class 5 felony, which can result in significant prison time.
Additional Legal Consequences
Beyond the immediate penalties, a domestic violence conviction can have lasting impacts on an individual’s life:
- Loss of Gun Rights: Under federal law, individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms.
- Impact on Custody and Visitation: Courts may consider domestic violence convictions when making decisions about child custody and visitation rights, often limiting or imposing conditions on the offender’s access to their children.
- Restraining Orders: Victims of domestic violence may obtain protective orders against the offender, which can restrict their ability to return to their home or contact the victim and other family members.
- Employment and Housing: Convictions can affect job prospects, especially for positions requiring background checks, and may disqualify individuals from certain types of housing.
Arizona law allows for increased penalties in the presence of aggravating factors, such as committing the offense in the presence of a child, using a deadly weapon, or causing serious physical injury. These factors can elevate the severity of the charge and the harshness of the sentence.
What Strategies Will The Prosecution Use?
Prosecutors typically rely on evidence of the alleged abuse, including physical evidence, witness testimony, and any history of similar behavior by the accused. They may also use emotional appeals to the jury, emphasizing the impact of the defendant’s actions on the victim and their family.
Effective Defenses in Domestic Violence Cases
When someone is charged with domestic violence in Arizona, having a strong defense strategy is crucial. Here are some straightforward and practical ways to defend against these charges: Questioning the Evidence
Questioning the Evidence
- Finding Holes in the Story: Lawyers often look for inconsistencies in the accuser’s story. If the accuser’s story changes over time or doesn’t match up with the facts, it can make the accusation seem less believable.
- Lack of Physical Proof: Sometimes, the only evidence is what the accuser says happened. If there are no injuries or other physical evidence to back up their story, a defense lawyer can argue that the accusations might not be true.
- Protecting Yourself: If you acted to protect yourself or someone else from immediate harm, this could be a strong defense. Evidence like medical reports or witness statements can help support this argument.
- Questioning Motives: Unfortunately, false accusations can happen. If there’s a reason the accuser might lie (like jealousy or a custody battle), highlighting this can be a key part of the defense.
- Too Small to Count: If the incident was very minor, it might not meet the legal definition of domestic violence. This argument focuses on the idea that not every argument or minor scuffle should lead to criminal charges.
- Creating Uncertainty: The law requires guilt to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If the defense can introduce any uncertainty about what happened, it might be enough to prevent a conviction.
- Understanding the Context: Sometimes, explaining the circumstances, like a defendant’s mental health issues or past experiences with abuse, can affect the outcome. It doesn’t excuse the behavior but might lead to a more understanding approach from the court.
The Importance of a Good Lawyer
The Importance of a Good Lawyer
Tackling domestic violence charges requires knowledge of the law and a solid defense strategy. An experienced lawyer can make a huge difference by finding the best approach based on the specifics of the case and Arizona law.
What If I’m Facing a False Allegation Of Domestic Violence
Dealing with false allegations of domestic violence in Arizona demands a strategic and informed response due to the serious consequences these charges carry. Firstly, gather any evidence that could prove your innocence.
Firstly, gather any evidence that could prove your innocence.
this can include communications, photographs, or witness statements. It’s also important to avoid any contact with the accuser and strictly adhere to any legal orders, like restraining orders, to prevent complicating your situation further.
Seeking the expertise of a defense attorney experienced in domestic violence cases is the next step. They can guide you through the legal process, help gather and present evidence, and represent you in court. Remember, your rights include remaining silent to ensure you don’t inadvertently harm your defense.
Remember, your rights include remaining silent to ensure you don’t inadvertently harm your defense.
Working closely with your attorney, you’ll need to build a defense that may involve demonstrating the accuser’s lack of credibility, uncovering their motives for lying, or confirming your alibi. Avoid discussing the case on social media, as any public statements can be used against you.
Avoid discussing the case on social media, as any public statements can be used against you.
What to Do If You’re Facing Domestic Violence Charges
If you’re facing false allegations of domestic violence, taking immediate and strategic actions is crucial to protect your rights and future.
Here are important steps to consider:
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
At the first hint of accusations, reaching out to a law firm with a strong background in domestic violence defense is critical. An experienced criminal defense attorney understands the complexities of these cases and can provide necessary guidance.Your defense attorney may be able to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and develop a strategy tailored to your situation.
Gather and Preserve Evidence
Evidence is key in disproving false allegations. This includes text messages, emails, social media interactions, and any other communications with the alleged victim. Photographs, videos, and witness statements can also be pivotal. Your domestic violence attorney will advise on what evidence is most relevant and how to collect and present it legally.
Adhere to Legal Orders and Avoid Contact with the Accuser
Following any temporary restraining orders or other legal directives is essential. Any unauthorized contact with the accuser could be used against you in court. Your defense lawyer can handle communications on your behalf, ensuring that you remain compliant with legal requirements.
Develop a Strong Defense Strategy
Common defenses in domestic violence cases include proving the accusations are baseless, demonstrating the alleged victim’s motive to lie, or establishing an alibi. Your domestic violence defense attorney will explore all potential defenses, including self-defense or defense of others if applicable. Remember, the defense strategy used will depend on the specifics of your case and the evidence available.
Prepare for the Legal Process
Facing charges of domestic violence can be a lengthy and complex process. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will prepare you for what to expect, including investigations, hearings, and possibly a trial. They will work to ensure that your rights are protected at every step and aim to achieve the best possible outcome, whether through dismissal of charges, acquittal, or favorable plea negotiations.
Maintain a Low Profile
Avoid discussing your case on social media or with anyone outside your legal team. Public statements can be misconstrued and negatively impact your case. Your attorney may also advise on other steps to take to protect your reputation during this time.
The emotional toll of facing false allegations can be significant. Consider seeking support from trusted friends, family, or professional counselors. Your law firm might also provide resources or referrals to help you cope with the stress and anxiety of the legal battle.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta
Facing domestic violence charges? The team at Colburn Hintze Maletta has a solid track record of securing favorable outcomes, such as getting domestic violence assault charges dismissed. Their success stories reflect their expertise in crafting strong defenses and their dedication to their clients’ rights.
Understanding the complexity and sensitivity of domestic violence cases, Colburn Hintze Maletta offers a free and confidential initial consultation. This session allows you to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney, explore potential defense strategies, and learn how the firm can help you through the legal process.
If you’re going through this challenging time and need immediate help or more information, don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta we’re reachable at (602) 825-2500.
David Maletta is a widely respected criminal defense attorney with over 23 years of experience and has worked on over 1,000 cases and has successfully won over 100 jury trials. David graduated from Northern Arizona University, Magna Cum Laude in 1993 with a degree in Psychology. Shortly thereafter, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1998. He has extensive experience in criminal and DUI matters, homicide, sexually-based offenses, domestic violence, white-collar crimes, and various misdemeanor crimes.
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“David was relentless in his pursuit of my son’s innocence”
We retained David Maletta to represent our son after being cited for what can only be described as a momentary lapse of reason. David was extremely knowledgeable, was able to clearly communicate very complicated concepts, and was relentless in his pursuit of my son’s innocence. He had strong relationships with the prosecuting attorney and respect of the judge, which ultimately resulted in my son learning a really hard lesson with limited consequences (traffic school and writing an essay to the judge on the physics of driving 130MPH and what happens if that goes badly). I have already sent all of my friends with teenage and 20 year old kids his contact information for when they inevitably get that call. David completely exceeded all of our expectations and we could not recommend him any stronger. Thank you for everything.
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“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”
Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!
Chris - AVVO Review
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David Maletta is the absolute best trial attorney in the state of Arizona. He is a kind, emphatic, and extremely patient person. As an attorney, he is prepared, aggressive, and extremely skilled. He is not afraid to go to trial and fight for his clients, like other attorneys that just plead their clients to the original charges. When he is in trial, he flips a switch and goes from a nice guy to a killing machine. He fights for his clients like no one I have ever seen. Watching him do a cross-examination is exhilarating because he is so good it’s scary.
Patricia Bevins - Google Review
“Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently”
I had an incident and was given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now, I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple of things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future, and as of right now, they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.
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I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.
Ben - AVVO Review
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One piece of advice for people who are charged with anything in Arizona is to hire a great lawyer because the state does not care if you’re innocent or not. The Arizona legal system will try to ruin your life. A couple of years ago I was the victim of an antisemitic hate crime when a guy named Billy, who had a history of drug and alcohol issues and was thrown out of the Navy for being violent, decided to attack me after drinking all day in Old Town (Sunday funday) over a pointless argument over whether it’s better to buy homes immediately post-recession or during the 10th year of a bull market run which was his argument. The disagreement led to Billy making several anti-semitic comments and assaulting me, which led to me beating up billy. Billy and his friends then went to the police and lied to try to get me thrown in jail for months for assault while getting 10s of thousands of dollars in restitution in the process. I hired David Maletta. We went to court and destroyed Billy and his best friend/roommate Taylor who were trying to extort me and ruin my life. In Arizona there is a 3.5% chance you’ll get all charges dropped because of how hard the state is on crime but we pulled it off and I still have a clean record to this day.
MJ Walsh - Google Review
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I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.
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Darin helped me with a complex family law issue involving ownership of multiple businesses and other assets. He was able to structure a win-win that wasn’t only better than I thought was possible but that protected the business I had built. Above and beyond that, he did it with great customer service and character – which really matters to me. This was the best possible outcome, great price, and fast.
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“I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.”
Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trial… Watching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.
Gregory - AVVO Review
“Nothing but good things to say about my experience.”
I have nothing but good things to say about my experience working with David Maletta. I was in a very high-stress situation facing a pending DUI charge. He doesn’t know this, but I actually interviewed 5 potential lawyers, and he was the most optimistic of all of them. He took over and handled everything, and now I don’t have to live with a DUI. Thank you so much for everything! Highly recommend them to anyone looking for legal help.
Lauren Koontz - Google Review
“Responsive, sympathetic, professional, patient, and kind.”
On one of the worst and most surreal nights of my life (do not EVER get a DUI people!) I was lucky enough to find my way to Tim Hintze. Being in Phoenix for the Thanksgiving holiday from out of town, and after spending the evening with family, I ended up spending the night in jail.
Tim turned one of the worst experiences in my life into “it could have been so much worse!” Working with him from a different state, he covered the bases & paperwork, showed up for me in court, gave me numerous connections to muck my way through the system, and held my hand the whole way.
I cannot imagine how much worse this experience could have been, and thanks to Tim, I didn’t need to. He was responsive, sympathetic, professional, patient, and kind throughout the long process, drawn out by many months due to Covid.
Keep Tim’s number handy and in your contacts in the event you are ever in the sorry position to need a DUI lawyer!
Holly Weber - Google Review
“The calm in the middle of my storm…”
I recently consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again. However, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.