This is the next post in my series discussing why Arizona residents benefit by hiring an attorney in misdemeanor cases. My last post discussed why it is a worthy investment to hire representation in criminal matters. Many people make the mistake of not hiring an attorney due to finances. In this article I will be discussing why defendants should contact an attorney when facing domestic violence charges. Retaining a lawyer will help you build a proper defense and safeguard your future.
Arizona residents err by viewing domestic violence charges as either a private matter or “no big deal”
Many Arizona residents make the mistake of thinking that their domestic violence charge is “no big deal.” They make this mistake because they view it as a private matter between two people. It is commonly believed that the victim will simply state that I do not want to press charges” and that the whole case will go away. This is not how the system works. Once one is arrested then the decision of whether or not a case proceeds is up to the prosecutors and not the victim. If it is decided that the case will move forward then Phoenix or Maricopa County prosecutors will not hesitate to subpoena a victim and make them testify against their will. Contrary to popular belief, there is no “marital privilege” in Arizona when it comes to criminal law. Spouses can be forced by the prosecutors to testify against or face criminal charges for obstructing justice, and the threat is not an empty one. Domestic violence is taken very seriously in Arizona and it is very much a big deal. Our state treats a first offense as a class one misdemeanor. This means the offense carries a sentence of up to six months in jail, fines, community service, anger management classes, and the loss of the right to own a firearm. Do not make the mistake of thinking that it is up to the victim as to whether a case moves forward – it is not.
Another mistake is commonly made by domestic violence defendants who stand falsely accused. Many domestic violence charges are based on false allegations. Such claims are made by those trying to gain leverage in a child custody case or by angry ex’s who wish to “get even.” In such circumstances a defendant will often see a case as “ridiculous.” They will feel like all they need to do is go into Court and explain their situation to the Judge. Such defendants receive a rude awakening when they realize that, even though the allegations are false, that the case will not just go away.
Those who do not hire a criminal defense lawyer due to the foregoing reasons are making an error. If you are charged with domestic violence in Arizona then it is crucial that you contact an attorney immediately.
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer will assist Phoenix and Maricopa County residents charged with misdemeanor domestic violence
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer is the best way for Phoenix or Maricopa County residents to protect themselves when facing domestic violence charges. An attorney can help you establish defenses that you may not have realized you have. For example, you may have a legitimate self defense claim. It may also be possible to exclude evidence, such as statements, from Court due to constitutional violations. In other words, there may be aspects to your defense which you did not realize were available. Do not make the mistake of going into a case without counsel – you may be closing the door on possible defenses.
Contact our office today if you are facing such a situation and require a consultation. In addition to Phoenix we represent defendants in other Maricopa County cities such as Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert. We also assist Pima County residents in Tucson.