Relationships can be difficult, whether they are with a spouse, romantic partner, friend or even a child. When disagreements occur and the situation becomes heated, the law can become involved and one or both parties can be charged with domestic violence. Understanding what your options are to fight this charge and what can happen if you are found guilty is important to protect your reputation and record, as well as avoid expensive fines and jail time.
Domestic violence covers a broad spectrum of offenses. While assault and physical abuse in a domestic dispute are covered, there are many other behaviors or actions that are also put under this umbrella charge. Some of the offenses that can be labeled domestic violence include:
- Harassment and telephonic harassment
- Orders of protection or restraining order violations
- False imprisonment or kidnapping
- Surreptitious videotaping or photographing
- Custodial disputes or interference
- Criminal property damage
- Child or elderly abuse
The problem with many domestic violence charges is that they do not need to be instigated from the parties involved. A neighbor or onlooker can misconstrue a situation and call the police. A simple argument in your household can result in an officer at your door if someone else calls in the disturbance. Even though you and the people in your home can insist there is not a problem, often the officer will still make an arrest. Many domestic violence charges are misunderstandings but still can result in serious consequences.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
The penalties for domestic violence charges can vary based on the reason for the charge. One of the most damaging aspects of being convicted of domestic violence is the impact it can have on your reputation and livelihood. Simply stepping in front of your partner during a domestic dispute can be considered false imprisonment, even if you never touched or held the person. Punching a hole in a wall or kicking your own vehicle can be considered criminal property damage. This can go on your permanent record as a domestic violence conviction. If you have a background check performed for a job or other opportunities, a domestic violence conviction can hurt your chances for a positive outcome.
Tempe or Scottsdale Domestic Violence Defense
Do not let a domestic violence charge change your life. Our legal team at Matthew Lopez Law is experienced in putting together a solid defense for our clients who have been charged with one of the many types of domestic violence offenses. Please call our office right away in Tempe or Lake Havasu City if you have been arrested for a domestic violence violation. We can advise you on how to proceed and begin building your case to work towards a dismissal.