AV-rated attorney Mark S. Williams provides strong defense representation to people accused of domestic violence in the greater Phoenix metro area. With over 32 years of criminal defense experience, Mr. Williams understands how prosecutors and judges in the Maricopa County court system handle domestic violence cases. With this knowledge, he helps his clients avoid or minimize the potentially serious consequences of a domestic violence conviction.
Domestic Violence Encompasses a Range of Relationships & Conduct
Arizona law defines domestic violence by the relationship between the accuser and the defendant and by the type of charge alleged. The State's domestic violence laws do not only apply to crimes against spouses, but also against ex-spouses, partners, former partners, people living together, people who are dating, family members, relatives, and the elderly. Actual physical assault, such as hitting, does not need to occur for domestic violence charges to be filed. In fact, many actions may be designated as domestic violence, including but not limited to:
- Physical violence, ranging from assault and battery to homicide crimes
- Dangerous crimes against children
- Disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace
- Criminal damage or trespass
- Economic abuse or improper financial control
- Emotional abuse, including verbal abuse, mental abuse, threats, and intimidation
- Violating protective orders or restraining orders
- Custodial interference
- Interference with judicial proceedings
Domestic violence crimes can be charged as felonies or misdemeanors, and the consequences of a conviction can be severe, including mandatory counseling, fines, restitution, probation, limitations in child visitation rights, loss of gun privileges, jail time, and even prison.
The Reality & Implications of Domestic Violence Charges
Arizona has taken a consistently tough stance against domestic violence. In many circumstances, a prosecutor will file charges against an alleged perpetrator and aggressively pursue a case, even if the victim does not wish to press charges and refuses to actively participate in the prosecution. Also, many people do not realize that relatively minor violations of protective orders can result in a domestic violence charge. For example, you could be charged with domestic violence based on a late night telephone call to a child or ex-spouse if a protective order is in effect.
We strive to minimize the consequences of domestic violence charges for our clients, especially for first time offenders. Without knowledgeable representation, first time offenders are often placed on probation and may be required to serve a few days in jail, along with completing a domestic violence counseling program. In some cases, however, the accused may be eligible for a domestic violence diversion program as an alternative to prosecution. If you qualify for the program, prosecution is deferred while you complete the program and charges are dismissed upon completion. We work to qualify our clients for deferred prosecution whenever possible.
Seek Experienced, Honest Representation
If you have been charged with domestic violence, we will provide non-judgmental, zealous advocacy on your behalf, always working to minimize penalties as much as possible. For more information about domestic violence defense, please contact Mark S. Williams, Attorney for a free initial consultation.