Domestic Violence Article


Domestic Violence in Arizona Criminal Law

This article provides a brief overview of domestic violence in Arizona criminal law. Not all forms of domestic violence are listed as crimes in the Arizona Criminal Code. To learn more about the many other serious forms of domestic violence, please see the “What is Domestic Violence?” article on this website.

How does the Arizona Criminal Code define domestic violence?

The Arizona Criminal Code uses a “relationship test” to determine whether a specific crime is an act of domestic violence. If the perpetrator of a crime and the victim of that crime have or previously had a specific kind of relationship, then the crime is an act of domestic violence.

What kinds of relationships meet the domestic violence relationship test?

Under the Arizona Criminal Code, a crime is an act of domestic violence if any of the following apply:

• the victim and the perpetrator are married or were previously married

• the victim and the perpetrator live together or previously lived together

• the victim and the perpetrator have a child in common

• the victim or the perpetrator is pregnant by the other person

• the victim is related to the perpetrator or to the perpetrator’s spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister

• the victim is related to the perpetrator or to the perpetrator’s spouse by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law

• the victim is a child who lives or previously lived in the same household as the perpetrator and is related by blood to a former spouse of the perpetrator or to a person who lives or previously lived in the same household as the perpetrator

• the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship

In determining whether the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship, the following factors may be considered:

• the type of relationship

• the length of the relationship

• the frequency of the interaction between the victim and the perpetrator

• if the relationship has ended, how much time has passed since the relationship ended

What kinds of crimes are acts of domestic violence if the victim and the perpetrator meet the relationship test?

If the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator meets the domestic violence relationship test, then the perpetrator’s crime is an act of domestic violence if the perpetrator’s crime is any of the following:

• any dangerous crime against children (A.R.S. § 13-705)

• negligent homicide (A.R.S. § 13-1102)

• manslaughter (A.R.S. § 13-1103)

• second degree murder (A.R.S. § 13-1104)

• first degree murder (A.R.S. § 13-1105)

• endangerment (A.R.S. § 13-1201)

• threatening or intimidating (A.R.S. § 13-1202)

• assault (A.R.S. § 13-1203)

• aggravated assault (A.R.S. § 13-1204)

• custodial interference (A.R.S. § 13-1302)

• unlawful imprisonment (A.R.S. § 13-1303)

• kidnapping (A.R.S. § 13-1304)

• sexual assault (A.R.S. § 13-1406)

• unlawful disclosure of images depicting states of nudity or specific sexual activities (A.R.S. § 13-1425)

• criminal trespass (A.R.S. § 13-1502-04)

• criminal damage (A.R.S. § 13-1602)

• interfering with judicial proceedings (A.R.S. § 13-2810)

• disorderly conduct (A.R.S. § 13-2904(A)(1),(2),(3),(6))

• cruelty to animals by neglect, abandonment, or mistreatment (A.R.S. § 13-2910(A)(8),(9))

• preventing or interfering with use of a telephone in an emergency (A.R.S. § 13-2915(A)(3))

• use of an electronic communication to terrify, intimidate, threaten, or harass (A.R.S. § 13-2916)

• harassment (A.R.S. § 13-2921)

• aggravated harassment (A.R.S. § 13-2921.01)

• stalking (A.R.S. § 13-2923)

• surreptitious (secret, unauthorized) photographing, videotaping, filming, or digitally recording or viewing (A.R.S. § 13-3019)

• aggravated domestic violence* (A.R.S. § 13-3601.02)

• child or vulnerable adult abuse (A.R.S. § 13-3623)

* if a perpetrator commits a third or subsequent criminal act of domestic violence within 7 years then they may be charged with the crime of aggravated domestic violence

What happens when a crime is an act of domestic violence?

If a perpetrator has committed any crime listed above and the victim and the perpetrator meet the relationship test, then the perpetrator has committed an act of domestic violence in addition to the underlying crime.

Under the Arizona Criminal Code, domestic violence is not an independent crime. Instead, it is a way to increase the punishment and/or penalties that come with being convicted of a crime that was also an act of domestic violence.

For example, if the victim and the perpetrator are in a romantic relationship and the perpetrator assaults the victim, then the victim may be charged with the crime of assault and, if convicted of the crime of assault, must also be ordered to complete a court-approved domestic violence offender treatment program at the perpetrator’s own expense. The perpetrator may also have their firearms taken away.

Published: April 2020

Sources and further reading

The information provided in this article comes from the following sections of the Arizona Criminal Code:

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 3601: https://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/03601.htm

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 3601.01: https://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/03601-01.htm

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 3601.02: https://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/03601-02.htm


Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • My husband is a insecure controlling emotionally and verbally abusive towards me and his crazy mom. He is an electrician and was only working 6 months a year to get a $6500 tax refund which he would spend on his stuff and buys the kids, under age 10 expensive electronics to keep them happy. He doesn't buy me ---- anymore for the last 5 years. He's telling me that since I'm an unfit mom, take care of kids 24/7 and his mom while to works in Contra Costa County 5 or 6 days a week. Rents a room with relatives $400 a month. His mom pays the $500 rent here from her SSI CK
  • In Sept. of 2014 my boyfriend pushed me down the stairs in our house and was arrested. Six months later Jan. 16, 2015 he punched me several times in the face breaking my nose and causing me to get 7 stitches above my left eye. He choked me and then forced me to sit in a chair while he threatened me. He fled before HPD arrived and was arrested in March for felony battery and coercion. I did not testify and charges were dropped. On Feb. 8th, 2017 he was arrested for DV. Can the prior charges get brought back in the new case even if he wasn't convicted?
  • in state of az how long do i have to file police report for criminal damage on ex
  • I moved back to my paid off house after 2 years away from an extremely violent crack addict. He has now forced his way back into my home because he is a freeloader and wants to live withowut paying a single bill. When I tell him to leave he says FU, make me. He believes that he owns everything I have and takes my car 24/7 so I have no way out. When I attempt to do anything he destroys my things or steals them and pawns them. If I do anything at all to call for help he destroys my phone and beats me up and threatens to destroy my house. He is the biggest fake but noone believes me. HELP
  • My question is if a protective orders put on a person when I personally did not commit a family violence and that's what the protective orders under happiness protective order be turned over and work with that person had to do to get it returned over and what kind of attorney with that person need if they can afford and trying to get a protective order turned over due to the fact that they did not do anything wrong and I have proof of it
  • If a relative has lived in your home for than a year and domedtic violence was involved, do i have to give her notice before I get rid of her belongings
  • I was recently in a relationship with a guy who was verbally and emotionally abusive. We were living together for about 3 months and he was always yelling at me and I was getting very scared. After he held me inside our apartment and refused to let me leave I finally got out and moved out. I tried to keep things civil. He moved to out of state but he says he will come back. He calls the house I am staying at several times a day.  He breaks into my emails and talks to my friends. He threatens me and he gets very angry at times and calls me and says he will do stuff to me and he will do stuff to my friends . I was wondering what I could do. I am very stressed out and scared and I feel like it is getting worse and I need a solution. I looked up about an order of protection but Im not sure where to go and how to do it. Id like to stop him from contacting me, my family, and my friends. I feel that he may be emotionally unstable and have issues that could turn to violence. He says he is coming back to Arizona and I just want to protect myself, my family, and my friends.
  • I went to jail on domestics volince charges and took a ple bargen idident understand what was going on im mental ill what do i do
  • I have an Emergency Protective Order placed on myself by my sons father. And now he is in contact with me. what do i do?
  • Must a petition for dissolution of a non-covenant marriage contain a statement that there has or has not been domestic violence during the marriage?

STORIES

  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • If you get a divorce, make sure your date of birth is on the Decree if your name is changing!. . .

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
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