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

  • A TPO was filed on me. The petitioner tried to contact me many times after filing. Sending me texts like "Please cum sleep with me". The judge still extended the order for 12 months. I posted a web site giving an editorial of my experience. The petitioner got a warrant & I was charged with Aggravated Stalking in a different county than the TPO was filed. Can a web site be considered contact?
  • I have an order of protection against my ex. I have filed for bankruptcy. I have a lawsuit the he filed against me, and I a counter suit against him. I've included his lawsuit against me in my bankruptcy; even though it never went to trial. His attorney wants a deposition with me with his client present - which is whom I have the order of protection against. What are my legal rights to protect myself? I don't want to meet in my attorneys office because I am afraid of this man. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance.
  • My friend just started dating someone who has to attend anger management courses because his ex accused him of domestic violence. He claims she had no proof and that he was not able to defend himself. I want to know if it is true that AZ courts will send someone to anger management classes without any proof of actual violence?
  • How long does a person have to get his or her belongings out after being served a order of protection? They came the day they got served and I called the police on them.
  • I am the guardian of my 2 grandchildren (their mother is my oldest daughter) she had been in a domestic violence situation with the kids dad (he is in prison until July 2016) she lives with friends, no job, possible drugs. He does drugs and has a new girlfriend pregnant. I do not want either of them to obtain children EVER. What can I do to protect the kids and myself since Arizona tends to want to reunite children and parents. This is not a good idea with either of the biological parents. I love them to much to have them suffer. Guardian since 2010, they are age 9 and 6. suggestions?
  • the filer of an order of protection against me.violated it by contacting me. what do the rules say about that
  • when a minor commits dv against a parent, shouldn't the minor be removed from the parent and dangerous and unsafe environment?
  • So my daughters father and i where together when she was born naturally i gave her his last name. On Septemeber 29, 2015 he was arrested and charged with his 3rd domestic. There's a 2 year order of protection in place he gets visitation within that op. Due to all this id like to not change but at least hyphenate her last name can i do this?
  • I have an order of protection against my husband that has not been served to him yet. If I agree to meet him at the police station parking lot to exchange our daughter, will the judge dismiss the order if my husband later contests it?
  • My best friend is having issues with her husband. He drinks every day to the point of total intoxication. He is verbally abusive and demeaning to her. He has pushed her, head butted her and told her that he “should beat her ass”. He has maxed out her credit cards and does everything he can to financially entrap her. They have 2 children 13 and 15. She is afraid to leave the kids with him because of his drinking and because he is not dependable. My friend wants to leave but due to the financial position he continues to put her in, she cannot afford to get out. Is this considered DV? Options?

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  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
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    866-553-0893
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