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

  • In Arizona when can a legally married man(woman) be charged with rape of his/her spouse?
  • I am roommates with someone he has assaulted me I am going to get a restraing order,what I would like to know who has to move out of the home we share?
  • In a child custody case, I lost my children to my ex. My children & I suffered alot of abuse at his hands. Now he has the children & lives in another city & jurisdiction in Arizona. The info and dr. reports I took in were not even looked at by the judge. Seemed her mind was made up early on. Can I request a new emergency hearing and also request a change in judge as I am told the abuse on the children has started again and I don't know what to do to protect my children.
  • I'm a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault. It's been four years since the last domestic occurred and I moved to Washington to get away from my abuser with my kids. I am wondering since it has been four years ago if there is anything that I can do now like make a police report or legal action now.
  • If I dont show up to court when he fights to have it dismissed will it be dismissed and will it show up on a back ground check that this ever happened to him.
  • My ex husband came through the drive thru of my work while I was off, said to a coworker that he would pay him to kill me. My co worker told me and my boss about this. The police were notified and they said, " Well youre still standing, I guess if anything happens to you, we will start an investigation." Is this legal?
  • Can I press charges against someone who continually verbally abuses me through text message. Blocking is not an option since that person is a co-parent to a child.
  • in state of az how long do i have to file police report for criminal damage on ex
  • I was in an argument with my boyfriend and he called the police. In the process, I was angry and cut two clothes which I gave him as gift in the past.The original price of those two items are 200 dollar in total, but it was worn for more than 2 years. Before I damage those two clothes, I have obtained consent from my boyfriend of returning those two clothes to me . However, I was still arrested and charged with criminal damage. If my boyfriend has agreed to return the clothes to me, is that still his property? I mentioned this to the police officer but he said he still need to arrest me.
  • My fiance and i were in an argument and i called the cops because she pushed me several times. it was a big mistake and i wished i never called them. They came and arrested her. Now she is out and she cannot come home or call me. we have 3 kids together and are torn apart now. Is there anything we can do to get passed this huge mistake? Her trial is a month from now.

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