Protection Orders 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 ex-boyfriend was arrested in 2014 & sentenced to 4.5 year. I ended the relationship shortly afterward for many reasons including physical & mental abuse. He threatened me if I ever left him & tried to kill me twice. After his arrest, I became homeless & all of our belongings were lost. I have since met someone else & have gotten married. I wrote my ex in prison to let him know his belongings were gone & that I had gotten married & not to come looking for me or his things upon his release. I am afraid he will come after me.Is it possible to get an Order of Protection prior to his release?
  • can i get an order of protection aganst my daughter
  • What should I do if my ex still calls and texts me after the order of protection has been served? Can I call the police?
  • A friend told my ex that I have been advised to get a RO against him. He retaliated by getting a false one against me- before I could  on against him. Its been 6months now, but I want to contest this and also get him one cos he is still going around asking people of my whereabout.I'm scared of this man and his terrible anger.pls what do I do? I can't afford an attorney at all. Where do I start? Is there a lawyer who can represent a domestic violence victim for free or future payment?
  • I was given exclusive use of our residence in my OOP. Is my husband still required to pay his half of the rent even though he was required to leave the residence?
  • My boyfriend's ex has a restraining order against him. She is constantly contacting me only to get information on him. Is she violating her own restraining order by contacting me just to find out about him?
  • My ex has an order of protection on me. I am also on probation because of our relationship issues. I have to report all her attempts to contact me to my p.o. She has sent many threats, msgs, and requests I contact her. I have filed a police report against her, and victim svcs has told her to stop, but she now uses my p.o.'s name in her msgs while advising me that there is nothing either vic svcs, my p.o., nor TPD can do beyond advising her not to contact me, but I will go to prison if I reply. How can I protect myself against her? I have reason to fear further action by her.
  • I live with my ex girlfriend. It has become turbulent. The past year plus she has physically/verbally/objects thrown at me/harassing email-text/threats on my life-police-suing me etc. This is a daily event. I have been told by family to file a PFA. She has no car and we dont know anybody here(From out of state). I work at home and pay 99% of the bills. Along with all the above issues my business is is also affected affected(I am forced out of the apartment almost daily). I am concerned that if I get a PFA they will ask me to leave because I have a car(she does not)--now what?-plus im a guy?
  • Can I file a protection order against a police if I have proof
  • Me and my ex-spouse has joint custody, recently I move and have not reported to the court. Im scared to let him know my new residents due to the threats that I recieve by text and answering machine I decided to get a training order is there anything that I need to know addiction to this order?

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