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Arizona Domestic Violence Penalties

Prosecutors in Tucson and Pima County take domestic violence charges very seriously. Courts have implemented specialty domestic violence courts that only handle domestic violence cases. These courts are staffed with skilled prosecutors that handle only domestic violence cases, probation officers from the Pima County Adult Probation department, victim advocates, and representatives of minor children victims (known as a “guardian ad litem“). The following describes generally the Arizona Domestic Violence Penalties for domestic violence charges in Tucson and Pima County. The penalties will vary to some degree depending of unique factors which vary from case to case.

Misdemeanor Arizona Domestic Violence Penalties

Misdemeanors in Arizona are either a class 1, class 2, class 3 or a petty offense. A class 1 is the most serious, and a petty offense is the least serious. The maximum penalties for misdemeanors are as follows:

At a minimum, a person convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense must complete 26 sessions of domestic violence counseling through a state approved agency. Some people will have to complete 36 or 52 sessions depending on whether the person has prior convictions for domestic violence. Usually the person will be on some type of probation during that period. The probation could be unsupervised, or supervised through the Pima County Adult Probation department or another agency. The penalty will most likely include a period of suspended jail – jail that is only imposed upon a violation of probation. Other times, some jail term may be imposed depending on the seriousness of the offense, and the person’s prior criminal history. A fine of $2500 is usually suspended entirely, or a portion of it may be imposed with the option to do community service. There is a $100 mandatory domestic fee that always applies. The court will almost always order the person to have no contact with the victim, and to not return to the incident location. However, these no contact and no return provision can be modified with the consent of the victim.

Felony Arizona Domestic Violence Penalties

Felony domestic violence penalties are governed by the class of felony that the person was convicted of. Generally, there are 6 classes of offenses – 1 through 6. A class 1 felony is the most serious, and a class 6 is the least serious. Sometimes, probation is available as an option to the court at sentencing. Whether probation is an option depends on the seriousness of the offense, whether a weapon was used, and the prior criminal history of the defendant. Below are the ranges for first time felony convictions in which probation is available.

Domestic Violence Sentencing

At sentencing, the court can consider anything relevant in imposing the sentence. This includes the sentencing guidelines, the history and nature of the defendant, the reasons for the conduct, the post-offense rehabilitative efforts of the defendant, mitigating circumstances, aggravating circumstances, the victim’s input, and anything else that is important in imposing a sentence.

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