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

  • Our 16 year old son became aggressive after a shopping outing and began beating up my wife taking her to the ground. We are wondering what legal options we have since the answer we are getting from all agencies is that we just have to deal with it and work it out ourselves. We are looking for help of any kind including juvenile detention or detainment in a health facility. I am afraid to leave the house if our son is there and afraid of what he might do in the middle of the night since he has uttered death threats.
  • I hired a paralegal to prepare divorce papers, they have not been filed as of yet. We decided on division of property already. I need to know If I can sell items in my half of community assets/property to pay community debt? If not, am I supposed to let house go into foreclosure or my vehicle get repossessed. I do not work due to disability and have no income. Thanks.
  • My daughter refuses to go to her moms, what happens if she doesnt go? She is being emotionally abused by her mom. Also, can i file for emergency custody if i can prove it?
  • What do I do if my spouse filed a domestic violence claim against me wrongfully? I have been out of the house for 3 weeks because she is the one who was abusive.
  • Help! Domestic violence occurred. My husband left me unexpectedly. We have a daughter. I have no income, no car, no phone and now a lease that I can't pay, what are my resources?
  • Im separated not yet divorced. We lived in Arizona then agreed to move to Colorado last August. While in Colorado she was verbally abusive, she cheated and at one point hit me in front of our son and daughter. I told her I no longer wanted to be with her. She took the kids back to Arizona.I only allowed this because she said she would send them to me in January, yet never did.I have emails to prove hitting&leaving agreement. Also of her saying I cant skype the kids unless I sends money, though I have been biweekly.I want custody but dont have the funds right now. Where can I start?
  • I am in need 5,000 to lay my daughter down to rest she was murdered in a domestic violence situation. Someone told me the county could help. Please help you.
  • My boyfriend was arrested last night for aggravated assault against me. I told the police that he has a history of mental illness and that he needed to go to a psychiatric hospital but they took him to jail anyway. I am not pressing charges but I am afraid the state will. How do I help him get the charge dropped and get mental help?
  • 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?
  • My wife kicked me out by threatening to call the cops on me and tell them im violent. I left because she was the one slapping me. How do I get my items? Do I still have to pay rent due on 5th? Kicked out on the 1st.

STORIES

LegalLEARN

YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED

FIND LEGAL HELP

  • Please select your county of residence below.

    County:
     

OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • 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
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

ORGANIZATIONS