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

  • Can I get an order of protection against my husband for verbally and emotionally abusing me and our teen daughter? There is no act of physical violence, but there was a reported act if violence five years ago. Although I don't have any fears if him hurting us physically there is almost daily verbal abuse, yelling, name calling, etc.
  • My ex emailed me what appears to be a protective order against me from over a week ago but I was never served. What do I di?
  • my exwifes boyfriend physically abused her and harrassed her he left bruses on her face that took over a month to heal i got her away from him and somehow he talked his way outa her pressing charges she earsed all the pocture and texts he sent her then she lied to me and said she filed a police report and she didnt he now lives with her and she says now he barley touched her now we have the kids seperated and we havnt exchanged in 5 months and she wount answer texts calls or emails i need to keep him away from my kids since shes met him he has made her choose him over her kids what do i do
  • If an order of protection says that the defendant has to surrender his firearms to the Mesa PD, can he give them to a friend instead? Is this violating the order of protection?
  • If I have a deferred plea/sentencing does that count as a conviction?
  • I have called sheriff 4 times now on ex wife I'm the victim and she has stole my meds from cvs and my identity and my daughter identity too she filed my taxes got refund and spent it then she got stimulus money too she filed my unemployment and was try to keep my unemployment money what can I sue police dept ? I feel because I'm a guy it's ok for her to assault me?
  • when a minor commits dv against a parent, shouldn't the minor be removed from the parent and dangerous and unsafe environment?
  • In 2005, my wife at the time called the police said I threatened her. County sheriffs arrested me. She admitted it was a lie. Now almost ten years later I'm in another state, put in for a concealed weapons license and it showed up and I was denied. Was told I could try again in a year. My question, even though not charged can this be removed easy? Note back then I even had a ccw in az.
  • im 16 and after my dad tried to kill me i now my mom who has full custody of me. i dont want to live here anymore i have to share a room with two other people, my mom drinks, and here boyfriend verbally abuses my little sisters. i would like to live with my aunt who lives in another state to have full custody of me without being emancipated, anyway i could do that?
  • In the past I have called in the police for help because my husband was hit, pushing or verbal abusing, but there was " never any mark or signs of abuse" so they said they couldn't help me. Las night out of nowhere he started to hit me again and push away some big soda bottles that my daughter and I were working on and did hit my daughter. But ones again I but have that many marks. Can I ask for help?

STORIES

  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • If you get a divorce, make sure your date of birth is on the Decree if your name is changing!. . .

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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