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

  • 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?
  • Can someone take out a harassment order when no harassment has occurred?
  • I was contacted by the Sheriffs dept. and told an Order of Protection was served to me the past April. I was never served any documents or aware of this. How may I get a record (copy) of this service?
  • I was granted an order of protection from a judge after receiving death threats from former employer for resigning after enduring abuse. They are now harassing me by means of my unemployment. Such as making up lies about me and appealing constantly. They are even giving bad reviews of me to potential employers. What are my options??
  • What if somebody is harassing me and it is escalating to the point where he's trying to get me fired from my job? I tried to get an injunction against harassment, but the court turned me down. He, however, got an injunction against workplace harassment, and everything he told the court was a verifiable why. If I can't afford an attorney, what do I do when where do I turn? This person has done the same thing to multiple victims in multiple cities. He is also a scam artist with eight aliases. I can't find anyone to help me.
  • I was served with a protection order and had to leave my home. My girlfriend went by the house and noticed my roommate who had me served took my door off its hinges and stole my tools out of my room as well as the shed. What do I do?
  • Laws against organized community harassment?
  • I got an order of protection, got it served and later was told by a judge to take our daughter off of it. The amended order ain't been served so is the original still in effect or how does this work?
  • I have an order of protection against my soon to be EX husbands sister. She constantly bad mouths me to my 2 children. She is causing unnesecary upset to them by making them feel they need to choose sides. Can I add my children to the protective order as people she can not have contact with?

STORIES

  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • Age discrimination in the workplace. . .
  • If you get a divorce, make sure your date of birth is on the Decree if your name is changing!. . .

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