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
MY 20 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER HAS AN ABUSIVE BOYFRIEND HE TRICKED HER INTO SELLING HER CAR . THE CAR WAS GREATLY UNDERSOLD . CAN I GET THIS CAR BACK? IS IT TOO LATE?
I just found out I have a protective order filed against me that says it has been served I have never been served what do I do
Should I seek counsel in a case where I ihave a protective order and defendant filed an answer with a lawyer?
If someone is contesting a protection order for reasons not even listed on the form i filled out to get the order can it be overturned ?
there is a pfa on my husband for me. His mom lives with me. He is in jail is he still aloud to send letters to her with out it violating the pfa order?
I was fired from my job for no reason. I was upset about when I spoke to my boss and called a co worker a bad word at my boss. Then, they filed a workplace harassment injunction on me. I filed a hearing. The judge threw out the false claims they made on me but had to keep the injunction on me because of the bad word I called the co worker when I was fired. I want this off my record without filing an appeal. How can I get this off my record?
My Roomate filled a protection order against me he lies about everything cops came and told me to leave I got 15 mins. Then I requested hearing date and court kept the protection order valid I need to get my furniture out of the apt what do I do ! Help me pls.
I have a neighbor that is taking my picture everyday because I turn around in front of their house to go down my street because it dead-ends so there's only one way out they have threatened me called me names and state their willing to lie about things and spend thousands of dollars to prove a point. They do not want me to turn around in front of their house but it is a city street. They have threatened me with a protection order stating that I am a threat to them. Can I file a protection order against them for the verbal abuse harassment and invasion of privacy when they take my picture daily
Do I have to renew an order of protection in the court that ordered it or can it be done through any justice court?
I was servd an order of protection from an exlover who i was in a long term gay relatinship with. since being served he has contacted me via e mail and phone several times. In addition he has visited me in my home, came over for intimate visits, etc. Is he legally allowed to do this being that he was he one who originated thee order?
- Let us know how we are doing! Please take a couple of minutes to fill out our survey.
- Please select your county of residence below.
State Bar of Arizona
Maricopa County Bar
Referral number 602-257-4434
Pima County Bar
Referral number 520-623-4625
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
Certified Legal Document Preparer Program