Domestic violence. These accusations are common, but how often are these charges based on false allegations? That is up to the courts to decide. It is difficult to find a statistic on how many domestic violence charges are based on false allegations, mainly because when the alleged violence occurred, no one else was around to witness what happened. The goal of a criminal domestic violence trial then is to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to indicate that the defendant is guilty and should be convicted of the offense.
To be convicted of domestic violence, according to § 13-3601 ARS, the state prosecutor must effectively show that the defendant acted in a way that constitutes a dangerous crime against a child or any other criminal offense as listed in Chapter 13 of the penal code or the defendant threatened violence or was physically violent to someone who:
- They are married or were formerly married to
- They have a child in common with
- They are related to by blood or court order
- They live with or used to live with
- They have a romantic or sexual relationship with
Domestic violence is charged as a misdemeanor, but aggravated domestic violence (§ 13-3601.02) is a class 5 felony.
However, domestic violence allegations also have a civil aspect to them. Protective orders, called restraining orders in some states, are civil court orders that are petitioned for by the alleged victim of violence against an offending party (the respondent). Unlike criminal domestic violence charges, these civil orders can be served to a respondent with little evidence to prove that there was actual or threatened violence. Because it is fairly simple to get a protective order, many respondents choose to contest these orders.
According to § 13-3602,
The court shall review the petition, any other pleadings on file and any evidence offered by the plaintiff...and issue an order of protection under subsection G of this section if the court determines that there is reasonable cause to believe any of the following:
1. The defendant may commit an act of domestic violence.
2. The defendant has committed an act of domestic violence within the past year or within a longer period of time if the court finds that good cause exists to consider a longer period.
If you have been criminally accused of domestic violence or a protective order has been filed against you, you can take legal action by contacting a Phoenix criminal defense attorney at Knowles Law Firm, PLC. Our firm is led by former police officer Anthony Knowles. With his experience, combined with the experience of the team's former prosecutors, Knowles Law Firm can effectively fight to defend you against false domestic violence allegations. Call today!