Domestic Violence Charges During Holidays

Do Domestic Violence Charges Increase During the Holidays?

Many people think that incidents of domestic violence charges spike during the holidays. The holidays can be stressful and cause people to take their anger out on those who are closest to them. Several factors can lead to domestic violence incidents during the holidays, including financial stress, unrealistic expectations, increased alcohol use, and being shut inside with immediate family members for extended periods.

During this holiday season, all of these factors are compounded by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the added layers of stress and financial problems it has wrought. While domestic violence cases do happen, some people also lash out at their family members by filing false reports.

People who are charged with domestic violence crimes should talk to a domestic violence attorney at the Shah Law Firm as soon as possible.

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Increase in Domestic Violence Charges During the Holidays

The holidays bring a lot of added stress to families in Arizona. People can be overwhelmed when they have to plan holiday celebrations. They might also be facing increased financial stress and have unrealistic expectations of their experiences. Holidays can always be overwhelming. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has added even more stress. Many families are struggling financially and simply do not have the means to celebrate in the way in which they would like.

According to data from the Phoenix Police Department, domestic violence homicides increased by 180% year-over-year during the first eight months of 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019. This demonstrates that people were already under significant stress even before the holiday season got started.

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Shannon's Law illegally discharging a firearm in Arizona

Shannon’s Law & Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm in Arizona

Shannon’s Law is legislation that was passed in the state of Arizona that makes it illegal to discharge a firearm anywhere within the city limits of any city or town within the state of Arizona.

The law was passed in response to the 1999 gun-shooting tragedy that ended the life of Shannon Smith. As the story goes, Shannon Smith was casually walking around the back yard of her Central Phoenix home when suddenly, a bullet that had been fired into the air more than a mile away from her location struck her in the head and killed her.

Shannon Smith’s parents fought and won to create Shannon’s Law in a grassroots effort that included a veritable who’s who among Phoenix area prosecutors, politicians, area citizens, and law enforcement officials, among others, who wanted to see the legislative change that would restore peace in the Phoenix Metropolitan area, making it illegal to fire any type of gun or rifle into the air in an effort to avoid future tragedies such as the one that tragically took the life of Shannon Smith.

Known legally as Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-3107, enacted in 2000, Shannon’s Law makes it a felony for anyone, according to the law, “who, with criminal negligence discharges a firearm within or into the limits of any municipality” within the state of Arizona.

Not Every Discharge of a Firearm is a Felony in the State of Arizona

While it is true that Shannon’s Law makes it unlawful to discharge a firearm, it only does so when, according to the Shannon’s Law legislation, that person does so with criminal negligence, which may not always apply in every case. To prove this and obtain a misdemeanor charge instead of a felony charge, you may have to strike a plea bargain, but in the state of Arizona, these are relatively rare.

It’s important to understand that, because of the notoriety Shannon’s law received upon its passage, and because the law provides for mandatory sentencing, cases that fall under its purview are prosecuted with relative aggressiveness when compared to other, similar offenses within the state of Arizona, and especially within the Greater Phoenix Metro Area.

However, the important exceptions to Shannon’s Law that some people may not be aware of include shooting that occurs within supervised outdoor shooting ranges, areas where hunting is permitted, and select other designated areas in and around Phoenix and other parts of the state of Arizona.

Illegally discharging a firearm and understanding Shannon's Law in Phoenix
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Order of protection violation in Arizona

Violation of a Restraining Order or Order of Protection in Arizona

Violating a restraining order in the state of Arizona is a serious charge that comes with serious repercussions, including fines, potential jail time, and even criminal charges. But before we discuss exactly what happens if you do violate an order of protection in Arizona, let’s first talk a little bit about what they are, what the implications are, and why you may have been ordered to stay away from a specific person or other entity in the state of Arizona.

What Exactly is a Restraining Order or Order of Protection in Arizona?

The state of Arizona defines a restraining order as an order of protection, offering protection from one individual to another against any potential acts of abuse of any kind, harassment, or other violations of the protection order holder’s rights and freedom of movement. Orders of protection are served to those defendants who the criminal court has decided could be a danger to the holder of the order of protection, and this could be simply based on that person’s fear of you or what you may do if the two of you come into contact.

Orders of protection can be served both to those who know one another well as well as to those who are strangers or virtual strangers to one another based upon the circumstances of the record of potential harassment. In Arizona, you can be served with an order of protection, an emergency order of protection, an injunction against harassment, or an injunction against workplace harassment — which one you are served with will depend on the circumstances surrounding the reasons for the order in the first place.

Who Can Have an Order of Protection Filed Against Them in Arizona?

This is an important question with a variety of disparate answers. In the state of Arizona, an order of protection can be served to any of the following people:

  • A current or former husband or wife (spouse or ex-spouse)
  • A person with whom you have lived, shared a household, been roommates, or cohabitated as an unmarried couple
  • Any person with whom you have had or currently have a romantic and/or sexual relationship as defined by Arizona law
  • A person who impregnated another person, or with whom you have a child or children in common
  • Any relative of any kind, including the relatives of a current or former husband or wife (spouse or ex-spouse’s relatives), including your own parents, grandparents, in-laws of any kind, or siblings and step siblings

Click to Learn More about order of protection violations in Arizona…

Hire a Domestic Violence Attorney in Goodyear for Legal Representation

In Arizona, domestic violence is defined as any violent threat and/or act between previous or current partners in a domestic situation, including family members. This type of violent crime charge is on one’s record for a lifetime.

If you or a loved one are facing domestic violence charges in Goodyear, Arizona, you need an experienced domestic violence attorney from the Shah Law Firm PLLC to represent you every step of the legal process. We understand all domestic violence laws in Arizona and can uphold them in legal proceedings, helping you protect both your rights and your reputation during this difficult time.

Possible Defenses to Violent Crimes

There are many defenses to violent crimes in Goodyear, Arizona that our expert legal team can employ. Some possible defense can include defense of property, self-defense, defense of another person, lack of mental state, duress, or necessity. At The Shah Law Firm PLLC, we can thoroughly investigate your case to determine the best possible defense.

Call to Schedule a Free Legal Consultation with a Violent Crimes Attorney in Scottsdale, Arizona Today

If you or a loved one have been charged with a violent crime in Scottsdale, it’s important to schedule a free legal consultation with a domestic violence attorney from Shah Law Firm PLLC. To schedule this no-cost legal consultation with our expert legal team, call (602) 888-0369 today.

Penalties for Domestic Violence and Disorderly Conduct Convictions in Arizona

Domestic violence is not an explicitly codified crime in Arizona. Instead, it is a term used to describe the nature of the relationship between the parties. Arrests related to domestic violence typically include assault, battery, or disorderly conduct charges.
Disorderly conduct occurs when an individual ‘disturbs the peace,’ and these charges can run concurrently with each other. If law enforcement arrested you for domestic violence disorderly conduct, you might find it helpful to discuss the details of your case with a domestic violence defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ.

Disorderly Conduct Penalties in Arizona

We previously defined disorderly conduct above as a disruption to public peace and enjoyment. Within the context of domestic violence, this type of behavior affects neighbors and family members. Examples of disturbing the peace may include:

  • Fighting or engaging in violent acts
  • Using abusive language or gestures to provoke others
  • Making noise that is unreasonably loud
  • Interfering with lawful gatherings or meetings
  • Failing to follow public safety orders
  • Recklessly handling or discharging a deadly weapon

Arizona classifies disorderly conduct as a class 1 misdemeanor. The only exception to this rule pertains to deadly weapon discharges. In this case, the charges become a class 6 felony.

Class 1 misdemeanor convictions may result in jail time of up to six months, a fine of up to $2,500, and up to three years of probation. Additional penalties may include mandatory counseling depending upon the circumstances of your case.

The Application of Disorderly Conduct to Domestic Violence

Let us take a closer look at how disorderly conduct charges apply to domestic violence allegations. Arizona courts can use the domestic violence context for pending charges as long as the involved parties are:

  • Married or share children
  • Pregnant with the alleged abuser’s baby
  • In a sexual or romantic relationship
  • Related biologically or by law
  • Minor-aged dependents

Disorderly conduct charges related to domestic violence can increase the penalties associated with other charges if any. Courts may require you to leave the residence or issue a restraining against you at the request of your accuser.

Discussing Your Case with a Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ

It is critical for you to remember that pending charges do not mean that you are guilty. It just means that the State of Arizona believes it has enough evidence against you to prosecute your case. If you follow any form of media, you know how often state and county prosecutors are unable to convict people of the charges against them for several reasons.
One reason for dismissed or reduced charges lies within your ability to defend and argue your case. Hire a licensed Arizona criminal defense attorney to handle this aspect for you. He or she has the knowledge, training, and experience to offer you the best defense possible.

Consider Working with Arja Shah Law

Our firm’s founder, Arja Shah, is an aggressive criminal defense lawyer with offices in downtown Phoenix and serving clients in all of Arizona. Clients appreciate her strong advocacy in the courtroom with a client-centered approach to service. You can discuss your case directly with attorney Arja Shah by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending her a message through the firm’s free attorney consultation request form.

Contact Arja Today to Learn How She Can Help You!

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