Arizona Domestic Violence Charges Penalties & Defenses

If you are facing domestic violence charges, hiring a skilled and experienced defense attorney can be the difference between a favorable and devastating outcome. Josh Kolsrud can help you understand your charges, build a strong defense, negotiate with the prosecution, and protect your rights in court.

Our legal team will tirelessly defend your rights and protect your interests throughout the legal process. We deeply understand Arizona's domestic violence laws and can provide the expert guidance you need to build a strong defense and achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.

domestic violence

What is a “domestic violence” (DV) offense?

Arizona's domestic violence laws are among the strictest in the country. Under ARS 13-3601, domestic violence is any act of violence or abuse committed by one household or family member against another.


This includes physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological abuse, as well as stalking and harassment. Domestic violence charges can be filed against spouses, ex-spouses, romantic partners, family members, and roommates.

Domestic violence can involve various offenses, including the following:

  • Assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Battery
  • Aggravated harassment
  • Criminal damage
  • Trespassing
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Stalking.

The severity of the charges and penalties depends on the circumstances of the offense, such as the level of harm, use of weapons, prior convictions, and the victim's age and vulnerability.


What happens when police believe a DV offense occurred?

Arizona has a mandatory arrest policy, meaning that if the police have probable cause to believe that a domestic violence offense has occurred, they must arrest the suspect. Unfortunately, this is required even if during the police call, both parties have reconciled their differences


Additionally, Arizona has a no-drop policy, meaning that once the prosecution has filed charges, the victim cannot drop the case, even if they no longer wish to pursue charges.


But, before the charges can go any further, give us a call to discuss your options.

What are the penalties for a DV offense?

The penalties for domestic violence can vary greatly depending on the jurisdiction, the circumstances of the incident, and whether the offense is categorized as a misdemeanor or a felony. Here's a general overview of what those penalties might look like:


Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Penalties

Misdemeanor charges are typically levied for less serious offenses and first-time offenders. Penalties might include:


  • Jail Time: Typically up to one year in a county jail.
  • Fines: These can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
  • Probation: Supervised or unsupervised probation for a specified period.
  • Counseling: Mandatory attendance at anger management or domestic violence counseling.
  • Restraining Orders: Implementation of a temporary or permanent restraining order against the offender.
  • Community Service: Requirement to perform community service.


Felony Domestic Violence Penalties

Felony charges generally arise from more serious incidents, such as those that result in significant injury or involve the use of a weapon, or for repeat offenders. Penalties might include:


  • Prison Time: Generally ranging from one year to several decades, depending on the severity of the offense.
  • Fines: Often substantial, possibly tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Probation: Typically a more extended and more closely supervised probation period.
  • Counseling: Attendance at specialized programs for anger management or domestic violence therapy.
  • Restraining Orders: Likely issuance of a more stringent and lasting restraining order.
  • Loss of Rights: This could include losing the right to own firearms or losing certain civil rights like voting (in some jurisdictions).
  • Child Custody Implications: Potential loss or limitation of child custody or visitation rights.
  • Community Service: Requirement to perform community service.

Both misdemeanor and felony domestic violence convictions can have lasting impacts on employment opportunities, housing, and personal relationships. Additionally, the specific laws and penalties can vary by state and even by locality within a state.


Penalty Type Misdemeanor Felony
Jail/Prison Time Up to one year in county jail From one year to several decades in prison
Fines A few hundred to several thousand dollars Up to tens of thousands of dollars
Probation Supervised or unsupervised Extended and more closely supervised
Counseling Anger management or domestic violence counseling Specialized programs
Restraining Orders Temporary or permanent More stringent and lasting
Loss of Rights Varies May include loss of firearms or other civil rights
Child Custody Implications Varies Potential loss or limitation
Community Service May be required May be required

Common DV offense defenses include:

The penalties for violating 18 USC 924 can be severe. The exact penalty will depend on the specific offense, the offender's criminal history, and other factors.


Some of the penalties that can be imposed for violating 18 USC 924 include:

  • 1


    If you acted in self-defense, you may be able to avoid a domestic violence conviction. Our criminal defense attorney will review the circumstances of your case to determine whether self-defense is a viable defense strategy.

  • 2

    False Accusations:

    False accusations of domestic violence are not uncommon, particularly in contentious divorce or custody battles. Our criminal defense attorney will investigate your case to determine whether false accusations are a factor.

  • 3

    Lack of Evidence:

    The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the domestic violence offense. If there is insufficient evidence to support the charges against you, our criminal defense attorney will work to have the charges reduced or dismissed.

  • 4

    Violation of Your Rights:

    The police must follow strict procedures when arresting someone for domestic violence. If the police violated your rights during the arrest or investigation, our criminal defense attorney may be able to have the charges against you dismissed.

  • 5

    Lack of intent:

    If the prosecution cannot prove that you intended to commit the alleged offense, we may be able to argue that the charges should be reduced or dismissed.

  • 6

    Constitutional violations:

    If law enforcement or the prosecution violated your constitutional rights during the investigation or prosecution of your case, we may be able to challenge the admissibility of evidence or have the case dismissed.

  • 7

    Impeachment of witnesses:

    If the alleged victim or other witnesses have a history of lying or have made inconsistent statements, we may be able to impeach their credibility and weaken the prosecution's case.

At the Kolsrud Law Offices, our criminal defense team has extensive experience using these and other legal defenses to challenge domestic violence charges in Arizona.


We understand that every case is unique, and we are committed to developing customized defense strategies tailored to our clients' individual circumstances.


What can you do to help your DV case?

In addition to legal defenses, there are also several steps you can take to protect yourself if you have been charged with domestic violence in Arizona.


One of the most important steps is to avoid contact with the alleged victim. This can help prevent any further incidents from occurring and can also show the court that you are taking the charges seriously.

It is also important to comply with any court orders, including restraining orders or orders of protection. Violating a court order can result in additional criminal charges and can also have a negative impact on your case.

Another important step is to document everything. Keep a record of any communications with the alleged victim or law enforcement, and write down any details about the incident or incidents that led to the charges. This can help you and your attorney build a strong defense strategy and can also be useful in negotiating with the prosecution.

We know that facing domestic violence charges can be a stressful, overwhelming, and emotional experience. That's why we are committed to providing you with personalized attention, compassionate support, and honest, straightforward advice every step of the way.


We will constantly keep you informed about the progress of your case, answer your questions promptly and thoroughly, and ensure that you understand your rights and options at every stage of the legal process.

At Kolsrud Law Offices, we believe that everyone is entitled to a fair and just legal defense. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest level of service and representation, and will work tirelessly to defend your rights and protect your interests.

If you or someone you love is facing domestic violence charges in Arizona, don't wait to seek legal help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can assist you. We are here to help you navigate this challenging time and provide you with the expert guidance and support you need to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Why Choose Kolsrud Law Offices to Defend You

What can you expect from the Kolsrud Law Offices?

When you choose our law firm to represent you in your domestic violence case, you can rest assured that we will leave no stone unturned to defend your rights and protect your interests. We will work tirelessly to investigate the facts of your case, identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case, and build a strong defense tailored to your situation's unique circumstances.

Our criminal defense team deeply understands Arizona's domestic violence laws and the strategies and tactics that are most effective in defending against these charges. We will also fight for you in court, presenting a compelling and persuasive case to a judge or jury.


Josh Kolsrud is a skilled trial lawyer unafraid to take on even the most challenging cases. We will aggressively advocate for your rights and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

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An award-winning criminal defense attorney Since 2006

Why Choose Josh Kolsrud

With over 100 trials to his name, and years of experience as a state and federal prosecutor, Josh understands the law, the legal process, and your rights. Josh is also committed to representing every client with utmost integrity and dedication



Josh has prosecuted major crimes on the state and federal level, led a successful anti-human sex trafficking operation that saved lives, and argued before countless juries and justices for his clients



Josh is an expert in both Arizona and federal criminal law, and is ready to put that expertise to work for you.



As a prosecutor, Josh saw far too many defendants lose their livelihood due to poor representation. Josh will always give every client his complete attention and effort

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