Seeking Legal Help for Domestic Violence in Tucson

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Heated arguments and disagreements often occur between people in an intimate relationship or those living together. Unfortunately, these arguments can get out of hand and lead to accusations of domestic violence. With increasing cases of domestic violence in recent times, Arizona laws severely punish offenders.

While a domestic violence court can help protect you from an abuser, you need legal help to navigate the complexities of a domestic violence charge as a victim. A skilled Tucson domestic violence lawyer can help you hold your abuser liable for their actions.

What is Domestic Violence?

Arizona law A.R.S 13-3601 defines domestic violence as any violent acts or threats of violence against a person with whom the accused person has a domestic relationship, including family members. The parties to a domestic relationship may include a spouse, a former spouse, a person with whom the accused has or is about to have a child together, siblings, parents, grandparents, children, and stepchildren.

Domestic relationships also include the accused person’s current or previous romantic or sexual partners, and persons currently living or have lived with the accused person.

According to Arizona laws, domestic violence can also be non-physical, including verbal and psychological abuse. Essentially, various offenses constitute domestic violence, including threatening, stalking, kidnapping, sexual abuse, secret videotaping, and economic control and neglect. Domestic violence can be a misdemeanor or a felony offense.

Recognizing the Signs of Domestic Violence

Some signs can help you identify domestic violence in your relationships, including:

  • Physical abuse. Physical harm, including hitting, slapping, and other forms of physical abuse are easy to identify. Someone in a domestic relationship kicking or slapping you as a form of control or to maintain power is domestic violence.
  • Emotional abuse. Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse is often not very obvious. Signs that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship include someone calling you names, constantly criticizing you, and making you feel worthless.
  • Someone using isolation tactics like keeping you away from your friends and family is a sign of domestic violence. Isolation may include someone limiting your physical movements, including locking you at home. Isolation can also include maliciously damaging your relationship with family and friends through lies and other forms of deception.
  • Financial or economic abuse. Signs that someone is financially abusing you include controlling how you spend your money, limiting access to bank accounts, and closely monitoring how you spend allowances. It can also include denying you the right to work and limiting your working hours.

Economic abuse can also involve withdrawing from a joint account without your permission, and living in your home but refusing to work or contribute to the household expenses.

  • Sexual abuse. Someone pressuring or forcing you into sexual acts without consent is a serious form of domestic violence. Unfortunately, it is common in intimate relationships. Some signs of sexual abuse include threats of leaving or cheating if you don’t give in to their sexual demands and using your relationship status to demand sex.
  • Threats. Someone making threats to harm you, your loved one, or your pets is a sign of domestic abuse. The threats can be with or without weapons. It is often meant to instill fear and manipulate you into doing what they want.
  • Stalking. It involves someone following you, monitoring your movements, or showing up unannounced. The stalker often wants to control your actions by closely monitoring you. It can also be a form of intimidation.

Legal Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can leave a victim feeling worthless or even nursing physical injuries. In most cases, it takes a long time for victims to emotionally and psychologically recover. Consequently, Arizona law takes domestic violence very seriously and has put in place several regulations to protect victims and hold offenders accountable for their actions.

Some of the legal protections that Arizona laws offer to victims of domestic violence include restraining orders and emergency protective orders. One of the biggest fears of a victim of domestic violence is the offender repeating the offense.

The close nature of the relationship between the victim and the offender further complicates issues for the victim. For instance, the offender may be someone you share children with hence you may run into each other as you co-parent.

A restraining order or an emergency protective order helps limit the offender’s ability to contact or come near you. The process of getting a protective order involves filing a petition with the local court. You will need to provide evidence of domestic violence, including police reports and medical records.

The court may grant an emergency protective order on the same day. However, it often schedules a full hearing within a few weeks for both parties to argue their case. The full hearing helps the court determine if a long-term protective order is necessary.

In some instances, a domestic violence case may affect or lead to a child custody case or divorce proceedings. Evidence of domestic violence significantly influences child custody decisions and divorce outcomes. For instance, the court may limit custody for an abusive parent.

Why You Need a Domestic Violence Lawyer

A domestic violence case, including seeking protective orders is often emotional and can overwhelm anyone. A skilled and experienced Tucson domestic violence attorney can help you seek the right legal protections, including helping you gather evidence for a restraining order or emergency protective order hearing.

Where there are additional safety concerns, a lawyer will help you obtain a confidential hearing and coordinate with law enforcement for additional security, if necessary. A lawyer can also help you to connect with support services, including counseling services and support groups. Besides legal representation, a lawyer can help create a safety plan for you depending on your situation.

Contact a Tucson Domestic Violence Lawyer

Domestic violence is often horrifying and isolating for victims. But, you don’t have to go through it alone. If you are in Tucson, AZ, we are here for you. Our skilled and experienced domestic violence lawyers at RPM Law will offer the legal support and guidance you need to navigate the often challenging times. Whether you need protective orders or are fighting for custody, we will be with you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our services.