Now that the United States Supreme Court has handed down its ruling legalizing gay marriage, many have already asked me about the impact of gay marriage on domestic violence charges in Arizona, in light of the ruling. The short answer is that it will have no impact whatsoever.
Well before the Supreme Court’s ruling, domestic violence charges in Arizona were already predicated upon a number of statutory criteria which classified an offense as domestic violence. Most prevalent among this list, and applicable to this discussion are whether the victim and the defendant have a child in common and whether there was an existing romantic or sexual relationship between the parties at the time of the alleged crime.
While additional criteria upon which domestic violence charges in Arizona can be based includes marriage between the victim and the defendant, it would seem that the existence of a relationship is enough and that gay marriage would have no impact or effect on the situation whatsoever.
Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges
No matter if you are gay, straight, married, or single, domestic violence charges can have serious and lasting percussions. Domestic violence charges in Arizona can bring loss of one’s rights to possess firearms, professional licensing consequences, and if the offense involved a firearm, knife, or another weapon, substantial prison time (for aggravated assault) upon conviction. And while we do not practice family law nor deal with child custody matters, a domestic violence conviction can be used against you in family court proceedings and serve as a bar to joint legal decision making (formerly joint custody) under ARS 25-403.03.
If you have been arrested on domestic violence charges in Phoenix and are seeking to hire one of Phoenix’s most experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys, contact us so that we can set up an opportunity to discuss your case.