A lot has changed in the last 25 years when it comes to domestic violence. Before the early 1990s, domestic violence was a personal and private matter. Often unreported or underreported, victims were shamed and faulted for instigating or contributing to their own abuse. One man changed that.
A well-known and seemingly powerful man murdered his ex-wife and her lover. His heinous crime awoke the conscience of America, outed the dirty secret held by millions of households, and put domestic violence into a national spotlight. That man was O.J. Simpson
What Is Domestic Violence?
While most people think of only murder, aggravated assault, or stalking of a spouse or partner to be domestic violence offenses, Arizona law classifies more than a dozen crimes as domestic violence offenses if committed against a spouse, former spouse, relative, or intimate partner. Child abuse and vulnerable adult abuse are also classified as domestic violence offenses if committed against a family member.
Domestic violence often extends beyond physical abuse or injury and can include:
- Verbal Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Destruction of Property
- Financial Control
- Jealousy or Control Issues
More often than not, murder is the culmination of a cycle of domestic violence as opposed to the start. In the case of OJ Simpson, one or more of these factors was likely present and continued for a significant period of time leading up to the crime.
Evidence in Domestic Violence Cases
In the decades since the OJ Simpson case, police, prosecutors, and courts have developed special protocols for the prosecution of domestic violence cases not only in Arizona, but around the country. Almost all police officers who respond to a domestic violence call are trained to digitally record all victims and witnesses (including suspects, as it is common for victims to change or recant their stories). Photographs are almost always taken to document injuries or damages to property which could corroborate or disprove witness statements. In some cases, such as aggravated assault by strangulation, special forensic medical examination, and testing is done so that expert testimony can be used at trial to explain to a jury what the injuries mean and how they were caused.
Hiring a Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Being charged with a domestic violence offense is a serious matter. At the Law Office of Jason Lamm, we understand the penalties, consequences, and stigmas that can result from being charged and convicted of a domestic violence offense. With a team headed by Jason Lamm, one of Phoenix’s skilled defense lawyer, we recognize that not all allegations are true and that in domestic violence cases the system presumes people to be guilty instead of innocent. We fight hard to bring out the truth and clear our client’s names. And if the allegations prove to be false, we take steps to make sure that the person who brought them is held accountable by the system.
If you or someone close to you has been charged with a domestic violence offense in Phoenix, or elsewhere in Arizona, contact the Law Office of Jason Lamm at (602)663-9100 for a private consultation. The time to begin your defense is right now.