Defendant in CourtThis is the next post in my series on what a Phoenix resident should expect after having been charged with felony domestic violence. My last post provided an overview of topics I will be discussing and stressed the need to contact an attorney after having been charged. In this post I will address what one can expect, in terms of a process, after having been charged.

Phoenix-area defendants will be arraigned after being charged with felony domestic violence

After one has been formally charged with felony domestic violence then they will attend arraignment at which they will plead guilty or not guilty. Assuming a plea agreement is not entered into, then a trial date will be set. Once the trial date is set then it will be important for your defense attorney to visit the scene of the incident in order to gain a broader understanding of the facts of your case. This is also the time in which motions will be filed to exclude both incriminating statements which may have been made to the police as well as any eyewitness identifications which were acquired through overly suggestive police procedures. Ensuring that an adequate investigation is conducted, and that your case is ready for trial, is crucial.

Phoenix-area defendants facing such charges will have their case decided by a jury of their peers. Prior to trial it will be important to file what are known as Motions in Limine. These Motions will seek to prohibit overly-prejudicial evidence to the jurors. Even though such evidence may be kept out by way of objection, the bottom line is that the jurors will have seen it if it is introduced and objected to. This can lead to jurors wanting to rule against a Defendant out of anger. Taking steps which prevent jurors from seeing overly-prejudicial evidence is an important task for a defense lawyer prior to trial.

Defendants will have a “no contact” order in place after having been charged with felony domestic violence

One charged with domestic violence can expect the Court to quickly put a “no contact” order in place which will require the defendant to stay away and not contact the accuser. It is crucial that this order be followed for multiple reasons. First, if the order is violated then the defendant will face additional criminal charges. Second, if one is eventually convicted of felony domestic violence then the sentencing Judge will be more likely to issue a stiff sentence if no contact orders have been violated. Judges will not lenient with those who violate no contact orders and will accept few, if any justifications for the violation.

If you have been charged with felony domestic violence then you should contact an attorney immediately. In addition to to Phoenix, we service Maricopa County areas such as Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert as well as Pima County residents in Tucson.