Domestic violence claims the lives of hundreds of women each year. It is important that anyone, male or female, report abuse to the police before it reaches the stage where serious injury or death occurs.
A police officer may arrest a person, with or without a warrant, if there is probable cause to believe that a person committed domestic violence. Domestic violence means attempting to cause or causing bodily injury or placing a victim in fear of imminent physical harm by threat of force. Domestic violence may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
There are two types of domestic violence restraining (no contact) orders in Arizona. The first type is an Order of Protection. In order to get an Order of Protection, the victim and the defendant abuser must be or have been in one of the following relationships: married, formerly married, residing or resided in the same household, have a child in common, be pregnant by the other party, be related by blood, court order or marriage, or are currently or have been previously in a romantic or sexual relationship.
The second type of domestic violence order is an Injunction Against Harassment. An Injunction Against Harassment is similar to an Order of Protection, but without a marital, familial, former or close relationship.
A victim of domestic violence may file a Petition for an Order of Protection or an Injunction Against Harassment by going online to www.azcourts.gov/domesticviolencelaw. Complete your Petition online and then go to the nearest court for a hearing. Municipal Courts, Justice Courts and Superior Courts hear domestic violence petitions every working day. Call your local court for dates and times that judges are available. If you plan to get a divorce, go to the Superior Court as the Order of Protection will be consolidated with the divorce case. If the case is serious, hire a lawyer as a contested hearing may follow.
*The information in this message is general and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of a licensed attorney.