Disorderly Conduct (Domestic Violence)
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Disorderly Conduct (Domestic Violence) in Arizona
Couples argue. Parents yell at their kids. Siblings fight. And while not all such animated discussions are criminal in nature, the unfortunate reality is that many are. Yell or scream at someone in your household and you might very well be charged with Disorderly Conduct as a domestic violence offense. Here are two key factors to consider:
The “He Started It” defense – Many clients (with a completely serious and straight face) have informed me that “He started it!” The alleged victim approached them and was already angry. They simply raised their voice to the level they initially received. If this, in fact, is true, then, perhaps, the State will be unable to prove its case.
The “Innocent Bystander” dilemma – Yelling and screaming gives us tunnel vision. We seldom appreciate what is happening outside of the circle of our little argument. Many times the State is able to prove disorderly conduct because someone not directly involved in the dispute (a child or a neighbor) is disturbed and calls the police.
Over the past few decades, the average American’s speech has become progressively more crass and profane. Numerous repulsive words are now consistently heard in business settings and school playgrounds. This reality may be deplored by pastors, marriage counselors and prosecutors, but that does not mean it is illegal.
Legal Help for Disorderly Conduct (Domestic Violence) Charges
We all know that the right to free speech is protected by the Constitution. So the question becomes: When does profane or immature name-calling become criminal? Simply put, in order to be prosecuted for speech alone, your language must be what the courts have defined as “fighting words.” Whether or not your specific language meets the complex requirements of “fighting words” is something that must be carefully reviewed with an experienced defense attorney.
The criminal defense lawyers at Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd. have extensive experience in defending those charged with disorderly conduct and domestic violence. We understand the arguments and defenses which can help you if you’ve been charged with these crimes, or with any other criminal defense matters.