It is no surprise that abusive relationships often end in divorce. After a mere 41 days of marriage, television personality Evelyn Lozada has filed for divorce from her husband and NFL star Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson. Johnson was recently arrested after allegedly head-butting Lozada. Johnson was then released by the Miami Dolphins one day later, and his legal troubles are just kicking off.
Unfortunately, domestic violence is all too common. In Arizona, victims of domestic violence may petition a judge and in some cases the police directly for an order of protection for themselves and their dependents. The process is simple, an order is often granted, and, when granted, the order is typically good for one year, although it is not effective until served on the defendant. The defendant may request a hearing to challenge the order. It is very important to include certain information when petitioning for an order of protection so it is best to speak with an experienced attorney. An order of protection is often obtained around the same time the couple is going through a divorce, paternity action, or bankruptcy. The defendant might also be charged with a crime as a result of the domestic violence. The interplay between these areas is complicated, and should not be attempted without consulting a lawyer.
Three states (Idaho, Indiana, and Montana) now issue ID cards for victims of domestic violence, which allows them to easily provide police information regarding themselves, the abuser, and the orders. Arizona has not yet passed such a law, and until it does, it is a good idea for anyone with an order of protection (and for that matter custody orders as well) to carry two copies of their orders at all times. The penalties for violating an Order of Protection are severe, and there is even a federal law that permanently strips gun rights from anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, going through a divorce, or charged with a crime, contact one of our divorce lawyers or criminal defense attorneys at Rowley Chapman Barney & Buntrock at 480-833-1113
Attorney Profile: Scott R. Rowley, Divorce-Family Law Attorney, Criminal Defense Lawyer