Even before an individual is found guilty of domestic violence, the court may require the defendant to participate in a counseling program. The police will also provide the alleged or potential victim with information about how to seek a protective order. These are some of the ways a person accused of domestic violence is penalized before they are ever found guilty of committing a crime.
A conviction for a domestic violence offense can include additional penalties over those imposed by the underlying offense. A domestic violence conviction may require the defendant to complete an offender treatment program. If they have two misdemeanor domestic violence convictions within a five-year period, they may be incarcerated and placed on supervised release to go to work or attend school.
A third domestic violence offense within a seven-year period is considered aggravated domestic violence, which is a class 5 felony. This will result in a minimum of four months in prison. A fourth domestic violence offense will result in a minimum eight-month sentence.
There may be additional penalties involved, depending on the victim and the specific facts of the case. Domestic violence on a victim known to be pregnant may result in an additional two years tacked onto the defendant's prison sentence.
Other penalties for a domestic violence charge may include restrictions on gun ownership, restrictions on child custody and parenting time, and other restrictions that go along with a felony conviction. Under ARS 13-904, a felony conviction can restrict an individual's right to vote, right to hold public office, and right to serve as a juror.