Victims of Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence (DV)?

Domestic violence can occur as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.

Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone.

Domestic Violence may occur in more than intimate partner relationships.  It may include parents, children, grandchildren and in-laws, as well as people residing in the same household. 

Power and Control Wheel (pdf)

Conditions of Release and Modifications to those Conditions

If the defendant was arrested and taken to jail, the arraignment must occur with 24 hours of arrest.

City Court has a television link with the Pima County jail and the arraignment is completed while the defendant is in jail.

Since the defendant is being held in jail, two matters are determined during this arraignment:  

  1. The conditions of the defendant’s release from jail and/or the amount of bail
  2. Whether or not the prosecution will request a mandatory jail sentence.

If it is the defendant's first offense, the prosecutor may offer the defendant a reduced sentence for pleading guilty to the charge(s). The judge decides if the defendant will be released from jail and --if so   under what conditions.

Most defendants in domestic violence cases are released from jail. Generally, the judge orders the defendant to have no contact with the victim and to move out of the home until the case is resolved.

You have a right to be present at the arraignment and to talk to the judge about the conditions of release. Or, before the hearing, you may contact Victim Notification and Assistance at the Tucson City Prosecutor's Office (791-5483) to state your preference. If the defendant contacts you after the arraignment and the judge has ordered "no contact," call the police.

If you want to be heard regarding possible conditions of the defendant’s release, or about any plea offer extended to the defendant, appear at the jail/video arraignment.

As soon as possible, identify yourself as the victim in the defendant’s case to the prosecutor (seated on the right side of the courtroom), and state that you would like to speak at the arraignment. You can also address the judge with your situation and concerns. If you want to be notified prior to the defendant’s release from custody, you must go in person to the Pima County jail and sign a form.

Conditions of Release

Until the case is resolved, the court may order the defendant to stay away from you.

Motion to Modify the Conditions of Release. If the court has ordered the defendant to stay away from you and you want contact with the defendant, you may petition the Court with a Motion to Modify the Conditions of Release. (Go to the Public Services Counter at 103 East Alameda.)

Shelters

If you are battered, a shelter is a safe place for you and your children to stay while you think matters over.  Counselors are available 24 hours a day to give you information and support as you decide what your next step will be. 

The shelter listed below offers a wide variety of services for victims of domestic violence:  

  1. Shelter
  2. Advocacy
  3. Crisis intervention and counseling
  4. Information and referrals
  5. Transitional housing
  6. Childcare, etc. 

Phone counseling is also available.  Call the shelter directly.

Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse provides domestic abuse crisis  intervention and housing, prevention and education, and support and advocacy services to anyone experiencing domestic abuse.

Emerge! is the largest domestic abuse shelter and provider of domestic abuse prevention and abuse programs in Southern Arizona.  http://www.emergecenter.org/

Asserting Victim’s Rights (Invoking Your Rights)

  1. How do I assert my victim rights (Invoking Your Rights)?

You may assert your rights by returning the Invoking Your Rights form/card, or by making a phone call to victim assistance at (520) 791-5483, or by telling the prosecutor in court that you would like to invoke your rights.

  1. What happens if I do not return my form/card to invoke my rights? 

You will only receive the initial notification packet and will not receive any further notifications about your case. 

If you decide at a later time that you would like to receive notification, follow the procedure above –

How do I assert my victim rights? (pdf form)

Orders of Protection/Injunctions Against Harassment

http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/courts/how-file-order-protection-against-domestic-violence

Making an Impact Statement

At any upcoming hearing, pretrial, review, trial or sentencing, the defendant may accept a plea which results in a conviction. 

The defendant could also plead guilty to the judge at the pretrial hearing, which also results in a conviction.  If there is a trial and the Court finds the defendant guilty, that will also result in a conviction. 

You have the right to be notified, to be present and to be heard at any presentencing or sentencing proceeding that results in a conviction. You also have the right to make an impact statement prior to the imposition of the sentence. 

An impact statement may contain an explanation of:

  1. The nature and extent of any physical, psychological, or emotional harm or trauma you suffered
  2. The extent of any economic loss or property damage you suffered
  3. Your opinion on the need for restitution if any
  4. If you’ve applied for or received any compensation for loss or damage

If the matter is set for a pretrial, you do not have to be personally present but you have the right to be present. 

If you cannot appear, you may furnish the impact statement to City Prosecutor's Office seven calendar days prior to the next pretrial or sentencing hearing.  However, if the defendant has requested a trial and you are subpoenaed, you must be personally present. 

If you have a written impact statement and there is a trial set, please furnish it to Victim Assistance prior to the trial or bring it with you to court. If the case in which you are the listed victim is dismissed as part of a change of plea proceeding, you still are able to exercise the enumerated rights. 

Additionally if the Court orders restitution made to you, you have the right to file a restitution lien pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-806.

Link to Victim Survey with instructions