Category Archives: Domestic Violence

Arizona Town Hall Report Summary

The Arizona criminal justice system has received a lot of scrutiny recently from various groups. One of these groups is Arizona Town Hall. Arizona Town Hall recently completed a report on criminal justice in Arizona. The following is from Criminal Justice in Arizona, Summary of the Arizona Town Hall Report, March 2018 found at http://www.aztownhall.org/resources/Documents/111%20Criminal%20Justice%20In%20Arizona%20Key%20Facts%20web.pdf The Arizona Town Hall summary brief gives some highlights from the full Arizona Town Hall report on criminal justice in Arizona.   In Arizona, the number of crimes committed has declined for years even as the population has increased.  The crime rate has declined by over one-third since 2006. Unfortunately, incarceration rates have gone up during the same time period.  The vast majority of cases heard by the courts are minor traffic and civil cases. Total costs of the Arizona criminal justice system average approximately $525 for every man, woman, and child every year. There are approximately 15,000 sworn law enforcement officer in Arizona’s over 140 different police agencies.  Crime rates have decreased even though the number of officers per 1,000 residents in Phoenix has gone down since 2008.  The connection, if any, between these statistics is unclear. Poor people often cannot make bail while waiting for their trials.  Research shows that bail does little to ensure that defendants return for trial.  Reforms are being implemented to make the imposition of bail more equitable and to reduce people awaiting trial in jail. Prosecutors have wide discretion in deciding what charges to press against a defendant.  The decision not to charge may be the most powerful tool of the prosecutor. Although the initial charges filed may not be the ones that are eventually brought to trial, they influence key decisions on bail, plea bargains, and sentencing.  The development of charging guidelines could reduce seemingly arbitrary charges. “Determinate sentencing” such as Arizona’s rigid sentencing laws has resulted in a transfer of power from judges to prosecutors since the charges filed by the prosecutor now largely determine the sentence.  The increase in Arizona’s prison population is the result of changes in sentencing policy, not changes in crime. Arizona has the 4th highest incarceration rate in the country at 585 per 100,000 population. 18 percent of those released return to prison within six months.  Arizona’s three-year recidivism rate of 39 percent is lower than the national average of 50 percent.  Those returning to society after prison often lack the resources to establish themselves in the outside world.  Access to transportation, employment, and health care may help reduce recidivism. The Arizona criminal justice system raises the following questions: Has the crime rate decreased due to the increase in imprisonments or is something more complex at work? When does the use of force by police officers cross the line from legitimate authority to abuse of power? Does imposing bail really ensure that defendants return for trial? How much discretion should prosecutors exercise when filing chages? Do mandatory sentencing rules reduce crime or are they unnecessarily inflexible? Don’t face the Arizona criminal … Continue reading

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Can a Domestic Violence Victim Drop Charges?

You are a battered wife. Once again, your husband is punching and physically harming you. Your friend, who lives next door, contacted the police who arrived just in time to stop the beating. They then charge your spouse with domestic violence. You find yourself in a chaotic situation. Surely, you don’t want your husband to abuse you, but neither do you want him to get entangled in legal imbroglio. A lot of women in your same situation, sadly, feel the responsibility to protect their abuser: their own husband. Suddenly, they want the charges against their husband dropped. The question is, can a victim of domestic violence drop the charges? NO, the victim cannot drop the charges.   Why a Domestic Violence Victim Cannot Drop the Charges Once a domestic violence charge has been issued by the office of the state prosecutor or the police, there is no way that the victim can drop the charges. This is because domestic violence is categorized as a crime. Many people misunderstand the process behind the filing of criminal charges. The state governs and issues criminal charges and not the victim. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you have no authority to drop the charges, which you did not issue, in the first place. It is up to the state, specifically the Prosecutor’s Office, to decide whether or not to proceed with the case. However, as the victim, you have a significant role in the proceedings.   The Role of the Victim in a Domestic Violence Case As the victim, the court may require you to testify against the accused, in case there is a trial. You may also be brought in to air your opinion. Some states allow the victim to refuse to testify in court, although the refusal may come with penalties. When coming up with a decision to release the accused, the judge may invite you, as the victim, to express your opinion on whether or not you agree with the decision to release, and why. The victim’s role is not limited to being passive, however. It is not confined to just testifying or giving your opinions in court. Although you cannot file a criminal case, you have the right to file a civil case. This way, you can claim compensation for the personal injuries you sustained, psychological injuries, lost wages, as well as cost of living. You likewise have protection options. You can request for a restraining order against the accused. A restraining order can help guaranty your safety. For one, there are restraining orders that will require the subject to surrender his guns while the restraining order is in effect. Depending on the state, you may be allowed to have an early release from your current lease. This option can prove to be helpful if you fear that your spouse may harm you again after being released. This will allow you to find a new place to live in, separate from your spouse.   Recanting a Victim’s … Continue reading

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Impact of a Domestic Violence Charge: Why Hire an Experienced Lawyer

A domestic violence (DV) charge should not be taken lightly. It is a serious charge with potential long-term repercussions on your rights and freedom. If you are charged with domestic violence, you should immediately consult with an experienced domestic violence lawyer. The Law Offices of Gary L. Rohlwing can help protect your rights. Following are the various negative effects of domestic violence on various aspects of your life, if convicted.   Consequences on Your Employment Getting a domestic violence conviction may cause you to lose your present job or make it difficult for you to find gainful employment. With today’s advanced technology, employers can easily verify the criminal records of potential and current employees. There are even websites that offer to provide criminal background checks within minutes at a very minimal cost. Before making a decision to hire an applicant, most employers run a background check. When an employee is flagged for a domestic violence charge, it is generally considered an indication that the person is dangerous and prone to violence, whether at home or in the work place. As a result, the employee will not be offered a job. Likewise, current employees who are convicted of a domestic violence crime may not be considered for promotion or stricken off the list of candidates – even if they have the necessary experience and skills for the job. In some cases, they may even be fired from their jobs – even if they have been with the company for a long time.   Consequences on Your Military Career Once you are convicted for a domestic violence crime, you can kiss your military career goodbye. Aside from getting disqualified from serving in the military, a conviction will bar you from carrying a firearm or any kind of weapon. You will be discharged involuntarily from service, and if you are planning on entering the service, you will not be permitted to enlist. It may also affect your retirement benefits. You will also be denied of a security clearance under Directive 5220.6 of the Defense Department. Your military pension will be stopped, if you are currently entitled to it. Thus, you must make sure to talk to your lawyer as soon as you are charged with domestic violence.   Consequences on Your Marriage and Child Custody In many cases, a criminal conviction for domestic violence may spell the end of your marriage. Most couples involved in domestic violence ended up in divorce or separation. If you have children, you will likely lose in a custody battle, in case one will ensue. In almost all cases, custody is awarded to the victim spouse. Because being a domestic violence victim becomes a big advantage not only in child custody cases, some scheming spouses use allegations of domestic violence against their partners to win custody of their children, gain a decided edge in divorce situations, as well as to hide adultery.   Consequences on Your Professional Licenses and Permits Renewing or getting a new professional license may … Continue reading

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Collateral Consequences of Domestic Violence Convictions

According to the American Friends Service Committee-Arizona, “Collateral consequences” are legal punishments and other restrictions imposed on people because of their criminal convictions that are in addition to any term of incarceration, fines, fees or supervision imposed by the courts as punishment for the crimes. As Gabriel Chin wrote in “The New Civil Death: Rethinking Punishment in the Era of Mass Conviction”: “As a practical matter, every criminal sentence contains the following unwritten term: The law regards you as having a “shattered character.” Therefore, in addition to any incarceration or fine, you are subject to legal restrictions and limitations on your civil rights, conduct, employment, residence, and relationships. For the rest of your life, the United States and any State or locality where you travel or reside may impose, at any time, additional restrictions and limitations they deem warranted. Their power to do so is limited only by their reasonable discretion. They may also require you to pay the expense of these restrictions and limitations.” Even a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence can have the following collateral consequences: Federal prohibited possessor of a firearm; Loss of employment and career opportunities; loss of child custody; loss of immigration status; future felony prosecution; and Potential civil liability to victim’s landlord if victim breaks lease according to A.R.S. § 33-1318(A). The collateral consequences of domestic violence convictions in Arizona are wide ranging and serious. Defense attorney Gary Rohlwing has decades of experience in helping clients mitigate the collateral consequences of their domestic violence convictions. Call or e-mail him today. Cities We Provide Domestic Violence Case Assistance: Glendale Case Assistance Peoria DV Cases Avondale Cases Goodyear DV Defense Surprise Services   Law Offices of Gary L Rohlwing 7112 N 55th Ave Glendale, AZ 85301 (623) 937-1692 http://www.criminal-duiattorney.com/  

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Gary L. Rohlwing – Domestic Violence & Substance Abuse Attorney

If you are charged with domestic violence and your substance abuse is part of the problem, you may be able to get a lesser penalty by presenting clear evidence of how it affected your brain and caused the domestic violence.  Your lawyer should be able to: Show that your substance abuse caused the domestic violence because it negatively affected your judgment. Convince the court that you need counseling and/or substance abuse treatment and that you are very willing to actively participate in any court-ordered treatment. Demonstrate that a criminal conviction will negatively impact your rehabilitation efforts.   How Alcohol and Drugs Lead to Bad Decisions The following information can help in creating a credible defense and why you need an experienced substance abuse attorney to help you: According to experts, the problem with alcohol is that those who engage in habitual drinking apparently aren’t bothered by the consequences of their behavior. You know that you’re making mistakes but don’t care. Know your consumption limits. Know also that alcohol is a depressant and dehydrates your body. There are body chemicals involved in alcohol abuse. Alcohol in the blood induces your brain to command your body to produce chemicals such as cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine. These chemicals cause the heart to beat faster and enhance the senses, making you more sensitive to lights and sounds. Substance abuse impairs judgment according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Chemicals from drugs disrupt the communication system of the brain and change the way information is processed. Under these conditions, your brain is forced to tell your body to produce more transmitters.   After detecting abnormally high amounts of neurotransmitters, your brain will automatically tell your body to halt production. The process causes you to increase drug consumption to compensate for the inadequate supply of neurotransmitters. Consumption will become more frequent and in higher quantities. When you’re clearly dependent on the substance, you can go to great lengths to satisfy your need for drugs and may commit crimes in order to satisfy that need. Note that these NIDA-listed drugs have the following effects: Marijuana: Short attention span, impaired short-term memory, and drowsiness. Cocaine: Mood disturbances, anxiety, erratic behavior, paranoia, and euphoria. Meth/LSD (stimulants): Hostility, psychosis, anxiety, and increased attention to details. Xanax (Depressants): Drowsiness. Heroin/Oxycodone (opioids): Cloudy thinking, alternating drowsy and alert states, and euphoria.   It is important that you hire a law firm that has extensive experience handling domestic violence cases involving substance abuse. The Law Office of Gary L. Rohlwing has been very successful in obtaining lesser penalties for their clients or in reaching an amicable settlement where the charges did not result in a full-blown case. Law Offices of Gary L Rohlwing 7112 N 55th Ave Glendale, AZ 85301 (623) 937-1692 http://www.criminal-duiattorney.com/ http://www.criminal-duiattorney.com/blog/

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