Legal Question in Criminal Law in Arizona

my daughter was a victim of domestic abuse recently and her ex has been charged with the incident in Arizona. They continue to have communication contact that is consentual and when I spoke with the attorneys office recently, they stated that they are considered codefendants due to the contact. Can you explain what this means?

Asked on 10/30/13, 2:54 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Laura McDermott McDermott Law Firm, PLLC
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It sounds like there may have been a miscommunication along the way. Your daughter and her ex would be considered co-defendants if they were both charged for crimes committed arising out of the same incident. Sometimes officers will charge both parties in a domestic violence (DV) situation when officers cannot determine which party was the initial aggressor - in that case, they charge both parties and leave it up to the prosecutor, defense attorney, and court to figure out. If your daughter was not charged with any crime arising out of the incident, she is most likely not a "co-defendant" in the case.

In most cases where one person is charged with a DV offense against his/her partner, the court will issue a "no contact" order while the court case is pending - that means the defendant is not supposed to have any contact with the victim (regardless of whether the contact is consensual or not). There are some limited situations where the court will allow contact, however. A defendant who makes contact with the victim when there is a "no contact" order in place faces the risk of having his release revoked or possibly being charged with violating the court's "no contact" order.

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10/30/13, 5:42 pm

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