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How do I get charges filed against my abuser?
You must first call the police to make a report. Once the police are called, the police may issue a charge at the scene by giving the defendant an ATTC (Arizona Traffic Ticket and Citation), or send the report to a detective to conduct follow-up work and then submit to the prosecuting agency. If the case is a misdemeanor, it is sent to the City of Phoenix Prosecutor's Office. If it is a felony, the case is sent to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. Once the case is sent to a prosecuting agency, an attorney will review the report and decide to charge the case, decline the case, or send it back to the detective for further investigation.
What if my case isn't charged?
You will receive a letter informing you that the case was not charged. You have the right to speak to a prosecutor about the reasons why the case was not charged. To do so, call 602-262-6461.
Can I drop the charges?
No. The State, not you, brings charges against the defendant. The Phoenix Prosecutor's Office has a no drop policy on Domestic Violence cases. However, if you would like to discuss the charging and/or sentencing of the defendant, call 602-262-6461 and ask to speak with a prosecutor.
The suspect was booked into jail on a Domestic Violence offense. Now what happens?
Within 24 hours of being arrested and booked into jail, the defendant will appear before a jail court judge for the arraignment. At that time, the defendant will be informed of the charges and enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. The judge may also impose conditions on the defendant's release. This could include posting a bond, forfeiting weapons, a no contact order, or simply promising to appear at the next court date.
As the victim, you have the right to be present and heard about the release conditions. If you want to be heard by the judge on whether the defendant should be released or not, you must contact the Victim Services Unit immediately at 602-261-8192 or contact the Jail at 602-876-8276 after 5 p.m. or on the weekend.
If you would like to be notified if the defendant is released, call the Jail's Victim Notification Line at 602-876-8276; to find out the defendant's status, bond amount, or jail facility information, call 602-876-0322.
It is important to understand the defendant may be released after arraignment. If you feel you may be in danger upon that person's release, we encourage you to convey that information to the jail court judge. Above all, you should take necessary steps to ensure your safety.
Will I have to testify in front of my abuser?
If a trial is held, you will be required to appear and testify in open court. However, a Victim Advocate is available to attend the trial with you. The advocate can ensure that you wait in a private area before your testimony to minimize the time spent in the defendant's presence. The advocate can also provide security to and from your vehicle. You can also bring a supportive person who is not a witness to the crime with you for emotional support. To request an advocate to accompany you, please call 602-261-8192 and ask to speak to the advocate assigned to your case.