If you believe that you are in danger, contact 911.
In Arizona, dating violence falls under the Arizona Revised Statute that covers domestic violence (A.R.S. § 13-3601). The statue applies in situations where the victim and defendant was or is a romantic or sexual relationship. (A.R.S. § 13-3601(6)). The factors used to determine whether the relationship was or is romantic or sexual are:
(a) type of relationship
(b) length of relationship
(c) amount of interaction between the victim and the defendant
(d) if the relationship is over, the amount of time since the relationship ended
According to A.R.S. § 13-3601(B), A police officer may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that domestic violence has been committed or if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed the offense (domestic violence)
A police officer can arrest both parties if the police officer has probable cause that both parties independently committed an act of domestic violence. Acts of self defense, as defined in Chapter 4 of Title 13, are not acts of domestic violence.
When an officer responds to a call that domestic violence has been or may be committed, the officer must inform any potential victim in writing of the procedures and resources available to protect the victim. (A.R.S. § 13-3601(J)). These include:
(1) An order of protection (A.R.S. § 13-3602)
(2) An injunction (A.R.S. § 25-315)
(3) An injunction against harassment (A.R.S. § 12-1809)
(4) The emergency telephone number for the local police agency
(5) Telephone numbers for emergency services in the local community.
Places to go for Help/Resources
National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-7233
Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence (800) 782-6400 or (602) 279-2900 Open 8:30am-5:00 pm, M-F
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information on teen dating violence
Beware of the serious consequences of committing any of the following sex offenses in the State of Arizona:
- Sexual conduct with a minor (A.R.S. § 13-1405)
- Sexual abuse (A.R.S. § 13-1404)
- Sexual assault (A.R.S. § 13-1406)
Under Arizona law, sexual conduct is when a person intentionally or knowingly engages in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with a person under 18 years of age. Sexual conduct with a minor 15, 16 or 17 years old is class 6 felony. Sexual conduct with a minor under fifteen years of age is a class 2 felony. (A.R.S. § 13-1405).
It is a defense to a prosecution of A.R.S. § 13-1405 if the victim is 15, 16 or 17 and the defendant is under 19 or attending high school and is no more than 24 months older than the victim and conduct is consensual. (A.R.S. § 13-1407(F)).
If you are a juvenile, and the victim is under 15 years, the county attorney has the discretion to bring adult charges against you (A.R.S. § 13-501(B)(2)). If the victim is 15 years or older, the county attorney has the option of asking a judge to allow him to bring adult charges against you.
If a parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, legal guardian, foster parent, teacher, clergyman or priest engages in sexual conduct with a victim that is 15, 16 or 17 years old, the person will be charged with a class 2 felony and the convicted person is not eligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon or release from confinement on any basis except as specifically authorized by section 31-233, subsection A or B until the sentence imposed has been served or commuted. (A.R.S. § 13-1405 (B)).
Sexual assault is when a person intentionally or knowingly engages in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person without consent of such a person and is a class 2 felony. In the State of Arizona, a person under the age of 18 years old cannot consent to sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact. A first time offense can lead to a prison term from 5.2 to 14 years. (A.R.S. § 13-1406).
Sexual abuse is intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual contact with any person 15 years of age of older without consent of that person or with any person which is under 15 years of age if the sexual contact involves only the female breast. If the victim is 15 years or older it is a class 5 felony. If the victim is under 15 years of age, it is a class 3 felony. (A.R.S. § 13-1404).
If a juvenile is at least 14 years of age or older and commits a class 3 or higher felony sex offense, the juvenile may be tried as an adult. If a juvenile is 15 or older and commits forcible sexual assault, the juvenile will automatically be tried in adult court. (A.R.S. § 13-501(A)(3)).
If you need help, call one of these crisis hotlines:
- Child Help USA Hotline 800-422-4453
- Child Protective Services 888-SOS-CHILD or 888-767-2445
- Pregnancy Hotline 800-848-5683
- Youth Crisis Hotline 800-448-4663
If you damage property, you will be held accountable. If you recklessly damage property, it is called criminal damage. Criminal damages as defined by Arizona state law (A.R.S. 13-1602A&B) may be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the amount of damage. In many cases you and your parents are responsible for paying for damages.
Defacing property is also considered criminal damages. This includes marking, scratching or painting of property that does not belong to you and without the owner's permission. Painting graffiti is breaking the law.
In Arizona, a 16-year old who spray-painted 32 homes, a half-dozen cars, and various garage doors and fences was tried as an adult and sentenced to 2 months in jail and 3 years probation. Juveniles who damage the property of others can be placed on probation (either with or without detention) and can be required to pay for damages.