Arizona Criminal Defense Overview

If you are facing a violent crime charge in the state of Arizona, you may not know where to turn. This charge results from someone else accusing you of threatening harm or harming another individual within the state. Violent crime charges often result in jail time, including even misdemeanor charges, after conviction.

Every accusation of a violent crime does not always end up with a conviction with a penalty. A criminal defense attorney is often present when a conviction is not given. Whatever the charges you face, Gurion Legal is ready to provide you the criminal defense you need. Our legal team will provide the legal defense to help you avoid a conviction.

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Types of and Penalties for Violent Crimes in Arizona

If you face a conviction of a violent crime, you will face a varying degree of penalties. This is dependent upon the crime itself and the details that occur at your trial. The types of violent crimes include:

  • Child abuse, molestation, and neglect
  • Arson
  • Kidnapping
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexual assault and rape
  • Assault
  • Armed robbery
  • Homicide and attempted homicide
  • Intimidation and Threatening

As mentioned, another feature that will detail the penalty you may face is the offense level of your crime. In the state of Arizona, you can face charges of misdemeanors of classes one to three and felonies of classes six to one.

Potential jail time for misdemeanors are:

  • Class 1 Misdemeanor: Six months
  • Class 2 Misdemeanor: Four months
  • Class 3 Misdemeanor: 30 days

 

The more serious charges come with felony convictions. Prison sentencing may include:

  • Class 1 Felony: up to life
  • Class 2 Felony: 12.5 years
  • Class 3 Felony: 8.75 years
  • Class 4 Felony: 3.75 years
  • Class 5 Felony: 2.5 years
  • Class 6 Felony: 2 years

Prison sentences may increase if you have prior felony convictions.

Jail time may not be the only penalty you face. Some misdemeanor charges carry a fine of over $2,000 in Arizona, while felonies carry a maximum fine of $150,000 plus surcharges. You could also pay a bail bondsman thousands of dollars if you have a bond.

Jail time may not be the only penalty you face. Some misdemeanor charges carry a fine of over $2,000 in Arizona,

Some misdemeanors include community-based penalties too. These include community service hours or classes on anger management, for example. Speaking with a criminal defense lawyer can help you negotiate a plea that could minimize your penalty for any of the below crimes.

Child Abuse and Molestation

Child abuse as defind by ARS 13-3623 carries substantial punishments.  It can be designated as anywhere between a class 6 to a class 2 felony.  If the victim is under 15 years old then it can be punished as a dangerous crime against children as defined by ARS 13-705.  What determines the classification is whether the child was placed in a situation where they were likely to suffer death or serious physical injury and the mental state of the person committing the crime.

The punishment for Molestation pursuant to ARS 13-1410 is incredibly harsh, requiring a mandatory prison sentence of 10-24 flat years in prison, meaning you serve each day of the sentence.

Arson

Arson is a violent crime as it is the intentional destruction of another’s property. The code for this crime is ARS 13-1703 in Arizona. This crime is a class four penalty under the Arizona code of law.

When looking at a destruction of property charge, arson only occurs when a structure faces damages from fire or an explosion. There is a chance to have this crime lowered to a class five felony if the worth of the property is under $1,000. It may even become a class one misdemeanor when the valuation is under $100.

 

Kidnapping

Kidnapping charges, under Arizona Revised Statute 13-1304, can include either a class two, a class three, or a class four felony. It is dependent on the type of action the kidnapper takes.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a special designation for many crimes in which the victim and perpetrator are relatives in some form, defined by ARS 13-3601. It can occur between roommates, spouses, parents, children, or even siblings. A domestic violence designation can be attached to many crimes, like assault, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, disorderly conduct, and more.

Sexual Assault and Rape

What we commonly call “rape” is charged as Sexual Assault in Arizona.  This charge is a class two felony. Sexual assault of a person over 18 years old carries a minimum sentence of 5.25 flat years in prison, up to 14 years, and mandatory sex offender registration.

If the victim of a sexual assault is under 15 years the offense carries increased punishment, up to life in prison for victims 12 and under.

Assault / Aggravated Assault

A basic assault charge in Arizona is code ARS 13-1203. Assault requires intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing a physical injury to another person; intentionally placing them in reasonable fear of imminent physical injury; or knowingly touching them with the intent to injure, insult, and provoke.

An assault can become aggravated assault under ARS 13-1204 for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Serious physical injury
  • Assault against a police officer
  • Committing an assault while another is restrained
  • Choking another person
  • And more

Armed Robbery

Armed robbery occurs when someone uses a weapon during a robbery. Typically, robbery is a class four felony. If you have a gun, for instance, with you during the robbery, you will face a class two felony charge, typically also charged as a dangerous offense.

Code ARS 13-1904 represents an armed robbery in a court of law. It is important to note that you do not have to be the individual who planned the act or stole the items. Even if you are present at the robbery and have a weapon, you may face the same charge as an accomplice under a theory of accomplice liability.

Homicide and Attempted Homicide

There are several types of homicide classified under Arizona law. First-degree murder, for instance, is code ARS 13-1105 which can face a penalty of up to life in prison as a class one felony. Negligent homicide, on the other end of the spectrum, is code 13-1102 and is a class four felony.

Another violent crime on the Arizona statute of laws is attempted homicide. This law is under code ARS 13-1001. The classification of an attempted homicide varies based on the kind of homicide attempted.

Intimidation and Threatening Behavior

Threatening and Intimidating is  classified under code ARS 13-1202. The threats can concern physical injury or property damage. In this case, you likely will face a class one misdemeanor charge.

This violent crime is a class 1 misdemeanor, unless the person committing it is a street gang member, or the offense is committed in retaliation for a victim’s reporting criminal activity or being involved in an organization established for reporting or preventing criminal activity.

Defending a Violent Crimes Charge

When speaking with a criminal defense attorney at Gurion Legal, he or she will discuss the crime you committed and any possible defenses you have. The most likely include self-defense and defense of your property against another. Another defense is if you try to protect another person, called defense of others.

Duress is a defense against a violent crime the attorney may speak with you about too. Duress is when you face a threat, though force can also be under the necessity defense to prevent injury.

Finally, a lack of a mentally stable state of mind can be a strong defense against violent crimes in Arizona.

When you commit a violent crime, you must have committed the crime intentionally and with knowledge of what you are about to do. The act must be reckless in regards to what you know and your intent too.

If you or a loved one lacks the appropriate mental state, you have a strong defense for any of the crimes above.

Starting the Process to a Violent Crimes Defense

The police will work endlessly on these serious cases.. Make sure you do not answer questions without an attorney present. The legal team at Gurion Legal will provide you answers about your rights and about defenses that may fit your case, no matter the crime.

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