Violent crimes are punished very harshly in Arizona. Orent Law Offices has defended Phoenix, AZ residents facing serious charges. Call today (480) 656-7301 to schedule a free consultation with a Phoenix Violent Crimes Lawyer to discuss your case.
You can face serious jail time, even if you don’t cause personal injury or bodily harm. And, there are a number of circumstances that can lead to enhanced penalties. If you’ve been arrested or charged with a violent crime in Phoenix, you deserve an experienced Phoenix violent crime lawyer to give you a vigorous defense and fight for your future.
You may feel hopeless when you are facing a violent criminal charge in Phoenix, Arizona. The prosecution will likely seek the maximum penalties against you. Your potential sentence can be easily enhanced by aggravating factors and Arizona’s “dangerous offense” statute. You deserve an experienced team of Phoenix criminal defense lawyers on your side to fight for your rights.
Craig Orent of Orent Law Offices has more than 33 years of experience representing clients against serious violent offenses. Orent is a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist who will put his experience and successful track record to work for you.
Choose Orent Law Offices to represent you and count on us to:
At Orent Law Offices, we will work tirelessly to give you the best legal defense possible to beat the charges against you. Contact our law firm for a free case review with a Phoenix violent crimes defense lawyer who will fight for your freedom.
Violent crimes in Arizona come in many forms. Because Arizona combines assault and battery, you can be charged and convicted for a violent offense without even causing physical harm. The following are the most common types of violent offenses in Phoenix.
Assault is the most common violent crime in Phoenix.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes §13-1203, assault is intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly:
This means someone is guilty of assault when they had a desire to cause physical harm or knew their behavior would likely cause harm. Unlike some states, Arizona does not distinguish between assault and battery.
Simple assault, a class 3 misdemeanor, occurs when the assault involves touching with intent to harm or provoke but does not involve actual injury.
When someone is placed in fear of imminent physical harm without actually being touched, it is a class 2 misdemeanor.
An assault can become aggravated when any of the following occur:
An assault also becomes aggravated if the defendant knew or had reason to know the victim was a protected class. This includes a paramedic, teacher, school employee, public defender, prosecutor, health care provider, police or peace officer, or judicial officer. This is a class 6 felony.
Aggravated assault can be a class 2 to a class 6 felony depending on the circumstances.
You may face a domestic violence charge if the alleged victim is:
Domestic violence can include many types of offenses:
When these offenses are committed against anyone protected by the domestic violence statute, penalties are enhanced. Charges can be further enhanced by any aggravating factors like the use of a firearm. For example, if the victim is covered by Arizona’s domestic violence statute, obstructing the airway or choking is considered aggravated assault.
Domestic violence in Phoenix may be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances.
Murder is the most serious type of violent crime under Arizona law. Homicide may be charged under several degrees.
First-degree murder under ARS §13-1105 is premeditated murder. It is a class 1 felony punishable by life imprisonment or death.
First-degree murder includes deaths that occur while someone is committing or attempting to commit a felony including:
Second-degree murder requires an intent to kill but not premeditation. It is a class 1 felony punishable by 10 to 25 years in prison. However, someone with a Dangerous Offense on their record would face 15-29 years instead. The sentence can also be enhanced if the victim is an unborn child or child under 15.
Offenses involving weapons like firearms and knives in Arizona are often violent crimes. The use of a weapon in the commission of a crime, such as theft, sexual assault, assault, or domestic violence can upgrade an offense as an aggravating factor. It can also make an offense a Dangerous Offense with enhanced sentencing.
Some types of sex offenses may be considered violent crimes and classified as Dangerous Offenses in Arizona. Sexual assault is a Dangerous Offense against a victim under 15. Sexual assault/battery becomes aggravated when it causes physical injury or involves a weapon
While all violent criminal offenses come with harsh penalties, Arizona law treats some crimes even more harshly. Crimes that are classified as a “Dangerous Offense” come with mandatory prison time and enhanced sentencing.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-105(13), a Dangerous Offense is an offense involving the use, discharge, or threatening display of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon or knowingly or intentionally inflicting serious bodily injury.
Deadly weapons are any designed for lethal force such as a firearm or knife. Dangerous instruments are those that are capable of causing serious injury or death in the circumstances in which they are used. These items are not designed to cause harm but are capable of doing so. This can include a vehicle or even a lamp.
To demonstrate how the Dangerous Offense statute works, imagine an assault that involves the use of a firearm. This offense is aggravated assault, but the use of a deadly weapon also makes it a Dangerous Offense.
Violent crimes have very harsh penalties in Phoenix. The penalties you face depend on many factors including prior criminal record, whether the offense is considered dangerous, the victim, whether a weapon was used, and other factors.
The following are penalties for assault and domestic violence, two common violent offenses with a wide range of potential penalties.
Simple assault is a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and 1 year of probation. An upgraded form of assault is a class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 4 years in prison and 2 years of probation.
Aggravated assault is a class 2 through class 6 felony depending on the circumstances. You may face up to 2 years in prison for a class 6 felony or up to 21 years for a class 2 aggravated assault felony. This charge is often considered a Dangerous Offense with an enhanced sentence. For instance, if the victim was under 15, it violates the Dangerous Crimes Against a Child Act and may be punishable by up to 27 years.
Domestic violence is usually a misdemeanor for a first offense outside of aggravating factors and depending on the severity of the crime.
The presumptive penalty – and class of the misdemeanor or felony – depends on whether the offense:
Domestic assault is a class 1, 2, or 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail.
Aggravated domestic assault is a class 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 felony. A class 2 felony has a presumptive term of 5 years. A class 2 felony domestic violence offense considered a Dangerous Offense has a presumptive term of 10.5 years.
Aggravated domestic violence is charged after a third or subsequent domestic violence offense within 7 years. It is a class 5 felony with a presumptive sentence of 1.5 years.
You may face other consequences such as a protective order. A domestic violence conviction can also affect child custody cases. You must also complete a domestic violence offender treatment program.
If you are charged with a Dangerous Offense, you will face harsher penalties. For example, aggravated assault is a Class 3 felony punishable by 2 to 8.75 years or a probation term of up to 5 years. If a gun is used, it becomes a Dangerous Offense with a mandatory 5 to 15-year prison sentence.
Despite the fact that you’ve been charged with a crime, you are innocent until proven guilty. The state or federal prosecution has a high burden of proof it must meet in a violent crime case. At Orent Law Offices, our Phoenix violent crimes attorneys in Maricopa County, AZ will aggressively pursue all available defense strategies to give you the best chances of beating the charges against you.
Common defenses in violent criminal charges include:
We will also investigate your criminal case to determine if you have a defense based on violations of your constitutional rights. Orent Law Offices will work with experts to discredit evidence the prosecution uses against you and to interpret evidence we gather.
Depending on the circumstances of your case and the type of offense, there may be many additional defense strategies our Maricopa County attorneys will recommend.
When you are facing a violent criminal charge, it’s crucial to begin building your defense immediately. There is a lot on the line and a Phoenix violent crime lawyer at Orent Law Offices is here to fight for your freedom.
Contact our Phoenix criminal defense law firm today to schedule a free case review. We will discuss your best defense options.