Being charged with a violent crime in Phoenix is a grave matter. If you are facing a charge, it is essential that you seek the legal counsel of a Phoenix violent crimes attorney to protect your freedom and your rights as soon as you can.
At the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, our experienced legal team has fought back against violent crime charges in Phoenix on behalf of numerous clients.
If you have been charged and convicted of sexual assault in Arizona (rape), you will be forced to register as a sex offender forever. Sex offender registration for most adults must run for the lifetime of the offender. Sexual assault charges and sexual conduct with a minor charges are often filed by prosecutors in Arizona based merely upon an accusation alone, and it can be easy to be falsely accused of such charges. Our criminal defense attorneys can help you fight these charges. There are many ways to defend against violent crime charges, and you must get a lawyer as soon as possible, especially if any of these charges are felonies. We can protect against harassment charges, assault, battery, etc. We can help you understand the legal definitions of the crimes you are charged with, so we can develop a clear line of defense.
Arizona takes violent crime charges very seriously, and offenders can expect to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Call our law firm if you have any questions regarding manslaughter, murder, homicide, drug trafficking, internet crimes, child abuse, robbery, battery and assault, arson, or kidnapping.
Types of Violent Crimes Charges in Phoenix
Violent crime charges come with a varying degree of penalties that depend on the circumstances of the event, the crime, and other details laid out at your trial. Under Arizona law, violent crimes are often defined as “dangerous offenses” or “dangerous nature offenses.” Violent crimes committed against children under the age of 15 are often defined as “dangerous crimes against children” which carry massive mandatory sentences. Violent crimes can include:
- Child abuse
- Child molestation
- Aggravated assault
- Sexual assault
- Sexual abuse
- Intimidation and threats
- Sexual conduct with a minor
- Aggravated robbery
- Burglary (first and second degree)
- Armed robbery
- Murder (first and second degree)
- Negligent Homicide
The level of offense regarding your crime can affect the penalty you face.
In the State of Arizona, you can face either a misdemeanor or felony.
Potential time in jail for misdemeanors are:
- Class 1: Six months
- Class 2: Four months
- Class 3: One month
Felony charges are more severe, and prison sentencing can include:
- Class 1: Life
- Class 2: 12.5 years
- Class 3: 8.75 years
- Class 4: 3.75 years
- Class 5: 2.5 years
- Class 6: 2 years
If you have had prior convictions, your prison sentence could be extended. So-called “repetitive offenders,” i.e., persons who have been previously convicted of felony offenses face increased sentencing ranges.
In tandem with jail time are the fines that offenders must pay. In Arizona, some misdemeanor charges carry fines that can be as much as $2,000, while the maximum fines that can be imposed in felony cases is $150,000 plus surcharges.
There are also community service penalties to consider, including community service hours, anger management classes, and more. Your criminal defense lawyer can negotiate a plea on your behalf to minimize the penalty you face.
Child Abuse Charges
According to ARS 13-3623, child abuse charges come with severe penalties and range from a class six to a class two felony.
If the victim is under 15 years old, the crime can be classified as a “dangerous crime against children.” Determining the classification depends on whether the child was placed in circumstances where they were likely to suffer death or severe physical injury, along with the mental state of the person perpetrating the crime.
According to ARS 13-1410, the penalties for Child Molestation are also very harsh, requiring mandatory prison time of 10-24 years.
Arson is a serious charge involving the intentional destruction of someone else’s property. According to ARS 13-1703, it is considered a class four felony. Arson is only brought up when a structure is damaged from an explosion or fire. Arson of an occupied structure can be classified as a dangerous nature offense. It is possible to reduce the crime of arson to a class five felony if the structure is valued under $1,000 or a class one if the value of the damaged property is below $100.
Domestic violence is defined by ARS 13-3601 and can happen between spouses, roommates, parents, children, siblings, and any people who have a domestic relationship. A domestic violence charge can be included with other crimes, such as kidnapping, assault, disorderly conduct, unlawful imprisonment, and more.
Sexual Assault and Rape
Sexual assault is a class two felony in Arizona and carries a minimum jail term of 5.25 flat years, meaning that each day must be served and a lifetime sex offender registration.
The penalties increase if the victim is under 15 years, and offenders face life in prison if the victim is under 12 years of age.
Assault / Aggravated Assault
According to Arizona code ARS 13-1203, assault involves intentionally or recklessly causing physical harm to another person, intentionally putting them in reasonable fear of physical harm, and knowingly interacting with them with the intent to insult, injure, or provoke.
Assault can escalate to aggravated assault for differing reasons, including:
- Assaulting a police officer
- Seriously injuring someone
- Substantially disfiguring someone
- Assaulting someone with a dangerous instrument or a deadly weapon
- Assaulting someone who is under 15
- Committing an assault on someone who is restrained
- Choking someone
The difference between a robbery and an armed robbery is that a weapon is involved in the latter. Robbery is a class four felony, but if you use a gun during the robbery, it becomes a class two felony charge.
According to ARS 13-1904, armed robbery does not require that you are the person who planned the crime or stole any items. Being present and possessing a weapon at the robbery could merit a violent crime charge.
Murder, Manslaughter, and Homicide
Arizona code ARS 13-1105 classifies the different types of homicide, from first-degree murder to negligent homicide. The first charge can carry life in prison as a class one felony, while the second one is a class four felony.
If you face violent crime charges, it is critical that you seek legal representation from an experienced legal advocate.
Call The Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, today for a free initial consultation if you are facing violent crime charges in Phoenix.
Fighting a Violent Crimes Charge in Phoenix
When you call the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, we will go over the type of crime you are charged with and what your possible defenses could be. Common defenses include self-defense or defending your property against someone else. Protecting another person or defense of others is another potential defense.
Your criminal defense attorney may talk to you about duress as a defense against a violent crime. Duress occurs when you commit a crime out of necessity because you faced an imminent threat and take action to prevent injury.
Finally, an unstable mental state can also be a solid defense against violent crime charges in Phoenix.
Being charged with a violent crime means you committed the crime with intention and complete knowledge of what you are doing. It must also be reckless and negligent, along with being intentional.
If you or someone you love did not function under an appropriate mental state at the time during which a crime was committed, you might have a reasonable defense for a violent crime charge.
Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer To Fight Back
It’s essential to understand that the police will be trying to charge you, so it is critical that you do not answer any questions without a lawyer present. At the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, our violent crimes attorneys will help you answer questions and inform you of your rights and possible defenses.
You should take any type of violent crime charge very seriously. You could face severe penalties if you are convicted, including jail time, hefty fines, etc. Calling a criminal defense lawyer today could secure your future and your freedom. Enlist the legal assistance of a violent crimes lawyer in Phoenix as soon as possible after the arrest if a violent crime charge is involved.
Remember never to answer any questions from investigative units or law enforcement—call us instead. We will ensure that your rights as a citizen are protected, and we will work to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
If you have been arrested for a violent crime, there may be mistakes or irregularities in the arrest process or gathering evidence or how labs or investigators handled the evidence. Your legal team will review the evidence against you, and any procedural errors or mistakes will be brought up and challenged in court. There have been many successful court challenges that result in suppression of evidence, leading to a dismissal of the case. However, this is just one approach to defending a severe violent crime charge.
A violent crime is a dangerous act against another person coupled with the applicable mental state (i.e., intentionally, recklessly, knowingly, etc.). Arizona takes these crimes very seriously and metes out extremely harsh penalties, including mandatory prison sentencing, paying restitution, performing community service, taking anger management classes, having a criminal record, probation, loss of rights, etc.
If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with a severe violent crime, your future depends on contacting the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, right away so you can get legal representation from the start. We offer a free initial consultation to get critical information involving your charges and possible defense strategies.