Guns and Weapons Charges
Combating gun or weapon charges in Arizona is a process best handled by a lawyer with extensive knowledge of Arizona criminal law. The defense attorneys at Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd. have experience representing clients facing gun and weapons charges, so give us a call at (480)833-2341 or contact us online today for legal help in Mesa.
Arizona Gun Laws
While Arizona has some of the most lenient gun laws in the United States, it also has some of the most serious consequences when a person is accused of committing a crime with a weapon. Prosecution agencies around the state advance the philosophy of “use a gun, go to prison.” This results in plea offers which require mandatory prison terms.
Displaying a gun which disturbs the peace of another person, transporting or selling a firearm, defacing or owning a defaced weapon, using a weapon during a felony offense, and certain instances of discharging a firearm (whether in an attempted crime or in an unlawful public area), are just a few of the things that might result in being charged with a deadly weapon or firearm offense. ARS 13-3102 (http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/13/03102.htm&Title=13&DocType=ARS )deals at length with the types of weapon charges that may be levied against a person. That statute states it illegal for a person with a felony conviction or who does not have legal status in the country to possess a firearm.
It is also illegal to possess a gun while committing any drug offense, which can include simply possessing marijuana or even drug paraphernalia.
Additionally, assault with a deadly weapon is a very serious offense that can carry decades of time behind bars. Arizona State takes weapons and gun charges very seriously, and individuals accused of these crimes can expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
How Common are Guns and Weapons Crimes?
In 2011, there were more than 5,000 robberies that involved deadly weapons, including knives and guns, and around 10,000 charges of aggravated assault that involved the use of a deadly weapon. Firearms were used in more than 40 percent of robberies with deadly weapons and were used in 23 percent of all Arizona’s aggravated assaults in 2011. All of those accused of a firearm offense face serious charges and need to understand their legal rights to avoid the serious consequences of a conviction.
What Is Considered a Weapon in Arizona?
Guns and knives are commonly understood as weapons. Firearms in particular are identified under Arizona law as a “deadly weapon” because it is designed for lethal use. However, anything that can be used to threaten or endanger an individual, or any object used with the intent to cause bodily harm, may be considered a weapon or a “dangerous instrument.” Some of the items that have been charged as dangerous instruments include a CO2 pellet gun, a golf club, a stick, a rock, a sock (used as a strangulation device), and even a bible. Additional, prohibited weapons in Arizona include explosives such as bombs or grenades, certain automatic firearms, Molotov cocktails, improvised explosive devices, nunchakus, certain chemicals, and even dry ice. While there are exceptions to when such items or devices are considered weapons, if they’re used in a manner that is intended to injure, they can be legally considered weapons. Because there are so many things that can be considered weapons in Arizona – both legal and unlawful – it’s important to understand when you’re in violation of weapons possession laws.
The legal issues surrounding gun and weapons charges in the State of Arizona are very complex. As detailed above, the sheer number of implements that may be considered weapons in certain contexts can make any weapons charge a complex legal issue. If an instance arises where you’re accused of or charged with a gun or weapon violation, it’s important to contact a legal representative to make sure that your rights are protected.
The Mesa criminal defense attorneys at Rowley Chapman & Barney can help you if you’ve been charged with assault with a weapon, illegal possession, or any other weapons-related charge in Arizona. If you have been arrested call us first! We are available 24/7.
Guns and Weapons Charges
We are available 24/7. Please call us at (480) 833-2341 to schedule your FREE consultation or use our contact form below to send us an email to make an appointment today.