Arizona has a strong tradition of upholding and defending the Second Amendment and has relatively relaxed gun laws. Many residents enjoy firearms for sport, hunting, and as a hobby. However, the state of Arizona does apply some restrictions to gun ownership to protect both owners and their fellow citizens. Many people are surprised that the State of Arizona and federal agencies that act within our state are aggressive in prosecuting cases that involve displaying or using a gun, or even buying or selling a fairly large number of them.
Most, but not all, firearm crimes are considered felonies. Gun crimes often carry mandatory jail time or prison sentences as well as costly fines. Additionally, and often most devastating, a gun crime conviction almost always results in the loss of the right to own or possess firearms.
If you are facing a weapons-related offense, you need help from an Arizona gun lawyer. Let the knowledgeable attorneys at the Grand Canyon Law Group protect your rights and reputation. We dedicate a large part of our practice to gun-related offenses and know how to obtain the best results, even under difficult circumstances.
Arizona has established numerous classifications for crimes that determine the potential consequences upon conviction. Many gun offenses are considered “dangerous” offenses. This is a legal classification that can be added to some crimes that will turn a probation case into a “prison mandatory” offense under the law.
The minimum and maximum punishments for dangerous crimes increase with each subsequent offense. For example, under ARS 13-704, the first conviction of a Class 3 felony carries a minimum prison sentence of five years and a max sentence of 15 years. However, subsequent offenses increase the minimum by five years for each additional conviction, with a maximum sentence of 25 years.
The factors that go into whether the government can or will aggravate a case by adding the “dangerous” allegation can be complicated. In addition, if you have been charged with a “dangerous” crime due to a firearm being involved, do not give up hope. A knowledgeable gun attorney at our Arizona firm can further explain these factors and how we can work to remove or fight this allegation against you.
In Arizona, many crimes are based solely on a person’s possession, purchase or sale of firearms. Crimes that do not require any additional action by the defendant are known as basic gun crimes. These crimes include illegal possession, such as by someone who has lost their right to legally own firearms as a noncitizen or after a felony conviction.
Additionally, possession of banned or modified guns (such as a semiautomatic rifle with a firing pin filed down to allow fully automatic use) is also considered a basic gun crime. While the phrase “basic gun crimes” may seem innocuous, many standalone charges are felonies that carry mandatory prison time and hefty fines.
Typically, the most severe gun crimes involve the commission of another crime while using a firearm. Generally, using a firearm while engaged in another crime is considered an aggravating factor, and this is what is discussed above when the prosecution adds the allegation that a crime is a “dangerous” offense.
An aggravating factor enhances the penalties of the original charges. For example, the consequences for stealing are much less severe than for robbing someone at gunpoint. Aggravated assault becomes far more serious and the consequences severe when it is charged as “dangerous” because it was done with a gun or other “dangerous instrument or deadly weapon”. Aggravated assault is outlined in ARS 13 – 1204. Regardless of the original charges, anyone facing gun-related allegations should contact a skilled Arizona attorney as soon as possible to defend against serious consequences.
Compared to many states, Arizona respects the rights of gun owners. However, the consequences for violating the state’s established gun laws can be harsh. And the prosecuting agencies are not as gun-friendly as you might believe if you are ever in a position to use a firearm in any way to defend yourself. And if another crime is accused where a firearm or other dangerous instrument is used, the stakes are incredibly high and the government is not your friend. Your freedom, your way of life, and your rights may all be stripped away if you do not vigorously defend against these charges.
An experienced Arizona gun lawyer can fight on your behalf and help you avoid a life-altering conviction. Call the Grand Canyon Law Group today to learn how we can be a valuable ally in your corner. We are former prosecutors who know how to defend our clients in gun or weapons-related charges.