Violent Crime Attorney in Phoenix
The violent crime rate in Phoenix is 51 percent higher than the statewide average in Arizona, and Arizona’s violent crime rate is 13 percent higher than the national average. For this reason, the State comes down hard on those accused of violent crimes, prosecuting them vigorously. The number of violent offenders in Arizona prisons increased by 5.3 percent between 2009 and 2013.
If you’ve been accused of a violent crime, you potentially face years in prison, depending on the type of crime and whether you have a prior record. Violent crimes involve actual or threatened bodily harm, and include such crimes as rape, aggravated assault, murder, and kidnapping, and are typically charged as felonies.
Consequences of a Violent Crime Conviction
Because the potential penalties are harsh, you have a great deal to lose if you are convicted. In addition to losing your freedom and your good reputation, as a convicted felon you will face the loss of certain civil rights—the right to vote, hold public office, and own a firearm—and may have trouble obtaining employment, housing, and financing for education. With so much at stake, it is absolutely essential to hire the best Phoenix violent crime attorney you can find.
Although your situation may seem hopeless now, it is not. You are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is actually quite a high standard of proof. With a highly experienced violent crimes defense attorney working to protect your rights and mitigate the harm to your future, the outcome may not be so dire. There are a number of effective defenses that can be employed, and the right lawyer—preferably an Arizona Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist— will be able to analyze the circumstances surrounding your arrest to determine the best course of action to take in your case. If you’ve been questioned or arrested in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, call the law offices of attorney Howard A. Snader. Hold tight and refrain from answering any questions until Howard arrives.
Defenses against Violent Crime Charges
Your Phoenix violent crime lawyer will examine the circumstances of the event and the procedure used by the police in the investigation and arrest to ascertain if they followed proper procedure in keeping with your constitutional rights. He will hear what you have to say, do his own investigation, and plan a defense strategy. There are two basic approaches to defending against a violent crime charge: One is that you didn’t do it, that you weren’t there, which is where having an alibi can be helpful, as well as calling into question any eyewitness identification. The other is that you did it but should not be held responsible.
If it is incontrovertible that you actually did what you were charged with, there are several possible defenses. For example, if you committed a violent act in defense of either yourself or another person, you should not be held responsible. Or, it may have been done by accident, for example, if you were cleaning a gun and it accidentally went off, killing someone, which was not your intention.
In a few cases, a legal defense of insanity is possible, although this defense is not often used successfully. In the legal sense, insanity means that at the time the act occurred, you were unable to distinguish between right and wrong and therefore cannot be held accountable.
If at the time of the violent act you were unaware of what you were doing, for example, you were drunk or under the influence of drugs, and unable to form the intent to do harm, that might also be used as a defense.
Top-Rated Phoenix Violent Crime Attorney
Howard Snader has been practicing law in Arizona since 1990. A former Maricopa County prosecutor, he understands the nuances of the law and how these cases are handled in the court system. Since 1995, he has been Board Certified as a Criminal Law Specialist by the State of Arizona, attesting to his expertise in this practice area. He practices only criminal defense and enjoys the highest possible AVVO rating, 10 (superb).