Weapon Charges Defense Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation. It is legal for most adults to carry a gun, without being required to have a permit for either open or concealed carry. Permits are available, however, and having a permit makes it possible to carry a gun in certain places where weapons are otherwise prohibited. Consult a knowledgeable Phoenix criminal defense attorney for more information.
That said, there are limits on who may carry or possess a gun, the type of weapon you may own, and how you use a gun. Using a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime comes with enhanced penalties.
Why Do I Need a Weapon Charges Defense Attorney in Arizona?
Any case involving the use of a deadly weapon such as a firearm, shotgun, or knife, is extremely serious. The use of a weapon in the commission of a crime automatically enhances the severity of the sentencing. It can result in serious felony charges and the possibility of years in prison. If you or a loved one has been arrested on a weapons or firearms violation, it is highly recommended to seek legal advice from our qualified Phoenix weapons charges attorney at Snader Law Group.
Our criminal defense law firm helps clients in Phoenix and its surrounding areas who have been accused of these types of crimes. We can explain the criminal laws on weapons and discuss possible strategies that can be used in your defense. We can provide you with effective and personalized legal solutions to help you obtain positive results in your case.
Contact us now and schedule an initial consultation.
What is Considered a Weapon Crime in Arizona?
A weapons crime is a criminal act revolving around the illegal possession, use, sale, or distribution of a firearm or other object or device that could be classified as a weapon. An individual can be charged with a weapons crime whether it involves a legal weapon like a gun or knife, or an illegal weapon such as an automatic rifle or grenade.
There are various weapons and firearms charges that a person could face in Arizona. Crimes that involve dangerous and deadly weapons can range in severity and potential criminal sentence. These are serious criminal offenses that must be handled by a reliable Phoenix weapon charges defense attorney.
Who is Prohibited from Gun Ownership in Arizona?
Arizona laws that pertain to guns and weapons are rather permissive when compared to those in other states. If you’re unsure about your eligibility for gun ownership, consult our skilled Phoenix weapon charges defense lawyers about your situation. Here are some of the rules that establish a baseline national standard regarding individuals’ eligibility to acquire and possess firearms:
- If you’ve been convicted of a felony or adjudicated delinquent on account of a felony and have not had your right to possess a gun restored
- If you’re incarcerated
- If you’re on probation for domestic violence
- If you’re an undocumented alien
- If you’ve been found by a court to be a danger to yourself or others
- If you’ve been adjudicated incompetent or insane
Furthermore, the law prohibits other behaviors involving guns:
- Carrying a gun into an establishment or public event with a liquor license, unless you have a permit
- Discharging a gun within a municipality (with certain exceptions)
- Manufacturing, selling, or owning a prohibited weapon
- Selling or transferring a deadly weapon to a person who should not own it
- Removing the serial number from a gun
- Knowingly possessing a defaced deadly weapon
- Possessing or using a deadly weapon when committing a felony
- Discharging a firearm at a residence or other occupied building
- Entering a public establishment or public event while carrying a deadly weapon
- Entering an election polling place on election day while carrying a weapon
- Possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds
- Entering a nuclear or hydroelectric generating station while in possession of a deadly weapon
- Knowingly supplying, giving, or selling a firearm to another person intending to use it to commit a crime
- Using or possessing a deadly weapon while committing an act of terrorism
- Giving or selling a firearm to a minor without parental permission
- Failing to inform a police officer of a deadly weapon in the vehicle during a stop
- Discharging a weapon related to gang activity
- When on an Indian reservation, you need to check with the tribe. Indian tribes may have more restrictive gun laws than the rest of the state.
Types of Weapons Prohibited by Arizona Law
Under Arizona law, residents are free to own and possess an extremely wide range of firearms and weapons. However, certain types of weapons are simply illegal to possess even if you are not a convicted felon. Here are some of the types of deadly weapons that are prohibited in Arizona:
- A rifle with a barrel length of fewer than sixteen inches
- A shotgun with a barrel length of fewer than eighteen inches
- A firearm made from a rifle or shotgun that, as modified, has an overall length of fewer than twenty-six inches
- Automatic weapons
- Bombs (including dry ice bombs or dry ice bullets), grenades, and improvised explosive devices
What are the Penalties of Weapon Charges in Arizona?
In Arizona, weapons charges range from Class 3 misdemeanors up to Class 1 felonies. The penalties you will face depend on the classification of the criminal offense. A credible Phoenix weapon charges defense attorney can help fight the allegations you face, avoid harsh penalties, and get your criminal charges either significantly reduced or even dismissed.
The following are the penalties associated with Arizona weapons charge:
Class 1 Misdemeanor
A person who is charged with this degree of firearm and weapons offenses could be punished with a maximum six-month jail term and a fine of up to $2,500. Class 1 misdemeanor offenses can include:
- Carrying a concealed weapon in specific areas
- Possessing a deadly weapon on election day or at a polling station
- Entering a public establishment or public event with a deadly weapon without authorization
- Possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds
Class 6 Felony
A person with a Class 6 felony criminal charge could face a maximum two-year prison term and a fine of up to $150,000. Class 6 felony offenses can include:
- Carrying a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony offense or violent crime
- Selling or transferring a deadly weapon to a prohibited possessor
- Defacing a deadly weapon or possessing a defaced deadly weapon
Class 4 Felony
A person who is charged with this degree of a felony can be punished with a maximum 3.75-year prison term and a fine of up to $150,000. Class 4 felony offenses can include:
- Using a weapon during the commission of a felony offense
- Possessing a deadly weapon or prohibited weapon
- Manufacturing, possessing, transporting, selling, or transferring any prohibited weapons
Class 3 Felony
An individual who is charged with Class 3 felony charges can be punished with a maximum 8.75-year prison sentence and a fine not exceeding $150,000. Class 3 felony offenses can include:
- Supplying, selling, or giving possession of any firearm to someone with knowledge that the other person will use it to commit a felony
- Discharging a firearm in a crowded area for gang-related purposes
What are the Possible Defenses for Weapon Charges in Arizona?
Those convicted of a firearms or weapons crime in Arizona may face lengthy prison sentences, high fines, community service, probation, and compulsory restitution to the victim. In addition, a conviction can harm your reputation and may result in a permanent mark on your criminal record. While you may feel hopeless when facing a serious weapon charge, a competent weapon charges defense attorney in Phoenix AZ can help you build an effective defense strategy for your case.
A few of the possible defenses that can help you avoid severe punishments may include, but are not limited to:
- The case was related to self-defense.
- There was insufficient evidence to prove the charges.
- The person charged did not have the intention of committing the crime.
- The law enforcement authorities did not properly conduct their investigation.
- The person accused was not in actual possession of the firearm or did not know the weapon existed.
Legal Representation for Arizona Weapons Charges
Despite Arizona’s generally relaxed attitude toward weapon ownership for law-abiding adults, weapon laws are taken very seriously and a violation could get you in legal trouble. If you are facing a criminal weapons charge in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or the surrounding area, call the offices of criminal defense attorney Howard Snader for experienced legal representation.
Avoid jail time, fines, and probation by having Howard work to protect your rights and keep you from the worst consequences of being convicted of a weapons offense. As an Arizona Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, he has the experience, credentials, and commitment to upholding the constitutional rights of each of his clients. Contact our criminal defense law firm now and schedule an initial case evaluation with our seasoned Phoenix weapon charges defense attorneys.