Violent Crimes Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona
The violent crime rate in Phoenix is about 51 percent higher than the statewide average in Arizona, and Arizona’s violent crime rate is approximately 13 percent higher than the national average. For this reason, the State comes down hard on those accused of violent crimes, prosecuting them vigorously.
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. Being charged with a violent crime in Phoenix is a serious matter.
If you are facing a violent crime charge, you must seek the legal advice of a Phoenix violent crimes attorney to protect your freedom and your rights as soon as you can.
Why Do I Need a Violent Crimes Attorney in Phoenix AZ?
Arizona takes violent crime charges very seriously, therefore, offenders can be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If you have been charged with a violent crime, your Phoenix AZ criminal defense lawyer must have the knowledge and skills to fight these charges and help you avoid a conviction or minimize the consequences.
At Snader Law Group, we have extensive experience and a successful track record of handling violent crime cases. Our criminal defense law firm will represent you and give you the best legal defense possible. We will investigate your case for constitutional rights violations and search for exculpatory evidence to raise reasonable doubt or prove your innocence. We will aggressively defend your rights and fight for your freedom.
Contact us now and schedule an initial consultation with our skilled Phoenix violent crimes lawyer.
What is Considered a Violent Crime in Arizona?
A violent crime is defined as a criminal offense that occurs when a perpetrator uses or threatens to use harmful force upon a victim. It often involves weapons, but the use of weapons is not a necessary element to be considered a violent offense. The seriousness of a violent crime is generally determined by the degree of physical harm caused to the victim.
If you have been charged with any violent crime, our credible Phoenix violent crime lawyer can help you understand the legal definition of the crime you are charged with and develop the best defense strategy for your case.
Violent crimes come in many forms and most of these are also classified as “dangerous offenses” in Arizona law. Violent crimes may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Sexual Assault
- Assault and Battery
- Armed Robbery
- Domestic Violence
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon
- Terrorist Threats
What are the Consequences of a Violent Crime Conviction in Arizona?
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
You may also have trouble obtaining:
- housing, and
- financing for education.
With so much at stake, it is essential to hire a reliable Phoenix violent crime attorney you can find.
If you have been convicted of a violent crime charge in Arizona, you can expect significant penalties including:
- hefty fines,
- lengthy prison sentences,
- terms of probation, and
- a permanent criminal record.
The severity of the penalties depends on whether the alleged offender inflicted serious bodily injury on the alleged victim. Therefore, the more severe the crime, the harsher the penalties tend to be. The penalties you’ll face will be based on many factors including prior criminal record, whether the offense is considered dangerous, or whether a weapon was used.
In Arizona, you can face either a misdemeanor or felony.
Potential time in jail for misdemeanors:
- Class 1: Six months
- Class 2: Four months
- Class 3: One month
For felony charges:
- 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. In addition to jail time, there are fines that offenders must pay. Some misdemeanor charges carry fines that can be as much as $2,000, while the maximum fine that can be imposed in a felony case is as much as $150,000. There are also community service penalties to consider, including community service hours and anger management classes.
Although your situation may seem hopeless now, it is not. You are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is quite a high standard of proof. With a highly experienced Phoenix violent crimes defense attorney working to protect your rights and mitigate the harm to your future, the outcome may not be so dire.
Many effective defenses 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 Howard A. Snader. Hold tight and refrain from answering any questions until Howard arrives.
What are the Defenses against Violent Crime Charges in Arizona?
Your knowledgeable 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 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 did what you were charged with, there are several possible defenses. For example, if you committed a violent act to defend 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.
One of the most common defenses includes self-defense. When the defendant has reason to believe another person intends to kill or seriously injure them or another person, he or she is legally able to defend themselves from the attack.
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 when the act occurred, you were unable to distinguish between right and wrong and therefore cannot be held accountable.
All crimes of violence require a person to have acted recklessly, knowingly, and intentionally. A person who does not have the necessary mental state is incapable of doing something deliberately or consciously.
If you were unaware of what you were doing at the time of the violent act, for example, you were drunk or under the influence of drugs, and unable to form the intent to harm, that might also be used as a defense.
Call Our Experienced Phoenix Violent Crime Attorney Now!
When you face violent crime charges, your future and freedom are in jeopardy. You should take any type of violent crime charge very seriously. If you are convicted, you could face severe penalties that can change your life forever. If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with a severe violent crime, consult our competent Phoenix violent crime lawyers at Snader Law Group as soon as possible. Our criminal defense law firm can evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and assist you in preparing for the potential implications of a conviction.
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).
Call Snader Law now, for the specialized advocacy of one of Arizona’s top defense specialists. You owe it to yourself to defend your freedom and your future.