Phoenix Weapons Crimes Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged with a weapons violation you may believe that you can handle the matter yourself. However, weapons charges have a tendency to grow into much larger and more serious charges. Weapons charges may be added to other criminal charges and enhance them to felony status or may mean years longer in prison if you are convicted.
Arizona defines weapons charges several ways, including:
- Class 1 Misdemeanor. Carrying a weapon without a permit or carrying a weapon into a public area is usually charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor if there are no other charges attached to the incident.
- Class 6 Felony. In Arizona, you can face up to a year in prison if you are convicted of selling or transferring a weapon to someone who is prohibited by law from having one in his or her possession such as a convicted felon. You can also be charged with a felony for removing a weapon’s serial number or for being in possession of a weapon with a defaced serial number.
- Class 4 Felony. Arizona prosecutors may charge a person with a Class 4 felony that equates to 2.5 years in prison on conviction for manufacturing or selling a prohibited weapon, possessing a deadly weapon while prohibited by law, or possessing a deadly weapon when committing another felony. It is also an automatic Class 4 felony to enter a nuclear facility with a deadly weapon.
- Class 3 Felony. Discharging a weapon as part of gang activity, in the assistance of a felony activity or as part of an act of terrorism is an automatic Class 3 felony and carries one of the harshest prison penalties of any weapons charge.
In many cases, felony or misdemeanor weapons charges are not “standalone” charges. They are usually combined with other criminal charges to add possible prison time and to make it more difficult for those who commit crimes to escape punishment for their actions.
However, this also means that prosecutors are often willing to drop these types of charges in exchange for a favorable plea agreement. In some cases it may be in the best interests of a person accused of a crime to negotiate a plea to certain charges in which prosecutors agree to minimize the sentences or drop other issues due to the accused person’s cooperation.
A criminal defense attorney will always work with clients to secure the best outcome from a criminal charge.