Although Arizona is known for being gun-friendly, the state still restricts a variety of activities involving guns and other weapons. These activities range from carrying an unpermitted gun to committing armed robbery or assault with a deadly weapon. Furthermore, the punishments for a weapons offense can be quite strict and usually results in the forfeiture of the weapon.
If you have been criminally charged with a weapons offense in Phoenix, Mesa, or the surrounding area the criminal defense attorneys at Blischak Law have the experience necessary to protect your rights in the face of prosecution. At Blischak Law, our attorneys take the time to assess your case and provide you with honest feedback regarding potential outcomes. Then, using their experience as both prosecutors and defense counsel, our attorneys formulate a strategy to reach the best outcome for your case.
What is considered a weapons offense?
There are a number of offenses related to weapons recognized under the Arizona Criminal Code. The most basic charges are for misconduct involving weapons and are often brought alongside other more serious charges for crimes committed with a weapon.
Arizona’s criminal statutes do not include a specific definition for the phrase weapon but it generally means an instrument that can inflict serious bodily harm. Likewise, a deadly weapon is a weapon that is designed for lethal use, including a firearm. A firearm includes handguns, pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, or any other weapons that propel a projectile by an explosion.
Misconduct Involving Weapons
Misconduct involving weapons consists of a number of activities involving deadly weapons. A deadly weapon is anything designed to cause lethal force, including a firearm or gun. Misconduct involving weapons occurs when a person:
- Carries a deadly weapon on his person or in a vehicle with the intent to commit a serious or violent crime, such as assault;
- Carrying a concealed weapon if under the age of 21;
- Removing the serial number from a weapon;
- Selling a weapon to someone who is prohibited from purchasing one;
- Using a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony;
- Possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds; or
- Possessing a prohibited weapon such as a grenade, rocket launcher, silencer, or fully automatic rifle;
- Among other things, supplies a weapon to a party with reason to know a crime will be committed with the weapon.
Most crimes for misconduct involving weapons are felonies, punishable by a year or more in prison.
Unlawful Discharge of Firearms
Negligently (without consideration for the safety of others) discharging a firearm or gun within city limits is a felony in Arizona.
Providing a Firearm to a Minor
Either selling or giving a firearm to a minor under the age of 18 without the written permission of the minor’s parents or guardians is a felony in Arizona.
Other Crimes Involving Weapons
Aggravated assault occurs when a person intentionally causes physical injury to another person; places another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or touches another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person through the use of a deadly weapon. Aggravated assault is a felony punishable by a year or more in prison.
Armed robbery involves taking property that belongs to another person or entity by threatening the person with a deadly weapon. Armed robbery is a felony that generally imposes a five-year prison sentence.
In addition to criminal charges under state law, a defendant may be prosecuted for weapons charges in federal court. Most federal weapons charges stem from trafficking or selling firearms or for possession of a firearm by a felon. At Blischak Law, our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in both state and federal criminal proceedings and can handle any aspect of your criminal case.
Where am I prohibited from carrying a weapon?
It is a crime to carry to open carry or concealed carry a weapon in the following places:
- Businesses serving alcohol;
- Polling places on election day;
- Schools and public universities;
- Nuclear and hydroelectric energy generating stations;
- Military bases;
- Native American reservations;
- Game preserves
- National parks;
- Correctional facilities;
- Federal buildings;
- Local and state government locations; and
- Any other location where weapons are prohibited by state or federal law.
Punishments for a Weapons Offense
Most weapons offenses are punishable as a felony. Depending on the facts of the case and mitigating or aggravating circumstances, the presumptive punishment for the lowest level felony is one year in prison. When mitigating factors, or factors that suggest punishment should be reduced, the court may impose a lesser prison sentence. Alternatively, if aggravating factors, or factors that suggest punishment should be increased, exist the court may impose an even stricter prison sentence.
In addition to a prison sentence, in the case of a conviction for a felony involving a deadly or dangerous weapon, a court must order the defendant to forfeit or turnover the weapon.
Contact Our Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Today
A weapons charges involve felony convictions and are serious matters that stay on your permanent record. In addition to long-term prison sentences, courts may also impose significant fines. The moment you are arrested or charged with a weapons offense you need experienced legal representation on your side. The attorneys at Blischak Law are experienced as both prosecutors and defense attorneys in criminal cases and have successfully represented clients in both state and federal courts. Their knowledge and experience will ensure you receive fair treatment throughout your case. Whether it is getting charges dropped, pursuing a plea deal, or going to trial, the attorneys at Blischak Law have the skills you need to present a viable defense.