Assault (A.R.S. 13-1203) is a misdemeanor charge that is often charged as a domestic violence offense. While a misdemeanor, it is very harmful to one’s reputation and can result in up to six months in jail. If a first offense, and when handled correctly, it can often be handled in a manner that results in no official criminal conviction.
Aggravated Assault (A.R.S. 13-1204) is a much more serious charge that can result in a devastating disruption to your life. A mere arrest can result in exorbitant bail conditions and onerous restrictions on your lifestyle, and a conviction will likely result in a lengthy prison sentence, steep fines, a negative impact on employment and relationships and an inability to own or possess a firearm. And if a weapon was involved, the penalties can grow even more severe.
To be charged with Aggravated Assault, the State must first prove that there was probable cause that an Assault occurred. There are generally three ways that a simple, misdemeanor Assault can blossom into an Aggravated Assault charge: 1) when the alleged victim suffered serious physical injury as a result of the Assault, 2) when a dangerous weapon was used during the Assault, or; 3) when the victim of the otherwise misdemeanor Assault was a member of a “protected class” of the citizenry–typically a police officer.
A typical Aggravated Assault could result in charges that vary from a class 6 felony (the least severe felony in Arizona) all the way up to a class 2 felony (the second-most severe), which means a person could be facing probation, jail, or prison ranging from one-third of a year to 12.5 years for a first offense. If you have been charged, we will work day and night to fight the allegations and help you minimize the impact of those charges on your life.
Defensive Display of a Firearm
Arizona provides protection for citizens using a firearm in self-defense without actually firing it. Defensive Display of a Firearm (A.R.S. 13-421) is defined as:
- Verbally warning that you have a gun or can get one;
- Exposing or displaying a gun in a way to demonstrate your fear of death or severe injury;
- Placing your hand on a gun while it is in your pocket, purse or other means of transport/containment to draw attention to the fact that you are armed.
Defensive Display is justified when a reasonable person would believe physical force is immediately necessary to protect him or herself from another’s use or attempted use of unlawful physical or deadly force.
Defensive Display is not justified if you intentionally provoke the other person, or, if you use a firearm in the commission of a serious offense or violent crime. Improper display of a gun can be anything from a Class 1 Misdemeanor to a Class 3 Felony.
Generally speaking, despite this law, it is a horrible idea to “warn” someone of the fact that you are armed. In other words, this comes up when you are in fear of becoming in fear for your life, not when you actually are in fear for your life. We advise you apologize (even if they are in the wrong), pay for their coffee and walk away. Do not threaten the use of a firearm.
Defensive Firearms Use
A firearm can be an invaluable, life saving tool in your personal defense. You never want to have to draw or actually fire a gun in a dangerous situation, but there may come a time when you have to. While Arizona is a relatively “gun owner friendly” state, and has a long history of statutory and common law that allows the use of firearms in defense of human life, there remain very strict guidelines. The various justifications in Arizona law that allow lethal force are set forth in A.R.S. 13-404 et seq. If it is determined that you wrongly used a firearm, you will be facing very strict, life-altering consequences.
That’s why you want an attorney who not only understands criminal law, but who also has long and exceptionally deep experience dealing with firearms and firearms laws, as well as ballistics and appropriate defensive tactics. We are singularly qualified to ensure you know your legal rights before or, God forbid, after a defensive shooting occurs.
Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation (A.R.S. 28-1381, A.R.S. 28-1382 and A.R.S. 28-1383) and a conviction will have a profoundly adverse effect on your life in many areas. Since the penalties are so harsh and the stakes are so high, you need to choose an experienced and proven legal team to guide you through it all. The science and toxicology knowledge of our team is considerable, and includes a Master’s degree in Biology with an emphasis on gas chromatography and forensics.
If you have been arrested for DUI, Extreme DUI, or felony Aggravated DUI, a knowledgeable attorney’s representation can help you defeat the charges, or minimize the costly consequences of a conviction, including loss of your driver’s license, mandatory jail time and exorbitant fines and fees.
There is a lot to consider and a lot to know when you are charged with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs. We will quickly and thoroughly assess the facts of your case and work aggressively to protect your rights and your reputation.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI offense you do have rights, and it’s vital that you call us as soon as possible so that we can start protecting them.
Arizona allows many charges to carry the additional designation of “Domestic Violence.” In addition to the “normal” consequences of a conviction of that crime, pursuant to federal law a Domestic Violence tag (even for misdemeanor charges!) also acts to deprive the convicted Defendant of his/her Constitutional right to possess/use a firearm–for life. For Defendants who value their ability to exercise that right, this consequence is enormous. To avoid that sanction, it is critical to employ a team of advocates who are aware of that ramification from the onset of the case. Careful handling of the case can allow that designation to be avoided.
Other Criminal Charges
Arizona has hundreds of criminal statutes covering nearly every aspect of human behavior. Our team has experience in helping people accused of violating most of them. If you find yourself facing the system, don’t attempt to do it alone.
To discuss your case with our team, call us at 602.495.6511 or contact us online.