Violent crimes are some of the most heavily prosecuted criminal cases in Arizona. Unfortunately, it is also possible for the wrong person to be convicted and given an overly harsh criminal sentence. Many people just expect that things will work out if they don’t think they did anything wrong. However, you shouldn’t take any chances when it comes to risking your freedom, your family and your future. Experienced violent crime defense attorneys will fight to keep you out of jail and keep your record clean.
Violent Criminal Offenses
Many acts can be considered violent crimes. These include misdemeanor offenses and felony crimes. Minor offenses may result in probation with no jail sentence.
In the most extreme cases, however, an individual can face the death penalty if convicted of a violent crime. Violent crimes include:
- Domestic violence
Domestic violence is a serious offense in Arizona, with stiff penalties. A conviction for domestic violence can result in jail time and limitations on where defendants can go and what they can do.
Most domestic violence charges for first-time offenses are treated as misdemeanors. If domestic violence resulted in serious injury or a dangerous weapon was involved, however, it can be treated as a felony offense. A domestic relationship does not involve only couples.
Many relationships fall under the term ‘domestic relationship’ in domestic violence cases. This includes individuals connected through:
- Marriage or former marriage
- Residence in the same household
- Having a child in common
- Blood relatives
- Relatives through marriage
- Current or previous romantic or sexual relationships
If police officers have probable cause to believe that domestic violence has been committed, they can arrest the person believed to have committed the offense. They can also seize any firearm on the property. The police can also conduct a child welfare check if a minor is present. Certain factors can be considered in sentencing someone for domestic violence, including whether the victim was pregnant.
Self-defense or defense of others can be a defense to domestic violence charges. Sometimes, people fabricate claims of domestic violence. Too many domestic violence cases involve false allegations. When relationships go sour, emotions can run high. Frustrated and angry, some people falsely accuse former partners of abuse, just to keep them away. False allegations of domestic abuse can ruin lives. If you have been charged with domestic violence, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the penalties involved and will fight to keep you out of jail.
Murder is a serious violent criminal charge in Arizona. Murder carries a possible penalty of life in prison without parole or the death penalty. Murder is charged as murder in the first degree or murder in the second degree. The specific charge depends on the circumstances surrounding the death.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1104, “a person commits second degree murder if, without premeditation, the person intentionally causes the death of another person, including an unborn child.” Second-degree murder also includes doing something that the defendant knows will cause death or serious physical injury, which causes the death of another person.
So-called “depraved heart” murder can also be charged as murder in the second degree. Under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, when a person “recklessly engages in conduct that creates a grave risk of death and thereby causes the death of another person,” the defendant may be charged with second-degree murder.
First-degree murder is a capital offense in Arizona. This means it is punishable by the death penalty. Under Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1105, “a person commits first degree murder if, “intending or knowing that the person’s conduct will cause death, the person causes the death of another person, including an unborn child, with premeditation.”
When certain felony offenses result in the death of another, the death can lead to a first-degree murder charge. This includes sexual assault, child molestation, terrorism, drive-by shootings, kidnapping, burglary, arson, robbery, child abuse and even certain drug offenses.
As with all violent criminal charges, the defendant may have several legal defenses available. Self-defense or defense of others can be a defense to murder or manslaughter. Other defenses may also be available, depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. If you have been charged with murder or manslaughter, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney who will pursue all possible defenses and fight to keep you out of jail.
Tucson Criminal Defense Attorneys
At West, Longenbaugh and Zickerman P.L.L.C., our criminal defense attorneys are here to help individuals and families throughout Tucson, Arizona. If you or a loved one has been charged with a violent crime, we will fight for you, to keep you out of jail and keep your record clean. We will advise you of all your options to get your charges reduced or dismissed entirely. Our lawyers are committed to addressing the individual needs of each of our clients and can assist you with all aspects of your criminal defense.
Call us at 520-518-3781 or contact us online.
Let's Begin Solving Your Legal Problem
At West, Longenbaugh and Zickerman P.L.L.C, we are proud to serve people in Tucson and beyond. To speak with an attorney, call us at 520-790-7337
West. Longenbaugh & Zickerman PLLC
310 S. Williams Boulevard,
Tucson, AZ 85711
Mon-Fri: 8:30am - 5pm