Understanding weapons charges in Arizona
A deadly weapon isn't always a firearm. Deadly instruments refer merely to any weapon that can be used in a manner to cause serious injury or death. This includes knives, baseball bats, crowbars or even a fist.
State and federal weapon laws are complex, but incidents involving weapons almost always lead to felony charges. That means you could be facing significant prison time and substantial fines, depending on the nature of the offense.
Misconduct involving a weapon
Under Arizona Law A.R.S. § 13-3101.7, anyone convicted of a felony in any state is prohibited from owning, purchasing, or possessing any type of firearm. Known legally as "prohibited possession of a firearm," this type of weapon crime can be charged as a Class 4 felony and expose defendants to harsh criminal penalties upon conviction.
Determining when a person is or is not in possession of a firearm is not always as cut and dried as it may seem. While possession can be as obvious as holding a firearm in one's hand, it can also extend to scenarios in which a person never actually touched a weapon. Known as "constructive possession," a person can be charged with prohibited possession of a firearm if it is in an area which they control, such as their vehicle or home.
Other types of prohibited possessors
Being convicted of a felony is not the only way to lose your right to bear arms in Arizona. Other types of "prohibited possessors" include:
- Individuals found to be a danger to themselves or others, or who are severely disabled
- Individuals serving a term of imprisonment in any correctional or detention facility
- Minors who are adjudicated delinquents who have not recovered their right to possess a firearm
- Most undocumented or nonimmigrant aliens
At maximum, a person convicted of prohibited possession of a firearm in Arizona can face up to 3 years and 8 months in prison. If a prohibited possessor is charged with selling or giving a firearm to someone in a criminal gang or syndicate, these charges can be increased to a Class 3 felony and carry up to 7 years in prison upon conviction. And if a person is charged with prohibited possession while on probation or parole for another crime, they could face a revocation and reinstatement of the sentence for the crime which they were originally convicted.
We can help you fight your weapon charge
When your freedom and future are on the line, you cannot afford to entrust your case to a less experienced attorney. Choose an attorney who understands how to win complex cases. Take control of your crisis and contact us today.