This is my final post in my series on defending against violent crimes in Phoenix, Arizona. My last post discussed sentencing enhancements for violent crimes. This post will recap the series and hopefully provide an outline of things to think about when you or a loved on is accused of an act of violence. One thing I cannot stress enough is that you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately if you find yourself facing such charges.
Arizona has a general intolerance for crimes of violence. Prosecutors have less discretion in negotiations, and our state is renowned for its “tough on crime” attitude. You may be able to negotiate probation or treatment in lieu of jail but you will need to present a compelling case. It is important that you gather up all the information you can that indicates your positive intentions for your life and demonstrate your desire to be a productive community member. This is why I wrote on the topic of how Arizona harshly punishes crimes of violence.
There are several avenues of defense open to you once you have been arrested and charged with a violent offense. You may be able to argue that the identification procedure was overly suggestive and does not meet Constitutional muster. Police often employ show-up and line-up practices that convey strongly to the witness the suspect they wish identified and those identifications may be subject to motions to exclude identification.
Failing these measures you still may be able to argue affirmative defenses such as self-defense. A knowledgeable defense lawyer is your best ally in these cases and can help you determine your best avenue of defense. If you are unable to mitigate the circumstances of your violent charges then it is important that you are aware of the laws enhancing the punishment for the crime committed under certain circumstances that apply to you or the crime itself.
If you have previously been convicted of a similar crime, if you were committed to prison on any crime, if the crime is determined to be gang related, if a weapon was used in the commission of a crime, or if you cause serious bodily injury then any penalty for the underlying crime is enhanced. Violent crimes are particularly difficult because of the extreme penalties and Arizona’s lack of tolerance for even the accusation of violence. You need to find the most experienced local attorney to handle your case to maximize your chances at a good outcome.
Contact my office today for a consultation with a Phoenix violent crime defense attorney. I also handle cases in Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert as well as Pima County residents in Tucson.