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Defending Charges of Violent Crimes in Arizona

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Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney When Charged with a Violent Crime

The meaning of a Violent Crime in Arizona is one where a victim is harmed or threatened with violence by another individual. Violent crimes include offenses like homicide, sexual assault or rape, aggravated assault, kidnapping, 

If you face violent crime charges in Arizona, you should retain an experienced violent crime defense attorney to fight against the allegations against you. The attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta have successfully defended many clients against violent crime allegations.

We are dedicated to protecting the rights of people charged with crimes and securing the most favorable outcomes possible for our clients.

To help you understand what you might be facing and how you might defend against your charges, we have detailed information about violent crimes, their penalties, and the potential defenses that can help below.

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Violent Crime Charges in Arizona

Understanding Violent Crimes Charges

Being charged with a violent crime does not mean that you will be convicted. However, all violent crimes are treated seriously in Arizona. If you are convicted, you might face prison, substantial fines, a criminal record, and other penalties.

The penalties for a violent crime conviction are harsh even if you do not have any previous convictions on your record.

Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney in Arizona might help you to avoid the worst penalties of a conviction. Your lawyer at Colburn Hintze Maletta can guide you throughout the process and aggressively fight against your charges.

Hiring an experienced violent crime defense attorney in Arizona might help you to avoid the worst penalties of a conviction.

Types of Violent Crimes Under Arizona’s Laws

Violent crimes in Arizona are addressed in a large number of statutes and include the following offenses:

  • Assault
  • Child Abuse
  • Arson of an occupied structure
  • Kidnapping
  • Molestation of a child
  • Armed robbery
  • Sexual assault
  • Homicide
  • Other violent crimes

A violent crime conviction in Arizona can permanently change your life. These types of offenses are serious, and it is essential that you retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help to defend you.

The level of offense you might face will depend on the particular crime you are accused of committing. Criminal offenses include three different levels of misdemeanors and six different levels of felonies. Each level carries a different potential sentence as follows:

  • Class 3 misdemeanor – Up to 30 days in jail
  • Class 2 misdemeanor – Up to four months in jail
  • Class 1 misdemeanor – Up to six months in jail
  • Class 6 felony – Up to two years of prison
  • Class 5 felony – Up to 2.5 years of prison
  • Class 4 felony – Up to 3.75 years of prison
  • Class 3 felony – Up to 8.75 years of prison
  • Class 2 felony – Up to 12.5 years of prison
  • Class 1 felony – 25 years to life in prison with a potential capital sentence for first-degree premeditated murder

A conviction may also come with substantial fines and other penalties. For example, a Class 1 misdemeanor conviction may result in a fine of up to $2,500.

If you are convicted of a felony, the court can sentence you to pay a fine of up to $150,000 in addition to any prison sentence you might receive.

Depending on what you might be convicted of you could face additional penalties. Some of these might include completing anger management classes, a domestic violence program, probation, and community service hours.

A violent crime conviction will typically remain on your criminal record and make it more difficult to find an apartment or employment, gain approval for loans and credit, and cause other consequences throughout your life.

The first step you should take after being charged with a violent crime is to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney at Colburn Hintze Maletta. We can help to negotiate with the prosecutor to try to secure a favorable plea offer or a dismissal of your charges.

We have described some examples of different types of violent crimes below, together with the penalties they carry.

Violent Assaults

Assaults are among the most common types of violent crimes in Arizona. Assaults can be charged when your actions place someone else in imminent fear of suffering severe injuries or death.

The charges that you might face for an assault will depend on what happened, your criminal record, and the evidence the police have against you.


Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is an indicator of an offense that describes the relationship between the defendant and the alleged victim. For example, if you are charged with assault when the victim is your spouse, it is a domestic violence assault.

By contrast, if you are charged with assault on a stranger, you will be charged with an assault offense. Crimes that are charged as domestic violence offenses carry harsher penalties and can result in the loss of your rights to own or possess firearms under federal law.

Most people think that domestic violence involves a physical altercation between two romantically involved partners. However, domestic violence can be charged when an altercation occurs between family members or roommates.

An offense does not necessarily have to be physical to be deemed as a domestic violence crime.


Sexual Assaults

Sexual assaults in Arizona are rape offenses. You can be charged with sexual assault when you engage in sexual contact with someone else without his or her consent. In most cases, a sexual assault will be charged as a Class 2 felony.

Depending on what happened, the penalties and charges can be increased. If you are convicted of sexual assault as a first offense, you could face from 5.25 years up to 14 years in prison. If it is a repeat offense, you could be sentenced to serve up to 28 years.

If the victim was between the ages of 12 to 14, you could be sentenced to 13 to 27 years in prison.

Finally, if the victim was younger than 12, a conviction could result in a life sentence.



Homicide offenses include negligent homicide, manslaughter, second-degree murder, and first-degree murder. The type of homicide offense you might be charged with will depend on your state of mind at the time of the offense. Homicides occur when a person acts in such a way that someone else is killed.

These offenses carry extremely serious penalties with the potential of a capital sentence for first-degree premeditated murder.


Armed Robbery

In Arizona, a robbery occurs when you take someone’s property from their person or their immediate presence through the use of force or threats. A robbery is a Class 4 felony. However, if you are charged with an armed robbery, you will face a Class 2 felony.

The penalties you might face will depend on the circumstances surrounding the offense.


Child Abuse

Child abuse is treated as a violent crime in Arizona. In some cases, you could also be charged with domestic violence.

Child abuse offenses can range from a misdemeanor to a serious felony offense, depending on the child’s age and injuries.



Kidnapping can be charged when you hold someone against his or her will, restrain someone, or forcibly take someone away. In most cases, people who are accused of kidnapping will also face other charges at the same time.


Other Violent Crimes

There are other violent crimes that can be charged in Arizona. Some of these include carjacking, weapons offenses, vehicular manslaughter, drive-by shootings, stalking, and others.

Effective Violent Crimes Defense

The defenses that might be available to you will depend on what happened in your case. Your attorney will evaluate the evidence to identify the types of defenses to raise. Some potential defenses might include the following:

  • Alibi
  • Self-defense
  • Defense of others
  • Misidentification
  • Intoxication

If you are facing charges of a violent crime, getting help from an experienced attorney is critical to helping you defend against your charges.

An attorney can offer his or her experience with the legal system, knowledge of the law, tactics, and strategies to protect you and help with reducing the charges and penalties.

How the Police Investigate Violent Crimes

Arizona law enforcement officers take an aggressive approach when they investigate violent crimes. Detectives thoroughly investigate violent crimes and work to collect as much evidence as possible to try to secure convictions.

Police officers are trained in investigative techniques so that they can gather evidence from the crime scene. They also are trained in how to transport and store evidence to hold for testing and admission in court cases.

Detectives work to interview witnesses and defendants to try to get statements that they can use against the people who are charged with crimes.

Suppose the police are investigating you on suspicion that you might have committed a violent crime. In that case, it is in your best interests to assert your constitutional rights to remain silent and to have a criminal defense attorney represent you.

You should not agree to answer questions without an attorney. While some people think that they can talk themselves out of being charged with a crime, the police are trained in how to interrogate people in such a way that they make problematic statements.

Tell the officer that you want to remain silent and ask for an attorney. You can contact the law firm of Colburn Hintze Maletta at (602) 825-2500 for help from an experienced violent crime defense lawyer.

Get Help From Colburn Hintze Maletta

To learn more about your case and your rights, contact the law firm of Colburn Hintze Maletta at (602) 825-2500 and speak with one of our criminal defense attorneys.

We can review your case and help you to understand the legal options that might be available to you.

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What People Say

Client Testimonials

Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“The calm in the middle of my storm…”

I, recently, consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again, however, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.

Frank - AVVO Review

Divorce / Reconciliation Client
Attorney David Maletta

“There is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David”

I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.

Jacob - AVVO Review

DUI Defense Client
Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”

Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!

Chris - AVVO Review

Child Custody & Support Client
Attorney David Maletta

“I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.”

Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trial… Watching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.

Gregory - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently”

I had an incident and was Given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at was answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future and as of right now they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.

Dylan - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Listens to every request that you make on a case”

I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.

Ben - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
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