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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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