The United States Constitution enshrines the right to keep and bear arms through the 2nd Amendment. In addition, Phoenix is in a state that has limited local firearm laws. Even so, owning a gun is a constitutional privilege that can be restricted, and individuals must be sure to comply with all local laws involving safe use.
Unfortunately, criminal charges involving the improper use of a firearm are common. These can involve a failure to properly retain a concealed weapon permit, unsafely discharging a weapon, or even using a weapon in the furtherance of a separate alleged crime. Our Phoenix gun lawyers is prepared to help you if you are facing charges involving a firearm. Our criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Brandon White could work to defend your rights as a gun owner and aim to defeat a prosecutor’s charges in court against these weapon charges.
Unsafe Gun Use or Possession Charges in Phoenix
For the most part, every person over the age of 21 in Phoenix has the right to possess a firearm. However, people may lose these rights under a variety of circumstances. Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3102 details misconduct involving weapons. It states that a person with a felony conviction involving drugs can never legally possess a firearm.
The same statute also prohibits:
- The possession of illegal weapons, such as a sawed-off shotgun
- Selling a firearm to a prohibited possessor
- Firing a gun at an occupied structure to promote gang violence
The penalties under this law can range in severity from class 3 misdemeanors to class 2 felonies.
Even if a person legally possesses a firearm, they must be sure to use it responsibly. AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-3107 is the state’s law concerning the unlawful discharge of firearms. It prohibits any person from discharging a gun within the limits of a municipality while acting criminally negligent. In other words, a person cannot carelessly fire a gun within city or town limits unless they are on a gun range. This offense is a class 6 felony. A motivated attorney could help to defend people facing allegations involving the alleged illegal possession, sale, or discharge of firearms.
Firearms Often Increase the Seriousness of Other Charges
As much as Arizona law does not interfere with the rights of people to responsibly own and use firearms, it does strictly punish those who supposedly use guns in the furtherance of other crimes. Perhaps the simplest is AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-1204 that automatically upgrades any assault case to the status of “aggravated” if a gun was involved.
The presence of firearms could also be an aggravating factor in other criminal allegations, including:
Cases that involve the supposed presence of a firearm are almost always felonies. Convictions can bring multiple-year prison sentences and will require a person to surrender all guns. In the most extreme cases, convictions carry mandatory minimums or could even see a prosecutor pursue a life sentence. A competent lawyer in Phoenix could help by providing a robust defense against firearm charges.
Contact a Phoenix Gun Attorney Immediately
Any conviction involving a firearm will create a criminal record and could jeopardize your ability to legally own firearms in the future. The most serious cases are felonies that could bring multiple-year prison sentences. It is vital that you be prepared to contest these allegations in and out of court.
Our Phoenix gun lawyers may be able to help you. We work to ensure that you understand the law and what the prosecutor needs to prove to obtain a conviction. We can then take the lead to conduct an independent investigation and uncover the evidence needed to protect your rights. Reach out to the Law Offices of Brandon White now to our criminal defense team to learn more about how they may be able to help.