Scottsdale Criminal Defense Attorney
When you face criminal charges, you need an experienced attorney in your corner, fighting for your rights. In America, all people are innocent until proven guilty. At Liberty Law, we truly believe this to be true and will do everything we can to help you win your case. Our number one goal is advocating for our clients.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, every minute you hesitate makes it harder to win your case. Call Liberty Law for your free consultation today.
What You Get with Liberty Law
When you call Liberty Law, you get an attorney who has years of experience defending clients in the Arizona justice system, someone who will not only fight hard for you, but who will guide you throughout the process.
If you are charged with a crime, one of the scariest things is not knowing what happens next. At Liberty Law, we understand this. Starting with your initial consultation, you work directly with principle attorney Damon Petrehn. Damon has been defending Arizonans for years, starting with his work for the Public Defender’s office while still a law student at ASU. From the moment you meet Damon, he makes sure you understand the charges you face and the legal options available to you.
If you face criminal charges, the problem won’t just go away. Call Liberty Law today to discuss your case.
Criminal Cases Handled by Liberty Law
Liberty Law handles a wide variety of criminal law cases.
In Arizona, an assault charge results if the defendant intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
- Caused physical injury to another person
- Placed another person in reasonable apprehension of injury
- Touched another with the intent to insult, injure, or provoke
Assault is classified as a non-dangerous felony. Penalties depend on the circumstances of your unique case and whether you have any previous convictions. The lightest sentence for a Class 6, first offense is four months. Assault is often categorized as a Class 3, though, which carries a minimum sentence of 2 years and presumptive sentence of 3.5 years.
If you face assault charges, call Liberty Law to discuss your case and determine your next steps.
If you are charged with criminal damage, the classification and penalties depend on the value of the property damaged. If the amount is less than $1,000, the maximum charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of 6 months. You enter felony territory once the value of damaged property exceeds $1,000.
- $1,000 to $2,000: Class 6 felony punishable by up to 1.5 years
- $2,000 to $10,000: Class 5 felony punishable by up to 2 years
- Over $10,000: Class 4 felony punishable by up to 3 years
Aggravating factors may increase the charges you face.
If someone calls law enforcement about an altercation, Arizona law requires at least one of the parties be taken into custody, even if the call was only intended to deescalate the situation.
The following relationships constitute “domestic” violence:
- The two parties are married, were married, or currently reside together
- The two parties have a child together
- One party is pregnant by the other party
- The parties are related by blood
- The parties are related by court order
The state may press charges even if the designated victim does not wish to do so. When this happens, you need an attorney experienced in fighting domestic violence charges, as consequences may be severe. In addition to facing jail time and fines, you may lose custody of your child or visitation rights, be placed on probation, be required to attend counseling, and lost your gun rights. You also, of course, have a criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life, making it difficult to find housing or get a job.
2018 AZ Criminal Sentencing Guidelines
Arizona sentencing guidelines for criminal convictions according to the category of the offense – dangerous or non-dangerous – as well as whether it’s a first offense or the defendant has previous convictions. Excepting certain drug charges, if this is your first non-dangerous offense, you are eligible for probation.
Dangerous Felony Charges
Dangerous felonies are described as serious, violent, or aggravated offenses. They include murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, dangerous crimes against children, arson of an occupied structure, aggravated assault resulting in serious injury, armed robbery, and kidnapping.
There are six classes of dangerous felonies. The only Class 1 felonies in Arizona are first- and second-degree murder. A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence but may also receive the death penalty. For all other dangerous felonies, presumptive sentences are:
- Class 2: 10.5 years
- Class 3: 7.5 years
- Class 4: 6 years
- Class 5: 3 years
- Class 6: 2.25 years
Presumptive sentences increase with each historical prior or repeat offense.
Non-Dangerous Felony Charges
Non-dangerous felonies all fall into six classes, with mitigating and aggravating factors taken into account for sentencing. The defendant’s age and role in the crime are considered mitigating factors. The victim’s age and whether there was an accomplice involved are two aggravating factors.
Presumptive sentences for a first offense include:
- Class 2: 5 years
- Class 3: 3.5 years
- Class 4: 2.5 years
- Class 5: 1.5 years
- Class 6: 1 year
Again, sentences increase with each historical prior or if the charge is a repeat offense.
Dangerous Crimes against Children
Crimes committed against a child are punished much more harshly than nearly every other felony. You may be charged with a dangerous crime against a child for:
- Attempted murder of a child under the age of 12 (first- or second-degree)
- Sexual assault
- Commercial sexual exploitation, including prostitution and pornography
- Luring a minor for sexual exploitation
- Furnishing harmful items to a minor
These offenses are categorized into subsections. Sexual assault of a minor falls under Subsection A and is punishable by life in prison. Attempted murder of a child under 12 falls under Subsection B and carries a presumptive sentence of 20 years with a maximum sentence of life.
The presumptive sentence for all other first offense dangerous crimes against children convictions are:
- Subsection C: 20 years
- Subsection D: 17 years
- Subsection E: 10 years
- Subsection F: 5 years
Sentences increase substantially if there is a previous conviction. If the defendant has two historical priors, the mandatory sentence is life in prison.
Call Liberty Law
If you face criminal charges, you want an attorney experienced with the Arizona justice system. Call Liberty Law today for a free consultation to discuss your case and determine which steps are available to you.