Handcuffed criminal in courtThis is the second post in my series on defending against crimes of violence in Phoenix, Arizona. As I noted in my last post, crimes of violence are treated differently than non-violent crimes such as drug or theft related offenses. The penalties for violent offenses are harsher, probation is offered less frequently, and opportunities for diversion or rehabilitation are more difficult to achieve. If you have been charged with such an offense then you should call a criminal defense attorney immediately.

Maricopa County Prosecutors take a hard line on violent crime

Maricopa County Prosecutors aggressively pursue cases involving crimes of violence. Public safety is the primary concern of both the prosecutors and the judiciary. Therefore it is more difficult to negotiate favorable resolutions for violent crimes. It is also frequently true that individual prosecutors have less discretion in handling crimes of violence. If you are sentenced to prison in Arizona you will serve a minimum of 85% of your sentences regardless of good behavior. These challenges highlight the reasons you want an experienced Phoenix defense attorney on your side.

There are rarely diversion or treatment options when you are convicted of a violent crime. Society at large still believes that the consequence for most violent offenses should be retributive. That means that society wants to punish you rather than assist you to make better choices in the future. This may not make sense as you face the overwhelming power of the state in court. It feels unfair and unduly punishing, but it is important that Phoenix area residents facing violent charges are aware the Court and prosecutor’s perspective.

Your attorney may be able to aid you in negotiating a more favorable charge, lower jail time, or assist with forming an affirmative defense. I will discuss affirmative defenses, such as self-defense, more in an upcoming post. It is helpful if you are honest with your attorney about any mental illness, substance abuse or other condition that may mitigate your responsibility. In the alternative, if you require a jury trial to try to beat the violent charges against you, the Barber Law Group is here to help.

Judges may treat Phoenix violent crimes more harshly

Judges have discretion in sentencing after a conviction, but are constrained by the maximum and minimum penalties outlined in Arizona law. The law specifies factors that are used to increase or decrease the total penalty within the sentencing range. Some of the factors related to the level of violence involved, use of weapons and the criminal history of the accused. These factors all highlight the importance of hiring a qualified lawyer as soon as you know you may face charges.

Every case has unique issues and it is important to have experience and compassion on your side. It can be overwhelming to face charges of violence in court, especially in a state like Arizona. Contact my office today for a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney. Our firm also represents people in other Maricopa County cities such as Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert as well as Pima County residents in Tucson and others throughout the state.