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What should I do if I am charged with a dangerous offense?

Monday / March 5, 2018

The use of a weapon during the commission of any criminal offense makes the potential punishment for that offense significantly harsher. In Arizona these offenses are referred to as dangerous offenses.


A dangerous offense is defined by statute as one that includes the use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or if there is intentional or knowing infliction of a serious physical injury on another person.  A dangerous instrument can be anything that is used or threatened to be used that is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury.  This could be a pillow under the right circumstances.  A deadly weapon is anything designed for legal use including a firearm.  Dangerousness is an enhancement that makes a regular felony offense worse.


The reason the dangerous offenses are so serious is because dangerous offenses carry their own sentencing structure. That means that an individual who has not previously been convicted of a felony offense, who would normally be eligible for probation in most circumstances, would be required to be sentenced to a prison sentence if convicted. In other words if first time dangerous the fans must result in a prison sentence.


Sentencing Structure


Dangerous offenses, like other felony offenses, are classified depending on the type and seriousness of the underlying felony offense committed. The most serious dangerous offense, outside of homicide, is a class to dangerous felony offense.   The least serious dangerous offense is a class six felony, and other offenses can fall anywhere in the middle.  Each of these offenses carries with it mandatory prison sentences with the class two felony resulting in a longer sentence than a class six felony.  To give you an example, someone convicted of a class to dangerous felony Offense would be required to serve between seven and 21 years in prison with the presumptive or starting point being 10.5 years.  In contract, a person convicted of the same class two felony, without the dangerousness enhancement would face a prison sentence range of three years to 12 years with a presumptive or starting point of five years in prison.


Dangerous felony offenses are extremely serious. They are considered some of the the worst of the worst offenses that an individual can be charged with. As a result it is extremely important that you contact a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney if you’ve been charged with a dangerous felony offense. Is important to start working on these types of cases from the very beginning in an effort to minimize the potential risks an individual faces.


If you or someone you know has been charged with a dangerous felony offense in the Tempe Mesa or Phoenix area please do not hesitate to contact my lawyer office at 480-331-7568 to Discuss your rights and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome that you can in your case.

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