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Felony Criminal Possession of a Weapon

Faussette & Faussette PLLC July 28, 2022

Criminal possession of a weapon is a serious crime that can put your future freedoms in jeopardy and create a host of financial and legal problems. Now, more than ever, prosecutors are vigorously seeking the harshest penalties for felony crimes involving weapons. This charge is not something to take lightly and requires a serious understanding of your rights and a strong defense. 

At Faussette & Faussette, PLLC, we have the experience, resources, and skills needed to navigate the toughest of situations. If you have been arrested and charged with a weapons crime in the greater Phoenix area, it is critical that you contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.

Misconduct Involving Weapons in Arizona

In the state of Arizona, misconduct involving weapons is defined in A.R.S. § 13-3102. This statute covers a broad scope of circumstances where it is illegal for a person to possess a deadly weapon. A deadly weapon can be defined as anything designed for lethal use, including a firearm. Within the statute are 17 categories that specifically state how a person knowingly commits misconduct involving weapons. The 17 categories are as follows:

  1. Carrying a deadly weapon with the intent to commit a crime

  2. Lying to a police officer about having a deadly weapon

  3. Carrying a deadly weapon under the age of 21 

  4. Manufacturing, possessing, or transporting a prohibited weapon

  5. Defacing a deadly weapon

  6. Possessing a defaced weapon

  7. Using a deadly weapon in a drug crime

  8. Firing a weapon at an occupied building or structure

  9. Refusing to remove your weapon in a public place when asked to do so

  10. Possessing a deadly weapon at a polling location

  11. Possessing a deadly weapon on school property

  12. Possessing a deadly weapon at a nuclear or electric power plant

  13. Giving a deadly weapon to another person to commit a crime

  14. Possessing a deadly weapon with the intent to commit an act of terrorism

  15. Trafficking in a deadly weapon to assist a criminal gang 

  16. Possessing a deadly weapon if you are a prohibited possessor 

  17. Giving a deadly weapon to a prohibited possessor

Who Is Prohibited From Having a Weapon?

An important consideration in regards to misconduct involving weapons pertains to categories 16 and 17. A prohibited possessor is any individual who has been banned from possessing any type of deadly weapon. Typically, a person is stripped of their right to bear arms due to a prior felony conviction. A vast majority of misconduct involving weapons cases involve a prohibited possessor. 

What Is the Difference Between

Carrying and Possession?

Whenever you carry a weapon on your person or keep one in your home or vehicle, the law usually considers this possessing a weapon. Despite the constitutional right to bear arms, all states have restrictions on situations where weapons are illegal to possess, own, or use. When a person violates these restrictions, it doesn’t matter if the weapon is carried, placed in the open, or hidden for them to be charged. 

Possible Penalties

Violating A.R.S. § 13-3102 is classified as either a misdemeanor or felony offense. Being convicted of criminal possession of a weapon can result in probation, jail time, or prison time, among other impacts to your present and future opportunities. Remember, the statute encompasses a wide range of charges, and the penalties can be much more severe for prohibited possessors and those with prior criminal records. 

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

Contrary to what you may think, the facts surrounding your case may provide more opportunities to build a strong defense, protect your rights, and minimize the impact of a conviction. Being charged with criminal possession of a weapon isn’t a hopeless situation, and an experienced criminal defense attorney gives you the best chance for success. Don’t settle for an overloaded, court-appointed lawyer or attempt to navigate a complex case on your own. 

No matter what type of weapons charge you are facing, the prosecution is responsible for establishing its case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows this and can work hard on your behalf to ensure reasonable doubt remains in question and the scales are tipped in your favor.

Legal Defense You Can Rely On

Facing a weapons charge in Arizona can be scary and overwhelming. However, it’s important to remember that because the charge of criminal possession of a weapon is so broad, many options for defense are available. 

At Faussette & Faussette PLLC, we know the impact a conviction can have on your life and will vigorously fight for the best possible outcome. When you partner with us, you will never be alone, and we will guide you through every step of the way. Faussette & Faussette, PLLC is proud to serve clients in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as the surrounding areas of Glendale, Peoria, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Goodyear.