Under Arizona law, a person commits arson when he or she knowingly causes a fire or an explosion that unlawfully damages a structure or property. The severity of the charge depends on the value of the property and if it was a structure, whether the structure was occupied.


Assault involves physical injury, or the threat of physical injury, to another person. Under Arizona law, a person can commit assault in any of three ways:

  1. By intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing the physical injury

  2. By intentionally making another person believe that physical injury is imminent

  3. By knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke him or her


Domestic violence is a crime that can be added as a charge depending on a person’s relationship with the victim. Examples include assault or other violent crimes against family members or household members. Domestic violence also applies to romantic or sexual relationships and to relationships between former family members, former household members or former romantic or sexual partners.


Drug crimes cover a range of crimes involving dangerous or narcotic drugs, such as methamphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis, and opiates. Under Arizona law, drug crimes include any of the following:

  • Knowingly possessing or using such drugs

  • Possessing the drugs for sale

  • Possessing equipment and/or chemicals for the purpose of manufacturing drugs

  • Manufacturing drugs

  • Administering the drug to another person

  • Knowingly transporting, importing, selling or transferring the drugs, or offering to do any of those actions


DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, is committed when a person is in actual physical control of a vehicle while he or she is under the influence of liquor, drugs or vapor-releasing, toxic substances, which causes him or her to be impaired to the slightest degree. In Arizona, DUI charges apply when a person’s blood alcohol content is measured at 0.08 or higher. Extreme DUI charges apply when blood alcohol content is 0.15 or higher. Aggravated DUI charges apply in cases such as a third DUI violation, driving when one’s license is suspended or driving with a person under the age of 15 in the vehicle.


Family crimes include contributing to the dependency or delinquency of a minor, and abuse of a child or vulnerable adult. A person commits to the dependency of a minor in situations such as when a child is found wandering without a home, a child is found in an unfit home, or when no one is exercising parental control over a child. A person contributes to the delinquency of a minor when he or she commits an act that tends to debase or injure a child’s morals, health or welfare. A person commits an abuse of a child or vulnerable adult when he or she causes the other person to suffer physical injury or permits a situation in which the other person is in danger.


A person commits fraud when he or she obtains money, goods or services through false pretenses, misrepresentation or omission.


A juvenile is a person who is under the age of 18. Whether a criminal case against a person under 18 is tried in juvenile court depends on factors including the severity of the offense, any previous record and the likelihood of rehabilitation. However, if a juvenile is 14 to 17 years old and is charged with certain serious crimes, he or she can be prosecuted as an adult. Crimes, in this case, include murder, other violent felonies and, if the juvenile is a chronic offender, any felony.


A person commits kidnapping when he or she knowingly restrains another person with intentions such as any of the following:

  • To hold the other person as a shield or hostage

  • To hold the other person for ransom or for involuntary servitude

  • To kill, physically injure or commit a sexual offense on the other person

  • To make the victim or a third person believe that physical injury is imminent

  • To get control of an airplane, train, bus, ship or other vehicles


A person who is convicted of an offense can receive probation, in which the court suspends the person’s sentence as long as he or she agrees to conditions such as complying with supervision or making restitution to a victim. However, if the person commits another offense while on probation or fails to fulfill a condition of the probation, he or she can be charged with a probation violation. The court can order the person to be re-arrested, and it can revoke the probation and impose the original sentence.


Property crimes include burglary, theft (see Theft section), and criminal damage to property. A person commits burglary when he or she enters or remains unlawfully in a structure, yard or motor vehicle with the intent to commit theft.


Under Arizona law, sex crimes include indecent exposure, sexual abuse and sexual conduct with a minor. A person commits indecent exposure when he or she recklessly exposes genitals when another person is present and is likely to be offended or alarmed. A person commits sexual abuse when he or she knowingly engages in sexual contact without the other person’s consent. A person commits sexual conduct with a minor when he or she has intercourse or oral sexual contact with someone under the age of 18.


A person commits a theft when he or she knowingly controls another person’s property without permission and with the intent to deprive the other person of the property. Theft also is committed in a variety of other ways, including:

  • When a person obtains property by misrepresentation

  • When a person takes property that was entrusted to him or her for limited, authorized use and makes unlimited or unauthorized use of it

  • When a person obtains lost or misdelivered property and fails to make reasonable efforts to find the true owner

  • When a person obtains services and fails to pay for them

  • Shoplifting, extortion and the writing of bad checks are also considered theft


Under Arizona law, violent crimes are crimes that result in death or physical injury or crimes in which a person uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. Homicide, rape, robbery, and assault are examples of violent crimes. Violent crimes may carry harsher penalties under Arizona law.


White-collar crimes are non-violent crimes that generally are financially motivated. Bribery, fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery are examples of white-collar crimes.


For persons facing a felony, misdemeanor or civil traffic charges, Faussette & Faussette PLLC provides quality defense representation throughout the legal process. The firm represents clients at their preliminary hearings, during initial and preliminary pretrial conferences, and throughout any plea negotiations, settlement conferences, trials or sentencing hearings.

The partners at Faussette & Faussette are committed to reviewing proposed plea agreements with defendants and helping clients understand the legal ramifications of accepting those agreements or going to trial. The firm also is committed to answering any legal questions defendants might have about current and future representation.

Unlike firms that specialize in one narrow area of civil or criminal law, Faussette & Faussette is willing and able to handle a wide range of criminal law cases.