There continues to be much debate in Arizona and throughout the country
regarding the legal use of firearms to protect oneself and his or her
property. Some people still seem to be unclear exactly when and how they
can use a gun for protection legally. It’s important for gun owners
to be aware of the law to avoid being charged with crimes.
Just because you are a licensed gun owner with the proper permits doesn’t
necessarily mean you can use the gun any way you want. For example, consider
a recent story in Phoenix where a man was approached on his own property
by four men that he knew. During the encounter, an argument broke out
and one of the four men pulled out a pistol and threatened to shoot the
man. Eventually the police were called and the man with the pistol was
arrested and charged with pointing a firearm with malicious intent.
Escalating Assault Charges
The introduction of a firearm into any part of a crime automatically makes
the crime more serious. Let’s say a person is involved in an assault
crime, for example. An assault crime is one in which a person physically
injuring another person or intentionally placing another person in reasonable
apprehension of imminent physical injury.
Assault charges are misdemeanors and can result in penalties that include
fines and up to 6 months in jail.
The minute a deadly weapon, such as a gun, is involved in an assault crime,
things change quickly. The charges now escalate to aggravated assault,
which is a felony and carries a much harsher penalty. Those convicted
of a felony aggravated assault charge could face up to 15 years in prison.
Robbery, Theft and Burglary with a Firearm
Another way that a gun can significantly impact the charges in a crime
is when one is used during a robbery or burglary. If a person were to
walk into a convenience shop and grab a handful of candy bars and then
walk out, they might charged with shoplifting or theft. If that same person
were to commit that same crime while brandishing a gun or any other deadly
weapon, the crime now becomes much more serious. Additional charges will
most likely be added on and the prosecution will be much stronger.
Pointing a Gun – Defense
Many of the aggravated assault and armed robbery cases boil down to evidence
such as eyewitness accounts. If you have been charged with a crime and
the charges were escalated because you either used a gun during the crime
or had a firearm in your possession, it’s important that you get
an attorney in your corner right away. An experienced attorney, such as
Charlie Naegle, will be able to find holes in the evidence against you
and work to have charges reduced or thrown out.
The smallest detail can make a difference in how much time you end up in
jail. Don’t leave those details up to chance. Make sure you have
an attorney helping you.
To learn more about how Criminal Defense Attorney Charlie Naegle can help
you, call 480-378-9000 and schedule a free consultation.