Domestic Terrorism Is a Felony in Arizona

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Domestic Terrorism Is a Felony in Arizona

Along with a rise in political and economic tension, there has also been an increase of domestic terrorism cases. In Arizona, these acts of violence always carry a felony conviction. In fact, any form of terrorism—environmental or political, domestic or international—could land you in prison. 

But you might be surprised at some of the actions that qualify as domestic terrorism in Arizona. For example, funding a group that commits acts of violence qualifies as terrorism. Here’s more about the terrorism laws in Arizona.

What Is Domestic Terrorism?

Violent acts committed by individuals or groups that have ideological motives are considered acts of domestic terrorism if and they are committed in the United States by and against US citizens. 

Domestic terrorism can take many forms. It might look like school shootings, bombings, or scare tactics like large armed gatherings. It could be the assassination or kidnapping of political figures, or it could be using coercion, threats, or blackmail in an attempt to change a political policy.

What Are Ideological Motives?

A person or group with “ideological motives” is trying to change the social or political beliefs of others. When this term is used in reference to domestic terrorism, it often describes the goals of a particular group or individual who feels that a violent act will help make people agree with their ideals and beliefs.  

Types of Domestic Terrorism 

Political Terrorism

Political terrorism is defined as organized violence or the threat of violence against an established government. This can take many forms like armed protests or targeted bombings of important government buildings. 

Examples of Domestic Political Terrorism

  • Destruction of government buildings or property
  • Coercion of government leaders
  • Violence toward, or coercion of law enforcement officers
  • Coercion of the public at the polls

Political terrorism often goes hand-in-hand with other types of terrorism. While it can be its own category, groups or individuals with ideological motives are also trying to change long-held political policies.  

Environmental Terrorism 

With growing concerns over climate change and our planet’s resources, there has also been a spike in environmental terrorism. This form of terrorism concentrates on using violence or the threat of violence to bring attention to ecological problems. 

Examples of Domestic Environmental Terrorism

  • Destruction of fracking equipment or buildings, structures, or materials needed to harvest fossil fuels
  • Destroying private or public property to voice dissent about urban growth
  • Destruction of logging company property or the property of other businesses that contribute to deforestation

Arizona’s Punishment for Domestic Terrorism 

While Arizona does distinguish between domestic and international terrorism, it takes terrorism very seriously. Arizona’s penal code classifies terrorism as involvement in any way with an act of terror, and it is always a felony charge. 

“Acts of Terror” That Could Land You Prison Time 

  • Participating in groups or activities that focus on violence for the furthering of a goal
  • Organizing, managing, directing, or supervising acts of terror
  • Funding groups or individuals who are planning or committing an act of terror
  • Soliciting, inducing, or inciting others to commit, promote, or further violent acts
  • Involvement in any way with a weapon of mass destruction (excluding lawful authorities)
  • Lending or making property available for use, knowing that it will be used to facilitate an act of terror
  • Harboring or hiding any person or property involved in an act of terror

These actions are all class 2 felonies. However, unlike most class 2 felony sentences (a prison term of 3 years to 35 years) terrorism charges are subject to harsher sentencing, including imprisonment for life or natural life. 

Life in Prison vs. Natural Life in Prison

While they sound similar, a defendant who is sentenced to life in prison has the possibility of parole after serving a certain number of years on their sentence (anywhere between 10-25 years). However, those sentenced to natural life in prison are not eligible for commutation, parole, work furlough, or work release. 

If You Get Charged with Domestic Terrorism, You Need an Excellent Lawyer

Charges of terrorism are often combined with other charges like destruction of property or trespassing. Cases that feature more than one charge or even a singular charge of terrorism require more effort than typical criminal cases. If you have been charged with terrorism in Arizona, you need a certified criminal defense attorney. 

Todd Coolidge is one of Arizona’s best criminal defense lawyers. With glowing testimonials from his clients, a hands-on approach, and an intricate knowledge of the Arizona court system, he can build a defense that will keep you at home with your family instead of in prison. 

Don’t take the risk with an inexperienced lawyer—contact us today for a consultation on your case.




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (7/25/23). Photo by Flavio on Unsplash.