Facing an Aggravated Crime Sentence in Arizona
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In a previous blog post we discussed the Arizona minimum mandatory sentencing guidelines for felonies, which act as a baseline when judges are determining how to punish a convicted criminal. From there, the judge will look at evidence and facts presented that would either mitigate or aggravate a prison sentence. In this post, we’ll cover common factors that result in an aggravated Crime Sentence in Arizona.
What Leads to An Aggravated Crime Sentence in Arizona?
In ARS 13-701, the Arizona judicial system outlines 27 aggravating circumstances that can accompany any felony committed in Arizona. In order for an aggravated sentence to be imposed, two of more of the aggravating factors must be present and proven beyond reasonable doubt. Below are a few common aggravating factors. (For a look at the whole list click on the link above.)
States with habitual offender laws, like Arizona, use a harsher punishment for repeat offenders to both deter crime as well as keep dangerous criminals off the street longer. If you commit a felony in Arizona within 10 years of a prior felony conviction, the commission of the offense is considered an aggravating circumstance and can increase the term you will serve.
Use, Threatened Use, or Possession of A Deadly Weapon
Whether a weapon is used in the commission of a crime or not, simple possession of a deadly weapon can increase the term you will serve.
Vulnerability of The Victim
A harsher punishment can be imposed for a crime if a victim is considered vulnerable: if the victim is a minor (under 15 years of age), has a disability, or is over the age of 65.
A defendant can also face a more severe punishment if it can be determined that the defendant committed the crime out of malice toward a victim because of his or her identity in a group pursuant to ARS 41-1750 (ie: gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.).
A Defense You Can Trust
As a Certified Criminal Law Specialist in Phoenix Arizona with over two decades of experience, Todd Coolidge knows that, if given the opportunity, a prosecutor will push for a harsher sentence for a convicted felon. That’s why it’s crucial to have the best criminal defense attorney on your side. You want an attorney who will not only fight the claim of aggravating factors, but will present potential mitigating factors to get your sentence reduced if you are convicted. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, traffic offense, felony, or any other crime in Phoenix, call our team today for a free consultation. There is no time to waste!