18 Jun How An Argument Can Change Your Life
Unfortunately, we do not all live next door to Mr. Rodgers, and many of us have neighbors we do not like. Several neighbors in Maricopa County recently learned firsthand that arguments in an open-carry state can end in bloodshed. Never bring a gun to an argument! While it can be difficult to walk away, it could save your life—or keep you out of prison.
Using Your Firearm During an Argument Has Consequences
Often known better by Nicknames like “make my day laws” or “the castle doctrines,” most states have some form of self-defense laws. Arizona is no exception.
These laws are in place to protect people who are threatened or who are stopping an active crime. They do not apply to arguments that are considered non-threatening.
Unless you can prove that the person provoked you by threatening you or a loved one, coming onto your property uninvited, or starting the argument, you may be facing some serious charges.
Charges You Could Face If Your Firearm Goes Off
Class 2 Felony
- The penalties for shooting someone are steep. If the person dies or is injured, you are facing either manslaughter or aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon.
- Manslaughter is defined as being the reckless cause of someone’s death. Violent assault is causing the temporary or permanent disfigurement of another person.
- The penalties for conviction are 5 to 12 years in prison, along with fines, probation, and the loss of certain rights, such as eligibility for government assistance.
Class 6 Felony
- Even if no one was hurt, you may face penalties for unlawfully discharging a firearm. This charge can also be added to charges of manslaughter or aggravated assault. It is a class 6 felony with 4 months to 6 years in prison, fines, probations, and the loss of certain rights.
Penalties for Shooting Someone Are Heavier on School Property
While Arizona does have open carry laws, firearms are restricted in certain areas such as school property. Registered weapons are not allowed inside of schools and must be kept unloaded, locked, and out of sight inside of a locked car when on school property.
Minors found in possession of a firearm could face a class 6 felony, whether they are loaded or not. Parents could also be arrested and charged if they knew that their minor child had possession of a firearm. Any assaults committed with a weapon on school grounds against a teacher, an administrator, or a minor will have harsher sentences, with longer prison time and higher fines.
Best Criminal Defence Lawyer in Phoenix
Being convicted of a felony will change your life. Along with time spent in prison, a felony conviction can keep you from making a fresh start.
It’s often difficult for those with felony convictions to find housing and jobs, and they also lose access to public benefits like food stamps and educational grants. If convicted of a felony, you could lose your right to bear firearms and even your right to vote.
If you are facing felony charges, you need a lawyer who specializes in criminal defense.
Todd Coolidge believes that everyone deserves the best legal representation. He has over 25 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and knows the ins and outs of the Arizona justice system. Every case that comes through our office is handled with respect and consideration.
The Todd Coolidge team can help you—contact us today for a consultation.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/18/23). Photo by Budgeron Bach.