Committing a Crime While Wearing a Mask to Conceal Your Identity
Covid-19 has changed life as we know it.
While there isn’t a state-wide mask mandate, many Arizona counties, including Maricopa, require the use of a mask in public. This could leave you wondering about Arizona’s law that calls for harsher penalties when wearing a mask while committing a crime.
Could wearing a mask while committing a crime really be considered an aggravated felony?
Yes. If using a disguise, or a mask, to conceal your face and avoid identification, the punishment is much harsher. This holds even if the disguise was put on after the crime was committed.
For example, if Sally shoplifts some makeup she might be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if Sally shoplifts while wearing a mask to conceal her identity she could receive a felony charge instead. Likewise, if Sally dons a disguise after leaving the store with her stolen goods, she could also be charged more harshly than if she had left the mask off.
It is important to note that these laws refer specifically to masks meant to conceal identity. This is unrelated to masks worn for safety precautions or business.
When is it illegal to wear a mask?
The law bans wearing a disguise that will help a person “evade or escape discovery, recognition, or identification,” and lists four scenarios where this is illegal. Those are:
- During a civil protest
- During a political event
- During a public event
- While committing a crime (public offense)
Class 6 Felony Charge
Wearing a mask while committing a crime could result in a class 6 felony. A class 6 felony in Arizona is usually punished with time in prison.
The time ranges from a few months to a few years, depending on the details of the crime and previous offenses.
The most severe punishment is for aggravated felonies.
Seek Legal Help
Felony charges hold the weight of potentially changing your life. Good representation in court is vital. A strong defense is your best option when you’re up against a serious charge like wearing a mask while committing a crime.
Choosing a lawyer with a track record of success and years of experience is your best option.
For help in the state of Arizona, contact someone who handles your case personally and in a straight-forward manner: Todd Coolidge.
photo by mohamed_hassan, taken from pixabay on 12/31/2020