Mike: One of the most common defenses that a good criminal defense attorney is going to use to protect somebody in those cases is self-defense and that is that you were defending yourself with that instrument because somebody put you in fear of risk, injury or death.
Interviewer: Recently in the news is the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida, but I guess part of the allegations in there is self-defense and that a dangerous weapon was used.
Mike: Yes, Florida has the stand your ground law and Arizona a very similar law and in Arizona if there is evidence to show that the defendant was defending himself, then in Arizona, and this is a recent law from about four years ago that was passed, in Arizona the state has to prove the additional elements beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was not defending himself. That actually helps the law in terms of defense strategies on these dangerous cases.
Interviewer: It sounds like that’s something that probably would be thrown around a lot both by the person that you might be defending and the other person that maybe the crime was committed against or alleged to be committed against. Do you see that a lot?
Mike: Any time a dangerous instrument is involved in a crime, there’s, and it’s very likely the state’s going to add the dangerous element to the charge, so, that’s why when someone is facing those charges they must take it seriously.
Interviewer: So, you talk about the stand your ground law in Florida, what is it specifically called in Arizona?
Mike: They don’t have a short term; a reference like they do in Florida, but it’s a self-defense law essentially. We have the same version in Arizona where in Arizona if you’re defending yourself, the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt on top of it that you weren’t defending yourself.
Interviewer: Okay, got it.
Mike: Which can be difficult for them to do.