A common defense used by many criminal defense attorney against prosecutors is self-defense. Generally, this means that you were defending yourself, maybe with an instrument, because somebody put you in fear of risk, injury or death.
A recent case that most people have heard of involving self defense issues is the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida. Part of the allegations is self-defense and the use of a dangerous weapon. In Florida, there is a “stand your ground” law.
Arizona has a very similar law and if there is evidence to show that the defendant was defending himself, then 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.
Any time a dangerous instrument is involved in a crime, it is likely that the State is going to add a dangerous element to the charge. This is a very serious charge.