Assault and Violent Crimes
In Arizona, when a person is charged with a dangerous offense, this is an allegation that is in addition the actual crime charged. For instance, a dangerous offense can be applied when a certain dangerous instrument is used as a weapon to inflict bodily harm. The dangerous instrument can be anything from a baseball bat, a knife. a loaded weapon, or even a stick. The most common instruments used that result in a dangerous offense charge are the use of knives and guns.
A dangerous offense charge is extremely serious. One of the more common dangerous offenses is aggravated assault, which is a Class 3 felony. In Maricopa County, a prosecutor will file an allegation of dangerous offense and that means that the offense was committed with a dangerous instrument.
One of the big reasons that a dangerous offense charge is so serious is because a conviction of this nature can bring mandatory prison time. So even if a person has no criminal history whatsoever, they can automatically be facing prison time. In these cases, it is extremely important to have extremely competent criminal defense representation.
The most common dangerous offenses are found in aggravated assault dangerous cases. These can be charged if you commit an assault on another person without ever shooting a gun or without ever stabbing anyone. You can be merely threatening somebody with a knife and be charged as a dangerous offense. As a Class 3 felony, a person could go to prison for an average or presumptive term of seven and a half years if they’re convicted on their first offense.
Another common dangerous offense is disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct means that even if you didn’t point a weapon at a person, didn’t fire it any way, but merely displayed the dangerous instrument in a reckless manner you can still be charged and convicted. This could be considered a Class 6 felony, which would also bring prison time.
Aggravated Assault – Most Common Dangerous Offense
If you actually threaten somebody that you will cause bodily harm while holding an instrument or weapon of some sort, it will likely be charged as an aggravated assault. Remember, the weapon could even be a rock in your hand. There have been plenty of aggravated assault convictions when a rock was used as a dangerous instrument. Those cases are not as good to prosecute, but they can be easier to defend. This could depend on the size or shape of the rock, and even whether or not the State actually kept the rock as evidence.
But weapons such as gun pieces, knives, sticks, and bats, can easily be considered dangerous instruments. In Arizona, offenses using dangerous instruments are very serious and should not be taken lightly. If someone is charged with a dangerous offense they should contact and experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.