›››The following content is an excerpt from a live interview with Richard Jacobs founder of my DUI Attorney dot org. The interview has been transcribed and contains information for educational purposes only. Please call Michael Munoz to get legal advice for your particular situation
Interviewer: By the way, what is the dangerous offense and must happen in order to be charged with a dangerous offense?
Mike: In Arizona, when you are charged with a dangerous offense, it is an allegation on top of a crime. A dangerous offense is a definition of a dangerous instrument is a weapon that can be used for bodily harm. That can be anything from a baseball bat to a knife to a loaded weapon to a stick. Most commonly dangerous offenses are knives and guns.
If you’re charged with a dangerous offense it is very, very serious. One of the more common dangerous offenses is aggravated assault which is a Class 3 felony and then the Maricopa county prosecutor files an allegation of dangerous offense and that just mean that the offense is committed with a dangerous weapon, a dangerous instrument.
The allegation of dangerous, the reason why it’s so serious is if you’re convicted of an offense with a dangerous allegation finding, it is mandatory prison time. That means people who are charged with those crimes, even if they have no criminal history whatsoever, if they are convicted of a dangerous offense they will go to prison. This is why they need very good criminal defense representation on these cases. When you’re charged with a criminal offense you are looking at jail time.
Some of the most common is aggravated assault dangerous and that is where you commit an assault on another person, but you don’t even have to shoot the weapon, you don’t have to stab somebody with a knife, it can be merely threatening somebody with a knife. As a Class 3 felony, a person could literally 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 you didn’t point it, you didn’t shoot it, but what you did is you recklessly displayed a dangerous instrument and that’s a Class 6 felony, but you can go to prison on that case, as well.
Interviewer: For instance, if I pick up a rock and I say I’m going to bash your head in, is that considered disorderly conduct and a dangerous offense?
Mike: Well, if you actually threatened somebody it, it would be an aggravated assault, it would be even worse then that. Yes, and a rock does count. When I was a prosecutor at the Maricopa County attorney’s office, we saw rocks used as dangerous instruments. Now those cases are not as good to prosecute. They’re easier to defend.
Depending on the size of the rock or the shape of the rock, whether or not the state actually kept the rock as evidence. But gun pieces, knives, sticks, bats, those are all considered dangerous instruments. So, the offense of dangerous instruments in Arizona is very, 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.