Arizona DUI & Criminal Defense Attorney
4500 S Lakeshore Dr #352
Tempe, AZ 85282
Map · Directions
480.413.1499Schedule Your Free Consultation
Contact Us Now
Contact James E. Novak to request your free consultation.
SUBMIT YOUR CASE
About James E. Novak

James E. Novak participates in several legal organizations including The Arizona Attorneys For Criminal Justice, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and others. As well as:

National Assoc. of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National College for DUI Defense
James E. Novak BBB Business Review
Free eBooks
Like us on Facebook to earn
3 free Arizona DUI eBooks
written by James E. Novak.
GET YOUR FREE EBOOKS
 

Firearm / Gun / Weapon Offenses

Firearm / Gun / Weapon Offenses

Firearm / Gun / Weapon Offenses

If you are accused of a weapons offense, illegal possession of a firearm or any other gun charges in Arizona, you are at risk of facing severe penalties, including imprisonment, a criminal record and steep fines.

Often, individuals in Mesa who are accused of committing a criminal weapon or firearm offense may not realize they were engaging in any illegal activity, including if the offender was on probation for a felony offense, if an individual did not have a license to carry a concealed weapon, or if an individual carried a weapon in an unauthorized place.

Criminal weapon charges do not have to lead to a conviction. The state prosecutor has the very high burden of proof to show you committed every element to your offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If the judge or jury has any doubt in their mind, your criminal charges must be reduced or even dismissed. Therefore, it is essential to contact an experienced Mesa criminal defense attorney who will make every effort to help you create your best legal strategy.

Mesa Weapon Crime Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a weapons offense in Mesa, or any of the surrounding areas in Arizona, including Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale or East Valley, contact the Law Office of James E. Novak. Attorney James Novak will analyze the facts of your case and will make every effort to fight the allegations you are facing in order to achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation. Call the Law Office of James E. Novak for a free consultation at (480) 413-1499 about your alleged weapon or firearm crime.


Arizona Guns and Weapons Information Center


Back to top

Firearms and Weapons Under Arizona Laws

According to ARS § 13-3101, weapons and firearms are defined as follows:

Prohibited Weapons – ARS § 13-3101(A)(8) – Prohibited weapons are defined as any:

  • Bomb,
  • Grenade,
  • Propelled Rocket,
  • Explosive Mine,
  • A device to muffle a firearm,
  • Automatic firearm,
  • Rifle with a barrel length less than 16 inches,
  • Shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches,
  • Any modified firearm that has a length less than 26 inches (short barrel guns),
  • Nunchaku (nun-chucks),
  • Chemical or combination of chemicals,
  • Improvised explosive device, and/or
  • A breakable container containing flammable liquid that has a flash point of 150 degrees.

Deadly Weapons – ARS § 13-3101(A)(1) – Deadly weapons are defined as anything designed for lethal use, including firearms.

Firearms – ARS § 13-3101(A)(4) – Firearms are defined as any loaded or unloaded:

  • Handgun,
  • Pistol,
  • Revolver,
  • Rifle,
  • Shotgun, or
  • Any other weapon designed to shoot something from the use of an explosive.

Explosives – ARS § 13-3101(A)(3) – Explosives are defined as any:

  • Dynamite,
  • Nitroglycerine,
  • Black powder,
  • Plastic explosives, and/or
  • Any other explosive material.

Back to top

Firearm and Weapon Offenses in Mesa

Most firearm and gun offenses are defined in Chapter 31 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Some of the most common weapon and firearm crimes are listed below:

Misconduct Involving Weapons – ARS § 13-3102 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they engage in any of the following:

  • Carry a deadly weapon in or on a means of transportation, except a pocket knife, and fails to accurately respond when asked by a law enforcement officer if the individual is carrying a concealed deadly weapon;
  • Possess a deadly weapon or prohibited weapon;
  • Carry a deadly weapon in or on a means of transportation, except a pocket knife, in furtherance of a serious offense, felony offense or violent crime;
  • Carry a deadly weapon in or on a means of transportation, except a pocket knife, and the alleged offender is under the age of 21;
  • Manufacture, possess, transport, sell or transfer any prohibited weapons;
  • Sell or transfer a deadly weapon to a prohibited person;
  • Deface a deadly weapon;
  • Possess a defaced deadly weapon knowing the deadly weapon was defaced;
  • Discharge a firearm at an occupied structure in order to assist or promote criminal street gangs or criminal syndicates;
  • Enter a public establishment or public event with a deadly weapon, unless authorized to do so;
  • Enter an election polling place on the day of an election with a deadly weapon, unless authorized to do so;
  • Possess a deadly weapon on school grounds;
  • Enter a nuclear or hydroelectric generating station with a deadly weapon, unless authorized to do so;
  • Supply, sell or give possession of any firearm to another person if they have reason to know that person would use the firearm during the commission of a felony; or
  • Use, possess or exercise control over a deadly weapon in furtherance of any act of terrorism.

Individuals can also be charged with misconduct involving a weapon if they use or possess a deadly weapon during the commission of any felony offense. This is more commonly known as an aggravated offense. For example, an individual can be charged with aggravated assault if they commit an assault offense with the use of a deadly weapon. This offense is punishable as a class 4 felony.

Unlawful Discharge of Firearms – ARS § 13-3107 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they negligently discharge a firearm. This offense is punishable as a class 6 felony.


Back to top

Tempe Penalties for Weapon and Gun Charges

Convicted weapon and firearm offenders in Arizona are generally assigned a presumptive term of sentencing, according to Chapters 7 and 8 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. However, these terms of imprisonment range from a minimum term to a maximum term. The sentence range can vary depending on the following factors:

  • Whether the alleged offender has any previous convictions;
  • Whether the offense involved a child under the age of 18;
  • Whether the offense resulted in death or serious bodily injury;
  • Whether the offense was aggravated; and/or
  • Whether the offense was mitigated.

The sentencing ranges for misdemeanor and first-time felony weapons offenders are as follows:

Weapons and Firearms Class 3 Misdemeanor Offenses – An individual who is charged with this degree of firearm and weapons offenses could face up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500. Class 3 misdemeanor offenses can include:

  • Carrying a deadly weapon in or on a means of transportation if the alleged offender is under the age of 21.

Weapons and Firearms Class 1 Misdemeanor Offenses – An individual who is charged with this degree of firearm and weapons offenses could face up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500. Class 1 misdemeanor offenses can include:

  • Carrying a deadly weapon in or on a means of transportation and failing to affirmatively answer when asked by a law enforcement officer if the individual is carrying a concealed deadly weapon;
  • Entering a public establishment or public event with a deadly weapon without authorization;
  • Entering an election polling place on the day of an election with a deadly weapon without authorization; and
  • Possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds.

Weapons and Firearms Class 6 Felony Offenses – An individual who is charged with this degree of firearm and weapons offenses could face can result in prison term ranging from 18 months to three years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is 27 months. Class 6 felony offenses can include:

  • Carrying a deadly weapon in or on a means of transportation in furtherance of a serious offense, felony offense or violent crime;
  • Selling or transferring a deadly weapon to a prohibited person;
  • Defacing a deadly weapon;
  • Possessing a defaced deadly weapon knowing the deadly weapon was defaced; and
  • Unlawful discharging a firearm.

Weapons and Firearms Class 4 Felony Offenses – An individual who is charged with this degree of firearm and weapons offenses could face a prison term ranging from four years to eight years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is six years. Class 4 felony offenses can include:

  • Possessing a deadly weapon or prohibited weapon;
  • Manufacturing, possessing, transporting, selling or transferring any prohibited weapons;
  • Entering a nuclear or hydroelectric generating station with a deadly weapon without authorization; and
  • Using a weapon during the commission of a felony offense.

Weapons and Firearms Class 3 Felony Offenses – An individual who is charged with this degree of firearm and weapons offenses could face five years to 15 years in prison, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is 7.5 years. Class 3 felony offenses can include:

  • Supplying, selling or giving possession of any firearm to another person if they have reason to know that person would use the firearm during the commission of a felony; and
  • Discharging a firearm towards an occupied structure in order to assist or promote criminal street gangs or criminal syndicates.

Weapons and Firearms Class 2 Felony Offenses – An individual who is charged with this degree of firearm and weapons offenses could face a prison term from seven years to 21 years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is 10.5 years. Class 2 felony offenses can include:

  • Using, possessing or exercising control over a deadly weapon in furtherance of any act of terrorism.

Felony offenders may also be required to pay a fine up to $150,000.


Back to top

Defenses to Tempe Weapon Charges

In certain situations, an individual may be permitted to possess a weapon or firearm, or they may be authorized by law to carry a firearm. In these cases, the alleged offender will not be criminal prosecuted for a weapons offense. It is important to consult your criminal defense lawyer to determine if any of the following defenses may be applicable in your unique case.

Individuals may be authorized to possess weapons and firearms in the following situations:

  • When the individual is in their dwelling, business premises or on their owned or leased property;
  • If the individual is a member of the sheriff’s volunteer posse;
  • When the firearm is carried where any portion of the firearm or holster is carried in a visible manner;
  • When the firearm is carried in a holster that is partially or wholly visible;
  • When the firearm is carried in a case designed for carrying weapons that is wholly or partially visible;
  • When the firearm is carried in luggage;
  • When the firearm is carried in a case that is carried in a storage compartment, map pocket, trunk or glove compartment;
  • If the individual is a peace officer while in performance of official duties;
  • If the individual is a member of the United States military forces while performing official duties;
  • If the individual is a warden, deputy warden, correctional officer or detention officer;
  • If the individual is a person specifically licensed, authorized or permitted to carry a weapon or firearm; and/or
  • When a business or museum possesses, sells, transports or transfers weapons during the regular and lawful course of business.

Back to top

Mesa Resources for Gun and Firearm Charges

Arizona Department of Public Safety – Concealed Weapons and Permits – This website provides information on concealed weapons in Arizona, including an overview of the laws, application forms and how to apply for a concealed weapon, and a variety of miscellaneous resources on concealed weapons. The Department of Public Safety is located at:

Arizona Department of Public safety
2102 W. Encanto Blvd.
Phoenix, Arizona 85009
Phone: (602) 223-2000

Arizona Revised Statutes – Chapter 31 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes defines many weapons and firearm offenses in Arizona and the penalties an individual could face if they are convicted of an offense. This link is misconduct involving weapons under ARS § 13-3102.

National Rifle Association – The NRA is a national organization dedicated to educating individuals on firearm use and safety, and is the nation’s leading advocate for citizens’ Second Amendment rights. Additionally, the NRA provides current gun legislation in Arizona, articles and research on Arizona’s firearm laws.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – The ATF is a national law enforcement agency that aims to protect citizens and communities from criminal organizations, violent crimes, illegal use of alcohol and tobacco items, acts of terrorism, and the illegal use and trafficking of firearms.


Back to top

Law Office of James E. Novak, PLLC | Firearm Attorney in Tempe

Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak today for a consultation about your firearm or weapon charges throughout Maricopa County in Arizona. James Novak is an experienced Tempe criminal defense attorney who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged weapons offense. Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak at (480) 413-1499 for a consultation about your alleged gun charges throughout Maricopa County in Arizona.