Aggravated Domestic Violence Penalties in Arizona

The state of Arizona takes domestic violence seriously and imposes harsh penalties on those convicted of violent and criminal activity within a domestic dispute. However, if a person has been previously convicted of a domestic violence charge, subsequent charges can be even more severe.

Aggravated Domestic Violence

Aggravated Domestic Violence is when a person has already been convicted at some point of a Domestic Violence Statute in Arizona. The charge of Aggravated Domestic Violence occurs after previous convictions and is a way that the state of Arizona can more severely punish those repeat offenders.

The law Arizona under Statute 13-3601.02 states that if a person is convicted of a third or subsequent violation of the Domestic Violence Statute within the past seven years, he or she can be charged with Aggravated Domestic Violence.

The penalties associated with Aggravated Domestic Violence are severe and include the following:

  • Conviction with Two Prior Domestic Violence Convictions: Range of four months to two and a half years incarceration
  • Conviction with Three Prior Domestic Violence Convictions: Range of eight months to two and a half years incarceration
  • Conviction with One Historical Felony Conviction: One to three and three quarters years in prison
  • Conviction with Two Historical Felony Convictions: Three to seven and a half years in prison

Oftentimes, in these cases, the prosecutors will want to ensure that the penalty involves some sort of incarceration.

Possible Defenses to Aggravated Domestic Violence

If you have been arrested and charged with Aggravated Domestic Violence, there are some possible defenses that exist.

  • Miranda Rights Violation. If the police officers did not read you your Miranda Rights, then it is possible that this violation by law enforcement can remove the charge, or mitigate the charge.
  • Self-Defense. If you were acting out in self-defense, then you were not the actual aggressor in the case. If you were protecting yourself from an attack and caused an injury that was necessary to ensure self-preservation or protection, you would be able to use self-defense against the charge.
  • Lack of Eyewitness Testimony or Evidence. Many times, these cases can be a he said/she said scenario. An investigation will need to be done regarding 911 calls, surveillance footage, medical records, and possible expert witnesses to help reconstruct the incident and whether there is truly enough evidence for an Aggravated Domestic Violence conviction.
  • Denial of Right to Counsel. Again, if the police officers did not provide you the opportunity to visit with counsel at any time before the interrogation began, this can be a violation of your rights.

These criminal charges are incredibly complex, and seeking the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights and build possible defenses to your Aggravated Domestic Violence charge.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Being arrested and charged with an Aggravated Domestic Violence charge can be overwhelming and terrifying. Arja Shah, is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ. Learn your legal options and have strong representation by your side in your criminal case. Contact us today by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form today.

Attempting to Escape a DUI

If you are caught by law enforcement driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Arizona, you may face charges of a misdemeanor up to a felony, depending on if anyone was hurt in an accident, or if you have been charged for a DUI before. However, if you attempt to escape a DUI by outrunning the police, you may be arrested and charged with a class 5 felony.

Arizona’s Unlawful Flight Statute

The state of Arizona has strict laws governing driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, the penalties are even harsher and compounded if a person decides to outrun the police and evade a DUI. If caught, a driver who “willfully flees” or tries to outrun or elude a law enforcement vehicle with flashing lights, a siren blaring, or visible within 500 feet will be guilty of a class 5 felony under Arizona law, along with additional charges such as a DUI, reckless driving, or speeding.

If the driver attempting to outrun the police causes an accident that leads to an injury or death or even endangers any person as he or she is “willfully fleeing,” additional more severe charges can be brought.

Charges for “Willful Fleeing”

The felony charge for unlawful flight in the state of Arizona for first-time offenders depends on the severity of the actions and pursuit that was involved. The five levels of seriousness, as determined by Arizona law from least to most severe, are mitigated, minimum, presumptive, maximum, and aggravated.

The first-offense of a class 5 felony, which can be charged for “willful fleeing” can include a penalty of zero days in jail up to one full year in jail, or prison of six months to two and a half years. If that person has even one other prior conviction, then a prison sentence will be from one year to three and three quarters of a year. If the person has two prior convictions, then the prison sentence will be from three years to seven and a half years.

Defenses for Unlawful Flight

The most common defense that exists to unlawful flight from a police officer is that the driver simply had a “lack of knowledge” that law enforcement was attempting to stop him or her, and did not notice the policer presence. Because this law requires that a driver “willfully” fled from the police, the prosecution will have to prove that the driver was aware that the police officers were following him or her, and then refused to pull over. Loud music, or looking straight ahead are possible defenses to this charge.

The other commonly used defense is “mistake of fact.” This defense admits that the driver saw the police officers, but thought that they were in pursuit of a different driver.

The final defense is that the driver knew that the police officers wanted to pull him/her over, and was simply waiting and looking for a safe space to pull over. As the driver was attempting to find a safe space, the police officers made an incorrect determination that the driver was attempting to willfully flee from law enforcement.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Willfully fleeing from the police can mean a class 5 felony offense conviction, along with other criminal charges. Arja Shah is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ. Learn your legal options and have strong representation by your side in your criminal case. Contact us today by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form today.

Theft Crimes in Arizona

Arizona’s definition of theft is to intentionally take someone’s personal property without a legal right to the property, or consent to take the property by the owner. If you have been arrested or charged with theft in Arizona, this is a serious charge and can range from a misdemeanor to felony theft. Understanding the different types of theft crimes in Arizona and what the penalties are can help you build a strong case for your defense.

Definition of Theft in Arizona

If a person has knowingly and with intention taken someone else’s property without the legal right to do so, it is considered theft under Arizona state law. Some examples of theft include:

  • Taking someone’s property for an unauthorized period of time
  • Committing fraud to take another’s property
  • Taking lost property without making a reasonable effort to locate the original and proper owner
  • Controlling someone’s property without the intention of returning it
  • Taking goods or services with no intent to pay

The landscape of criminal law regarding theft crimes is complex and challenging, and ever-changing. Contacting an experienced defense attorney if you have been charged with any theft crime, even a minor one, can help you understand your rights, and provide you the legal representation that can help your case.

Misdemeanor Theft vs. Felony Theft in Arizona

The dollar amount and value of the item stolen will determine whether the case is prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony in the state of Arizona. Typically, the higher the dollar amount, the higher the penalties. If any item stolen exceeds $1000 it will likely be classified as a felony. Exceptions to this law exist for stealing a firearm or animal. Additionally, if there are violent circumstances surrounding the theft, harsher penalties are typically requested.

Unique Types of Theft

While most people consider theft to include shoplifting, burglary, or embezzlement, there are other types of theft that are common and can deprive owners of substantial sums of money.

  • Trade Secret Theft. Arizona businesses work hard to create unique services or products. Under Arizona Criminal Code Section 13-1820 if any person steals a trade secret and then attempts to sell that trade secret for profit, it is considered a class 5 felony.
  • Identity Theft Identity theft continues to grow as a criminal offense throughout the United States, and also in Arizona. If someone uses a person’s personal information without consent, permission or approval, it is considered identity theft. The Federal Identity Theft Law can be found at 18 U.S.C. § 1028 and is considered a class 4 felony in Arizona.

Contact an Experienced Theft Lawyer

Being charged or arrested for a theft crime is a serious matter, and Arizona has harsh and strict penalties for any crime involving theft. While this may be a frightening and overwhelming time, your first step should be to seek legal representation. Criminal law involving theft is complex, and theft crimes can range from misdemeanors to third-degree felonies. You need a theft lawyer that not only understands the law but will be dedicated to defending you and helping you either negotiate, settle, or defend your case.
Our firm’s founder, Arja Shah, will aggressively advocate for your rights. If you have been arrested or charged with a theft crime, contact Ms. Shah at (602) 888-0369 or by filling out the law firm’s online form.

Guide to Domestic Violence in Arizona

In 1994, Congress passed a federal law called the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), establishing that violence against women is a criminal offense to be treated as a national priority. Domestic violence is defined in Arizona as any criminal act by one family or household member against another. While not every act of domestic violence is violent, they can include any kind of physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse toward a victim. Unfortunately, domestic violence in Arizona affects all races, religions, and cultures.

Domestic Violence in the United States

Over 3 million domestic violence incidents happy every year in the United States. This translates to a domestic violence incident every nine seconds. Even more shocking is that approximately 4,000 victims of domestic violence are killed each year in the United States. Statistics reveal that up to one-fourth of all domestic relationships have included some form of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Acts in Arizona

Arizona Revised Statute Title 13 – Criminal Code Statute 13-3601 addresses and criminalizes domestic violence in Arizona. According to the statute, the very long list of domestic violence acts between and among household members that can be charged in Arizona include:

  • physical assault;
  • threatening words or conduct;
  • Intimidation in any way;
  • harassment or stalking by phone and in-person;
  • photographing, recording or watching another person without consent in a private place;
  • threatening or causing endangerment;
  • unlawful imprisonment and holding someone against their will;
  • kidnapping;
  • criminal trespassing;
  • criminal damages;
  • willfully disobeying a court order;
  • child custodial interference;
  • criminal acts such as: negligent homicide, manslaughter, and murder;
  • preventing a person from using a telephone in an emergency;
  • certain crimes against children; and/disorderly conduct.

Domestic Violence Charges

If domestic violence charges are brought against a person, the decision rests and remains solely in the hands of the Arizona district attorney and victims can have no recourse if a prosecutor fails to bring charges in a domestic violence case. On the other side, if a victim tells the prosecutor they wish to drop charges, a prosecutor will not dismiss a case if they believe domestic violence offenses occurred. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, contacting a domestic violence attorney can help you understand your rights.

Your Safety is Paramount

Above all else, seek safety if you find yourself the victim of domestic violence in Arizona. Find shelter for you, and your children as soon as possible. our safety is the most important issue in a domestic violence situation. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you may consider filing a protective order against your abuser. Arizona offers two types of restraining or protection orders — Emergency Orders of Protection and Permanent Orders of Protection. Contacting an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer can help you understand your rights, and if a protective order would help ensure your safety.

Consider Working with Arja Shah Law

Our firm’s founder, Arja Shah, is an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer and advocate for domestic violence victims, with offices in Phoenix, AZ. Clients appreciate her strong advocacy in the courtroom with a client-centered approach to service. If you have been a victim of domestic abuse, you can discuss your case with Ms. Shah at (602) 888-0369 or by filling out the law firm’s online form.

Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Drugs in Arizona

The State of Arizona has passed strict laws that make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume or possess any alcoholic beverages. Even holding an unopened alcoholic beverage if you are minor is illegal and can be considered a misdemeanor. These Minor in Possession (MIP) laws are serious and if convicted, these charges are considered a criminal offense. A minor can be arrested, charged, and convicted of a Minor in Possession and receive jail time and have a permanent criminal record. Contacting an experienced defense attorney can help you determine how to best proceed with your case, and help you understand your rights.

Arizona Minor in Possession Statutes

The Minor in Possession statute in Arizona are as follows:

  • ARS 4-241L : If you have a fake ID and purchase alcohol under the age of 21 in Arizona, you will be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Penalties include fines up to $2,500, revocation of driver’s license for up to six months or 180 days, and jail time of up to six months.
  • ARS 4-241M : If you are under the age of 21 and someone purchases, sells or even gives alcohol to you then you will be charged with a Class 3 Misdemeanor. Penalties include fines up to $500, potential loss of driver’s license for 6 months, and possible jail time of up to six months.
  • ARS 4-241N : If you under the age of 21 and use a fake ID to get into a bar or other establishment that requires all patrons to be over the age of 21, then you will be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Penalties include fines up to $2,500, suspended driver’s license for up to six months, and jail time of up to six months.

Additionally, if a minor consume alcohol in a public place, he or she can be charged with a Minor in Consumption (MIC) ticket that can result in sanctions, one year of probation and community service.

Possible Defense Against a Minor in Possession Charge

An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to defend against the charge of underage drinking for either Minor in Possession or Minor in Consumption in Arizona. Depending on the facts and circumstances specific to your particular case, an attorney may be able to build a strong case to attempt to request community service or classes, instead of heavy fines or jail time. Additional defenses against Minor in Possession or Minor in Consumption can include situations that involve a minor using alcohol for medicinal purposes or religious ceremonies. However, the state of Arizona considers Minor in Possession and Minor in Consumption as serious criminal offenses. These charges should not be taken lightly, as the state of Arizona typically takes a zero-tolerance policy regarding minors involved with alcohol.

Contact a DUI Lawyer Today

If you are facing Minor in Possession or Minor in Consumption charges, contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to help you understand your legal rights. Our firm’s founder, Arja Shah, is a leading defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ. Her aggressive representation and client services set our firm apart from the rest. You can discuss your case with us by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form today.

Field Sobriety Tests and Your DUI Case

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges in Arizona are serious and can remain on your permanent record throughout your life. Additionally, a DUI conviction in Arizona can include substantial fines, the suspension of a driver’s license, and jail time. If you, a friend, or a family member has been arrested for a DUI, contact and experienced DUI attorney to understand your rights, especially if you submitted to a field sobriety test.

Field Sobriety Tests

When a motorist is stopped on a roadway by a police officer under the suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, law enforcement may carry out a series of preliminary roadside tests called field sobriety tests.
The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) established these specific field sobriety tests as a way for law enforcement to determine if motorists were impaired due to drugs or alcohol while operating a motor vehicle.
In order to administer these tests, law enforcement must have consent from the driver. A drive is under no obligation to agree to submit to these tests. These physical field sobriety tests are used by police officers to make a decision in the field whether or not a driver is impaired due to the use of alcohol or drugs. The three standard types of field sobriety tests are as follows:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (determines if there is jerking of eyes when tracking objects)
  • Walk and Turn Test (determines balance and the ability to follow instructions)
  • One Leg Stand Test (determines balance)

Accuracy of Field Sobriety Tests

The accuracy of field sobriety tests has always been in question, and can never be used alone to convict someone of a DUI. Field sobriety tests are only as reliable and accurate as the police officers that administer them. Certain factors are significant to ensuring the accuracy of a field sobriety test including, the location, lighting, traffic and noise, weather, age and weight of motorist, any medical conditions of the motorist, language barriers, how the instructions were given, and if the officer evaluated the test properly.

Refusal to Take a Field Sobriety Test in Arizona

In Arizona, you have a legal right to refuse to take the administered field sobriety tests from law enforcement. In most cases, a police officer has determined whether they will make an arrest for a DUI based on behavior. Refusal to take a field sobriety test may not change that you may be taken to the police station for suspicion of driving under the influence. A police officer has the right to arrest a person without a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test.

Contact a DUI Attorney

If you are facing DUI charges, it is important to know that any breathalyzer, blood work, or field sobriety tests you take can be used against you in a DUI case. If you are unsure how your field sobriety test will affect your case, contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to help you understand your legal rights.
Our firm’s founder, Arja Shah, is a leading defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ. Her aggressive representation and client services set our firm apart from the rest. You can discuss your case with us by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form today.

What Criminal Charges can Occur After a Car Accident in Arizona?

Car accidents involving death or injury can result in terrifying criminal charges. This sentiment is even more prominent for individuals who made a mistake behind the wheel that changed their lives and the lives of others forever.
If law enforcement charged you with a vehicular crime after a car accident, reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in Arizona. She or he can devise a case strategy and explore your options.
Here are a few charges under which the State of Arizona prosecutes alleged crimes involving car accidents:

Types of Vehicular Crimes in Arizona

The below-listed crimes are typical examples of actions that may trigger legal action by the state’s justice department. Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, the information contained within each category is a real but defensible result.

Endangerment

Endangerment is the act of driving recklessly in a way that can cause a significant risk of injury or death to another person. It is a Class 6 felony which can result in the possibility of up to three years in prison.

Leaving an Accident Scene

It is an illegal act to leave the scene of a car accident in Arizona. This is particularly true for accidents involving death or injury. The state can even charge people for a hit-and-run crime in this scenario.
Leaving the scene of a car accident, in any case, is at least Class 5 felony. Penalties include up to 30 months in prison. Cases involving death or injury become a Class 3 felony. A conviction of this type can result in a prison sentence of up to nine years.

Negligent Homicide

Negligent homicide charges are on the horizon for drivers who negligently cause the death of another individual. Typically, negligent homicide auto accidents in Arizona involve driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Arizona’s justice system classifies negligent homicide as a Class 4 felony. Prison time includes up to 45 months in prison for a first-time conviction.

Aggravated Vehicular Assault

Hitting someone with your vehicle may result in aggravated vehicular assault charges. In short, it means that prosecutors believe the driver recklessly injured while operating a motor vehicle.
Aggravated vehicular assault charges are a Class 3 felony. Maximum prison time for a conviction may be as long as 15 years.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs occurs when your blood alcohol content (BAC) registers at a level .08% or higher. Jail time may include up to six months as well as fines and court courts for a first-time offense.

Unlawful flight

Unlawful flight is the act when a driver attempts to evade the pursuit of law enforcement. It is a Class 5 felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of up to four months and a fine of up to $750.

Discuss Your Charges with a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona

A vehicular crime in Arizona carries significant consequences for the person convicted of such a crime. Most often, people feel the burn of a vehicular criminal charge as it relates to economic and professional opportunities.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Consider discussing your criminal charges with Arja Shah Law. Our firm’s founder, Arja Shah, is a top criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ, known for her aggressive approach in defending clients. You can discuss your options with our team by calling (602) 888-0369 or sending us a message through our firm’s request form.

What You Should Know About Arizona’s Super Extreme DUI

In 2006, Arizona had the sixth-highest count of fatalities resulting from driving while under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. The state addressed the issue by placing more stringent penalties on individuals with DUI charges that were particularly troublesome. One way they accomplished this strategy was through the introduction of the ‘super extreme’ DUI offender class.
The severe nature of these charges increases fines and jail time for a convicted defendant. Do not leave your case to chance or inexperienced counsel. Discuss your options with a super extreme DUI lawyer in Phoenix, AZ today.
In the meantime, you may find the information below about super extreme DUIs to be helpful.

How is a Super Extreme DUI Different than a Regular DUI?

Police officers assess your level of impairment by measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). Results above .08% indicate to the responding officer that you are driving while under the influence and should be arrested for DUI. Penalties for a regular DUI conviction include up to 180 days in jail, fines, and a 90-day license suspension.

Extreme DUI vs. Super Extreme DUI in Arizona

The State of Arizona can charge you with an extreme DUI if your BAC is between .150 to .199. The minimum required jail time for this type of conviction is 30 days. Penalties increase sharply, as well.

Penalties and Fines

Individuals who have a BAC higher than .20% face super extreme DUI charges. In this scenario, a convicted person spends a minimum of 45 days in jail. Fines increase steeply, and you cannot serve any of your time by completing a treatment program.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

In addition to hefty fines and mandatory jail sentences, there are other hurdles that super extreme DUIs bring to the table. For example, you must install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle.
In short, you blow into the device that checks your BAC for the presence of alcohol before the vehicle can start. You can expect to pay between $100-$200 for the device installation as well as pay a monthly subscription fee of $100 on top of that.
Most IIDs remain in the vehicle for 18 to 24 months. Maintaining the IID alone costs around $2,500 in addition to court costs, attorneys’ fees, fines, and other restitution as allowable by law.

Discussing Your Case with a Super Extreme DUI Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ

It is intimidating to face the courtroom alone when you have been charged with super extreme DUI in Arizona. You might even have a defensible case that can result in dropped or reduced charges. Access to justice does not have to be for a privileged few.

Schedule a Consultation with an Attorney

Discuss your case with Shah Law Firm, PLLC. The firm’s founder, Arja Shah, is a leading super extreme DUI lawyer in Phoenix, AZ, known for her aggressive and thorough disposition in court. You can learn more about your options by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form.

Penalties for Domestic Violence and Disorderly Conduct Convictions in Arizona

Domestic violence is not an explicitly codified crime in Arizona. Instead, it is a term used to describe the nature of the relationship between the parties. Arrests related to domestic violence typically include assault, battery, or disorderly conduct charges.
Disorderly conduct occurs when an individual ‘disturbs the peace,’ and these charges can run concurrently with each other. If law enforcement arrested you for domestic violence disorderly conduct, you might find it helpful to discuss the details of your case with a domestic violence defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ.

Disorderly Conduct Penalties in Arizona

We previously defined disorderly conduct above as a disruption to public peace and enjoyment. Within the context of domestic violence, this type of behavior affects neighbors and family members. Examples of disturbing the peace may include:

  • Fighting or engaging in violent acts
  • Using abusive language or gestures to provoke others
  • Making noise that is unreasonably loud
  • Interfering with lawful gatherings or meetings
  • Failing to follow public safety orders
  • Recklessly handling or discharging a deadly weapon

Arizona classifies disorderly conduct as a class 1 misdemeanor. The only exception to this rule pertains to deadly weapon discharges. In this case, the charges become a class 6 felony.
Class 1 misdemeanor convictions may result in jail time of up to six months, a fine of up to $2,500, and up to three years of probation. Additional penalties may include mandatory counseling depending upon the circumstances of your case.

The Application of Disorderly Conduct to Domestic Violence

Let us take a closer look at how disorderly conduct charges apply to domestic violence allegations. Arizona courts can use the domestic violence context for pending charges as long as the involved parties are:

  • Married or share children
  • Pregnant with the alleged abuser’s baby
  • In a sexual or romantic relationship
  • Related biologically or by law
  • Minor-aged dependents

Disorderly conduct charges related to domestic violence can increase the penalties associated with other charges, if any. Courts may require you to leave the residence or issue a restraining against you at the request of your accuser.

Discussing Your Case with a Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ

It is critical for you to remember that pending charges do not mean that you are guilty. It just means that the State of Arizona believes it has enough evidence against you to prosecute your case. If you follow any form of media, you know how often state and county prosecutors are unable to convict people of the charges against them for several reasons.
One reason for dismissed or reduced charges lies within your ability to defend and argue your case. Hire a licensed Arizona criminal defense attorney to handle this aspect for you. He or she has the knowledge, training, and experience to offer you the best defense possible.

Consider Working with Arja Shah Law

Our firm’s founder, Arja Shah, is an aggressive domestic violence defense lawyer with offices in Phoenix, AZ. Clients appreciate her strong advocacy in the courtroom with a client-centered approach to service. You can discuss your case with Ms. Shah by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending her a message through the firm’s request form.

What You Should Know When Facing Fraud Charges in Arizona

Fraud is a type of prosecutable crime in Arizona. It is the occurrence of someone falsifying information to defraud another person for personal benefit. Fraud schemes can be simple or complicated in nature.
Knowledge is power if you are facing fraud charges. The information below is a great place to start familiarizing yourself with the process. However, the only way to apply legal advice to your specific case is by speaking with a licensed Arizona criminal defense attorney.

Definition of Fraud in Arizona

The State of Arizona can charge a person with fraud if he or she intentionally receives any gains through the use of lying and dishonesty, including omissions. Arizona currently designates this crime as a class 2 felony.
So, what types of fraud crimes commonly occur? There are an infinite number of ways that a person can commit fraud, including:

  • Identity theft
  • Check and credit card fraud
  • Tax fraud
  • Mail and wire fraud
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Securities fraud
  • Medicare and Social Security fraud

The facts of your case dictate whether the state or federal government prosecutes you. Generally, prosecutors at both levels review the details to determine the proper venue and jurisdiction.

How the State of Arizona Prosecutes Fraud Charges

Being accused of a crime is not the same as being guilty of committing one. Therefore, the prosecutor assigned to your case must prove the allegations against you beyond a reasonable doubt. Elements of their arguments must establish that you:

  • Received some benefit (typically money or quid pro quo),
  • Obtained it through false means, and
  • Intentionally ran a scheme to defraud others

It is important to note that fraud does not limit itself to money or tangible goods. Courts can bring fraud charges against someone who deprives another of honest services.

Penalties for Fraud Charges in Arizona

The presumptive sentence for a fraud conviction in Arizona is five years. However, aggravating factors may increase this number to 12.5 years. A judge may order you to pay up to $150,000 plus court costs, attorneys’ fees, and restitution to the victim.
Cases involving personal gains greater than $100,000 are likely not eligible for suspended sentences, probation, early release, or pardon.

Possible Legal Defenses to Fraud

Hiring an attorney is the most efficient and effective way to establish a strategy for your case. There are many defenses your lawyer can use to fight your case in court, including:

  • You never intended to defraud someone;
  • Your ‘victim’ clearly understood the terms of your agreement;
  • You never received any personal gains.

There are other details your attorney can address, such as civil rights violations you suffered during the arrest or while in custody. He or she can attack so-called forensic data used against you. The possibilities are endless.

Hiring an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney

You do not have to face fraud charges on your own. Consider working with Arja Shah Law. The firm’s founder, Arja Shah, is an aggressive criminal defense attorney with offices in Phoenix, AZ. Clients appreciate her strong advocacy in the courtroom and service-centered approach. You can discuss your case with Ms. Shah by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending her a message through the firm’s request form.