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Unlawful Discharge of Firearms: Laws and Penalties in Arizona

Police increase ability to find locations where shots were fired from; and apprehending suspects responsible for firing the shots.   

Arizona Weapons Crimes

A party in a Phoenix AZ neighborhood quickly ended with gunshots fired and resulting injuries around 2:00 a.m. November 17, 2012. At least 3 people were injured after about 2 dozen shots were fired.  No known arrests were made, but two weapons were found at the scene, by police.

Arizona prosecutes weapons crimes egregiously especially if injuries or fatalities resulted from discharge of weapons.  There are different classifications of weapons crimes including, but not limited to:

  • Weapons used in a crime;
  • Prohibited User offenses;
  • Possession, use, manufacturing, transporting, or selling of deadly or prohibited weapons;
  • Defacing a deadly weapon;
  • Discharge of a firearm

Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm Laws and Penalties in Arizona

Under A.R.S. 13 – 3107 it is unlawful discharge a firearm within city limits. This law is known in Arizona as “Shannon’s Law”, named this following the death of an Arizona girl who was killed after being shot by random gunfire in 1999.

Criminal charges for unlawful discharge of a firearm begin as a Class 6 felony.  Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident and whether or not injuries occurred, will dictate if more serious charges will be brought by police and prosecution.  A Class 6 felony will expose a person to a minimum of .33 years in prison to 2 years in prison for a first time offense.  Additional penalties will apply including loss of rights to bear arms, vote, or to sue civilly if a suspect was maliciously injured while engaged in criminal conduct or fleeing from the crime scene.  They will be subject to exorbitant fines, fees, costs, assessments, parole, probation, community service, a felon criminal record, and restitution if it applies.

Dangerous Offenses involving Unlawful Discharge of Firearm Laws

If the Unlawful Discharge of a firearm involves a “Dangerous Offense” as defined in A.R.S.13-105 the defendant will be exposed to far more severe penalties as outlined in Sentencing Guidelines under A.R.S. 13 -702.

A Dangerous Offense is defined under AZ criminal code as:

  • A crime that involves the discharge, use or threatening display of a firearm, deadly weapon or instrument; and/or
  • The act of intentionally or knowingly subjecting another person to serious physical injury or harm.

A first time Class 6 Felony involving a Dangerous Offense will expose a person to prison terms of 1.5 years minimum to 3 years.

Dangerous offense charges involving unlawful discharged of firearms may be brought as Class 6 to Class 2 depending on the circumstances, and nature of the crime, and whether it was violent or not.  Class 2 Dangerous crime sentencing ranges expose a person terms of 7 to 21 years.

If it resulted in a murder or homicide, Class 1 charges will be brought.   Class 1 offenses expose a person to life in prison or the Death Penalties.

Criminal Defense Attorney for Weapons Crimes in Maricopa County

If you face felony weapons charges, you should consult an experienced weapons charge lawyer in Maricopa County, before pleading guilty to charges. There may be defense you are unaware of that may lead to reduction of charges or sentencing, or dismissal of your case. If retained, our legal advocate will make sure your rights were not violated; that you are treated fairly; defend your charges; and secure the best possible resolution in your case.

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