There are numerous ways to commit misconduct involving weapons. Violations of the law occur where a person carries a deadly weapon to commit a serious crime, where a person lies to law enforcement about having a deadly weapon, and where a person under age 21 has a concealed deadly weapon. A pocket knife is not considered to be a deadly weapon in these scenarios.
Misconduct involving weapons also includes situations where a person makes or sells an illegal weapon, has a deadly weapon without permission, or provides a deadly weapon to someone prohibited from having it (for instance, an ex-felon). Scratching the serial number from a gun, having a gun with the serial number altered, shooting at an occupied building, having a gun on school grounds or at a polling place on the day of an election are even more examples of misconduct involving weapons.
Arizona law takes crime involving weapons very seriously, so the judicial system will typically push for heavier sentencing when misconduct involving a weapon(s) occurs. This offence is most commonly classed as a felony and when a weapon is used, charges related to the crime will most likely become ‘aggravated’. For example, an assault will become an aggravated assault if a weapon is used. As the high proportion of misconduct involving weapons cases involve a victim, and sometimes an individual with previous conviction, a jail or prison sentence is often sought.
The penalty received for misconduct involving weapons will of course depend on the severity of the crime. For example, if the weapon is unloaded or unused but on your person, sentencing will be far lighter, at the maximum of 1 year in prison, or as little as a suspended term or fine. More severe sentencing occurs when the weapon is actively used within the offence.
Arizona sentencing is typically split between ‘migrated’ and ‘aggravated’ terms, with the latter holding longer jail time compared to the former. Factors such as the defendant’s age and circumstance as well as the victim’s age and other specifics to the crime will be considered by a judge when choosing which term to charge with.
Depending upon the severity of the crime, misconduct involving weapons is deemed as being between a class 2 and a class 6 felony, with the former holding a sentence up to 12.5 years and the latter 1 year, though this may also be commuted to a class 1 misdemeanour by the judge depending on the circumstances involved with the case.