Arizona has many laws and regulations in place to protect the rights of citizens. Unfortunately, with these laws come misconceptions. In this blog, we’ll discuss five of the most common myths and misconceptions about criminal law in Arizona and the truth behind them.
Myth #1: The Police Have a Duty to Read You Your Rights
One myth about criminal law in Arizona is that the police must always read you your Miranda rights before an arrest or charge. However, police officers are only required to read a person their Miranda rights if they question them in a custodial setting, such as a courtroom, correctional institution, or jail. This means that they must inform you that you have the right to remain silent, that anything you say can and will be used against you in court, and that you have the right to an attorney. If law enforcement is not questioning you in a custodial setting and they arrest you, they do not necessarily need to read you your rights.
Myth #2: You Can’t Go to Jail for a Misdemeanor
Some people believe that misdemeanors are not punishable by jail time, but this is just another myth. Depending on the severity of the crime, you can face up to six months in jail for a misdemeanor in Arizona. Additionally, if you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you may be required to pay a fine or perform community service.
Myth #3: You Can’t Be Charged With a Crime if You Didn’t Intend to Commit It
A third common misconception about criminal law in Arizona is that you can’t be convicted of a crime you didn’t intend to commit. However, the truth is that intent is not always required to be convicted of a crime. Sometimes, a person may be found guilty of a crime even if they did not intend to commit it.
Myth #4: You Can’t Be Charged With a Crime if You Weren’t Present
Another myth about criminal law in Arizona is that you can’t be charged with a crime if you weren’t present when the crime was committed. Depending on the circumstances, however, you can be charged with a crime even if you weren’t present when it took place. For example, if you are accused of aiding or abetting a crime, you can face criminal charges even if you weren’t present when the crime was committed.
Myth #5: You Can’t Be Charged With a Crime if There Is No Physical Evidence
A fifth common Arizona criminal law myth is that you can’t be charged with a crime if there is no physical evidence. The truth, however, is that even without the presence of physical evidence, you can still be charged with a crime. In some criminal cases, circumstantial evidence can be used to prove that a crime was committed and that you were involved in it.
Tucson Criminal Defense Attorneys
Awareness of the truth behind these common myths about criminal law in Arizona is crucial to making informed decisions about your rights and responsibilities if you are ever charged with a crime. If you are ever arrested and charged with a crime, the first step is to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Grabb & Durando’s Tucson lawyers have over 29 years of experience and can help you understand your rights and fight for the best outcome in your case.