A criminal conviction has serious consequences. If certain factors were present during the crime, the consequences can be even more severe. In Arizona, aggravating factors can increase the sentence a judge gives. There are also some crimes that have corresponding aggravated offenses. These are classified as more severe crimes and have harsher sentencing guidelines than the so-called “simple” version of the offenses.
Aggravating Factors During Sentencing
If you are convicted of a crime, the judge must follow the sentencing guidelines that are present in Arizona’s criminal code. These give ranges for each classification of crime, i.e. the class and the type (felony vs misdemeanor). Some crimes have separate sentencing guidelines, which are given in the individual statute for that crime.
If there were aggravating factors present while the crime was committed, the judge can give the highest possible sentence.
Aggravating factors include:
- Use/presence of a deadly weapon
- Property damage
- Having an accomplice
- Inflicting serious injury
- Committing the crime in the presence of a minor
- Serious emotional, physical, or financial harm to the victim
- Receiving a financial benefit from the crime
Examples of Aggravated Crimes in Arizona
Some crimes have separate statutes under Arizona law that distinguish between simple and aggravated offenses. In these cases, the specific criteria in those statutes must be met for the crime to be classified as aggravated.
The definition of simple assault is given in Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 13-1203. This crime includes causing physical harm to another person or threatening to do so.
ARS 13-1204 defines aggravated assault as any crime that meets the definition of assault, with the presence of one or more aggravating factors. Some examples include using a deadly weapon or simulated deadly weapon, causing serious physical injury, or binding the victim during the assault.
A standard first-offense driving under the influence (DUI) charge is classified as a misdemeanor. However, aggravated DUI is a felony, and the consequences are even more severe. ARS 28-1383 outlines the possible circumstances that cause an aggravated DUI charge.
These include any of the following, while also meeting the other criteria for a DUI charge:
- Having two or more previous DUI convictions
- Driving with a minor under the age of 15 in the car
- Having an ignition interlock device
- Driving with a suspended license
Robbery, as defined in ARS 13-1902, is the act of threatening or using force against a person during an attempt to take their property. It is a class 4 felony. ARS 13-1903 defines aggravated robbery as any crime that meets the definition of robbery and also involves an accomplice. Armed robbery is another possible charge and applies if a deadly weapon was used during the crime.
Defense Attorneys in Tucson
If you’re facing criminal charges, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Grabb & Durando is here to help you. Our skilled attorneys will fight to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.