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Criminal Law in Arizona

You may not anticipate ever needing a criminal defense lawyer, but thousands of people in Arizona end up needing a strong defense attorney every year. Life frequently gets complicated and messy. If you are indicted for a crime, you will need expert legal help to navigate the legal system. Arizona criminal law has much in common with that of other states, but it is more stringent in some ways, particularly with its drug laws. The sentencing structure is also complex. You should never go up against the system without being completely prepared. When you face criminal issues in Arizona, you need to be represented by the best.

Felonies and Misdemeanors

Obviously, not all crimes are viewed equally under the law. You can be charged with two basic categories of crime: felonies and misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is a lesser offense and often comes with no or limited jail time. For instance, speeding is a misdemeanor that usually only requires you to pay a fine. If you ignore the fine or any ordered court appearance, the situation becomes more serious. Trespassing is also a misdemeanor as is minor vandalism and public intoxication.

Felonies are much more serious, and if you are found guilty of one, the consequences can follow you the rest of your life. Robbery, murder, arson, kidnapping, etc., are all felonies. If you are charged with one of these serious crimes, it is essential that you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Being found guilty of a felony means you are subject to a variety of punishments, including jail time. Once you are found guilty, even mistakenly, having the verdict overturned is difficult. That’s why you need to focus on your initial defense.

Criminal Punishments

Most misdemeanors are punished by giving you a fine, sometimes a significant one. Arizona traffic fines vary according to how fast you were driving and where you received the ticket, but they can easily cost you hundreds of dollars, particularly if you are driving at a speed significantly over the limit. You may also only receive a fine if you are caught shoplifting for the first time. The judge in your case will have some discretion when it comes to some of these fines, so a skilled attorney is a necessity for you. If you have been arrested on the same charge multiple times, your chance for more severe punishment increases.

Jail time, which can be served in the county facility, state prison, or federal prison, is usually reserved for those found guilty of a felony, although some people found guilty of misdemeanors can do up to a year in jail. State and federal prisons are generally reserved for those convicted of more serious crimes and generally are much tougher places to endure.

In some instances, your criminal defense attorney will be able to get you probation, which means you will not be incarcerated as long as you follow certain conditions. Probation is a favorable result, but violating your probation will probably mean that you go to jail.

Hiring a Criminal Lawyer

If you are charged with any crime more serious than a minor speeding ticket, you will benefit from the services of a criminal lawyer. You may be eligible for a court-appointed attorney, but, for the most part, these lawyers are overworked and underpaid, which means you may not get the defense you deserve from them. Hiring your own lawyer is almost always a better move.

When hiringa criminal lawyer, you need to look for certain traits. First, you want to hire an attorney who has solid criminal law knowledge and who has practiced law in Arizona for years. You definitely need a lawyer who knows the local court system.

Also, you should research the lawyer and their law firm. Clients do give online testimonials, and you can seek referrals from friends and family as well. If you have a chance, watch your lawyer in action during a trial. You need to know as much about an attorney as possible before retaining them.

You can also check with the State Bar of Arizonato find a lawyer who is in good standing with the state. You may also look at online directories to help you find an experienced attorney. Arizona has a number of excellent criminal law attorneys who can help with your case.

Schmidt Law Group

Schmidt Law Groupcan help Arizona residents who face criminal prosecution. Located in Phoenix, this law firm has decades of experience in many areas of law, including criminal defense. They understand the ins and out of Arizona law, so they can offer you the strong defense that you need for any criminal charge.


The experienced lawyers at Schmidt Law Group understand that the quality of your life depends on the result of your case. They offer a free consultation so you can learn more about their firm before you commit to their representation. Your attorney will carefully explain all of your options so that you can make an informed choice about your defense. You can even request a free case evaluationonline. If you are in need of a criminal defense lawyer, you cannot afford to delay. Contact Schmidt Law Group today for more information.

Most people do not expect to need a criminal defense lawyer, but good people are charged with crimes every day. Even if you have done nothing wrong, you can find yourself in trouble with the law. And remember, everyone, guilty or not, deserves a strong defense. If you do not have good legal protection in the Arizona legal system, you can end up facing severe punishment. If you are arrested, seek out an attorney who can protect your rights and get you the most favorable result possible.

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