Arizona Criminal Lawyer

In the state of Arizona, more than 1,900 rapes were reported in 2006 alone. Across the United States, roughly 89,110 rapes and 12,658 murders occur each year.

Criminal law, also known as penal law, involves prosecution by the government of a person for an act that has been classified as a crime. Criminal cases differ from civil cases, which involve individuals and organizations who seek resolution to, and often damages arising from, legal disputes. In a criminal case, it is a prosecutor who initiates the suit, while the victim brings the suit in a civil case.

A crime is any act, or omission of an act, in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it. Crimes in the United States are established by local, state, and federal governments. Criminal laws may vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Crimes include both felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are the more serious of the two, and include such crimes as murder and rape. Misdemeanors are less serious offenses like petty theft or jaywalking. There are varying punishments for persons convicted of a crime, including incarceration, fines, mandatory rehabilitation programs such as drug treatment or anger management, and fulfillment of community service requirements. Those who are found liable in a civil case are not incarcerated, however, but are required to pay restitution or, in some cases, relinquish property. A person may be tried by the state in a criminal case, and may also face a civil trial.

If you are suing a convicted criminal for damages resulting from the crime, you will need to hire a civil lawyer or attorney. If the person was not convicted but you feel they should have been, you can still sue them for damages by hiring an Arizona civil lawyer or attorney.

If you have been accused of a crime, whether you are guilty or not, you will have to hire an Arizona criminal lawyer or attorney to help you with your case. Arizona criminal lawyers and attorneys represent individuals who have been charged with crimes throughout the entire process, beginning with the arraignment, bail hearings, and grand jury hearing, to the jury trial should your case proceed that far.

Your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution, depending on the crime with which you have been charged, your criminal record, and the availability of rehabilitation programs for which you might be eligible. A plea deal can ease the already overloaded court docket, so the prosecutors in your case might be willing to reduce your sentence if you plead guilty and eliminate the need for a jury trial.

Arizona attorneys will be also able to mount a thorough defense, should a trial be inevitable. In order to do so they will compile all the available evidence, interview witnesses, and research similar cases to yours. They will argue your case skillfully before the jury, and file appeals if necessary after the trial ends.

It is important to understand that the actual case is never between the victim or complainant and the accused, but is between the defendant and the state. Therefore it is the duty of the state prosecutor to prove beyond any reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused, in order to procure a sentence equivalent to the crime charged.

The state, with its extensive access to resources, therefore employs experts to assist in proving the guilt of the accused. The criminal lawyer must endeavor to represent a client as expertly as possible to gain the benefit of any remedy that the legal system permits and provide a skillful defense as long as it is within the limitations of the law. An attorney's duty to protect the client's best interests at all costs is authorized by the legal system, and if you have been accused of a crime you should rest assured that your lawyer will do his or her best to defend you, no matter whether or not they are convinced of your innocence.

If you are ready to contact an Arizona criminal lawyer or attorney, visit the American Bar Association. The ABA offers free access to their lawyer locator, which can help you search for a criminal lawyer or attorney in Arizona.