Drive by Shooting is a very serious offense in Phoenix or elsewhere in the state of Arizona, as per A.R.S. §13-1209, this offense occurs when an individual intentionally fires a gun while traveling in a vehicle. The firearm can be discharged at a person, another vehicle or a structure that is occupied by people.
The crime is similar to Misconduct Involving a Weapon as per A.R.S. §13-3102 and Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm as per A.R.S. §13-3107 with the exception of a “vehicle” being involved in the incident. If you are accused of this crime, you will require a legal team that is experienced and who will use the alternate statutes toward bargaining with the prosecutor to leave you with diminished charges so that your punishment is less severe.
David explains Drive By Shooting in Arizona:
Potential Penalties for a Drive By Shooting Conviction in Arizona
The crime is considered a class two felonious offense with “Allegation of Dangerousness.” It is deemed a “dangerous offense” due to the usage of a deadly weapon, most often a gun, during the commission of the crime. For a first offense dangerous class two felony, there is a mandatory prison only sentence that lasts a minimum of seven years of prison, 10 and a half years of time served for presumptive and a maximum amount of prison time served of 21 years. If the individual has only one prior felony conviction, the prison only term lasts a minimum of 14 years, 15 and three quarters years presumptive and a maximum of 28 years of prison time. In the event the individual has two prior felony convictions, there is a prison only mandatory punishment of a minimum of 21 years served, 28 years for presumptive and a maximum of 35 years of incarceration.
Defenses to Drive By Shooting in Arizona
In defending an individual who has been charged with a Drive by Shooting, the strongest possible defense is misidentification of the defendant. The defense lawyer explains that while the crime may have indeed been committed, it was not the defendant who was the one behind it. The defense attorney will then proceed to explain how the police tend to pull over a vehicle that is suspected of being involved in such a crime and, in many instances, there may be multiple people in the vehicle. Often, the police are unaware of which individual fired the weapon in question. If a weapon is located in the vehicle, it is usually not on any specific person within. As a result, there is no concrete proof of who committed the crime. As a result, the police will try to determine which person fired the weapon by questioning witnesses who were present at the scene of the Drive by Shooting. This can be a problem as many innocent people have been convicted due to misidentification. Typically, the witnesses of a scene of such a crime are panicked to the point of being unable to make a positive identification of the shooter. In addition, the police conduct a “show-up” identification, rather than one that involves a line-up. A show-up is when police bring a suspect back to the scene of the crime and ask witnesses if he or she was the individual who fired the weapon. There is a problem with this tactic as it is too suggestive and therefore, unreliable. Often, witnesses will agree that the individual is the shooter but may be mistaken.
Another defense is to determine whether there was “gunshot residue” found on the individual’s hands. Often, when a gun is fired by one person, it is handed over to someone else. This can result in the latter being falsely accused of the crime. Forensics pays a big part in proving the evidence.
There are additional defenses an attorney can use, such as a violation of Miranda rights in which the individual was not informed of their rights upon arrest. Another popular tactic is denial of the right to counsel, which occurs when the individual requests an attorney but is denied that right. There will also be testing in order to see whether there were any forensic flaws during the investigation and it will be determined whether searches were done legally, with warrants.
The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor is highly skilled in the defense of Drive by Shooting charges in Arizona and will provide you with a free consultation to start. DM Cantor is an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). David Michael Cantor is a criminal defense lawyer in Arizona and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. Our offices can be reached 24 hours a day at (602) 737-2812 or by filling out our confidential form.