What is Misconduct Involving Weapons in Arizona A.R.S. 13-3102?
Misconduct involving weapons requires knowledge that a weapon is present, and may occur under a variety of circumstances.
One way to be involved with misconduct of a weapon is by being in a vehicle with a concealed firearm on the person or hidden and with immediate control while committing a felony.
Misconduct involving a weapon can also occur when a vehicle is stopped for a traffic violation and during the stop asks if there are any weapons in the car. A negative response to such question when a weapon is concealed in the vehicle leads to the weapons charge, a violation of A.R.S. 13-3102.
Often times when several people are in a vehicle and a hidden firearm is discovered everyone within the vehicle is charged under the theory that each person had immediate control over the firearm.
If a person in a vehicle is under the age of 21 years old, with a concealed weapon, that person violates A.R.S. 13-3102, even though no other felony is being committed. The misconduct is the age of the person, and that person must be aware of the firearm to be under his immediate control.
A fourth way of committing misconduct with a weapon is by manufacturing. Possessing, transporting, selling or transferring a prohibited weapon. Under this category dry ice can be the weapon if the intent is to use the dry ice to cause injury or death of another, or to damage someone's property.
Even though Mr. Di Pietro has both prosecuted and defended numerous persons during his 38 years of criminal law he has yet to encounter a case where dry ice has been used as the weapon.
The term prohibited weapon is not specifically defined in the statute but several weapons have been found by the court to be prohibited weapons. These include the sawed off shot gun or rifle which is defined by law. A second prohibited weapon, also defined by law, is a firearm that is defaced. Such firearm would have the serial number removed from the weapon thereby making it a prohibited weapon.
What are the penalties to Misconduct with Weapons in Arizona A.R.S 13-3102
Misconduct involving weapons has a variety of penalties depending on the specific misconduct. It is a class 2 felony if the conduct was in furtherance of an act of terrorism.
It is a class 3 felony shooting at a house in order to assist the interests of a street gang, or to provide or sell a firearm to someone planning to commit a felony. The trafficking of guns to help a street gang also falls into this class.
A class 4 felony results from:
- The manufacture, possession, transporting, selling or use of dry ice.
- If the person is a prohibited possessor.
- Use of a deadly weapon during a felony drug offense.
- Entering a nuclear or hydroelectric generating station.
A class 6 felony results from:
- Selling or transferring a deadly weapon to a prohibited possession.
- Defacing a deadly weapon.
- Possessing a defaced deadly weapon knowing it was defaced.
A deadly weapon concealed in a vehicle or person in the vehicle is a class 1 misdemeanor unless the vehicle was occupied by a minor assisting a street gang, or illegal enterprise, or engaged in any drug offense, or within a school zone then the penalty is a class 6 felony.
Defenses in Arizona to a charge of Misconduct with Weapons
The following are recognized in Arizona criminal law as exceptions and are criminal defenses to weapons charges:
- Except to a person in his dwelling, on his business premises or on real property owned or leased by that person.
- Except to: A peace officer or any person summoned by any peace officer to assist and while actually assisting in the performance of official duties; or A member of the military forces of the United States or of any state of the United States in the performance of official duties; or A warden, deputy warden or correctional officer of the state department of corrections; or A person specifically licensed, authorized or permitted pursuant to a statute of this state or of the United States.
- Except to: The possessing, transporting, selling or transferring of weapons by a museum as a part of its collection or an educational institution for educational purposes or by an authorized employee of such museum or institution, if: (a) Such museum or institution is operated by the United States or this state or a political subdivision of this state, or by an organization described in the United States Code as a recipient of a charitable contribution; and (b) Reasonable precautions are taken with respect to theft or misuse of such material. The regular and lawful transporting as merchandise; or Acquisition by a person by operation of law such as by gift, devise or descent or in a fiduciary capacity as a recipient of the property or former property of an insolvent, incapacitated or deceased person.
- Except to the merchandise of an authorized manufacturer of or dealer in prohibited weapons, when such material is intended to be manufactured, possessed, transported, sold or transferred solely for or to a dealer, a regularly constituted or appointed state, county or municipal police department or police officer, a detention facility, the military service of this or another state or the United States, a museum or educational institution or a person specifically licensed or permitted pursuant to federal or state law.
- Except to a weapon or weapons carried in a belt holster that is wholly or partially visible, or carried in a scabbard or case designed for carrying weapons that is wholly or partially visible or carried in luggage. Also to a weapon or weapons carried in a case, holster, scabbard, pack or luggage that is carried within a means of transportation or within a storage compartment, map pocket, trunk or glove compartment of a means of transportation.
- Except to shooting ranges or shooting events, hunting areas or similar locations or activities.
- Except to a weapon, if such weapon is possessed for the purposes of preparing for, conducting or participating in lawful exhibitions, demonstrations, contests or athletic events involving the use of such weapon. Also to a weapon if such weapon is possessed for the purposes of preparing for, conducting or participating in hunter or firearm safety courses.
- Except to the possession of a: Firearm that is not loaded and that is carried within a means of transportation under the control of an adult provided that if the adult leaves the means of transportation the firearm shall not be visible from the outside of the means of transportation and the means of transportation shall be locked. Firearm for use on the school grounds in a program approved by a school.
Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Di Pietro, has successfully represented many clients who had been charged with Weapon Offenses. His success is a result of his 38 years of criminal law both as a prosecutor and defense counsel is able to use this knowledge combined with his aggressive tough approach to defending his clients that have resulted in the favorable resolution of the Weapon Offenses for his clients. Contact Brian Di Pietro Law, PLLC at 623-242-2655 for a free confidential case evaluation about your pending Weapon Offense charge in Arizona.