Prohibited Possessor in Arizona
Arizona has historically been a firearm-friendly state. The right to keep and bear arms (2nd Amendment) is something we in Arizona value and hold dear. However, if you are a convicted felon, or you have been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence, you are likely prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm in Arizona (Prohibited Possessor).
The Arizona prohibited possessor law is strict and unforgiving. If someone were to leave a gun in your car or home and you are searched for any reason, the police will likely consider that weapon to be yours because the law is not just about having a gun on your person, it is about having a firearm in your area of control.
Pro Tip: Stay the hell away from guns if you are a prohibited possessor.
Odds are if you are found with a gun in your car, house, garage, outbuilding, etc., you are going to be found guilty of being a prohibited possessor. If you find yourself in this situation, your best chance at freedom is a Board-Certified Criminal Defense Specialist, like Phoenix Attorney, Howard Snader. He is a top Phoenix Defense Attorney with a long track record of success with cases involving weapons charges in Arizona.
Who Can Carry a Firearm in Arizona?
If you are an Arizona resident who is 21-year-old or older, you are allowed to carry a gun, and even a concealed weapon, without a permit if you are not legally prohibited from doing so. However, there are some places where no firearms can be carried (with few exceptions for law enforcement), such as the schools, federal buildings (e.g. post offices), and polling places. You may also have some limitations when in State or National Parks. In most cases, you are NOT allowed to carry on Indian Property/Reservations. If you have a weapon permit from another state, Arizona may honor the permit if you meet certain conditions.
Who a Prohibited Possessor in Arizona?
According to A.R.S. § 13-3101 (A)(7), a Prohibited Possessor, or a person who cannot in any way be in possession of a weapon, is anyone who:
- Court Order: People are prohibited from possessing a deadly weapon if a court order precludes them from doing so. Courts may issue such orders when a person is considered to be a danger to themselves or others, or they have some sort of disability that constitutes a persistent, acute, or grave disability. This may also extend to court orders from Orders of Protections, or Family Law proceedings.
- Felony Conviction: People convicted of a felony, lose their rights to possess a firearm unless they have had their right to do restored by the court. There are no exceptions for hunting or sporting purposes, and there is no excuse that you did not know you were not allowed to possess a firearm.
- Misdemeanor Conviction: If convicted of certain misdemeanors, in most cases crimes of domestic violence, you may be prohibited from possessing a firearm. As with a felony conviction, you must apply for and be granted your right to again possess a firearm.
- Probation / Parole / Community Supervision / Work Furlough: People who have been convicted of a crime and are currently under the jurisdiction of the court, the prosecutor’s office, or the probation department are not allowed to be in possession of a firearm or prohibited weapon.
- Immigrants/Aliens: Undocumented or non-immigrant aliens in the United States are not allowed to be in possession of weapons in Arizona.
- Rule 11: Individuals who have gone through Rule 11 Court and determined to be incompetent cannot possess firearms in Arizona.
- Guilty Except insane: Individuals who have gone through a criminal trial and who have been found guilty except insane under the law are not capable of possessing firearms.
What are the Penalties for Being a Prohibited Possessor in Arizona?
A person who is a prohibited possessor in Arizona will likely be charged with a class 4 felony. If you are convicted of the charges, you are looking at up to 3.75 years in prison but if you lost your right to own a firearm due to a prior felony conviction, the judge will likely give you a longer prison sentence.
What are the Defenses to Prohibited Possessor Charges in Arizona?
If you are charged with being a prohibited possessor in Arizona, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help you formulate viable defenses that may keep you out of jail or minimize the amount of time that you are locked up. Often, a skilled criminal lawyer can argue procedural and constitutional defenses successfully. For example, under the Fourth Amendment, police officers can’t frisk just anyone who seems to be carrying a gun. Under an Arizona Supreme Court ruling, they must believe that the person they frisk is engaging in criminal conduct and is armed and dangerous.
I have successfully argued the “gun” was not operable, or otherwise a gun under the law. I have successfully argued that my client did not and could not have known his rights had not been reinstated where probation and the court advised him of such. Unfortunately, the paperwork was never processed to reinstate his rights. I have been successful in proving my client did not know the weapon was present or otherwise had no legitimate means to access a weapon when it was within community property.
Phoenix Prohibited Possessor Defense Attorney
Finding the best Phoenix criminal defense attorney to represent you when you are facing prohibited possessor charges is one way you can increase your chances of beating the charges. You need a criminal lawyer who has experience with weapons charges and has a track record of producing successful outcomes in prohibited possessor cases. Board Certified Phoenix criminal defense lawyer, Howard Snader is one such attorney. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and defense strategy session. We want to help you.