Phoenix Police were tasked with investigating a robbery that left one suspect in the hospital and others on the run early on the morning of Christmas Eve.
Suspect Shot in Attempted 7-Eleven Robbery
According to Police, a group of men attempted to rob a 7-Eleven in Phoenix. The clerk foiled the attempt after shooting one of the suspects. With the their accomplice wounded, the other suspects fled the scene.
The wounded suspect was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Facing Armed Robbery Charges
Armed robbery. There are three types of robbery in Arizona: robbery, armed robbery, and aggravated robbery. At the heart of each type of robbery is the taking of property belonging to another through force or the threat of force. Aggravated robbery occurs when you have one or more accomplices assist you. Armed robbery occurs when you use a deadly weapon or something appearing to be a deadly weapon (such as a toy gun or rubber knife). Armed robbery is a Class 2 felony.
3 Types of Offenses
In Arizona’s criminal justice system, there are three types of offenses:
- An infraction is a crime that is punished by a fine only. You do not need to worry about a jail or prison sentence with these offenses. Speeding and other minor traffic-related offenses are most often infractions.
- A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by a jail sentence of up to six months and/or a $2,500 fine. Misdemeanors are generally more serious than infractions but less serious than felonies. Misdemeanors may also carry some negative consequences – for instance, a conviction for misdemeanor theft can prevent you from obtaining certain jobs – but in general the consequences are short-lived.
- A felony is a crime punishable by a sentence of at least one year. This is the most serious classification of crime and the consequences can last long after you are convicted. In Arizona felonies range from class 1 felony (murder) to class 6 felony (possession of marijuana)
To try and avoid a felony conviction and the negative consequence associated with it, you need help from the Ferragut Law Firm, your Arizona felony crime defense firm.
There are a number of felony offenses in Arizona. A felony offense is assigned a “class” number, ranging from 1 to 6, by the legislature. This class number indicates how serious that particular felony charge is and, therefore, how serious the consequences will be if you are found guilty. Class 1 felonies are the most serious offenses; Class 6 felonies, by contrast, are the least serious (but even a Class 6 felony can be punished by a prison sentence). A felony conviction can also result in fines of up to $150,000.
The sentence you receive for a felony conviction will depend not only on the class number but also your criminal history and (in some cases) on the specific facts of your case. If you have been previously convicted of multiple felonies, for instance, you can expect to receive a harsher sentence than a first-time offender.
Felony Charges Defense
There is no “one” defense to felony charges. Instead, an experienced criminal defense attorney will need to examine the facts of your case as well as the government’s evidence before crafting a trial strategy that protects your rights and results in a favorable outcome. Your attorney will look at your case and ask several questions, including:
- What statements did you make to the police?
- Can any evidence be suppressed (that is, kept out of court)?
- What is your criminal history?
- What witnesses does the government intend to call? Are these witnesses credible?
- Do the police reports and the government’s witnesses tell “the whole story?”
- Are there any witnesses and/or evidence that refutes the police’s story?
Arizona criminal defense attorney Ulises A. Ferragut, Jr. has defended many individuals charged with felony crimes in Arizona. He knows that a winning defense strategy takes the unique facts of each case into account and must be pursued aggressively in order to be effective.
There are many steps to a criminal trial, and if you have been accused of committing a crime such as any of those listed above, you’ll want to understand them. As always, the best first step is to hire a criminal defense attorney that can help build your case and defend you. Read on to learn more about the steps of a criminal trial.
The Steps of a Criminal Trial
During a criminal trial a jury (or just a judge) will examine the evidence presented to decide whether, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” a defendant committed a crime. A trial allows for the government and the defendant to argue their cases. In the case of the government, the goal is to obtain a “guilty” verdict and a conviction of the defendant. The defendant, obviously, has a goal of obtaining a “not guilty” verdict. Once both sides have presented their arguments, a jury or judge will make this determination.
A criminal trial typically consists of six following phases:
- Choosing a Jury
- Opening Statements
- Witness Testimony and Cross-Examination
- Closing Arguments
- Jury Instruction
- Jury Deliberation and Announcement of Verdict
Choosing a Jury
While there are rare cases in which only a judge will preside over a hearing, typically a case goes before a jury. The first step then of a criminal trial is to select the jury. During jury selection, the judge, the plaintiff, and the defendant (through their respective attorneys) will screen potential jurors. During this time, the judge, prosecution, and defense team will ask potential jurors about ideological predispositions or life experiences that may pertain to the case. The judge, the prosecution, and defense can excuse potential jurors at this stage, based on their responses to questioning. After questioning, a jury is then selected.
The first “dialogue” of a trial is during the opening statements. The prosecution, representing the government, will provide an opening statement. Then the defense will provide an opening statement.
The government has the “burden of proof” as to the defendant’s guilt, meaning that the government must prove that the defendant is guilty of the crime he or she is being accused of. The prosecutions opening statement is given first and is often more detailed than the defense’s opening statement. In some trial, the defensive team might decide it is strategically better to wait until the conclusion of the government’s main case before it makes an opening statement.
Witness Testimony and Cross-Examination
The main part of any criminal trial is the “case-in-chief” stage. This is the portion in which each side presents its key evidence to the jury and judge.
The prosecution side will set forth evidence during its case-in-chief stage. This evidence is presented in an attempt to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant on trial committed the crime. During the case-in-chief stage, the prosecution will call eyewitnesses and experts to testify, introduce physical evidence, such as photographs, documents, and medical reports as a way of proving its side of the case.
Once the prosecution concludes its case-in-chief, the defense will present its own evidence in the same manner. In some trials the defense may choose not to present a “case-in-chief.” In these instances it might be more strategic for the defense team to make its key points through cross-examination of the prosecution’s witnesses, and challenges to its evidence.
After both the prosecution and defense have had an opportunity to present their case and to challenge the evidence presented by the other side, both sides “rest.” This rest means that no more evidence will be presented to the jury.
After both sides rest, closing arguments are made. During this portion, the prosecution and the defense will re-cap all the evidence that was presented, while also making a final effort to show why the evidence should find the defendant either guilty or not guilty.
Following closing arguments, the next step toward a verdict is jury instruction. During this process the judge gives the jury the set of legal standards it will need to determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
A judge will base these legal standards off of the defendant’s case, based on what criminal charges and evidence were presented during the trial. This instruction will often include input and argument from the prosecution and defense. The judge will instruct the jury on the relevant legal principles that will need to be deliberated on. These include findings the jury will need to make in order to arrive at certain conclusions. The judge will also review key legal concepts, such as “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt” and any crimes the jury might need to consider, based on the evidence presented during the trial.
The case then goes “to the jury.”
Jury Deliberation and Verdict
During juror deliberation, the group of jurors will consider the case and all the evidence that was presented. During deliberation, the jurors, as a group, will attempt to agree on whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the crime(s) charged. Deliberation is the first opportunity for the jury to discuss the case. This process can last from a few hours to several weeks.
Most jurisdictions require that a jury for a criminal case be unanimous when deciding upon a verdict. In these jurisdictions, if a jury is not unanimous in its decision, and is unable to come to a unanimous decision, the jury is considered a “hung” jury and the judge may decide to declare a “mistrial.” At this point, the case can either be dismissed or the trial may start over again from the jury selection stage.
Once the jurors have reached a verdict, the jury foreperson informs the judge. The judge will then announce the verdict in open court.
Working with Ferragut Law Firm
Ferragut Law Firm is a top rated criminal defense law firm based in Phoenix Arizona. We are dedicated exclusively to the practice of criminal law in all state, federal, and city courts throughout the State of Arizona.
Our mission is to achieve the best possible results for our clients through hard work, attention to detail, and aggressive advocacy, while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards.
We are committed to providing the most aggressive, professional, and effective representation for our clients accused of crimes to ensure that their legal rights are protected and that the best possible results are achieved. Contact us to discuss the details of your case.
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2 North Central Avenue, Suite #1125
Phoenix, Arizona 85004