Fundamentals of Arizona Criminal Law

May 30, 2012

In Arizona, as in most parts of the United States, the idea of breaking the law is strictly associated with the thought of committing a crime. However, in reality, crimes are simply results from breaches in criminal law, which is a restricted and defined part of law that is looked at in more detail in this article.

Generally, Arizona criminal law refers to the rulings that the state has prepared in writing and legislature to protect its citizens. Breaking this law will lead to a case being brought by the state against the offender. A breach that results in a conviction will lead to punishment for the wrongdoer. The whole spectrum of the Arizona criminal law is so vast that makes it difficult to catalog. Nonetheless, the following are some of the major aspects of this state law.

Fatal Offenses

Unlawful killing or murder is strictly punishable by the law. Perhaps, this is the act most targeted by Arizona criminal law. In several jurisdictions, murder crimes are divided into different grades of severity. Manslaughter is a lesser variation of killing made in the dearth of malice, often brought about by diminished capacity or logical provocation.

Sexual Offenses

Arizona criminal law covers offenses that involve sexual acts or actions that are forced upon the victim. These crimes lack the element of consent, hence, considered illegal. Sex-related crimes differ greatly in severity. Sex crimes can be criminally prosecuted regardless of how innocent a person at the time is. Indecent exposure, public urination and public lewdness may be physically harmless in nature. However, since they happen in the wrong place and at the wrong time, a doer can be sent to jail. Crimes like solicitation, pimping and prostitution are deemed illegal even if both parties fully agreed to the sexual act.

Property Offenses

Criminal law in the state of Arizona also covers crimes against property. Trespassing, malicious damage to property, burglary, arson, theft and robbery are just a few examples of crimes that are covered by the law. Penalties are provided, of course, for these crimes as well as for conversion, embezzlement and others that involve deprivation of the property value. Robbery is considered theft by force.

Other Offenses

Other offenses that are punishable by law include bribery, escape and related offenses, perjury, obstruction of public administration, organized crime, terrorism, fraud (business and commercial), credit card fraud, forgery, offenses against public order (i.e. riot, loitering, false reporting of emergencies and unlawful assembly), misconduct involving weapons and explosives, possession of interception devices, promotion of gambling, possession of gambling records, illegal selling of drugs, possession and selling of peyote, illegally obtaining nitrous oxide containers, possession of narcotic drugs, obscenity, public exhibition of explicit sexual materials, cybersex, sexual exploitation of minors, domestic violence, abortion, failure to exhibit or procure a business license, child abuse, bigamy, abandonment of spouse and unlawful utilization of food stamps.

Committing any crime in the state of Arizona could mean facing charges, penalties and imprisonment. It goes without saying that individuals who disobey Arizona criminal law should pay for the crime one way or another.