Mesa, AZ criminal law attorney Keith R. Nelson discusses a case where his client faced aggravated assault and weapons charges and how the defenses of self defense, defense of others and defense of property were used to obtain a successful outcome.
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I’ve handled dozens upon dozens, probably hundreds of felony cases in Arizona particularly in Maricopa County. However, I’ve done cases in Yavapai and Navajo and Pinal and Pima County as well. One particular case resulted out of the Second Amendment. Now Arizona’s known for being a relatively pro Second
Amendment state meaning gun rights. However, the County Attorney Offices, the ones that prosecute felony offenses do not like guns. In fact, anytime guns are brought out, shown, brandished in a case, law enforcement loves to arrest for that and the County Attorney Offices love to go after individuals for it.
I had one particular case where I had a client who lived in a very rural part of Arizona and the only way you could get to their home was by going down five, six miles worth of dirt roads, one lane roads. In essence, if you were going to their house either you were invited there or you were there to cause some type of mischief. Well at two in the morning his wife woke him and said, “’Someone’s trying to steal my car, don’t let them steal my car.” So he grabbed his shotgun, ran outside, and sure enough there was a vehicle right in front of his house trying to – it was a stick shift and they were trying to grind the gear to get into gear to get out of the property.
And so he was telling the gentleman to get out of the car, get out of the car and instead the gentleman put the car in reverse and started backing up at him very quickly and it threatened his life. And then the gentleman drove away. Well my client was charged with aggravated assault for having a weapon and threatening the gentleman with a gun and we were able to work through that case. There’s self-defense, defense of others, defense of your property, and there were several valid defenses that were raised in the successful defense of that case.