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Can I Be Charged with a Violent Crime if the Weapon Was Fake?

November 6, 2020

In the heat of the moment, one person may pull out a fake, yet realistic-looking weapon in an attempt to scare another individual. Although you might think that brandishing a fake weapon is harmless, the law doesn’t share this point of view. In fact, a person can be charged with a violent crime even if no physical injuries were inflicted in the incident—and all violent crimes are treated very seriously under Arizona law. If you’ve been accused of a violent crime—even if the weapon was fake—you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.

Elements of Violent Crimes

It’s commonly thought that all violent crimes involve some sort of physical injury to the alleged victim. And it’s true that they frequently do, which is why medical records often play a role in criminal trials. However, not all violent crimes do involve physical harm. The one universal element of violent crimes is that they all involve the alleged victim’s sincere belief that he or she will suffer physical harm. In other words, a violent crime can involve the threatened use, attempted use, or actual use of physical force. This means that brandishing a fake gun is a threat that constitutes a violent crime. Similarly, the act of brandishing any object that could be used as a weapon (such as scissors or even a walking cane) can also constitute a violent crime if it’s done in a threatening or intimidating manner.

Types of Violent Crimes

There are multiple types of violent crimes recognized by Arizona law and federal law. These include murder, manslaughter, and rape. Others include physical assault, endangerment, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and armed robbery (with a real or fake weapon). Some of these violent crimes may be charged as misdemeanors, depending on the circumstances, although most are typically prosecuted as felonies. Regardless, all types of violent crime are treated seriously and required the skillful attention of a criminal defense attorney.

At the law office of Janet Altschuler, we vigorously defend those accused of all types of violent crimes. Our criminal defense attorney serves Tucson residents with distinction, providing strategic legal guidance and tireless representation. Call (520) 247-1789 and let us help you defend your rights and your reputation.