Mesa Criminal Defense Lawyer

As soon as you are contacted regarding criminal charges in Mesa, Arizona, it is absolutely essential that you seek out a qualified Mesa criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. While there is a range of criminal charges a person can face, it is never a good try to handle these cases without someone with extensive criminal law experience by your side. At the AZ Defenders law firm, our criminal attorneys have the experience you need when it comes to legal representation for a criminal offense. Whether you are facing a drug crime or a DUI charge, we will thoroughly investigate every aspect of the charges against you and work to formulate a different strategy on your behalf.

Why Contact the AZ Defenders for Your Case?

When you turn to AZ Defenders for help with your criminal charges, you are gaining legal advice and help from one of the most respected criminal defense firms in the state.

  • With more than 20 years of combined legal experience and a track record of success, we bring substantial experience and expertise to your unique case.
  • Our Mesa criminal defense lawyers have established themselves as respectable members of the Arizona legal community.
  • We have created a reputation as one of the most aggressive criminal defense firms in the U.S. We are not afraid to take your case to trial to ensure your rights are protected and you are treated fairly.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Client Review

Great lawyers. They have been helping me with a case for a little bit of time now. Holly, Lesley, and Craig are a wonderful team. I would and have recommended them to friends.

– Abigail D.

Mesa Criminal Defense Attorney

What You Should Do After Being Arrested in Arizona

The police may arrest you in Arizona if they have a warrant or probable cause to do so. Probable cause means enough evidence to create a reasonable belief that you committed the crime in question. Do not resist an arrest or try to argue with the police at this stage of your case. Instead, give your full cooperation to the arresting officer while listening carefully to your Miranda rights.

After an arrest in Arizona, it is imperative to protect your rights. Before you hire a criminal defense attorney in Mesa, you will be the only person looking out for your legal interests. The best way to protect yourself is to use your right to remain silent. No law obligates you to answer any questions asked by the police during an arrest, except to give your name if asked. Even if you think you have the correct answer to a question, the officer may be able to twist what you say and use it against you. Anything you say during or after your arrest can be admitted as evidence in court.

Politely refuse to answer any questions until you have an attorney present. Once you establish your use of your Miranda rights, statements the police elicit without the presence of your attorney are typically inadmissible. After the precinct has booked you, you will have the right to make one phone call. Contact a criminal defense lawyer directly or call someone you trust to reach out to an attorney for you. Hiring a lawyer from the very beginning of your case – as early as your initial arrest – can protect you from the worst possible case outcomes.

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Mesa Criminal Defense Lawyer?

When a person is facing serious criminal charges, they deserve to be fairly and vigorously defended in a court of law. While it is impossible to list all of the ways in which an attorney could defend a case, it is important to remember that every case is different. A skilled Mesa criminal defense attorney will have a thorough understanding of Arizona criminal law and defense tactics. 

Your attorney can lend the following services to benefit your case:

  • Thoroughly investigate the alleged crime and your criminal background for a complete picture of your case.
  • Help you understand your criminal charges and answer your legal questions.
  • Discover what evidence the prosecution has against you.
  • Handle complicated paperwork and confusing legal processes.
  • Attend hearings and meetings with the prosecution on your behalf.
  • Argue a charge down from a felony to a misdemeanor.
  • Negotiate a plea deal or request a diversion program for reduced penalties, if applicable.
  • Defend you against the criminal charge and protect your future as much as possible.

It cannot be overstated how important a defense attorney can be to your case. You need the vast experience, knowledge and connections that come with hiring a private criminal defense lawyer. As opposed to a public defender, a criminal defense attorney will be focused solely on your case, helping you navigate the criminal justice system and giving you the best possibility for a favorable outcome.

Types of Criminal Charges & Cases We Handle

A criminal defense attorney is responsible for defending clients on a variety of criminal charges in Arizona. From a violent crime like domestic violence to extreme DUI, some of the criminal law charges handled by AZ Defenders include the following:

This is certainly not a complete list of charges that somebody can face In Arizona. If you are facing any type of criminal charge in Mesa, speak to a knowledgeable Mesa criminal defense lawyer from our law firm about the specifics of your criminal defense case.

What Are the Classifications of Arizona Crimes?

There are three distinct categories of crimes in Arizona: infraction, misdemeanor and felony. An infraction, or petty offense, is the least serious type of crime. In general, the penalty for an infraction is a fine, not jail time or probation. A misdemeanor is a more serious type of crime. Misdemeanor convictions can come with fines, probation and small jail sentences (up to one year). A felony is the most serious classification of crime in Arizona. If the courts convict you of a felony, you could face years to life in prison. Your exact sentence will depend on the nature of your crime as well as your criminal history.

The Long-Term Consequences of a Felony

If you are facing serious felony charges, such as for an aggravated DUI or violent crime, it is even more important than usual to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Aside from the criminal sentence – which can be substantial and involve years in prison – a felony conviction can have a range of other long-term consequences on your life and future. A felony conviction can affect you in many ways, including: 

  • Losing your job and future career opportunities.
  • Making it harder to find a job with a felony on your record.
  • Being disqualified from certain professional certification programs.
  • Losing housing opportunities to people without criminal records.
  • Taking away your driver’s license (for some crimes).
  • Ruining personal relationships.
  • Putting you in financial debt. 
  • Losing your right to vote and bear arms.
  • Losing custody of your child(ren).
  • Having your record used against you during a divorce case.
  • Hurting your immigration status or right to remain in the country.

Do not underestimate the severity of a felony charge in Mesa. Protect yourself as much as possible by hiring a reputable attorney with a history of helping clients in Arizona avoid the worst penalties associated with their charges. The attorneys at AZ Defenders will treat your case as if it were their futures on the line, protecting you as much as possible at every turn.

What Is the Criminal Trial Process?

The trial is one of the most significant parts of the criminal justice process. By law, every criminal defendant has the right to a trial by a jury of his or her peers. Knowing what to expect during a criminal trial in Arizona could help you prepare for the legal process ahead.

  • Arraignment hearing. First, you will make your initial appearance in court, where the judge will set bail, if applicable. Then, you will attend the arraignment hearing, where you will hear the criminal charges against you and enter your plea.
  • Discovery. Once the judge sets your court date, your criminal lawyer will go through the discovery phase. This is an opportunity to discover what evidence the other side has against you. Discovery can also involve pretrial conferences and plea negotiations.
  • Jury selection. The first stage of your criminal trial will be jury selection. Your lawyer and the prosecutor will have the chance to ask potential jurors a series of questions to narrow down a selection of 12.
  • Evidence and witness examination. On the date of your criminal trial, your lawyer will present evidence and witnesses, as well as cross-examine the prosecutor’s witnesses. Your trial may take several hearings to complete.
  • Jury deliberation and verdict. Once the jury hears both sides, it will receive its orders from the judge and go into deliberation. The jury will decide if the prosecutor fulfilled the burden of proof of establishing your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Appeal. If the jury enters a verdict of not guilty, you will be free to go. With a verdict of guilty, you will attend a subsequent sentencing hearing. You and your lawyer may also decide to file a post-trial motion, such as a request for a new trial.

Your Mesa criminal defense lawyer can guide you through all the stages of the criminal trial process in Arizona. Your attorney can explain complex processes and protect your rights along the way. At AZ Defenders, we have years of experience going to trial on behalf of our clients. Our defense lawyers are skilled litigators.

Criminal Courts in Mesa, Arizona 


Going to court to attend hearings is one of the most daunting parts of the criminal justice process for most suspects. In many cases, you can hire a criminal defense lawyer to act as your proxy and make court appearances for you. It is critical not to miss or arrive late to any required court dates, as this could get you into further trouble.

Below is some basic information about the criminal courts in Mesa, Arizona: 

Look at your police paperwork to see which court you have been ordered to appear before. Most misdemeanor charges are seen in the Municipal Court or one of the Justice Courts. The Superior Court is where felony cases are heard. The Criminal Department houses many specialized courts, such as for initial appearances, summons, early dispositions and DUI cases. An attorney can help you navigate the court system.

What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Lawyer

One of the best ways to protect your rights as a criminal defendant in Arizona is by hiring a Mesa criminal defense lawyer. It is up to you to research your options and choose the best one for your specific case and needs. Look for a few staple features to select the best person for the job.

  • Criminal attorney (not a civil attorney)
  • Experience with your type of charges
  • Positive past case outcomes
  • One-on-one attention from a lawyer
  • A lawyer with local expertise
  • Affordable or flexible fees
  • The personal factor

You should have 100% confidence in your lawyer’s ability to defend you. You should trust your attorney to do what is in your best interests and negotiate for the best possible case outcome. You have the right to schedule a few different free consultations with potential defense lawyers to ask questions and select the best fit for you.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Mesa

Is There a Criminal Statute of Limitations in Arizona?

The criminal statute of limitations is a law limiting a prosecutor’s right to bring charges against a defendant for a crime. According to state law, if a prosecutor misses his or her statute of limitations, he or she forfeits the right to bring that type of charge against the defendant. Understanding the statute of limitations for your alleged crime could help you know if the deadline to bring charges against you has passed. Arizona has different statutes of limitations based on the classification of the crime.

  • Petty offense: six months
  • Misdemeanor: one year
  • Most felonies: seven years
  • Murder or violent sexual assault: no statute of limitations

Keep in mind that there are exceptions to Arizona’s criminal statutes of limitations. Consult with a criminal attorney in Mesa about the exact time limit on your case. If you are facing federal criminal charges, federal statutes of limitations will apply instead. States are constantly changing their criminal laws. Check with a lawyer for the exact statute of limitations for your alleged crime.

Applicable Defenses for Criminal Cases in Mesa

As the defendant of a criminal case in Arizona, you have the right to defend yourself. Hiring a defense lawyer can make it easier to create and present a strong case in your defense. Your lawyer will know all the possible defenses to your criminal charge, as well as the ideal one for you.

  • Incorrect defendant
  • Actual innocence/alibi
  • No crime committed
  • Lack of intent
  • Intoxication
  • Mental incapacity or insanity
  • Self-defense or defense of others
  • Lack of evidence
  • Civil rights infractions
  • Unlawful search or seizure
  • Fraud, coercion or duress
  • Entrapment

At AZ Defenders, our Mesa criminal defense attorneys custom-tailor their legal strategies to each client. We will take an in-depth look at your case, your criminal history, the evidence against you and many other factors before creating a defense strategy. Then, we will represent you during pretrial negotiations or a criminal trial to properly defend your rights.

Common Penalties for Criminal Charges

Being found guilty of a crime can result in a range of punishments. All these charges can result in either misdemeanor or felony consequences for a criminal defendant such as:

  • Jail or prison time
  • Probation
  • License suspensions
  • Fines

A criminal conviction can affect someone for the rest of their life. Aside from the penalties listed above, a conviction will result in a permanent mark on a person’s criminal background that can affect their ability to find sustainable work, gain admission to a school, or find a place to live.

How Much Does a Defense Attorney Cost?

It is normal to worry about the cost of hiring a criminal defense attorney in Mesa. You may already know the legal process can be expensive. You may also recognize the possibility of losing your job if your trial ends in a conviction. It is important to talk to a potential criminal defense lawyer about the price of his or her services sooner rather than later. Signing a contract before you know how much the lawyer will cost could lead to a financial headache later.

Each defense attorney costs a different amount based on the law firm’s policies and fee structure. The billing method a lawyer uses is up to that particular lawyer. In general, a defense lawyer will charge an hourly fee or flat rate. If you hire a lawyer at an hourly rate, you may also have to pay a retainer, or down payment. In addition to the attorney’s fees, you may have to pay for expenses such as printing fees, photocopying, expert witnesses and investigators. Ask your lawyer up front if he or she charges by the hour or uses a flat fee, what the fee covers, and when you need to pay.

You have the right to ask around at different law firms for fee estimates. Choose the lawyer with an amount that seems reasonable. Expect to pay more, however, for a highly experienced or reputable criminal lawyer in Mesa. Lawyers with solid reputations can charge more. You can also anticipate a higher bill if you are facing serious criminal charges, such as manslaughter or homicide. If you cannot afford to hire a private criminal defense attorney, go with a public defender instead. Every criminal defendant has the right to legal representation.

Talk to a Mesa Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you or somebody you love has been charged with a crime in Mesa, Arizona, you need to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney at our law firm immediately. The stakes are too high to rest your fate in the hands of an overworked public defender. At AZ Defenders, we understand criminal defense law and fully dedicate ourselves to each client. Our Mesa criminal defense attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation into your criminal case. Our goal is to get the charges against you significantly reduced or even dismissed. You can contact us online for a free consultation or by calling our law office at (480) 456-6400 to discuss your legal issue with a criminal attorney.