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What Is Arizona’s “Dangerous Crimes Against Children” Statute?

Posted on December 10, 2023 in Sex Crimes

Arizona’s “Dangerous Crimes Against Children” statute is primarily found in Title 13, Chapter 14, Section 13-705 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS). This law lists various crimes that, when committed against a minor under the age of 15, can come with greater potential penalties. If you are facing charges for an alleged dangerous crime against a child, don’t hesitate to contact AZ Defenders for a free legal consultation with a defense attorney.

Arizona Revised Statute Section 13-705

According to ARS § 13-705, dangerous crimes against children are defined as certain criminal offenses that took place when the victim was under the age of 15 and the defendant was 18 or older. These crimes can come with harsher penalties, including longer prison sentences, than identical crimes committed against adults. Arizona’s Dangerous Crimes Against Children statute can lead to more significant consequences for a conviction for one of these offenses.

What Are Considered Dangerous Crimes Against Children?

The majority of criminal offenses that are classified as dangerous crimes against children in Arizona are sex crimes involving minors and violent crimes. Examples include:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Certain drug offenses involving the use of a minor
  • Child abuse that could lead to death or serious physical injury
  • Child molestation
  • Child sex trafficking
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Child sexual assault
  • Child sexual exploitation or extortion
  • Injuring a minor while manufacturing methamphetamine
  • Kidnapping (including for prostitution)
  • Lewd or sexual acts with a child
  • Murder or attempted murder
  • Sexual conduct involving a minor
  • Unlawful age misrepresentation
  • Unlawful mutilation

These crimes can be handled differently in the Arizona legal system if the defendant is an adult and had reason to know that the victim was a child aged 15 or younger.

Enhanced Penalties Under the Dangerous Crimes Against Children Statute

If a criminal case in Arizona meets the terms of the Dangerous Crimes Against Children statute, a defendant could face harsher penalties if convicted of the underlying offense. The precise penalties will depend on the type of crime, the defendant’s prior criminal history, and any mitigating or aggravating factors involved in the commission of the crime.

If it is considered a dangerous crime against a child, the defendant could face a longer jail or prison sentence upon conviction. This includes a potential life sentence in prison. The defendant will also be ineligible for parole, probation and other early prison release programs. Finally, there could be collateral consequences for the offender, such as required sex offender registration and counseling.

What to Do as a Suspect or Defendant

If you have been accused of a crime involving a child under the age of 15 and arrested for one of the offenses listed above, it is critical to contact a criminal defense lawyer in Arizona as soon as possible. You could be facing the possibility of life imprisonment if your case fulfills the requirements of the Dangerous Crimes Against Children statute.

Our attorneys can help you navigate the criminal justice system and guide you through the process while protecting your legal rights. We will build the strongest possible defense strategy on your behalf to reduce the charges and penalties you face. Trust our experienced attorneys to help you during this difficult time.