Study Finds Violent Crimes are Higher in Phoenix’s Low-Income Areas

9September
2019

Many studies point to a high link between low income and violent crime. Research has found violent crimes are higher in Phoenix’s low-income areas.

As well as elevated levels of violent offending, residents of these neighborhoods often suffer from more drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness.

Studies show a link between violent crime and poverty in Arizona
Studies find more violent crime in low-income areas

In a recent report, AZCentral noted higher levels of offenses like killings and violent assaults in the Alhambra village.

Even in 2014 when the homicide rate in Phoenix was down on previous years, the Alhambra village saw a rash of killings. Of 116 homicides that year in Phoenix, 14 occurred in

The Alhambra village. This was the second highest murder rate in all of the villages in the city and double the overall murder rate for Phoenix.

AZCentral noted villages like Alhambra, Central City, and South Mountain also had higher rates of violent crime than the city average.

A link between income and violent crime was also apparent in a 2018 study by 24/7 Wall Street. Tucson, the second largest city in Arizona, was included in a table of the 50 worst cities to live in in the country. The typical household income in Tucson was just over $40,000, the study found.

With a poverty rate of nearly 24 percent, Tucson comes in way above the national average of 14 percent and Arizona’s poverty rate of 16.4 percent, according to the article.

“Crime is also relatively common in Tucson,” the article stated. “There were 799 violent crimes and 5,891 property crimes in the city in 2016 per 100,000 people, more than double the comparable crime rates on a national scale.”

The 24/7 Wall Street article listed Phoenix as the 15th poorest city in the country. The study found nearly 123,000 people in the Phoenix live on or below poverty level incomes in 64 extremely poor neighborhoods, where as much as 40 percent of the population is impoverished. The study stated:

“Americans living in extreme poverty face greater hurdles to economic and social mobility. At Phoenix’s poor neighborhoods, just 8.1 percent of adults have a bachelor’s degree compared to 31.4 percent of adults in the rest of the metro area.”

Crime was concentrated in poor neighborhoods in Phoenix. The study suggested the high concentration of poverty in the largest city in Arizona may be fueling the metro area’s overall violent crime rate. The study pointed to 471 violent crimes for every 100,000 Phoenix residents in 2017, considerably above the national violent crime rate of 383 per 100,000.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration makes a clear link between poverty and mental health. It says poverty may exacerbate the severity of mental health issues.

At the Garcia Law Firm, PLC, attorney Bernardo Garcia has a long and distinguished track record in representing people with mental illnesses who are charged with violent crimes. Please call us at (602) 340-1999.

Posted in Violent Crime | Tagged |

What Are Arizona’s Failure to Stop Laws?

6September
2019

Fleeing the scene of a traffic accident or not stopping for a police officer is a serious offense in Arizona as in other states. Falling foul of Arizona’s failure to stop laws can land you in prison.

Failure to stop is an offense under A.R.S. 28-1595. A driver may be charged with the offense if he or she does not stop after receiving a “visual or audible signal or instruction” from a police officer.

Outlining Arizona's failure to stop laws
Failure to stop in Arizona can land you in jail

When a driver fails to stop, the motorist often ends up involved in a police chase and further charges may follow such as reckless driving.

The law states a driver who refuses to show his or her license to a police officer or an unlicensed driver faces a class 2 misdemeanor.

The evidence is required identity should include the following information:

1 The full name of the driver

2. The driver’s date of birth.

3. The driver’s home address.

4. A brief physical description of the driver, including the driver’s sex, weight, height and eye, and hair color.

5. The driver’s signature.

Drivers who flee a police officer or a highway patrol officer face further problems. This offense is a class 5 felony. The statute is called the “felony flight” law. A motorist who tries to outrun or outmaneuver an officer in an officially marked law enforcement vehicle faces a felony charge.

Some people fail to grasp the consequences of these offenses. You can end up behind bars under Arizona’s failure to stop laws. Under the Arizona criminal sentencing guidelines, a class 2 misdemeanor carries up to of 4 months in jail. A driver who does not stop may also pay up to $750.00 in fines, as well as possible other sanctions.

If you are convicted of a class 5 felony for evading police you will face six months to 2 years in prison terms, fines and court fees. You will also end up with a felony on your record.

There are defenses to this crime. One of the most important ones is where a driver failed to realize he or she was being signaled to stop by a police officer. Of course, if the driver was involved in an accident with injuries or significant property damage, he or she has an obligation to stop and wait for the police.

However, drivers sometimes fail to realize they are being asked to stop by an officer. It may be late at night or they may believe the officer was trying to stop another motorist.

A driver who is accused of felony flight may be unaware he was being pursued. Or the pursuit vehicle might have been unmarked. These are legitimate defenses.

If you have fallen foul of Arizona’s failure to stop laws or been accused of felony flight, please contact our Phoenix criminal defense attorney today.

Posted in Arizona Laws | Tagged |

Serious Crimes Against Children in Arizona

2September
2019

Serious crimes against children carry heavy sentences in Arizona and elsewhere. Not only do prosecutors crack down hard on crimes against young people but juries are unlikely to show much sympathy toward defendants.

People who commit crimes against children often spend long terms in prison. Even when they are released, their reputation is tarnished. They may end up on the sex offender’s register, their family life is often ruined and it can be impossible to land a job.

Serious crimes against children in Arizona
The penalties for serious crimes against children in Arizona

At the Garcia Law Firm, we can represent you if you have been charged with serious crimes against children. Offenses include the following:

1 Child Abuse

A defendant can be charged with child abuse for a wide range of acts under Arizona law. These include:

Physical abuse such as breaking bones, bruises, cuts, and other injuries;

Sexual abuse which includes child pornography, sexual assault, and prostitution;

Abandonment – the failure of a parent to provide adequate support;

Emotional abuse of a child by a caretaker;

Neglect such as locking a child up and failing to provide adequate food and water.

People in a position of responsibility who fail to report child abuse face a class 1 misdemeanor.

According to the Arizona statute ARS § 13.3623, a defendant can be charged with a class 6, 5, 4, 3, or 2 felony conviction, depending on the circumstances related to the alleged child abuse offense.  Class 2 felonies carry up to 12.5 years in prison for a first offense and a fine of up to $150,000.

What is Sexual Exploitation of a Minor?

Sexual exploitation of a minor is a very serious crime in Arizona.

Sexual exploitation of a minor includes filming, recording, duplicating, selling, buying “sexting” or electronically transmitting any visual depiction of a sexual act with a minor. This is a wide offense and people can fall foul of this law without knowing it. In some cases, parents who have taken innocent pictures of their children have been wrongly accused of sexual exploitation. In other cases, people have sent or forwarded images without realizing the material they contained.

If the images feature children under the age of 14, the offense is classified as a dangerous crime against children. Each offense that is classified as a dangerous crime against children carries a minimum of 10 years in prison, a presumptive sentence of 17 years and a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison. People convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor in Arizona may spend more time behind bars than people convicted of murder.

Sex Trafficking Against Children in Arizona

Sex trafficking against children in Arizona is treated very seriously. According to the Office of the Attorney General, a first conviction for sex trafficking against children carries a sentence of 10.5 to 13.5 years. The average age for entry into the sex trafficking trade in the state is 14. Sex trafficking often crosses state and international borders and can be dealt with by the federal courts, carrying an even higher sentence.

Crimes against children are grave matters. When people with mental illnesses are charged with this crime, they often struggle to defend themselves. An experienced AZ criminal defense lawyer can help. Please call the Garcia Law Firm at (602) 340-1999.

Posted in Arizona Laws, Sex Crimes | Tagged |