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Colleen Grady
Colleen Grady, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Attorney and Counselor at Law
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If a former felon, non violent crime, is a passenger in a

Customer Question

If a former felon, non violent crime, is a passenger in a vehicle that is stopped for a minor traffic issue, and the police have him step out of the car and he as a hunting/buck knife on his belt, is he a prohibited possessor in Maricopa County, Arizona???
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** have been an attorney for 26 years. I will help you with this question.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 1 year ago.

I will provide an answer later today. Arizona is a liberal "knife" possession state. The question is whether the knife carried is considered a "tool" or a "deadly weapon". I want to see if I can find some case law that says whether a felon can carry a hunting knife. It is clear that a felon in Arizona cannot carry a "deadly weapon" unless he gets his civil rights to carry restored. It is not clear if this knife would be considered a deadly weapon. I have to see if there a court decisions that define if this knife is a "deadly weapon."

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Look forward to see what you find. I was told I should have posed the question this way: can a prohibited possessor be legitimately charged with misconduct in the use of weapons for merely possessing a hunting/buck knife when knife regulations were pre empted in AZ..ARS 13-3120 (he was a passenger in s vehicle on way to a fishing event
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 1 year ago.

As I read the statutes plain meaning of the Arizona Misconduct Involving Weapons statute, knives "except a pocket knife" may be considered "deadly weapons" and therefore cannot be concealed or carried within immediate control or in a car. I also found a recent Arizona case that held possession of 10 inch replica and combat knives to be deadly weapons. Also, a prohibited possessor is someone convicted of any felony (violent or non-violent) who has not had civil rights restored.

Here is what I found:

A.R.S. 13-3101. Definitions

A. In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. "Deadly weapon" means anything that is designed for lethal use. The term includes a firearm.

7. "Prohibited possessor" means any person:

b) Who has been convicted within or without this state of a felony or who has been adjudicated delinquent for a felony and whose civil right to possess or carry a gun or firearm has not been restored.

13-3102. Misconduct involving weapons; defenses; classification; definitions

A. A person commits misconduct involving weapons by knowingly:

2. Carrying a deadly weapon except a pocket knife concealed on his person or concealed within his immediate control in or on a means of transportation if the person is under twenty-one years of age

4. Possessing a deadly weapon or prohibited weapon if such person is a prohibited possessor;

I found a November*****of Appeals case that holds that it is the jury that decides what is a "deadly weapon". In that case the following was held:

In STATE v. SCHWEIGERT, SR. No. 1 CA-CR 14-0693, 11-3-2015, http://cases.justia.com/arizona/court-of-appeals-division-one-unpublished/2015-1-ca-cr-14-0693.pdf?ts=1446570019, the court found that a reasonable juror could find that either of the knives found in defendant’s home was a deadly weapon designed for lethal use. Both knives were nearly ten inches long with sharp metal blades and were either replica or genuine combat knives. The jury had the opportunity to examine the knives at trial. Thus, sufficient evidence supported the jury’s verdict that one of the knives was a deadly weapon.

Here is the law involving the restoration of Civil Rights:

13-905. Restoration of civil rights; persons completing probation

A. A person who has been convicted of two or more felonies and whose period of probation has been completed may have any civil rights which were lost or suspended by the felony conviction restored by the judge who discharges him at the end of the term of probation.

B. On proper application, a person who has been discharged from probation either before or after adoption of this chapter may have any civil rights which were lost or suspended by the felony conviction restored by the superior court judge by whom the person was sentenced or the judge's successors in office from the county in which the person was originally convicted. The clerk of the superior court shall have the responsibility for processing the application on request of the person involved or the person's attorney. The superior court shall serve a copy of the application on the county attorney.

C. If the person was convicted of a dangerous offense under section 13-704, the person may not file for the restoration of the right to possess or carry a gun or firearm. If the person was convicted of a serious offense as defined in section 13-706 the person may not file for the restoration of the right to possess or carry a gun or firearm for ten years from the date of his discharge from probation. If the person was convicted of any other felony offense, the person may not file for the restoration of the right to possess or carry a gun or firearm for two years from the date of the person's discharge from probation.

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