County Attorney Announces Policy Changes to Address Gun Violence

Violent crime in Maricopa is soaring. Between August 19 and August 29, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office received submittals for 16 homicides. In just ten days, 16 lives were lost to violent crime. Of those cases:

  • 15 cases listed gun involvement
  • 5 cases involved a Domestic Violence component

To address the increase in violent gun crime, County Attorney Rachel Mitchell is making important changes to office policies that relate to the disposition of cases that involve the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Prosecution Policy 7.3 will require a prison sentence in any plea offer if a firearm is used in the commission of that crime. To ensure consistency in offers, deviations to these cases will require supervisor approval.

“Violent crime affects the quality of life of every person living and working in our community,” stated County Attorney Rachel Mitchell. “Keeping families and businesses safe is a priority for my office and this begins by holding dangerous offenders accountable.”

“The revision to our plea policies recognizes that these crimes will not be tolerated in Maricopa County. Those who choose to put the residents of this county at risk by using a firearm in the commission of felony will be held accountable,” Mitchell continued. “I will not let the Valley of the Sun and surrounding communities become another San Francisco or Chicago where law and order has been overlooked by prosecutors, which has caused unnecessary chaos.”

Prosecution Policy 7.3 has also been revised so that plea offers in a misconduct involving weapons case must include a stipulation to prison if the defendant has a historical prior felony conviction and is a prohibited possessor based upon the historical prior felony conviction. A Bureau Chief may approve a deviation from this policy.

These changes are effective September 2, 2022. Click here to read the plea policies on the county website.