Arpaio lawyers file motion seeking an acquittal

Posted: Updated:
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Lawyers for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio have filed a motion in federal court seeking a judgment of acquittal in his criminal contempt-of-court case.

The motion was filed Thursday evening, hours after the fourth day of testimony at Arpaio's trial over his defiance of a judge's 2011 order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.

[RELATED: Defense rests in Arpaio's trial; closing arguments July 6]

Arpaio's attorneys say the case "is well beyond the one-year statute of limitations" and that the former six-term sheriff of metro Phoenix "has been wrongfully deprived of a trial by jury."

Prosecutors must prove the 85-year-old Arpaio intentionally violated the order to win a conviction.

If convicted, the retired lawman would face up to six month in jail although lawyers who have followed the case doubt he'll ever be incarcerated.