April 2010 Archives

April 30, 2010

Phoenix DUI Attorney

After being charged with a Phoenix, Arizona DUI, fear of the unknown is traumatic. You need answers to the question of "What happens next? The first thing you need to do is to contact an Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer experienced in defending Arizona DUI charges. A good Arizona DUI lawyer will make sure the DUI and all events have the least impact on you and your life as possible; exhaust all measures to lowering the charges and sentencing; and press for a complete dismissal of the matter, depending on the circumstances of your case.

The following will shed some light on the "General" order of processes that follow if they apply to your situation:

1. Motor Vehicle Hearing: To preserve your right to drive in Arizona, you must request a hearing within 15 days after your license has been taken from you by an officer or within the time set by Motor Vehicle in a suspension letter. If you had a valid license when you were stopped, you may qualify for a temporary license to drive until the hearing. You will be mailed a notice of the hearing about three weeks after your request. You can plan on at least 30-45 days of driving. If you lose at the hearing, you can not drive after the hearing. Crucial defenses can be developed at the hearing. Also ask your attorney of the consequences of requesting the hearing verses stipulating to the suspension. You are trying to minimize any and all impact on your life due to this DUI charge. Including the need for an SR 22 insurance policy.

2. Arraignment: This is the date on your ticket, about 30 to 60 days after your DUI arrest. If you have an attorney and are not on bond, you do not have to appear. A Good Arizona Attorney will take care of the first court date, so that you do not have to appear. The purpose of the arraignment is to mainly advise you of your rights. Your attorney will be able to give you that information. If you do not have an attorney, you must appear at the arraignment. If you do have an attorney confirm, whether or not you will be required to attend.

3. Pre-trial Conference:
Your attorney will discuss your case, with the prosecution and attempt to negotiate the best possible plea bargain. It will happen about 6 weeks after arraignment. The date is agreed upon by the Court and your attorney's calendar. There are typically 2-3 pre-trial hearings.

4. Suppression or Evidentiary Hearing:
A good Arizona DUI Attorney may be able to request the State to suppress some or all evidence against you, if your constitutional rights have been violated, or if any circumstances surrounding your case warrant suppression of the evidence. Your attorney will also file motions to the court requesting to suppress or dismiss a portion of all evidence, if the circumstances warrant. This usually occurs after the first pre-trial conference.

5. Trial: If your Attorney and the Prosecution are unable to agree upon an acceptable sentencing, plea bargain or dismissal of your case, you have the right to request a trial. Trial must be held within six months after plea.

6. Sentencing: The Court imposes a sentence after a conviction at trial or after a plea bargain is accepted and a plea entered. Sentencing and DUI convictions can include incarceration, driver's license suspension, fees, fines and/or counseling, and required use of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

DUI charges in Arizona are not something you want to defend on your own, without an Arizona DUI Defense Attorney. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws, in the country. Trying to defend your own Arizona DUI charges in absence of retaining a Phoenix Arizona DUI Attorney is very dangerous. Hiring an experienced DUI Attorney will make all the difference in the outcome of your case

Continue reading "AFTER PHOENIX ARIZONA DUI ARREST - ARIZONA DUI LAWS" »

April 29, 2010

Arizona Drug charges - Marijuana Lawyers in Arizona

Arizona continues to crack down on all types of Marijuana and other Arizona drug charges. Upon arrest, Arizona's criminal justice system brings out their arsenal of prosecutors, experts, technical resources and whatever they can, to build their case against you. But it is not over - not by a long shot, as long as you hire an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney with proven success in defending Arizona Marijuana Charges. With a good Arizona Criminal Attorney, you can fight the charges toward a lesser charge or even a complete dismissal. Here are at least 10 winning defenses strategies used by top Arizona Criminal Lawyers:

  • Exercising use of the 4th amendment of your constitutional rights due to illegal search and seizure of Marijuana by law enforcement. If law enforcement did not have a proper warrant or probable cause for search and seizure actions, any evidence can be thrown out.
  • Utilizing motions to suppress evidence where appropriate - that may result in case dismissals in Marijuana use possession or sale cases. For example, if you said more that you should have said to police out of confusion, or duress, involving the marijuana, that information can be challenged.
  • If you were denied the right to speak with an attorney, as soon as reasonably possible, your constitutional rights may have been violated, and evidence may be dismissed.
  • A common defense utilized is if the police did not follow all the rules of protocol and procedure in your Marijuana arrest.
  • Based on the circumstances in your case, a drug possession with intent to sell charges may commonly be pled down to drug possession which is a lesser charge with less serve punishments.
  • Issues related to ownership and possession can be challenged when drugs are found in a residence shared by multiple people.
  • If you are a passenger in a vehicle where Marijuana is found, say in a common access area of the vehicle, you may be charged with "constructively" possessed the drugs. The police may say that you both had knowledge and the ability to control the drugs. However, the charges can be challenged as to whether you were "merely present" while someone else possessed the drugs. Being "merely present" is not a valid criminal offense.
  • If Marijuana is found in a vehicle, home, work, or other commonly areas you may share with other parties, evidence may be challenged as to whether or not "you had knowledge" that drugs were present. Each case has its own set of circumstances, but evidence or witness may be presented in your defense that suggests you were unaware that the Marijuana was present.
  • An independent expert can be hired to examine the evidence and testify for your defense. Generally, your Arizona Marijuana Defense Attorney may employ a former drug enforcement officer and get an Independent expert opinion as to whether the drugs were possessed for sale. If the prosecution fails to present clearly exculpatory evidence, then that is a violation of Arizona Law.
  • Utilization of the benefits of PROPOSITION 200 (referred to as the "three strikes" rule) allows first time offenders to avoid jail through the acceptance of probation and a fine. First-time offenders should not be subject to confinement for a first or second drug offense for personal use as long as the amount of drugs involved with the charge were under certain threshold amounts. For the first time Marijuana charge you may be eligible to go into the Treatment Assessment Screening Center (TASC) program, where you will be subject to random urinalysis testing and drug education classes. This is a diversion program, whereby all criminal charges are dismissed once the program is completed and there will be no Arizona Marijuana conviction.

Continue reading "Marijuana Laws - 10 Arizona Marijuana Defenses! " »

April 28, 2010

Phoenix DUI - AZ DUI Laws

In Phoenix Arizona, did you know you can get an Arizona DUI without being drunk, or having had any alcohol at all? It's true. You can get a DUI if you are "impaired to the slightest degree" due to being under the influence of medication, prescription drugs. Arizona DUI charges with medication, are taken can be just as seriously by the State as a DUI with alcohol, that is with harsh punishments. If charged with a DUI linked to medication you should consult an Arizona DUI Lawyer as soon as possible regarding your case.

According to recent news agencies (source Arizona Department of Public Safety Laboratory ) report Arizona arrests + 377% surged in 2009 over from 2001 due to DUIs linked to legally prescribed medications such as anti-depressants (Valium and Xanax) and benzodiazepine (psychoactive drugs, such as those used to treat muscle pain, anxiety or insomnia). Arrests can occur even if you are driving impaired due to an over the counter accessible medication. If the law enforcement officers stop you, and suspect you of driving impaired, in absence of alcohol use you will be subjected to a toxicology testing based on blood draw or urine sample. If the results are positive, you will later be charged with a DUI. The severities of the DUI charges will be based on how much of the substance (s) was or were found in your bodily system based on toxicology results.

It can easily happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. So if you have taken any medications that may impair your ability to drive safely, you are better off getting a ride to your destination from family friend, taxi or other source who is not impaired. Leave the keys; you and everyone else will have piece of mind and be a lot safer on the road.

Continue reading "DUI with Medication - Arizona DUI Criminal Defense" »

April 27, 2010

Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer

In Arizona unlawful flight from law enforcement entities in an attempt to allude questioning, arrest, or prosecution is a class 5 felony. The maximum penalty can be up to 2.5 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections with substantial fines. Criminal Traffic related offenses such as this carry the possibility of significant penalties, and can include incarceration. This is a very serious crime. It is very important to consult an Arizona Criminal Attorney if you face the traffic offense of unlawful flight. Make sure your attorney has experience in defending unlawful flight charges.

First let's look at A.R.S. 28-622:

A.R.S. 28-622. Failure to comply with police officer; classification A. A person shall not willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of a police officer invested by law with authority to direct, control or regulate traffic. B. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

Unlawful flight then falls within the above subsection as follows:

A.R.S. 28-622.01. Unlawful flight from pursuing law enforcement vehicle; classification; vehicle marking required

A driver of a motor vehicle who willfully flees or attempts to elude a pursuing official law enforcement vehicle that is being operated in the manner described in section 28-624, subsection C is guilty of a class 5 felony. The law enforcement vehicle shall be appropriately marked to show that it is an official law enforcement vehicle.

All vehicular crimes cases including unlawful flight can be considered very serious Offenses. If charged, you should consult an Arizona criminal defense Attorney to discuss the circumstances of your case. In most cases this offense is serious, and it is highly recommended that you consult and experienced Phoenix Defense Attorney and consider retaining legal representation. Your Arizona Criminal Attorney will gather, and examine the evidence. Your Arizona criminal lawyer will then mount a defense best suited to challenge the charges you face. James Novak has the experience in Arizona criminal defense law to provide an immediate strong legal representation you need to be successful in defending an Unlawful Flight charge.

Continue reading "Unlawful Flight - AZ Traffic Criminal Offense" »

April 26, 2010

Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged in Arizona with a hit and run, the consequences may be More serious than you may expect depending on the severity and circumstances involved. If bodily injury or fatality is involved, the punishments and sentencing for an Arizona conviction are extremely harsh. You should consult an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney who is experienced in defending hit and run cases.

28-661. Accidents involving death or personal injuries; failure to stop; classification; driver license revocation

A. The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of a person shall:
1. Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the accident scene as possible but shall immediately return to the accident scene.
2. Remain at the scene of the accident until the driver has fulfilled the requirements of section 28-663.
B. A driver who is involved in an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury as defined in section 13-105 and who fails to stop or to comply with the requirements of section 28-663 is guilty of a class 4 felony, except that if a driver caused the accident the driver is guilty of a class 3 felony.
C. A driver who is involved in an accident resulting in an injury other than death or serious physical injury as defined in section 13-105 and who fails to stop or to comply with the requirements of section 28-663 is guilty of a class 6 felony.
D. The sentence imposed on a person for a conviction under this section shall run consecutively to any sentence imposed on the person for other convictions on any other charge related to the accident.
E. The department shall revoke the license or permit to drive and any nonresident operating privilege of a person convicted pursuant to subsection B of this section for five years.
F. The department shall revoke the license or permit to drive and any nonresident operating privilege of a person convicted pursuant to subsection C of this section for three years.

All vehicular crimes cases including hit and run can be considered very serious Offenses. If charged, you should consult an Arizona criminal defense Attorney to discuss the circumstances of your case. Based on the severity of the offense you many need to retain legal representation. Your Arizona Criminal Attorney will gather, and examine the evidence. Your Arizona criminal lawyer will then mount a defense best suited to challenge the charges you face. This may include obtaining an independent evaluation from accident reconstruction specialists, or other independent examination, causation, and other intervening factors. James Novak has the experience in Arizona criminal defense law to provide an immediate strong legal representation you need to be successful in defending hit and run charges. James Novak also has an Engineering Degree and draws from his education, training and experience to deal with such vehicular crimes and investigations dealing with hit and run accidents.

Continue reading "Law Arizona: Hit and Run " »

April 25, 2010

Phoenix Lawyer for Arizona Assault Laws and Aggravated Assault Criminal Charges

In Arizona, there are two specific categories of Arizona assault laws. The first is an Arizona misdemeanor "assault" laws and the second is an Arizona felony "aggravated assault" laws. Each assault crime exposes you to different levels of punishment. If you have been charged with Assault or Aggravated Assault, it is important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately about defending your Arizona assault laws criminal charges.

Arizona Assault Laws, Aggravated Assault Crimes

Arizona Assault: A.R.S. § 13-1203: classification
A. A person commits assault by:
1. Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person; or
2. Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or
3. Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.
B. Assault committed intentionally or knowingly pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1 is a class 1 misdemeanor. Assault committed recklessly pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1 or assault pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 2 is a class 2 misdemeanor. Assault committed pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 3 is a class 3 misdemeanor.

Arizona Aggravated Assault: A.R.S. § 13-1204: classification
A. A person commits aggravated assault if the person commits assault as prescribed by section 13-1203 under any of the following circumstances:
1. If the person causes serious physical injury to another.
2. If the person uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
3. If the person commits the assault by any means of force that causes temporary but substantial disfigurement, temporary but substantial loss or impairment of any body organ or part or a fracture of any body part.
4. If the person commits the assault while the victim is bound or otherwise physically restrained or while the victim's capacity to resist is substantially impaired.
5. If the person commits the assault after entering the private home of another with the intent to commit the assault.
6. If the person is eighteen years of age or older and commits the assault on a child who is fifteen years of age or under.
(Cited in Part)

Continue reading "ARIZONA ASSAULT LAWS " »

April 24, 2010

ARIZONA CRIMINAL DEFENSE

Arizona Laws dictate that involvement of an accident, leaving the scene is a criminal offense. These offenses can carry harsh punishments depending on the severity of the offense. It is important that you consult an experienced Arizona Criminal Defense attorney that has a solid understanding of the factors involved in the police investigation, prosecution, and is experienced and defending vehicular crimes.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident A.R.S. § 28-661

In Arizona, if you are involved in an auto accident that involves injury or death and knowingly fail to stop and give reasonable assistance, you can be charged with a felony. If the accident involves something less than serious injury or death, the criminal offense is a class 5 felony, punishable by up to 2.5 years in prison. If the accident results in serious injury or death, the criminal offense is a class 3 felony, punishable by up to 8.75 years in prison. Worst still, if you caused the auto accident, the offense is a class 2 felony, punishably by up to 12.5 years in prison. This sentence must run consecutively (back-to-back) to any other criminal sentence imposed for other criminal convictions related to the accident.

Under Arizona Law A.R.S. §28-662
, a driver of a vehicle, involved in an accident that only results to damage to a vehicle driven, must: 1. Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the accident scene as possible, but shall immediately return to the accident scene. 2. Remain at the accident scene until the driver has fulfilled the requirements of A.R.S. 28-663. 3. Make the stop without obstructing traffic any more than necessary A person is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor if he fails to stop or comply with A.R.S. §28-662.

All vehicular crimes cases including leaving the scene, weigh heavily on your Arizona criminal Attorney to examine and challenge the evidence with respect to the circumstances and legal issues. This can include obtaining an independent evaluation from accident reconstruction specialists, causation, and other intervening factors. James Novak has the experience in Arizona criminal defense law to provide an immediate strong legal representation you need to be successful in defending your leaving the scene of an accident charge. James Novak also has an Engineering Degree and draws from his education, training and experience to deal with such vehicular crimes and investigations dealing with leaving the scene of an accident.

Continue reading "ARIZONA CRIMIAL LAW - Leaving the Scene" »

April 23, 2010

Criminal Negligence Defense Attorney Arizona

Arizona Negligent Homicide is often referred as vehicular homicide. This occurs when A traffic accident resulted in an unfortunate fatality. This is a most severe offense which carries with it most severe punishments if convicted. If you have been charged with "criminal negligence" or "negligent homicide" you should consult An Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney who is experienced at defending these types of cases.

Negligent Homicide A.R.S. § 13-1102

In Arizona, a driver that causes the death of another person in an accident can be charged with "criminal negligence" meaning the driver fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk, where a reasonable person clearly would have; and that the failure to recognize it is a gross deviation from what a reasonable person would do given the same or similar situation. If you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and caused an accident and death you can face a charge of negligent homicide. Negligent homicide is a serious Arizona felony criminal charge. It is considered a Class 4 felony. A conviction for negligent homicide can result in a term of imprisonment of up to 3.75 or more years for a first offense, if the court does not grant probation at sentencing or if the defendant has their probation revoked for any reason. For a conviction, the crime of negligent homicide requires proof that the defendant, by criminally negligent conduct, caused the death of another person

At this point, you should know there is a distinction between manslaughter and negligent homicide: For manslaughter the defendant must have been aware of a substantial risk and consciously disregarded the risk that his conduct would cause death. With Negligent Homicide, the prosecution need only prove that the defendant failed to recognize the risk.

Due to the severe nature of the charges and possible prison sentences associated with these charges, you or your loved one will need an experienced Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer who will aggressively fight for your rights, defend your charges, and seek the best possible outcome for your case.

Continue reading "Negligent Homicide - Arizona Laws " »

April 22, 2010

Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney

An auto accident with injury or death involving Arizona DUI with alcohol or drugs,will result in serious Arizona criminal charges. If you leave the scene of the accident, additional charges can be added. In Arizona, vehicular assaults and manslaughter are viewed and prosecuted as seriously as shooting or killing someone with a handgun. It is important for you to consult an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney experienced in defending vehicular crimes.

Although many may view vehicular crimes as accidents, Arizona aggressively prosecutes driving recklessly. What this means is that even though there is nothing intentional about an accident, a negligent driver can still be subject to Arizona criminal conviction and subject to serious sentencing. This includes loss of your right to drive, probation fines, community service, counseling, jail, even prison.

Defending Vehicular Crimes in Arizona

Vehicular Crimes include but are not limited to the following:

  • Negligent Homicide
  • Vehicular Aggravated Assault
  • Endangerment
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident
  • Unlawful flight
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs

The impact of an Arizona vehicular crime conviction on you, your family, employment and other aspects of your life can be profound. Before you talk with police, call an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney, one who is very familiar with defending Arizona Criminal Defense and DUI defense matters. If you were involved in an accident and facing criminal charges with any Arizona vehicular crime, you must treat the Arizona vehicular crimes charges very seriously, as you can be convicted and sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence.

Continue reading "ARIZONA LAWS - Vehicular Crimes " »

April 21, 2010

ARIZONA THEFT ATTORNEY

Theft charges can be serious in Arizona. The police and prosecution aggrievedly pursue convictions for theft crimes. The range of sentencing for Arizona theft charges can be severe with criminal defense penalties that include probation, fines, restitution, community service, counseling, jail, prison and other punishments. If you face serious Arizona theft charges, hiring an experienced theft attorney can mean the difference between getting convicted of Arizona theft charges subject to severe punishments, or obtaining a more lenient sentence and possible dismissal. The choice is yours. But an experienced Arizona Criminal Attorney will agree with the motto: "Don't gamble with your future".

Arizona theft charges range from obtaining by false pretense, larceny, burglary, or theft of property. In its simplest terms, it is unlawful for anyone to steal, take or carry away property belonging to another person (s) or entity. A theft crime is defined as the illegal act of taking or using another person's property without permission or consent. It is also considered a theft crime to accept or receive property that you know to be stolen. Theft crimes classifications can range from acts of stealing from a store to the more serious felony crime of taking money from a corporation.

If you have been accused of committing a theft crime, it is important for you to consider hiring an Arizona theft criminal defense attorney who has experience handling cases of these types of charges. Phoenix theft crimes defense lawyer James Novak has been working in the Arizona criminal justice system for over 12 years, and has successfully defended clients charged wit a number of theft crimes, such as:

  • Misdemeanor theft
  • Felony theft
  • Auto theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Armed Robbery
  • Carjacking
  • Credit card theft
  • Identity theft
  • Fraud
  • Forgery
Arizona Criminal Penalties for Theft Charges The penalties for Arizona theft charge convictions will depend largely on the value of the property that was stolen, the number of items taken, the manner in which it was taken, was a weapon used, and the criminal history of the accused. If you have been accused of theft charges in the Phoenix metro area or anywhere valley-wide, you can be certain the police and prosecutors are going to come after you to seek a conviction. In their eyes, you are already guilty. Now they just have to build their case to prove it. It is critical that you contact a Phoenix Criminal Attorney experienced in defending theft charges as quickly as possible.

Continue reading "THEFT - ARIZONA THEFT LAWS" »

April 20, 2010

Concealed Weapons - Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney

Gun Laws are very controversial and can be subject to change in Arizona. On April 16, 2010, Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1108 passing the Arizona State law which gives Arizonans the constitutional right to bear concealed weapons, without a permit. This makes Arizona the third state (following Alaska and Vermont) allowing people to carry concealed weapons without the requirement of a permit. The measure takes effect 90 days after the current legislative session ends, which makes the law go into effect sometime in August, 2010.

Until then, if you are charged with carrying a concealed weapon or hidden firearm without a permit is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail with a fine of up to $2,500. So if you are charged carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, or violation of any other gun laws in Arizona, you should consult an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney experienced in defending charges related to gun laws.

Arizonans have been free to carry firearms openly since it earned it's statehood in 1912. But Arizona is extremely strict concerning what it considers to be misuse of gun laws. With regard to firearms used as part of a criminal offense, legislation was changed which makes the laws tougher. New language was added to make concealed weapons used while in the process of committing a crime in Arizona a felony. Formerly, that offense was a misdemeanor.

Continue reading "GUN LAWS - ARIZONA GUN LAWS" »

April 19, 2010

Arizona Marijuana Laws - Registration Requirements for Qualified Patients and Designated Caregivers if Ballot Initiative is passed in November 2010

Arizona Laws relating to Medical Marijuana have not changed. Consequences of any kind of Marijuana laws in Arizona are strict with harsh penalties even for medical marijuana users. If you are charged with any Marijuana Offense it is strongly suggested that you consult an experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyer or Marijuana defense attorney as soon as possible regarding a defense and legal representation. Meanwhile, Arizona braces itself for a possible historical change in medical marijuana laws based on voting results of a ballot initiative for November 2010 ballot cited as the "Arizona Medical Marijuana Act." If passed and enacted the language will amend the current law to legalize medical marijuana under certain conditions, restrictions, and limitations.

Below is a "sneak peak" at the cited text of the proposed amendment which outlines the requirements of the initiative measure for registration of medical marijuana use qualifying patients and designated caregivers:

"INITIATIVE MEASURE AMENDING TITLE 36, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY ADDING CHAPTER 28.1; AMENDING SECTION 43-1201, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; RELATING TO THE MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA; PROVIDING FOR CONDITIONAL REPEAL...

36-2804.02. Registration of qualifying patients and designated caregivers
A. A QUALIFYING PATIENT MAY APPLY TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR A REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARD BY SUBMITTING:
1. WRITTEN CERTIFICATION ISSUED BY A PHYSICIAN WITHIN THE NINETY DAYS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DATE OF APPLICATION.
2. THE APPLICATION FEE.
3. AN APPLICATION, INCLUDING:
(a) NAME, MAILING ADDRESS, RESIDENCE ADDRESS AND DATE OF BIRTH OF THE QUALIFYING PATIENT EXCEPT THAT IF THE APPLICANT IS HOMELESS NO ADDRESS IS REQUIRED.
(b) NAME, ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE QUALIFYING PATIENT'S PHYSICIAN.
(c) NAME, ADDRESS AND DATE OF BIRTH OF THE QUALIFYING PATIENT'S DESIGNATED CAREGIVER, IF ANY.
(d) A STATEMENT SIGNED BY THE QUALIFYING PATIENT PLEDGING NOT TO DIVERT MARIJUANA TO ANYONE WHO IS NOT ALLOWED TO POSSESS MARIJUANA PURSUANT TO THIS CHAPTER.
(e) A SIGNED STATEMENT FROM THE DESIGNATED CAREGIVER, IF ANY, AGREEING TO BE THE PATIENT'S DESIGNATED CAREGIVER AND PLEDGING NOT TO DIVERT MARIJUANA TO ANYONE WHO IS NOT ALLOWED TO POSSESS MARIJUANA PURSUANT TO THIS CHAPTER.
(f) A DESIGNATION AS TO WHO WILL BE ALLOWED TO CULTIVATE MARIJUANA PLANTS FOR THE QUALIFYING PATIENT'S MEDICAL USE IF A REGISTERED NONPROFIT MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY IS NOT OPERATING WITHIN TWENTY-FIVE MILES OF THE QUALIFYING PATIENT'S HOME.
B. THE APPLICATION FOR A QUALIFYING PATIENT'S REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARD SHALL ASK WHETHER THE PATIENT WOULD LIKE THE DEPARTMENT TO NOTIFY HIM OF ANY CLINICAL STUDIES NEEDING HUMAN SUBJECTS FOR RESEARCH ON THE MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOTIFY INTERESTED PATIENTS IF IT IS NOTIFIED OF STUDIES THAT WILL BE CONDUCTED IN THE UNITED STATES." (quoted in part from The Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project (AMMPP) Website)

To reiterate, an initiative to legalize medical marijuana with conditions is pending ballot
vote for the November 2010 election. However, Arizona Law in the meantime still remains strict with harsh punishments for Arizona criminal charges related to Marijuana offenses. If charged you, they are considered serious offenses and you will need to consult an Arizona criminal Attorney experienced in defending Marijuana charges to discuss your case.

Continue reading "Marijuana - Medical Marijuana Arizona " »

April 18, 2010

Arizona Drug Laws - Medical Marijuana

Arizona State Laws currently prohibit use of medical marijuana, and do not protect medical marijuana users from arrest. Therefore, possession of any amount will be treated as the applicable charges for criminal possession. There is, however, an initiative on the ballot for November of 2010 to legalize medical marijuana in Arizona. Until and unless this changes, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced Arizona Marijuana Defense attorney if you are charged with any drug crimes or criminal charges related to marijuana.

The summary of the initiative, as stated on the Arizona Secretary of State's website, reads as follows:

"The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act protects terminally or seriously ill patients from state prosecution for using limited amounts of marijuana on their doctor's recommendation. Qualifying patients who register with the Arizona Department of Health Services will obtain marijuana from nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries regulated by ADHS. Private cultivation will be allowed by ADHS only when no dispensary is available. The Act is self-funding and establishes safeguards: registration cards; fingerprinting of caregivers and dispensary personnel to exclude drug and violent felons; strict security, record keeping and oversight requirements; inspection of dispensaries; restrictions on number and location of dispensaries; and providing penalties..."

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, a group organizing the petition drive, is backing the measure that would allow residents in Arizona with specific medical conditions to be treated with certain amounts of marijuana for personal use. The marijuana must be received from state - regulated dispensaries and must be approved by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Opposition against Arizona marijuana initiative:

As with many initiatives this one does not go without opposition. In April of 2010, an opposing campaign created against the idea of legalizing medical marijuana called "Stop the Pot" was announced by Arizona political consultant and activists on opposing websites. They argue that the initiative will allow "users to smoke over 200 joints every 14 days. 200 joints a person is a lot of drugs on our streets, in our neighborhoods and around our children." In addition to questioning the amount of marijuana that could be dispensed, critics and skeptics question issues related to medicinal benefits, funding and zoning.

Arizona Profits if voters approve Marijuana Initiative in November 2010:

On March 25, 2010, Senators voted to tax the sale of marijuana, anticipating that the public will approve its use for medical reasons this November. The Arizona Senate passed SB 1222 will allow the state government to levy huge taxes on medical marijuana, should the initiative pass in November 2010. One argument by a voting official in favor of passing the bill was that if you tax something high enough consumers will less likely use it.

Bottom line
, the Arizona may be bracing itself to join 13 other States for what could be real legalization of medical marijuana laws in the near future. But, it's not there... yet. Until, and unless the current laws change, any Medical Marijuana users are treated like non-Medical Marijuana users and Marijuana charges are still considered serious offenses in Arizona. Users convicted still face harsh penalties including large fines, and incarceration. So if charged with any Marijuana offenses, you should consult an experienced Arizona Drug Defense Attorney, or experienced Arizona Criminal Attorney.

Continue reading "Marijuana - Medical Marijuana Laws in Arizona " »

April 17, 2010

Arizona Criminal Offense that fall within the Domestic Violence Statute

Domestic Violence covers a wide gamut of offenses beginning with violation of an order of protection (restraining order), simple assault, aggravated assault or as high as homicide. Many do not realize that an act they would consider harmless; or a private matter of their own right, is in fact a criminal offense in Arizona, of which State Law takes very seriously. If you are charged with any of the following Domestic Violence offenses, you should consult an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney who is experienced at defending Domestic Violence Cases in Arizona.

A number of criminal offenses fall under the Arizona's domestic violence statute, including:

  • Assault - A.R.S. §13-1203
  • Aggravated assault - A.R.S. §13-1204
  • Criminal damage - A.R.S. 13-1602
  • Disorderly conduct - A.R.S. §13-2904
  • Endangerment - A.R.S. §13-1201
  • False imprisonment - A.R.S. §13-1303
  • Harassment - A.R.S. §13-2921
  • Harassment (telephonic) - A.R.S. §13-2916
  • Kidnapping - A.R.S §13-1304
  • Order of protection violations - A.R.S. §13-2810
  • Restraining order violations - A.R.S. §13-2810
  • Stalking - A.R.S. §13-2923
  • Threatening and intimidation - A.R.S. §13-1202
  • Trespass - A.R.S. §13-1502-04
Whether a Domestic Violence case is charged as either a felony or misdemeanor is usually determined by the seriousness of the case. If charged as a misdemeanor, the punishment will not exceed 6 months in county jail. A felony conviction could result in a sentence of incarceration in prison. In Arizona, the domestic violence law requires the completion of a Domestic Violence Counseling program. If charged, you should consult an experienced Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney who will defend you and present your side of the story through the appropriate legal process.

Continue reading "Domestic Violence - Arizona Criminal Laws" »

April 16, 2010

Arizona Domestic Violence Laws

Arizona Criminal Law dictates that you may be charged with Domestic Violence if you have been accused of a crime for which the victim is related to you by marriage or lives with you, or otherwise affected relationships. Arizona's domestic violence laws apply not only to crimes against spouses, but also to crimes against partners, former partners, people who are dating, and the elderly. You should consult a seasoned Arizona criminal attorney that is experienced in defending domestic violence charges.

Arizona Revised Statute §13-3601 defines the affected relationships involved as follows:
1. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is one of marriage or former marriage or of persons residing or having resided together in the same household, this includes same gender cohabitation.
2. The victim and the defendant have a child in common.
3. The victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party.
4. The victim is related to the defendant or the defendant's spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister, or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
5. The victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.
6. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship.

13-3601. Domestic violence; definition; classification; sentencing option; arrest and procedure for violation; weapon seizure; notice
A. "Domestic violence" means any act which is a dangerous crime against children as defined in section 13-705 or an offense defined in section 13-1201 through 13-1204, 13-1302 through 13-1304, 13-1502 through 13-1504 or 13-1602, section 13-2810, section 13-2904, subsection A, paragraph 1, 2, 3 or 6, section 13-2916 or section 13-2921, 13-2921.01, 13-2923, 13-3019, 13-3601.02 or 13-3623, if any of the following applies:
1. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is one of marriage or former marriage or of persons residing or having resided in the same household.
2. The victim and the defendant have a child in common.
3. The victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party.
4. The victim is related to the defendant or the defendant's spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
5. The victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.
6. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship. The following factors may be considered in determining whether the relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship:
(a) The type of relationship.
(b) The length of the relationship.
(c) The frequency of the interaction between the victim and the defendant.
(d) If the relationship has terminated, the length of time since the termination.
(Cited In Part)

Continue reading "DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - AZ CRIMINAL LAW " »

April 15, 2010

ARIZONA CRIMINAL LAWS - DEFINITIONS AND CLASSIFICATIONS

Some do not realize that threatening or intimidating another person (s) falls withinArizona State Law as a criminal charge of Assault. If convicted of such assault charges you can expect serious penalties under Arizona Criminal Law. If charged It is important that you consult an Arizona criminal lawyer experienced in defending Arizona Assault charges to defend your case.

Threatening or Intimidating ARS 13-1202

A person commits threatening or intimidating if the person threatens or intimidates by word or conduct to cause physical injury to another person or serious damage to the property of another. Communicating threats also falls under the heading of assault. If you threaten bodily harm to another person or threaten their property, you may be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. If the threat is regarding is in an effort to get someone involved in gang activity, it is elevated to a class 3 felony and can carry 3 ½ years in prison.

13-1202. Threatening or intimidating; classification
A. A person commits threatening or intimidating if the person threatens or intimidates by word or conduct:
1. To cause physical injury to another person or serious damage to the property of another; or
2. To cause, or in reckless disregard to causing, serious public inconvenience including, but not limited to, evacuation of a building, place of assembly or transportation facility; or
3. To cause physical injury to another person or damage to the property of another in order to promote, further or assist in the interests of or to cause, induce or solicit another person to participate in a criminal street gang, a criminal syndicate or a racketeering enterprise.
B. Threatening or intimidating pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1 or 2 is a class 1 misdemeanor, except that it is a class 6 felony if:
1. The offense is committed in retaliation for a victim's either reporting criminal activity or being involved in an organization, other than a law enforcement agency, that is established for the purpose of reporting or preventing criminal activity.
2. The person is a criminal street gang member.
C. Threatening or intimidating pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 3 is a class 3 felony.

Any experienced Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney well versed in handling Assault Cases will advise you such laws if violated can result in serious criminal charges which should not be taken lightly. And you should consider retention of an Arizona Criminal Lawyer in such event.

Continue reading "ARIZONA ASSAULT - THREATENING OR INTIMIDATING" »

April 14, 2010

Aggravated Assault Arizona ARS 13-1204

An Arizona Aggravated Assault is an extremely serious charge with extremely serious consequences if convicted. If charged, it is important that you are defended by an Arizona Criminal Lawyer well versed and experienced in handling aggravated assaults. In general, Assault is generally characterized as the act of putting someone in fear of harm by threat of force or actual force, physically harming the person or simply touching the person with the intent to cause harm or injury to that person. When an assault crime elevates to an "aggravated assault" level, it usually involves the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon. A deadly weapon doesn't have to be a gun or other firearm. A deadly weapon can be things like a baseball bat, pipe, hammer, kitchen knife, sharp glass or other similar object.

Arizona Criminal Law includes many factors that elevate a physical assault to an aggravated assault, including but not limited to:

• Serious physical injury to another resulting from the assault
• Use of a deadly weapon during the assault
• Entering a private home for the purpose of committing the assault
• Assault by an adult against a child aged 15 or younger
• Assault knowingly committed against a peace officer

Aggravated assaults
are far more serious than simple assaults. There are several circumstances that can elevate an assault to the "aggravated" level. An aggravated assault is a felony in Arizona and carries with it the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence.

Dependant on the circumstances, aggravated assault is usually considered a Class 3 Felony. If this is your first offense you may be facing a range of 5-15 years in prison. Your criminal history and the circumstances of the crime will determine where in this range the Arizona judge sentences you.

If this is your second conviction of a dangerous offense the sentencing possibilities leap to 10-20 years. If it is your third conviction you could be sentenced to a prison term of 15-25 years.

13-1204. Aggravated assault; classification; definition
A. A person commits aggravated assault if the person commits assault as prescribed by section 13-1203 under any of the following circumstances:
1. If the person causes serious physical injury to another.
2. If the person uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
3. If the person commits the assault by any means of force that causes temporary but substantial disfigurement, temporary but substantial loss or impairment of any body organ or part or a fracture of any body part.
4. If the person commits the assault while the victim is bound or otherwise physically restrained or while the victim's capacity to resist is substantially impaired.
5. If the person commits the assault after entering the private home of another with the intent to commit the assault.
6. If the person is eighteen years of age or older and commits the assault on a child who is fifteen years of age or under.
7. If the person commits assault as prescribed by section 13-1203, subsection A, paragraph 1 or 3 and the person is in violation of an order of protection issued against the person pursuant to section 13-3602 or 13-3624.
8. If the person commits the assault knowing or having reason to know that the victim is any of the following:
(a) A peace officer, or a person summoned and directed by the officer while engaged in the execution of any official duties.
(Cited In Part)

A serious offense such as an Arizona aggravated assault requires a strong Arizona Criminal Defense. This is not something you want to go at alone.

Continue reading "ASSAULT - ARIZONA AGGRAVATED ASSAULT" »

April 13, 2010

CRIMINAL LAW RELATING TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT IN ARIZONA

Arizona Assault ARS 13-1203


Arizona criminal laws
regarding assault involve the putting someone in fear of bodily harm, touching someone with the intent of physical injury, or causing any physical injury to someone. If charged with Assault in Arizona you should immediately contact an experienced Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney. These are serious charges. Even a conviction of a misdemeanor assault can result in sentences that include jail, fines, community service, counseling, or other penalties.

There are three types of Misdemeanor Assault under Arizona Criminal Law, with increasing levels of severity:

If you have been charged under Arizona Assault - A.R.S. § 13-1203(A)(3), in order to obtain a conviction, the State must prove that you knowingly touched another person with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke that person. A conviction under this subsection is a class 3 misdemeanor, and can result in a sentence of up to 30 days in jail.

If you have been charged under Arizona Assault - A.R.S. § 13-1203(A)(2), in order to obtain a conviction, the State must prove that you intentionally placed another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury. A conviction under this subsection is a class 2 misdemeanor, and can result in a sentence of up to 4 months in jail.

If you have been charged under Arizona Assault - A.R.S. § 13-1203(A)(1), in order to obtain a conviction, the State must prove that you intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused physical injury to another person. A conviction under this subsection is a class 2 misdemeanor if you recklessly caused the injury, resulting in a potential sentence of up to 4 months in jail. If the State proves that you intentionally or knowingly caused the injury, the conviction is a class 1 misdemeanor, resulting in a potential sentence of up to 6 months in jail.

13-1203. Assault; classification
A. A person commits assault by:
1. Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person; or
2. Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or
3. Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.
B. Assault committed intentionally or knowingly pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1 is a class 1 misdemeanor. Assault committed recklessly pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1 or assault pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 2 is a class 2 misdemeanor. Assault committed pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 3 is a class 3 misdemeanor.

If you are charged with an assault in Arizona no matter how serious you should consult a Criminal Defense Attorney in Arizona who is experienced in handling all types of assault charges.

Continue reading "ASSAULT - ARIZONA CRIMINAL DEFENSE" »

April 12, 2010

Arizona Criminal Law defines "Endangerment". If you have been charged with
this offense you should consult an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Arizona State Law is clear and this charge can result in seriously
penalties.

Endangerment ARS 13-1201

A person commits endangerment by recklessly endangering another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury. Only the risk must be present, no actual physical injury has to occur.

Misdemeanor endangerment
refers to an act that endangers someone to risk personal physical injury. This carries with it a potential jail term, counseling, fines, and community service.

Felony endangerment involves the risk of "imminent death". This offense is more serious and carries a potential sentence of one year or more, but also labels you as a convicted felon and further affects your future and reputation.

Assaults happen quite frequently under a variety of circumstances. Sometimes assault charges are filed against people who were merely defending themselves. Don't try to feel your way through the criminal justice process alone. You will need a strong Arizona criminal lawyer to defend your case.

13-1201. Endangerment; classification
A. A person commits endangerment by recklessly endangering another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.
B. Endangerment involving a substantial risk of imminent death is a class 6 felony. In all other cases, it is a class 1 misdemeanor.

Continue reading "Endangerment - Arizona Criminal Defense " »

April 11, 2010

For a AZ DUI conviction of a an Arizona DUI offense pursuant to A.R.S. § 28-1381 or extreme DUI offense pursuant to A.R.S. § 28-1382 the term of probation is up to five years and for a conviction of an aggravated DUI offense pursuant to A.R.S. § 28-1383, up to 10 years. A.R.S. §13-902(B).

If you are placed on Arizona probation for your AZ DUI as part of your sentence, you are expected to complete all your terms of probation. Doing any of the following may cause you to be in breach of your probation: committing a new crime, failing a drug/alcohol urine test, failing to keep appointments with probation officer, and possessing a firearm. If you are convicted of a felony DUI and violate probation you could be held non-bondable pending your probation violation hearing.

Under Arizona General Crimes
: Unless terminated sooner, the term of probation for a class 2 felony is up to seven years; class 3 felony, up to five years; class 4 felony, up to four years; class 5 or 6 felony, up to three years; class 1 misdemeanor, up to three years; class 2 misdemeanor, up to two years; and class 3 misdemeanor, up to one year.

13-902. Periods of probation; monitoring; fees
A. Unless terminated sooner, probation may continue for the following periods:
1. For a class 2 felony, seven years.
2. For a class 3 felony, five years.
3. For a class 4 felony, four years.
4. For a class 5 or 6 felony, three years.
5. For a class 1 misdemeanor, three years.
6. For a class 2 misdemeanor, two years.
7. For a class 3 misdemeanor, one year.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, unless terminated sooner, probation may continue for the following periods:
1. For a violation of section 28-1381 or 28-1382, five years.
2. For a violation of section 28-1383, ten years.

28-1381. Driving or actual physical control while under the influence; trial by jury; presumptions; admissible evidence; sentencing; classification
A. It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state under any of the following circumstances:
1. While under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances if the person is impaired to the slightest degree.
2. If the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle.
3. While there is any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in the person's body.
4. If the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle that requires a person to obtain a commercial driver license as defined in section 28-3001 and the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more.

28-1382. Driving or actual physical control while under the extreme influence of intoxicating liquor; trial by jury; sentencing; classification
A. It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state if the person has an alcohol concentration as follows within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle:
1. 0.15 or more but less than 0.20.
2. 0.20 or more.

28-1383. Aggravated driving or actual physical control while under the influence; violation; classification; definition
A. A person is guilty of aggravated driving or actual physical control while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs if the person does any of the following:
1. Commits a violation of section 28-1381, section 28-1382 or this section while the person's driver license or privilege to drive is suspended, canceled, revoked or refused or while a restriction is placed on the person's driver license or privilege to drive as a result of violating section 28-1381 or 28-1382 or under section 28-1385.
2. Within a period of eighty-four months commits a third or subsequent violation of section 28-1381, section 28-1382 or this section or is convicted of a violation of section 28-1381, section 28-1382 or this section and has previously been convicted of any combination of convictions of section 28-1381, section 28-1382 or this section or acts in another jurisdiction that if committed in this state would be a violation of section 28-1381, section 28-1382 or this section.
3. While a person under fifteen years of age is in the vehicle, commits a violation of either:
(a) Section 28-1381.
(b) Section 28-1382.
4. While the person is ordered by the court or required pursuant to section 28-3319 by the department to equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device, does either of the following:
(a) While under arrest refuses to submit to any test chosen by a law enforcement officer pursuant to section 28-1321, subsection A.
(b) Commits a violation of section 28-1381, section 28-1382 or this section.

Continue reading "Arizona Probation - Arizona Aggravated DUI Convictions" »

April 10, 2010

Upon getting an Arizona DUI conviction some DUI penalties are mandatory by Arizona DUI Laws. In those cases an experienced DUI defense attorney will attempt to negotiate with the prosecution or the judge for alternatives to incarceration in county jail.

The following may be available under certain circumstances in some Arizona courts:

Home Arrest or Home Detention: This involves wearing an electronic ankle bracelet while under house arrest. It is not available in most courts.

Work Release: This involves authorization to leave jail to go to work or school in certain instances. If available, in most cases you usually must serve the first 48 hours in jail then released for five consecutive days for 12 hours in and 12 hours out, and then repeat the schedule.

Work Furlough:
This also allows you to keep your job and go to work during the day. However, this program is much more restrictive than work release.

City Jail:
This allows you to serve your time in the jail associated with the city you received you DUI. City jails are less crowded, cleaner and safer. This is usually less traumatic than serving a jail sentence in county jail or "tent city."

Not all of these options are available in every situation. Many factors influence your ability to negotiate an alternative location to serve your AZ DUI jail sentence. So if you are charged with a DUI you want to retain the best Arizona DUI lawyer you can find to get you the best outcome possible on your case.

Continue reading "Arizona DUI Penalties - Jail " »

April 9, 2010

A Phoenix Arizona DUI arrest can be a frightening and traumatic experience. Any Arizona DUI conviction will require a jail sentence, fines, counseling, and ignition interlock device. It is a serious offense. If charged with an Arizona DUI, you should contact an experienced Arizona DUI Lawyer as soon as possible.

Most people do not want their family, friends, or work to find out about it. They wish to put their AZ DUI arrest in the pas, and keep it as low key as possible. An Arizona DUI offense should not give cause for public humiliation. In the end, for many their DUI was simply lapse in judgment. The fact is that an Arizona DUI arrest can happen to anyone, any time, even to those who don't drink alcohol. For example, maybe you took a common over the counter cold medicine. And perhaps unknown to you it contained a small amount of alcohol or narcotic ingredient which you to be "impairment to the slightest degree" while driving. Does that make you a criminal? Do you deserve to be publicly humiliated, and embarrassed? Many people think not.

However, Maricopa County, Arizona officials do not see it that way, and feel otherwise. One of the new Web-Sites it operates actually posts the names, mug shots and blood alcohol content levels of people who have been arrested for Arizona DUI. The current County Attorney, Andrew Tomas openly states the following:

"People convicted of DUI will now have their photographs posted on this web site. If these offenders feel embarrassed or ashamed to be identified this way, that's tough. They should have thought of that before endangering other people by driving an automobile - a potential deadly weapon - on our roadways while under the influence of alcohol or drugs."

Currently, there are at least two websites that publish Arizona DUI mug shots. These Arizona websites are not without controversy. Currently they continue to run without opposition. Perhaps down the road new officials will reconsider if this practice. For now this campaign continues to run.

Continue reading "Arizona DUI Mug Shots" »

April 8, 2010

The statute of limitations for Arizona DUI does not preclude the State from prosecuting an individual just because "X number of years" has passed since the date of the alleged offense. If you have a question as to whether or not this applies to you, be sure you consult an experienced Arizona DUI Attorney.

The Arizona statute of limitations simply requires the State to file a formal charging instrument against the defendant within a certain time period. In Arizona, the statute is one year for all misdemeanors, at least seven years for felonies, sometimes more.

Therefore, if you are an out-of-state resident and received DUI Arizona arrest you must not ignore it. Many people are visiting Arizona and charged with crimes, including DUI - DWI. If you ignore it because you are in another State it could still catch-up with you down the road. The statute of limitations is "tolled". That is, it stops running until they find you.

If the charge is an Arizona Felony DUI you could be arrested and extradited back to the Arizona. If it is an Arizona misdemeanor DUI a hold can be placed on your license until you resolve the Arizona criminal charge. It may not impact you for years to come. However, you will find it may impact your employment, insurance and your right to drive.

13-107. Time limitations
A. A prosecution for any homicide, any offense that is listed in chapter 14 or 35.1 of this title and that is a class 2 felony, any violent sexual assault pursuant to section 13-1423, any violation of section 13-2308.01, any misuse of public monies or a felony involving falsification of public records or any attempt to commit an offense listed in this subsection may be commenced at any time.
B. Except as otherwise provided in this section, prosecutions for other offenses must be commenced within the following periods after actual discovery by the state or the political subdivision having jurisdiction of the offense or discovery by the state or the political subdivision that should have occurred with the exercise of reasonable diligence, whichever first occurs:
1. For a class 2 through a class 6 felony, seven years.
2. For a misdemeanor, one year.
3. For a petty offense, six months.
C. For the purposes of subsection B of this section, a prosecution is commenced when an indictment, information or complaint is filed.
D. The period of limitation does not run during any time when the accused is absent from the state or has no reasonably ascertainable place of abode within the state.
E. The period of limitation does not run for a serious offense as defined in section 13-706 during any time when the identity of the person who commits the offense or offenses is unknown.
F. The time limitation within which a prosecution of a class 6 felony shall commence shall be determined pursuant to subsection B, paragraph 1 of this section, irrespective of whether a court enters a judgment of conviction for or a prosecuting attorney designates the offense as a misdemeanor.
G. If a complaint, indictment or information filed before the period of limitation has expired is dismissed for any reason, a new prosecution may be commenced within six months after the dismissal becomes final even if the period of limitation has expired at the time of the dismissal or will expire within six months of the dismissal

Continue reading "Statute of Limitations for DUI in Arizona" »

April 7, 2010

In Arizona, upon a DUI conviction you are sentenced to certain mandated AZ DUI sentencing penalties. One of these includes jail time and alcohol or drug counseling. Most AZ DUI sentences include a two-step jail sentence.

For example the mandatory minimum jail sentence for a first time 28-1381, A, 1, conviction for Impaired to the Slightest Degree is ten (10) days jail. This may be broken into a one (1) day jail sentence with the remaining nine (9) days suspended to complete the mandatory alcohol screening and counseling.

If you fail to complete the screening or counseling then you will face the remaining suspended sentence. However, in actually, the maximum sentence allowed by law for a class 1 misdemeanor is six (6) months jail. Therefore, if you totally ignore what you have been ordered by the court you may find yourself facing the full 180 days jail.

28-1381. Driving or actual physical control while under the influence; trial by jury; presumptions; admissible evidence; sentencing; classification
A. It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state under any of the following circumstances:

J. Notwithstanding subsection I, paragraph 1 of this section, at the time of sentencing the judge may suspend all but twenty-four consecutive hours of the sentence if the person completes a court ordered alcohol or other drug screening, education or treatment program. If the person fails to complete the court ordered alcohol or other drug screening, education or treatment program and has not been placed on probation, the court shall issue an order to show cause to the defendant as to why the remaining jail sentence should not be served.
(Cited in part & emphasis added)

Continue reading "Arizona DUI Laws - Order to Show Cause" »

April 6, 2010

What to expect at Arizona's "Tent City" Jail:

Every Arizona DUI conviction carries with it jail time. AZ DUI Laws state that a person must serve at least 24 hours in jail if convicted of even the lowest level Arizona DUI charge. The maximum jail sentence for any misdemeanor DUI charge in Arizona is 180 days. It is important to speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney to get informed about what jail time, if any, you may be facing in your particular case.

If you are charged for the DUI in Maricopa County, Arizona and you have to do jail time for your Arizona DUI conviction, you will most likely do time. If you are charged for the DUI in Maricopa County, Arizona and you have to do jail time for your Arizona DUI conviction, you will most likely do time what is known as "Sheriff Joe's Tent City". Yes, Tent City is very real, and unfortunately, many of the rumors about the conditions there are true. Inmates can be exposed to extreme temperatures in the excessive heat of summer in Arizona (temperatures that have reached as high as 121 degrees) as well as the cold evening winter nights where it is not uncommon for temperatures to drop to below freezing.

All convictions of DUI in Arizona carry mandatory jail time. If you have been convicted of an AZ DUI, the judge will schedule a time for your mandatory jail sentence. Most Maricopa County, Arizona misdemeanor convictions in city or justice courts require you serve your sentence Tent City. Your Arizona DUI lawyer may be able to attempt to arrange for your DUI punishment to be served at an alternative location under certain circumstances. The corresponding court will provide an incarceration document that specifies the date and times you must serve. You must bring this court document to jail or they will not accept you and you may get additional penalties including extended jail time.

Many feel the punishment of serving time at Tent City, does not fit the crime for a DUI Conviction in Arizona. Arizona has some of the toughest laws and punishments for AZ DUI convictions in the Country. That is why it is so important to retain an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to defend your case, protect your rights, freedom, and future if you have been charged with a DUI in Arizona.

Continue reading "DUI Convictions: Jail in "Tent City" " »

April 5, 2010

Eleven Things NOT To DO if Stopped for an Arizona DUI:

1. DO NOT get out of your vehicle or unlatch your seat belt until the officer gives you permission or requests that you do so.

2 DO NOT ever touch the police officer! It can be used as a reason to arrest you or charge you with felony flight or felony assault on a police officer.

3. DO NOT resist arrest, and do not refuse to cooperate. Resisting arrest by itself is a reason to arrest you.

4. DO NOT try to "explain" the situation to the police - any statements you make could be taken out of context or twisted around to be used against you. Your Arizona Defense Attorney will present your side of the story throughout the defense, through the proper legal channels.

5. DO NOT complain. Making a scene or threatening to file a complaint only makes the situation escalate and your words can be used against you. Never argue with the police or lose your temper. Remember, you have the right to remain silent - Use it!

6. DO NOT make any statements about leaving from a bar. Do not admit drinking alcohol even if your last drink was hours ago.

7. DO NOT make any statements about smoking marijuana or taking illegal, legal or valid prescription drugs; even if the last time you did was hours, days or weeks ago.

8. DO NOT give your consent for any searches. However, the police may have the legal right to search post arrest or after obtaining a valid warrant.

9. DO NOT do any roadside balance or eye tests. Arizona DUI laws state that you are not required to perform these tests. However, if you do not, you should also know there is a chance you may be immediately arrested on the spot, and your refusal could be used against you at trial. Therefore, this is not a blanket rule and should be decided based on your individual situation. Think carefully about your choice.

10. DO NOT submit to a breath, blood, or urine test until after you have requested to call an attorney. However, do not delay submitting to the request. Any delay could be considered a refusal and cause the police to get a warrant and you would get a revoked drivers' license for one year.

11. DO NOT delay hiring an experienced Arizona DUI defense Attorney. While you do delay, the police and prosecution are building their case against you. You want your AZ DUI Defense Lawyer to begin fighting for you immediately, contacting the prosecution, examining evidence and building your defense.

These "DO NOT" items are general information intended as guides only. They may apply to most, but not all situations. Some of the Top criminal defense attorneys in Arizona have different perspectives or opinions on these items relating to being stopped or arrested for an Arizona DUI. Ultimately the decisions are yours to make based on the circumstances of your own situation.

Continue reading "Stopped For DUI - Eleven Tips from a DUI Lawyer " »

April 4, 2010

Things to DO if You are Stopped for a DUI in Arizona:

1. Do: Pull over immediately and wait for the officer to approach. Do not get out of your car. Stay seated calmly and be sure to keep your seat belt on, until the officer requests otherwise.

2. Do; Remain calm. Think, act and speak carefully. If the officer asks you why if you know why he stopped you, politely and simply say "no". .

3. Do: Provide license, registration, and proof of insurance. Note, from the second the officer approaches your auto, he/she will be evaluating your communications and actions, to look for signs of impairment. Know in advance exactly where your license and registration documents are, so that you do not nervously fumble for them. Remember they are looking for signs of impairment.

4. Do: Be as polite and courteous to the police officer as possible.

5. Do: Select your words and actions carefully. Don't get into an argument and try to maintain your composure. Anything you say or do can be held against you. Everything that happens at that stop including your words will be documented by the officer in the police report and used as evidence against you.

6. Do: If arrested, ask to speak with an attorney, if you do not have an attorney ask for a telephone book to attempt to reach a criminal DUI lawyer.

7. Do: Think carefully before refusing a breath, blood, or urine test. If you refuse, you will lose your driver's license for 1 year, rather than 30 days suspension followed by a 60 day restricted license. If you refuse the police will get a telephonic search warrant and take your blood by force. So the police will get the tests they want, one way or the other. Refusal of the tests simply buys you one year's loss of your driver's license.

8. Do: Ask for a second sample of blood or urine to be taken and preserved for you so that your Arizona Defense Attorney can have an independent defense retest on your behalf. You have the right to request it, and the right to obtain it.

9. Do: Request to be released for an independent blood test.

10.Do: Call an experienced Arizona DUI defense attorney for a free consultation about your phoenix drunk driving case as soon as possible.

These "Do" items are general information intended as guides only. They may apply to most, but not all situations. Some of the best Arizona criminal defense attorneys have different perspectives on some of the "Do" items and how they should be handled in the event you have been stopped or arrested for an Arizona DUI. Ultimately the decisions are yours. Choose wisely.

Continue reading "Ten DUI Tips from a DUI Attorney" »

April 3, 2010

Penalties for Marijuana possession in Arizona:

Marijuana (pot) offenses are the most common of all drug crimes in Arizona. If you have been charged with a drug crime, including marijuana possession you will want the best Arizona criminal attorney possible to defend your case.

Many people view marijuana charges as minor. However, the State of Arizona and prosecutors view them as serious offenses. The Arizona drug charge classification for marijuana offenses depends mostly on how much of the substance is found in your possession. Arizona Drug Penalties include prison time. In addition to incarceration, Arizona Marijuana drug penalties include large fines for a marijuana conviction. The minimum fine you will pay is $750. If the value of the marijuana in your possession exceeds $750, your fine will equal 3 times that amount, not exceeding $150,000.

Arizona Marijuana Laws ARS 13-3405 Penalties for Possession of Marijuana in Arizona:


If the amount of marijuana is:                          Then the potential sentence is:
Less than 2 pounds (not for sale)                      1 year in prison (Class 6 felony)

Between 2 and 4 pounds (not for sale)              1 ½ years in prison (Class 5 felony)

More than 4 pounds (not for sale)                      2 ½ years in prison (Class 4 felony)

Less than 2 pounds (intent to sell)                     2 ½ years in prison (Class 4 felony)

Between 2 and 4 pounds (intent to sell)            3 ½ years in prison (Class 3 felony)

More than 4 pounds (intent to sell)                    5 years in prison (Class 2 felony) 

Less than 2 pounds (that you produced)           1 ½ years in prison (Class 5 felony)

2-4 pounds (that you produced)                         2 ½ years in prison (Class 4 felony)

More than 4 pounds (that you produced)           3 ½ years in prison (Class 3 felony)

Less than 2 pounds (transporting into AZ)         3 ½ years in prison (Class 3 felony)

More than 2 pounds (transporting into AZ)        5 years in prison (Class 2 felony

In addition to prison time to your Arizona Marijuana drug sentencing, you will face large fines for your marijuana conviction. The minimum fine you will pay is $750. However, if the value of the marijuana you were caught with exceeds $750, your fine will equal 3 times that amount, not exceeding $150,000.

If the offense is Arizona Marijuana possession only and not possession with intent to sell, you may be eligible for deferred prosecution. Here, deferred prosecution is not mandatory. Instead, the prosecution must offer you an opportunity to participate in the program. Following completion of the program, the charges may then be dismissed upon approval by the court. However, if terms of the program are violated, you face an Arizona criminal conviction, exposing you to the full range of sentencing for the drug charges. Consult an experienced Arizona Criminal Defense attorney immediately if you have been charged with an Arizona Drug Crime.

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April 2, 2010

In cases where an Arizona DUI with Drugs is suspected, you will typically be required to undergo a urine drug test. A urine drug test is the least accurate means for measuring blood alcohol level. However, to gain evidence against you for a DUI arrest, urine drug tests are routinely used and more effective in detecting the presence of illegal drugs in the body.

A urine test detects the amount of alcohol in a person's urine. Typically, a person is asked to empty their bladder and wait 20 minutes before providing a sample to be tested. However, since water remains in the body's system over a period of time, urine is not as accurate an indicator of blood alcohol content as blood itself. As a result, in borderline cases a urine test could erroneously indicate a BAC in excess of .08 when in reality a person's BAC is within the legal limit.

Urine Drug Tests detect the presence of drugs in the body days after a drug has been used. Due to the manner in which drugs are metabolized and eliminated from the body, traces of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs may be detected in the urine long after they were initially used. As such, a urine test can only determine if a drug was used - not when it was used. Consequently, people arrested for an AZ DUI drug charge may not have been under the influence of a drug at the time of the AZ DUI stop when arrested even though their urine sample tested positive for drugs. Also, cases exist where over the counter medications such cough medicines, certain pain relievers, and cold medicines have mistakenly resulted in a positive indication for marijuana, heroin, or other illegal drugs.

A good DUI Attorney will gather evidence from lab technicians and forensic specialists when challenging urine tests. This is because technicians and police often fail to follow proper Arizona DUI Law protocol since questions often arise pertaining to the accuracy of the tests and the dependability of the results. Many defendants have been convicted of Arizona drunk driving charges due to an improper, inaccurate urine test. If there has been mishandling in test administration or handling protocol, your Arizona DUI Lawyer may be able to get the urine test results thrown out, and in some cases the case itself dismissed.

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April 1, 2010

AZ Marijuana DUI penalties carry a mandatory sentence that includes incarceration for at least 24 hours and not more than 6 months for a first-time offense. Penalties under AZ Marijuana DUI laws may also include fines, fees, drug counseling, probation, suspended drivers' license and other punishments.

Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) 28-1381 (in pertinent part)

28-1381. Driving or actual physical control while under the influence; trial by jury; presumptions; admissible evidence; sentencing; classification

A. It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state under any of the following circumstances:

1. While under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances if the person is impaired to the slightest degree.

3. While there is any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in the person's body.

B. It is not a defense to a charge of a violation of subsection A, paragraph 1 of this section that the person is or has been entitled to use the drug under the laws of this state.

D. A person using a drug, as prescribed by a medical practitioner licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 7, 11, 13 or 17 is not guilty of violating subsection A, paragraph 3 of this section.

Arizona has some of the toughest DUI, and DUI Marijuana laws in the Country. That is why if charged you will need to retain the best Arizona Marijuana DUI lawyer or Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney you can find to defend your case.

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