March 2011 Archives

March 31, 2011

How Scottsdale Criminal Defense Attorneys use Arizona laws to defend your case

Scottsdale Auto Theft Charges or "Theft of Means of Transportation"
Auto theft in Arizona has earned one of the top five positions of states in the country for the highest number of Auto Thefts. Arizona prosecutors work with police vigorously to get convictions. The legal name for auto theft is "Theft of Means of Transportation". A conviction for Scottsdale auto theft can expose you to nearly a decade of incarceration in State Prison. Auto Theft charges are serous felonies charges. If charged with Scottsdale auto theft you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney who defends Scottsdale auto theft as soon as possible to discuss your charges and defense options.

Scottsdale Auto Theft Laws
Auto Theft Charges in Scottsdale for purposes of administration, penalties and sentencing are governed by the State of Arizona. "Theft of Means of Transportation" or auto theft can be found under criminal code A.R.S. 13-1814. Auto theft is a class 3 felony, and an Arizona victim crime.

In simple terms the law requires that in order to get a conviction the prosecution must prove that...:
1. You knowingly took a vehicle without permission or legal authority;
2. You controlled, converted or obtained another person's means of transportation.
3. Your intent was to permanently deprive another of their automobile.
In sum, the Arizona Criminal Laws indicates that the defendant must have "known" they were taking someone else's vehicle; they took control while "knowing" it was stolen; and their intent was not to return it to the rightful owner. Many people are surprised to learn that they can be convicted of auto theft if they failed to make a reasonable effort to find the rightful owner of a vehicle if a defendant intends to keep or possess a vehicle they found.

Scottsdale AZ Theft Penalties
The penalties for conviction of non-violent class 3 felonies, with no criminal record convictions, among other penalties will expose the defendant to upwards of 8.75 years in state prison, 12 months jail, and restitution or supervised probation, more. If the defendant is convicted of Auto theft, and has a prior criminal record, and or any violence was involved, the penalties will increase based on the circumstances surrounding the charges.

Scottsdale Auto Theft Defense Attorney
If you are charged with a Scottsdale auto theft, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer or Scottsdale auto theft attorney as soon as possible. A good auto theft defense lawyer will make sure you are treated fairly in the criminal justice system; investigate your case; determine what defense tactics will best serve your case; examine the evidence, interview witnesses, determine if any of your constitutional rights were violated, present compelling arguments and file appropriate motions on your behalf; and make every effort to get your charges dismissed, reduced, or the otherwise best outcome in your case.

Continue reading "Auto Theft Laws: What is considered "Auto Theft" for purposes of prosecution and convictions" »

March 24, 2011

How Top Criminal Attorneys Defend Auto Gilbert AZ Auto Theft Charge.

Auto Theft Charges | "Theft of Means of Transportation" in Gilbert AZ
Auto Theft in Arizona according the AZ Statutes is known as "Theft of Means of Transportation". A conviction of auto theft charges in Gilbert AZ potentially carries penalties of 8.75 years in prison. Aggravating factors including violence, repeat offenses or concurrent charges can increase the penalties. Auto Theft charges are Class 3 felonies and are considered Arizona crimes against victims. Due to the nature and seriousness of these charges you should seek legal representation for criminal defense of these charges.

The State of Arizona works hard to prosecute those accused of auto theft charges. If you face Gilbert AZ auto theft charges you should contact an Arizona criminal defense attorney who is experienced at defending this offense in the jurisdiction where you were charged. .

Auto Theft Laws Gilbert AZ
Auto Theft or "Theft of Means of Transportation" charges are governed by Arizona State Criminal Law. Classifications and sentencing are outlined in detail at the State of Arizona Legislative code website, under criminal code A.R.S. 13-1814. Auto theft is a class 3 felony in Arizona.

Arizona Criminal Law requires the Arizona Prosecution to prove the following in order to get a conviction:
1. You knowingly took a vehicle without permission or legal authority;
2. You took control, converted, or obtained someone else's means of transportation without their consent.
3. Your intent in taking the vehicle was to permanently deprive that entity of another of their vehicle or means of transportation.

So in sum, you must have known you were taking a vehicle that did not belong to you without the owner's permission; you took control of a vehicle that you knew was stolen; and you had no intention of returning it to the owner.

Also, In Arizona, if you take control or possession of a vehicle that is not yours, and you do not know who it belongs to you can be charged with Auto Theft if you fail to make a reasonable effort to find the rightful owner.

Penalties for Gilbert AZ Auto Theft
Arizona Sentencing for Auto Theft convictions that are non-violent, not repeat offenses, with no prior criminal history is still a class 3 felony. Sentencing carries upwards of 8.75 years of incarceration in state prison, 12 months jail, restitution or supervised probation, and other penalties the judge deems necessary. If violence was involved in the incident, or this was a repeat offense, or other aggravating factors exist, more criminal charges may be brought by the prosecution. If convicted, additional penalties, fines, restitution, and a longer prison term may be ordered by the judge.

Criminal Defense Attorney for Auto Theft Charges in Gilbert AZ
If you have been charged with Gilbert AZ auto theft, you should consult a criminal defense attorney or auto theft attorney in Arizona as soon as possible. A good criminal defense firm or auto theft defense lawyer will make sure your rights are protected; you are treated fairly; gather and examine all the evidence; determine what defenses will best serve your defense, interview witnesses, present compelling arguments and motions on your behalf and guide you through the criminal law process in Arizona. Good criminal lawyers who defend Gilbert AZ auto theft charges will first take every opportunity to strengthen your defense against the prosecutions case against you, attempt to get the charges dismissed, reduced, and all the while working towards obtaining the best results for your defense.

Continue reading "Auto Theft Charges: Burden of Proof needed for conviction" »

March 22, 2011

10 things experienced DUI lawyers may advise you to do after a DUI Arrest in Tempe that may increase your chances of getting a good outcome.

1) Consult a Tempe AZ DUI attorney. The chances of getting a dismissal of your DUI, charges a reduction in charges, or other favorable outcome increase substantially with legal representation by a private DUI Lawyer or criminal defense attorney.

2) Remain silent. By remaining silent you will help you avoid incriminating comments that will damage your defense case. If questions continue, from Tempe AZ police, or prosecution, politely say you wish to remain silent until your attorney is present. Unjust denial of your request is a violation of your rights and can lead to suppression of evidence or dismissal of your Tempe DUI charges.

3) Write a narrative. Document as much information as you can as can remember. Include events before, during, and after the arrest; discussions, questions and answers; food, drink or medication consumed; and names of witnesses or passengers that may be willing to testify on your behalf. Details that seem irrelevant to you may actually be something an experienced DUI attorney considers material to your defense.

4) Repair any vehicle problems that may have resulted in the DUI stop. This includes burnt out head or tail lights, turn signals, or whatever triggered the Tempe police to pull you over.

5) Get proper insurance and registration. If you were cited for failure to possess proper insurance or registration, get it. If you already had but were unable to provide proof of provide a copy of it to your Tempe DUI attorney, and keep the original for the court.

6) Resolve Unpaid Fines or Tickets. The court will review your past driving or criminal history for neglect any other prior driving violations, or criminal convictions. If so, this may have an adverse impact on your sentencing.

7) Photograph the location of the DUI stop. A good DUI attorney will be able to recognize if there is anything in the photos, or lack of certain things, that police relied on to stop or arrest you that can result in cause to challenge facts or evidence.

8). Request a Motor Vehicle Hearing: If your driver's license was taken you must request a MVD hearing within 15 days or date otherwise set by the Motor Vehicle Department. Be sure to discuss your options first with your DUI attorney. There are consequences of requesting the hearing that differ from stipulating to a suspension.

9) Appear for your arraignment unless your Attorney advises you otherwise. This is the date on your ticket. If you do not have an attorney, your appearance is mandatory. If you fail to appear to the arraignment a warrant will be issued for your arrest. If you have retained a DUI lawyer, they will advise you of whether or not you will need to attend. In many cases your attorney can get have the arraignment vacated or can appear on your behalf.

10) Be on time for all court appearances you are required to attend. If you are late, this is considered ill regard and disrespect to the court and the seriousness of your DUI charges.

For more information about winning criminal and DUI defense strategies visit www.arizonacriminaldefenselawyer.com where you can download free AZ DUI defense books written by experienced attorney James Novak as well as DUI defense videos produced by James Novak, Tempe DUI Defense Attorney.

Continue reading "10 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO AFTER A DUI ARREST" »

March 18, 2011

Auto Theft Charges or "Theft of Means of Transportation"

Auto theft charges in Mesa, AZ are officially called "Theft of Means of Transportation" according to Arizona Law. Auto theft is a class 3 felony. It is considered a crime against a victim in Arizona which carries harsh penalties for convictions. Arizona vigorously prosecutes defendants accused of auto theft. For a first time auto theft conviction, you can face 8.75 years in prison. Other penalties can include restitution, fines, and a felony criminal record that will follow you for years. You should consult a Criminal Attorney who is well versed at defending Mesa AZ auto theft charges as soon as possible if you have been charged with Mesa AZ Auto Theft.

Auto Theft Laws in Mesa AZ
Before discussing the defenses, we first look at the law. The best criminal defense attorneys in Arizona know how to use the Arizona law in your favor. Criminal Laws are not used only to convict and prosecute defendants. Good Attorneys will use those same laws for authority to defend your case. .

Auto theft charges the occur in Mesa AZ are governed by the State of Arizona criminal law Guidelines, Classification, Penalties, and Sentencing can be found in detail under Arizona Statutes for Auto Theft Law "Theft of Means of Transportation" A.R.S. 13-1814.
For the sake of legal ease, here is a summary: In order to get a conviction, the Arizona Prosecution needs to prove that...

1. You knowingly took a vehicle without the owner's permission or legal authority;
2. You controlled, converted or obtained another person's "means of transportation".
3. Your intent was to permanently deprive another of their vehicle.

The defendant needed to have "known" they were taking someone else's vehicle; and they intended to keep it permanently from the rightful owner. With good legal representation by a private practice attorney, this can be an uphill battle for the prosecution.

5 Criminal Defenses for Auto Theft Charges in Mesa
There are a variety of defenses that can possibly be used based on the circumstances of the charges. Just to name a few, here are some defense tactics used by top local criminal defense attorneys in Mesa, AZ.

1) The defendant thought they had consent for the owner. This typically occurs with family members, friends, or domestic partners, where the defendant at one point was a permissive user, and then the owner made the defendant aware that their permission was no longer valid and they rescinded their permission. The defense would be that you thought you had consent, and did not intend to steal the vehicle.

2) Mistake of fact involving a defendant's purchase. This applies when someone purchases, a vehicle from another person or entity in good faith that they believed were the rightful owners. Later, the defendant learns it was a stolen vehicle. In this case, the defendant did not have "knowledge" that it was a stolen vehicle. Nor did they intend to permanently deprive the rightful owner of their means of transportation.

3) Mistake of fact regarding lease, loan or borrowing of a vehicle from someone they believed to be the rightful owner, or lender. A good criminal defense lawyer would argue that you rented or borrowed the vehicle from the loaner or person who rented you the vehicle without knowledge of it being stolen, or intent to deprive the owner of their means of transportation.

4) Violation of Constitutional rights - This includes but is not limited to a) unlawful search and seizures of person or residence b) denial to right to counsel; c) police intimidation, threat, or coercion for the purpose of self-incrimination and get you to admit to a crime. And further it continues after you have told the police you wish to withhold comments or any answers until your defense attorney is present.

5) Weaknesses in the prosecution's case including lack of evidence, lack of witnesses, statements made by unreliable witnesses, or lack of due process and improper investigation by the police.

These are just 5 defenses of many that are used by experienced auto theft defense and criminal defense trial lawyers in Arizona. The defense tactics used are dependent upon the facts of your case. A good criminal defense attorney experienced at defending auto theft cases will know what defenses to use under what circumstances. Convictions for auto theft are too serious to face without good private practice criminal defense. Without proper legal defense by a qualified attorney you forfeit any chance of getting the charges dismissed, reduced, or any good outcome in your Mesa AZ auto theft charges. .

Continue reading "Defenses commonly used to challenge Auto Theft Charges" »

March 17, 2011

Why You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to represent you at your Preliminary Hearing in Maricopa County

Preliminary Hearing
A Preliminary Hearing is the second phase of the Arizona criminal justice system (with the exception of felony indictments which has a different process). It follows your Initial Court Appearance and was the court date, time and location given to you on your Maricopa County complaint or citation for your Maricopa County arrest. You should in consult and retain an experienced criminal defense or DUI defense attorney who defends charges in Maricopa County Court to represent you for this hearing. They will make sure your rights and defenses are protected. The preliminary Hearing is held before a court commissioner in the Regional Court Center (RCC). It is a critical point in time for your case, and too important to go legally unrepresented.

The Purpose of the Preliminary Hearing
The purpose of the Preliminary Hearing is for the Court Commissioner to decide if there is enough evidence to show that a violation of the law most likely occurred, and that you were probably the one who committed that crime.

The Importance of being represented by a Private Criminal Defense Attorney
At the Preliminary Hearing the prosecution is allowed to present witnesses and evidence against you. However, your Attorney can present exculpatory evidence (evidence in your favor); as well as challenge the prosecution's evidence against you if there is a legal and justifiable basis for it.

Less evidence is needed at this proceeding than an actual trial. However, understand that the prosecution may possess enough evidence for the commissioner to find "probable cause". If the commissioner finds "probable cause", your case will be assigned to the Superior Court and Superior Court Judge for further proceedings and setting a date for trial.
If Your Maricopa County criminal defense attorney successfully challenges the evidence, gets it suppressed and can educate the prosecution and court on flaws and weaknesses in their case, then the commissioner may find and rule on "no probable cause" and your case will be dismissed.

How to Get a Preliminary Hearing Waived
A preliminary hearing can be waived completely if the Prosecution, your criminal defense Attorney and You all reach a plea agreement before that time. In the case of a plea agreement, your attorney works hard on your behalf to get you an alternative offer that is better than taking a chance, going to trial, and losing. In almost all cases the plea agreement terms are far better, then sentencing for a guilty verdict conviction. And the preliminary hearing, trial and possibility sentencing for a "guilty verdict" by a judge or are all avoided. The decision to go to trial or take a plea bargain is always yours. But it is important that you discuss and understand the ramifications of both choices. The Arizona Jurors have proved to be less lenient in Arizona DUI cases, than other States around the country. In any event, your chances of getting the case dismissed, charges reduced or a better outcome in your case increase drastically with the retention of a private practice criminal defense or DUI attorney who defends Maricopa County DUI and Chandler criminal charges.

Continue reading "Criminal Charges: "What is a Preliminary Hearing?"" »

March 15, 2011

How Top Criminal Attorneys Defend Auto Tempe AZ Auto Theft Charge.

Auto Theft Charges | "Theft of Means of Transportation" in Tempe AZ
Auto Theft in Arizona is also called "Theft of Means of Transportation". A conviction of Tempe auto theft charges carry sentences that include up to 8.75 years in prison. Aggravating factors such as violence, repeat offenses or other criminal charges that occurred in conjunction with the auto theft charge can give cause for increased sentencing and penalties. Auto Theft is considered a class 3 felony, and an Arizona crime against victims. Due to the nature and seriousness of these charges you should seek private practice criminal defense representation. This will provide you with increased possibility of getting your charges dismissed, reduced or the best outcome in your case.

Auto Theft Laws Tempe AZ
Auto Theft or "Theft of Means of Transportation" charges are governed by Arizona State Criminal Law. Classifications and sentencing are provided in detail at the State of Arizona Legislature website, under criminal code A.R.S. 13-1814. Auto theft alone without aggravated issues or additional charges is still a class 3 felony, a very serious offense in Arizona.

According to Arizona Criminal Law, the AZ Prosecution must prove the following in order to get a conviction:
1. You knowingly took a vehicle without permission or legal authority;
2. You took control, converted, or obtained someone else's means of transportation without their consent.
3. Your intent in taking the vehicle was to permanently deprive that entity of another of their vehicle or means of transportation.
Also, In Arizona, if you take control or possession of a vehicle that is not yours, and you do not know who it belongs to you can be charged with Auto Theft if you fail to make a reasonable effort to find the rightful owner.

Penalties for Tempe AZ Auto Theft
Arizona Sentencing for Auto Theft convictions that are non-violent, not repeat offenses, with no prior criminal history carries sentences as high as 8.75 years of prison. Other penalties many include 12 months jail, restitution, supervised probation, and other penalties the judge deems necessary. If violence was involved, a repeat offense, or other aggravating factors exist, more criminal charges may be brought by the prosecution. If convicted, the judge may order additional punishments, higher fines, more restitution, and a longer prison sentences.

Criminal Defense Attorney for Auto Theft Charges in Tempe AZ
If you face Tempe Auto Theft Charges you should consult a criminal defense attorney or auto theft attorney in Arizona as soon as possible. Your future and freedom are in jeopardy. Good criminal defense attorneys or auto theft defense firms will make sure your rights are protected; you are treated fairly; conduct their own investigation, decide what defenses have the potential to serve your defense the best, present compelling arguments and file motions on your behalf; and guide you through the criminal law process in Arizona. Top criminal lawyers in Tempe AZ will use take every opportunity to strengthen your defense against the prosecutions case against you, attempt to get the charges dismissed, reduced, and all the while working towards obtaining the best results for your defense.

Continue reading "Auto Theft Laws: If a reasonable effort is not made to find the rightful owner of a vehicle, a person may be charged with Auto Theft" »

March 14, 2011

Ways to fight your Scottsdale DUI Charges

If you face active DUI charges in Scottsdale AZ, the prosecution bears the burden of proving you are guilty of the DUI charges. This means you have the right to fight your DUI charges. The first thing you will need to do is consult an experienced criminal defense or DUI defense attorney who defends DUI charges often in the Scottsdale AZ Courts. It is rare if ever, that an individual will get charges dropped or dismissed without proper legal representation. This is because 1) Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws, and penalties in the county and 2) The criminal justice system can be a maze of unfamiliar procedures, protocol, and turbulent changing DUI legislation.

Many DUI defenses exist and can be used to fight a Scottsdale DUI charge. The defense strategies that your Scottsdale DUI lawyer will use will be determined by the circumstances surrounding your DUI charges and arrest. Below is a short list of some defenses that some of the best Scottsdale DUI defense lawyers may use to fight your Scottsdale DUI:

• Challenging the reason for your DUI stop;
• Examining and challenging police observations at the time of the stop or arrest;
• Arguments surrounding Field Sobriety Tests results which have proven to be very controversial. This is due to inaccuracies, and subjective nature of the results as determined by the police;
• Challenging the appropriateness of the officer's conduct;
• Examining Breath, Chemical, Blood or Urine tests for appropriate handling, transport, storage and results accuracy.
• Finding and providing exculpatory evidence (evidence that is in your defense).
• Questioning sufficiency of the evidence;
• Identifying any violations of your Federal or State Constitutional Rights.

In summary, there is hope and a second chance at freedom and a new start by fighting your DUI. The chances of getting a DUI dismissal or "not-guilty" verdict will increase significantly by retaining the legal representation of a good DUI lawyer who defends DUI and criminal charges in Scottsdale AZ court.

Continue reading "DUI Charges: Common defenses used to challenge DUI charges" »

March 9, 2011

A defendant charged or arrested for auto theft in Arizona should consult an experienced Arizona criminal lawyer as soon as possible. These are very serious charges with harsh punishments. Auto Theft in Arizona is a felony even if there was no violence, force, threat or intimidation involved.

Auto Theft Charges
Auto theft charges in Arizona are also known as "Theft of Means of Transportation" and are outlined in A.R.S. code 13-1814. Auto theft is considered a class 3 felony. The penalties for a non-dangerous class 3 felony with no previous criminal convictions, among other penalties will expose the defendant to upwards of 8 years in prison.

Criminal Laws for Auto Theft in Arizona
In order to convict a defendant of Auto Theft or Theft of Means of Transportation in Arizona, the prosecution needs to prove the following:
1. You knowingly took a vehicle without permission or legal authority;
2. You controlled, converted or obtained another person's means of transportation.
Under this Arizona Criminal Laws the defendant must have "known" they were taking someone else's vehicle; or they took control while "knowing" it was stolen. Further a defendant can be convicted of auto theft if they failed to provide a reasonable effort to determine the true owner.

Arizona Auto Theft Penalties
This is an Arizona victim crime and upon conviction may be sentenced to 8.75 years in prison, 12 months jail, and restitution or supervised probation, among other penalties. If the defendant is convicted of Auto theft, and has a prior criminal record, and or any violence was involved, the penalties will be much higher depending on the circumstances.

Arizona Theft Criminal Defense Attorney
The state of Arizona relentlessly pursue convictions for defendants accused of auto theft. Your only real chance at obtaining a good outcome in your case is to hire a good private practice Arizona criminal defense firm to d0efend your charges. An experienced criminal attorney will make sure your constitutional rights are not violated and you are treated fairly. Good auto theft defense attorneys in Arizonan will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and determine what defense strategies will best serve you. They will challenge the prosecution's case, and present compelling arguments on your behalf. When it comes to serious charges such as auto theft, your question should not be "should I hire a criminal attorney?" but rather, "which criminal attorney should I hire?" And the answer is to hire an experienced auto theft defense attorney who has a strong litigation skills and criminal defense background who will proactively fight the charges in your defense and put in the labor that is involved in attempting to get your charges dismissed, reduced or the otherwise best outcome in your case.


Continue reading ""What is "Theft of Means of Transportation?"" »

March 7, 2011

How Top Criminal Defense Attorneys use Arizona Criminal Laws to Defend your Mesa AZ Auto Theft Charges

Auto Theft Charges or "Theft of Means of Transportation" Charges in Arizona
Auto Theft in Arizona is also known by its' legal term "Theft of Means of Transportation" and used interchangeably. A conviction for Mesa AZ auto theft can expose you to nearly 9 years in State Prison. Auto Theft charges are serous felonies. The best attorneys in Arizona will advise you to seek legal representation for these charges.

Arizona has some of the highest incidents Auto Thefts in the country, leaving prosecutors and police working vigorously to pursue convictions. They are looking for severe punishments for those convicted of Arizona Auto theft. If charged with Mesa auto theft you will need strong criminal defense representation and should consult a criminal attorney who defends Mesa AZ auto theft charges as soon as possible. to discuss your charges and defense options.

Arizona Auto Theft Laws
Auto Theft Charges in Mesa AZ for purposes of sentencing are governed by the State of Arizona. "Theft of Means of Transportation" or auto theft can be found under criminal code A.R.S. 13-1814. Auto theft is a class 3 felony, and an Arizona victim crime.
Basically, the Arizona Criminal Law requires that in order for the prosecution to convict you (or otherwise the defendant) of auto theft, they must prove the following:
1. You knowingly took a vehicle without permission or legal authority;
2. You took control, converted, or obtained someone else's means of transportation without their consent.
3. Your intent in taking the vehicle was to permanently deprive that entity of another of their vehicle or means of transportation.
So to get a convicted, at least one or more elements must exist:
A. You must have known you were taking a vehicle belonging to someone else..
B. You took control of a vehicle that you knew was stolen.
C. You had no intention of returning it to the rightful owner.

Also, in Arizona, you can be convicted of auto theft and face years in prison if you took possession of a vehicle without knowing who it belonged to, and failed to make a reasonable effort to find it's rightful owner

Auto Theft Penalties in Mesa AZ
Arizona penalties for conviction of non-violent class 3 felony such as auto theft, with no prior criminal record, will expose the defendant to upwards of 8.75 years in state prison, 12 months jail, and restitution or supervised probation, among other penalties the court may order. If the defendant is convicted of Auto theft, and has a prior criminal record, and or any violence was involved, the penalties will increase based on the circumstances of the case.

Criminal Defense Attorney for Auto Theft Charges in Mesa AZ
If you have been accused or charged with Mesa AZ auto theft, you should consult a criminal defense lawyer or Mesa AZ auto theft attorney as soon as possible. A good auto theft defense lawyer will make sure your rights are protected; you are treated fairly throughout the criminal law process; examine all the evidence; determine what defenses will best most effective in your case; interview witnesses; and present compelling arguments on your behalf. The best criminal defense attorneys who defend Mesa AZ charges will make every effort to get your charges dismissed, reduced, or the otherwise best outcome in your case.

Continue reading "Criminal Laws for Auto Theft: Find out why you may still be charged with Auto Theft even if you did not steal a vehicle" »

March 4, 2011

Arizona has consistently been ranked the fourth highest ranked states in the Country for Auto Theft. Its commonality does not reduce the severe penalties imposed by the State of Arizona if convicted. If you have been arrested, charged or accused of Phoenix AZ auto theft, you should consult an experienced criminal attorney in private practice as soon as possible. Auto theft charges are very serious in Arizona. Auto theft is considered a class 3 Felony, which if convicted exposes defendants to extended prison terms, felony criminal record, and other harsh penalties.

Phoenix Auto Theft Charges or "Theft of Means of Transportation"
Auto Theft Charges in Arizona are governed by the laws of the State of Arizona. They are also known as "Theft of Means of Transportation". Arizona auto theft laws are defined and classified under criminal code A.R.S. 13-1814. Auto theft is a class 3 felony, and an Arizona victim crime.

Criminal Laws for Auto Theft in Arizona
In order to convict a defendant of Auto Theft or Theft of Means of Transportation in Phoenix Arizona, the prosecution needs to prove the following:

1. You knowingly took a vehicle without permission or legal authority;
2. You controlled, converted or obtained another person's means of transportation.
3. Your intent was to permanently deprive another of their automobile.

Under this Arizona Criminal Laws the defendant must have "known" they were taking someone else's vehicle; or they took control while "knowing" it was stolen; and their intent was not to return it to the rightful owner. Further a defendant can be convicted of auto theft if they failed to provide a reasonable effort to determine the true owner.

Phoenix AZ Theft Penalties
The penalties for conviction of non-violent class 3 felonies, with no criminal record convictions, among other penalties will expose the defendant to upwards of 8.75 years in state prison, 12 months jail, and restitution or supervised probation, more. If the defendant is convicted of Auto theft, and has a prior criminal record, and or any violence was involved, the penalties will increase based on the circumstances surrounding the charges.

Phoenix AZ Criminal Defenses for Auto Theft
Phoenix AZ relentlessly pursues convictions for those accused of committing auto theft. That is one reason it is important that you consult an experienced criminal defense attorney in private practice in Arizona as soon as possible.

There are possible defenses that are often used for auto theft charges, and are often used by good experienced criminal attorneys. In general some defenses include but are not limited to the following:

1) The defendant thought they had "Consent". This typically occurs with family members, friends, or domestic partners, where the defendant at one point was a permissive user, and then the owner made the defendant aware that their permission was no longer valid and they rescinded their permission.

2) Another defense is what is known as "Mistake of Fact". This happens when someone purchases, or borrows an automobile, from someone they believe is the rightful owner or has authority to sell, or lend. Then the defendant learns it was a stolen vehicle. Your experienced criminal defense attorney would argue that you did not have knowledge that it was a stolen vehicle and did not intend to deprive the rightful owner of their means of transportation.

These are just a few defenses of many that are used by Phoenix auto theft defense trial lawyers in Arizona. There are as other defenses that can be used depending on the facts of your case. It is one thing to know what the defenses are v. knowing what they are, when and how to use them to present compelling arguments through the Arizona criminal Justice System on your behalf. A good criminal defense lawyer in Arizona will do everything possible to protect your rights, make sure you are treated fairly and challenge the Auto Theft charges on your behalf. Top local Phoenix AZ attorneys will make every effort to get your charges dismissed, reduced or the otherwise best possible outcome in your case.

Continue reading "Two common legal defenses for Auto Theft Charges" »

March 1, 2011

How Good DUI Attorneys in Mesa AZ Build Winning Defense Cases

After hiring an experienced DUI attorney for Mesa DUI charges, a good criminal defense or DUI Attorney is involved in many defense activities behind the scenes on your case. If you were arrested in Mesa AZ for DUI or other criminal charges, penalties and sentencing are governed by Arizona State Laws which are complex and strict. Your future and freedom are at stake. You should consult a private DUI or criminal defense attorney who defends criminal charges in Mesa AZ Court as soon as possible. Most DUI criminal and DUI attorneys provide free consultations. It will be well worth your time to discuss your charges, range of sentencing for those charges and your defense options.

Once retained, your Mesa DUI or criminal defense attorney in Mesa will guide you through every phase of the Arizona criminal justice system, and defend you through all stages. Many times you will wonder what they are doing to help you. Your Mesa DUI lawyer should answer any questions you have regarding their efforts. You are the employer. They work for you. At the same time, you are part of the team as well. Here are some activities that good Mesa DUI defense or Criminal defense attorneys may do to build and mount a winning defense for your Criminal or DUI charges in Mesa:

• Gathering and examining evidence;
• Looking for exculpatory evidence (evidence to defend you);
• Obtaining independent experts to review test results or certain technical aspects of evidence or findings;
• Reviewing and examining police reports, the complaint, test results, photographs, and #911 call transcripts, to find weaknesses or flaws in evidence the prosecution will attempt to use against you.;
• Finding witnesses to interview or depose including detectives and arresting police officers;
• Finding and interviewing witnesses who may be willing to testify in your favor such as passengers in the vehicle or other witnesses at the scene;
• Based on the evidence (or lack of it) determine the best defense strategies that can be used to build your defense case;
• Filing Motions through the Mesa Court and Criminal Justice System in your defense and meeting important deadlines for those filings;
• Mounting your defense case against the prosecution. An good Mesa AZ DUI Lawyer will take every opportunity through the criminal justice system and use defense tactics to get evidence suppressed, reduction in charges, or a dismissal of your case. An experienced criminal defense or DUI lawyer will recognize those opportunities and act swiftly;
• Participating in court hearings, such as status or pre-trial conferences. These hearings focus on legal issues such whether or not certain evidence should be admitted or suppressed (not used against you); modifying pre-trial release conditions, and plea negotiations for the best outcome possible;
• Preparation compelling arguments for trial, conferences and the filing of motions;
• Your DUI attorney who will be defending you in Mesa Court will work with you and the prosecution, which is court approved to obtain mutually agreeable resolution to avoid the conviction and harsh sentencing that result from uncertain outcomes resulting from trial. Plea negotiations can include a more satisfactory resolution such as modification of the charges to lesser charges and sentencing, an agreement not to file new charges, sentencing of probation instead of jail time, reducing jail or prison sentences, dismissing a portion of the charges or a total dismissal of charges.

Make sure that the DUI and criminal defense criminal defense attorney, who will be representing you in Mesa AZ court, is able and willing to devote the time and effort and is needed to fight for a good outcome in your case and is qualified to take the necessary actions in your defense. Look for an attorney who has the credentials and a vast amount of litigation experience to do what needs to be done to prepare and build a successful defense on your behalf. If you are represented by such an attorney your chances of getting your DUI or criminal charges reduced or dismissed significantly increase.

Continue reading ""Why do I need a criminal defense attorney for my DUI?"" »