Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

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Why Resisting Arrest is a Bad Idea

This week we in the news, an Arizona motorist was stopped and investigated by police for driving impaired due to alcohol or drugs. The suspect allegedly became angry at the line of questioning taking place during the stop. He then allegedly initiated punched one of the officers in the face, and began a physical altercation at the scene with two additional police officers.

All three officers required medical treatment for injuries that included a fractured wrist, contusions, abrasions and a concussion. The suspect was eventually restrained with a Taser gun.

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What Police and city officials are doing to take back their crime plagued city.    

As the trial begins for the murdered ASU student, Kyleigh Sousa, Tempe Police and City Officials try to prevent, and control crime and take back the downtown areas.

What was once the center of fun, and enjoyable activities, and entertainment, has now become the center of organized drug gangs and violence.  We are reminded of not only the tragic death of this ASU student, but the shoot- out last year between gang members at a popular nightclub.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsored research that focused on motorcycle DUI – DWI indicators. These are early cues police may use to detect a non-impaired driver from an impaired driver who may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Motor Cycle DUI Indicators

NHTSA’s recent studies turned up 14 indicators, as well as probability levels of certain driving behaviors being consistent with impaired or drunk driving:

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A Statute of Limitation is the time frame for which the State and prosecution have to bring criminal charges against a suspect.

Under A.R.S. § 13 – 107 time limits for which charges can be brought are either named by crime or criminal classification.

In general, the State has one year to bring charges for Misdemeanors and 7 years for Felonies. The court may grant an extension in which to prosecute charges if there is a justifiable reason that exists.

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Mistake of Law

Mistake of Law is rarely a justifiable pre-trial defense. The Mistake of Law” is when a person knows they committed an act, but they did not know the conduct was against the law. It is different between “Mistake of Fact”. There are few circumstances where “Mistake of Law” is a justifiable defense. Arizona does not accept except ignorance, or lack of knowledge that a particular law exists as a valid defense. This is described under Arizona Law A.R.S. §13-204 (B). Not being aware or having knowledge of the law does not relieve a person of criminal liability. Mistake or lack of knowledge of the law itself, is not itself a justifiable defense

Mistake of Fact

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The main difference between Misdemeanor Theft and Felony Theft charges is the dollar value of the amount stolen. The second difference is the penalties involved. The higher the dollar value of the stolen property or service, the more severe the penalties if convicted.

Under ARS § 13 – 1802 theft charges will be brought as Misdemeanors unless the market or dollar value of the property exceeds $1,000.00. Theft crimes involving items that exceed that amount will be brought as a felony.

The exception to this is if it is a firearm or an animal. Charges for theft of an animal or gun, will be charged as a felony, even if the dollar value is below $1,000.00,

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Motions to Suppress Evidence for Criminal Charges

The Arizona Rules of Procedure for criminal cases allows for the defendant to file a “Motion to Suppress” evidence in under specific circumstances. If a justified reason exists, your defense counsel, will file a “Motion” for the court to consider suppressing or disallowing the prosecution to use certain evidence against a defendant.

The motion must be justified and not frivolous. If the court agrees, to suppression of material evidence against a defendant, it often leads to a dismissal of charges.

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Arizona Driver’s License Revocation

Driver’s License revocation is the State of Arizona’s withdrawal of a person’s driving privilege for an indefinite length of time. Revocation of a driver’s license, in most cases, occurs as the result of a serious Gilbert DUI or criminal conviction that involved your driving. For most people who drive, it is an inconvenience or even a hardship. For some, it is more than can be devastating. It may mean loss of job or future job opportunities; and other long term adverse effects on a person’s life and family.

Gilbert DUI Charges & Criminal Convictions that Result in Driver’s License Revocation

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Following an arrest, you will be required to appear in court for an Arraignment.  This is your opportunity to inform the court of how you wish to plea, which dictates the type of criminal processing that takes place from there.   If you wish to obtain legal representation, and defend your charges, you should plead “Not Guilty”. This invokes your rights to a defense and retention of counsel.

Types of Court Pleas  

There are three ways a person can plead in an Arizona criminal court. Each will have a separate outcome in your case:

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Maricopa County's Tent CitySome call the conditions in Sheriff Joe’s controversial Tent city, cruel and inhumane. In the Arizona desert heat during the summer, temperatures inside the sun beaten tents often soar as to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Some reported temperatures have been reported as high as 150 degrees

Sheriff Joe Arpaio defends his position on the conditions in Tent City. He repeatedly argues that conditions are no worse than the conditions US military service men and women on active duty experience in the Middle East.

One Tent City employee who worked as a cook for the inmates claimed ingredients had often expired, and the kitchen was filled with roaches and rats.