In a recent case coming out of an Arizona court, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed his guilty conviction for one count of unlawful flight from a police officer. Originally, a police officer attempted to pull the defendant over for failing to stop at a stop sign. When the defendant’s car took off, the officer lost sight of the driver but eventually located the defendant through a photo identification process. The defendant was charged and convicted, and he promptly appealed.

The Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, a police officer was patrolling in his car one evening when he saw a white truck roll through a stop sign. The officer activated his lights and tried to initiate a traffic stop. The truck, being driven by the defendant, at first pulled over onto the road’s shoulder but then quickly sped away. The officer began chasing the defendant by car, at one point observing the defendant through the truck’s lower driver’s side window.

A few minutes later, the truck stopped in front of a home and the driver left the vehicle. Again, the officer caught sight of the defendant in the headlights of his car. The defendant walked towards a fence by the home, and the officer lost sight of him.

Continue reading

In a recent child pornography case coming out of an Arizona court, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed his convictions for sexual exploitation of a minor. On appeal, the defendant argued that the court admitted additional images of child pornography for which he was not charged and that these additional images unfairly biased the jury deciding his case. After considering his argument, the court rejected the appeal and affirmed the original convictions and sentences.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, investigators obtained a warrant to search the defendant’s house after they began suspecting him of dealing with child pornography. During the search, the investigators found an electronic data storage card that contained ten images of child pornography. Investigators found various other exploitive images during the search, and the defendant was indicted for ten counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

The defendant’s case went to trial, and he was found guilty. The court sentenced the defendant to prison terms totaling 102 years. He promptly appealed.

Continue reading

In a recent case coming out of an Arizona court, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed his conviction for disorderly conduct. Originally, the defendant was charged after he pulled out a knife in the presence of police officers. Once he was found guilty, the defendant appealed, but the court determined that his arguments on appeal fell short. Thus the defendant’s guilty conviction was sustained.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, police officers pulled the defendant over one evening when he was driving a motorcycle with a suspended license plate. After discovering that the defendant was also carrying a revoked driver’s license, the officers called a tow truck to impound the motorcycle.

At that point, a tow truck driver arrived at the scene. He immediately observed the defendant pull out a knife and flip it open. The tow truck driver backed up, afraid that the defendant would use the knife against him. Once the officers realized what was happening, they drew their own weapons and told the defendant to drop the knife. Immediately, the defendant let the knife go.

A jury convicted the defendant of aggravated assault against a police officer and disorderly conduct.

Continue reading

Under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, law enforcement officers are not permitted to perform a search of someone’s property without a warrant, reasonable suspicion, or probable cause that the search would reveal evidence of illegal activity. When a police officer performs a search without a warrant or probable cause, any evidence found in the search cannot be admitted in the prosecution of the defendant. The Arizona Court of Appeals recently rejected a defendant’s appeal that challenged the legitimacy of a search that yielded evidence of illegal drugs that led to his conviction.

According to the facts discussed in the appellate opinion, the defendant was a passenger in a car that was stopped for a traffic violation in 2018. Police noticed the defendant was wanted for outstanding warrants, and placed him under arrest for the warrants after confirming his identity. At the time of the stop, the defendant was holding a backpack between his legs. When arresting the defendant, the police asked him if he wanted to take the backpack with him, and he responded that it was not his backpack.

Police inventoried the backpack, and it was later searched. Police found illegal drugs and paraphernalia in the backpack and the defendant was charged with felony drug crimes as a result. Before trial, the defendant challenged the admission of the evidence found in the backpack, claiming that he never consented to the search and that there was not a warrant or probable cause that would justify the police to perform the search without the defendant’s consent. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion, ruling that the defendant abandoned any claim to the backpack when he was asked if it belonged to him and that he did not have the right to challenge the search at a later time. As a result of this ruling, the case went to trial, and the defendant was convicted of the crimes he was charged with.

In a recent opinion from an Arizona court, the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence of drug possession was denied. Originally, the defendant was charged and convicted of transportation of dangerous drugs for sale when a police officer found 40 individually packaged bundles of methamphetamine in the defendant’s truck. On appeal, the defendant argued that the officer did not have a legal basis to initiate a traffic stop in the first place, thus the evidence was illegally obtained. The court disagreed, affirming the defendant’s conviction.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, an officer was patrolling one evening when he noticed a pickup truck on the road that he identified as “lifted” – it had no rear fender splash guards, in violation of Arizona law. The officer was particularly familiar with this kind of pickup truck because it was his “dream” truck, so it was easy for him to recognize that something was awry. Pulling the truck over and initiating the traffic stop, the officer began speaking with the driver, the defendant in this case.

The officer and the defendant spoke for about ten minutes, and the officer noticed that the defendant seemed nervous. Based on the defendant’s behavior, the officer began to suspect criminal activity. He also noted that the defendant claimed he had not been to California in three years, but the officer knew from a records check that the defendant had been there just one month earlier. The officer asked if he could search the defendant’s car, and the defendant declined the search request but agreed that the officer’s dog could search the exterior of the vehicle. Upon this search, the officer immediately uncovered 50 pounds of methamphetamine in the truck.

Continue reading

Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in an Arizona drug case affirming the defendant’s conviction for selling methamphetamine. The case illustrates the lengths that law enforcement will go to when investigating drug crimes.

The Facts of the Case

According to the court’s opinion, the Prescott Police Department was conducting a narcotics surveillance on a Roadway Inn. Evidently, police officers watched as an individual entered the defendant’s hotel room, stayed for less than five minutes, and then left. Police pulled the individual over for an insurance violation, searched their car, and found one gram of meth.

Shortly after this, the defendant left the hotel room. Police followed him, eventually pulling him over for driving with a revoked license. They then searched the defendant’s car, finding a glass pipe with a “burnt crystalline substance” inside. Based on this, police officers obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s hotel room, where they found 4.5 ounces of meth, a scale, and a ledger. Subsequent testing revealed that the substance was methamphetamine. The police officers also recovered the defendant’s cell phone, which contained messages from several people looking to buy drugs.

Continue reading

In a recent opinion from an Arizona court, the defendant’s appeal of his conviction for fleeing from law enforcement was denied. Originally, the defendant was convicted and sentenced after he allegedly ran on foot from a police officer that was pursuing him. On appeal, he argued that the officer’s process for identifying him as the person fleeing was insufficient and unreliable. The court considered the defendant’s argument but ultimately affirmed his conviction.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, a police officer was driving one day in March 2016 when a car ran a stop sign, entered his lane, and caused him to swerve in order to avoid crashing. According to the officer, at that moment, the officer “locked eyes” with the car’s driver, getting a full view of the driver’s face.

The officer then tried to initiate a traffic stop, but the car kept driving and a pursuit ensued. The driver ended up stopping at an apartment complex, where he and two other occupants got out of the vehicle and fled on foot. Again, the officer caught sight of the driver’s face. Minutes later, the officer identified the driver as the defendant in this case after he was shown a photograph with the defendant’s name on it. Pulling up an additional photograph of the defendant using his patrol unit computer, the officer again confirmed that the driver was the defendant.

Continue reading

In a recent Arizona opinion involving sexual assault, the court denied the defendant’s request to make his daughter answer questions in an interview regarding her experience as a victim of the defendant’s actions. Even though Arizona law protects sexual assault victims from having to do interviews against their will, the defendant argued that since the daughter resided in North Dakota, this law should not apply to her. The court disagreed, ruling that the daughter did not, in fact, have to answer questions if she did not want to answer them.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was indicted in 2019 on one charge of sexual conduct with a minor under fifteen. The victim was the defendant’s daughter, who he allegedly abused from 1997 to 1999 in the state of Arizona. The case against the defendant became complicated by the fact that the defendant’s second daughter also reported that he had sexually abused her when she was living with him in North Dakota. The defendant pled guilty in North Dakota to continuous sexual abuse of his second daughter, and he was sentenced to twelve years in prison.

Meanwhile, in the case that was happening in Arizona, the defendant wanted to interview his first daughter, the one who accused him of sexual assault in North Dakota. The defendant thought that including an interview with this second daughter could somehow strengthen his case in Arizona. This daughter in North Dakota, however, declined to be interviewed. On appeal, the defendant argued that his daughter in North Dakota should have been forced to answer questions in an interview and that her refusal to interview unfairly affected his ability to put together a complete defense.

Continue reading

In a recent opinion from an Arizona court in a kidnapping case, the defendant’s original conviction was sustained. The defendant argued that even though he had committed burglary and aggravated assault on the day in question, his crimes did not fit within the definition of “kidnapping.” The court disagreed, denying his appeal and affirming his convictions and sentences based on the kidnapping crime.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant stole a variety of weapons from another man, supposedly to use as collateral for a debt he owed. A few days after stealing the weapons, the defendant went back to the apartment where the man lived and broke into his residence. He found the man and the man’s daughter, then proceeded to threaten them with a baseball bat and a sword.

The man’s daughter barricaded herself, along with her boyfriend, in her bedroom. The pair immediately called 911, reporting the burglary and asking police to come as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the defendant used the bat to break a hole in the door, trapping both individuals in the bedroom. When police officers arrived, they arrested the defendant and his accomplice as they tried to run away. They also found a dagger and several other weapons in the defendant’s car.

Continue reading

In a recent case involving fraudulent activity and identity theft, an Arizona court denied a defendant’s appeal filed based on an error committed by the trial court. In the appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court committed an error so substantial that it biased the jury and gave her an unfair trial. The higher court disagreed, ultimately denying the defendant’s appeal.

The Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was hired to take care of an elderly man who was not expected to live for much longer. Shortly after the defendant started caring for this man, the man’s wallet went missing. When the man died a few weeks later, his wife continued to employ the defendant as her own caretaker. The defendant was involved in many aspects of the elderly woman’s life, and she was thus given access to the woman’s home, incoming mail, checkbooks, and email.

The woman soon noticed several financial documents missing. She went to visit a bank and discovered that all of her accounts had been emptied. Soon, she learned that the defendant had used her credit card, rented a house for herself in the woman’s name, liquidated stocks belonging to the woman for herself, and used the woman’s bank account to pay various bills of her own. Law enforcement searched the defendant’s home and found significant evidence of this fraudulent activity. She was charged with fifty-six crimes against four victims; thirty-two of the counts related to this elderly woman and her husband. The defendant was sentenced to time in prison as a result of her convictions.

Continue reading

Contact Information