Articles Posted in Arizona Criminal Defense

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Arizona lawmakers recently passed House Bill 2007 (HB2007), adding an aggravating circumstance to the list of 26 that were previously enumerated in the statute.  The law became effective August 3, 2018.

The newest aggravating circumstance is triggered when a defendant “uses a mask or other disguise to obscure the defendant’s face to avoid detection” during a crime.

To be clear, the new aggravating circumstance doesn’t criminalize wearing a disguise.  Rather, it allows for an increased punishment for those who are convicted of committing a crime, while wearing a mask or disguise.

Your Rights and Arizona GPS laws 

GPS-tracker-Criminal-Defense-Attorney-Tempe-AZ-300x194The U.S. Supreme Court previously held that Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking on a driver’s vehicle comprises a search under the 4th amendment. This means that police need a warrant to conduct GPS tracking on a vehicle owned or driven by a suspect when the vehicle is legally in their possession.

Earlier this year, the Arizona Supreme Court issued a landmark opinion in an Arizona drug trafficking case in which the passenger in a GPS tracked vehicle was arrested in addition to the suspect driver.

In the case, the Arizona Supreme Court ultimately affirmed the defendant’s conviction, finding that the officers who conducted the search relied on previous case law in place, that held the conduct was permissible.  With that, the court determined that the police acted properly and did not suppress the evidence, based on the good faith exception.

3 self-incrimination traps to avoid; How to invoke your rights; Aggravated assault penalties in Arizona; How to resolve your criminal charges

Right-to-remain-silent-Criminal-Defense-Attorney-Mesa-Arizona-300x221Arizona jails and prisons have measures in place to assure no criminal activity is in progress related to the defendant’s communications.

Authorized jail and prison officials screen mail, and record suspects’ phone calls.

The information they obtain may be used to prosecute pending or future criminal charges. The exception to this would be privileged  communications between a defendant and their criminal attorney.

Internet-Crimes-Fictitious-Victims_1-300x252The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled that enhanced sentencing does not apply if the victim is fictitious.

Under Arizona’s Dangerous Crimes against Children statute (DCAC), a person convicted of a sexual crime against a child is subject to enhanced sentencing. These penalties are severe and designed to provide greater punishments to those convicted of the offenses.

The question for the Court in this case was whether or not enhanced sentencing should be imposed under A.R.S. § 13-705(P) (1), when there was no actual victim.

Arizona Supreme Court Limits Admissibility of “Cold” Expert Testimony

Domestic-Violence-Charges-Criminal-Defense-Attorney-Mesa-AZ-150x150If you were arrested for domestic violence or assault, the prosecution may attempt to use profiling evidence or “cold” expert witness testimony against you.

Profiling evidence  and “cold” expert witness testimony is not always admissible.  The decision about admissibility is a decision for the court.  When making this determination the court will consider the rules of criminal evidence, content, relevance and objectivity of the testimony.

If improper witness testimony is admitted, it can potentially lead to an unfair guilty verdict. Therefore,  proper challenges should be made as to the admissibility of planned expert witness testimony.

A Review of 3 Uncommon Criminal Defenses Used for Drug Trafficking Charges

Drug-Smuggling-Criminal-Defense-Attorney-Phoenix-AZ-300x238In a recent Arizona Court of Appeals drug case, the court considered a defendant’s conviction for narcotic drug trafficking charges.  The defendant was sentenced to a presumptive five-year term of imprisonment and appealed the conviction.

The defense argued that (1) the drugs found in his car should have been suppressed, (2) improper profile testimony was admitted, and (3) the sanction imposed for a Batson violation wasn’t adequate.

Drug trafficking charges are multi-facet in nature, and challenges can take place on numerous fronts. In this article three types of challenges will be discussed:

Criminal Defense for Intimidation, Threats, and Firearms on School Grounds Mesa AZ

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Currently the state of Arizona limits circumstances in which firearms can be carried onto school grounds.

Unless specifically outlined by law, carrying a loaded firearm on any school grounds will result in criminal charges under Arizona’s Weapons Misconduct law A.R.S. 13- 3102(12).     

This article outlines the weapons misconduct laws related to guns on school grounds, threatening and intimidation (assault) laws; and criminal defense for weapons misconduct and assault charges.

5 Things You Should Know about Your Rights in a Police Stop and Arrest

Police-Stop-Unlawful-Flight-Attorney-Mesa-AZ-300x200You cannot be arrested solely for a non-criminal traffic violation in Mesa, AZ.

However, that changes if you fail to stop or try to elude police when you are signaled to pull over. Failure to stop violates Arizona’s unlawful flight laws.

The most important thing you can do when you realize police are signaling you to stop, is to pull over safely and promptly.

Arizona Supreme Court considers factors that create reasonable suspicion to justify police frisk.

What is a Frisk?

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A frisk in the context of a law enforcement search is also known as a pat-down.

It is less intrusive than a full body search.  The purpose of a frisk is to ensure an officer’s safety by confirming that a suspect encountered by police is not armed and dangerous.

How to Protect Your Rights in a Plea Bargain and Deferred Prosecution

Maricopa-County-Trial-Statistics-HD-e1494596719400If you have criminal charges, it is likely that you will be faced with the decision of whether or not to take your case to trial.  As an alternative to trial, you may be offered a plea deal or participation in a deferred prosecution program.

Last year Maricopa County Superior Court reported that of 99.8 percent of terminated DUI and criminal cases, only 2.2 percent went to trial.

The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) reported similar statistics in 2016.   The USSC reported 97.3 percent of criminal cases were resolved without trial, while only 2.7 percent went to trial.