Articles Posted in Law Articles

Police announced that DUI Task Forces were set up on Wednesday May 23, 2012 and will run through Monday May 28, 2012 during the Memorial Day weekend. They are targeting Phoenix and East Valley Cities in Maricopa County have already made arrests for drivers impaired due to alcohol or drugs. A spokesperson for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported that 65 police agencies that will be participating in operations, which is strong enforcement.

Arizona has adopted the guidelines from National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). The guidelines set parameters on organization; administration; a conducting of the stops. This includes which cars to stop. According to NHTSA guidelines the vehicles which will be stopped are pre-determined by city officials or the police. Those vehicles must be chosen by a mathematical formula or sorts, for example, every 3rd vehicle or every other vehicle.

Locations of DUI Task Forces or Checkpoints

Generally the DUI Task forces are set up in areas where high traffic volume is expected. For example in the case of a summer holiday, the Police may set up check points in areas where people may be popular establishments where liquor is sold. This Memorial Day Weekend, some of the DUI Checkpoints include the following areas in Maricopa County:

• Phoenix – Metro and suburbs
• Areas near University of Phoenix Stadium
• Highway leading to Lake Pleasant in Arizona
How to avoid a DUI Task Force Stop
1) The best way to avoid a task force stop is not to drink and drive;
2) Whether you are plan to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is best to avoid a DUI stop if you can. Not many people enjoy the long lines, or the experience in general. You can check your local media website, police departments, County websites, and even social media outlets on the internet;
3) NHTSA also requires that signs be readily present and posted near the Checkpoint. Stay vigilant if you should approach one, and take another route if possible;
4) If you did not plan to drink and drive, but find you are in that position, call on a friend or family member or taxi to take you home;
5) If you know in advance you will be consuming liquor, make plans in advance for a designated driver, or alternative arrangements to get home safely. Judgment decisions are always more prudent when a person not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

DUI Lawyer Phoenix AZ

If you are arrested for DUI in Phoenix AZ, you should consult a criminal defense attorney to discuss your matter and defense options. Arizona has strict laws and hrsh penalties for DUI. You will need a legal advocate to represent you in court. There are defenses that can be used combat DUI charges. With experienced and effective legal representation you will increase your chances of getting a good outcome in your case

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10 Things Police Don’t Tell You about Phoenix DUI Sobriety Checkpoints.

Article Written By: James Novak, Experienced Phoenix DUI Lawyer, & Criminal Defense Attorney
This time every year, Phoenix DUI lawyers and criminal defense attorneys start getting pretty busy with DUI violations, and other criminal charges that result from drinking and driving, or other offense that can stem celebrations or gatherings. One thing to expect is Arizona DUI sobriety check points. Phoenix DUI checkpoints are pre-determined and announced by city officials and law enforcement agencies. Not only are the locations of the DUI sobriety checkpoints decided in advance, but so are the vehicles they decide to stop. Federal laws adopted by Arizona, require that which vehicles to stop, be based on a mathematical formula. For example, it could be every third or fourth vehicle, or every vehicle. The only way to be 100% certain you won’t be stopped if you find yourself in a DUI roadblock line is the obvious: Avoid drinking and driving; and avoid driving impaired to the slightest degree, due to alcohol, drugs, or any other toxic substances that would impair your ability to drive in Arizona. If that is not possible, then read on to learn how to survive the DUI stop:

1. Stay away.
Before you leave for your destination, find out in advance where the planned Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale DUI roadblocks will be. Officials must announce DUI sobriety check point locations in advance. Check your local media and news sources; official law enforcement, DPS, Maricopa County, and other Social Media outlets, websites, blogs. Then take a detour.

2. Make your Arizona driver’s license and registration accessible to you in the vehicle. When the police stop a vehicle at a DUI check point, they will ask you for your driver’s license and vehicle registration. They are not just looking to see if your driver’s license is current and valid; or to make sure you’re not driving a stolen vehicle. They are also observing your demeanor, any unusual fumbling; or lack of controlled motor skills they may cause them to investigate you further for Arizona drunk driving or DUI. Produce your license and registration timely and without question.

3. Stay calm and in control. The Phoenix police or DPS officers always expect people to be a little nervous at a DUI stop, even if they have nothing to hide. But being overly nervous or over gesturing is a red flag to them that something’s up;
4. Don’t joke around. Refrain from joking, laughing or chattering to the police or other passengers in the vehicle with you. Heads up passengers….this includes you too. In fact, you should alert all passengers that you are approaching a DUI checkpoint that silence and respect is necessary, and throughout the process.

5. Get off the cell phone and refrain from texting. While in line or at the actual DUI stop, stay focused; pay attention; and listen to what is being asked of you by the police.

6. Don’t complain about the Phoenix DUI checkpoint or being stopped. Remain respectful and polite to the officers. Treat them how you would want to be treated if the tables were turned.

7. Give them only the information they are requesting. Don’t offer information about where you’ve been; where you are going, what you’ve eaten, or what you have been drinking, or anything of that nature. What may seem to you as harmless or innocent “elevator conversation” may actually cause them to question you further. A respectful greeting is sufficient such as “Good evening officer”, “Hello officer”, “Thank-you Officer” and the like.
8. Don’t offer any information about medical conditions or medications you have. And especially do not offer information regarding prescription or over-the-counter medications you may have consumed or that may be in your possession. To do so, may cue the officer’s to investigate you further for a Phoenix Drug DUI or Medication DUI. In Arizona you can get a DUI if you are “impaired to the slightest degree” by legal non-prescription drugs. You may not be aware that certain medications you purchased from a local drug store for aches, pain, allergies, headaches or other reason, contained ingredients that impaired your driving.

9. Don’t allow passengers to carry or consume alcoholic beverages while in your vehicle. When you step up to be the designated driver, you get to make the rules. The rules are to protect you and them. It’s your license and your freedom is on the line. Your job is to be sober and get them to their destination safely. Their job is to ride by your rules. When you make the rules and your riders abide them, everyone wins and you’re the “Most Valuable Player”.

10. If you are charged with DUI, consult an experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer as soon as reasonably possible regarding your matter. Arizona DUI, drunk driving, or DWI charges carry some of the most severe penalties in the Country. You will need a good Phoenix criminal attorney to defend your charges; protect your rights; and fight for a dismissal or other favorable outcome.

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You should know the difference between two particular AZ Criminal Laws:
“One may lead to a dismissal of charges: the other a conviction”
Article by: James Novak, DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer Arizona
Good AZ Criminal Defense Attorneys – Choose the Right Defenses
Arizona has two criminal laws that may involve defenses of “not having knowledge”. The wrong one if used as a defense would result in a disastrous outcome for the defendant. The other if used effectively, under right circumstances, may lead to a dismissal of DUI or criminal charges. That is why it is important to hire an experienced Arizona criminal attorney or DUI trial lawyer to defend your DUI or Criminal Charges in Arizona.

Arizona Criminal Laws – Comparison of Two Criminal Defenses

1. “A.R.S. Title 13, Chapter 2, 13-204. Effect of ignorance or mistake upon criminal liability”- Where “not knowing the law” is not a viable defense and in fact may lead to a conviction. In reader friendly terms this law states that if one “does not know the law”, it makes no difference, and they will be held criminally responsible. In Arizona, if a person knowingly commits an act, but claims they “didn’t know” it was a violation of the law, it does not matter In fact by claiming they did not know their conduct was a crime; is simply reinforcing to prosecution that they in fact committed the crime.

2. “A.R.S. Title 13 Chapter 34: 13-3405. Possession, use, production, sale or transportation of marijuana; classification Where “Not having knowledge” may lead to a dismissal of charges. This law applies to Arizona Drug laws; in it is a provision and requires that the state prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant was “knowingly” in possession of drugs, in order to get a conviction for the drug charges. In this case, if someone “did not know” they were in possession of the drugs, their criminal defense attorney would present compelling arguments to the effect that their client “was not knowingly in possession” of the drugs. This often times proves to be a most effective defense that results in suppression of evidence, and dismissal of charges.

Application of Two Arizona Laws and Defenses:

1) A.R.S. 13-204. In the first case one admits certain criminal conduct, but “does not know” their actions were against the law. (not a valid defense)
2) A.R.S. 13-3405. In the second case, involving drug charges, a person is charged with drug possession, but “does not know” they were in possession of drugs. (Justifiable defense).

Examples of each of the Two Arizona Laws and Defenses:

1) A.R.S. 13-204 – The accused is arrested for possessing dangerous and illegal drugs. They claim they knew they had the dangerous drugs, for intended personal use. They were promptly arrested. They insist they did not know it was against the law to have the particular dangerous illegal drugs in their possession. It does not matter. They have reinforced their dangerous drug possession charges in favor of the prosecution.

2) A.R.S. 13-3405 – A friend borrowed the accused person’s vehicle and inadvertently left a bag of Marijuana on back floor board of the car. The following evening, the owner of the vehicle was driving it and was stopped by police for a minor traffic infraction. As the police officer approached the vehicle they saw the bag of Marijuana in “plain sight”, and arrested the owner of the vehicle. Until then, the owner of the car did not k now the Marijuana was in the vehicle. A good AZ criminal defense lawyer will have a compelling argument that the accused was not “knowingly” in possession of the drugs.

If you face criminal charges in Arizona, be sure you consult and retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the state and county you received the DUI or criminal charges. DUI and criminal laws and defenses may differ in every state.

Source of Arizona Law: Arizona State Legislature
Arizona Revised Statutes

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15 Traits of Maricopa County Defense Lawyers – Who Often Get Criminal & DUI Charges Dismissed!

“Your chances of getting criminal charges dismissed increase with an attorney who can present a “compelling argument”, over an attorney who has a stronger argument, but presents it less persuasively.”

– James Novak, AZ DUI & Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer and Author of “Arizona Winning DUI & Criminal Defense Strategies” Book Series
1. Experience; Criminal & DUI defense experience in Maricopa County;
2. Communication: The best trial lawyers listen, as well as they speak. They know that winning cases are often found in the “details” of the facts, evidence and testimony; and they don’t want to miss a thing. A DUI lawyer preoccupied with what they are going to say next, risks missing details that could lead to their client’s case dismissal;
3. Compelling: The best defense lawyers are persuasive, articulate and compelling. They can present highly effective arguments;
4. Thousands of Hours of Trial & Litigation: Be careful of hiring criminal defense attorneys who have not spent much time in the court room or trial, even if you don’t plan on having a trial. The fact is, that there are attorneys who have not seen much of the “inside of a court room”: either because they are new, or because they simply don’t challenge the evidence or prosecution on the issues very often. In those cases, the attorney simply agrees with whatever the prosecution throws at their clients for conviction and sentencing; You don’t need to pay someone to help you lose;
5. Former Prosecutor: Here are just 4 good reasons to choose a former prosecutor:

(a) They get a vast amount of trial experience in many types of criminal cases in a short amount of time;
(b) In Maricopa County, it is not unusual for prosecutors to be in court or trial 4 to 5 days a week, every week. There are fewer of them and they carry heavy caseloads;
(c) In contrast average DUI or criminal defense lawyers in Maricopa County, only go to trial on about 2% or 3% of their cases, if that;
(d) Criminal defense lawyers who are former prosecutors know what can and can’t be done outside to help the defendants, particularly when it comes to negotiations for dismissals, or reduction in sentence; they practiced by the book, and know what’s in the book; and they don’t take “no” for an answer if they know otherwise;

6. They are Scholars of Arizona DUI & Criminal Defense Law
: They know the Arizona criminal law; they are familiar with existing and new laws, changing legislation, and court cases with outcomes that may impact their client’s DUI & Criminal charges in Maricopa County. They recognize that Arizona Laws do not exist just to prosecute a defendant and they know what laws to use that will make good defenses and protect the rights of their clients;

7. They Don’t Use “Cookie Cutter” defenses
: The best lawyers understand that “one size fit all” does not apply to defenses in a DUI or criminal cases. Each is unique and with its own set of facts. Winning DUI & Criminal Defense strategies are well thought out, and tailored to fit the circumstances. A particular defense in a case that leads to a dismissal may result in conviction with a prison sentence in a different case;
8. They Don’t File “Frivolous” Motions: Attorneys with reputations of filing frivolous or unjustified motions lose credibility with judges and the prosecution in courts where they regularly appear;

9. They Never Underestimate the Power of Filing EARLY Justified Motions
: These often involve procedural or constitutional rights violations such as 1). Charges being brought in the wrong jurisdiction; or 2). Time limit to prosecutor has expired for that crime under Arizona Constitution and the like;
10. The “Home Court Advantage”: The best criminal lawyers defend charges exclusively within their own jurisdiction or county such as in the case of Maricopa County. So although they may be licensed to practice in the entire state of Arizona, it is still best in most cases to hire an attorney who frequently defends cases in the jurisdiction or county where the charges were filed. Those lawyers have built reports; are well respected by law enforcement, prosecutors, investigators, expert witnesses, and judges; and they are extremely familiar with court procedures and protocol throughout courts for which they defend clients; There’s no substitute for the “Home Court Advantage”;
11. Simplify Complex Issues: Not only are the best attorneys able to interpret the law, but they have the ability to simplify them in the best light for their client’s defense;

12. Passion and Dedication
: They are dedicated to their client’s defense and obtaining the most favorable outcome for them; they have a passion for defense; they recognize that the accused has fundamental rights by law to defend their charges in due process under the United States Constitution and Arizona Law; They make sure defendants are treated fairly, and their constitutional rights are protected;
13. Work Ethic: They make the time needed to tailor, build, and present a compelling defense case which includes gathering evidence, retesting it, examining the facts, and challenging evidence for suppression (not to be used), and obtaining exculpatory (evidence in the client’s favor); they conduct their own defense investigations, concurrently as the prosecution is building their case;
14. They exhaust all means to obtaining the best outcome for their clients: Including case dismissals (partial or complete); negotiating for a better outcome, including leniency in penalties; or alternatives to harsh and unwarranted sentencing such as incarceration.

15. Getting the Case Dismissed is #1 priority: If a client does not wish to challenge their charges; have someone fight for them; or attempt to get their charges dismissed; then they do not need to hire one of the “Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Maricopa County”. In fact, they would not need to hire any criminal defense attorney, in that the case.

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“What You Don’t Know, Could Cost You Your Freedom”

Article by: James Novak, DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer Arizona

Good criminal lawyers can challenge your AZ DUI using different types of defenses; but in Arizona, “I didn’t know” is not one of them.

It is unwise to go to Phoenix Criminal or DUI court unrepresented by a good Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney. Doing so places your freedom and future at great risk.

If you were arrested or charged with a crime or DUI in Phoenix Arizona, you will need to appear for your Arraignment Phoenix Criminal Court or DUI Court. You should make sure your rights and defenses are protected by retaining effective criminal defense for your Phoenix criminal or DUI charges. The retention of a good proven DUI or criminal defense lawyer will increase your chances of getting a good outcome in your case. If you choose to defend your own charges and have your case heard without an experienced Arizona Criminal or DUI lawyer, you increase your chances of getting a criminal conviction or Arizona DUI conviction. Make sure the DUI attorney or criminal lawyer defends cases regularly in the court which you have been instructed to appear.

Phoenix Criminal Court Jurisdiction

Phoenix Municipal Court, Phoenix Justice Court and Phoenix Superior Court

Many defendants want to know why they have been instructed to appear at a certain court verses another Phoenix criminal court, and why they are different. The primary difference between Municipal, Justice and Superior Courts are the types of cases that are heard in them. Some courts have been granted authority by Arizona Constitution to handle certain types of cases. Some of the lower courts are limited as to what types of cases they are authorized to hear. In this context, the difference involves what is known as “Limited Jurisdiction” Courts verses “General Jurisdiction” Courts:

A) Municipal or City Courts (used interchangeably) are Limited Jurisdiction Courts. This is considered a lower court. The City courts have limited jurisdiction and have authority to hear only limited types of criminal cases. The majority of the cases heard in Phoenix City Court are Misdemeanor charges. Under certain circumstances, preliminary hearings for felonies can be heard in Phoenix City Court.

B) Justice Courts are Limited Jurisdiction Courts. Similar to City Courts, the Justice Courts have limited jurisdiction over what types of cases can be tried or heard in them. The Justice courts in Arizona, usually hear Phoenix Misdemeanor cases. However, some preliminary hearings for felonies can be heard in Phoenix Justice Court.

C) Superior Court is considered to be a General Jurisdiction Court. The Arizona Superior Court is state wide trial court. It has authority under the Arizona Constitution to hear wide variety of criminal cases. The types of cases tried in this court are primarily Felony cases. Although the Arizona Superior Court is a single entity, it has multiple locations in each county in Arizona. Each county in Arizona, including Maricopa County, has at least one Superior Court Judge.

Types of Criminal & DUI Cases heard in Arizona Municipal/City Courts, and Arizona Justice Courts

1. Phoenix Municipal & City Courts: Municipal courts & City Courts, in Arizona hear the following types of criminal cases:
• Misdemeanors:
• Misdemeanor DUI (Driving under the influence of alcohol); as long as no injuries were involved;
• Misdemeanor hit-and-run; without injuries involved;
• Misdemeanor reckless driving without injuries involved.
• Petty offenses; committed in Phoenix AZ.
• Municipal or City courts also share jurisdiction with justice courts over certain types of violations relating to Arizona law, if the crime was committed in Phoenix AZ.

2. Justice Courts – Arizona Justice Courts hear criminal cases of these types:
• Misdemeanors;
• Some felony preliminary hearings; and
• Misdemeanors criminal offenses punishable by a fine of less than $2,500 or less than six months in county jail.

3. Superior Courts – The Arizona Constitution provides the Arizona Superior Court jurisdiction over the following types of criminal cases:
• Superior Courts in Arizona have exclusive jurisdiction over felony cases;
• Superior Courts share jurisdiction with Justice Courts over misdemeanors when the potential penalty does not exceed $2,500 or imprisonment for six months;
• If no other court has jurisdiction or authority to handle a particular case, Superior Courts may have jurisdiction over that case.

As soon as you learn which court your are required to appear, you should consult an experienced AZ criminal defense attorney or DUI lawyer in that jurisdiction as soon as possible to discuss your charges and defense options.

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“Even the Best Arizona DUI Lawyers will hire their own Private Practice DUI Lawyer to represent them if they get an Arizona DUI”
AZ DUI Blog By: James Novak, Arizona DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyer
Defendants who face Arizona DUI charges in Maricopa County have a constitutional right to hire an AZ DUI Lawyer to defend their case or go without legal representation. They should use it. Representing yourself is risky and imprudent. Some DUI lawyers call it a fast track to an early AZ DUI conviction. Representing yourself makes it easy for an experienced prosecutor to get a conviction.

Was it Theologian, John Calvin centuries ago who said, “Only a fool represents themselves in court”? And was it President Abraham Lincoln who said “Any man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client”? While who coined the phrases may be debatable, their meanings are clear. This is particularly true in the defense of AZ criminal or DUI charges.

Even the best AZ DUI lawyers will hire a third party private practice criminal defense or Phoenix DUI lawyer to defend their DUI if they have the misfortune of getting one. Successfully defending Arizona DUI charges is a serous and complicated legal matter. AZ Criminal Defense Lawyers would agree, to provide a proven and successful DUI defense, requires a vortex of qualifications, training and hundreds of hours of courtroom and trial experience.

Here are at least 10 good reasons you should hire a private practice criminal or DUI trial lawyer in Maricopa County to defend your charges (this list in not all inclusive):

1. To avoid unknowingly saying or doing something that will incriminate your defense case.
2. To avoid unintentionally waiving any constitutional rights you could have used in your defense.
3. To avoid overlooking a defense strategy, that if used properly may have led to dismissal of your charges.
4. To remain detached and objective in examining the facts, evidence and defenses.
5. To eliminate being led into an evidentiary trap, and being lured into it by the prosecution. Many become aware of what happened after the damage is done.
6. To avoid the chance of misinterpretation of the constantly changing and tough AZ DUI Laws, and penalties.
7. To help you recognize and use evidence that is material to building a solid DUI defense strategy. (You may be surprised at the factors which are material. Many reach far beyond just the results of your DUI breathalyzer or blood test.)
8. You want to recognize weaknesses or flaws in the prosecution’s case; and avoid overlooking exculpatory evidence (evidence in your favor) that may strengthen your defense case and lead to a DUI dismissal.
9. You avoid failing to miss any procedural guidelines, deadlines, arguments, or processes that must be followed in the Maricopa County Criminal Justice System. If overlooked they may jeopardize your defense. Many DUI charges are dropped due to procedural errors or protocol violations by police or prosecution.
10. Lastly, a law expert once said “Never underestimate the power of filing early motions” (paraphrased). While they may be seemingly irrelevant to a defendant, or the general public, DUI or Criminal Charges in Arizona are dismissed every day due to procedural or defense motions filed early in the criminal or DUI case by the defendant’s
AZ DUI or AZ criminal defense lawyer.
The stakes are high. No matter whether you were arrested for a misdemeanor DUI or Felony DUI, the negative consequences can be life altering. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI Laws and penalties in the country including Jail or prison terms; Vehicle interlock devices; Hefty fines, fees, costs and/or restitution; Probation; Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license; Participation in drug or alcohol treatment programs; and long term Criminal Records. Hiring a private practice AZ DUI lawyer who is highly trained, skilled, qualified and experienced in defending Maricopa DUI cases on a daily basis is your best chance at a DUI dismissal or other favorable outcome.

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By: James Novak, Phoenix DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer
1) If you have Arizona criminal or DUI charges you should not consult a personal injury or real estate attorney for help: Be sure your consultation is with an Arizona criminal defense or DUI defense attorney. They are the most familiar with the laws, defenses, and constant changes in Arizona criminal Law.

2) Just the facts: Stick to the facts of your criminal or DUI charges. A busy attorney has active retained cases from people who have hired them that need attention. They do not have time to discuss the weather or politics unless they are directly relative to your Arizona criminal or DUI charges.

3) Breathe: Yes Breathe. Many people accused of a crime are so anxious to tell their story to someone who will listen and side with them, that they don’t pause to give the criminal or DUI lawyer a chance to speak. Most Attorneys are very good listeners. They are trained and have experience in defense and litigation. As part of the consultation process, they need certain details or information they are looking for in order to help you and proceed with your consultation. If you are doing all the talking, without allowing them to speak, you may miss some very important information, interjections, or questions they have to provide you with the most accurate and useful consultation regarding your criminal charges and defense options. .

4) Answer the Attorney’s questions: The attorney may ask you questions such as date of birth, citizenship status, prior criminal or DUI history, city of arrest, city of residence, reason for the DUI stop, or other charges relating to your charges. They are asking certain questions for good reasons in order to help you. The answers to the questions may relate to the court process that will take place, what the prosecution will be looking for, and defense strategies they may be able to use to defend your case relating to the charges, They will also ask this information to assist them in determining the appropriate quote to give you regarding their fees for retention or other reasons relating to your defense.

5) Make sure you Speak directly with an Attorney: Some firms screen cases through other legal support staff or sales representatives. Find out in advance who you are or will be speaking with for your initial consultation. Consulting with a criminal or DUI attorney will be in a position to provide you the most accurate and beneficial information related to your charges and defense options. If you are not given the opportunity to speak with the attorney who will be representing you, it is wise to seek other defense counsel.

6) Don’t just call around looking for fee Quotes: Often times, people just call one attorney after another for quotes in general. And that is all they want to know. By doing this, they are missing out on very important information that could help them. Further, it is not always possible for the attorney to provide a quote without getting relative facts from you. Also, following your consultation, many attorneys will be willing to negotiate reasonable prices to assist you in retaining them especially if you are having financial hardship. Finally, there is a lot more to consider when hiring an attorney besides their prices. You should consider defense experience, education, training, credentials, and get an idea of what they can do for you. If you hire someone strictly on pricing, without finding anything out about the attorney, you may find you have made a grave mistake that will cost you your freedom and future.

7) Tell the Truth. Sometimes people make the mistake of with holding information surrounding the severity or number of charges instead of all of them, their criminal history, or what phase in the criminal law process they are currently engaged in. Their motivation is to get a “lesser quote”. But by doing this you will do more harm to your defense than good. First, you have compromised the trust of a potential attorney from the start. Next, a good Arizona criminal attorney or DUI lawyer will find out the truth, (sooner than later) whether you tell them or not. In that case, they will have the right charge you the proper amount needed to hire and defend the case. It is better to be honest from the start regarding such things as past criminal record, amount and severity of charges. Also if you have or had a different attorney currently, it is unethical for a criminal or DUI attorney to discuss details of your case. One exception to this is if you have a genuine desire to change attorneys and hire a new one. If that is the case, you need to provide this information as soon as possible. However, keep in mind that if a case is too far into the criminal justice process such as having been set for trial, many attorneys will decline to come on board to represent you.

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By: James Novak, Phoenix DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer
Due to ethical practices, this author will not be throwing any peers under the bus or name dropping. Even better however, you will get tips and tools to help you identify, good Arizona criminal defense Attorneys and DUI lawyers from those who should think twice about before hiring. The ordeal of a DUI stop or criminal arrest is traumatic for most people. The last thing you need, is to be taken advantage of, adding insult to injury. Here are examples of 5 red flags that should alert you, to seek another criminal or DUI lawyer’s services for your Arizona criminal charges.

1) An Attorney out of state who is not licensed to practice law in Arizona.
If you have Arizona criminal or DUI charges, you need to hire an attorney in good standing who is licensed to defend cases in Arizona, for many reasons. To name a just a few: Criminal and DUI laws and penalties are some of the most severe in the country. The laws are turbulent and constantly changing. You need to hire someone who is well versed and familiar with the laws and the criminal justice system in Arizona.

2) An Attorney who “guarantees” they can get your DUI or Criminal charges dismissed. No attorney has a crystal ball. No attorney can tell you before retention, examination, and due criminal law process, what the outcome will be. And certainly no attorney can predict in advance what a jury will decide. . Anyone who guarantees an outcome to lure you into to hire them is giving you false hope, which is cruel and unethical.

3) An Attorney who tells you all DUI charges are “standard” and will result in the same outcome. This could not be further from the truth. All DUI & criminal cases have their own unique set of circumstances. Depending on the facts, the laws, the attorney who is defending you; defense strategies used; the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case; and much more, determines the outcome in a case. DUI and criminal charges get dismissed every day in Arizona. Some of the charges and sentences can be reduced. Some defendants enter negotiated agreements which can have a variety of terms. Every case is different, and there are many possible outcomes.

4) An Attorney who uses “scare tactics”. There is big difference between giving you factual information related to your charges and the criminal law process, v. trying to scare you into hiring them. After your consultation or hiring of an attorney you should feel confident that you are in good hands and that you have hired a competent AZ DUI and criminal attorney who will fight vigorously for your rights and freedom. You should feel a sense of trust and peace of mind- in their competence. You should never feel that if you don’t hire that particular attorney you will get the maximum sentencing allowed by law. Enough said.

5) An Attorney who charges high fees tells you that if another Attorney charges lower fees, they are less competent or will do less work on your case. Wrong, wrong, wrong again. There are no official governing entities dictate how much attorneys can charge in Arizona. You will get a wide range of quotes low to high. What AZ criminal and Dui Attorney’s charge is not a reflection of their competence, or how hard they will work to defend your case. Some of the best Arizona DUI lawyers charge some of the lowest fees and have for years. There are many reasons for this including, the law firm’s operating costs, staffing needs, advertising expenses, size of the firm, competition, location, and more. Arizona has no shortage of qualified, experienced criminal and DUI attorneys who can provide you with a solid and effective defense at an affordable price.

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Law Article Written By: James Novak, Phoenix DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are charged with a crime or DUI in Arizona, you should consult a good Arizona Criminal Defense or DUI Attorney. Many do not know where to start or what to look for when to hire a good DUI or criminal attorney. Consequently, they may hire the one lease expensive thinking will produce the same outcome, so why pay more? Or to the contrary some feel if they higher the most publicized or expensive DUI and Criminal Defense attorneys they will get a better outcome. Neither perception is true.

Some of the best Arizona criminal and DUI defense attorneys are Law Firms who charge the most affordable price and can get you the same or better outcome. And some of the most expensive attorneys simply “go through the motions” and do little to protect your rights or fight for your defense. In the latter scenario, the final product results in a losing and unfavorable outcome. The best qualified Arizona criminal defense and DUI lawyers agree that there are far more factors to consider than price. There are more factors to consider when choosing an attorney if you are facing AZ criminal or DUI charges. So below are some important questions to ask and answers to consider:

• Are they familiar with constantly changing Arizona Laws and penalties?
• What forum or resources do they use to keep updated on these changes?
• Are they licensed with the Arizona State Bar to practice criminal and DUI defense in Arizona?
• How long have they resided in Arizona?
• How long have they defended criminal and DUI charges in Arizona?
• Approximately how many cases have they defended relating to your particular charges (assault, DUI, Theft, etc)?
• Are they familiar with utilizing criminal and DUI defense strategies that apply to your charges?
• How long they have been practicing Criminal and DUI defense?
• How experienced are they in trial and litigation?
• Approximately how many trials have they done?
• What was the outcome of those trials?
• Is their Law practice exclusive to Criminal and DUI Law?
• Have they been former prosecutors?
• Do they have a proven track record of success?
• Are they good litigators?
• Can they examine the evidence to build and mount the best defense?
• Do they regulate their case load to make sure they can put the time and effort needed to labor over building and mounting the best defense for you?
• Who will be handling the details and events of your case from start to finish? If a different attorney at that law firm will be handling your case, you want to make sure you meet them and ask them the same questions.
• Are they strong enough to challenge the prosecution’s case or evidence against you?
• Will they be available to answer your questions and guide you through the processes?
• Will they over turn every item of evidence to look for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case?
• Will they be able to present compelling arguments and file motions with the court, and educate the judge, prosecution and jury about your side of the story?
• How often have they defended cases in that particular court you are required to appear in Arizona?
• Are they familiar with the judge, prosecution, procedures, and stringent time-lines?
• Have you read reviews on the internet about the quality and effectiveness of their defense?
• Has anyone you know and trust referred them to you?
• Are their fees affordable and competitive in relation to others in the jurisdiction for which you face charges?
• Can you comfortable with communicating with them?
• Are they directly assessable?
• Are they respected and reputable in the community?
• Did you feel confident after your consultation that this DUI or criminal Attorney will give you the best defense possible?

This is just a sample list to consider when looking for a good AZ criminal or DUI attorney, but this should paint the picture. A good defense attorney will gladly answer these and any other questions you have to your satisfaction. If not, or you do not fee that comfort level, then talk to other criminal or DUI attorneys in Arizona until you do. You are the employer in this case. It is only prudent that you ask the right questions and get the answers you need to hire the best Criminal or DUI attorney to defend your case.

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