Articles Tagged with arizona criminal defense attorney

“Not all arrests for disorderly conduct charges are lawful. Don’t plead guilty before consulting an experienced criminal lawyer who defends disorderly conduct charges in Gilbert”.

Disorderly Conduct Charges Gilbert AZ
“Disorderly conduct” or “disturbing the peace” charges are common in Gilbert AZ. But just because they are common, does not make them less serious. A good criminal defense attorney who defends Gilbert Disorderly Conduct Charges will be the first to tell you, not to ignore these charges. If you ignore them or fail to appear at your designated court date, a warrant will be issued for our arrest.

Like any arrest or criminal charges, they are not always lawful or justified. But the person arrested for disorderly conduct now faces criminal charges, and will need to get the criminal matter resolved or face potential serious consequences if convicted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBMFs3CZfIU

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Gilbert AZ
Circumstances surrounding the Disorderly Conduct charges will weigh heavily on the classification for which the conduct will be charged. A large number of these charges are classified as Class 1 Misdemeanors. Class 1 Misdemeanors are the highest level of AZ Misdemeanors. Class 1 Misdemeanors will expose you to six months of incarceration and $2500.00 fines if convicted.

Class 6 Felonies are charged if the disorderly conduct involves a firearm. Disorderly Conduct Felony sentencing includes maximum penalties of up to one year in state prison, fines and fees, and a felony criminal record.
Arizona Disorderly Conduct Laws
Arizona Disorderly Conduct Laws are found in Title 13 of Arizona Criminal Code ARS 13-2904. An outline and summary of the law is shown below:

A person can be charged with disorderly conduct when the following applies to their conduct:
1) “With intent” someone disturbs another person, business, or other entities’ peace: or
2) “With knowledge”, of their actions, a person engages in the following behavior (s):

• Fighting; or other disruptive behavior;
• Loud music or other disruptive noise especially late evening or early am hours;
• Using offensive, disturbing, abusive language or gestures that provoke immediate retaliation by another party;
• Disruption or disturbance that lasts for an extended period of time;
• Disrupting person (s) with the intent to prevent or distract them from engaging in a lawful meeting or gathering;
• Disobedience of a lawful order to dismiss, evacuate or remove one’s self from a premises or area, for purposes of public safety; imminent danger; fire, flood, or other hazard or emergency;
• Unlawful discharge of a firearm; reckless display of a gun or other dangerous weapon.

Criminal Defense for Gilbert AZ Disorderly Conduct Charges
Good criminal attorneys who defend criminal charges in Gilbert AZ challenge disorderly conduct charges frequently. They often can get them dismissed due to their subjective nature of disorderly conduct charges. Depending on the circumstances, many effective defenses can be used by good criminal defense lawyers to challenge unjust disorderly conduct charges. You should contact a criminal lawyer who defends disorderly conduct charges in Gilbert before pleading guilty to these charges. They will discuss your charges and provide you with your defense options.

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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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0eEUEyF6CA

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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“Arrests for Disorderly Conduct in Tempe AZ are not always lawful….Why Good Tempe criminal defense lawyers often get disorderly conduct charges dismissed.”

Tempe Disorderly Conduct Charges
“Disorderly conduct charges”, also called “disturbing the peace” are common in Tempe. But frequency makes them no less serious. An experienced Tempe criminal attorney will tell you they should be taken seriously due to their consequences if convicted.

Arizona Disorderly Conduct Penalties
Circumstances surrounding the charges dictate if the disorderly conduct charges will be brought as a felony or misdemeanor. Disorderly conduct charges are usually brought as Class 1 Misdemeanors. This is the highest level of Arizona Misdemeanors. Class 1 Misdemeanors convictions carry a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail or prison and up to $2500.00 fines.

Disorderly Conduct charges in Tempe AZ bought as Class 6 Felonies are charged if the disorderly conduct involves a firearm. Disorderly Conduct Felony Charges carry maximum penalties of one year in prison, along with fines, fees, a long term felony criminal record; and anything else the court deems necessary.

Disorderly Conduct Laws in Tempe AZ
Arizona Disorderly Conduct Laws are outlined under ARS 13-2904 Arizona Criminal Code, Title 13. For the readers convenience below is the law paraphrased, and explained for discussion:
A person can be charged with the crime of disorderly conduct under the following circumstances:
1) “with intent” of disturbing another person (s) peace or disruption of their business: or
2) ” with knowledge” of doing so, that person engages in one or more of the following:

• Fights, altercation. or other disruptive behavior;
• Unreasonably loud or disruptive noise or music;
• Offensive or abusive language or gestures which provoke another person immediately retaliate;
• Disruption or commotion lasting for an extended period of time or any physical or verbal disturbing display with the intent to prevent or distract a lawful gathering, or meeting;
• Failure to obey or adhere to a lawful or civil order to leave a premises or area issued for purposes of public safety risk of danger or peril such as fire; or other imminent hazard or emergency;
• Reckless display or discharge of a firearm, or other deadly weapon.
Defenses for Tempe AZ Disorderly Conduct Charges
Experienced Tempe criminal defense firms often challenge disorderly conduct charges due to their subjectivity. Their legal arguments often result in dismissal of the charges. There are many defenses that can be used to combat unjust disorderly conduct charges. Depending on the circumstances one or more of the following defenses categories may be used (Defense list not all inclusive):
• “Justification” Defenses; Self-defense; the accused was protecting a defenseless person being attacked; the accused’s conduct was an immediate reaction to being provoked, or threatened;
• “Affirmative” Defenses; A fact that prevents the prosecution from being able to prosecute the charge: Charges being brought in the wrong jurisdiction; charges were not brought within the state’s time limit for certain criminal offenses; the accused was mentally ill, and did not “intend” to cause the disruption;
• “Reasonable Doubt” Defenses; Credible and trust worthy eye witnesses have conflicting accounts of the event from the Police officer’s account; the prosecution is unable to prove beyond a “reasonable doubt” that a crime was committed by the accused; or there is no evidence, no witnesses, or no complaints made of a disturbance caused by the accused; ;
• “Violation of Constitutional Rights” Defenses; Right to free speech, no abusive or offensive language was used; right to assemble lawfully and peacefully; freedom to practice faith or religion without disturbance.
Why Police Make Arrests for Disorderly Conduct in Tempe
Those charged or arrested are often confused as to why they were arrested for disorderly conduct. In most cases, it has less to do with what they did, and more to do with what the police could not do. Most Tempe criminal defense attorneys agree that it is an overused charged. The police generally use it as a “catch-all” of charges, when they don’t know what else to charge someone with, but want to make an arrest. Charges sometimes follow a warning by police, but a warning by police is not required.

The most common reasons charges or arrests for disorderly conduct is Tempe is for the following reasons:
1) Police are fed-up or annoyed with you;
2) Police have no other appropriate charge to use;
3) Police feel compelled to make an arrest or charge because complaints continue despite warnings; and/or the police have to return to the scene more than once;
4) Police felt that you disrespected them or that you were not being cooperative;
5) Police believed your actions were deliberate, and intended.

Always consult an experienced criminal lawyer to defend your Tempe disorderly conduct charges. Just because you were charged with disorderly conduct does not mean the arrest was lawful.

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“How good defense Attorneys in Phoenix help you avoid self-incrimination after an arrest for Phoenix DUI or Criminal Charges”

Experienced Phoenix Criminal Lawyers may disagree on a variety of topics related to criminal defense. But one thing good criminal defense lawyers will always agree on, is that you preserve your “right to remain silent” and “your right to an attorney”.

Following your arrest for Phoenix DUI or criminal charges you should not agree to be interrogated or answer any questions regarding your guilt or innocence or any other facts surrounding the Phoenix Criminal or DUI charges, until and unless your Phoenix criminal defense lawyer or Phoenix DUI Attorney is present.

An arrest for Phoenix DUI or criminal charges is a traumatic ordeal. If you can remember nothing else, once you have been arrested or taken into custody, you must remember to “Remain Silent”. Do not agree to answer questions or to be interrogated about the criminal charges without your Phoenix Defense Attorney present. Following a Phoenix DUI arrest or arrest for any other Criminal Charges, you may feel that everything is out side of your control. But there are two things that will remain within your control, unless you voluntarily give up control or waive your rights:

1. Your Right to an Attorney; and
2. Your Right to Remain Silent
At the point that you are arrested, hand cuffed and taken into custody, the Phoenix Police have already made up their minds to arrest you and take you into custody. Beware, the police are taking notes of your every action and word. The Phoenix Police work closely with the Arizona Prosecution to get a conviction. So they will use whatever you do and against you if they can. There is no benefit to allowing yourself to be interrogated or questioned following your arrest or detention for the criminal or DUI charges. It can only detriment your defense. The Phoenix Police and Arizona Prosecution may appear to be sincere. They would like you to believe that their motive to “help” you in your defense. Not so – Don’t buy it. Their job is to convict you, not defend you.

You will make the Arizona Prosecution’s job easier to convict you of the crime if you allow yourself to be interrogated or questioned in absence of your Phoenix Defense Lawyer. The Police and Prosecution are elated when defendants give them narratives or allow themselves to be interrogated without their Phoenix defense attorney present following their arrest. Any information they obtain from you will be used to strengthen their case against you in order to get a conviction. You do not have to help them convict you.

Phoenix DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers in Arizona
As soon as reasonably possible, following your arrest, you should retain representation of a private practice Phoenix DUI lawyer or Phoenix criminal defense attorney. A good Phoenix DUI lawyer, who defends Criminal and DUI charges on a regular basis, will act as a barrier between you and the Phoenix police/prosecution. An experienced criminal defense attorney will make sure your constitutional rights are protected; make sure you are treated fairly; be present during any interrogations in a more controlled environment to protect you from unfair questioning; object to or provide guidance on whether or not you are required to answer certain questions that may incriminate you or harm your defense; and begin tailoring and building a strong defense on your behalf. A good Phoenix criminal attorney or Phoenix DUI lawyer will make every effort to get your charges dismissed, in whole or in part, or reduced. Retaining an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney or criminal defense lawyer is by far, your best chance of getting your charges dismissed, or the otherwise best possible outcome in your case.

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Don’t Plead “Guilty” to a Chandler DUI or Criminal Charge before Consulting a Good Chandler DUI and Criminal Attorney… Good criminal defense attorneys may be able to use certain defenses that may lead to a dismissal of your charges.

Chandler DUI or Criminal Charge – Arraignments – What to Plea
Among other reasons, the primary reason for an Arraignment is to inform the court of how you wish to plea. It is never a good idea to plead guilty to any Arizona crime or DUI or criminal charge before consulting a DUI or criminal defense attorney. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI and criminal laws and penalties in the country. You should retain an experienced AZ DUI and criminal attorney to defend you. Good criminal defense attorneys may be able to use certain defenses that may lead to a reduction or dismissal of your criminal charges. In the least you should consult a Chandler DUI or Criminal defense lawyer to get information about your charges, consequences of a guilty plea and your defense options.

Criminal Court – Arraignment for Chandler AZ Charges
For Chandler criminal or DUI charges, you will be given a complaint at some point following your arrest (if in custody) or a summons will be delivered to you (if you are not in custody). It will contain information concerning location, date and time you are required to appear at criminal court for your Arraignment.
The court location for where you will be required to appear is generally determined by the nature of the charges, and jurisdiction where you were charged. Most felony arraignments are held in Arizona Superior Courts. Most misdemeanors are held in Arizona Justice Courts. However, some felonies can initially begin in a lower court such as Arizona justice courts.

Arraignment: “Failure to Appear”- Chandler DUI or criminal charges
If you have not retained a DUI or criminal defense firm, you must appear at the court location, date, and time designated. If you “fail to appear”, a warrant may be issued for your arrest under criminal code:

1) “A.R.S. 13-2506 in the second degree; classification” Failure to appear for Misdemeanor Charges;
2) “A.R.S. 13-2507 in the first degree; classification” Failure to appear for Felony Charges
If you have retained a Chandler DUI or criminal defense attorney, they will give you further instructions. In many cases your defense attorney can vacate the arraignment date, through alternative legal channels so you do not have to appear in person.

What Happens at an Arraignment in Criminal Court
At your arraignment 1) the Judge will confirm your address, identity; 2) explain your rights; 3) read your formal charges; 4) advise you of the potential range of penalties if convicted; 5) find out if you plan to retain a criminal defense attorney; 6) and how you wish to plead to the DUI or criminal charge(s).

Types of Pleas that You Can Entered at Your Arraignment
There are three possible pleas to a criminal or DUI charge:
“Not Guilty” – This means that you are denying guilt. In this case, the burden of proof is with prosecution to prove your guilt of the criminal charges against you. If you enter a plea of not guilty on your arraignment date, the Judge will set your case for either a pre-trial conference or a formal trial date.

“Guilty” – You admit or agreeing that you committed the act charged; that the act is prohibited by law; and that you have no legal defense for your act. The Chandler AZ Court judge will proceed with your sentencing at this time. For felonies a future date and time will be set for your sentencing hearing.

“No Contest” – This means you are not admitting you are guilty; but that you also do not wish to challenge the charges or evidence at a trial; and you will accept the conviction, sentencing and punishments of the criminal charge. The judge will proceed with your sentencing at this time. For felonies a future date and time will be set for your sentencing hearing.

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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 azleg.gov

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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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AZ Criminal Defense Lawyer | Felony | Misdemeanor | AZ DUI Defense

Q. What is the Difference between a Misdemeanor and Felony in Arizona?

A. The main differences between an Arizona Misdemeanor and Felony involve the severity and nature of the crime; and of the severity and nature of the penalties. Some differences include the following:

1) Felonies are usually more serious crimes than misdemeanors; Examples of felonies include such offenses as aggravated assault, homicide, sexual abuse or rape crimes, arson, aggravated DUI, kidnapping, illegal drug sales, drug smuggling, drug manufacturing, serious drug charges and more. Felony penalties are far more severe, and usually result in life long adverse consequences if convicted. Felonies usually carry a minimum sentence of 12 months or more; Felony Charges are classified from Class 1 to Class 6, with the least severe Class 6 and the most severe, categorized as Class 1 felonies. Class 1 felonies carry sentences that range from 25 years to life in prison or a death penalty. These are reserved for the most serious of charges such as homicide.

2) Misdemeanor charges are generally less serious. Examples include criminal trespassing, theft of property below a certain value, non-aggravated DUI, underage drinking, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of Marijuana for personal use, and more. In addition to other penalties including fines, fees, costs, probation, and other punishments, they carry maximum jail sentences of less than one year;
Q. Does the Sentencing by the Judge differ with Felonies verses Misdemeanors?
A. Yes. If convicted of misdemeanor charges, the judge will usually make a determination of sentencing on the same day as the conviction of the guilty verdict, by trial or guilty plea by defendant.

For Arizona felony convictions, the judge usually requests a pre-sentence report to be completed and will schedule sentencing for generally 30 days or following the guilty verdict. You have the right to have your views included in the pre-sentence report. The defendant has the right to complete a Victim Impact Statement questionnaire or letter to be included in the pre-sentence report for the judge to review.

Q. Which Court will I need to go to if charged with a Felony or Misdemeanor in Arizona?
A. The court which a case will be heard should be documented on the complaint you received at the time you were charged, or following your arrest. It will include the name of the court, date, and time, for which you will be required to appear.

In general, Misdemeanor charges are usually handled in the Arizona Justice, Municipal or City Courts where the charges for issued. For example, if you live in Tempe Arizona, but you received a non-aggravated DUI charge in Phoenix AZ your case will be schedule for hearing in Phoenix Arizona.

Felony Charges in Arizona are usually handled in Superior court. However felony preliminary hearings can sometimes be held in the lower courts.

Q. Who Should I Hire to Defend Me for Felony for Arizona Misdemeanor Charges?
A. If you face either a criminal misdemeanor or felony charges, you should contact a licensed AZ DUI or AZ Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Most criminal lawyers defend both Felony and Misdemeanor DUI charges. Start with consulting an experienced criminal attorney who defends charges regularly in the city or jurisdiction where your received the charges. They will provide you with information concerning the charges and your defense options. Most criminal and DUI attorneys will provide you with a free consultation by phone or in person at their discretion.

Q. What Should I look for to find a good Felony or Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer?
A. In Arizona, both Felony and Misdemeanor Charges are serious. A good DUI & Criminal Defense Attorney should have years of DUI and criminal defense experience and a significant amount of trial experience. Many of the best criminal defense attorneys in Arizona are former prosecutors. This provides you with an advantage for your defense for many reasons: they are familiar with the courts, judges, prosecution, procedures, and the entire criminal justice processes. You want a DUI or criminal lawyer up to date on current laws and changing legislation in Arizona relating to criminal and DUI charges. Make sure your Attorney will be accessible and open to direct communication for answers to any and all questions you may have. A proven Arizona criminal lawyer will do everything possible to attempt to get your charges dismissed, reduced or the otherwise best outcome in your 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.

Don’t Plead “Guilty” to a Mesa DUI or Criminal Charge before Consulting a Good Mesa DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney. Experienced criminal lawyers may be able to use certain defenses that may lead to a dismissal of your charges.

Pleading Guilty verses Not Guilty to Mesa DUI or Criminal Charges
Among other reasons, the primary reason for an Arraignment is to inform the court of how you wish to plea. Among other reasons, the primary reason for an Arraignment is to inform the court of how you wish to plea.

You should not plead guilty to a Mesa DUI or criminal charge before consulting a DUI or criminal defense attorney. Arizona has some of the strictest DUI laws, criminal laws, and penalties for conviction in the USA. Your best chance at getting a good outcome in your matter is to retain a good AZ DUI or Mesa criminal lawyer to defend you. Experienced criminal defense attorneys know, and may be able to use certain defenses that may lead to a reduction or dismissal of your criminal charges. In the very least you should consult a Mesa DUI or Criminal defense lawyer to get information about your charges, consequences of a guilty plea and your defense options.

Arraignments in Criminal Court in Mesa AZ
For Mesa AZ criminal or DUI charges, you will be given a complaint at some point following your arrest (if in custody) or a summons will be delivered to you (if you are not in custody). It will contain information concerning location, date and time you are required to appear at criminal court for your Arraignment.

The court location for where you will need to appear is usually based on the nature of the charges, and jurisdiction where you were charged. Most felony arraignments are held in Superior Courts in Arizona. Most misdemeanors are held in Justice Courts in Arizona, such as Mesa Justice Court. However, some felonies can initially begin in the lower courts in Arizona.

“Failure to Appear” for Your Arraignment for Mesa Criminal Charges
If you have not retained a private DUI or criminal defense lawyer, you must appear at the criminal court location, date, and time as scheduled. If you “fail to appear”, a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest under Arizona Law as follows:
1) “A.R.S. 13-2506 in the second degree; classification” Failure to appear for Misdemeanor Charges;
2) “A.R.S. 13-2507 in the first degree; classification” Failure to appear for Felony Charges
If you have retained a Mesa DUI or criminal defense attorney, they will give you further instructions. In some cases, your Mesa criminal lawyer can vacate the arraignment date and providing the court with the required information on your behalf through alternative legal channels. In this event, you do not have to appear in person for the arraignment.

What Happens at an Arraignment in Criminal Court
Among other reasons, the primary purpose of your Arraignment is to inform the court of how you wish to plea to the Mesa criminal or DUI charges. You can also expect the some or all of the following events to happen as well: the court will also confirm your identity and current contact information; explain your rights; read your formal charges; advise you of the potential range of penalties if convicted; find out if you plan to retain a criminal defense attorney.

Types of Pleas that can be entered at an Arraignment
There are three possible pleas to a criminal or DUI charge:
“Not Guilty” – This means that you are denying guilt. In this case, the burden of proof is with prosecution to prove your guilt of the criminal charges against you. If you enter a plea of not guilty on your arraignment date, the Judge will set your case for either a pre-trial conference or a formal trial date.
“Guilty” – You admit or agreeing that you committed the act charged; that the act is prohibited by law; and that you have no legal defense for your act. The Mesa AZ Court judge will proceed with your sentencing at this time. For Felony charges they will usually set a new date and time in the near future for a hearing concerning your sentencing.
“No Contest” – This means you are not admitting you are guilty; but that you also do not wish to challenge the charges or evidence at a trial; and you will accept the conviction, sentencing and punishments of the criminal charge. The judge will proceed with your sentencing at this time. For Felony charges they will usually set a new date and time in the near future for a hearing concerning your sentencing.

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