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Phoenix Criminal Law Blog

What are the consequences of repeat drunk driving in Arizona?

Most people learn their lesson after being convicted of drunk driving the first time, right? Not so fast. A fair number of Arizona drivers find themselves in repeat drunk driving scenarios despite previous consequences. Those defendants who are accused of multiple-offense drunk driving must mount a different type of criminal defense than those who are facing first-time allegations. Further, the potential consequences differ for multiple-offense drunk driving convicts. Today, we will explore some of those alternative punishment methods.

Can the state take away my vehicle or license?

Criminal charges don't have to ruin an Arizona juvenile's life

Few things are more frightening for an Arizona parent than having a child get arrested. Even bright, responsible kids make mistakes. Maybe they were hanging out with the wrong crowd or did something foolish while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Sometimes kids get arrested for something they didn't do because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Whatever the circumstances behind the arrest, it's imperative that parents take the charges seriously. A juvenile criminal record can follow a young person into adulthood. More immediately, it can impact a student's chances of getting into college and even getting part-time job opportunities.

Violent crimes defendants need strong legal teams

Did you know that most violent crimes charges carry with them the possibility of time in prison? Criminal defendants in Arizona should recognize that any allegations related to violent crimes should be taken very seriously, as even being arrested for such charges can have future impact. Whether defendants are facing more minor charges such as a simple weapons offense -- or they are looking to fight murder charges -- they need an experienced legal team on their side.

Criminal defendants should know that they run the risk of heightening the severity of their criminal allegations by using excessive violence. For example, a high-level misdemeanor such as assault can quickly become a major felony if exacerbating factors are present. Those can include the use of a deadly weapon. Even the use of a dangerous instrument such as a baseball bat or small knife can lead to more serious charges. Further, the defendant could face a longer prison term if grievous bodily injury occurs during the commission of a crime.

Criminalization of cyberbullying: Modern Internet crimes

Many of us may be aware of the fact that cybercrimes abound in our society, but we may not understand the exact nature of those violations. Internet crimes can take many forms, including identity theft, fraud and a variety of other transgressions. However, one of the hot-button topics that has made its way into the public consciousness -- and into Arizona courtrooms -- in recent months is "cyberbullying."

This term refers to the use of electronic resources, including mobile technology, to harm another with harassment and intimidation. Bullying is hardly a new problem in the American cultural landscape, but it has taken on a new form entirely with the advent of Facebook, text messages and the various apps that are available on today's smartphones. Most states have some form of bullying laws currently in place, though they may not always be easy to understand.

Can an 'affirmative consent' law reduce college sexual assaults?

Arizona parents whose kids attend California colleges should make them aware of a piece of legislation that has passed the state senate and now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown's signature. It's SB-967 but is also referred to as the "yes means yes" bill.

If signed into law, it will redefine what it means for California college students to consent to sexual activity. Lack of resistance or silence will not constitute consent, and a person under the influence, asleep or unconscious cannot give consent. According to the bill, both parties must give "affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity." This applies to students while "both on and off campus" who attend public colleges and universities and private ones that receive state funds for financial aid.

Knowing the right questions to ask after a DUI charge

If you are facing drunk driving charges, you may feel scared, confused and overwhelmed. DUI convictions can lead to serious consequences, up to and including jail time. In other words, drunk driving is a grave criminal allegation that should not be treated lightly. That is why criminal defendants need the help of an attorney during their courtroom proceedings; the stakes are altogether too high to dismiss your DUI charge as only a minor criminal matter.

Arizona residents can rest assured that our attorneys can provide information and advice about a wide variety of intoxicated driving offenses. These include underage driving under the influence, which carries different penalties and has lower thresholds than DUI charges for adults. Further, our law firm provides help for those who are facing allegations of extreme DUI, in which the driver's blood alcohol measures higher than 0.15 percent. Additional resources are also available for those who are accused of an OUI offense in connection with drug use.

Is your purse fair game in an Arizona police search?

The Arizona Supreme Court issued a ruling this month that could potentially impact the rights and privacy of just about everyone. The court ruled unanimously that if law enforcement officers serve a search warrant on a home, they have the right to search the personal property of anyone present as long as it is not on or held by them. One Arizona State University law professor noted after the ruling, "we're all kind of on notice."

The case involved a woman whose purse was searched by police who looking for drugs. She was arrested on drug charges when officers found methamphetamine and marijuana as well as plastic bags and a scale in her bag. Although she claimed the search was illegal, a trial judge let her case proceed, and she was convicted.

Arizona man reportedly behind extortion of sex offenders

Arizona residents convicted of sex crimes face tough penalties, and many people would say that is rightfully so. However, even after they have served their time and been removed from sex offender registries, they can face continued challenges to their efforts to move forward with their lives.

A Cave Creek, Arizona, man has been ordered to pay millions of dollars in judgments for allegedly operating a network of websites that identify people who are reportedly sex offenders. He is accused of using information from law enforcement databases to blackmail people in multiple states. Plaintiffs say he demanded payments in exchange for not posting their names, pictures, addresses and personal information.

When do officers need a warrant for violent crimes evidence?

We have spent some time in recent weeks discussing search and seizure policies in Arizona and other states. Those who are accused of violent crimes and other violations are often unaware that they do have the right to privacy through a variety of legal protections. Law enforcement officers have been known to bend the law to suit their investigation needs -- sometimes leading to a criminal conviction. Defendants need to know their rights so they can determine whether a police investigation has gone too far.

First, let's consider officers' right to search your private property. Items within your home or on your property are considered private, so authorities have to have a search warrant in order to enter to collect evidence. In some cases, warrantless raids are permitted, but those are only allowed in situations that demand quick and decisive action for public safety.

Arizona high court rules on when police can frisk a person

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that police in our state cannot frisk a person unless they have a "reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot." The ruling stems from a case involving a man who was arrested for illegally possessing a weapon.

Police reportedly stopped and questioned a man whom they saw walking in a "gang neighborhood." It was not reported that they witnessed him doing anything illegal or even suspicious. Police even described him as "very cooperative and polite" during their encounter. However, when one of the officers saw a bulge in his waistband, he was asked if he had a gun. He confirmed that he did. The officers ordered him to place his hands on his head and they took the weapon from him.

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