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Prescott Valley Criminal Law Blog

Arizona needle exchange bill moves forward in the Senate

Drug use -- particularly the use of opioids -- is becoming a public health crisis in Arizona and across the nation. Steps need to be taken to address the issue and try to reverse the damage it has done to our society. As reported in an earlier post on this blog, the Arizona House of Representatives considered a bill that would legalize needle exchange programs. It passed the bill in February, and that bill recently advanced to the Arizona Senate. However, the bill did undergo major changes from the House version of the bill.

Under the Senate version of the bill, the state Department of Health Services would have to declare a public health emergency due to infection spread by needles. Once the declaration is made, needle exchange programs would be permitted to operate in the specific jurisdictions named in the declaration, and workers and volunteers at such programs would not face drug charges.

Aggravated DUI charges can significantly impact one's life

Being accused of driving under the influence is a situation no driver in Arizona wants to be in. After all, even a sober person might have trouble performing a field sobriety test. Or, there may have been a good reason for a person to driver erratically, for example, to avoid hitting an animal or running over debris on the road. Unfortunately, it is entirely possible for a person to be wrongfully accused of DUI. DUI charges can lead to significant penalties, so it is important that anyone accused of this crime develop a solid defense strategy.

A previous post on this blog discussed the penalties associated with a DUI and extreme DUI. Another type of DUI charge a person could face is an aggravated DUI. A person could be charged with aggravated DUI if they have committed a DUI and there was a youth under 15 in the car, if it is a person's third DUI in seven years, or if the person refused to take a breath test or blood test as required through an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.

Arizona still takes a hard stance against marijuana

These days, not everyone views marijuana as "the gateway drug." Many people believe that marijuana is not as harmful and dangerous as it had been made out to be in the past. In fact, some states are starting to decriminalize marijuana by significantly reducing the penalties associated with possession of the drug. And, a few states have even made the possession and sale of marijuana legal, either for medicinal purposes or recreationally.

However, the sale and possession of marijuana is still against the law in Arizona and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In addition, what is considered drug paraphernalia may be a lot broader than one thinks. For example, if a person is found with marijuana in the pocket of their jacket, that jacket may be deemed drug paraphernalia. This may seem ridiculous, but it does not erase the fact that being convicted of possessing drug paraphernalia will only add to the penalties associated with the original marijuana possession charge.

A firearm may be seized when accused of domestic violence

Many people in Arizona highly value their Second Amendment right to bear arms. However, this right is not always absolute. There are reasons why police might seize a person's firearms, at least temporarily. Such is the case when police are sent to investigate a report of domestic violence.

Under Arizona law, police are permitted to question those at the scene of the alleged domestic violence to determine if a firearm is within the premises. If an officer learns a firearm is present or sees a firearm present, police are permitted to seize the firearm temporarily. However, this can only be done if the firearm is in plain sight or if the parties consented to the search and if the police had a reason to believe that someone in the household could be seriously injured or killed with the firearm. Also, if the firearm is the property of the alleged victim, it cannot be subject to seizure unless the police have probable cause to think that both parties independently engaged in acts of domestic violence.

3 ways a criminal conviction can cost you

In Prescott Valley, like most other places, a criminal conviction is no joke. Whether you are facing charges for drug possession or domestic violence, a conviction can adversely affect your life in many ways. However, a criminal charge does not always have to end in conviction. With the right defense strategy, you might be able to successfully fight back against the charges and avoid all the negative consequences that come along with a conviction.

You probably already know that a criminal charge can cost you time. You may have to spend time in jail or countless hours in court. In addition to the legal ramifications, there are other ways that a conviction can affect your wallet. These are a few common ways that a criminal conviction can cost you.

Arizona House passes sexual misconduct legislation

These days, more and more people are alleging they have been the victim of sexual misconduct in the workplace. Such allegations are very serious, as they can majorly affect the life of the accused even if the allegations are eventually found to be unsubstantiated or even false. Nevertheless, the issue of sexual misconduct has not gone unnoticed by the Arizona House of Representatives, which acted on this issue last month.

A bill has been passed by the Arizona House of Representatives that would affect those who claim they have been victims of criminal sexual misconduct. Under House Bill 2020, even if a person alleging sexual misconduct signed a non-disclosure agreement with regard to a civil settlement, that person would still be permitted to discuss the situation with police or give testimony should the incident be criminally prosecuted. The Arizona House passed the legislation unanimously.

Pardons not always easy to come by

Having a criminal record can affect the rest of a person's life. It can make it more difficult for a person to obtain housing or find a job. Oftentimes, a person in Arizona who is in prison, or is out of prison but has a criminal record, will seek a pardon from the governor. However, these pardons are hard to come by.

Take the case of one Arizona woman. In 1999, she spent time in jail for a drunk driving crash that caused the death of an 8-year-old girl. The woman was 17 when the accident occurred. She pleaded guilty to manslaughter, served seven years behind bars, obtained her GED and is now an addiction therapist. She wants to be able to volunteer at her child's school but can't because of her criminal record. The Clemency Board agreed she should be pardoned, but, as of right now, Governor Ducey has only approved a single pardon in his term in office.

Arizona man's assault and stalking charges will be severed

When one is accused of felony charges, it is important that their right to a fair trial is not impeded. A former assistant coach for the University of Arizona track and field team has been accused of assault and stalking of a player. However, a court recently approved the severance of the charges he faces. This essentially means that the prosecution cannot use evidence of the reported assault in the trial for the stalking charges.

The player at issue reported that in April 2015, the coach placed a box cutter against her throat and choked her. She then claims he stalked her and tried to physically remove her from a classroom filled with other people. Court documents state that phone records indicate that the man texted and emailed the player 57 times between April 26, 2015, and May 1, 2015, and that some of these texts and messages were threatening.

Ways to dispute drug possession charges

Receiving drug possession charges in Arizona is a very serious matter, despite the much looser marijuana laws in many of the our neighbor states. If you receive drug charges, it is essential that you begin building a strong legal defense as quickly as possible. When you dawdle, your prosecutor has that much more time to build a case against you. This could cause you to miss out on important opportunities to challenge the evidence presented.

Even if you believe that evidence against you is fairly compelling, it is important to understand the rights you have. Those facing charges have tools at their disposal that could improve the chances of getting the charges dropped or lessening the consequences of a conviction. Many defendants do not realize that prosecutors regularly present evidence that is far from airtight. A sense of hopelessness can lead to not considering all their defensive options thoroughly.

What are the penalties for a conviction on DUI charges?

When police pull someone over in Arizona on suspicion of drunk driving and a breath test or blood test indicates the driver's blood alcohol concentration level is 0.08 percent or higher, then that person will be charged with drunk driving. These numbers are even lower for certain categories of people. For example, commercial vehicle drivers will be charged with drunk driving and subsequently penalized if their BAC is 0.04 or above. Also, if the driver is under the legal drinking age, then they may face license suspension if they have any alcohol in their system whatsoever. The types of penalties a person convicted of drunk driving faces depends on the level of alcohol in their system and whether it is a first offense.

If a person's BAC is under 0.15 percent and it is their first offense, that person will face a jail sentence of at least 10 days and will also face a fine of at least $1,250. They will have to go through alcohol treatment, education or screening and may also have to perform community service. Finally, they will have to have an ignition interlock device placed on their automobile.

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Somos abogados con alta experiencia en casos criminales y casos de D.U.I. Su caso sera examinado completamente y a fondo. Nosotros le explicaremos la ley y cuales podrian ser sus consecuencias. Interrogamos a quienes lo acusan e investigamos toda acusacion contra usted.

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