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Prescott Valley Criminal Law Blog

Set asides can ease the burden of having a criminal record

When one has a criminal record, life can be very difficult. Upon release from prison, a criminal record may affect a person's ability to find a job, obtain housing and more. However, per Arizona Statutes section 13-907, with some exceptions for certain crimes, when a person convicted of a crime fulfills their probation or sentence, and receives a discharge, they may request from the judge who pronounced the probation or sentence to have their judgment of guilt "set aside."

If the request to set aside is approved, the person's judgment of guilt will be set aside, the accusations against them will be dismissed and all penalties (with some exceptions) against the person will be released. In addition, depending on the crime committed, a set aside may also restore a person's ability to possess a firearm. Keep in mind that a set aside is not the same as an expungement. It does not entirely get rid of one's criminal record. Instead, the record will state that there has been no conviction.

When a youthful indiscretion leads to accusations of sex crimes

Sometimes a teenager unintentionally bends the rules without truly understand that what they are doing is illegal. Moreover, teenagers are at a stage where they will start experimenting sexually. The combination of these two things, however, could lead to charges of sex crimes against a teenager.

In Arizona, it is against the law for a juvenile to purposely use an electronic communication device to send or display sexually explicit material that depicts another minor. It is also against the law for a juvenile to purposely possess sexually explicit material that depicts another minor, which was received through the use of an electronic communication device. The violations for these crimes range from a petty offense to a class three misdemeanor, depending on how many people the juvenile displayed or transmitted the image to.

False accusations of domestic violence can derail your life

There is no denying that domestic violence and other forms of abuse ruin lives and disrupt families. But there is another side of the domestic violence coin that can also be quite damaging — false allegations of abuse.

When police are summoned to the scene of an alleged domestic violence incident, they are forced to make quick judgment calls. While sometimes the evidence of abuse is clear-cut, other times it's a "he said, she said" situation where the facts are nebulous and open to interpretation.

Refusing to take a breath test in Arizona has consequences

This Fourth of July, as the fireworks boom, people across Arizona celebrate our nation's founding. And, as with many other celebrations, drinking a cold beer, glass of wine or cocktail is traditional, whether it is at a backyard barbecue, a neighborhood block party or any other celebration. However, driving home after these festivities can cause a person to encounter an unwanted scenario.

That scenario is being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. It is entirely possible for a person to have one or two alcoholic beverages, and still be under the legal limit. But, that does not mean overzealous police officers will not be on the lookout for those they think have overindulged on a holiday that is associated with alcohol.

What are some possible defenses to drug charges?

Due to our nation's current opioid epidemic, it may seem like more people than ever are being charged with drug crimes involving unlawfully obtained prescription painkillers, heroin and more. The penalties one would face if convicted of possessing, manufacturing or trafficking illegal drugs in Arizona varies depending on the type and amount of drugs at issue.

It can be very intimidating to be charged with a drug crime. Sometimes those charged with a drug crime have never committed any other crime in the past. They may think that the cards are stacked against them, particularly if the prosecution seems to have an airtight case. However, there are some defense arguments one might use when facing drug charges.

Arizona Supreme Court issues ruling on sex crimes and bail

Some may argue that sex crimes are some of the most reprehensible crimes a person can commit. For this reason, those accused of committing a sex crime may find that not only is their freedom on the line, but also that the mere accusation has negatively affected their personal life. Sometimes, the evidence against the accused can seem damning, but the accused still deserves his or her constitutional rights upheld. One of these rights is the ability to be released upon posting bail.

The Arizona Supreme Court issued a ruling regarding bail and certain sex crimes. According to the ruling, those accused of rape are permitted to post bail, even if there is enough evidence prior to their trial that the accused committed the crime. This ruling overturned a 2002 state constitutional amendment in which those charged with certain sex crimes were automatically denied bail.

There are options to help Arizona teens charged with a crime

Teenagers are still developing into the adults. This means that they may not be able to comprehend the consequences of their actions as they would if they were an adult. Alternatively, they may simply be under the belief that nothing bad could happen to them. Some teenagers may even fall in with the wrong crowd and be subjected to peer pressure. Any of these situations could cause a teenager in Prescott Valley to commit a criminal offense.

However, instead of simply being locked away after being convicted of a crime, sometimes, a teenager will be placed on probation instead. Depending on the severity of the offense, some teenagers in Arizona will need to be placed on Juvenile Intensive Probation (JIP). This is deemed appropriate for those who need closer supervision than standard probation provides.

Heroin use is on the rise, criminal justice addresses the problem

Heroin usage is on the rise, but this is a public health issue that must be stopped in its tracks. The rate of overdose deaths has been increasing steadily. What makes this so troubling is that heroin overdoses are possible for any user, whether they have been using for years or if this is their first time.

Lawmakers have addressed the problem by making sure there are strict laws in place to discourage heroin use. These come in many forms from possession to trafficking. It is imperative for anyone who is using or selling heroin to know some of the risks.

Fighting against false allegations of sex crimes in Arizona

The issue of sexual harassment and assault is making headlines more often these days. Unfortunately, some people in Arizona will find themselves falsely accused of a sex crime. This is a serious situation as even false allegations can tarnish a person's reputation in their community. Moreover, sex crimes are aggressively prosecuted. When a person is charged with a sex crime, it may seem like their professional life and personal life are in a tailspin.

The stigma surrounding sex crimes is not the only issue those accused of such crimes will face. The possible consequences that would follow a guilty verdict can affect a person's life forever. Depending on the severity of the crime, they could have to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life, they may be put on probation and could even face life in prison.

One need not touch another to be charged with assault

People in Prescott Valley sometimes get into arguments. Family members may argue with each other, or a person could get into an argument with a stranger. Most of the time, despite angry words and hurt feelings, people are able to resolve their arguments. However, sometimes these arguments escalate and threats are made, even if a person does not mean to follow through with the threat. People may understand that hurting another person could be considered a crime, but, when it comes to assault, a person need not even lay a finger on another to be charged with this crime.

Under Arizona Statutes, if a person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly injures someone else, this constitutes the crime of assault. In addition, if a person knowingly touches someone else with the intention of injuring that person, insulting that person or provoking that person, this also constitutes the crime of assault.

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