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Prescott Valley Criminal Law Blog

When is it illegal for a person to purchase alcohol in Arizona?

It is not unusual for teenagers in Arizona to experiment with alcohol. They may wonder what it tastes like and how it will affect them. Some may be urged to drink due to peer pressure, while others may seek out alcohol out of curiosity. However, if a person under the legal drinking age is caught trying to purchase or obtain alcohol by other means, they could find themselves in legal hot water.

Under Arizona law, if an individual is under 21-years-old, but claims through the use of a written instrument of identification that they are age 21 or older and has the intention to induce someone to sell, serve or provide them with alcohol, this is a class one misdemeanor. If an individual is under 21-years-old and persuades another individual to buy, sell or provide them with alcohol, this is a class three misdemeanor. Finally, if an individual is under 21-years-old and uses a fake ID or the ID of another individual to gain access to a bar or other establishment licensed to serve alcohol, this is a class one misdemeanor.

Man charged with sex crimes based on test of old rape kit

Allegations of sexual assault are very serious. Sometimes, a person is charged with a sex crime soon after the alleged acts occur. However, other times over 10 years can pass between the alleged act and the criminal charges.

An Arizona man who is now 28-years-old is facing six charges of sexual assault based on the result of a rape kit that was approximately 12 years old. According to the allegations against the man, from 2003 to 2006, six females, some of whom were under the age of 18, were sexually assaulted by the accused. Per police documents, some of the women claimed the accused told them they'd be raped if they refused to engage in sexual intercourse with him. However, only one woman had a rape kit done, and she refused to have a one-party consent phone call that would be tapped by the police. Therefore, police did not move forward with her case.

3 things to know about DUIs in Arizona

It's Friday, so naturally, as soon as you clock out of work, you head over to meet your friends at your favorite Prescott Valley bar. After a few drinks, you head home, all the while looking forward to a nice, quiet weekend. Unfortunately, things do not go according to plan. Only a few blocks away from home a police officer pulls you over. The next thing you know, you are in the back of a squad car and on your way to a night in the county lock-up.

In Arizona, like most other states, a driving under the influence (DUI) charge is very serious. If you are facing a DUI charge, the following will give you an idea of what to expect.

Getting a criminal conviction set aside in Arizona

Let's face it ... we all make mistakes or just plain old bad decisions from time to time. Not all of us end up in jail because of them, but those that do should be offered a second chance at becoming a productive member of society. Most times, though, that is much easier said than done. Between background checks, credit checks, etc., it can be very difficult for a rehabilitated felon to secure employment and get back on their feet.

While some states offer a complete expungement of one's criminal record, Arizona does not. It does, however, offer what is called a "set aside," which the state determines to be the same thing. The words "expungement" and "set aside" can be used interchangeably in Arizona. Any person who has completed a criminal conviction sentence satisfactorily to the court can request a set aside, but there are a few exceptions to the rule. A set aside is not available to those who are convicted of crimes involving serious physical injury, use of a deadly weapon, required registration as a sex offender, a finding of sexual motivation, a victim under the age of 15, or certain driving violations.

What falls under the realm of drug paraphernalia per Arizona law?

In Arizona, not only is it illegal to possess drugs, but it is even unlawful to simply possess drug paraphernalia. However, just what falls under the realm of "drug paraphernalia?"

The state does not provide a specific list of what counts as drug paraphernalia. Therefore, even seemingly ordinary items might be considered drug paraphernalia. For example, if police find something like an empty paper towel tube, a spoon, plastic sandwich bags or razor blades, it is possible, depending on the circumstances, that they may charge a person with possession of drug paraphernalia. What counts as drug paraphernalia hinges on intent.

Alcohol-related laws in Arizona go beyond just drunk driving

Most people in Arizona are aware that driving while intoxicated it against the law. The dangers of such acts are well-documented, and most Arizonans avoid drunk driving. However, what they may not be aware of is that there are laws regarding having alcohol in one's vehicle, which could lead to criminal charges, even if the driver is not drunk.

Of course, under Arizona Statutes section 4-251, it is unlawful for a driver to consume liquor while driving. However, it is also unlawful for passengers in the vehicle to consume liquor while in the vehicle. Moreover, it is against the law in Arizona for motorists to have liquor in an open container in their vehicle, even if it is in the passenger's side of the vehicle.

You don't have to face DUI charges alone this holiday season

'Tis the season for celebrations in Arizona and across the nation. People everywhere will be enjoying a cocktail at their employer's holiday parties, sipping eggnog with their families, and popping the cork off a bottle of champagne at New Year's. However, this also means that police in Arizona will be on high alert for those they think are driving under the influence.

Sometimes, even innocent people are caught in the net of police attempting to apprehend drunk drivers. This can be a very confusing and frightening situation. People may be afraid that they will lose their driver's license, that they will incur fines or that they might even be sent to jail. As hard as it might be, what they should remember is that the Constitution affords them the right to remain silent, and they should do so. While they may decide to allow police to perform a breath test or blood test, they need not say anything without an attorney.

3 ways a criminal conviction impacts your life

When people think of a criminal conviction, they often think jail time, court fees, fines and attorney expenses. In reality, the cost of a criminal conviction goes far beyond legal costs. If you receive a conviction for a drug crime, for example, it could cause you problems in obtaining employment or even renting an apartment. This is one of the reasons why it is important to prepare a solid defense to present to the court on trial day.

If you or a loved one is facing a drug possession charge, the repercussions could haunt you for years. They can affect everything from your freedom to your ability to earn a good wage.

Domestic violence charges cannot be dropped easily

No family is perfect. Most individuals in Arizona will get into a fight with their spouse, child, romantic partner or other family member from time to time. Most of the times these fights are ultimately not that serious, and the parties resolve the situation relatively quickly and easily. However, other times, one party will claim the other party has committed an act of domestic violence, which could open a "Pandora's box" of legal ramifications for the accused.

People might assume that domestic abuse only refers to physical attacks. However, domestic abuse could include emotional abuse, sexual assault, financial abuse and neglect. Some specific crimes in Arizona that could constitute domestic abuse include assault and battery with or without a weapon, trespassing, intimidating witnesses, kidnapping, making threats and disorderly conduct.

Law aims to give young people in Arizona a chance at redemption

It goes without saying that kids make mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes are relatively minor while other times these mistakes have landed the juvenile in legal hot water, where they were punished harshly. However, according to the current federal case law, courts must not sentence juveniles to life in prison without parole. The case that gives us that law is also applicable to juveniles who have previously been sentenced to life in prison for murder. In Arizona, there are 34 juveniles already serving life without parole who will now need to be resentenced. However, it remains to be seen how this law will be logistically applied in future cases.

Some issues this law presents are regarding the standards already set for the sentencing of juveniles. Previously, the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that, when considering a life sentence, the court should treat juveniles different from adults, as juveniles are developmentally less mature and are better able to change their ways in the future.

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