August 2011 Archives

August 17, 2011

Don't Plead "Guilty" to DUI or Criminal Charge before Consulting a Good DUI and Criminal Attorney who defends Tempe AZ DUI and Criminal Charges

Guilty verses Not Guilty plea to Tempe DUI or Criminal Charges
Among other reasons, the primary purpose of an Arraignment in criminal court is for you to inform the court on 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 Arizona DUI and criminal attorney to defend you. Good criminal defense attorneys may be able to use certain defenses that you were not aware of. These defenses may lead to a reduction or dismissal of your DUI or criminal charges. In the least you should consult a Tempe Criminal or DUI lawyer to discuss your charges, consequences of a guilty plea and your defense options.

Arizona Criminal Court - Arraignment Location
With regard to Tempe criminal or DUI charges, you will be given a complaint (if you are in custody or delivered a summons (if you are not in custody). This document will provide instructions for your Arraignment location, date and time you are required to appear in court for your Arraignment.

The court location for which you are 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. Each city has its designated criminal courts for felony arraignments and misdemeanor arraignments will be heard.

Criminal or DUI Arraignment in Tempe
With regard to your Arraignment, If you have not retained a DUI or criminal defense lawyer, you must appear at the court location, date, and time scheduled. If you fail to appear, a bench 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 Tempe DUI or criminal attorney, they will give you further instructions about whether or not you need to appear for the arraignment on the pre-scheduled date. 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 a Tempe Criminal Courts
Among other reasons, the primary purpose of your Arraignment is to advise the court of how you wish to plea to the criminal or DUI charges. You can also expect the some or all of the following items to take place: 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 into at Your Arraignment
There are three possible pleas to a criminal 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 that you committed the act charged in the complaint(s)l that the act is prohibited by law; and that you have no legal defense for your act. For Misdemeanor charges, the Tempe AZ Court judge will usually 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 felonies a new hearing for sentencing will be scheduled.

Continue reading "Criminal Court Arraignment: The purpose of an Arraignment is for the defendant to inform the court their Plea. Find out how to Plea to preserve your right to retain criminal defense." »

August 15, 2011

AZ DUI Law, Felony DUI Penalties
"The cost of a felony DUI conviction and it's consequences in Maricopa County is far greater than the price of hiring a good Maricopa County DUI defense lawyer"

If you were charged and/or arrested for felony DUI charges in Maricopa County, AZ you should contact a Maricopa County DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. A felony DUI conviction in Maricopa County will expose you to severe penalties. You will need a strong Maricopa County DUI defense attorney to defend your Felony DUI charges if you wish to challenge your DUI charges.

Felony DUI Charges - Arizona Laws:
There are three aggravating factors that will cause a Maricopa County Misdemeanor DUI to escalate to a Felony DUI charge. "Felony DUI" charges are also known as "Aggravated DUI charges":
1) A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (1): (Paraphrased) DUI charge while driving on a suspended, restricted or revoked driver's license in Maricopa County- Class 3 Felony

2) A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (2): (Paraphrased) You received new DUI charges. They are your third DUI charges in 7 years, and you have been convicted of two prior DUI charges during the last 7 years. - Class 3 felony

3) A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (3): (Paraphrased) you were charged with DUI DWI and a child under 15 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle you were driving - Class 6 Felony

DUI Penalties - Felony DUI Sentencing Guidelines in Arizona
Felony DUI convictions in Maricopa County are serious. Felony DUI convictions are subject to mandatory DUI sentencing guidelines. Mandatory DUI penalties under Arizona Law include, but are not limited to the following:

• Jail Sentences ranging from 1 day to 1 year;
• Prison Sentences ranging from 4 months to 2 ½ years;
• Revocation of your drivers license for 3 years;
• Ignition Interlock Device;
• Fines of Up to $150,000 plus 80% surcharge;
• $1500 prison assessment;
• $250 abatement fees;
• Probation fees;
• Costs for Drug or Alcohol Treatment Screening;
• Costs for Drug or Alcohol Counseling or Treatment Program;
• Supervised probation;
• Felony Criminal Record

Felony DUI Penalties for Maricopa County DUI convictions may be "aggravated" or "mitigated". Aggravated factors are those that support the prosecution and warrant more serious DUI penalties. Mitigating factors are those circumstances that favor your defense and may result in less serious penalties.

Maricopa County DUI Lawyer - Felony DUI Defense
Without compelling arguments presented or motions filed by your DUI Defense Lawyer, the judge or prosecution will not generally offer mitigated sentencing. An experienced Maricopa County DUI Attorney will know what to look for and find evidence needed to argue for mitigated sentencing and reduced sentencing on your behalf.

Any Maricopa County Felony DUI charge can be challenged, regardless of the classification. Proven Maricopa County DUI lawyers are often able to get evidence dismissed; charges reduced, or ultimately get the felony DUI completely dismissed. But rarely if ever does this happen without qualified legal representation and defense from a proven private practice AZ DUI Attorney or Criminal Defense Lawyer in Maricopa County.

Continue reading "Aggravated DUI (Felony DUI): Felony DUI charges are Misdemeanor DUI Charges that are elevated to a Felony when certain "aggravated factors" exist." »

August 11, 2011

What Scottsdale Prosecutors for DUI DWI and Drunk Driving Charges Don't Want You to Know!

Hiring an experienced DUI Lawyer who defends drunk driving charges in Scottsdale AZ makes it more difficult for the Arizona Prosecution to get a guilty verdict or convict you. It sends the following clear messages to the prosecution that they would prefer you know:

• That you have taken the Scottsdale DUI charges seriously;
• That you intend to defend yourself against the charges by means of the effective assistance of legal counsel, and experienced Scottsdale Lawyer;
• That to prosecute and convict you will require much time and labor on their part - which is not good news for them. This is due to their heavy caseloads and often reduced staff as a result of necessary state and county budget cuts;
• That there will be no conviction without a challenge of the evidence and charges by your Scottsdale DWI DUI defense attorney. This is in contrast to the swift convictions and harsh sentences the prosecution usually accomplishes when a defendant is not represented by a effective private DUI defense lawyer.
• That the state and prosecution's evidence and charges against you will be vigorously challenged;
• That your Scottsdale DUI attorney will not allow your rights to be violated;
• That your Scottsdale DUI lawyer may utilize defense strategies that apply to your case that the prosecution did or did not expect; and that the prosecution will need to try to overcome these defenses when they otherwise would not have existed in absence of a good Scottsdale DUI defense lawyer;
• That the defense strategy that will be utilized has the potential to lead to a dismissal or significant reduction of your charges and penalties.
• That your Scottsdale criminal defense lawyer will object to any self-incrimination traps in order to harm the defense;
• That an independent investigation will be completed by the defendant's Scottsdale DUI lawyer. And all evidence will be examined for weaknesses or flaws and that if unjustified or flawed, your defense attorney will present compelling arguments and motions to the court to request that the flawed evidence not be admitted for use against you.
• That your DUI DWI defense lawyer will promptly challenge evidence obtained by violating your constitutional rights including those related to search and seizure, or any other violation of your fundamental or civil rights.
• That your Scottsdale DUI DWI defense Attorney will promptly challenge the reason for the initial drunk driving stop if it was made without "reasonable suspicion" that the defendant was drunk driving, in the process of committing a crime, or that a crime occurred and the defendant was involved or committed the crime;
• That your Scottsdale DUI DWI defense Attorney will promptly challenge the arrest if it was made without "probable cause";
• That your DUI defense attorney will seek and produce if available, exculpatory evidence (in favor of your defense);
• That your Scottsdale DUI attorney will make every effort to expose flaws and weaknesses in the prosecution's evidence and case to defend you that may ultimately lead to a dismissal or reduction in charges; and further, that when a DUI DWI defendant is not represented by a good criminal defense attorney, the Prosecutor would never have brought these weaknesses or flaws to the attention of the court, even if they were well aware of their existence of those flaws in their efforts to convict you. Their job is to convict you not defend you.
• That Your DUI attorney is doing what you needs to be done protect and defend your rights, future and freedom;
• That your DUI defense attorney will make every effort to get your DUI charges dismissed, reduced or otherwise best possible outcome with the least penalties, in your case.

*Arizona Laws are subject to change. You should contact an Arizona DUI lawyer for current information concerning DUI or criminal matters.

Continue reading "Lawyers for Defense of Drunk Driving: When you hire an attorney to defend your Dui charges, it is more difficult for the Prosecution to convict you. Find out why." »

August 9, 2011

Don't Plead "Guilty" to DUI or Criminal Charges before Consulting a Good DUI DWI Attorney who defend Gilbert AZ DUI charges

Gilbert AZ Criminal & DUI Defense for Your Arraignment
One of the main purposes of your Arraignment date is to inform the court of how you wish to "plea". It is never a good idea to plead "guilty" to any crime or DUI at your arraignment, before consulting a DUI or criminal defense attorney, but especially not in Arizona. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws and most severe DUI DWI Drunk Driving penalties in the country if convicted. A good DUI attorney will defend you, and may be able to use certain defenses that you were not aware of which could lead to a reduction or dismissal of your DUI charges.

Your Arraignment Location
For criminal DUI charges in Gilbert, you will be given a complaint (if in custody) or summons (if not in custody). This document will include information concerning location, date and time you are required to appear for your next court date. The court location you will be required to appear is based on the nature of the charges, and jurisdiction where you were charged. Most felonies are heard in Superior Court. Most misdemeanors are held in Justice Courts. However, some felonies can initially begin in a lower court such as justice court.

Criminal or DUI Arraignment in Gilbert Court
The court date that appears on your complaint is called your "Arraignment Date". If you have not retained a DUI defense lawyer you must appear as the scheduled date and time. If you fail to appear or even in some cases, if you are late, a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest A.R.S. 13-2506 & A.R.S. 13-2507. If you have retained legal defense your DUI defense lawyer will give you further instructions. In many cases your defense attorney can vacate the first court date, through alternative legal channels so you do not have to appear in person.

What to Expect at Your DUI Arraignment in Gilbert Court
On your arraignment date, you will inform the court of how you wish to plea. In addition, the Judge and Court will confirm your current identity and contact information; explain your rights; read formal charges against you; advise you of the range of potential sentencing if convicted; and find out if you plan to retain an attorney to defend you for your Gilbert misdemeanor or felony DUI or criminal charge(s).

Pleas that can be entered at a criminal or DUI Arraignment
There are three possible pleas to a criminal charge and listed in brief below:
"Not Guilty" - This means that you are denying guilt and the burden of proof is with the state of AZ to prove guilt of the DUI or criminal charge against you. In the Gilbert Court, the state is represented by the Gilbert prosecutor's office. 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 that you committed the act charged in the complaint(s), that the act is prohibited by law and that you have no legal defense for your act. For Misdemeanor charges, the Gilbert AZ Court judge will proceed with your sentencing at that time. For felonies, the judge will schedule a future court date for sentencing.
"No Contest" - This you do not admit guilt but that you also do not wish to challenge the charges or evidence at a trial and will accept the conviction, sentencing and punishments of the charge (without admitting guilt). The judge will proceed with your sentencing at this time.

DUI Attorney in Gilbert Arizona
In the least you should consult an experienced Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer or Arizona DUI Attorney. Most Arizona criminal defense law firms provide free initial confidential consultations. You have nothing to lose by consulting a DUI defense attorney to discuss your Gilbert AZ charges, potential penalties, and defense options. Your best chance at getting your Gilbert DUI charges dismissed are by retaining legal representation from a DUI attorney who defends DUI cases frequently in Gilbert Court.

An experienced Gilbert DUI lawyer put themselves between you and the Gilbert prosecution as a barrier to protect you for unintended self-incrimination; to make sure your are treated fairly; your rights are not violated; guide you through the Arizona criminal justice process; tailor and build a solid and effective defense on your behalf; look for other weaknesses in the prosecution's case; and make every effort to get Gilbert Charges dismissed, reduced, or the otherwise best outcome in your case.
*All Federal Laws, Arizona Laws, and Criminal Court Procedures are subject to change. You should contact an Arizona DUI lawyer for current information concerning DUI or criminal matters.

Continue reading "DUI Arraignment: Find out how to preserve your rights at your Arraignment." »

August 5, 2011

It is unwise to go to Phoenix Criminal or DUI court unrepresented by a good Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney. Doing so places your freedom and future at great risk.

If you were arrested or charged with a crime or DUI in Phoenix Arizona, you will need to appear for your Arraignment Phoenix Criminal Court or DUI Court. You should make sure your rights and defenses are protected by retaining effective criminal defense for your Phoenix criminal or DUI charges. The retention of a good proven DUI or criminal defense lawyer will increase your chances of getting a good outcome in your case. If you choose to defend your own charges and have your case heard without an experienced Arizona Criminal or DUI lawyer, you increase your chances of getting a criminal conviction or Arizona DUI conviction. Make sure the DUI attorney or criminal lawyer defends cases regularly in the court which you have been instructed to appear.

Phoenix Criminal Court Jurisdiction

Phoenix Municipal Court, Phoenix Justice Court and Phoenix Superior Court

Many defendants want to know why they have been instructed to appear at a certain court verses another Phoenix criminal court, and why they are different. The primary difference between Municipal, Justice and Superior Courts are the types of cases that are heard in them. Some courts have been granted authority by Arizona Constitution to handle certain types of cases. Some of the lower courts are limited as to what types of cases they are authorized to hear. In this context, the difference involves what is known as "Limited Jurisdiction" Courts verses "General Jurisdiction" Courts:

A) Municipal or City Courts (used interchangeably) are Limited Jurisdiction Courts. This is considered a lower court. The City courts have limited jurisdiction and have authority to hear only limited types of criminal cases. The majority of the cases heard in Phoenix City Court are Misdemeanor charges. Under certain circumstances, preliminary hearings for felonies can be heard in Phoenix City Court.

B) Justice Courts are Limited Jurisdiction Courts. Similar to City Courts, the Justice Courts have limited jurisdiction over what types of cases can be tried or heard in them. The Justice courts in Arizona, usually hear Phoenix Misdemeanor cases. However, some preliminary hearings for felonies can be heard in Phoenix Justice Court.

C) Superior Court is considered to be a General Jurisdiction Court. The Arizona Superior Court is state wide trial court. It has authority under the Arizona Constitution to hear wide variety of criminal cases. The types of cases tried in this court are primarily Felony cases. Although the Arizona Superior Court is a single entity, it has multiple locations in each county in Arizona. Each county in Arizona, including Maricopa County, has at least one Superior Court Judge.

Types of Criminal & DUI Cases heard in Arizona Municipal/City Courts, and Arizona Justice Courts

1. Phoenix Municipal & City Courts: Municipal courts & City Courts, in Arizona hear the following types of criminal cases:
• Misdemeanors:
• Misdemeanor DUI (Driving under the influence of alcohol); as long as no injuries were involved;
• Misdemeanor hit-and-run; without injuries involved;
• Misdemeanor reckless driving without injuries involved.
• Petty offenses; committed in Phoenix AZ.
• Municipal or City courts also share jurisdiction with justice courts over certain types of violations relating to Arizona law, if the crime was committed in Phoenix AZ.

2. Justice Courts - Arizona Justice Courts hear criminal cases of these types:
• Misdemeanors;
• Some felony preliminary hearings; and
• Misdemeanors criminal offenses punishable by a fine of less than $2,500 or less than six months in county jail.

3. Superior Courts - The Arizona Constitution provides the Arizona Superior Court jurisdiction over the following types of criminal cases:
• Superior Courts in Arizona have exclusive jurisdiction over felony cases;
• Superior Courts share jurisdiction with Justice Courts over misdemeanors when the potential penalty does not exceed $2,500 or imprisonment for six months;
• If no other court has jurisdiction or authority to handle a particular case, Superior Courts may have jurisdiction over that case.

As soon as you learn which court your are required to appear, you should consult an experienced AZ criminal defense attorney or DUI lawyer in that jurisdiction as soon as possible to discuss your charges and defense options.

Continue reading "Court Jurisdiction: What the location of your hearing reveals about the severity of your criminal charges" »

August 3, 2011

How Top Rated Gilbert AZ Criminal Defense Attorneys Get Your Release Conditions Modified (Pre-trial)

After your Gilbert AZ DUI or Criminal arrest and detention you will be required to have an initial appearance before the Gilbert Court Judge. The judge will read you your rights, formal charges, and advise you of your pre-trial release conditions. The primary purposes of court in setting release conditions is to 1) secure a defendant's appearance for future court dates or trial, 2) and to make sure the defendant's release does not pose a threat or harm to others in the community.

The Gilbert AZ Court takes into account many factors in making this decision including classification of the charge such as a misdemeanor or felony; severity and nature of the charges; if the charges involved a violent crime; your past criminal record if any; whether or not you are a potential "flight risk"; along with other standard release conditions and factors.

The release conditions should be commensurate with the criminal charge. The release conditions should not be unjust, or unreasonable based on what offense you are accused of committing. For example, if a financially burdened defendant, with no prior criminal record was arrested for stealing a loaf of bread, without any weapons or threat of harm to anyone in the store, it would be outrageous for the judge to require him to post a $500,000.00 bail bond in order to be released from custody. If the release conditions seem overly harsh, unreasonable, financially unobtainable, or burdensome, your will need to retain an Arizona criminal defense attorney.

A good criminal defense attorney who defends charges regularly in Gilbert AZ court will immediately file a motion to request modification of your pre-trial release conditions. This can be done immediately while you are in custody. Either you or someone on your behalf can consult a Gilbert criminal defense lawyer to discuss the charges, defense options, and services your Attorney can provide involving a request to modify your pre-trial release conditions from custody in Gilbert AZ. This service by your private attorney is usually done as part of the entire retention and formal defense process.

Modifications of release conditions requested by your criminal attorney will depend upon on the initial release conditions were ordered by the judge, the crime you are being accused of committing, and other factors. Some modifications your Gilbert Criminal Attorney may request include but are not limited to lowering the bail bond to a reasonable amount; allowing you to be released on your own recognizance; allow an appearance bail, or allow you to be released to another responsible entity's custody, home confinement with ankle bracelet security, and other more favorable conditions than initially ordered by the Gilbert Court Judge.

When you meet with the Criminal Defense Attorney who will be defending your criminal charges and requesting modification of your release conditions, be sure you communicate in detail your concerns about the initial orders and how they will impact you, your family, your job, your financial situation.

Your Gilbert criminal defense attorney will immediately formulate compelling arguments and file the appropriate motions with the Gilbert court on your behalf. Your chances of getting your pre-trial release conditions modified with the retention of a good private practice criminal attorney who defends charges in Gilbert frequently significantly increase for your to get your release conditions modified to be more reasonable and in your favor.

Continue reading "How to get Release Conditions Modified" »

August 1, 2011

If you have been charged with a felony DUI in Arizona, you should consult a Tempe DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and defense options. A felony DUI in Tempe exposes you to severe penalties if convicted. You will need an experienced Private practice Tempe DUI defense attorney to defend your felony DUI charges.

Arizona Felony DUI Laws:
Below are three factors that will aggravate a Tempe Misdemeanor DUI and elevate it to a "Felony DUI" or "Aggravated DUI" charge in Tempe AZ:
A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (1): (Paraphrased) The AZ DUI arrest occurred while your drivers license was suspended, restricted or revoked - Class 3 Felony

A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (2): (Paraphrased) Your current Tempe DUI charge is the third DUI in 7 years and at least two prior DUI were convictions within the last 7 years. - Class 3 felony

A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (3): (Paraphrased) Your current Tempe DUI charge was aggravated by the fact that a child under 15 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle while you were driving impaired, DUI, DWI, or Drunk Driving. - Class 6 Felony

DUI Penalties - Felony DUI Sentencing in Arizona
A Tempe Felony DUI conviction exposes you to mandatory sentencing guidelines. Each case has its own unique circumstances. Various facts surrounding your DUI dmay affect the Felony DUI penalties ordered by the judge if you are convicted. The mandatory DUI penalties under Arizona Law you may be exposed to include, but are not limited to the following:

• Long Term Felony criminal record;
• Jail time that ranges from one day to one year;
• Prison time from 4 months to 2 ½ years of incarceration;
• Revoking of your drivers license for 3 years;
• Lengthy supervised probation;
• Use of Ignition Interlock Device at your expense;
• Fines of Up to $150,000 plus 80% surcharge;
• $1500 prison assessment;
• $250 abatement fee;
• Probation fees;
• Costs for Drug or Alcohol Treatment Screening;
• Costs for Drug or Alcohol Counseling or Treatment Program;


*The above penalties are subject to change based on circumstances surrounding your Felony DUI charges and frequent changes to Arizona Law.

Felony DUI Penalties for a Tempe DUI conviction may be "aggravated" or
"mitigated". Aggravated penalties are the result of those factors that surround your Tempe DUI that support the prosecution's case against you. These are factors that will warrant more serious DUI punishments. Mitigating factors are circumstances or evidence that supports your DUI defense and warrant less serious penalties, particularly, those that are discretionary by the judge.

Tempe DUI Defense - Felony DUI Charges in Tempe AZ
Do not expect the judge or prosecution to offer you more mitigated sentencing out of compassion due to the fact that you do not have a private practice Tempe DUI defense attorney.

Without compelling arguments presented or motions filed by your Tempe DUI Defense Lawyer on your behalf, the judge or prosecution will not generally offer mitigated sentencing. Good DUI defense lawyers will examine the evidence and facts of your case to find mitigating factors that will lead to a reduction of your penalties if your are convicted of a felony DUI charge.

The felony DUI penalties are so severe, and intrusive on a person's life, that they may feel that the situation is hopeless and do not think a Tempe DUI Attorney can help them. However, to the contrary, Felony DUI charges are often dismissed or reduced by good Tempe DUI defense attorneys. A qualified Tempe DUI lawyer or AZ criminal defense lawyer can defend any Tempe Felony DUI charge regardless of the severity or classification, or the amount of your Blood Alcohol Content or BAC levels (extreme or non-extreme). In many cases a Tempe DUI lawyer is able to get evidence dismissed; charges reduced to a Misdemeanor DUI, civil citation, or ultimately get the felony DUI charges dismissed completely.

Early retention of a good private practice Tempe DUI attorney will drastically increase your chances of a dismissal or other good outcome in your Felony DUI case. However, choosing to go without a qualified Tempe DUI defense attorney is a dangerous path towards a swift Felony DUI conviction in Arizona.

Continue reading "Felony DUI: Due to Arizona's severe mandatory penalties for Aggravated DUI, you should never plead guilty before consulting a criminal defense attorney." »