October 2011 Archives

October 31, 2011

10 Tips to Finding the "Best" DUI Lawyers in Chandler AZ!

Why You Need the Best Chandler Criminal Attorney to Defend your Criminal Charges

Chandler AZ DUI or Criminal prosecutors, egregiously pursue convictions for DUI & Criminal charges in Chandler. Your chances of getting a DUI or criminal charge dismissed in Chandler AZ, increase dramatically with the retention of a DUI or criminal lawyer in Chandler to represent you. It's a fact that the effectiveness of your criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between losing your freedom, and getting your charges dropped. It is very rare, if ever, that a person facing Chandler DUI or criminal charges get them dismissed, without retention of an experienced private practice DUI attorney who defends charges in Chandler, AZ. The cost of your freedom and future are much too high to ignore this fact.

10 Tips To Finding the Best DUI lawyer & Criminal Attorney for Chandler AZ Charges

1) Narrow your search by location: Decide how far you are willing to travel to retain a good DUI or Criminal Defense Attorney;

2) If you are not in a position to commute to a criminal defense law firm, but you wish to hire that attorney, they will usually help you make other arrangements. For example, if the client is in jail, the attorney would simply meet travel to where they are to meet with them. A few DUI or criminal attorneys in Chandler AZ charge separately for a jail or prison visit. But if retained, most Maricopa County criminal defense attorneys include it as part of the pre-trial service fees and do not charge extra for the jail visit;

3) You can call The Arizona State Bar, to verify they are licensed as an "Attorneys" in Criminal Defense which encompasses DUI defense. Make sure they are licensed to practice in Arizona and within Maricopa County;

4) Attorneys in other practice areas you know can prove to be good referrals. Ask them who they would hire or recommend. Many lawyers travel in the same circles for seminars, continuing legal education, or other law forums;

5) The best source of referral is from friend, family, or other person with whom you trust; But you should use caution and refrain from discussing details surrounding your charges. You may inadvertently harm your defense and your statements to them may later be used against you. That person may later be subpoenaed or called upon to testify against you. Also, if you call them from the jail or prison, remember that all calls from detainees and inmates are recorded and can also be used against you by the prosecution

6) Reviews from prior clients: There are many places to find reviews including websites, search engines, directories, and many other sources on the internet;

7) By now you should have narrowed your search down to a few choices; Consult at least two or three; discuss your charges and defense options. Most AZ DUI & criminal defense lawyers who defend charges in Chandler AZ usually provide free consultations; If they charge for this service, it is this author's opinion that you politely say "no-thank-you" and move on to your next choice;

8) Avoid asking "if they can get your case dismissed". They have not been in contact with the prosecution, seen the evidence, or worked your case. No attorney has a crystal ball. If an attorney "guarantees" they can get your charges dismissed, head for the exit or move on to the next call. They are simply giving you false hopes. You what a trustworthy and ethical lawyer who will respect you with truthful and realistic responses;

9) Ask them about their education, trial experience, credentials, training and anything else that will make you feel you have found the best attorney for the job.

10) Consider costs and fees; but don't make the cost the only or most important factor in your decision; you're not searching for the cheapest gallon of gas in town. There is a lot more at stake to consider, and you need to look at service to value. There is nothing a busy attorney dislikes more than someone "calling around" for price checks as though the attorney was selling widgets; Price is not necessarily an indicator of the attorney's experience, qualifications, or level of service they provide. But if the quote does not sound reasonable to you then move on. On the other hand, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

If you use these tips, they will most likely lead you to the best DUI or Criminal Defense lawyer to defend your Chandler DUI or criminal charges.

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Continue reading "Ways to find a good DUI and criminal defense attorney" »

October 27, 2011

Phoenix Criminal Attorney | DUI DWI Criminal Defense Lawyers

Why You Should Exercise Your Right to 'Remain Silent" following an Arrest for Phoenix DUI or Criminal Charges

1) You do not want to "convict" yourself by verbally accepting guilt of a crime. Do not assume that because you were arrested for a crime, you will be found guilty.
An arrest is not a conviction. Any DUI, DWI, Drunk Driving or criminal charges can be challenged by a qualified private practice criminal defense lawyer. There may be defenses, that you are not aware of, that if used, can lead to a dismissal of your charges. But the police or prosecution will not provide you with this information even if they are aware of it. The prosecutor's job is to convict you not to defend you or give you any reason to challenge your criminal charges. There are far more arrests in Phoenix than convictions. Often criminal charges get dismissed with good legal representation by a proven criminal lawyer who defends criminal charges in Phoenix AZ on a regular basis.

2) Following a Phoenix arrest for DUI DWI, or other criminal charges, you can count on the police to continue to "take notes" what you say and do. Your words and actions will be documents. They can and will be used against you by the Arizona Prosecution. In most cases, defendants do not realize that what they are saying or doing will incriminate them further and harm their defense. If you find yourself being questioned or interrogated, you must let police know verbally that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent, and to have an attorney present during any questioning related to the charges. Note: If remain silent without verbally acknowledging that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent, then you will appear uncooperative to the court which will further harm your defense case.

3) If you allow yourself to be questioned or interrogated by police regarding your guilt or innocence of the Phoenix DUI DWI or Criminal Charges following your arrest, after being read your Miranda Rights, you voluntarily waive your rights. ("right to an attorney" and "right to remain silent"). Admitting to a crime is one of the fastest ways to get a conviction. The penalties for Phoenix drunk driving, DUI DWI, or many other criminal charges in Arizona are severe. When you are later sentenced and learn the severity of the punishment, you can't turn back. You can not reclaim your right to remain silent later, if you were properly read your Miranda Warning.

4) Until your Phoenix criminal or DUI case has run its course through the criminal justice system, the prosecution will egregiously look for inconsistencies or statements in "your story". You may be surprised to find out that the inconsistent statement does not have to be material to the criminal charge itself. Regardless of the subject matter of the statement, or what forum the statement was made, if it is different, it will harm your defense credibility. Without a doubt, he prosecution can make strengthen their case by accusing you of "changing your story", and make an issue of your credibility or trustworthiness in the eyes of the court, judge or jury.

5) Admitting to guilt of a crime will generally only makes things worse for you. You will just be convicted swiftly and sentenced by the judge to penalties under Arizona law for that crime. Some defendants think that if they admit to committing a crime or drunk driving in Arizona, that their punishments or sentencing will somehow be reduced. That is not the case. In Arizona, mandatory sentencing guidelines exist for DUI DWI and most criminal charges. You will face the same penalties in most cases for the DUI or crime than a defendant to plead "not guilty" and was later convicted of the criminal charge.

Continue reading "5 Things Prosecutors Don't Want You to Know about your criminal rights and charges!" »

October 25, 2011

Don't Plead "Guilty" to a Chandler DUI or Criminal Charge before Consulting a Good Chandler DUI and Criminal Attorney... Good criminal defense attorneys may be able to use certain defenses that may lead to a dismissal of your charges.

Chandler DUI or Criminal Charge - Arraignments - What to Plea
Among other reasons, the primary reason for an Arraignment is to inform the court of 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 AZ DUI and criminal attorney to defend you. Good criminal defense attorneys may be able to use certain defenses that may lead to a reduction or dismissal of your criminal charges. In the least you should consult a Chandler DUI or Criminal defense lawyer to get information about your charges, consequences of a guilty plea and your defense options.

Criminal Court - Arraignment for Chandler AZ Charges
For Chandler criminal or DUI charges, you will be given a complaint at some point following your arrest (if in custody) or a summons will be delivered to you (if you are not in custody). It will contain information concerning location, date and time you are required to appear at criminal court for your Arraignment.
The court location for where you will be 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.

Arraignment: "Failure to Appear"- Chandler DUI or criminal charges
If you have not retained a DUI or criminal defense firm, you must appear at the court location, date, and time designated. If you "fail to appear", a 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 Chandler DUI or criminal defense attorney, they will give you further instructions. 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 Criminal Court
At your arraignment 1) the Judge will confirm your address, identity; 2) explain your rights; 3) read your formal charges; 4) advise you of the potential range of penalties if convicted; 5) find out if you plan to retain a criminal defense attorney; 6) and how you wish to plead to the DUI or criminal charge(s).

Types of Pleas that You Can Entered at Your Arraignment
There are three possible pleas to a criminal or DUI 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 or agreeing that you committed the act charged; that the act is prohibited by law; and that you have no legal defense for your act. The Chandler AZ Court judge will proceed with your sentencing at this time. For felonies a future date and time will be set for your sentencing hearing.

"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 future date and time will be set for your sentencing hearing.

Continue reading "What is an Arraignment? What it is, and what happens if you ignore it." »

October 17, 2011

An AZ DUI with no aggravating factors is a Class 1 Misdemeanor; but don't let anyone mislead you into thinking that a "Misdemeanor DUI" in Arizona is not serious. AZ penalties for Misdemeanor DUI are more serious than penalties for a felony in many states. Do not plead guilty of any Arizona DUI charge, before consulting an experienced Phoenix DUI Attorney.

Misdemeanor DUI charges may be lenient in some states, but Arizona is not one of them. Phoenix DUI charges are very serious and you will be subject to mandatory punishments in place under Arizona State Law. Even a first time Phoenix Misdemeanor DUI can subject you to mandatory jail; hefty fines; fees, and court costs; loss or suspension of your driver license; ignition interlock device on your vehicle and more.

Arizona Misdemeanor DUI Laws:
Generally an Arizona DUI with no "aggravating factors" is a Class 1 Misdemeanor as cited in part under A.R.S. 28-1381. The majority of DUI DWI charges in Arizona are classified as Misdemeanors. A Phoenix "Misdemeanor DUI DWI charge" will be raised to a "Felony DUI" only when certain "aggravating" factors exist. To read more about the specific factors that will elevate a Misdemeanor DUI DWI to a Felony DUI DWI visit www.arizonacriminaldefenselawyer.com/lawyer-attorney-1629205.html.

A Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona can be charged if a person is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substance and:

1. The driver of the vehicle in Arizona is impaired to the slightest degree (A.R.S. §28-1381(A) (1) or "impaired to the slightest degree"; and/or...

2. The driver of a vehicle in Arizona if the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol were consumed before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle. (A.R.S. §28-1381(A) (2)) or "DUI".

If the police have evidence that a driver is "impaired to the slightest degree" and had Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) lever of 0.08% or greater within two hours of driving or being in "actual physical control" of a vehicle, they will usually charge the driver with not only one, but two DUI charges in that one stop.

ARIZONA MISDEMEANOR DUI: It is illegal to DRIVE or be in ACTUAL PHYSICAL CONTROL of a motor vehicle in Arizona under the following circumstances:

PER SE DUI - Adult "Impaired to the Slightest Degree" by Alcohol
DUI Minor - Minor with or without impairment, "Zero Tolerance" for person under 21 years of age. BAC level of 0.08 is not required.
CDL DUI - Blood Alcohol BAC 0.04% or greater for adult Commercial Driver
DUI - Blood Alcohol Content BAC 0.08% or greater for adult Driver within two hours of driving
Extreme DUI - Blood Alcohol Content BAC 0.15% or greater adult within 2 hours of driving
Super Extreme DUI - BAC 0.20% or greater adult - within 2 hours of driving
Drug DUI - Impaired by any Drug whether lawfully prescribed drugs, over-the-counter drugs, legal or illegal drugs, dangerous or drugs not classified as dangerous.

Note: The Arizona DUI charges listed above are all considered to be separate and distinct charges. So a driver stopped under suspicion of DUI can actually be charged with one or more of these charges in one stop. The number of violations you may be charged with during one DUI stop is determined by the police DUI investigation, and DUI test results such as DUI breath test, DUI blood tests, or other chemical testing.

Misdemeanor DUI Defense - Arizona DUI - DWI Lawyers
Arizona misdemeanor DUI charges are heard in Arizona justice, city or municipal courts. Be sure that you are being defended by a private practice Phoenix or Arizona DUI lawyer with trial and defense experience; and one who is very familiar with the protocol, procedures and laws, judges and prosecutors in he court in the county, city or jurisdiction in Arizona for which you are required to appear for your court date. This will provide you with a definite advantage in your defense and increase your chances of a successful outcome. A good Arizona DUI attorney will tailor and build a defense case based on the facts of your DUI charges. They will know how to build a winning defense strategy in an effort to get your charges dismissed, reduced or the otherwise best outcome in your case.

Continue reading "Misdemeanor DUI charges: Why you will need good legal representation to defend the charges." »

October 13, 2011

You should know the difference between two particular AZ Criminal Laws:
"One may lead to a dismissal of charges: the other a conviction"

Article by: James Novak, DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer Arizona

Good AZ Criminal Defense Attorneys - Choose the Right Defenses
Arizona has two criminal laws that may involve defenses of "not having knowledge". The wrong one if used as a defense would result in a disastrous outcome for the defendant. The other if used effectively, under right circumstances, may lead to a dismissal of DUI or criminal charges. That is why it is important to hire an experienced Arizona criminal attorney or DUI trial lawyer to defend your DUI or Criminal Charges in Arizona.

Arizona Criminal Laws - Comparison of Two Criminal Defenses

1. "A.R.S. Title 13, Chapter 2, 13-204. Effect of ignorance or mistake upon criminal liability"- Where "not knowing the law" is not a viable defense and in fact may lead to a conviction. In reader friendly terms this law states that if one "does not know the law", it makes no difference, and they will be held criminally responsible. In Arizona, if a person knowingly commits an act, but claims they "didn't know" it was a violation of the law, it does not matter In fact by claiming they did not know their conduct was a crime; is simply reinforcing to prosecution that they in fact committed the crime.

2. "A.R.S. Title 13 Chapter 34: 13-3405. Possession, use, production, sale or transportation of marijuana; classification Where "Not having knowledge" may lead to a dismissal of charges. This law applies to Arizona Drug laws; in it is a provision and requires that the state prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant was "knowingly" in possession of drugs, in order to get a conviction for the drug charges. In this case, if someone "did not know" they were in possession of the drugs, their criminal defense attorney would present compelling arguments to the effect that their client "was not knowingly in possession" of the drugs. This often times proves to be a most effective defense that results in suppression of evidence, and dismissal of charges.

Application of Two Arizona Laws and Defenses:

1) A.R.S. 13-204. In the first case one admits certain criminal conduct, but "does not know" their actions were against the law. (not a valid defense)

2) A.R.S. 13-3405. In the second case, involving drug charges, a person is charged with drug possession, but "does not know" they were in possession of drugs. (Justifiable defense).

Examples of each of the Two Arizona Laws and Defenses:

1) A.R.S. 13-204 - The accused is arrested for possessing dangerous and illegal drugs. They claim they knew they had the dangerous drugs, for intended personal use. They were promptly arrested. They insist they did not know it was against the law to have the particular dangerous illegal drugs in their possession. It does not matter. They have reinforced their dangerous drug possession charges in favor of the prosecution.

2) A.R.S. 13-3405 - A friend borrowed the accused person's vehicle and inadvertently left a bag of Marijuana on back floor board of the car. The following evening, the owner of the vehicle was driving it and was stopped by police for a minor traffic infraction. As the police officer approached the vehicle they saw the bag of Marijuana in "plain sight", and arrested the owner of the vehicle. Until then, the owner of the car did not k now the Marijuana was in the vehicle. A good AZ criminal defense lawyer will have a compelling argument that the accused was not "knowingly" in possession of the drugs.

If you face criminal charges in Arizona, be sure you consult and retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the state and county you received the DUI or criminal charges. DUI and criminal laws and defenses may differ in every state.

Source of Arizona Law: Arizona State Legislature
Arizona Revised Statutes azleg.gov

Continue reading "Examining the effects of "knowledge" on Criminal Liability and Criminal Defense" »

October 12, 2011

15 Traits of Maricopa County Defense Lawyers - Who Often Get Criminal & DUI Charges Dismissed!

"Your chances of getting criminal charges dismissed increase with an attorney who can present a "compelling argument", over an attorney who has a stronger argument, but presents it less persuasively."

- James Novak, AZ DUI & Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer and Author of "Arizona Winning DUI & Criminal Defense Strategies" Book Series

1. Experience; Criminal & DUI defense experience in Maricopa County;

2. Communication: The best trial lawyers listen, as well as they speak. They know that winning cases are often found in the "details" of the facts, evidence and testimony; and they don't want to miss a thing. A DUI lawyer preoccupied with what they are going to say next, risks missing details that could lead to their client's case dismissal;

3. Compelling: The best defense lawyers are persuasive, articulate and compelling. They can present highly effective arguments;

4. Thousands of Hours of Trial & Litigation: Be careful of hiring criminal defense attorneys who have not spent much time in the court room or trial, even if you don't plan on having a trial. The fact is, that there are attorneys who have not seen much of the "inside of a court room": either because they are new, or because they simply don't challenge the evidence or prosecution on the issues very often. In those cases, the attorney simply agrees with whatever the prosecution throws at their clients for conviction and sentencing; You don't need to pay someone to help you lose;

5. Former Prosecutor: Here are just 4 good reasons to choose a former prosecutor:

(a) They get a vast amount of trial experience in many types of criminal cases in a short amount of time;
(b) In Maricopa County, it is not unusual for prosecutors to be in court or trial 4 to 5 days a week, every week. There are fewer of them and they carry heavy caseloads;
(c) In contrast average DUI or criminal defense lawyers in Maricopa County, only go to trial on about 2% or 3% of their cases, if that;
(d) Criminal defense lawyers who are former prosecutors know what can and can't be done outside to help the defendants, particularly when it comes to negotiations for dismissals, or reduction in sentence; they practiced by the book, and know what's in the book; and they don't take "no" for an answer if they know otherwise;

6. They are Scholars of Arizona DUI & Criminal Defense Law
: They know the Arizona criminal law; they are familiar with existing and new laws, changing legislation, and court cases with outcomes that may impact their client's DUI & Criminal charges in Maricopa County. They recognize that Arizona Laws do not exist just to prosecute a defendant and they know what laws to use that will make good defenses and protect the rights of their clients;

7. They Don't Use "Cookie Cutter" defenses
: The best lawyers understand that "one size fit all" does not apply to defenses in a DUI or criminal cases. Each is unique and with its own set of facts. Winning DUI & Criminal Defense strategies are well thought out, and tailored to fit the circumstances. A particular defense in a case that leads to a dismissal may result in conviction with a prison sentence in a different case;

8. They Don't File "Frivolous" Motions: Attorneys with reputations of filing frivolous or unjustified motions lose credibility with judges and the prosecution in courts where they regularly appear;

9. They Never Underestimate the Power of Filing EARLY Justified Motions
: These often involve procedural or constitutional rights violations such as 1). Charges being brought in the wrong jurisdiction; or 2). Time limit to prosecutor has expired for that crime under Arizona Constitution and the like;

10. The "Home Court Advantage": The best criminal lawyers defend charges exclusively within their own jurisdiction or county such as in the case of Maricopa County. So although they may be licensed to practice in the entire state of Arizona, it is still best in most cases to hire an attorney who frequently defends cases in the jurisdiction or county where the charges were filed. Those lawyers have built reports; are well respected by law enforcement, prosecutors, investigators, expert witnesses, and judges; and they are extremely familiar with court procedures and protocol throughout courts for which they defend clients; There's no substitute for the "Home Court Advantage";

11. Simplify Complex Issues: Not only are the best attorneys able to interpret the law, but they have the ability to simplify them in the best light for their client's defense;

12. Passion and Dedication
: They are dedicated to their client's defense and obtaining the most favorable outcome for them; they have a passion for defense; they recognize that the accused has fundamental rights by law to defend their charges in due process under the United States Constitution and Arizona Law; They make sure defendants are treated fairly, and their constitutional rights are protected;

13. Work Ethic: They make the time needed to tailor, build, and present a compelling defense case which includes gathering evidence, retesting it, examining the facts, and challenging evidence for suppression (not to be used), and obtaining exculpatory (evidence in the client's favor); they conduct their own defense investigations, concurrently as the prosecution is building their case;

14. They exhaust all means to obtaining the best outcome for their clients: Including case dismissals (partial or complete); negotiating for a better outcome, including leniency in penalties; or alternatives to harsh and unwarranted sentencing such as incarceration.

15. Getting the Case Dismissed is #1 priority: If a client does not wish to challenge their charges; have someone fight for them; or attempt to get their charges dismissed; then they do not need to hire one of the "Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Maricopa County". In fact, they would not need to hire any criminal defense attorney, in that the case.

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Continue reading "Traits and skills and traits to look for when selecting your criminal defense attorney. It may be among the most important decisions of your life." »

October 7, 2011

AZ Criminal Defense Lawyer | Felony | Misdemeanor | AZ DUI Defense

Q. What is the Difference between a Misdemeanor and Felony in Arizona?

A. The main differences between an Arizona Misdemeanor and Felony involve the severity and nature of the crime; and of the severity and nature of the penalties. Some differences include the following:

1) Felonies are usually more serious crimes than misdemeanors; Examples of felonies include such offenses as aggravated assault, homicide, sexual abuse or rape crimes, arson, aggravated DUI, kidnapping, illegal drug sales, drug smuggling, drug manufacturing, serious drug charges and more. Felony penalties are far more severe, and usually result in life long adverse consequences if convicted. Felonies usually carry a minimum sentence of 12 months or more; Felony Charges are classified from Class 1 to Class 6, with the least severe Class 6 and the most severe, categorized as Class 1 felonies. Class 1 felonies carry sentences that range from 25 years to life in prison or a death penalty. These are reserved for the most serious of charges such as homicide.

2) Misdemeanor charges are generally less serious. Examples include criminal trespassing, theft of property below a certain value, non-aggravated DUI, underage drinking, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of Marijuana for personal use, and more. In addition to other penalties including fines, fees, costs, probation, and other punishments, they carry maximum jail sentences of less than one year;

Q. Does the Sentencing by the Judge differ with Felonies verses Misdemeanors?
A. Yes. If convicted of misdemeanor charges, the judge will usually make a determination of sentencing on the same day as the conviction of the guilty verdict, by trial or guilty plea by defendant.

For Arizona felony convictions, the judge usually requests a pre-sentence report to be completed and will schedule sentencing for generally 30 days or following the guilty verdict. You have the right to have your views included in the pre-sentence report. The defendant has the right to complete a Victim Impact Statement questionnaire or letter to be included in the pre-sentence report for the judge to review.

Q. Which Court will I need to go to if charged with a Felony or Misdemeanor in Arizona?
A. The court which a case will be heard should be documented on the complaint you received at the time you were charged, or following your arrest. It will include the name of the court, date, and time, for which you will be required to appear.

In general, Misdemeanor charges are usually handled in the Arizona Justice, Municipal or City Courts where the charges for issued. For example, if you live in Tempe Arizona, but you received a non-aggravated DUI charge in Phoenix AZ your case will be schedule for hearing in Phoenix Arizona.

Felony Charges in Arizona are usually handled in Superior court. However felony preliminary hearings can sometimes be held in the lower courts.

Q. Who Should I Hire to Defend Me for Felony for Arizona Misdemeanor Charges?
A. If you face either a criminal misdemeanor or felony charges, you should contact a licensed AZ DUI or AZ Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Most criminal lawyers defend both Felony and Misdemeanor DUI charges. Start with consulting an experienced criminal attorney who defends charges regularly in the city or jurisdiction where your received the charges. They will provide you with information concerning the charges and your defense options. Most criminal and DUI attorneys will provide you with a free consultation by phone or in person at their discretion.

Q. What Should I look for to find a good Felony or Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer?
A. In Arizona, both Felony and Misdemeanor Charges are serious. A good DUI & Criminal Defense Attorney should have years of DUI and criminal defense experience and a significant amount of trial experience. Many of the best criminal defense attorneys in Arizona are former prosecutors. This provides you with an advantage for your defense for many reasons: they are familiar with the courts, judges, prosecution, procedures, and the entire criminal justice processes. You want a DUI or criminal lawyer up to date on current laws and changing legislation in Arizona relating to criminal and DUI charges. Make sure your Attorney will be accessible and open to direct communication for answers to any and all questions you may have. A proven Arizona criminal lawyer will do everything possible to attempt to get your charges dismissed, reduced or the otherwise best outcome in your case.

Continue reading "Difference between Felonies and Misdemeanors: Q. and A." »

October 4, 2011

"What You Don't Know, Could Cost You Your Freedom"

Article by: James Novak, DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer Arizona

Good criminal lawyers can challenge your AZ DUI using different types of defenses; but in Arizona, "I didn't know" is not one of them.

Arizona criminal defense attorneys may challenge your DUI or criminal charges using certain defenses for example, "Affirmative Defenses", "Reasonable Doubt", and "violation of rights" defenses. If successful, the DUI or criminal charges may be dismissed or acquitted. But the fact that you "did not know" you violated the law, does not release you of "criminal responsibility". Thus an experienced Arizona criminal lawyer would not attempt to use it.

Arizona Law
A.R.S. Arizona Criminal Code Title 13, Chapter 2, 13-204

Reads in part as follows:

"13-204. Effect of ignorance or mistake upon criminal liability

A. Ignorance or a mistaken belief as to a matter of fact does not relieve a person of criminal liability ...

B. Ignorance or mistake as to a matter of law does not relieve a person of criminal responsibility"

AZ Criminal Charges - What You Should Know
1) Criminal and DUI laws are different in every state; Arizona has some of the most harsh penalties and strict DUI laws in the Country;
2) Arizona Prosecutors egregiously pursue convictions for DUI, Drug and other Criminal charges in Arizona;
3) Currently all DUI convictions both Misdemeanor and Felony DUI expose you to incarceration in jail or prison;
4) Most Arizona drug charges are prosecuted as Felonies:
5) Your chances of getting DUI or Criminal charges dismissed increase drastically when you retain a criminal lawyer or DUI attorney to defend you.

How to Prevent, Avoid, or Mitigate Criminal Convictions in Arizona
• Become familiar with Arizona Criminal Laws, especially if you are visiting from another state; or you have recently moved to Arizona;
• Become familiar with your basic Federal and State Constitutional Rights;
• If you are driving and stopped by police for suspicion of DUI, do not offer information may harm your defense such as "I just left a bar", or I only had two drinks.
• If you are arrested, the police are not required to read you the "Miranda Rights" which include your right to remain silent; and your right to an attorney, until or before interregation or questioning;
• Remain cooperative.
• Invoke your right to "remain silent", until your attorney is present, either verbally or in writing. If you do not formally invoke this right, and you just remain silent, you will appear uncooperative which will harm your defense.
• Become familiar with several Criminal Defense or DUI Lawyers in your County, before you need one; and keep their contact information with you, or in your mobile device.

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Source: Arizona State Legislature
Arizona Revised Statutes azleg.gov

If you have been arrested; face active Arizona criminal or DUI charges, or have an existing warrant for your arrest in Maricopa County for Arizona DUI, DWI, drunk driving, drug or any other criminal charges contact the Law Office of James Novak, for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499. James Novak, experienced Arizona criminal Defense and DUI & Criminal defense Attorney, James Novak will speak with you directory concerning your charges, and provide you with defense options. James Novak is an experienced trial lawyer and former prosecutor. The Law Office of James Novak is devoted 100% to defending DUI, Drug & criminal charges in valley wide within Maricopa County including Mesa AZ, Scottsdale AZ, Tempe AZ, Phoenix AZ, Chandler AZ, Gilbert AZ, East Valley, and surrounding cities within the Phoenix metro and Maricopa County Area.