November 2011 Archives

November 29, 2011

"Chandler disorderly conduct charges are often challenged by good criminal lawyers who defend criminal charges in Chandler Arizona. Here's how they often get dismissed".

Chandler Disorderly Conduct Charges
These are probably some of the most frequent criminal charges given out by Chandler Police. But at the same time, they are some of the most frequently challenged charges by criminal defense attorneys. Many are dismissed due to their subjective nature. Every case carries its own unique circumstances, and criminal lawyers tailor defenses to challenge the evidence, or lack thereof. To get a conviction, for disorderly conduct charges the prosecution has the burden of proving that the disruptive conduct disrupted a business, or disturbed someone's peace; the accused had "knowledge" that they were disturbing others; or that there actions were "intentional". While this is an uphill battle for the prosecution, you will need to retain the assistance of a criminal defense attorney to defend you case if you wish to increase your chances of getting the charges dismissed.

Arizona Disorderly Conduct Laws - Discussion
Title 13 ARS 13-2904. A & B outlines situations under the law that would result in disorderly conduct law violations. But the reality is that the facts or circumstances surrounding the criminal charge are not always objective. For example, a person can be charge for disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace for making "unreasonable" noise. But "unreasonable noise" to one, may not be to another.

Under Arizona Criminal law, in order to be convicted of disorderly conduct, a person must be engaging in the conduct with "knowledge" or "intent" to disturb another (s) peace. The prosecution has the burden of proving that the accused had knowledge or intent. So for the sake of discussion, what if person number #2 is provoked unexpectedly by person number #1 and an immediately verbal altercation ensues? Then following the incident, the police arrive and arrest both persons. In this case, there are really two compelling argument exists for person #2.

1) Person Number #2 was provoked, and retaliated out of fear of danger or the threat of danger. So their actions were in self-defense.

2) Person Number #2 engaged in an act of immediate retaliation, and did not "intend" to disturb the peace of others in the surrounding area that may have been disturbed by the altercation.

In Arizona, Disorderly Conduct charges are often coupled with other criminal charges. Using the examples above, the following additional charges would apply:

1) Where "unreasonable noise" was reported, the police also found that the person making "unreasonable noise" was under the age of 21, and drinking alcohol. So they were charged with disorderly conduct and "Under Age Drinking".

2) In the situation where a person was provoked into retaliated, the altercation turned into a physical fight. Both persons were also charged with "assault" in addition to "disorderly conduct".

Every situation is different and holds its' own unique set of circumstances. In many cases the language of the law actually serves as to defend the accused, verses prosecuting them. Many defenses are available, but limited to the only those that that surround the circumstances.

Disorderly Conduct Penalties in Arizona
Most disorderly conduct charges are classified as Class 1 misdemeanors. A Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious of Arizona misdemeanor charges. A Class 1 misdemeanor exposes the accused to a maximum sentence of 6 months in prison and $2,500.00 in fines.

If the situation involving the Disorderly Conduct involved reckless display, use, or discharge of a firearm, a Class 6 Felony may be charged. In that case, the accused may face potential sentencing that includes one year in prison; hefty fines and fees; and a felony criminal record.

If Disorderly Conduct Charges are coupled with other criminal charges, additional penalties would apply. When disorderly conduct is charged in relation to another crime, it usually is involves more serious crimes such as DUI, or Assault charges.

Criminal Defense Lawyer for Disorderly Conduct Charges in Chandler AZ
You should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney who defends criminal charges in Chandler before pleading guilty to Disorderly Conduct charges in Chandler AZ. The charges may not be justified, and defenses may exist that you are not aware of that can lead to a dismissal of your charges.

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November 25, 2011

"Not all arrests for disorderly conduct charges are lawful. Don't plead guilty before consulting an experienced criminal lawyer who defends disorderly conduct charges in Gilbert".

Disorderly Conduct Charges Gilbert AZ
"Disorderly conduct" or "disturbing the peace" charges are common in Gilbert AZ. But just because they are common, does not make them less serious. A good criminal defense attorney who defends Gilbert Disorderly Conduct Charges will be the first to tell you, not to ignore these charges. If you ignore them or fail to appear at your designated court date, a warrant will be issued for our arrest.

Like any arrest or criminal charges, they are not always lawful or justified. But the person arrested for disorderly conduct now faces criminal charges, and will need to get the criminal matter resolved or face potential serious consequences if convicted.

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Gilbert AZ
Circumstances surrounding the Disorderly Conduct charges will weigh heavily on the classification for which the conduct will be charged. A large number of these charges are classified as Class 1 Misdemeanors. Class 1 Misdemeanors are the highest level of AZ Misdemeanors. Class 1 Misdemeanors will expose you to six months of incarceration and $2500.00 fines if convicted.

Class 6 Felonies are charged if the disorderly conduct involves a firearm. Disorderly Conduct Felony sentencing includes maximum penalties of up to one year in state prison, fines and fees, and a felony criminal record.

Arizona Disorderly Conduct Laws
Arizona Disorderly Conduct Laws are found in Title 13 of Arizona Criminal Code ARS 13-2904. An outline and summary of the law is shown below:

A person can be charged with disorderly conduct when the following applies to their conduct:
1) "With intent" someone disturbs another person, business, or other entities' peace: or
2) "With knowledge", of their actions, a person engages in the following behavior (s):

• Fighting; or other disruptive behavior;
• Loud music or other disruptive noise especially late evening or early am hours;
• Using offensive, disturbing, abusive language or gestures that provoke immediate retaliation by another party;
• Disruption or disturbance that lasts for an extended period of time;
• Disrupting person (s) with the intent to prevent or distract them from engaging in a lawful meeting or gathering;
• Disobedience of a lawful order to dismiss, evacuate or remove one's self from a premises or area, for purposes of public safety; imminent danger; fire, flood, or other hazard or emergency;
• Unlawful discharge of a firearm; reckless display of a gun or other dangerous weapon.

Criminal Defense for Gilbert AZ Disorderly Conduct Charges
Good criminal attorneys who defend criminal charges in Gilbert AZ challenge disorderly conduct charges frequently. They often can get them dismissed due to their subjective nature of disorderly conduct charges. Depending on the circumstances, many effective defenses can be used by good criminal defense lawyers to challenge unjust disorderly conduct charges. You should contact a criminal lawyer who defends disorderly conduct charges in Gilbert before pleading guilty to these charges. They will discuss your charges and provide you with your defense options.

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Continue reading "Burglary Charges: Any type of burglary charge will expose a defendant to prison sentencing. Understand the law and the consequences before "pleading guilty"." »

November 22, 2011

10 Things Police Don't Tell You about Phoenix DUI Sobriety Checkpoints.

Article Written By: James Novak, Experienced Phoenix DUI Lawyer, & Criminal Defense Attorney

This time every year, Phoenix DUI lawyers and criminal defense attorneys start getting pretty busy with DUI violations, and other criminal charges that result from drinking and driving, or other offense that can stem celebrations or gatherings. One thing to expect is Arizona DUI sobriety check points. Phoenix DUI checkpoints are pre-determined and announced by city officials and law enforcement agencies. Not only are the locations of the DUI sobriety checkpoints decided in advance, but so are the vehicles they decide to stop. Federal laws adopted by Arizona, require that which vehicles to stop, be based on a mathematical formula. For example, it could be every third or fourth vehicle, or every vehicle. The only way to be 100% certain you won't be stopped if you find yourself in a DUI roadblock line is the obvious: Avoid drinking and driving; and avoid driving impaired to the slightest degree, due to alcohol, drugs, or any other toxic substances that would impair your ability to drive in Arizona. If that is not possible, then read on to learn how to survive the DUI stop:

1. Stay away.
Before you leave for your destination, find out in advance where the planned Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale DUI roadblocks will be. Officials must announce DUI sobriety check point locations in advance. Check your local media and news sources; official law enforcement, DPS, Maricopa County, and other Social Media outlets, websites, blogs. Then take a detour.

2. Make your Arizona driver's license and registration accessible to you in the vehicle. When the police stop a vehicle at a DUI check point, they will ask you for your driver's license and vehicle registration. They are not just looking to see if your driver's license is current and valid; or to make sure you're not driving a stolen vehicle. They are also observing your demeanor, any unusual fumbling; or lack of controlled motor skills they may cause them to investigate you further for Arizona drunk driving or DUI. Produce your license and registration timely and without question.

3. Stay calm and in control. The Phoenix police or DPS officers always expect people to be a little nervous at a DUI stop, even if they have nothing to hide. But being overly nervous or over gesturing is a red flag to them that something's up;

4. Don't joke around. Refrain from joking, laughing or chattering to the police or other passengers in the vehicle with you. Heads up passengers....this includes you too. In fact, you should alert all passengers that you are approaching a DUI checkpoint that silence and respect is necessary, and throughout the process.

5. Get off the cell phone and refrain from texting. While in line or at the actual DUI stop, stay focused; pay attention; and listen to what is being asked of you by the police.

6. Don't complain about the Phoenix DUI checkpoint or being stopped. Remain respectful and polite to the officers. Treat them how you would want to be treated if the tables were turned.

7. Give them only the information they are requesting. Don't offer information about where you've been; where you are going, what you've eaten, or what you have been drinking, or anything of that nature. What may seem to you as harmless or innocent "elevator conversation" may actually cause them to question you further. A respectful greeting is sufficient such as "Good evening officer", "Hello officer", "Thank-you Officer" and the like.

8. Don't offer any information about medical conditions or medications you have. And especially do not offer information regarding prescription or over-the-counter medications you may have consumed or that may be in your possession. To do so, may cue the officer's to investigate you further for a Phoenix Drug DUI or Medication DUI. In Arizona you can get a DUI if you are "impaired to the slightest degree" by legal non-prescription drugs. You may not be aware that certain medications you purchased from a local drug store for aches, pain, allergies, headaches or other reason, contained ingredients that impaired your driving.

9. Don't allow passengers to carry or consume alcoholic beverages while in your vehicle. When you step up to be the designated driver, you get to make the rules. The rules are to protect you and them. It's your license and your freedom is on the line. Your job is to be sober and get them to their destination safely. Their job is to ride by your rules. When you make the rules and your riders abide them, everyone wins and you're the "Most Valuable Player".

10. If you are charged with DUI, consult an experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer as soon as reasonably possible regarding your matter. Arizona DUI, drunk driving, or DWI charges carry some of the most severe penalties in the Country. You will need a good Phoenix criminal attorney to defend your charges; protect your rights; and fight for a dismissal or other favorable outcome.

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Continue reading "To be found guilty of disorderly conduct, the defendant's actions require "intent" and "knowledge" that they were "disturbing the peace". It's easier to charge than to get a conviction." »

November 17, 2011

AZ DUI Law, Felony DUI Penalties

"The cost of retaining a good Chandler DUI defense lawyer is far less a price, than fines, fees, costs, and your freedom, if convicted of Felony DUI Charges in Chandler."
If you were arrested for felony DUI charges in Chandler, AZ you should obtain a free consultation with a Chandler DUI lawyer as soon as possible. A felony DUI conviction in Chandler will expose you to severe penalties. You will need a qualified Chandler DUI attorney to defend your Felony DUI charges if you wish to have any chance at getting a good outcome in your case.

Felony DUI - Arizona Laws:
There are three aggravating factors that will cause a Chandler 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 arrest while you driving on a suspended, restricted or revoked driver's license - Class 3 Felony

2) A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (2): (Paraphrased) You just received a new DUI charge and it is your third DUI in 7 years and you were convicted of at least two of them within 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 - Class 6 Felony

DUI Penalties - Felony DUI Sentencing Guidelines in Arizona

A Felony DUI conviction for Chandler DUI charges exposes you to mandatory AZ DUI sentencing guidelines. The mandatory DUI penalties under Arizona Law include, but are not limited to the following:

• Jail Sentences that range from 1 day to 1 year;
• Incarceration in Prison from 4 months to 2 ½ years;
• Revocation of your drivers license for 3 years;
• Ignition Interlock Device (at your expense;)
• 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 Chandler DUI sentencing for convictions may be "aggravated" or "mitigated". Aggravated factors are those that support the prosecution and warrant more serious DUI penalties. Mitigating factors are circumstances or evidence that support your DUI defense and warrant less serious penalties.

Chandler DUI Lawyer - Felony DUI Defense Chandler AZ

Without compelling arguments presented or motions filed by your DUI Defense Lawyer, the judge or prosecution will not generally offer mitigated sentencing. An experienced Chandler DUI Attorney will know what to look for and obtain evidence needed to argue for a mitigated sentence if you are convicted of a felony DUI charge.

Some Defendants do not realize that a Felony DUI charges is not a conviction. They think since they were arrested, they must be guilty. But an experienced Chandler DUI lawyer or good AZ criminal defense lawyer will advise you that almost any Chandler Felony DUI charge can be challenged, regardless of the classification. Proven Chandler 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 private practice AZ DUI Attorney or Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona.

Continue reading "Felony DUI: Three aggravating factors that raise a Misdemeanor DUI to Felony DUI charges." »

November 15, 2011

10 Tips to Finding the "Best" DUI Lawyers in Scottsdale - Proven Results!

If you face Scottsdale DUI or Criminal charges, you want to hire the best DUI or criminal attorney you can find to defend your charges. This is important because your chances of getting a DUI or criminal charge dismissed in Scottsdale AZ increase drastically with an effective DUI or criminal defense attorney representing you. The lawyer you choose may mean the difference between a conviction with harsh penalties and a dismissal of charges.

Find High Rated DUI lawyers who Defend Scottsdale Charges at Affordable Prices

A great number of criminal defense lawyers in the valley defend Scottsdale DUI & criminal charges. A majority of Criminal Defense Firms throughout Maricopa County defend Scottsdale DUI and criminal charges. In other words, you do not necessarily have to hire criminal or DUI lawyer whose law firm is located in Scottsdale. Here are re 10 tips to helping you find high rated criminal defense firms and well qualified DUI lawyers:

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

1) Narrow your search geographically; that is, decide how far you wish travel to meet with and hire the DUI or Criminal Defense Attorney of your choice;
2) If you or the person you are helping, is currently incarcerated and unable to travel to the criminal defense lawyer's office, simply call let them know you wish to hire them but need to work out alternative means for meeting, and signing the fee agreement. One example would be in the case where the accused is currently in jail or prison. In that case most lawyers will simply travel to the court or prison to visit them;
3) Narrow your search down to two or three top picks; If you still have questions or need more information, you can contact the AZ State Bar, to make sure they are licensed as an "Attorney" in defense verses, a legal forms processor, paralegal, or other named occupation. Confirm that they are licensed in Arizona to defend Criminal charges in Scottsdale and cities within Maricopa County. Criminal Defense includes the DUI category of defense;
4) Attorneys in other practice areas; Contact lawyers in other practice areas whom you or other family members have used in the past for other legal matters. For example, if you were involved in an auto accident, and were represented by an injury lawyer. Contact them to see if they have a referral for a DUI or criminal defense lawyer;
5) The best source of referral is from friend, family, or other person who you trust; But heed this warning: Do not discuss any specifics or details surrounding your charges. It may harm your defense case for one. Also, that person could later be called as a witness to testify against you regarding statement you made to them. Believe it or not, it happens;
6) Look for Ratings an reviews on the web;
7) Call at least two or three; Sometimes it takes a few more calls than that. Talk with them in person or by telephone; most Scottsdale DUI and criminal defense lawyers provide a free initial consultation. You want to make sure they are "practicing defense attorneys". Some attorneys no longer practice active defense; They may be Professors teaching at local universities or colleges; or they may be dong Expert or Consultant work only; You will need active legal defense representation;
8) You should avoid asking "if they can get your case dismissed". They have not been in contacted 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, "run don't walk" the other way and are telling you what you want to hear; You want a straight shooter who will give you a respectful, truthful response not false hopes;
9) Ask questions about education, training, qualifications; defense and trial experience; and anything else that will make you feel you have found the best defense lawyer for the job.
10) Consider costs and fees; but (emphasis added), don't make the cost the most important factor in your decision; You're not searching for the cheapest gallon of unleaded gas in town. There is a lot more at stake to consider, and you need to look at service to value. You won't necessarily get the best representation for the highest price. To help avoid ineffective assistance of counsel, you need to educate yourself using the tips above and an bit of common sense; that is, if it (the price), sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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November 4, 2011

"Arrests for Disorderly Conduct in Tempe AZ are not always lawful....Why Good Tempe criminal defense lawyers often get disorderly conduct charges dismissed."

Tempe Disorderly Conduct Charges
"Disorderly conduct charges", also called "disturbing the peace" are common in Tempe. But frequency makes them no less serious. An experienced Tempe criminal attorney will tell you they should be taken seriously due to their consequences if convicted.

Arizona Disorderly Conduct Penalties
Circumstances surrounding the charges dictate if the disorderly conduct charges will be brought as a felony or misdemeanor. Disorderly conduct charges are usually brought as Class 1 Misdemeanors. This is the highest level of Arizona Misdemeanors. Class 1 Misdemeanors convictions carry a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail or prison and up to $2500.00 fines.

Disorderly Conduct charges in Tempe AZ bought as Class 6 Felonies are charged if the disorderly conduct involves a firearm. Disorderly Conduct Felony Charges carry maximum penalties of one year in prison, along with fines, fees, a long term felony criminal record; and anything else the court deems necessary.

Disorderly Conduct Laws in Tempe AZ
Arizona Disorderly Conduct Laws are outlined under ARS 13-2904 Arizona Criminal Code, Title 13. For the readers convenience below is the law paraphrased, and explained for discussion:
A person can be charged with the crime of disorderly conduct under the following circumstances:
1) "with intent" of disturbing another person (s) peace or disruption of their business: or
2) " with knowledge" of doing so, that person engages in one or more of the following:

• Fights, altercation. or other disruptive behavior;
• Unreasonably loud or disruptive noise or music;
• Offensive or abusive language or gestures which provoke another person immediately retaliate;
• Disruption or commotion lasting for an extended period of time or any physical or verbal disturbing display with the intent to prevent or distract a lawful gathering, or meeting;
• Failure to obey or adhere to a lawful or civil order to leave a premises or area issued for purposes of public safety risk of danger or peril such as fire; or other imminent hazard or emergency;
• Reckless display or discharge of a firearm, or other deadly weapon.
Defenses for Tempe AZ Disorderly Conduct Charges
Experienced Tempe criminal defense firms often challenge disorderly conduct charges due to their subjectivity. Their legal arguments often result in dismissal of the charges. There are many defenses that can be used to combat unjust disorderly conduct charges. Depending on the circumstances one or more of the following defenses categories may be used (Defense list not all inclusive):
• "Justification" Defenses; Self-defense; the accused was protecting a defenseless person being attacked; the accused's conduct was an immediate reaction to being provoked, or threatened;
• "Affirmative" Defenses; A fact that prevents the prosecution from being able to prosecute the charge: Charges being brought in the wrong jurisdiction; charges were not brought within the state's time limit for certain criminal offenses; the accused was mentally ill, and did not "intend" to cause the disruption;
• "Reasonable Doubt" Defenses; Credible and trust worthy eye witnesses have conflicting accounts of the event from the Police officer's account; the prosecution is unable to prove beyond a "reasonable doubt" that a crime was committed by the accused; or there is no evidence, no witnesses, or no complaints made of a disturbance caused by the accused; ;
• "Violation of Constitutional Rights" Defenses; Right to free speech, no abusive or offensive language was used; right to assemble lawfully and peacefully; freedom to practice faith or religion without disturbance.
Why Police Make Arrests for Disorderly Conduct in Tempe
Those charged or arrested are often confused as to why they were arrested for disorderly conduct. In most cases, it has less to do with what they did, and more to do with what the police could not do. Most Tempe criminal defense attorneys agree that it is an overused charged. The police generally use it as a "catch-all" of charges, when they don't know what else to charge someone with, but want to make an arrest. Charges sometimes follow a warning by police, but a warning by police is not required.

The most common reasons charges or arrests for disorderly conduct is Tempe is for the following reasons:
1) Police are fed-up or annoyed with you;
2) Police have no other appropriate charge to use;
3) Police feel compelled to make an arrest or charge because complaints continue despite warnings; and/or the police have to return to the scene more than once;
4) Police felt that you disrespected them or that you were not being cooperative;
5) Police believed your actions were deliberate, and intended.

Always consult an experienced criminal lawyer to defend your Tempe disorderly conduct charges. Just because you were charged with disorderly conduct does not mean the arrest was lawful.

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November 2, 2011

"How good defense Attorneys in Phoenix help you avoid self-incrimination after an arrest for Phoenix DUI or Criminal Charges"

Experienced Phoenix Criminal Lawyers may disagree on a variety of topics related to criminal defense. But one thing good criminal defense lawyers will always agree on, is that you preserve your "right to remain silent" and "your right to an attorney".

Following your arrest for Phoenix DUI or criminal charges you should not agree to be interrogated or answer any questions regarding your guilt or innocence or any other facts surrounding the Phoenix Criminal or DUI charges, until and unless your Phoenix criminal defense lawyer or Phoenix DUI Attorney is present.

An arrest for Phoenix DUI or criminal charges is a traumatic ordeal. If you can remember nothing else, once you have been arrested or taken into custody, you must remember to "Remain Silent". Do not agree to answer questions or to be interrogated about the criminal charges without your Phoenix Defense Attorney present. Following a Phoenix DUI arrest or arrest for any other Criminal Charges, you may feel that everything is out side of your control. But there are two things that will remain within your control, unless you voluntarily give up control or waive your rights:

1. Your Right to an Attorney; and
2. Your Right to Remain Silent

At the point that you are arrested, hand cuffed and taken into custody, the Phoenix Police have already made up their minds to arrest you and take you into custody. Beware, the police are taking notes of your every action and word. The Phoenix Police work closely with the Arizona Prosecution to get a conviction. So they will use whatever you do and against you if they can. There is no benefit to allowing yourself to be interrogated or questioned following your arrest or detention for the criminal or DUI charges. It can only detriment your defense. The Phoenix Police and Arizona Prosecution may appear to be sincere. They would like you to believe that their motive to "help" you in your defense. Not so - Don't buy it. Their job is to convict you, not defend you.

You will make the Arizona Prosecution's job easier to convict you of the crime if you allow yourself to be interrogated or questioned in absence of your Phoenix Defense Lawyer. The Police and Prosecution are elated when defendants give them narratives or allow themselves to be interrogated without their Phoenix defense attorney present following their arrest. Any information they obtain from you will be used to strengthen their case against you in order to get a conviction. You do not have to help them convict you.

Phoenix DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers in Arizona
As soon as reasonably possible, following your arrest, you should retain representation of a private practice Phoenix DUI lawyer or Phoenix criminal defense attorney. A good Phoenix DUI lawyer, who defends Criminal and DUI charges on a regular basis, will act as a barrier between you and the Phoenix police/prosecution. An experienced criminal defense attorney will make sure your constitutional rights are protected; make sure you are treated fairly; be present during any interrogations in a more controlled environment to protect you from unfair questioning; object to or provide guidance on whether or not you are required to answer certain questions that may incriminate you or harm your defense; and begin tailoring and building a strong defense on your behalf. A good Phoenix criminal attorney or Phoenix DUI lawyer will make every effort to get your charges dismissed, in whole or in part, or reduced. Retaining an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney or criminal defense lawyer is by far, your best chance of getting your charges dismissed, or the otherwise best possible outcome in your case.

Continue reading "DUI & Criminal Charges: How to preserve your rights; and avoid self-incrimination." »