January 2012 Archives

January 26, 2012

What Makes a Good Phoenix AZ Criminal Defense Lawyer the Best

The Best DUI Lawyers Choose the Right Defense Strategies
For starters, the Best DUI defense lawyers in Phoenix AZ, chooses the right defenses and Defense strategies. Effective defenses must be carefully selected and tailored to fit each defendant's set of circumstances. A good criminal defense lawyer understands that certain defenses used in one case, may not apply in another. Any attorney who says most DUI cases are "standard" or "cookie cutter", most likely does not defend DUI cases on a regular basis or every client is unique, as is the circumstances, evidence and facts surrounding the case. Thus, their defense case must be unique as well in order to be successful. A defense strategy for one client to get a case dismissed may result in a poor outcome for another.

DUI Lawyers in Phoenix - What to Look for to Find the Best Criminal Defense Attorney

Good criminal defense attorneys must possess many important traits. Here will we look at just a few of those traits that make good DUI attorneys the best, as they relate to the matter of Arizona criminal laws and defenses:

• The ability to correctly interpret the law and defenses;
• Can identify those which will serve their clients defense the most effectively, under the proper circumstances;
• Has the ability to translate the issues of law into simple terms for the client;
• Is passionate about their clients being treated fairly and with respect under the law;
• Will make the time needed to tailor, build, and present a compelling defense case; every DUI or criminal charge is unique and carries its own individual set of circumstances and evidence (or lack thereof).
• A good DUI or criminal defense lawyer will exhaust all means possible to get the best outcome in their client's case such as partial or complete dismissal of charges; negotiating lesser charges; or obtaining leniency in sentencing and penalties by the court if convicted.

What You Can do to Find the Best DUI lawyer in Phoenix AZ

As you may already have learned there are so many criminal and DUI lawyers in Phoenix Metro and surrounding cities in Maricopa County that it is tough to choose from them all. And how do you know if there as good as they or their websites say they are? Here are some things to consider doing once you have narrowed your search geographically, and verified credentials and license to practice in your jurisdiction:

1) Read reviews from prior clients on the web, search engines, review sites and such;
2) Select two or three of your top picks, or more if you feel it necessary;
3) Contact at least two or three and meet with them by phone or in person;
4) Ask questions; Most DUI & Criminal defense attorneys in Phoenix AZ provide free consultations;
5) Don't be afraid to ask them about their education, defense and trial experience, credentials, and anything else that will make you feel you have found the most qualified person for the job.

Wouldn't you do these things if you were looking for a good doctor, dentist, or building contractor? Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer for your DUI or criminal charges is one of the most important decisions you make in your life. It can mean the difference between losing your freedom and getting a dismissal in your case. Take as much time as you need to feel comfortable with your choice, while keeping in mind that early retention of a criminal defense lawyer is key to a successful outcome.

Continue reading "DUI defenses: DUI defenses must carefully be selected by your attorney. The best defense strategies are those that will prove to be the most effective given the unique facts of your case." »

January 12, 2012

"Why Mesa criminal lawyers will advise you to hire an experienced criminal Attorney to defend your burglary charges in Mesa AZ"

Mesa AZ Burglary Charges
Burglary charges are considered to be victim crimes. Any crime against a victim is considered to be a serious offense. If you were arrested on burglary charges in Mesa AZ, you should consult a criminal lawyer who is experienced at defending Mesa burglary charges as soon as possible. There are different levels of burglary charges in Arizona, and all of them are categorized as felonies. Any felony conviction exposes you to potential prison sentencing along with other harsh penalties.

Arizona Burglary Laws
Arizona Law describes burglary under A.R.S. Chapter 15 13-1501 "CRIMINAL TRESPASS AND BURGLARY". The different levels vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. In general the law describes burglary as the act of entering property unlawfully.

Below are some Arizona Burglary Law facts:
• A person can be arrested or convicted of burglary if they "intended" to steal something, even if they did not take anything.
• Burglary to a residential property is more serious, than burglary to commercial property.
• A person or an accomplice must possess "knowledge" that the person committing the burglary is used or possessed a firearm, explosive, or other deadly weapon in order to be convicted of "First Degree Burglary" (the most serious);
• It is not necessary for the building or area to have been locked to be convicted;
• It is not necessary for a person to be in the building during the burglary, in order to be convicted;
• Burglary is often coupled with other criminal charges such as Criminal Trespassing or other charges that often occur simultaneously with a burglary;
• All burglaries are charged as felonies and expose the defendant to prison sentencing.

Arizona Burglary Classifications:
Burglary charges classifications are outlined under A.R.S. Chapter 15 "CRIMINAL TRESPASS AND BURGLARY" 13-1505, 13-1506, 13-1507, and 13-1508. Here are the main classifications of burglary under Arizona Law:
• A.R.S. 13-1505: Possession of Burglary tools; (Class 6 Felony);
• A.R.S. 13-1506: Third Degree Burglary (Class 4 Felony);
• A.RS. 13-1507: Second Degree Burglary (Class 3 Felony);
• A.R.S. 13-1508: First Degree Burglary; (Class 3 -commercial / Class 2- residential)
Burglary classifications range from Class 6 Felonies (least severe) to Class 2 Felonies (most serious). The only classification more serious than Class 2 First Degree Burglary is a Class 1 felony. Class 1 felonies are reserved for the most serious crimes of homicide or the taking of another person's life.

Arizona Burglary Sentencing Guidelines
Arizona Burglary Sentencing falls under A.R.S. Chapter 7 "SENTENCING AND IMPRISONMENT" 13-701 to 13-706 which applies to burglary sentencing.
All Felony Classification have sentencing ranges of minimums to maximums with regard to the length of prison terms. Sentencing Guidelines the court considers when determining the sentencing depends of many factors. Below are some considerations:
1) The presence of mitigating verses aggravating factors;
2) Repeat offense verses first time offense;
3) Criminal record;
4) Existence of violence or harm to victim (s);
5) Extent of harm to victim (s);
6) Involvement or possession of a gun, or other deadly weapon in the burglary;
7) Nature and value of property stolen;
8) Extent of damage to the vehicle, building or other property resulting from the burglary;
9) Other criminal offenses committed with the burglary (such as trespassing, or assault).

Criminal Defense Lawyer for Burglary Mesa AZ
Particularly with serious crimes it is easy to forget that every defendant is innocent until proven guilty. By law the accused has a right to defend their Mesa AZ charges. But keep in mind that it is unwise to try to defend such serious charges without representation by a qualified criminal defense attorney. A conviction for charges as serious as burglary will change your life forever and detriment every aspect of it, beginning with your future and freedom.
This is why Mesa criminal lawyers will advise you to hire an experienced criminal attorney to defend your Mesa AZ burglary charges. A good criminal defense lawyer will defend you; protect your rights; assure you will be treated fairly; and fight to get your Mesa AZ burglary charges dropped, or if that is not possible, will alternatively attempt to get charges and sentencing reduced so that they have the least impact as possible on your life.

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Law Office of James Novak
4500 S. Lakeshore Drive
Tempe AZ 85282
(480) 413-1499



Arizona DUI & Criminal Defense
Serving Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix AZ
Free Consultation! Call (480) 413-1499

Continue reading "Burglary Sentencing Guidelines: Burglary charges in Arizona are felonies. All felonies in Arizona call for prison terms. Find out what factors area considered by the judge to determine the length of the prison term, if convicted." »

January 10, 2012

"Disorderly Conduct arrests are made all too often in Maricopa County AZ; How good criminal defense attorneys get disorderly conduct charges dismissed".

Maricopa County Disorderly Conduct Charges
Maricopa County "Disorderly conduct charges", sometimes referred to as "disturbing the peace" are made all too often. But commonality does not reduce their consequences. An experienced Maricopa County criminal defense attorney will tell you they should be taken seriously due to the severe penalties you may be exposed to if convicted.

Arizona Disorderly Conduct Penalties
Circumstances surrounding the incident have a significant impact on the classification in which they will be charged. Disorderly conduct charges in are usually brought as Class 1 Misdemeanors., he highest level of Arizona Misdemeanors. Class 1 Misdemeanor convictions carry penalties of up to 6 months incarceration and up to $2500.00 fines.
Class 6 Felonies will usually be charged if the disorderly conduct involves a firearm. Disorderly Conduct Felony Charges carry maximum sentencing of up to one year in state prison, fines, fees, a felony criminal record; and could include other punishments ordered by the court.

Disorderly Conduct Laws in Maricopa County
Arizona Disorderly Conduct Laws are classified, and defined in Title 13 of Arizona Criminal Code ARS 13-2904. Below is a paraphrased discussion of the law:

A person can be charged with disorderly conduct in the following circumstances:

1) The person "with intent" disturbs another person, neighborhood, or business's peace: or

2) "With knowledge", of their actions, a person displays or engages in the following:
• Fight, altercation. or other behavior which was disruptive;
• Unreasonably disruptive noise or music;
• Offensive, abusive, disturbing language or gestures which in turn provoke another person to immediately retaliate;
• The disruption or commotion continues for an extended period of time;
• Any physical or verbal disturbance displayed with the intent to prevent or distract a lawful gathering, or meeting;
• Disobedience or Failure to adhere to a lawful instructions or orders to leave, evacuate, or dismiss one's presence from 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 unlawful discharge of a gun or other deadly weapon.

Defenses for Maricopa County AZ Disorderly Conduct Charges
Experienced Maricopa County criminal defense attorneys challenge disorderly conduct charges frequently due to their subjective nature. An effective use of legal defenses often results in dismissal of the charges. There are a vast number of defenses that can be used to combat unjust or unwarranted disorderly conduct charges. Your criminal defense lawyer uses will be tailored to the fact of the case: Below are examples of defenses that may apply (list not exhaustive):

• "Justification"; Defenses used to explain why the conduct was "justified" and not unlawful: self-defense; imminent fear of danger to one's self or family; immediate reaction to provocation or threat;
• "Affirmative"; Facts that bar or prevent the State from being able to prosecute the charges: Jurisdictional challenges; violations of time limit statutes to bring charges; the accused had a severe mental illness and did not know or intend to engage in disorderly conduct;
• "Reasonable Doubt"; Trust worthy witnesses to the incident provide compelling testimony which conflicts with the police officer's account of the accused person's conducts; Prosecution is unable to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the accused engaged in disorderly conduct; No evidence, witnesses, or no complaints exists to support that the accused disturbed anyone's peace or engaged in disorderly conduct;
• "Violation (s) of Constitutional Rights"; Right to free speech in absences of abusive or offensive language; right to lawfully and peacefully assemble; right to peacefully and without offense or disturbance pray, practice faith or religion of choice.

Reasons Police Choose to Make Arrests for Disorderly Conduct
Those arrested or charged for disorderly conduct often wonder what they did to deserve to be arrested. Maricopa County criminal defense attorneys agree that it is an overused charged. The police generally use it as a "catch-all" charge, when no other appropriate charges exist and they want to make an arrest. Charges sometimes follow a police warning, but a warning is not required. The most common reasons police decide to charge or arrest someone for disorderly conduct is Maricopa County is for the following reasons:
1) Police are annoyed with you;
2) No other appropriate charges exist for them to use;
3) Police feel the need to make an arrest or charge because someone has made a complaint against you;
4) Police gave you a warning, and the conduct, music, disruptive behavior continued and they had to return;
5) You disrespected or disobeyed orders from police;
6) Police believed your actions were deliberate, intended, and you were not cooperating with them

Never plead guilty for disorderly conduct charges without first consulting a Maricopa County Criminal Defense Attorney. They will provide you with information and options for your defense.

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Continue reading "Disorderly Conduct Charges are some of the most successfully challenged criminal offenses in Maricopa County. Find out how and why." »