March 2012 Archives

March 26, 2012

Felony Charges Scottsdale AZ

All felony convictions in Arizona expose a defendant to prison sentencing and other harsh penalties. If you face any type of felony charge, you should consult an experienced criminal attorney to discuss your charges and defense options. There are three critical phases in criminal justice process, where you should have legal representation.

Three Tiers of Criminal Defense
Each type of representation includes stages that present opportunities for criminal defense to obtain a resolution in your case.

1) Pre-trial defense: Gathering Evidence, filing early procedure motions in your defense, attending conferences and hearings, hiring experts, having DUI blood evidence retested, and using all opportunities to challenge evidence, and find flaws in state prosecution's evidence in an effort in order to suppress it; building a strong defense case, and attempting to get the felonies dismissed.

2) Trial Defense:
If the defense and prosecution are unable to agree on an acceptable resolution to the felony charges or negotiate an acceptable plea agreement, the felony case will be set for trial. Your criminal attorney will attend pre-trail conferences, readiness conferences; prepare for trial; tailor and present defense strategies; interview and depose witnesses; file motions for defenses; and make sure your trial rights and constitutional rights are protected throughout the process.

3) Sentencing Defense: If there is no chance of getting the charges dismissed due to the strength of the evidence and nature of the charges, then a good private criminal attorney will work hard to ensure that you will get the best possible outcome in your case. This involves active plea efforts by your attorney including the presentation and argument of mitigating factors, evidence and reasons why you deserve a lesser charge and/or reduced sentencing on your behalf.

Criminal Defense for Felonies in Scottsdale AZ

If you wish to defend your Felony charges, you will need to plead "not guilty". This will invoke your rights to retain a qualified criminal attorney to legally represent you. Your best chance at getting any favorable decisions in your case, is to retain a private practice criminal attorney who is experienced in defending the type of criminal charges you face.. A defendant may sometimes be able to get the harsh sentencing reduced if mitigating factors can be presented and argued effectively by a qualified criminal defense attorney. Depending on the situation, even more favorable outcomes can be obtained, such as a reduction or dismissals of all or a portion of the charges; avoidance of long term prison sentencing or any prison term; allowing the defendant to be eligible for probation, and other mitigated outcomes.

Continue reading "Felony Charge Defense: Three Levels of Criminal Defense. Why you need qualified legal representation at all three levels for felony charges " »

March 19, 2012

"Not all Disorderly Conduct arrests are justified or lawful. You should consult a criminal defense attorney before pleading guilty. If your constitutional rights were violated, you may be able to get charges dismissed."

Disorderly Conduct Charges

Disorderly conduct (also called disturbing the peace) is charged often in Mesa AZ and other cities in Maricopa County. However, the consequence of a conviction should be taken seriously because they carry harsh penalties. You should consult a Mesa criminal lawyer if you were arrested for Disorderly Conduct in Mesa AZ. Not all disorderly conduct charges are lawful. Often the charges are unjustified, unconstitutional, or are vague in nature. For these reasons you should always consult an experienced criminal defense attorney before pleading guilty to the charges.

Arizona Disorderly Conduct Laws

A person may be charged with Disorderly Conduct in Arizona under ARS 13-2904 if:
A. with intent to disturb the peace of other person (s) or business; and/or
B. with knowledge of doing so; a person engages in:
• Violence, disruptive behavior or altercation;
• Unreasonable, loud disruptive noise;
• Abusive or offensive language/gestures to provoke another to retaliate;
• Disruption with the intent to prevent or distract a lawful gathering,
• Fails to comply with a lawful order to vacate a premises due to a) public safety, b) danger or peril; hazard or emergency;
• Reckless discharge or display of a firearm, or other deadly weapon.

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Arizona

Disorderly Conduct charges may be classified as Misdemeanors or Felonies depending on the circumstances. For felony convictions sentencing may result in up to 6 months in prison, $2500.00 in fines, fees, community service, counseling, and a felony criminal record. Disorderly conduct charges that include use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon will elevate the charge to a class 6 felony, for which a conviction that possesses a maximum punishment of one year in prison, and additional harsh penalties.

Criminal Defense Lawyer for Disorderly Conduct Charges in Mesa AZ

There are numerous defenses that can be used to challenge disorderly conduct charges. The defenses used will be based on the circumstances surrounding the charges. If the arrest was unjustified or violated your constitutional rights, an experienced attorney who defends criminal charges in Arizona, will be able to challenge the charges and evidence, in an effort to get them dismissed or mitigate sentencing.

Continue reading "Disorderly Conduct Charges in Arizona may be unlawful: What you should know before pleading guilty." »

March 13, 2012

"Common areas of defense that experienced criminal lawyers target for to defend drug possession charges that may lead to dismissal".

Arizona Drug Possession Charges

If you were arrested for drug possession charges in Phoenix AZ, your future and freedom are at stake. You should consult an attorney who defends drug charges to discuss your matter and defense options.

Two common areas of defense that an experienced criminal lawyer will target to defend drug possession charges are:

1) Defendant's "knowledge" of possession;
2) Quantity and classification of drug the defendant is accused of possessing.
3) Constitutional Rights Violations

Drug Possession may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. The larger the quantity you are accused of possessing, the more serious the charges and penalties. If the quantity of a particular drug or classification exceeds the Arizona Statutory Threshold Amount for a specified drug, a conviction will result in mandatory prison terms and other harsh penalties.

AZ Drug Possession Laws

Under Arizona Drug Laws A.R.S. 34 13-3401 and A.R.S. 13-105, the defendant must have "knowledge" that they possessed illegal drugs, in order to be convicted of possession charges.

A.R.S. 34 13-3402: A person shall not knowingly: possess, use, produce, sell, or transport, manufacture or distribute Marijuana, or any other illegal drugs;

A.R.S. 13-105. 10 (a), (b): "Knowingly" with respect to drug possession charges means that a person knows that the circumstance itself. It is not require the defendant to know that possessing the drug is unlawful;

A.R.S. 13- 105. 34, 35: "Possess" is defined as knowingly to have physical possession or otherwise to exercise control over property; 35. "Possession" means a voluntary act if the defendant knowingly exercised dominion or control over the property.

In Arizona, the prosecution has the burden of proving that the accused knew or should have reasonably known that they possessed illegal drugs in order to get a conviction.
Arizona Drug Classifications - A.R.S. 13-3401

Under Arizona Law A.R.S. 13-3401, drugs are basically classified by three types:

• Dangerous Drugs - (A.R.S. 13-3401.6) - LSD, ecstasy, methamphetamines, steroids, GHB, hallucinogenic drugs, mescaline, clonazepam;
• Narcotics- (A.R.S 13-3401.20) - Cocaine, heroin, opium, morphine, oxycodone;
• Marijuana - (A.R.S. 3401.19) - Marijuana - all forms including synthetic and non-imitation marijuana.

Sentencing for drug possession
convictions depend on a number of factors including:

• Quantity of the drug found in your possession;
• Whether the quantity exceeded the statutory Threshold Amount;
• Classification of the drug;
• Purpose of the drug in your possession (use, sales or intent to sell);
• First time or repeat offense;
• Aggravated or mitigating factors surrounding the possession charges.

Continue reading "Phoenix Drug Possession Charges: To be convicted of Drug Possession Charges, Arizona Laws require the defendant to have "knowledge" that they possessed illegal drugs." »

March 2, 2012

"Under Arizona Drug DUI Laws, a person may be charged with DUI even if they did not consume any alcohol or illegal drugs. Find out how experienced DUI lawyers challenge Drug DUI charges that may lead to dismissal."

Arizona Drug DUI - Medication DUI Charges
In Arizona, you may be charged with Drug DUI under A.R.S. § 28-1381. If convicted, they will be exposed to the same penalties as those that apply to alcohol DUI charges. The simple presence of a drug in your system is enough for the Phoenix Police to charge you. They must have probable cause to believe you were driving "impaired to the slightest degree. Offenses for Drug DUI are charged as Class 1 Misdemeanors, which carry harsh penalties including 10 days in jail; suspension of driver's license for 90 days; probation; drug and alcohol counseling and education program participation; and fines, fees, costs and assessments that exceed $1,200.00.

Drug DUI Defenses Arizona
Defenses strategies used to challenge DUI charges should be uniquely tailored to the specific facts surrounding your charges. Some arguments may surround the following issues:

 No "Reasonable Suspicion" for Drug DUI Stop: The United States Supreme Court held that the standard for stopping a person to investigate for DUI requires "reasonable suspicion" that an offense occurred or is in progress (excluding DUI Task Force Stops).

 No "Probable Cause" for Arrest: To make an arrest, the standard is elevated from "Reasonable Suspicion" to "Probable Cause" that you were driving impaired due to alcohol or drugs. This means substantive evidence is needed.

 Violations in DUI blood, urine or chemical testing: Includes administration;, collection; transport; labeling; supplies; equipment; blood or urine sample storage; preservation; chemicals used with processing; and reporting;

 The drug found in the driver's system did not cause the driver to be impaired to the slightest degree; and were legal, and harmless;

 Independent lab results requested by the defense contradicted crime lab results from the police/prosecution. This may include differences in amounts, or actual drugs found;

 Defense expert testimony raised "Reasonable Doubt" that the drug or medication found in the driver's system caused impairment to the slightest degree;
 The driver was denied a second sample of the DUI chemical or blood test, for the purpose of obtaining exculpatory (evidence in their favor) evidence by defense for retest;

 Constitutional Rights

Criminal Defense Lawyer for Drug DUI Charges in Phoenix AZ
Challenging DUI with Drugs or Medication DUI charges requires special skill, training and experience by a good criminal defense lawyer. It is necessary for them to be well versed on not only the law but S criminal defense; forensics; psychology and pharmaceuticals. They will know which areas of the prosecution's case to target in your defense, based on your unique set of facts, and the laws in place. They will tailor a defense to you circumstances and present compelling arguments on your behalf. They will defend your rights; and attempt to get the best possible outcome in your case. Your chances of getting a good resolution to your case will significantly increase when you retain a private practice criminal lawyer, to defend your case. They may be able to help get your charges dismissed; or help you to avoid harsh penalties such as incarceration.

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

Arizona DUI & Criminal Defense
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