April 2012 Archives

April 30, 2012

An Arraignment is a hearing where you will provide your Initial Plea for DUI or Criminal Charges. There are three ways to plea: "Not Guilty", "Guilty" or "No Contest." To invoke your right to defend your charges and retain an attorney you should plead "Not Guilty".

Events that take place at Arraignment

At the Arraignment the following procedural events will take place:

1) You will enter your Plea;
2) The court will confirm your identity and contact information including address;
3) The judge will inform you of your constitutional rights;
4) Formal criminal or DUI charges will be read;
5) You will be required to inform the court your intentions of retaining a criminal attorney or law firm to defend your charges

Obligation to appear at an Arraignment for criminal charges Tempe AZ

If you have not retained a criminal defense attorney, you will be required to appear at the designated hearing. You should never ignore a notice to attend your criminal or DUI court hearing. Failure to appear for your Arraignment will result in a Bench Warrant for your arrest. The warrant will remain in effect until you resolve the matter.
If you have retained legal representation, your criminal defense attorney will provide you with further or alternative instructions. In some cases, your attorney can vacate the hearing date, and enter a documented plea on your behalf; and provide the court with the information they need. You should confirm all the details with your attorney well before the previously scheduled hearing date.

Continue reading " What is an Arraignment? " »

April 23, 2012

Arrest Warrants in Phoenix AZ

Never ignore an arrest warrant in Maricopa County. It is a very serious matter. An arrest warrant stays outstanding and in effect indefinitely until the warrants is "quashed" (cancelled) ; a suspect is arrested; or the matter otherwise resolved by your criminal defense attorney. You should never ignore it. If you know or suspect you there may be a warrant for your arrest, you should contact a criminal defense firm as soon as possible to discuss your matter. They will provide you information concerning the warrant; option for defense, and retention of their services to resolve the matter on your behalf.

What to do if you have an outstanding arrest warrant

1) Pay the bond amount : A bond amount is usually set by the judge. If you pay it, the, the warrant will be "quashed" or resolved. You will then be given a new court date if the warrant is for "failure to appear". You must appear on the new scheduled court date if you have not hired a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer who may be able to make other more favorable arrangements on your behalf. If you miss your court date again, or cause further delays, the more harshly you will be treated by the court and the more severe your penalties will be.

2) Appear in Court on the "Walk-in" Docket.: Phoenix Court usually provides a daily time for defendants who need to make unscheduled court appearances. Unscheduled appearances are heard only at specified times available by the Phoenix AZ Court. In the least you should consult a Phoenix AZ criminal attorney to discuss your matter and how to proceed given your defense options.

3) Retain Legal Representation: This is the wisest choice. As soon as you find out about the warrant, it is recommended that you retain the services of an experienced criminal attorney to defend your matter; get the warrant "quashed' or otherwise resolved on your behalf. Your attorney will confirm the facts, and if retained, and may file a motion to quash your warrant. Generally, they will provide this services in addition to pre-trial and trial defense services. It also provides for early retention of a qualified legal advocate to defend your charge, which is crucial to a successful outcome in a DUI or criminal case.

Types of Arrest Warrants

In general there are two types of arrest warrants:

1) Bench Warrants issued by the Court: "Failure to Appear" ARS § 13 -2506 (Misdemeanors), and ARS § . 13-2507 (felonies) bench warrants are issued by the Court's presiding judge if a person accused of crime, cited, or previously arrested, fails to appear at their scheduled hearing. "Failure to Appear" in court is a criminal offense and Class 5 Felony.

2) Arrest Warrants issued by Police: A police officer will obtain a warrant or arrest from the State of Arizona ARS § 13 - 3887 when they have reasonable belief, substantiated by probable cause, to suspect that a person committed a crime.

Lawyer for Arrest Warrants in Phoenix AZ

It is always better to resolve an arrest warrant proactively, than to wait until the police find and arrest you. If it is not resolved, the police will eventually find and arrest at any time including at home or work. The police always check to see if there is an outstanding arrest warrant for someone even if they make a routine traffic stop for a minor infraction or traffic violation. To find out if there is a warrant for your arrest you can visit State, County and Government public records official websites. However, the safest way to find out if there is a warrant out of your arrest, is to consult a qualified criminal defense attorney in the county you are concerned it may exist. Your consultation will be private and confidential. The attorney will conduct a though search through their most reliable legal resources, and advise you of the current information available regarding the warrant, as well as your options to take care of it.


Continue reading "Arrest Warrants: What to do if there is a warrant for your arrest" »

April 17, 2012

Copper Theft Arrests Phoenix, AZ

Copper is considered a high demand Non-Ferrous metal, with comprehensive uses, and is more resistant to rust and corrosion, than many other types of metals. As a result, thefts of copper and copper cable have become such a widespread problem in Arizona that many law enforcement agencies are offering rewards for information leading to arrests. In additional Arizona has passed legislation in an attempt to combat the crimes which place more restrictions on the businesses purchasing the copper, and more harsh sentencing and penalties for copper theft convictions.

New Arizona Copper Theft Laws: HB 2396, A.R.S. §44-1642, A.R.S. §44-1644

Arizona Law HB 2396 was passed March 21, 2012. This Law intended to increase copper theft penalties by amending ARS § 13 - 1801, and ARS § 13 - 1802 to delete term "scrap metal" from the definition of value. This change redefines the average Fair Market Value of copper in the local area; together with the repair or replacement value of any property from which the metal was removed during the theft. For sentencing purposes, this serves to increase the penalties for a copper theft conviction, since the value of stolen property is a major factor considered in Sentencing Guidelines and penalties. For example, If a person were convicted of stealing copper in the amount of $3,000 or more may be charged with a Class 4 felony, exposing a person to prison terms of 18 months to 3 years, which is more severe than if it were "scrap metal" stolen.

A.R.S. § 44-1642: Effective January 1, 2012, requires that all scrap metal businesses register to report their purchases by reporting them to a Scrap Metal Theft Data Base that indexes purchase records; transaction limits; age of seller; and exceptions'.

A.R.S. § 44-16442: Effective January 1, 2012, requires that all scrap metal businesses register to report their purchases to the department of public safety; exemption; violation; classification.

Criminal Defense for Copper Theft or other Theft Crimes

If you have been arrested or charged with theft of copper metal, copper cord, or any other theft crime, you may be exposed to felony charges and prison sentencing. The prosecution will egregiously pursue convictions. Laws have been enacted to increase sentencing and penalties for those offenses. You should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your matter and options for defense. With proper legal representation, and you will increase your chances of avoiding prison terms, and harsh penalties of a conviction. An experienced criminal attorney will protect your rights, defend your charges, and make every effort to get a favorable resolution in your case.

Continue reading "Copper Theft Laws: Arizona harsher sentencing and penalties for convictions; strict reporting guidelines for scrap metal transactions by businesses. " »

April 9, 2012

"New AZ Criminal Law helps felons accused of less serious crimes avoid prison; reduces Arizona costs; and provides relief for overcrowded prisons".

News & Law Review By: Law Office of James Novak, PLLC, Phoenix DUI & Criminal Defense Firm

On March 21, 2012, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law "HB 2374 - Deferred Prosecution" Attached is a copy of the House Bill. In absence of legal challenge it is expected to go into effect July 2012. HB 2374 amends the current law A.R.S. § 11-361. In effect it liberalizes the law in favor of the defendant. It allows more opportunities to those charged with non-dangerous offenses, non-serious offenses, to participate in deferred sentencing and diversion programs, previously prohibited. It also allows those who have previously completed such a program to participate again for new criminal charges.

Deferred Sentencing or Diversion Program - Purpose of the Programs

The intended purpose and effects of the programs are bilateral for both the State and the Defendant:

• If a defendant agrees to participation in the program, and completes it successfully, the charges are permanently dismissed. The defendant receives confirmation of the dismissal by the Superior Court. If the defendant fails to complete the program, the charges will be reinstated; trial, conviction or sentencing will retroactively be continued where it left off.
• In theory, by participating in an appropriate program of professional counseling or treatment the person gets help they need to avoid the chance of repeating a criminal offense or recidivism in the future.
• Successful Diversion Programs help ease the strain on the overpopulated prisons
• The expenses of assessments and participation in the programs are the responsibility of the defendant. This saves the state the costs resulting from imprisonment as well as the diversion program.

Existing Criminal Law in effect until July 2012 - A.R.S. § 11-361

The current laws A.R.S. § 11-361 allows a defendant to participate in an approved program under supervision before entering a guilty plea or trial. The County Attorney of a participating county may not approve a diversion or deferment program for a defendant if they have:

1. Prior Felony Record;
2. Been accused of committing a "Dangerous Offense" Felony;
3. Previously completed a program established under this law

New Criminal Law Effects on A.R.S. § 11-361 due to HB 2374

The new law to become effective in July 2012, liberalizes A.R.S. § 11-361 by allowing the following defendants previously prohibited from being considered as candidates for the diversion programs and deferred sentencing:

• Persons previous convicted of a felony charge may now be considered for candidacy in the programs as long as the conviction is not for a Serious offense; Dangerous Offense; Sexual offense; or Dangerous crime against children.
• A person may now be considered for candidacy in the diversion program or deferred sentencing for persons who has previously completed a special supervision program.
• A person is prohibited from being considered for candidacy in the diversion or deferring prosecution of they have had three or more convictions for:

1) Personal possession of a controlled substance;
2) Personal possession of drug paraphernalia

Criminal Defense Attorneys for Deferred Prosecution, and Diversion Program

Participation in Deferred Sentencing, Deferred Prosecution, and Diversion Programs are not automatic and not an entitlement programs. A Defendant must be eligible for such programs, as agreed upon by the Prosecution, and Court based on factors such as nature of the crime, prior criminal record, attitude of the defendant towards reform, safety of community if the defendant is released after successful completion of the program. If retained, an experienced criminal defense attorney will be actively involved to help eligible defendants qualify for the program.

For more information regarding this new Arizona legislation visit:


Continue reading "Arizona HB 2374 - Deferred Prosecution Law to take effect July 2012" »

April 5, 2012

Super Extreme Felony DUI Laws Chandler AZ:

Under Arizona Law A.R.S. 28-1383, a person can be charged with a Felony Super Extreme DUI offense. A Felony DUI is also known as Aggravated DUI. A Super Extreme DUI can be charged if a driver's Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) exceeds 0.20% based on DUI breathalyzer or blood test; and "Aggravating factors existed: :

Felony or Aggravated factors are those that elevate a Misdemeanor DUI to a Felony DUI. They can include any or more of the following circumstances:

1. The driver was charged with Super Extreme DUI (BAC 0.20% or greater), while driving on a suspended, cancelled or revoked license;

2. The driver was charged with Super Extreme DUI (BAC 0.20% or greater); and it is their third or more DUI within 84 months of any two prior DUI offense convictions;

3. The driver was charged with Super Extreme DUI (BAC 0.20% or greater); while carrying a passenger age 15 or under, in the vehicle.

Felony Super Extreme DUI Penalties:

• Mandatory Minimum 120 days in prison; increases with 4 or more convictions;
• Driver's License Revocation 3 years;
• Mandatory alcohol education, counseling or treatment program;
• Minimum 30 hours Community Service;
• Ignition Interlock device for vehicle - current term requirements;
• Fines, court fees, prison assessments and fees exceeding $4,000.00 and higher.

Criminal Defense for Felony Super Extreme DUI charges Chandler AZ

All DUI charges in Arizona are serious. But Felony Super Extreme DUI charges can have long lasting adverse impacts for life. These serious charges require highly qualified legal representation. If you face Aggravated Super Extreme DUI charges, you should retain a good criminal defense lawyer with a vast amount of litigation experience. You will need a multi-facet defense. Many areas of defense can surround an aggravated DUI charge, including but not limited to constitutional rights violations; evidentiary issues; and mitigation of the charges and sentencing. Your chances of getting any favorable resolution will increase significantly with retention of a private practice criminal defense firm.

Continue reading "Felony Super Extreme DUI: Find out what aggravating factors will raise a Misdemeanor Super Extreme DUI to serious Felony charges " »