May 2012 Archives

May 24, 2012

Police announced that DUI Task Forces were set up on Wednesday May 23, 2012 and will run through Monday May 28, 2012 during the Memorial Day weekend. They are targeting Phoenix and East Valley Cities in Maricopa County have already made arrests for drivers impaired due to alcohol or drugs. A spokesperson for the Governor's Office of Highway Safety reported that 65 police agencies that will be participating in operations, which is strong enforcement.

Arizona has adopted the guidelines from National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). The guidelines set parameters on organization; administration; a conducting of the stops. This includes which cars to stop. According to NHTSA guidelines the vehicles which will be stopped are pre-determined by city officials or the police. Those vehicles must be chosen by a mathematical formula or sorts, for example, every 3rd vehicle or every other vehicle.

Locations of DUI Task Forces or Checkpoints

Generally the DUI Task forces are set up in areas where high traffic volume is expected. For example in the case of a summer holiday, the Police may set up check points in areas where people may be popular establishments where liquor is sold. This Memorial Day Weekend, some of the DUI Checkpoints include the following areas in Maricopa County:

• Phoenix - Metro and suburbs
• Areas near University of Phoenix Stadium
• Highway leading to Lake Pleasant in Arizona

How to avoid a DUI Task Force Stop

1) The best way to avoid a task force stop is not to drink and drive;

2) Whether you are plan to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is best to avoid a DUI stop if you can. Not many people enjoy the long lines, or the experience in general. You can check your local media website, police departments, County websites, and even social media outlets on the internet;
3) NHTSA also requires that signs be readily present and posted near the Checkpoint. Stay vigilant if you should approach one, and take another route if possible;

4) If you did not plan to drink and drive, but find you are in that position, call on a friend or family member or taxi to take you home;

5) If you know in advance you will be consuming liquor, make plans in advance for a designated driver, or alternative arrangements to get home safely. Judgment decisions are always more prudent when a person not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

DUI Lawyer Phoenix AZ

If you are arrested for DUI in Phoenix AZ, you should consult a criminal defense attorney to discuss your matter and defense options. Arizona has strict laws and hrsh penalties for DUI. You will need a legal advocate to represent you in court. There are defenses that can be used combat DUI charges. With experienced and effective legal representation you will increase your chances of getting a good outcome in your case

Continue reading "DUI - DWI Task Forces: Early Start-up and Strong Presence Phoenix and East Valley Cities " »

May 24, 2012

According to a 2012 report by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Binge drinking was responsible for 80,000 annual deaths. CDC reported that 1 in 6 adults in the USA engaged in it. Other studies reported that 1 in 4 of those were Underage 21 drinkers. Binge drinking is also the number one cause of DUI -DWI. But drunk driving is not the only adverse consequence of it. Binge drinking can result in serious medical consequences and result in death.

Binge Drinking Defined:

The Medical community defines "Binge drinking" as consuming 4 to 5 alcoholic beverages in a very short period of time. It is usually the result of a person drinking "shots" in a row of alcohol. This includes 12 ounce bottle or can of beer; 3 to 5 ounces of wine; 1 to 1.5 oz. of 80-86 proof distilled liquor. It results when any or any combination of these are consumed within a short time span, such as within an hour or even a few hours.

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is the result of the body's inability to metabolize a large quantity of liquor. Alcohol is processed by the body's liver. It takes about one hour for the body to process it, and in some cases, two hours. So the body is still trying to metabolize liquor well after a person has their last drink. Other factors that contribute to metabolic speed include food consumed; a person's height and weight; age; tolerance level; medical conditions, and drugs. It may cause seizures, hypothermia; vomiting; unconsciousness; dizziness and confusion; and even death. It can happen to someone drinking for the first time; occasionally; or frequently. Long term binge drinking may cause liver damage, kidney failure, harm memory, and cause other chronic and severe illnesses.

DUI - DWI Laws and Binge Drinking: Quick Facts

Binge drinking is highly prevalent among under Underage 21 drinkers. However, adults often engage in it as well, particularly around holidays, weekends, and other celebrations where liquor is served. If you plan to drive after drinking, in the least you should be aware of the following:

1) It is against the law to drive if you are "impaired to the slightest degree" due to drugs or alcohol (A.R.S. § 28-1381 A. (1);

2) It is against the law to drive with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or greater(A.R.S. § 28-1381 A. (2);

3) Alcohol levels continue to rise as well after a person has their last drink and may peak when you get behind the wheel of a car, or while driving;

4) Drinking 4 to 5 shots in a row could result in life threatening alcohol poisoning as well as DUI
5) Drinking one alcoholic beverage per hour, will reduce your chance of getting alcohol poisoning. However, it may not avoid your chances of being arrested for DUI.

DUI lawyer Tempe AZ

If you are arrested for DUI you should contact a DUI attorney to discuss your matter and defense options. Arizona penalties for DUI convictions are harsh. There may be defenses you are not aware of to help you get a favorable outcome in your case.

Continue reading "DUI and Binge Drinking: The number one cause of alcohol poisoning and drunk driving. " »

May 14, 2012

Clemency Defined

Clemency is a mitigation of penalties; a pardon; a discharge from prison; reduction of felony prison sentencing; a reprieve or a temporary delay or suspension of sentencing. It may be granted for the Governor of Arizona or the President of the United States. The effect does not eliminate the conviction, or mean that a person is found not-guilty of a crime. Rather, it forgives, frees or reduces punishment of the crime based on specified circumstances. These may include, but not limited to:

• The mandatory prison sentence was "clearly excessively" harsh for the crime; and/or
• A person convicted has clearly turned their life around, and is no longer a threat to society; and/or
• An inmate who has displayed exemplary behavior throughout their term; and who is genuinely remorseful of their actions;
• A person with a serious illness or injury, causing them to be in "imminent danger of death" or "persistent vegetative state" ;
• When an inmate is facing the death penalty and issued a warrant for execution (mandatory hearings apply in this case.

Arizona Board of Executive Clemency

The duties of the AZ Executive Clemency Board are to review applications; arrange and conduct hearings for eligible applicants who apply. They review the application, letters, and case materials to make recommendations to the Governor about a decision. If a majority vote is favorable they will submit it to the Governor. If granted, the State will move to reduce, mitigate, or free the applicant from previous penalties ordered by the court, resulting from the criminal conviction. If the decision is a reduction in penalties or prison term only, and the applicant was convicted of a felony, this action generally does not restore the civil right they lost with a felony crime conviction.

Clemency Laws and Proceedings in Phoenix AZ

The statutory laws governing the authority, policies, procedures, hearing requests, and recommendations by the Board are defined under the following citations:

ARS § 13-603
- Authorized disposition of offenders;
ARS § 31-402 - Powers of the Clemency Board;
ARS § 31-403 - Commutation;
ARS § 31-411 - Parole and discharge;
ARS § 38-431 - Formal public meetings

• An applicant may complete and sign an application of clemency adopted by the
Arizona Board of Executive Clemency.

• The application is made to the Governor, who then transmits it to the Chairperson of the AZ Board of Clemency. Applicants determined to eligible for a hearing by the AZ Department of Corrections, will be scheduled for Phase I or Phase II hearings which apply.

• If majority of the Members of the Board vote to recommend a commutation of sentence, they will submit a letter to the Governor validating the reasons for their favorable recommendation; letters, and other case materials.

• Subsequent Applications may be submitted according to time limitations statutes that apply following the final actions by the Board.

• The final decision is made to grant or deny clemency by the Governor of the State of Arizona, which may or may not be in agreement with the Recommendations of the Board.

Criminal Defense Firm for Clemency Proceeding in Phoenix AZ

If you feel that you or someone you know would be eligible to apply for clemency, you should consult your criminal defense attorney to discuss your matter, and reasons you feel you meet the critera to apply. If retained, they will guide you and assist you with the application, and judicial proceeding process.

Continue reading "Clemency Laws and Proceedings in Arizona " »

May 9, 2012

"Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle" Tempe AZ

In Arizona, under A.R.S. § 28-1381 and A.R.S. § 28-1382 a person a person may be charged with a DUI if they are impaired due to alcohol or drugs, and in "Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle (APC)". A Supreme Court decision Arizona v. Zaragoza actually made it easier to charged persons who are not actually driving with a DUI. It held that in determining if a person is in APC, a totality of circumstance supported by evidence of whether a person is currently or imminently in control of a vehicle; and whether or not that control presented a real danger to themselves or others. The Supreme Court stated that although the State of Arizona did not define APC, it could be considered on a case's own merits based on the totality of certain factors.

AZ DUI Laws: Determining Factors for Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle

Under A.R.S. § 28-1381 and A.R.S. § 28-1382: It is a violation of the law for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired, due intoxicating alcohol or drugs. Since AZ DUI Laws do not define this standard, alternative jury instructions were provided by the court in Arizona v. Zaragoza. The jury used these guidelines to conclude their verdict. These guidelines are currently being used. (List not all inclusive):

• Whether or not the vehicle was running;
• Whether or not the key was in the ignition;
• Whether or not the ignition was turned on;
• Where the key to the ignition was located;
• Where the driver was found in the vehicle by police;
• What position the driver was found in;
• Conscious state of the person, awake or sleeping;
• Whether or not the vehicle's headlights were on;
• Where the vehicle was found or stopped;
• Location of the vehicle;
• Whether it appeared that the driver pulled over voluntarily or not;
• Day or night, and time the person was found;
• Climate and Weather conditions;
• Whether the vehicle's heat or air conditioner was running; Windows down or up;
• Any other reasonable explanation that can be supported by the evidence for a reason the driver was found under the circumstances.

DUI Lawyer Tempe AZ

The penalties in Arizona are a harsh as the DUI laws are strict. All DUI convictions currently result in jail terms, ignition interlock devices on vehicles, alcohol/drug counseling and treatment. If you or someone you know were arrested for DUI charges, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case, and options for defense. There may be defenses you are not aware of that if used, may help you get a favorable outcome in your case; avoid jail time; and help you get your driving privileges reinstated.

Continue reading "DUI Charges: The effects of the Supreme Court's decision in "Arizona v. Zaragoza" made it easier for persons to be found guilty of DUI even if they were not driving." »

May 2, 2012

Under Phoenix AZ Assault Laws, an owner of a dog that or bites or attacks another person may be held responsible with criminal liability, and face serious felony assault charges. Charges of this nature will expose a person to prison terms and other harsh penalties. If you face any type of assault charges, you should consult a criminal attorney to discuss your matter. Below are laws that pertaining to assault and aggravated assault involving dog bites and "Vicious Animal" attacks, and criminal liability.

A.R.S. § 13- 1208. Assault; vicious animals:

A. Person (s) who intentionally or knowingly causes a dog to bite and inflict serious physical injury on a human being; or cause serious physical injury to another person is guilty of a Class 3 felony;

B. Person (s) who own a dog that the owner knows has a history or propensity to bite or cause injury or endangers another's safety; in absence of provocation; or has been declared a "vicious animal" by a court of law; that bites, inflicts physical injury; or attacks a human being while the dog is unrestrained, or considered at large is guilty of a Class 5 felony;

C. Person (s) who own or are responsible for a dog; that knows it' history or propensity to bite or cause injury to a human being, in absence of provocation; or declared "a vicious animal" by a court of law, who does not take reasonable care (ordinary and prudent care) to restrain the dog, or prohibit it from escaping outside of an enclosed structure, residence, yard or safely leashed, is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.

Exceptions to A.R.S. 13-1208 violations:

• This section does not apply to law enforcement dogs owned or used by police or law enforcement agencies used in the performance of police work, at their direction;

• It is a valid defense it a person is found to be justified in using physical force or deadly force in self-defense; or in the defense of a third person pursuant to Chapter 4 "Justification Laws" of A.R.S. Title 13 criminal laws.

Arizona Aggravated Assault: A.R.S. § 13-1204 (A) classification

If a person's dog is declared a vicious animal by a court of law, or has a known history of attacking or biting a human under A.R.S. § 13-1208 they may be charged with a felony aggravated assault under A.R.S. § 13-1204 (A) if the person knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally provoke, injure, insult, cause physical injury or harm to another person under the following circumstances: The animal attack or bite:

• Causes serious physical injury to another;

• Causes temporary but substantial disfigurement;, temporary but substantial loss; impairment of any bodily organ or body part; or fractures any body part;

• A victim is restrained; or does not have the capacity to resist the assault is substantially impaired;

Under any of the above situations, the owner, or person responsible for the dog may be charged Class 3 or Class 5 felony exposing them to prison terms of 2 to 15 years; victim restitution, fines, fees, and other penalties ordered by the court.

Criminal Defense for Aggravated (Felony) Assault in Phoenix AZ

If you face any assault charges in Arizona, you should consult a criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case and defense options. The State and prosecution egregiously pursues convictions for crimes involving victims. You will need a legal advocate who will you're your side of the story; protect your rights and defend your charges, and seek the best possible outcome in your case.

Continue reading "Aggravated Assault (Felony) Laws: Dog Bites and Vicious Animals attacks may result in Felony Assault charges for the owner " »