Category Archives: Criminal

Low or No Cost Legal and Mental Health Services

Finding low or no cost legal and mental health services in the Phoenix metro area can be very frustrating when you make too much money to qualify for Community Legal Services and Arizona Medicaid (AHCCCS). Sliding fee scales for legal and mental health services are meaningless when they tell you that your “affordable” fee will be $70.00 per session! Listed below are low or no cost legal and mental health services that are currently accepting clients/patients, provide real help, and charge low fees (typically $12.00 or less per session) regardless of income.   Arizona Justice Center provides free legal counseling, marriage and family counseling, and addiction counseling. Call them at (623) 847 – 2772, e-mail them at AzJusticeCenter@gmail.com or visit their website at www.azjusticecenter.org.   Arizona Legal Center helps answer a vital question: “Do I have a case?” Here is how they describe their free legal services on their website:   “The lawyers at the Legal Triage Program will vet your case for possible claims, defenses, and remedies, then identify possible resolutions or strategic options and provide appropriate referrals and resources for legal or other assistance in the community to help with matters that are found to be valid and viable.” Originally seen published on http://www.arizonalegalcenter.org/services.html   The Arizona State University Counselor Training Center provides low cost mental health therapy for people residing in the Phoenix metro area. Here is a description of their services from their online brochure: “Counseling services are tailored to the concerns presented by the client, which might include but are not limited to: depression anxiety personal problems relationships family problems career counseling life transitions Clients are assigned to a counselor and scheduled for standing one-hour weekly appointments for the duration of the semester. Depending on when a client initiates services, he or she could receive up to 12 weeks of services. Counselors and clients work collaboratively to determine whether additional counseling is needed at the end of the semester.” Call them at (480) 965 – 5067, e-mail them at ctc@asu.edu or visit their website at www.cis.asu.edu/ctc.   Maricopa Integrated Health Care Systems runs the Desert Vista Outpatient Clinic which accepts patients based on medical need. Here is how they describe their services on their website: “The Desert Vista Outpatient Clinic provides comprehensive assessment and treatment to individuals experiencing difficulties related to psychiatric, psychological or emotional problems. We treat both adults and children in the Desert Vista Outpatient Clinic. Our services include intensive individual psychotherapy, group therapy, family therapy and medication management (if applicable). The clinic does not offer substance abuse treatment.”   The free or low cost legal services above do not handle criminal cases. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, you need an experienced attorney who has affordable rates. Attorney Gary Rohlwing has over thirty years experience and charges reasonable rates. Call him today for a free consultation.  

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Arizona Law on Bail

Article 2, §22(A) of the Arizona Constitution states: All persons charged with crime shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except: For capital offenses, sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor under fifteen years of age or molestation of a child under fifteen years of age when the proof is evident or the presumption great. For felony offenses committed when the person charged is already admitted to bail on a separate felony charge and where the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the present charge. Originally seen published on http://www.azleg.gov/const/2/22.htm   The Arizona Court of Appeals has held that defendants held pursuant to Art. 2, §22(A) are entitled to a bail hearing according to Simpson v. Owens, 207 Ariz. 261, 85 P.3d 478 (App. 2004). The hearing must have the following procedural safeguards: (1) the right to counsel; (2) the opportunity to testify and present information; (3) the opportunity to cross-examine opposing witnesses; (4) the statutory factors governing the preventive-detention decision-making process; (5) a requirement of findings of fact and a statement of reasons for the decision; and (6) a requirement of proof by clear and convincing evidence. See Id., 207 Ariz. 261, 274, 85 P.3d 478, 491. On February 9, 2017, the Supreme Court of Arizona held that Article 2 section 22(A)(1) of the Arizona Constitution and A.R.S. § 13-3961(A)(2)-(4) were unconstitutional because they violated the 14th Amendment due process guarantee in Simpson v. Miller, CR-16-0227-PR (¶ 2). The Court found that such defendants are instead subject to A.R.S. § 13-3961(D): “Because Martinez is charged with a felony, he would be subject to A.R.S. § 13-3961(D), which allows the court to deny bail on the state’s motion if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence following a hearing that (1) “the person charged poses a substantial danger to another person or the community,” (2) “no condition or combination of conditions of release may be imposed that will reasonably assure the safety of the other person or the community,” and (3) “the proof is evident or the presumption great that the person committed the offense.” This procedure is essentially the same as the one upheld in Salerno. Under this provision, the state may deploy the entire range of permissible conditions of release to ensure community safety, including GPS monitoring. The court may deny bail altogether for defendants for whom such conditions are inadequate, which may well include many or most defendants accused of sexual conduct with a minor under age fifteen. Under our reading of Salerno, the state may deny bail categorically for crimes that inherently demonstrate future dangerousness, when the proof is evident or presumption great that the defendant committed the crime. What it may not do, consistent with due process, is deny bail categorically for those accused of crimes that do not inherently predict future dangerousness. The State urges that we should not hold the challenged provisions unconstitutional on their face because they may not be unconstitutional in all instances. See, e.g., Salerno, 481 U.S. at 751. The State, however, is … Continue reading

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Arizona State Criminal Courts Different Legal Articles

Article VI § 1 of the Arizona Constitution provides that Arizona’s integrated judicial department consists of “a supreme court, such intermediate appellate courts as may be provided by law, a superior court, such courts inferior to the superior court as may be provided by law, and justice courts.” Arizona state criminal courts are city courts, justice courts, superior courts, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. Arizona city courts hear misdemeanor and petty offense cases that occur within their city or town limits such as DUI, shoplifting, and domestic violence. Some city courts do not require that city court judges be attorneys. Arizona justice courts hear misdemeanor and criminal traffic cases that occur on the freeways, county land, or state land. There are 26 justice courts in Maricopa County. Arizona law allows individuals who are not attorneys to be elected as justice court judges. Arizona superior courts hear felony cases that occur in their particular county and misdemeanor cases that are otherwise not provided for by law according to Article VI § 14(4) of the Arizona Constitution. All superior court judges must be attorneys. Article VI §9 of the Arizona Constitution specifies that the jurisdiction, powers, duties and composition of the Court of Appeals shall be as provided by law. Arizona has two divisions of the Court of Appeals. Division One of the Court of Appeals hears appeals from cases originating in Maricopa County, Coconino County, Apache County, Yavapai County, Mohave County, La Paz County, Navajo County, and Yuma County while Division Two hears appeals from cases originating in Cochise, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal and Santa Cruz counties. A.R.S. § 12-120.21(A)(1) states that the Court of Appeals has appellate jurisdiction in all criminal actions except crimes for which a sentence of death has actually been imposed. A.R.S. § 13-4033(B) provides that a defendant may not appeal from a judgment or sentence that is entered pursuant to a plea agreement or an admission to a probation violation. Article VI § 5(3) states that the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction in all criminal actions except those originating in courts not of record unless the action involves the validity of a tax, impost, assessment, toll, statute or municipal ordinance. City courts and justice courts are considered courts not of record so any appeal has to challenge the validity of the statute or municipal ordinance under which the defendant was prosecuted. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you through the criminal proceedings in the Arizona state criminal court system. Attorney Gary Rohlwing has over three decades of experience in the Arizona state criminal court system. Call him today for a free consultation.   Law Offices of Gary L Rohlwing 7112 N 55th Ave Glendale, AZ 85301 (623) 937-1692 http://www.criminal-duiattorney.com/ http://www.criminal-duiattorney.com/blog/

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Dealing with Stress When Your Charges Are Pending

Having pending criminal charges is extremely stressful. Here are some practical ways to deal with the stress: Tell someone who believes in you about your charges. For most people, that is a spouse or significant other. A family member or friend is an excellent substitute if you don’t have a spouse or significant other. You will need this person for invaluable emotional support in the days ahead. Explore other ways to obtain money. You will probably need more money to pay your attorney, fines, and fees. Other ways to make money could include taking on extra work, getting a second job, obtaining a home equity line of credit, or signing up for contract work through guru.com. Brainstorm the potential problems a criminal conviction can cause you and try to solve them now. For example, you may need someone to take temporary custody of your child while you are incarcerated. You should reach out to family members now to solve this problem instead of waiting until after you are sentenced. Continue living your life without committing any more crimes. Don’t put your life on hold just because your criminal charges are pending. Plan fun events that you can enjoy and participate in now. These fun events should not involve drinking too much, using drugs, excessive spending, or any other activity that isn’t legal or moral. Eliminate unnecessary spending. Unnecessary spending causes additional stress that you don’t need. Some examples are cable TV, designer clothes, the latest iphone, gym membership, Starbucks coffee, buying DVDs, and eating out all the time. Brainstorm how to get your needs and wants met for little or no money. For example, you need and want to keep watching new DVD movies but have decided it’s unnecessary to keep buying them. Apply for a public library card and start checking them out for free instead. Hire an experienced defense attorney. His experience and compassion can relieve a great deal of stress. The Law Offices of Gary L. Rohlwing has over three decades of experience. Call him today for a free consultation. Learn more about Gary’s practice areas by visiting http://www.criminal-duiattorney.com/practice-areas.html You may have noticed a common theme: these tips all require you to do something positive instead of sitting around worrying and feeling sorry for yourself. Doing something positive helps distract you from your stress. Many times, it will even relieve your stress. Try it!

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ACLU Challenges Constitutionality of Arizona Victims’ Rights Law

On May 8, 2017, ACLU of Arizona filed a complaint in federal district court challenging the constitutionality of A.R.S. § 13-4433(B) and (C) known as the Arizona Victims’ Rights Law. The information below comes from the complaint.   A.R.S. § 13-4401(19) defines “victim”: “Victim” means a person against whom the criminal offense has been committed, including a minor, or if the person is killed or incapacitated, the person’s spouse, parent, child, grandparent, or sibling, any other person related to the person by consanguinity or affinity to the second degree or any other lawful representative of the person, except if the person or the person’s spouse, parent, child, grandparent, sibling, or other person related to the person by consanguinity or affinity to the second degree or other lawful representative is in custody for an offense or is the accused.” Originally found on http://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/04401.htm   A.R.S. § 13-4433(B) states: “The defendant, the defendant’s attorney or an agent of the defendant shall only initiate contact with the victim through the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor’s office shall promptly inform the victim of the defendant’s request for an interview and shall advise the victim of the victim’s right to refuse the interview.”   A.R.S. § 13-4433(C) states: “The prosecutor shall not be required to forward any correspondence from the defendant, the defendant’s attorney or an agent of the defendant to the victim or the victim’s representative.” Read all victim’s rights at http://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/04433.htm These laws are unique to Arizona. While the goal of protecting victims from potential defense harassment and intimidation is admirable, the laws actually prevent defense attorneys from interviewing victims since few victims consent to defense interviews once the prosecutor informs them that they have the right to refuse them. Many crimes pit the defendant’s credibility against the victim’s; sex offenses are serious crimes where it’s often the defendant’s word against the victim’s. The laws force defense attorneys to literally interview the victims when they cross-examine them at trial. The United States Supreme Court has deemed it imperative that a defense attorney in a capital case at the very least reach out and attempt to make contact with all witnesses in the case in Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510 (2003). As the ACLU argued in the complaint: “40. In a capital case, the defense team’s duty to investigate often includes making overtures to the family of the deceased in an effort to understand whether they desire the death penalty for the perpetrator or would be satisfied with a lesser sentence, such as life imprisonment without parole. Victim impact testimony is often critical to the jury’s determination of the appropriate sentence in a capital case and if defense counsel can persuade the victim’s family not to desire the death penalty, it can literally save the life of a defendant. In addition, prosecutors will sometimes acquiesce to the wishes of the victim’s family and drop their demand for death. A.R.S. § 13-4433(B) prevents the defense team from engaging in these efforts. Read more at http://tucson.com/news/local/crime/criminal-defense-attorneys-seek-changes-to-arizona-s-victims-bill/article_fe1e4a59-51b8-5d4f-800a-391fc00abc30.html … Continue reading

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