Category Archives: Criminal

How is it Possible to have Drug-Related Cases Dismissed?

What are Some Possible Situations Where a Drug Case Can Be Dismissed? It may seem like a hopeless case to some, but there are several ways to have drug-related cases dismissed. In this article, you will learn about nine of the top strategies. Question the Evidence and how it was Obtained Prove that the officer didn’t have probable cause to search or arrest you. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t say no when an officer says that he/she needs to search for drugs in your person, vehicle, or home. If the officer continued after you refused, any evidence found would not be accepted in court. Prove that You’re not Involved You might have been in possession of drugs because of external circumstances and not because you really own them. For example, someone may have placed drugs in your bag by mistake, or you may have borrowed a relative’s car without knowing he had bags of marijuana in it. You must provide evidence that you are not involved with the crime. A lawyer can help you gather proof and present it convincingly in court. Prove that a Substance is Not an Illicit Drug Other people may mistake certain things to be drugs. The following things have been mistaken for drugs before: Cat litter Baking soda Dough Donut glaze Candies Herbs and spices You can have charges dropped by sending the substance to a lab so that they can analyze it. At the very least, this will delay the trial as the prosecutor needs to wait until the lab technician is available. Confront the Accuser Police will try to keep their informants secret. But, under the Sixth Amendment, you have the right to confront the person who is accusing you. The attorney may give you a better deal to avoid putting the informant into the public eye. You can also gain sympathy when the informant is confidential. People may react negatively when they learn that the accuser is someone who is unknown and may have sinister motives. Defend Against Entrapment Entrapment is when a person is pressured to do something that he/she would not do otherwise. This strategy can be used if an undercover agent teamed up with an informant and pressured somebody, leading that person into getting caught doing something he/she wouldn’t normally do. Request Amendment Request that the charge be amended before the case has been resolved. This can be done with some negotiation with the state attorney. You have to act fast for this, so you need to contact a clever lawyer as soon as you can. Offer Substantial Assistance Offering something that will help law enforcement may convince them to decrease the penalties they will give you. For example, you can give valuable information to the detective that will help them catch drug dealers. Join the Deferred Prosecution Program Some states offer deferred prosecution programs for certain people. Following the instructions for a given period can result in the dropping of charges. Receive Drug Treatments You can … Continue reading

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Arizona Misdemeanor: Understanding Its Classes and Penalties

A misdemeanor charge is technically considered a “light” offense compared to a felony. However, no matter how light or insignificant you may think the offense is, a misdemeanor is still a crime that can call for serious penalties. In the US, a misdemeanor is a non-indictable criminal offense. This means that the offender cannot be detained for nearly as long as they could with an indictable offense. However, the offender can still face jail time for up to a maximum of 6 months with years of probation. Here’s what you need to learn about misdemeanors and how they’re treated in Arizona:     Classes of Misdemeanor in Arizona Misdemeanors are often referred to as petty or disorderly offenses. In Arizona, misdemeanor offenses fall under the following classifications: Class 1 Misdemeanor Class 1 Misdemeanors are considered the most serious level of misdemeanor. These offenses include: Assault resulting in injury Domestic violence Possession of marijuana and other drugs DUI (Driving Under Influence) Driving on a suspended license Prostitution Shoplifting or theft Disorderly conduct and criminal damage   Class 2 Misdemeanors are offenses that cause less serious impact or damage: Assault with threats of injury Criminal trespassing (second degree) Criminal damage Reckless driving   Class 3 Misdemeanors are the least severe disorderly offenses: Simple assault Criminal trespassing (third degree) Criminal speeding Loitering Failure to appear in court   Penalties for Misdemeanors in Arizona The severity of the penalty will depend on the classification of the misdemeanor charge, and the specific type of offense committed. In Arizona, the sentence and penalties for the different classes of misdemeanor normally follow this guideline: Class 1 Misdemeanor Up to 6 months of jail time in local or county prison Up to $2,500 in fines and surcharges Up to 5 years of probation   Class 2 Misdemeanor Up to 4 months of jail time in local or county prison Up to $750 in fines and surcharges Up to 2 years of probation   Class 3 Misdemeanor Up to 1 month of jail time in local or county prison Up to $500 in fines and surcharges Up to 1 year of probation Special Conditions for Misdemeanors in Arizona Sometimes, a person who commits a misdemeanor can be charged with a more serious offense, such as a felony or a higher level of misdemeanor. This happens when certain “special” conditions or complexities are met. For example, an offender who was previously charged with two Class 1 misdemeanors and has committed another Class 1 misdemeanor can be charged with a felony offense due to the increased gravity of the offenses. Another example is when an offender who previously committed a Class 2 misdemeanor, commits another misdemeanor. This will more likely lead to a Class 1 sentence and penalty, depending on the gravity of the offense. The possession of illegal drugs may also call for additional penalties such as a higher fine or longer jail time. DUI charges may also be raised to a felony due to aggravating circumstances. How to Get … Continue reading

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Aggravated Assault Charges Defense in Arizona

Arizona prosecutors file thousands of criminal cases every year. A lot of these cases involve assault allegations. An assault charge in Arizona may either be a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the particular circumstances of the charge. Elements of Assault and Aggravated Assault The state recognizes 2 kinds of assault that don’t involve sexual elements. These are assault and aggravated assault. There are two things the prosecutor must establish to prove a crime of assault or aggravated assault: that the defendant committed the act (actus reus in Latin), and that he performed it with the necessary mind-set (mens rea). Actus reus refers to the physical action constituting a crime element. In an assault case, for instance, it may be a blow with a fist, pulling the trigger of a gun, or a stabbing motion. But, for the defendant to be guilty of the crime, the prosecution must first show that the defendant committed the crime with a guilty mind. Assault Except for very few situations, Arizona crimes mandate that the prosecution establish that the defendant committed the act with a certain degree of intent, knowledge, or recklessness. For instance, Arizona assault laws say that a person can be guilty of assault if he knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly caused another person to suffer a form of physical injury. A defendant who bumps into another person by accident will therefore not be guilty of assault. This is because while the other person may have sustained an injury because of the actions of the defendant, the latter did not act knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly. The criminal laws of Arizona don’t punish negligent behavior in general. Thus, even if the defendant proclaims his negligence in bumping into the victim, he would still not be found guilty of the charge. Aggravated Assault An aggravated assault in Arizona is similar to an assault charge, but with an additional proof supporting one or more specific facts. The following can elevate a criminal charge from assault to aggravated assault: The complainant sustained serious physical injury. There was use of a deadly weapon, which can be a felony. The defendant performed the alleged assault after gaining entry into the victim’s home with the intention to assault them. The defendant is at least 18 years old, and the alleged crime was performed against a person who is under 15 years old. The alleged crime was performed against a protected member of a class such as a prosecutor, police officer, teacher, or firefighter. Are You or Any of Your Loved Ones Facing an Assault Charge in Arizona? If you or a loved one has been arrested for the crime of assault in Arizona, it is best to get in touch with a reputable attorney right away. This way, your rights as a defendant will be safeguarded. Your lawyer can also help you strategize your defense and get the best possible result for your case. Contact the Law Offices of Gary L Rohlwing for help. Atty. Rohlwing has successfully defended hundreds … Continue reading

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Arizona Supreme Court Changes Duress Defense

The Arizona Supreme Court recently changed the defense of duress in criminal cases.  The following is from “AZ Supreme Court Changes Criminal Defense of Duress” by Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services, August 24, 2018: https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2018/08/24/az-supreme-court-changes-criminal-defense-of-duress/ A woman sentenced to 20 years in prison because of her role in keeping her three daughters locked up for three months in squalid conditions has had her case sent back to Pima County Superior Court Judge Paul Tang for a new trial. Sophie Richter wanted to present evidence that she acted under duress because she was too scared of her husband, the girls’ stepfather, to help them.  Her evidence would have included a doctor’s testimony that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder due to her husband’s abuse and photographs of “numerous scars” she said were inflicted by him. Judge Tang refused to allow her to use duress as a defense because she was essentially claiming “battered woman syndrome,” where she would escape punishment by claiming she was so abused that she lacked the mental capacity to know she was committing a crime.  That defense is not allowed in Arizona. Chief Justice Scott Bales noted that her claims were more specific than that: “For example, he said she believed that if she resisted she would either be seriously harmed or killed, or that her children would as well. And she submitted evidence of wounds and blood on her body that police documented on the day of her arrest. Bales said that evidence, if accepted by a jury, could show she was constantly in fear, providing a basis for her to argue she had no choice but to go along with what her husband demanded.” Bales said she had a story to tell that could convince a jury she acted under duress: “She sought to argue that her intentional illegal conduct was justified because she was compelled to abuse her children by the threat or use of immediate physical force against her or her children,” he wrote. More to the point, he said that threat need not be something that occurred at precisely the same time Sophia was committing the crime. “An ongoing threat of harm can be sufficiently immediate and present for purposes of a duress defense even when the threat precedes the illegal conduct by several days,” he said. Bales acknowledged that the threat needs to be more than “vague or undetailed.” But the justice said there was enough evidence to suggest she was under constant fear. “She stated that even when she went grocery shopping, she was accompanied by Fernando’s mother,” he noted, and Sophia was required to keep her cell phone on at all times “in order that he could tell her what was going on.” Then there were the wounds and blood police found. And Bales said Sophia would have presented evidence that when she stood up to Fernando on a family trip he threw her out of the hotel room by her hair. Bales said, though, that for Sophia to … Continue reading

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Types of Criminal Lawyers

First of all, know that there is a difference between lawyers and attorneys. Anyone who finished law school can be referred to a lawyer, even if they haven’t passed the bar. On the other hand, those who have passed the bar are called attorneys but can be called as lawyers as well. Lawyers are limited in what they can do. For starters, they cannot represent anyone in court or engage in any legal work. There are multiple specializations in law. A few of them are business, constitutional, environmental, first amendment, healthcare, patent, and criminal law. Criminal law deals with prosecuting and defending those people who have committed, or are accused of committing, a crime. Mostly, you can classify criminal lawyers into three broad categories: public attorneys, private attorneys, and prosecutors. In any case, it’s important to understand which type of criminal lawyer is which in order to determine what kind of lawyer you need for your case. Public Attorneys The most common type of lawyer you will encounter are public attorneys. Almost every country in the world has a public defender system. It means that every person facing charges, especially ones who can’t afford to hire a lawyer, has the right to an attorney provided by the government. Public attorneys have a bad reputation of being incompetent and unmotivated. It’s true that their performance compared to lawyers from private firms are often less stellar. However, it’s not that they are inept. The main reason is that they often have multiple clients to handle. Also, they are not allowed to turn down a client — not to mention that they are largely underpaid by the state. Panel Attorneys These are private lawyers that are hired by the government to satisfy the increasing demand for public lawyers. The government pays their fees and provides them to citizens who don’t have an assigned lawyer yet. In some cases, they are provided when the public lawyer assigned needs assistance. The state or jurisdiction you live in may or may not supplement their public lawyers with panel attorneys. US Attorneys Do not confuse public lawyers and US attorneys. Public lawyers in the United States work on local- and state-level cases, while US attorneys generally work on federal cases. Because they work on federal cases, US attorneys primarily deal with criminals who have broken federal laws. District Attorneys These attorneys are often referred to as prosecutors and they mostly handle criminal cases. Their role ranges from processing accusations to going to trial. Most district attorneys are provided with assistant attorneys to help with information gathering and other tasks requiring legwork. Private Attorneys It’s heartbreaking to admit that getting private attorneys instead of public lawyers is the better choice for criminal cases. The biggest difference between private attorneys and public lawyers is time. Private criminal lawyers on average have two to three active cases per month, though the number of cases a private lawyer accepts may vary wildly depending on their specialization. The American Bar Association has … Continue reading

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