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Causes of Arizona’s High Incarceration Rates

In December 2016, The American Friends Service Committee published a report entitled A New Public Safety Framework for Arizona:  Charting a Path Forward.  The Report gave an overview of the Arizona sentencing laws that led to high rates of incarceration compared to other states. One cause is mandatory sentencing according to A.R.S. § 13-702 through 707.  These laws have shifted the power of discretion in determining sentences from judges to prosecutors: “The incentive is for prosecutors to stack as many charges as possible against the defendant in order to convince them to accept a plea to a lesser charge rather than take their case to trial. Trials are lengthy and expensive. Plea bargains are the “grease in the wheels” of the criminal justice system, ensuring that cases are adjudicated quickly. By bringing a high number of charges against a defendant, the prosecutor can credibly say that if the person were to take their case to trial and lose, they would be facing an extremely long sentence. Thus, the vast majority take the plea that is offered to them. In 2010, plea bargains accounted for 95.6 percent of all felony criminal convictions in Maricopa County; only 1.6 percent of felony criminal cases filed went to trial, according to court records.42 “Sentencing is nearly all done by plea bargaining instead of before a judge in open court,” said Pima County Public Defender Robert Hirsh, “The deal is always driven by the risk of a higher sentence.” Visit the original PDF here. Another cause is harsh sentences for drug offenses.  The Report noted: “In general, Arizona applies a much longer sentence for lower amounts of both possession and sales. For example, to qualify for a charge of possession for sale of marijuana, an individual would have to have 50lbs of the substance in Texas and 100lbs in Nevada. But possession of just 4lbs in Arizona is enough to charge for this category of “drug sales,” and can result in a minimum sentence of 4 years in prison. Yet, in Nevada, that same charge—triggered by having 25 times more marijuana— would earn the person just one year of prison time. Arizona’s drug laws treat the lowest-level sellers, most of whom are addicts, like major players in the drug market. Many drug offenses, including possession with intent to sell, are Class 2 felonies regardless of the circumstances. This is just one felony class level below first-degree murder. Because of this, non-violent addict-sellers can get prison terms longer than some violent offenders.” First seen published on https://afscarizona.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/a-new-public-safety-framework-for-arizona-december-2016.pdf Arizona sentencing laws are rigid and harsh. You need a defense attorney with decades of experience in negotiating favorable plea agreements for clients in order to shift the balance of power away from the prosecutors.   Check out the practice areas from Gary L. Rohlwing Attorney At Law

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Know Your DUI Attorney Before You Appoint Them

DUI or drug under the influence is one of the most severe offenses. This kind of offense is considered to be very grave since the sheer mistake of the convicted person is typically the root cause of the offense. The careless and ignorant attitude of the convict may result in the bodily injury of another person. The action taken against the accused in such cases is very stringent. It, therefore, becomes highly crucial to appoint a good lawyer. A DUI attorney with good experience in this field should be considered for this purpose. The job of the lawyer is to minimize the verdict severity or try to achieve a judgment that is in your favor. Before you hire the lawyer ensure you do a good check of work history. While doing so, you are likely to come across various cases solved by the lawyer in the past. It is important to look for the cases that may be similar to yours. By exploring through the details of the past cases of the lawyer, it is easy to evaluate the success ratio. Directories online or offline can provide information about professional DUI lawyers. A thorough online research can provide further details about the lawyer. Although appointing a good lawyer is absolutely unavoidable for the convict, it is important to know that a legal representative in such cases turn out to be really heavy on the pockets. While going through the background, past, reputation and details about the lawyers, it is advisable to glance at the fees and the procedure of the payment as well. The graveness and complexity of the case also influence the fees. A trial against the convict is unquestionably a huge financial and psychological blow. Therefore, it is always better to be primed for the things that are likely to follow. The pinch of the financial blow is not restricted to the fees quoted by the legal representative. The coin has another side as well. The convict may need to pay damage compensation if the charges include any damages. The penalty for the case may differ based upon the intensity of the DUI offense. Amongst the bevy of legal representatives, DUI Lawyer has to be chosen very carefully. It is essential that the lawyer must possess the necessary qualification and skills to handle the legal requirements with efficiency. It is not only important for the lawyer to have sound legal knowledge but also be able to bring it to practice by planning a powerful strategy. Therefore, the qualification as well as a past record of the lawyer in handling similar cases must be checked. A proficient legal representative for the DUI cases will be able to come up with an effective policy. This is possible when the criminal DUI attorney category has the eye to observe the minutest of the details. Analyzing and scrutinizing the details and presenting the evidence in favor of the accused are major tasks of the lawyer. Ultimately, it is the attorney who can … Continue reading

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Law Offices of Gary R Rohlwing

At the law offices of Gary Rohlwing, I am a criminal defense attorney serving clients all across Arizona. If you are in need of a DUI attorney or a criminal lawyer and you want a free consultation so you can understand your rights, give us a call. I am a former prosecutor for Phoenix and Peoria, Az and have handled over 3000 cases personally. When looking for an experienced attorney in criminal defense, you need to give me a call. You will also find other valuable information on my blog as well and many articles.

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