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Phoenix Criminal Defense Law Blog

Teen to be charged as adult for murder

Often minors who are arrested and charged with crimes are prosecuted as minors. However, in some cases in Arizona, prosecutors opt to charge a defendant as an adult regardless of age. Many factors may play into the decision to do this. This is actually the decision that has been made in a current case in Coconino County involving a defendant who is only 15 years old.

The young man faces a misdemeanor charge for attempted possession of pot as well as three felony charges. Two of the felony charges are for armed robbery and one is for murder in the first degree. The incident that led to these charges took place in early March at a recreational center in Sunnyville. It is alleged that the defendant met with two other people in a restroom in order to purchase drugs. During the meeting, the defendant is accused of killing one of the two other men by shooting him.

Arizona's definition of an accomplice

Have you or has someone you know been accused of being an accomlice to an alleged crime in Arizona? Do you fully understand what this term and these charges really even mean? If not, you are far from alone. Many people may not always readily understand how they could come to be accused of aiding and abetting a supposed crime.

The Arizona State Legislature explains that you might be charged with being an accomplice if law enforcement believes or can show that you took specific actions. These actions should be able to be connected to an intent on your part to facilitate or enable some type of criminal act. Your part as the alleged accomplice might include providing the person charged with the actual crime something that helped them commit the crime. For example, if you gave someone a weapon that was used to shoot another person, you may be considered an accomplice to the shooting. If you provided a vehicle used in a getaway, that could also lead to your accusation as an accomplice.

Man arrested for super extreme DUI

Arizona residents who have ever been arrested for suspected drunk driving know how scary the epxerience can be. From the moment that flashing lights are seen in a driver's rear-view mirror all the way through taking field sobriety tests and even being handcuffed and taken to a police station or jail, the whole process may raise many questions in a driver's mind. What will happen next? What penalties might be faced? These are just some such questions.

The penalties that people can face may vary based upon the specific type of driving under the influence charge. One of the things that influences this is the person's blood alcohol content level at the time of arrest. One taxi driver was recently arrested and charged with a super extreme DUI after his breath test returned an alcohol level of 0.21 percent. Reports suggest that a blood test may be relied upon for a final alcohol level. A BAC of 0.20 may result in the super extreme DUI charge but a BAC between 0.15 and 0.19 may be an extreme DUI.

Prescription drug addiction and abuse

In Arizona, a person may be arrested for and charged with a drug crime related to a substance that is not actually illegal. That is because prescription drug use is regulated and any use of these substances that goes against the regulations may lead to a criminal offense. 

As WebMD explains, the growth in the number of prescriptions written for opioids, for example, in the last 20 or so years could well be one reason contributing to the number of people who find themselves facing prescription drug criminal charges. This is because there are more of these drugs available and that opens up more opportunity for people to use them incorrectly.

Jury in second trial returns guilty verdict

Arizona residents who are accused of serious crimes may often find themselves going through more than one trial or set of legal steps on their defense paths. Many things may contribute to this being the case. For one man, it was a first trial that ended without the jury being able to come to a decision that led to a second trial being initiated.

The defendant in the case was actually previously a firefighter in Tucson. Reports indicate that he was charged with the murder of three women allegedly in connection with a custody dispute with his former wife over a daughter. The deaths all took place several years ago in the first few years of the 2000s. One of the women who died was the former wife of the defendant. Another was a friend of the family and the third was the defendant's former mother-in-law.

What are drug schedules?

Have you ever wondered why some drug offenses seem to be considered more serious than others in Arizona? There are many factors that may contribute to what type of offense a person could be charged with when drugs are involved. One of these is the nature of the drug itself.

As explained by the U.S. Department of Justice's Drug Enforcement Administration department, the law classified controlled substances in very specific categories. These categories are generally referred to as schedules. There are five different schedules of controlled substances. The differences between Schedule I, II, III, IV and V substances include the level of potential for abuse or dependence both physically and psychologically as well as any amount of recognized medical benefit associated with the drug.

Agent pleads guilty to charges

Arizona residents who hear about people being charged with criminal offenses may sometimes feel that such things only happen to certain groups of people. However, the reality is that anyone may face criminal charges for a variety of reasons and this even includes people in positions of power such as law enforcement officials themselves.

An example of this can be seen in a case involving a man who had been an agent with the border patrol service since 2001. Reports allege that in late 2015, he admitted to agreeing to transport some cocaine from the midwest to the border. He is said to have been stopped for a traffic issue and it was during the stop that the cocaine was discovered in his vehicle along with his official credentials and a weapon. Earlier that same year, the man was accused of obtaining data from a law enforcement database and selling it.

Impaired driving arrests over holidays

Arizona residents know that municipal and state law enforcement agencies are constantly on the lookout for what they believe may be impaired drivers on the roads. Certainly it is important to keep the public safe but equally important is protecting the rights of those accused of crimes.

When wondering how many people may face drunk driving or drugged driving charges in Arizona, it can be interesting to review data from holidays as these times may see an increase in enforcment and patrol. The Governor's Office of Highway Safety has released some numbers about arrests in Arizona for the recent St. Patrick's Day weekend. Statewide, 68 people were charged with drugged driving and 309 have been arrested and charged with misdemeanor drunk driving offenses.

Options for child support enforcement in Arizona

If you're an Arizona parent facing serious challenges regarding obtaining child support for your children after a divorce, you are not alone. In fact, numerous government website pages publicize photographs and information about parents deemed negligent in their child support obligations. These types of programs exist to help locate delinquent payors to bring them to justice when warranted.

Let's face it. It's difficult enough to make ends meet when raising children nowadays, even in the best of circumstances. Households divided by divorce often face increased challenges to provide even the most basic needs of food, clothing and shelter for their children. Children's financial stability often hinges upon child support payments from a non-custodial parent.

Manslaughter charges in Arizona

Have you ever wondered what might lead a person to be charged with manslaughter in Arizona or how a manslaughter charge might differ from a murder charge? You are likely not alone and if you or someone you know faces these charges, it will be helpful to understand them.

According to the Arizona Legislature, there are many situations that can lead to a manslaughter charge, which is a Class 2 felony in Arizona. All of the situations do involve the death of another person but beyond that they are all very different. Helping a person kill themselves by providing them a weapon or other physical means of doing so may lead a person to be charged with manslaughter.