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Phoenix Criminal Defense Law Blog

Can a person be arrested for DUI after one drink?

If you limit yourself to one or two alcoholic drinks because you are planning to drive home in Maricopa County, Arizona, you may want to reconsider. According to Arizona DUI law, driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent is illegal. However, even if you have a much lower BAC, you could still be arrested for driving under the influence if the arresting officer can show that you are even slightly impaired, and one drink could affect you more than you realize.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on the level of impairment that coincides with BAC percentage. At .02 percent, you might feel relaxed and experience a loss of ability to track moving targets. Approximately three alcoholic drinks cause a loss of coordination, and this amount also affects your ability to steer or respond to emergencies. The type of alcohol consumed may also play a role in how fast impairment occurs. Hard liquors have a higher concentration of alcohol compared with something like a beer or a brewed ale.

What are your rights at Arizona DUI checkpoints?

Law enforcement agencies throughout Maricopa County often conduct sobriety checkpoints. Like others who find themselves at such stops, you may be unsure of your rights. As a result, you could incriminate yourself. Therefore, it is important for you to understand your options to help protect yourself from an unwarranted arrest.

When stopped at a DUI checkpoint, the first thing law enforcement typically does is approach your vehicle to ask you some questions. Although you may feel obligated to respond, doing so could provide the authorities with cause to investigate further, or to place you under arrest. You have the right, however, not to speak with law enforcement. Instead, you could opt to give the authorities a card stating you want to exercise your constitutional rights. This includes your right to consult with an attorney before answering any questions and your right to be on your way unless you are being arrested.

Arizona drug charges: Possession of a dangerous drug

Drug offenses are considered serious offenses in the state of Arizona, and are often aggressively prosecuted. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, there were more than 25,000 drug possession arrests in 2012 alone. Those who are found in possession of dangerous drugs, or other illegal substances, could face serious penalties if they are convicted.

For legal purposes in the state of Arizona, illegal drugs are generally separated into three categories – dangerous drugs, narcotics and marijuana. Dangerous drugs are illegal substances other than marijuana and prescription narcotics. This includes methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, PCP and LSD. Additionally, prescription medications used as pain medication or as antidepressants may also be considered dangerous drugs.

Can you be arrested for DUI the day after drinking in Arizona?

Like many people in Maricopa County who go out drinking, you may have a designated driver, call a taxi or use another driving service to get home. You may be unaware, however, that you could be stopped, arrested and charged the next morning. Commonly known as morning after DUIs, these types of arrests often come as a surprise.

When you consume alcoholic beverages, your blood alcohol content level continues rising, even after you have stopped drinking. In fact, the AAA DUI Justice Link points out that your BAC level may not be at its peak for 30 minutes, or more, after you have ceased consuming alcoholic beverages. Therefore, you may actually be more intoxicated after you have stopped drinking than you were while you were consuming alcohol. As such, you may feel that you are safe to get behind the wheel after some time has passed or you have rested. Technically, however, you could still have a BAC level that exceeds the legal limit.

Barricade situation involving gun leads to arrest for Phoenix man

People in Maricopa County, and throughout Arizona, often believe they may keep guns in their homes for their own personal safety. However, even in the privacy of their own home, some situations involving weapons may lead to serious criminal charges. Being convicted of weapons crimes often carries severe penalties, which may have a serious impact on their futures.

A man was charged with a weapons violation and aggravated assault, among other charges, after a recent incident at his Phoenix apartment. According to reports, the man had a party at his home and some friends refused to leave. News reports did not disclose what led up to the incident and the man deciding he wanted the people to leave. He allegedly pointed his weapon at the friends and threatened them. It is unknown to the public at this time what type of weapon the man had or if he was a prohibited possessor.

What do judges consider during sentencing for felony offenses?

If you are convicted of a felony offense in Maricopa County, you could face a wide range of penalties. The decision regarding the penalties you will face generally falls to the judge who oversaw your case. At The Baker Law Firm, LLC, people frequently ask us about how sentences are determined. In this post, then, we will discuss what factors are considered when deciding the type and severity of penalties you will face.

Under Arizona state law, there are a number of factors, which the court must consider when determining the sentence for felony convictions, such as murder, assault and robbery. These include the following:

  •        Whether serious physical harm was inflicted or threatened in the commission of the offense
  •        If property was damaged or taken, and the value of that property
  •        Whether there was an accomplice involved
  •        If the offense was committed in an especially cruel, depraved or heinous manner
  •        If the victim, or victim’s family as a result of his or her death, suffered emotional, financial or physical injury
  •        Whether the offense was committed out of malice toward the victim due to his or her race, religion, sex or other factors

Medical marijuana complicates probable cause in Arizona searches

Law enforcement must have probable cause for a search according to the Fourth Amendment. In the past, if an Arizona police officer smelled marijuana, a search was considered permissible. The fact that marijuana possession is against the law makes determining immunity granted by the medical marijuana law complex when it comes to the viability of law enforcement searches and citizens’ rights to privacy.

Two recent apparently conflicting rulings by the Arizona Court of Appeals have been defended by judges as dealing with different situations. One search occurred after an officer smelled marijuana and obtained a search warrant for a building. The panel of judges ruled in that case that the scent of marijuana is not sufficient proof that there is criminal activity.

An overview of sexual assault charges in the state of Arizona

Often, having sexual contact is a way for people to express their feelings for their partners. In some cases, however, having sexual contact with a partner could lead to you facing serious criminal charges. At The Baker Law Firm, LLC, we are often asked about sexual assault charges. In this post, we will discuss what constitutes sexual assault in the state of Arizona, as well as the consequences you could face if convicted of this offense.

Under Arizona state law, intentionally engaging in sexual contact with someone who did not give his or her consent is considered sexual assault. This includes sexual intercourse, as well as oral sexual contact. The contact does not necessarily have to involve threats of harm or violence to constitute this type of criminal offense.

Who is prohibited from owning and carrying firearms in Arizona?

Here in Arizona, it sometimes seems that everyone has a firearm. While the state’s gun laws are rather liberal compared to the rest of the country, you may be prohibited from owning a firearm under certain circumstances. If you are a prohibited possessor in the state, you could face serious penalties for having or carrying a firearm.

Arizona state law defines those who cannot legally own or carry firearms. While imprisoned at a detention or correctional facility, you are banned from possessing a gun. Likewise, you cannot have a gun while serving probation or out on parole for a domestic violence or other felony offense conviction. Unless you have had your privileges restored, you cannot own or carry a firearm if you have been convicted of a felony crime. This includes those convicted in the state, as well as outside of the state. With few exceptions, you also cannot have a firearm if you are an undocumented immigrant or are in the country on a work, education or pleasure visa. Furthermore, if you have certain disabilities, or are determined to be a danger to others or yourself, you may also be prohibited from possessing a firearm under Arizona state law.

Arizona drug charges: Possession of prescription drugs

Like many in Maricopa County, you are likely aware that Arizona has laws prohibiting the possession and use of drugs and narcotics. What you may not realize, however, is that state law also prohibits the use of prescription drugs in certain cases. At the Baker Law Firm, LLC, we are often asked about criminal charges resulting from prescription medications. In this post, we will discuss possession of a controlled substance charges as they relate to these types of drugs.

Unless you have a valid prescription, knowingly having these types of prescription-only medications in your possession could result in a serious drug charge. Arizona state law’s definition of prescription drugs includes the following:

  •        Drugs that are required to bear a caution label under federal law
  •        Any medication that is deemed unsafe for use, except under the supervision of a health care provider
  •        Potentially harmful drugs, which do not have full directions for use on their labels
  •        Medications, which are limited by approved new drug applications to only be used under the control of a medical professional