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Phoenix Criminal Defense Law Blog

At what age can you drink alcohol in Arizona?

Drinking alcohol is something many Arizona residents do socially or in private. There is a certain age that the state says you must be before you can legally partake in alcoholic beverages, and that is 21. Anyone younger than that who police find to have consumed alcohol or have in his or her possession may face some severe consequences.

What does Arizona law have to say about underage drinking and driving? What are the potential consequences if an underage person drives under the influence? Is there any way to fight underage DUI charges?

Substance abuse is not uncommon on college campuses

From the moment your child was born, you likely wanted to keep him or her protected forever. Of course, you knew that a day would come when he or she would go off to college to live without you for the first time. Though you likely experienced a great deal of happiness when Arizona State University accepted your child, you knew that the experience could have its ups and downs.

The first semester your child attended the university may have been a whirlwind for him or her while you awaited phone calls that only came occasionally. However, now those phone calls are coming even less often, and when they do come, your child does not sound like him or herself. Even worse, his or her grades are slipping, and you have serious concerns about possible substance abuse.

Drug addiction can lead to doctor shopping

A workplace accident, a surgical procedure, complaints of anxiety, depression and chronic pain are just a few of the reasons why doctors may prescribe powerful drugs that bring welcome relief but come with devastating risks. Many of the drugs prescribed for these and other conditions are powerfully addictive, creating a need in the patient that often leads them to do things they may otherwise never consider.

When a prescription runs out and allows no more refills, many patients are ready for simple, over-the-counter pain relief. Others, however, are not, and they may begin to seek other ways to obtain the drugs that provided them with so much relief. Doctor shopping is one method of obtaining that drug. If you have been accused of doctor shopping, you have every reason to feel concerned about your future.

Holiday drinking could put you at risk of a DUI charge

Whether you are getting together with family for Christmas or making plans with friends for New Year's Eve, you likely have at least a couple of social gatherings to attend this month. With Christmas just around the corner and the year coming to a close, you may have many activities that you want to squeeze in before the new year.

While holiday get-togethers can be fun, it is important to remember that you should remain responsible when having fun. Particularly, you may want to ensure that you watch your alcohol consumption at any parties or other festivities you enjoy in the coming weeks.

False accusations of domestic violence can jeopardize your future

Domestic violence laws overwhelmingly favor the victims, and rightly so. An abused spouse or partner may have few options for escaping a dangerous situation, so the swift and dependable response of police may mean the difference between life and death. Domestic violence victims often rely on the courts to give them the benefit of the doubt because their abusers often erode their ability to advocate for themselves.

Unfortunately, this lack of balance in the laws related to domestic violence may place you at a severe disadvantage if your spouse or partner accuses you of abuse. The courts often have a liberal interpretation of the actions that constitute domestic violence, and you may find yourself fighting to defend against charges that could negatively affect your future.

A strong defense against computer-based criminal charges

Computer-related criminal charges of any kind are a direct threat to your future. If convicted, you could face time behind bars, fines and other penalties that could change the course of your life. Taking your situation seriously and developing an effective defense strategy as soon as possible could prove invaluable to your future best interests. You can start this process whether there are already charges against you or if you are currently under investigation. 

Arizona sentencing laws are not always flexible

When facing criminal charges, perhaps the most common concerns relate to the penalties associated with the crime. After all, fines for certain offenses can destroy your personal finances. Perhaps more urgently, if there is potential that you may go to jail for a conviction, it is important to understand how long that sentence might be.

While a sentence of six months or even two years is not a walk in the park, if the charges you are facing carry the potential for 10 years or even longer, you may miss your kids' entire childhood. The world you re-enter may be very different from the one you left. This is why it is critical to understand criminal sentencing in Arizona before you begin building your defense strategy.

Tests used by law enforcement during a DUI traffic stop

Arizona law takes a strong stand against drunk driving. If convicted, the penalties you could face include time behind bars, expensive fines, loss of driving privileges and more. It is in your interests to know your rights and how to defend yourself in case you find yourself with DUI charges against you. A good place to start is to learn more about what happens during a DUI traffic stop.

Law enforcement cannot pull people over simply because they want to. They must have probable cause to do so. During a traffic stop, police will come to speak to you and to assess whether you are displaying some signs of possible intoxication. These include red eyes, having alcohol on your breath and slurred speech. A police officer may then ask you get out of the vehicle to submit to certain tests called field sobriety tests.

Preparing for divorce as the stay-at-home mom

Being a stay-at-home mom is no cake walk. But it can be even harder when you’re worried about a divorce.

Though you add a lot of value to your household, you may not have as much financial stability to show for your efforts. While Florida’s family law considers childcare and spousal support during a divorce case, a divorce settlement can still be unfavorable for stay-at-home parents. Here are a few steps that you can take to be better prepared for your divorce and independent financial future.

Aggravated DUI can derail your future

There is no such thing as a simple DUI. Facing charges for drunk driving means your future is in jeopardy. A DUI conviction can carry penalties that result in financial burdens, professional challenges and personal struggles.

However, as complicated as a normal DUI can make your life, you face even more trouble if there are aggravating factors attached to your DUI. An aggravating factor is anything that authorities feel adds more severity to the offense. If aggravating factors exist in your DUI case, you may face the potential for enhanced penalties or even the possibility that prosecutors will raise the level of your charges from a misdemeanor DUI.

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