Phoenix Criminal Defense Law Blog

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.

Did law enforcement have valid grounds to pull you over?

Facing drunk driving charges can be overwhelming and frightening. You are up against serious penalties and consequences that can alter the course of your life, even if it is your first offense. It is in your interests and for the benefit of your future to fight back against these charges.

One of the first steps in developing the right defense strategy is to examine the circumstances of the original traffic stop. If the police did not have valid grounds to pull you over, it could compromise the entire case against you. It is in your interests to learn about reasonable suspicion, your rights as a motorist and how to defend yourself when facing a DUI in Arizona. 

Before you share your prescription, think again

Your surgery went well, and you recovered quickly, so you did not finish the narcotic pain killers your doctor prescribed. When a coworker complained of pain, you thought nothing of sharing a few pills with him or her. Or perhaps a friend was struggling to get through a tough week at school, so you gave him or her a few of your Adderall to help with studying. Maybe you even handed over the prescription bottle. Perhaps you went as far as having your prescription refilled for your friend or coworker.

At the time, your good-intentioned actions may have seemed generous to you. After all, what's the problem? You were not going to use the pills, and it seemed a waste to just throw them away. However, medications that come in prescription form are under heavy regulation because they have dangerous potential for misuse, including addiction. If you are facing criminal charges for distributing drugs, you have reason for concern.

Domestic violence charges do not always include violence

Marriage can be a passionate relationship, and the passion is not always the good kind. You and your spouse may have struggled through difficult times when stress got the better of you and tempers flared. Perhaps you shouted. Maybe you slammed a door or threw something across the room. Maybe you grabbed your spouse's shoulder or instinctively reacted to your spouse's assault.

Now you are looking at domestic violence charges, which are among some of the most aggressively pursued and the most difficult to defend against. Arizona law prevents an accuser from dropping a charge of domestic assault once the police are involved. In fact, even if your spouse refuses to testify against you, the state may still file the charges and move forward with prosecution. This is why it is critical to consider engaging legal assistance as soon as possible.