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Phoenix Criminal Defense Law Blog

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.

That breath test may not have accurately tested your BAC

When you drink an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol circulates through your body and your bloodstream. As it passes through your lungs, it creates a measurable vapor. This is what breath-testing machines detect. The more you drink, the higher the concentration of vapor in your lungs the machine can allegedly detect.

The problem is that some of these machines do not always work as designed. They create false positives that result in people ending up under arrest when their blood alcohol concentrations did not reach the legal limit, which is .08 for individuals over the age of 21 here in Arizona. Other limits apply if you have a CDL or are under the age of 21.

Do police always have to read me my rights?

Knowing your rights is key to protecting them. Many have a vague understanding of the rights that protect them, especially in criminal matters, but often the law is much more complex than people realize. Adding to the confusion is the fact that Hollywood takes many liberties with criminal law when it comes to depicting police procedures.

One example of a rule that often leads to misunderstanding is the Miranda warning. Movies and TV crime shows often portray police arresting a suspect and reciting the rights to remain silent and obtain a lawyer. If you watch enough of these shows, you may be able to recite those rights by heart. However, did you know there are times when police do not need to warn you of your right to remain silent?

How does a DUI charge affect your employment?

Everyone makes mistakes, but some of them come with more ramifications and consequences than others do. You probably already know that Arizona has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country, which means that you should probably take any such charge seriously.

One area that may suffer significantly is your employment. Even if driving isn't part of your job duties, you could experience difficulties that your employer will not overlook due to the circumstances.

What makes domestic violence different from assault?

Two people end up in an altercation in a bar. Someone pushes someone else, punches are thrown and both parties end up sitting in the back of a police car facing charges of assault. In some cases, the parties involved know each other, but not always.

Just because two friends end up in a fight, that doesn't mean that they face domestic violence charges. Instead, they face charges of assault. So what makes domestic violence charges so different?

When asked to take field sobriety tests, what does that entail?

Police officers in Arizona and all over the country pull people over every day for suspected impairment. When they do, these individuals are often asked to submit to field sobriety testing. If you have never taken part in these tests before, you may wonder what they entail.

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, there are three field sobriety tests that they consider the gold standard. This is because, out of all them, these three tend to produce the most accurate results. What are the three standard tests and do you have to participate when asked?

Was the search that led to the drug charges against you legal?

Are you facing drug charges stemming from a search of your car, home or other property? More than likely, you wonder about your future. All you want is to resolve the charges in the best manner possible.

To that end, it's important to review all of the evidence prosecutors intend to present to the court. However, what you may not realize holds a great deal of significance to your case is the search itself, not just what police allegedly discovered.

Facing false accusations of domestic violence

State and federal law enforcement take seriously the allegations of domestic abuse, and rightfully so. Too often, the stronger person in a relationship or family uses physical abuse to control the lives of the others, causing pain and often lifelong scars. For this reason, police act quickly, and the courts respond decisively based on the lowest standard of law.

However, what happens when those allegations of abuse are exaggerated or unfounded? Unfortunately, for many who are involved in family law disputes, false claims of domestic abuse can have far-reaching consequences.

Do you have to be driving to be arrested for DUI?

You were fast asleep in your car waiting for the alcoholic beverages you consumed earlier to wear off enough for you to drive home safely. Suddenly, you hear someone knocking on your car's window. When you open your eyes, you find a flashlight shining in your eyes and a police officer asking you to step out of the vehicle.

The officer probably begins questioning you regarding why you are asleep in your car and whether you drank alcohol that evening. He or she then asks you to participate in field sobriety tests and a breath test. The next thing you know, you are on your way to jail on suspicion of DUI.

Are you at risk of an aggravated DUI charge?

Many people enjoy going out with friends to have a few drinks while catching up or to unwind after a long day at work. Though this activity is fairly common, individuals should still remember not to let themselves consume too much or to call someone to drive in the event that they do drink too much. However, some people may believe that they are still fine to get behind the wheel.

Even if you do not feel intoxicated, you could still end up stopped by police if your driving causes any concerns. In such a situation, an officer could place you under arrest for driving under the influence. If certain factors apply to the incident, you could face a more serious charge for aggravated DUI.