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Mesa Criminal Defense Blog

Defense strategies when a person is falsely accused of a crime

Any criminal charge can derail a Mesa resident's future, but allegations of violent conduct can result in incarceration and other serious consequences. When an Arizona resident is falsely accused of committing a violent crime they should work diligently with their criminal defense attorney to prepare a strong case for their innocence. That case may include some of the defense strategies outlined in the rest of this post.

One of the most fundamental tenants of the American criminal justice system is that a criminal defendant should not be considered guilty until they are proven to be so under the law. Therefore, a person should be considered innocent until a prosecutor successfully builds and tries a criminal case against them.

What happens if you get a DUI in another state?

Police arrest locals and tourists alike for driving under the influence every year in California. In fact, 2017 saw a slight increase in the total number of DUI arrests with 26,296 people suffering consequences. 

Many people visit Arizona every year for vacation or to visit family members. One bad decision can lead to a DUI arrest, and it is at this point many people think, "But I don't even live here." An out-of-state DUI becomes slightly more complicated, and you would do well to hire a local attorney to assist you through this time. 

Can police officers search your car during a DUI stop?

You may naturally feel nervous if the police pull you over, especially if you had something alcoholic to drink earlier in the evening. It is paramount to remember your rights and that the police cannot search your vehicle without probable cause. For example, a cop may have pulled you over for having a broken taillight, but that is not an excuse to search the rest of your car to see if any drugs or alcohol are in the vicinity. 

The police officers may ask you to take a breath test or perform field sobriety tests to determine if you are under the influence of alcohol. In the event the cop arrests you on suspicion of DUI, then he or she can search the vehicle and may need to do so to take inventory of all possessions for when the tow truck takes it to the impound lot. 

Lasting consequences can affect those convicted of sex crimes

Certain sexual acts are deemed crimes by the laws of Arizona. Not long ago, this Mesa-based criminal defense legal blog discussed how the state defines sexual assault and the elements of charges that may be alleged against a person facing an alleged sex crime. If a person fails to successfully defend themselves against charges of sex crimes, then they may quickly discover how severe and long-lasting the consequences of conviction can be.

For example, it is not uncommon for individuals convicted of sex crimes to be incarcerated for their alleged acts. They may serve years of their lives in prison, away from their families, for the crimes they allegedly committed. Once they are released from prison, they may be required to register with the sex offender registry.

4 mistakes to avoid at DUI checkpoints

DUI checkpoints are legal in Arizona. These are checkpoints where a driver must come to a complete stop, so police officers can see if the driver has any alcohol in his or her system. In fact, people can look up online where these checkpoints will come up. 

Many people become nervous as they approach these checkpoints, especially if they only had one alcoholic drink in the last hour but worry that is enough for arrest. Regardless of how much you drank beforehand, here are some mistakes to avoid when you go through a DUI checkpoint. 

Sleeping off drunkenness in a car can still land you a DUI

You do not have to drive a vehicle to end up with a DUI. According to Arizona law, individuals who have any physical control over a vehicle can face arrest for driving while under the influence. That means if you have the capacity to drive your vehicle, even if you simply wanted to sleep it off, the police can arrest you for driving under the influence if you have a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent. 

You could be in the parking lot of a bar. If the police catch you snoozing with alcohol in your system, then you could end up in jail with a suspended license.

Different charges may be filed when a murder is alleged

The death of a human being is taken very seriously under the laws of Arizona and when a death allegedly occurs at the hands of another person the accused may face serious criminal charges. There are different homicide charges that may be filed in such circumstances and this post will briefly touch on some of those crimes. However, readers are cautioned that the information contained herein is not legal advice and consultation with a criminal defense attorney is recommended for those with questions about homicide defense.

The most serious form of homicide charge is first-degree murder. Under this charge, a prosecutor alleges that an accused person not only killed another person, but that they planned to commit the murder. This is called "premeditation" and when premeditation and the act of killing are present first-degree murder charges are possible.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault charges in Arizona should be taken very seriously. Convictions on these charges can lead to significant periods of incarceration, loss of rights and the requirement that convicted parties register with the state's sex offender registry. For this and other reasons, individuals who have been charged with sex crimes should consider discussing their cases with criminal defense attorneys who represent people charged with sexual assault.

In Arizona, sexual assault has a broad definition. It involves having intercourse or oral sexual contact with a person and without having that person's consent. Sexual assault charges can be elevated to aggravated sexual assault charges if the alleged perpetrator intended to cause their alleged victim significant harm or if a drug was used to allegedly incapacitate the alleged victim.

The 3 classifications of assault in Arizona

Feelings of anger and revenge are a normal part of being human, but when you act upon those emotions, it may lead to breaking the law. One way is through assault, which is attempting or threatening to injure another person.

You may not understand why you face criminal charges when you did not actually hurt somebody. Understanding the different classifications of assault is the first step in building a defense.

Execution of field sobriety tests can be flawed

Getting stopped on suspicion of drunk driving can be a stressful experience for a Mesa resident. Upon being confronted by a law enforcement official, an individual may be asked to get out of their vehicle and to submit to physical tests that may, if failed, give the law enforcement official evidence of the individual's alleged intoxication. However, tests, often called field sobriety tests, can be problematic when they are improperly executed.

For example, one of the standard field sobriety tests that people are often asked to perform is the walk and turn test. This seemingly easy test requires a subject to walk heel to toe in a straight line before turning and returning to their original spot without falling, wobbling or otherwise demonstrating exaggerated behaviors related to losing their balance.

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The Nolan Law Firm
1744 S Val Vista Drive, Suite 210
Mesa, AZ 85204

Phone: 480-359-3457
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