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Mesa Criminal Defense Blog

The ignition interlock device and other penalties for DUI

Perhaps you have driven your car after having a beer or two on numerous occasions. You have never had a problem.

However, let us say law enforcement pulls you over because of a broken tail light. The officer smells alcohol on your breath, so instead of giving you a ticket, he arrests you on suspicion of DUI and now you are facing some stiff penalties.

What is indecent exposure?

As a rule, social convention has made it commonplace for Americans to ensure that they are fully dressed when they walk out of their homes. Stated differently, Mesa residents generally do not go out in public naked or without articles of clothing on that hide from view their private body parts. This is because doing so is considered rather embarrassing for many people, but also because failing to wear clothes is a potentially illegal action.

Indecent exposure laws impose sanctions and punishments on individuals who allow private parts of their bodies to be seen by others in public. The act of exposing one's private parts generally must be intentional in order for the crime to arise, and often the defendant must have the intent to sexually gratify themselves through the exposure. Other intents, such as the offense of the alleged victim of the exposure, may serve to satisfy this portion of the crime's elements.

Is expungement possible in Arizona?

Few things are more frustrating than having a criminal record that prevents you from gaining employment, housing, federal grants for school and other benefits. You may wonder if there is a way to clear your criminal history or expunge it.

Unfortunately, Arizona is not a state that allows for expungement except for juvenile offenders who have reached legal adulthood and meet certain conditions. However, it does offer another way to overcome the challenges of a record: judicial set-aside.

The "fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine" and criminal searches

The search of a Mesa resident's home or vehicle by law enforcement officials may be a stressful and upsetting process. It can be incredibly difficult to see law enforcement officials go through one's personal items and, if they allege to have found incriminating evidence, law enforcement officials may move forward with the arrest of the individual in question. It is therefore imperative that searches performed pursuant to alleged criminal matters are done in accordance with the law.

A prior post here discussed probable cause and the role it plays in searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. When law enforcement officials lack a warrant or probable cause to engage in a search, they may violate a person's Fourth Amendment rights. If a person's rights are violated due to a search, the evidence the law enforcement officials collected may be "thrown out" and inadmissible.

What happens when you evade police to avoid a DUI?

Arizona police have really cracked down in recent years on people who decide to operate a vehicle while intoxicated. 2017 saw tens of thousands more people pulled over, but luckily, the total number of DUI arrests only increased a little bit. This proves that more people have decided to avoid driving after a night of drinking. 

It is natural for people to feel scared when they see police lights behind them. It can be scarier if that person even had one alcoholic drink that evening. There are numerous defenses one can make in court to get out of a DUI conviction, but you should absolutely never try to evade the police when they attempt to pull you over. 

What is "premeditation"?

If a person wants to accomplish something then they may make a plan to reach their goal. While in most contexts having a plan in place is usually considered a benefit to an individual, in one particular context it may not be a good thing: accusations of criminal conduct. In particular, if an Arizona resident is accused of causing another person's death and "premeditation" is alleged, they may face a very steep and very serious uphill legal battle.

That is because having a plan or engaging in premeditation before committing an alleged murder may elevate the charges that a person will face. Any time that someone is accused of taking another person's life the legal consequences will be significant, but when premeditation is alleged the accused is effectively charged with planning to kill a person, executing their plan and causing a death.

When plea deals go wrong: how to overturn your conviction

When you are facing criminal charges, you may decide to enter a plea bargain, also known as a plea deal. A plea deal is a strategy for reducing your charges and shortening your sentence. You may attempt to strike a deal only to find out it is not doing you any good.

Thankfully, you may be able to overturn your conviction if you can prove your lawyer did not provide you with effective guidance. Understand how to prove your previous attorney did a bad job.

The appellate courts of Arizona

When a prosecutor in Arizona files criminal charges against a person in the courts of the state, the matter, if it goes to trial, will be heard in the superior court of the jurisdiction where the prosecutor filed the charges. If the matter ends and the non-prevailing party believes that a mistake was made at the lower level, that party may appeal the case to intermediate appellate court for review.

In Arizona, there are two intermediate appellate court sites: one in Phoenix and one in Tucson. When a matter is heard by the appellate court three judges will listen to arguments and work together to make a decision regarding the basis of the appealing party's claims. It is not uncommon for a matter to be sent back down to the superior court after an appeal to have the potentially problematic element addressed at the trial level.

Is your DUI the result of a false positive on a testing device?

If you have a DUI charge pending against you, you may feel like there is nothing you can do to avoid a conviction. Many people in the Mesa area, like you, find themselves in similar situations. Up until now, you probably never thought you could end up with criminal charges for driving while under the influence without consuming enough alcohol to affect your movements and cognitive abilities. However, false positives on breath tests are quite common.

A DUI charge may seem like an insurmountable incident. However, if you feel you received a DUI charge erroneously, here are a few possible reasons for false positives that may aid you in your DUI defense.

Ways people make a DUI arrest harder than it needs to be

Arizona police have really cracked down on drunk drivers in recent years. In 2017, police made over 93,000 more traffic stops than in the previous year. However, the actual number of arrests only increased slightly, which suggests many Arizona residents avoid getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking. 

Unfortunately, many people make the situation more difficult on themselves when the police pull them over and arrest them for drunk driving. It is possible to mount a defense, but if someone does the following, then the case becomes much harder. 

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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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