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Scottsdale Criminal Law Blog

What to do if pulled over by a cop

You are driving home from a night out with your friends and, suddenly, you see the lights of a cop car flashing behind you. This is a scary situation, even if you have not been drinking or engaging in any illegal activity. How you handle the next few minutes could have a big impact on what happens in the following weeks.

There are 3 major points you should keep in mind during a pullover:

Here's what to know about the arrest process

Getting arrested isn't a pleasurable experience for anyone, but whether you think the arrest is justified or not there are rules and protocols that police, prosecutors, and the court need to follow to ensure that any evidence they gather during the arrest process is admissible and maximize the strength of their case against you.

For some, the arrest process may be a blur. They may hear the beginning of the Miranda rights, "You have the right to remain silent...," and from there everything else becomes white noise. However, those rights, and others that follow are important and can play a big role in your defense later. It is best to pay attention.

What are the penalties for embezzlement in Arizona?

When people think of embezzlement, they often imagine some high-powered executive stealing millions of dollars from a big corporation. In reality, embezzlement can involve any amount of money and any type of person. In fact, it is not unusual for an otherwise-law-abiding person to be accused of taking a few thousand dollars from a church, school or other organization.

However, no matter who you are or how much you take, you can be charged with the same crime of fraud. It is important to note, however, that there are six different levels at which a person can be charged that vary according to the value of the property or services involved. Following is how Arizona laws define each level.

Know the consequences of a DUI conviction

If you are found guilty of driving under the influence, the charges can greatly impact your life. Learn what could happen if you get a DUI conviction in Arizona.

DUI laws in Arizona

When you get your driver's license, you consent that police can test your blood alcohol level if they have reason to believe you are drinking while intoxicated.

Protect yourself against police attempts to get false confessions

Did you know that about 12 percent of wrongful convictions stem from false confessions? As noted by the National Registry of Exonerations, that means that more than 200 people have been convicted of a crime after saying that they did something they did not actually do. And that only includes cases where the conviction is known to be wrongful.

You might assume that you would never admit to something you didn't do, especially if it meant going to jail or prison. However, detectives and police who are talking to you know that there are ways to make people more vulnerable to confessing to a crime, even if they didn't do it.

What to know about field sobriety tests

Getting pulled over by the police can cause a great deal of anxiety for some drivers. You may have heard the phrase, "stay sober or get pulled over." With an uptick in DUI cases, law enforcement agencies are cracking down on drunk driving. That means police are looking for any probable cause to pull over anyone suspected of driving under the influence.

Do you know what to do if you are pulled over? Your actions during a traffic stop can make a big difference in your future, especially if the police administer a field sobriety test.

4 myths about assault charges

Assault charges are some of the most common charges in Arizona. They can be filed in response to a number of different situations, even when no one is hurt. However, despite how common they are, there are still many misconceptions about assault charges.

If you are facing assault charges or if you are worried that you could face them in the future, it can be critical to clear up some myths about these types of criminal charges.

One state pushes for domestic violence registry

Domestic violence is a very troubling issue across Arizona; there is no doubt about that. However, it is also an issue that can be very difficult to address. After all, there are situations in which a violent or physical response is accidental, necessary or fabricated. Unfortunately, people are often quick to condemn an alleged offender, and they often demand the harshest penalties possible.

But the harshest penalties are often unnecessary and potentially ineffective. For instance, recently in another state, a bill was proposed to put repeat domestic assault offenders on a statewide registry.

How a high school diploma can help if you are facing drug charges

There have been many stories, discussions and debates surrounding the issue of sentences for drug crimes. People talk about whether they should be harsher, more lenient or focused more on rehabilitation or more on punishment. Mandatory minimums are also a point of great contention when it comes to drug crime sentences.

Criminal drug sentences are certainly a divisive topic, as it the topic of who ultimately winds up facing charges. Statistics suggest that minorities and financially disadvantaged people are disproportionately arrested and convicted of drug offense. And according to a recent report, we can add to those groups people who do not have a high school diploma.

DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols: You have rights

Over the weekend, you may have noticed an increase in police patrols in and around Arizona. As reported by news outlets, this was no accident. Enhanced DUI enforcement efforts were in effect because of two major sporting events -- the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Super Bowl -- that can lead to higher rates of drinking and driving.

In an effort to prevent drunk driving accidents, police across the state ramped up patrols to stop and arrest alleged drunk drivers. They do this by setting up DUI checkpoints and saturating the roads with police specifically looking for signs of drunk driving. If you were one of the many people arrested as a result of these efforts this weekend, you must understand that you have rights in these situations, and you can defend yourself against DUI charges.

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