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Scottsdale Criminal Law Blog

Some call for changes to DUI enforcement

For a great many adults in Arizona, having a glass of wine, a beer or another type of cocktail with friends or family members is a normal part of life. Whether at a happy hour after work, at a dinner part or a celebration for a special event or holiday, people frequently get in their cars to drive home afterwards. Despite this being completely socially acceptable, now more than ever there is increased scrutiny on the approach to driving after drinking in America.

For some time now, it has been not only acceptable in social circles but also legal for a driver to operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol so long as their blood alcohol content was 0.07 percent or lower. Now there is a new push to reduce that threshold to 0.05 percent. For some people, such as women who might be relatively petite, it is possible that one drink could put them near or over this BAC level.

Group faces multiple charges including drugs and more

People who are accused of criminal activities in Arizona may often find themselves facing a myriad of charges rather than just one single charge even though all of the charges are ultimately related to the same case. This may end up leaving them feeling overwhelmed and that is understandable. Whether someone faces one, two or more charges in a single case, it is important for a defendant to know that all of the details associated with each charge should be carefully reviewed during the defense process as sometimes it is the smallest of details that can make the biggest difference in the outcome of their case.

Today there are seven people who together face a combined 68 criminal charges after an indictment by a grand jury in Arizona. The group is said to have participated in an illegal drug operation not only in Arizona but in other states as far away as Ohio.

Understanding specific drug charges may prove useful to you

When facing a criminal situation, you may feel at a loss. You could think that everyone has already made up their minds about you and the charges brought against you and that you have no chance of getting out of the predicament. For a moment, you may consider taking the easiest way out and simply accepting the consequences that come along with that choice.

While you certainly have the ability to make any decision you want when it comes to addressing criminal charges brought against you, it may benefit you to explore your options. Making hasty decisions out of panic, anxiety or fear could hinder your chances of a more beneficial outcome. Therefore, taking the time to gain information on your specific circumstances may help. If police have charged you with an alleged drug crime, you may wish to understand the specific allegations made against you.

Can a restraining order impact your life?

When Arizona couples go through a divorce, things may not always go as planned. For example, you may find yourself on the end of a restraining order that you don't feel is deserved. Unfortunately for you, these restraining orders can have a large impact on the rest of your life even outside of your marriage.

HuffPost claims that restraining orders are one of the worst things that can happen to a person during a divorce. They affect only one party, and that's you. This means that you have to constantly be vigilant not to break the restraining order, even if your ex-partner tries to make contact with you first.

Violation of privacy alleged in appeal process

People in Arizona who hear about criminal trials for any type of offense need to keep in mind that even after an initial trial decision, the criminal justice system allows for additional steps if necessary. The appeals process can be a way of achieving a different outcome and offers defendants more opportunities to ensure that their rights are properly protected. Even an initial criminal appeal that may not end up in a manner favorable to a defendant can be appealed further in some situations.

One woman in Arizona was convicted of multiple offenses for which she was sentenced to spend 28 years in prison. One of the convictions was related to allegations that she defrauded a charitable organization. The other conviction was for charges involving theft, forgery and fraud involving a medical procedure that she underwent. After her conviction, the woman filed an appeal due to the fact that her private medical information was used against her thereby violating her privacy.

Officers may fail to follow proper procedures during DUI arrests

A sense of panic often sets in when drivers see flashing blue lights in their rearview mirrors. If this happened to you, your mind may have immediately begun running through dozens of thoughts wondering what may have raised the officer's suspicions and caused the need for a traffic stop.

If it turns out an officer believes you were driving drunk, your panic may rise to a new level. If such a situation leads to you facing arrest and charges for DUI, your mind may begin to spin anxious thoughts about what to do next.

Defendant enters plea deal in sexual assault case

Arizona residents who are charged with criminal offenses understandably can be concerned about what type of consequences they may face if they are ultimately convicted of a crime. However, it is important for defendants to know that in addition to the possibility of proving one's innocence, part of the criminal defense process also allows for a plea bargain to be entered into.

In a plea agreement, defendants may agree to enter a guilty plea but to a charge that is of lesser severity than the one for which they were originally charged. This in turn may translate into lighter penalties as each criminal charge has a unique set of penalties that generally increase as the severity of the crime goes up. One man in Mesa has recently done just this and is currently awaiting sentencing later in January.

The walking field sobriety test

If you have been arrested for and charged with a drunk driving offense in Arizona, you may understandably be scared and nervous about what might happen to you next. As you learn about the criminal defense process and what is involved in defending yourself against driving under the influence charges, you should become educated about the potential problems associated with field sobriety tests.

As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, despite being approved for use and standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, none of the three roadside tests used during a drunk driving investigation are completely accurate. One of these tests is commonly called the walk and turn test and it has a stated accuracy rate of only 66 percent. Multiple things apart from potential intoxication may interfere with your ability to pass this test.

What is the penalty for theft?

You may not always consider theft and its penalty in Arizona. Theft can be more than breaking and entering, however, and it is important to understand the fine details of this crime, as well as the penalty it carries.

You may think that theft refers to a physical object you intentionally took. FindLaw observes that this term also refers to intangible goods and includes keeping people from their property, as well as the value of the good that was taken. You might be charged with theft if you claim property as your own, even when you know it legally belongs to someone else or if you take something from your company without their permission. Additionally, you may be stealing when you accept a company's services and then do not pay for them.

These Arizona DUI laws might influence your decisions

If you are age 21 or beyond, the law permits you to purchase, sell (so long as you do so within an establishment that has a liquor license) and consume alcohol. In fact, you may be one of many Arizona residents who celebrated their 21st birthday by venturing out to a local pub and ordering your first "legal" alcoholic beverage. You may still enjoy getting together with friends for a few cold ones now and again. There is no law prohibiting you from doing so.

However, if you consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car to drive, it may be an entirely different story. Depending on what your blood alcohol content level is at the time, you might indeed be breaking the law. In order to stay safe and make well-informed decisions, it's always best to review current state DUI laws ahead of time and also to know how to quickly access support if a problem arises.

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