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Scottsdale Criminal Law Blog

June sentencing set in bitcoin case

Many people in Arizona may have heard of bitcoin but may not fully understand what it is or how it works. One thing many people may know, however, is that bitcoin is not currently subject to regulation by the federal government yet it is not illegal in and of itself. Essentially bitcoin is a virtual type of currency that may be used in online transactions.

One man who has allegedly exchanged bitcoin currency has been reported to have done so by enjoying commission rates far higher than what are normally received by other bitcoin traders. Reports indicate the typical commission is around one and a half percent but the man has been receiving anywhere from seven to 10 percent. No details as to how this has transpired are known. What has been reported is that the man was arrested after an interaction with undercover agents.

Horizontal gaze nystagmus can't determine marijuana impairment

More and more states are enacting laws that decriminalize the use of marijuana. Some have even legalized it for recreational purposes. In Arizona or a surrounding region, you can still run into major legal problems if a police officer pulls you over and arrests you because he or she thinks you've been driving while high on cannabis. This type of situation will fall under a DUI category.

An officer may ask you to perform a field sobriety test if he or she suspects driving impairment. A common test is the horizontal gaze nystagmus and it has to do with your eye movements when you track an object. If the officer decides to fail you, your previously uneventful trip to the store or home or wherever you'd been heading may wind up being a ride in the back of a police patrol car. It's crucial to know your rights as well as where to seek outside support when needed.

When a woman is falsely accused of domestic violence

Domestic violence is a sensitive but crucial topic in today's world. While it can be difficult to pinpoint and discuss, abuse within an Arizona household is a serious problem deserving of special time and attention.  

One aspect of this nationwide problem involves the wrongful accusations of women. While statistically less common than assaults committed by men, women nevertheless face difficult challenges when accused of a crime on false grounds. Like many of these situations, such an accusation can result in significant damage to one's reputation and future.

Arizona residents see tougher DUI penalty

While certainly people in Arizona recognize that alcohol or drugs may impair the ability to drive a motor vehicle safely in some circumstances, the fact remains that social drinking is a part of life and it can be difficult at times to know when a person is able to safely operate a vehicle and when they are not. In addition, just like with many other accidents, those crashes in which a driver had previously consumed either alcohol or drugs may be influenced by other factors as well. Despite this, it is the driver alleged to be drunk who often takes the lion's share of the blame.

A new law passed by state legislators will now only add to the heftiness of drunk driving penalties in Arizona. Known as House Bill 2443, it will make a felony offense chargeable to anyone involved in a crash in which they are accused of a driving under the influence offense if they are also found to be driving against the flow of traffic at the same time. In addition to educational courses and fines, people convicted of these offenses may also face up to 30 months in prison.

Did an officer fail to inform you of your rights during arrest?

When watching television shows or movies in which police take a person into custody or attempt to search that person's property, you may have heard the character say "I have rights!" While that action may seem somewhat overdramatic for the storyline, everyone in Arizona and across the country does have legal rights. Of course, you may not always know what your rights are.

If you find yourself in a situation where authorities take you into custody, you may end up panicking due to not knowing the best way to handle the situation. However, police have a duty to inform you of your rights during this process, and if they do not, evidence they gather may become inadmissible.

Tax mistakes: fraud or negligence?

While countless Americans have yet to begin the yearly process of filing taxes, some have already experienced issues along the way. There are a number of stages that could go wrong during this potentially tricky procedure, but one that can have the biggest impact involves tax evasion. Arizona, like other states, enforces strict laws surrounding tax fraud. What are the repercussions, and how can one tell the difference between tax evasion and negligence? 

The Arizona Department of Economic Security identifies one of the most common forms of tax fraud: that of State Unemployment Tax Act dumping. A scheme that helps consumers avoid taxes, SUTA dumping involves the manipulation of shell companies to acquire low tax rates. The Department considers this ploy to be one of the biggest threats to the Unemployment Insurance Program in the state, as it can force other employers to fill in for unpaid tax. This fallback plan could also result in economic imbalance, negative effects on employers' tax rates and exorbitant costs dealt to the UI trust fund. 

Understanding a Ponzi scheme

Arizona residents may frequently hear Ponzi schemes discussed when they hear about white collar crime. They may wonder just what kind of crime this refers to, though. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says that Ponzi schemes fall under fraud.

Fraud comes in many forms but a Ponzi scheme specifically affects investments. Someone running a Ponzi scheme typically guarantees that people will receive high returns from their investment. The money is usually not invested, though. Instead, it is used to pay earlier investors.

Breath testing machines pick up more than just alcohol

Maybe you reached for your cellphone and began weaving in your lane or missed a stop sign. First, you may count yourself lucky that you didn't end up in an accident. However, you did end up attracting the attention of a police officer.

After stopping, the officer decides to conduct roadside tests to determine impairment because of your driving behavior. You know that you didn't have anything to drink before getting behind the wheel, so you submit to a breath test in accordance with Arizona's implied consent laws. Instead of being cleared of DUI, your ordeal ends with you in the back of a police car under arrest.

Medical and recreational marijuana laws in Arizona

Whether or not Americans are in favor of this shift, the marijuana industry has become a giant across the nation. While states such as California and Colorado are already witnessing a massive boom in both medical and recreational sales, states such as Florida and Arizona are experiencing gray areas. 

Most Arizona residents interested in this industry attribute the slow movement to the fact that it is a red state. Others look to the debate surrounding marijuana's benefits. Regardless of which stance residents find themselves taking, marijuana legalization is a topic that America has placed major focus on in recent years. 

Things you should know about Arizona DUI laws

If you drink a beer, then drive a car, are you breaking the law? The answer depends on several factors. It's true that consuming a small amount of alcohol may not necessarily lead to illegal operation of a motor vehicle if you then drive to a convenience store or some other location. It's also true that alcohol reacts differently in every person's bloodstream, so a small amount may not make one person legally intoxicated, but may present serious problems for another.

Driving is privilege, not a right. If you plan to drive in Arizona, it is a good idea to research the state's traffic regulations and DUI laws ahead of time. If you possess an Arizona driver's license, it means you consented to certain things when you signed for the license. Lack of knowledge regarding such laws can lead to serious legal complications if a police officer pulls you over and decides to take you into custody on suspicion of drunk driving. Knowing where to turn in such circumstances can help.

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