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Concealed Weapons In Arizona – Apparently Way Too Confusing For Lawyers

An out of state lawyer called me earlier today with questions about Arizona’s concealed carry law. As we spoke, I Googled “misconduct involving weapons az” to pull up the statute. The law was the first result, as it should be. I also noticed law firm websites, some belonging to lawyers I know, made up the majority of the remaining results on the first page. After the call, I clicked through to the lawyers’ websites out of curiosity. The first said “The following are punishable by up to 6 months in jail…carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.” It also included this: “Call us right away, anytime for an evaluation of your case and some expert advice.” The second said “Class 1 Misdemeanor Misconduct Involving … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes, Marketing

A Big Year For Marijuana DUI

In Arizona, a marijuana DUI used to be a pretty cut and dried thing. The law said it was a crime to be in actual control of a vehicle with marijuana “or its metabolite” in your body, and courts treated it as a strict liability offense for all metabolites, regardless of impairment. Marijuana DUIs were pretty much all charged under two subsections: (A)(1), which requires proof of impairment to the slightest degree, and (A)(3), the strict liability subsection that did not. Luckily, that changed when the Supreme Court of Arizona held last April that drivers cannot be convicted of the (A)(3) offense based merely on the presence of a non-impairing metabolite that may reflect prior usage of marijuana. As the opinion explained, THC is the primary psychoactive … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI

How To (Really) Get Through A DUI Checkpoint

An interesting DUI checkpoint video has been circulating lately. In it, the driver gets through without even rolling down his window, passing by with ease thanks to a plastic bag attached to his car with a string. The bag contained his license, registration, insurance information, and a note saying “I remain silent,” “No searches,” and “I want my lawyer.” As clever as it may be, it’s also dangerous to think it will always be that easy. The most important thing any driver or rider can keep in mind when dealing with police is that the law does not exist in a vacuum. It only matters as applied to the facts, and except in the most unusual circumstances, courts are going to adopt whatever “facts” the officer … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI

Somebody Must Have Read Catch-22

A member of the East Valley DUI Stasi Task Force apparently decided to park himself outside of a local bar one night last year. According to at least one witness, the cop then proceeded to stop one person after another for neither a traffic violation nor on reasonable suspicion of impaired driving. He was basically a one-man DUI checkpoint at the exit of a local bar, they said. My client, who was stopped that night by that officer at that location for a traffic violation he denies committing, wanted to prove what the officer was doing. In most of my DUI cases, I find that clients don’t complain much about the stop. On the other hand, I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered a stop made by an … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Police

The Border: A Pictorial

With Obama trying his best to turn our country into North Mexico and the steadfast Republicans and their judge in Texas doing all they can to protect our way of life by suddenly pretending to care about the constitution, I thought I’d share some hiking photos and prove to you once and for all that we must secure the border. Somewhere out there, Mexico starts: Somewhere out here too: The mountain in the back is definitely in Mexico: Here it is again: As you can see, Mexico is very different.  And scary. That’s probably a little Mexican town at the base.  Americans like drugs too much, so it is probably a dangerous town. Police there are probably corrupt too. A cop might stop you a demand $20 on the spot so he and his family … Read entire article »

Filed under: immigration

Times Must Be Tough

Our receptionist walked into my office with a sheepish look on her face. “Do you have four dollars and twenty-seven cents?” Confused, and then sheepish myself, I said no. Not exact change, at least. Not even a five or a ten. “I don’t keep cash on me. Why do you need it?” She explained that the mailman was waiting and someone didn’t pay enough postage. She then came in with the parcel in question. Here’s what I saw: This wasn’t the occasional person not sticking on enough stamps. Or one of the less common but more creative people with cash-on-delivery tricks. Things must really be tough when the gubmint doesn’t have enough cash to pay its own postage, when the U.S. federal executive department responsible for the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Our (Embarrassing) Contribution To The Dialogue

While the rest of the country protests the killing of unarmed black men by police, a group of conspicuously non-black demonstrators in Phoenix had themselves a little “pro-police rally.” The head boot licker organizer offered his enlightened opinion: He said cooperating with police would have prevented each of the incidents that protesters have been demonstrating about. “It’s simple. Don’t go out and commit crimes. Obey the laws,” he said. “If a cop tells you to stop, you do it. If a cop tells you to move to the side of the road, do it. Don’t strike an officer. Don’t get in a physical altercation with her. It’s going to end badly for you.” For those of you who don’t live here, now you know pretty much everything you need to know … Read entire article »

Filed under: Government Rants

We’re Gonna Need The Hardly Boys For This One…

It was a mystery for the ages, the crime of the century. A few scratcher lottery tickets and/or some cash swiped from a convenience store counter. In broad daylight. The nerve! Police interviewed the clerk, who said he didn’t just steal them himself. Being human polygraphs, officers cleared him right away.  Being forensic reconstruction experts too, they reviewed the surveillance video, which showed a lady quite clearly, but not much more. They immediately concluded there had been a crime. They got a lucky break because the clerk, who definitely didn’t just steal some stuff, got the license plate of the regular who committed the dastardly deed. Officers pulled the driver’s license photo associated with the plate and put it in a lineup that might as well have included a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Prosecutors

More Than Race

I’m hesitant to write a post making a similar point to my last one, but as one article after another comes out discussing racism in this country in the wake of another white cop avoiding indictment after murdering an unarmed black man, this time with clear video, I worry we’re only having part of the conversation. Race is part of problem. It may even be most of the problem right now. It’s also the reason why most people are even thinking about the issue of police violence. Unfortunately, I worry that it’s not the part of the problem we can fix. Although I’m not as optimistic or congratulatory about our progress, Chris Rock makes some amusing and likely accurate observations about race relations in this country: “When … Read entire article »

Filed under: Government Rants

When It Isn’t A Cop

Police officer Darren Wilson wasn’t indicted for shooting Michael Brown. You shouldn’t be surprised, as Rick Horowitz concludes. Scott Greenfield explains the big lie too many people still believe, the idea that the grand jury in the case isn’t just an indictment machine built into a Potemkin Village of due process for just one case so the masses can go on about their lives. Gideon explores the racial aspect, and Jeff Gamso addresses the silliness of one grand jury dog and pony show promoter. Me? I’m just envious. Here in Arizona, the accused has a due process right to a fair and impartial presentation of the evidence before a grand jury. When the state fails to do that, defense counsel can file a motion to remand arguing the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Government Rants, Juries, Police, Prosecutors

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