DUI & Criminal Attorneys in Phoenix, Tempe, AZ » Blog

Tipping Our Hand

People who don’t practice criminal defense tend to have a number of funny misconceptions about how the process works. Sadly, some people who do practice criminal defense also tend to have a number of funny misconceptions about how the process works. One huge area where non-practitioners and even some practitioners seem to get confused is disclosure. “We’d better not tip our hand,” I hear over and over again. In Arizona state courts, far more so than in federal court, the disclosure rules are quite extensive. The state must comply with all kinds of requirements as the case proceeds. At the arraignment, it must turn over all law enforcement reports as well as the names and addresses of experts and the results of completed physical examinations, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General, Procedural Rules

Extended Magazines and Politics as Usual

I was sitting in a little restaurant in rural southeast Arizona when I first heard news of the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. I’d driven through Tucson only a few hours earlier, and nothing seemed out of place. There wasn’t the slightest hint something so horrible had happened, was happening, or was about to happen. When we heard, everyone at the table was stunned by the news. Watching the news on TV and then searching Google News on my phone, I could see that stories differed greatly. There was no consensus about anything important, not even about whether she was dead. The number of other victims, the circumstances, and almost everything else varied greatly from source to source. I say almost because one thing remained … Read entire article »

Filed under: Government Rants

No Harm in Asking, Right?

I have a little list of things to do and not do that I give people who are going to speak at or write letters for a client’s sentencing. I pieced it together from various sources and have continued to add to it for the past three years. Clients’ families, friends, and employers tend to find the guidance helpful, and I often provide it to other defense lawyers when they ask. It isn’t anything special, but it covers most of the bases. One section seems to hang people up more than anything else. It’s the section having to do with not making unreasonable requests, and it says this: Be realistic. Do not ask for probation if it is a prison plea. If the minimum prison … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, Courts

The Makings of a Great Tragedy

I once received very wise advice to take caution when writing about things close to home. I took it to heart. Years of being told “don’t shit where you eat” didn’t sink in, I guess, but that more subtle, specific advice did. Things far away aren’t so clear, however, so they may be a different story. Circumspection be damned? If I lived in Texas, I would have had a little more background when I read this post by Murray Newman. I was skeptical about what he perceived as a double standard even reading it without context, but that by itself didn’t seem worth a post on my part. When a prosecutor gets charged and defense lawyers don’t just rant about the presumption of innocence, … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Practice in General, Prosecutors

Not Your Normal Request

I recently came across this passage reviewing a client’s police reports: “I started speaking with [client] at about 1453 hours. [Client] had asked for a burrito.” The report goes on to discuss my client’s burrito request in detail. The officer even seemed to go to great lengths to obtain said burrito for my client. Nice guy. I’ve seen people ask for water or a cigarette, but even here in Arizona, for me, this is a first. It actually makes me a little hungry for a burrito. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients

A New Social Media Strategy…Maybe

I went to a suburban chamber of commerce party earlier this month. Networking events like that normally aren’t my cup of tea, but my schedule suddenly lightened up a little. Why not get out of the office for a few hours and have some fun? I had a great time and met some very nice people, but I was surprised by just how many people were there promoting their social media and search engine optimization services. I would bet that more than half of all the people at the event had businesses involving computers or the internet. At least half of those people did SEO and social media work. Even people with businesses that seem very traditionally business-like to me (insurance salesmen, accountants, repairmen) seemed … Read entire article »

Filed under: Marketing

You Don't Say

I have a tough time not laughing when I think something is funny. I suspect that other people know this and try to make me laugh at inopportune times. Often, they don’t have to try at all. Twice in a row, law enforcement personnel have inadvertently tested my ability to keep a straight face. Given the circumstances, I’m quite proud of myself for suppressing laughter. The first time, I was waiting to get into a maximum security area of a jail after hours. There was some kind of problem with the normal intake area for attorney visits at the facility, so a detention officer had to walk me around the outside of the building to the back entrance for employees. The detention officer was … Read entire article »

Filed under: Police

The System Doesn't Always Suck

It may seem like I do nothing but complain, but there are times when things do go according to plan. Sometimes the system gets it right. Rarer still, sometimes the system gets it wrong but corrects the mistake with surprising efficiency. That happened in one of my cases on Wednesday. The crime was supposedly possession of marijuana, and my client is a first-time offender. The state has a serious uphill battle in the case, as the stop is questionable, the search is questionable, and the facts are about as good as they get for trial purposes. He may lose, as the odds never really exceed fifty-fifty when you’re playing with a jury, but he has no real risk at trial; he’s ineligible for jail even … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Prosecutors

Some (Un)Sound Advice

I often hear some really dumb things from prosecutors, but yesterday, I might have heard one of the dumbest things to date. It was in a DUI drug case where the prosecutor made a plea offer with no benefit to my client. I filed a number of motions, and yesterday was the motion hearing. From the beginning, my client has wanted to plead. He just doesn’t want to lose his license for a year, which is the case with DUI drugs, so we asked for him to plead to DUI for being impaired to the slightest degree, a different subsection with a 90-day license suspension attached. It’s a case where the supposed marijuana use was a day before driving. My client is young and has … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Prosecutors

Climbing Hayes Peak in the Sierra Estrellas

NOTE: This post has nothing to do with law. I’m not even going to try to make it relevant to my practice. If you don’t care about how to hike the highest peak in a rugged and desolate mountain range that towers above Phoenix, this probably isn’t going to be very interesting at all. I’ll post something law-related for you soon. The Sierra Estrellas Phoenix is surrounded by mountains, and the Sierra Estrella range has to be one of the most impressive. Many evenings, I get to see the sun set behind them as I drive home from the office. Although I’ve been looking up at the Estrellas every day for years, like many people, I had never ventured into the Sierra Estrella wilderness until very … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

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