Brown & Little, P.L.C. » Arizona Statutes

For Your Protection

I spent some of my afternoon yesterday in traffic court. The criminal counts in a client’s case had been dismissed by the prosecutor, but the civil count remained. The court set it for a civil traffic hearing regarding my client’s alleged violation of A.R.S. 28-964(A). He was charged with riding a motorcycle in Mesa in September while wearing a helmet with the visor up. I’m not so sure that’s illegal. I pulled up to Mesa’s nice new courthouse and parked in their nice new parking garage. When I walked up and opened the heavy metal and glass door, it felt expensive. Inside, I took off my belt and put it in a tray along with everything in my pockets. A few chubby security guards … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes, Bikers' Rights, Courts, Police

A Turd In The Punch Bowl

The times they are a-changing. Arizona now allows bars and retailers to fill growlers of beer from their taps for customers to take home. To-go tap beer is a great idea with all kinds of great benefits. Most notably, it’s cheaper and far safer than continuing to drink at a bar. How many people over the past several years had that extra round before driving home because they didn’t have anything to enjoy when they got back? There aren’t an awful lot of bars that double as retailers. The new law allows people to try great products they wouldn’t otherwise get to try in the comfort of their own homes. A recent article in the Arizona Capitol Times discussed the new law and its many … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes, DUI

Real Justice

I saw a funny thing in the parking garage yesterday. Some jerk had parked his giant truck exactly how I’d expect a jerk with a giant truck to park, and some poor kid in a compact car was struggling to wiggle in through his driver’s side door. I’d say about two inches at most separated the front passenger’s side door of the truck from the driver’s side door of the car. The kid didn’t have a chance. A nine-year-old couldn’t have squeezed in without climbing on the roof and rolling down the window. The compact car was parked perfectly between the lines, whereas the truck was at a severe angle. It was pretty obvious why its jerk-owner parked it that way. Had he parked properly … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes, Government Rants

No Pie For You

Bad manners aside, sitting at the dinner table and yelling “bring me some pie!” at your significant other while pounding your fists is probably not a criminal offense. Should you happen to have a knife in one hand while you pound your fists, however, you may be in big trouble. Significant others don’t like angry demands for pie, I’m told, and as a criminal defense lawyer, I’ve met quite a few people whose significant others love calling the police for the most trivial things. The story the 911 operator hears will invariably be embellished, and in my example, the angry companion would probably claim you somehow threatened her with the knife. She would say how scared she was. When officers arrive and haul you off to jail, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes, Prosecutors

An Unintended Consequence of S.B. 1070?

Paul B. Kennedy at The Defense Rests put up a post on Tuesday about how the Supreme Court of the United States struck down portions of Arizona’s anti-immigrant statute while letting others stand. He concluded, “[t]he Court’s decision on Monday will open the door for the police in Arizona to profile motorists based on skin color and appearance.” As the article he cited explains, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the statute’s requirement that police officers check the immigration status of people they stop. That provision, which the article calls the law’s “most controversial aspect,” is found in A.R.S. 11-1051 and provides as follows in relevant part: For any lawful stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official . . . where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes, SCOTUS Cases

Ridiculous Statute of the Day

I just got off the phone with a friend who was issued a criminal citation for violating A.R.S. 13-2913, which is entitled “[u]nlawful violation of fire ban.” Here is the text of the statute, which I had to look up because I’d never read it before: A. It is unlawful for a person to enter or remain in any public building or on any public property in violation of any order or rule that is issued by any officer or agency having the power of control, management or supervision of the building or property and that relates to the control and limitation of fires, including any prohibition, restriction or ban on fires, any provision to avert the start of or lessen the likelihood of wildfire and the designation of any … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes

Self-Defense, Depublication, and Uncertainty

In Arizona, felons who haven’t had their rights restored can’t possess firearms. It’s a class 4 felony, and because alleged offenders are obviously likely to have at least one historical prior felony conviction, defendants charged with misconduct involving weapons under the prohibited possessor subsection usually face a pretty significant mandatory prison term. What if they possess the firearm in self-defense though? The self-defense statute justifies “threatening or using physical force against another.” It doesn’t necessarily justify possessing a firearm if you’re a prohibited possessor. Another statute justifies the defensive display of a firearm, again not specifically allowing a prohibited possessor to possess a firearm, and the statute governing the use of force in defense of a residential structure or occupied vehicle and the statute governing the use … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Arizona Statutes, Procedural Rules

Wasted Anger

I keep thinking about something I saw in court a little while ago. The judge, a former sex crimes prosecutor with a temper that makes her unpopular among attorneys on both sides, decided to take a page out of Judge Judy’s playbook and dramatically castigate a defendant at sentencing. “I’m very sorry, and I will not let it happen again,” the defendant said. The judge attacked before he could even finish, asking him why things were going be different this time. She threw his priors at him when he tried to explain. She rubbed in the fact he was on probation when it happened. She expressed her disbelief by rolling her eyes, and she made sarcastic remarks. His pleas fell on deaf ears. She … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes, Courts

Senate Bill 1070

Everyone has an opinion about Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably love it or hate it. You may have a strong opinion about it even if you have no clue what it says. If so, you aren’t alone. S. B. 1070 makes it so the government can’t create a policy limiting the enforcement of federal immigration laws. If any part of the government does make a policy restricting enforcement of federal immigration laws, citizens have standing to sue. If they win, they get court costs and attorney fees. This doesn’t mean an officer will be sued just for not arresting a particular person or group of people. There will have to be a policy, not just one officer failing … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes, immigration

The Price of Being Right

Arizona’s Revised Statutes are filled with mandatory sentencing provisions. For instance, A.R.S. 13-703 says that a repetitive offender in “category three,” someone who has been convicted of a felony and has two or more historical prior felony convictions, “shall be sentenced” within certain sentencing ranges. The range for a category three offender convicted of a class 2 felony is 10.5 years to 35 years. A.R.S. 13-704 contains another mandatory sentencing scheme. A “dangerous offense” is one “involving the discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury on another person.” If someone is convicted of a “dangerous” class 2 felony, the statute says that he or she “shall be sentenced” to a term of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes

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