Brown & Little, P.L.C. » Entries tagged with "officer"

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

Less is More

The temptation is always to keep talking. Unlike many attorneys, I’m not enamored with the sound of my voice. I do care about creating a thorough record for appeal, however. I want to make sure the jury has everything I want it to have before it goes back to deliberate. Those are the interests that I have to balance against brevity’s incredible ability to emphasize a point. Saying the same thing a thousand times along with other things never ends up as effective as only saying that one thing. Sometimes, not saying anything at all is even better. It never feels like that’s the truth, but the more I do this, the more I think it is. I just had a trial where my … Read entire article »

Filed under: Trial

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 a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Police

No Current Registration

When an officer stops you and requests to see your registration, there are a number of possible outcomes. If you give the officer your registration and everything checks out, you’re obviously okay. On the other hand, if you do not have proof of registration because the car is not registered, you will owe hundreds of dollars. If you don’t have your registration in the vehicle but it is registered, you will likely owe well over a hundred dollars even if you provide the court with proof of registration. Although I personally think it’s absurd to fine someone for not having proof of something an officer could easily look up, the law is at least logical. You were obligated by law to carry something in your vehicle, and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes, Government Rants

Super-nosed Cops

I recently had a case where a police officer claimed he was able to smell a very small amount of unburnt marijuana. The amount was the same weight as a level teaspoon of salt, yet the officer pulled over the truck and performed a search of the vehicle without the client’s permission based solely on the odor of unburnt marijuana. The marijuana was located in the back of a closed camper inside two sealed plastic baggies inside a nylon gym bag filled with clothes. I have absolutely no doubt that the officer couldn’t have possibly smelled that marijuana. However, as a defense attorney few tools exist for me to challenge the claim on a scientific basis. I’ve only located one case where a court took … Read entire article »

Filed under: Police, Search and Seizure

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