» Entries tagged with "plea agreement"

The Factual Basis

Hang around most Arizona courts for a little while, and you’re likely to see a plea fall through for lack of a factual basis. For those readers who don’t know what I’m talking about, Arizona’s rules of criminal procedure require that a court determine whether a factual basis exists for each element of the crime to which a defendant is pleading before it can enter judgment on a guilty plea. Evidence constituting the factual basis can come from any part of the record or from a defendant’s statements. There’s no reasonable doubt standard for a guilty plea. Instead, the court just has to find strong evidence of guilt. In a few courts, the plea will simply have a provision that says, “factual basis taken from police report … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Practice in General

Post-Conviction Remedies

In Arizona, a defendant who pleads guilty cannot file a direct appeal. Instead, his only remedy is filing a Rule 32 Petition for Post-Conviction Relief. Most of my clients think that winning a petition for post-conviction relief is always a good thing. Unfortunately, in some cases, people may end up being worse off for having filed a successful petition. If I file a rule 32 petition arguing that a trial court did not have jurisdiction because the statute of limitations had expired, the case essentially goes away if the court of appeals agrees with me. Similarly, the state likely will not bother with a case if essential evidence is suppressed due to constitutional issues or if a criminal statute is held unconstitutional. However, a number of clients want … Read entire article »

Filed under: Post-Conviction

Is a parent responsible for the damage caused by their children?

Yes. In Arizona, pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-661 (2008) a judge can make the parents or legal guardians of a juvenile responsible for up to $10,000.00 for each “malicious or willful” tort caused by the juvenile. Prosecutors almost always require that plea bargains stipulate that the juvenile will be jointly and severally responsible for any damages caused by the juvenile and his or her co-defendants. In my experience, this can often place the attorney for the juvenile between a rock and a hard place. For example, I’ve had several criminal damage cases were the juvenile has a very poor chance of winning a trial (numerous co-defendants and other witnesses willing to testify to the juvenile’s guilt) but I’ve been able to arrange a plea bargain that will either … Read entire article »

Filed under: Juvenile

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