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» Entries tagged with "suspension"

Predictability

The folks at the MVD tell me that, if you do your administrative suspension before you are convicted of DUI, you can get a restricted license after thirty days and avoid having to get expensive SR22 insurance. They say you won’t get those benefits if you are convicted first. Speaking with former clients, however, the ones who do the admin per se suspension first do indeed experience what the MVD predicted, but so do the ones who get convicted first. I haven’t called the MVD to argue with them about why they didn’t screw my clients like they said they would. The folks at jail tell me that, if the order of confinement for a day of jail says “one day,” they will hold my clients for a … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Government Rants, jail

All The Power

Adrian keeps telling me: Sometimes I wish we just dealt with those people from Hellraiser instead of some prosecutors; then, at least, my mom could understand why my job is so damn frustrating. I went to court a while back for a felony DUI client. Absurd mandatory minimums and absurder (this can’t be a word, but Google says it is so I’m going with it) plea policies from most prosecutorial agencies make me hate these cases. That combined with the fact the crime isn’t so much something someone might know they’re committing but rather possession of an arbitrary amount of something in their blood as determined by a machine that might not work makes for a killer cocktail of injustice. When the crime is something designed to insure you … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Prosecutors

You’re Screwed Just The Same

Accomplice liability must be a tough thing to grasp, as I often hear defendants argue about how they shouldn’t be sent to prison for various things because it wasn’t totally their fault. They didn’t kidnap the victims, they just continued to hold them against their will after someone else snatched them. They didn’t assault the victims themselves, they just drove their co-defendants to the victims’ house to do it. I could go on and on. Addressing those sorts of arguments, I sometimes hear prosecutors and judges say that it didn’t matter to the victims who made what decision and who took over which responsibilities; they’re awful crimes, and all participants should face the music. In one case, the prosecutor asked, “do artificial distinctions comfort someone in a … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Police

Guilty Until Proven…

Oh, who am I kidding? They aren’t even going to let you prove yourself not guilty. Not before it’s too late, at least. I’m talking about the Town of Gilbert again, and this time it isn’t your car or your money that they’re after. It’s your driver’s license. The situation where I was recently reminded of how evil Gilbert is involved a client who received notice from the MVD telling him his license was suspended for failing to appear for a court hearing in Gilbert. If you get stopped for DUI in Gilbert and they take a blood sample, which they probably will, you may have to wait for a summons from the court instead of getting a ticket and a court date right there at … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, DUI

Andrew Thomas’s Disbarment

I watched former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his hench-person Lisa Aubuchon get disbarred yesterday. Underling Rachel Alexander received a suspension of six months and one day. You can watch Arizona’s Presiding Disciplinary Judge William O’Neil read the panel’s findings here. The ruling is extensive, but these concluding words seemed particularly important to me: We, like the public, began uninformed. We are now fully informed. We are fully decided in our opinion. The evidence is overwhelming against Respondents. We hope the openness in which these proceedings were held will help restore the public’s faith in our legal institutions and deter attorneys from similar misbehavior. The purpose of attorney discipline is to maintain the integrity of the profession in the eyes of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ethics

Thanks for the Heads-Up!

Yesterday morning, I was supposed to have an MVD hearing. An issue came up with my client being able to attend, however, so I faxed in a motion to continue. I called the MVD and confirmed they received it. It was somewhat last minute, but they had plenty of time to make a decision. Although they surely could have, the MVD didn’t bother calling me Wednesday to let me know what was going to happen with yesterday’s hearing. Instead, they left me a voice message at my office well before business hours yesterday morning in a voice mailbox for an extension that I’m not even sure how they reached. The message said the motion was denied and the hearing was going to proceed as scheduled. I ended … Read entire article »

Filed under: MVD Hearings

The Inner Workings of Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division

Considering how Arizona is pretty much designed and built around the automobile and how the MVD has a remarkable amount of power to alter and even strip residents of their so-called “privilege” to drive, you’d think that its policies and procedures would be transparent, consistent, and easy to understand. Surprise, surprise, you’d be wrong. The MVD works in truly mysterious ways. Let’s say, for example, that you’re a criminal defense lawyer and you want to know the effect of a certain type of conviction on a client’s driver’s license. Specifically, you’re trying to figure out the MVD consequences of a conviction for driving in violation of a license restriction, A.R.S. 28-3480. I am personally quite familiar with the charge, though I didn’t have to worry about the … Read entire article »

Filed under: MVD Hearings

We're Already Ridiculous

For the second time in less than a week, I’ve been inspired to write by a post over at the DUI Blog. I guess that Kentucky, my home state, might pass a law allowing a driver who tests positive for traces of marijuana to be convicted of DUI even if he or she is unimpaired. The DUI Blog puts that in the this-is-getting-ridiculous department. Well, here in Arizona, we’ve been ridiculous for a while. Arizona’s DUI law says, “[i]t is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state . . . [w]hile there is any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in the person’s body.” Impairment doesn’t matter, as it’s a strict liability crime. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Arizona Statutes, DUI, Government Rants, Legislation

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