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» Entries tagged with "division one"

Failing to Comply

The recent opinion from Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals in State v. Burke deals with the issue of whether A.R.S. § 28-622(A), a law involving failure to comply with a police officer, is unconstitutionally vague. The law provides as follows: A person shall not wilfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of a police officer invested by law with authority to direct, control or regulate traffic. The facts of the actual case, as the court explains them, seem pretty simple: This case arises out of a routine traffic stop. After Burke allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign, a police officer pulled Burke over, asked him for his license and registration, and directed him not to move his vehicle. Burke disobeyed the instructions, drove … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Police

Bad Facts + Time = Bad Law

There is an old saying about bad facts making bad law. It is probably true, but luckily, that does not have to be the case. Look no further than the recent Court of Appeals of Arizona case of State v. Lucas and its predecessor for proof. They also show that nearly-identical bad facts will eventually, even before the same court, create bad law sooner or later. The facts of both cases were simple. Victims have a right to refuse interviews in Arizona, and courts can designate a victim’s representative by law when the victim is a minor. In State v. Lucas, the grandmother was the victim’s representative, and the victim reached the age of majority. The defense wanted to interview her. The law provides the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Victim's Rights

Poor Charlie Brown

I’ve mentioned Anders briefs before. It’s the defense-lawyer equivalent of licking your master’s hand in submission. A creative lawyer can always find some issue somewhere, and filing a brief more or less saying your client should’ve been found guilty based on the record is just embarrassing. If you aren’t sold on not filing Anders briefs solely because they’re humiliating to any competent lawyer, Arizona’s court of appeals recently provided another reason. In an opinion last week, the court disagreed with an appellate public defender’s assessment that only frivolous issues existed on appeal. The lawyer apparently reviewed the record enough to set forth a sufficient background to reveal potential issues, but he didn’t see at least one issue that the court saw. I can’t imagine much worse for a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Courts

An Irritating Non-Lesser Included Offense

I recently discussed lesser included offenses. Although Arizona’s practice of looking to the statute instead of the facts is frustrating enough in principle alone, there are some instances where I am particularly bothered by what a defendant can’t get as a lesser included offense. One instance involves felony flight. In an unpublished decision released this past September, Arizona’s Division One Court of Appeals looked at whether someone accused of felony flight could request a lesser included instruction for failure to stop. The felony flight statute applies to a driver who wilfully flees or attempts to elude a police vehicle with lights and sirens, and the failure to stop statute applies to a driver who knowingly fails or refuses to bring his or her vehicle to a stop after … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Arizona Statutes

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