Attorney Scott Campbell

Criminal Defense Attorney

Month: March, 2017

What constitutes domestic violence in Arizona?

What constitutes domestic violence in Arizona?

Today’s guest blog is by Attorney Paul W. Hamilton

The legal definition and consequences of domestic violence in the state of Arizona are referenced under Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3601. In essence, it is the use of violence against a family member, significant other, sexual partner and in certain cases, an acquaintance.

What constitutes domestic violence in Arizona

What constitutes domestic violence in Arizona?

On the authority of ARS 13-3601, the charge of domestic violence can be applied in the following cases:

  • The alleged victim and aggressor are married, were formerly married, share a household or formerly shared a household.
  • The alleged victim is pregnant with the accuser’s child, the victim and accused are related by blood or marriage.
  • The accused lives in the same household as a minor victim and the two are related by blood or through a former spouse. The accused and victim are or were in a romantic or sexual relationship.

The nature of the domestic violence can be physical, sexual and also economic. When dealing with domestic violence cases, the court has to take into account the nature of the relationship between the accuser and the victim, the period of time during which the relationship has or had been ongoing, as well as the frequency of interaction between the accuser and accused. In cases of a terminated relationship, the time period since the relationship has been ended is also taken into account.

Offenses that may result in a domestic violence charge

According to ARS 13-3601 if any of the offenses listed below are committed against an individual who is in a relationship that is defined as protected by Arizona’s domestic violence laws, the charge of domestic violence applies.

  • Negligent homicide, manslaughter or murder
  • Endangerment (acts that create substantial risk of bodily harm to another person)
  • Threatening or intimidating a witness
  • Assault or aggravated assault
  • Custodial interference (interfering with a parent or legal guardian’s physical custody of a child)
  • Unlawful imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual assault
  • Criminal trespass
  • Criminal damage
  • Interference with judicial proceedings
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Preventing use of a telephone during an emergency or false representation of an emergency
  • Intimidation, annoyance, and harassment over the telephone
  • Stalking
  • Emotional abuse of a child or vulnerable adult
  • Dangerous crimes against children

How is Domestic Violence Charged?

How domestic violence is charged as a misdemeanor or felony depends on the exact nature of the violation. In cases of emotional abuse or endangerment, the accused can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. A charge of disorderly conduct involving a deadly weapon is a Class 6 felony.

If an individual is charged and found guilty of one of these offenses, such as assault, he or she will face the potential sentence recommended by Arizona courts. If the convicted does not have any prior record, typically criminal penalties are the same regardless of the domestic relationship between the victim and perpetrator. However, domestic violence cases are often prosecuted much more aggressively than typical legal cases.

A second conviction of domestic violence can result in the convicted being put on supervised probation with jail time being one of the conditions for probation.

Being found guilty of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge for the third time in an eighty-four month period can result in a felony charge resulting in the individual being charged with jail time accordingly.

If the charge involves serious bodily harm to the victim or the use of a weapon, the accused may be charged very seriously.

Aggravated assault is a class 3 felony with a minimum jail time sentence being five years and the maximum jail time sentence being fifteen years.

Because of the nature of domestic violence charges and the stigma associated with them, it is crucial to take domestic violence accusations and charges very seriously. It is of the highest importance to find proper legal representation, preferably with an attorney who has extensive experience in domestic violence cases.

What constitutes domestic violence in Arizona?

Author Bio:

Law Office of Paul W. Hamilton strives to exceed your expectations in criminal law, family law, real estate, estate planning & probate representation. Call (229) 232-8056

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How Are Felony Crimes Classified Under Arizona Laws?

How Are Felony Crimes Classified Under Arizona Laws?

Today’s guest blog is by Michael L. Ainley, Esq.

Felony crimes refer to serious criminal offenses and carry a prison term of at least one year. The most serious felonies are punishable by death. These are crimes which include a physical violation of another human beings rights violation. Examples of such crimes are murder, rape, sexual molestation of a child, armed burglary and thefts of property with very high monetary value. Prison terms are longer for people convicted of repeat felonies. In Arizona, felonies are classified as Class 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

How Are Felony Crimes Classified Under Arizona Laws

How Are Felony Crimes Classified Under Arizona Laws?

Class 1 Felony – Class 1 felonies are reserved for murders in the first and second degree. First-degree murder (murder that is both willful and premeditated) is punishable by death or life in prison. Second-degree murder (a non-premeditated murder, resulting from an assault in which the death of the victim was a distinct possibility) is punishable by 16 years to life in prison.

Class 2 Felony – In Arizona, Class 2 felonies are reserved for sexual molestation of a child, production of child pornography, possession of dangerous drugs (methamphetamine, LSD, mescaline) for sale, trafficking of stolen property, burglary with a firearm and theft of property worth more than $25000. The presumptive prison term for these crimes is five years and the aggravated term can be up to twelve and a half years.

Class 3 Felony – Possession of more than two but less than four pounds of marijuana, certain forms of theft, certain forms of stalking and telecommunications fraud are all Class 3 felonies in Arizona. They allow sentences of a minimum of two years in prison, whereas aggravated sentences can carry a sentence of up to 8.75 years.

Class 4 Felony – Class 4 felonies in Arizona include theft of property with a value between $3000 and $4000, growing marijuana illegally, possession of dangerous drugs, identity theft, weapons misconduct and driving under the influence. Class 4 felonies carry prison sentences of one year, with aggravated felonies carrying a sentence of up to three years and eight months.

Class 5 Felony – Prostitution, as well as pimping and pandering (facilitating and making a profit from prostitution), are class 5 felonies. Class 5 felonies carry a prison term of two years, with the aggravated term being one of two and a half years.

Class 6 Felony – Class 6 felonies are the least serious felony crimes under Arizona law. These include charges for possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful use of means of transportation and theft of property with a value of $1000. In some cases, a judge may designate the conviction as a class 1 misdemeanor, which can result in a sentence of six months in jail and three years of probation.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a time period designated by lawmakers during which the state of Arizona must begin prosecution against the defendant or their attorney can have the case dismissed. Usually, the state has a period of seven years from the time the crime has been committed to begin its prosecution. However, the most serious felonies such as murder and production of pornographic material featuring children have no statute of limitations and the state can begin its prosecution at any time.

Felony convictions have serious consequences. If convicted, an individual can go to prison and lose chances of finding employment which is up to the standard of his or her qualifications. The individual can lose the right to vote and to possess a firearm. Being convicted of multiple felonies can result in a harsher punishment, meaning longer prison terms and heftier fines. For further information click here

How Are Felony Crimes Classified Under Arizona Laws?

Author Bio:

People in northwest Tennessee turn to the law office of Ainley, Hoover & Hoover, PLLC when they need experienced legal advice or representation to resolve simple to complex legal issues. At Ainley, Hoover & Hoover, PLLC, you can expect fairness and honesty, and to be treated with the respect and dignity you deserve.

Can I Sue the Police?

Can I Sue the Police? This is a question I am often asked.  The answer is yes, you can sue the police.  The bigger question is whether you will be successful.

Can I Sue the Police

Can I Sue the Police?

The government puts many obstacles in the way of suing the government or a government officer.  First, in a lawsuit in State court, the government says you cannot sue for certain things.  Basically, you cannot sue the government for making a certain policy or for deciding how to spend money.  In other words, if a police officer was following written policy, he is immune.  If a city doesn’t spend enough on staffing sufficient police officers, you can’t sue them for that decision.

Then there is something known as “qualified immunity.”  This takes two forms.  First, if a police officer does certain things (such as fails to make an arrest, an escaped prisoner harms you, rendering emergency care) unless the officer was “grossly negligent.”  Second, if an officer violates your rights, but that right is not sufficiently clear in the law, he may be immune from suit.

Another obstacle, if you are suing in State court, is the requirement that you serve the officer and his department with a Notice of Claim within 180 days of the incident.  Then there are other very strict deadlines.

If you want to sue in Federal Court, qualified immunity may still apply, but the 180-day notice deadline does not apply if you are suing under Federal law.

To be successful in suing the police, you must have some significant damages (not just hurt feelings) and a clear cause of action.  If that is the case, see a lawyer immediately so you don’t miss the very strict deadlines for action.

Can I Sue the Police?

Arizona Drug Crimes Punishments and Defenses

What are the possible Punishments and their Defenses for Drug Crimes in Arizona?

Today’s guest blog is by The Weingart Law Group.

The state of Arizona incarcerates thousands of people on drug-related charges every year. As a state, Arizona has a relatively high conviction rate for those accused and arrested for drug-related crimes. It is, therefore, prudent to have an understanding of Arizona’s drug laws, possession charges, their punishments and possible defenses that your lawyer may use to lighten or defeat these charges.

Arizona Drug Crimes Punishments and Defenses

Arizona Drug Crimes Punishments and Defenses

Arizona divides drugs into the following categories under Arizona Revised Statute 13-3401:

Marijuana – Marijuana can refer to the resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus cannabis, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant, its seeds or its resin.

Prescription drugs – Prescription drugs refer to any legally produced, FDA approved medication, which has a potential for abuse and is, therefore, illegal to purchase or possess without a medical doctor’s prescription, or to sell to any individual that does not have prescription for these drugs.

Narcotics – Narcotics refers to a host of specifically named drugs where the substances may or may not be from a natural or synthetic origin. It is a controlled substance, a drug that reduces pain, causes drowsiness, and induces sleep.

Peyote – Peyote refers to any part of a genus Lophophora or spineless cactus, known mainly for its use as a hallucinogenic.

Substances that release toxic vapors – This refers to a substance that contains fumes that release toxic substances that have an intoxicating effect when inhaled.

Dangerous drugs – Dangerous drugs refer to a host of named substances with varying effects, such as LSD, stimulants of the central nervous system such as amphetamines, depressants of the central nervous system such as heroin, and anabolic steroids.

Apart from the aforementioned categories of controlled or illegal substances, individuals found to be in possession of substances which can be used to illegally manufacture these substances can be prosecuted under Arizona Revised Statute 13-3408.

Possession of a Dangerous Drug (Charges and Defenses)

Possession of a dangerous drug is a serious offense, resulting in grave consequences for those who are found guilty. Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-3407, it is prohibited to knowingly possess, use, manufacture, transport, sell or distribute substances defined as “Dangerous Drug”.

Individuals found in possession of substances defined as such are guilty of a Class 4 Felony, which means that the said individual can receive punishment similar to those found guilty of forgery, aggravated DUI or misconduct with a deadly weapon.

However, if the drug in possession was not LSD, crystal meth, heroin or amphetamines, or the individual has no prior convictions under sections 13-3407 or 13-3408, the defense attorney might be able to motion the state to reduce the charge to a Class 1 misdemeanor with probation. Being found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, the individual can still be charged with jail time up to, but no more than six months as well as a fine, up to but not more than $2500.

Being charged with a Class 4 felony means that the individual can be charged with 3.75 years in prison, four years of probation and a fine of $150,000 with surcharges.

If the individual ends up being charged with a class 4 misdemeanor, he or she can face a reduced sentence of six months in jail, maximum five years of probation and a $2500 surcharge.

It is important to note, that in cases of probation the court reserves the right to issue a warrant for arrest, add additional conditions to the probation and revoke probation in exchange for imprisonment.

For more information on the penalties associated with possession of marijuana, driving under the influence and their possible defenses, contact an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney.

Arizona Drug Crimes Punishments and Defenses