Domestic Violence Charges During Holidays

Do Domestic Violence Charges Increase During the Holidays?

Many people think that incidents of domestic violence charges spike during the holidays. The holidays can be stressful and cause people to take their anger out on those who are closest to them. Several factors can lead to domestic violence incidents during the holidays, including financial stress, unrealistic expectations, increased alcohol use, and being shut inside with immediate family members for extended periods.

During this holiday season, all of these factors are compounded by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the added layers of stress and financial problems it has wrought. While domestic violence cases do happen, some people also lash out at their family members by filing false reports.

People who are charged with domestic violence crimes should talk to a domestic violence attorney at the Shah Law Firm as soon as possible.

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Increase in Domestic Violence Charges During the Holidays

The holidays bring a lot of added stress to families in Arizona. People can be overwhelmed when they have to plan holiday celebrations. They might also be facing increased financial stress and have unrealistic expectations of their experiences. Holidays can always be overwhelming. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has added even more stress. Many families are struggling financially and simply do not have the means to celebrate in the way in which they would like.

According to data from the Phoenix Police Department, domestic violence homicides increased by 180% year-over-year during the first eight months of 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019. This demonstrates that people were already under significant stress even before the holiday season got started.

Click to Learn More About Domestic Violence Charges During the Holidays…

Arizona Prop 207 makes Marijuana Legal in Arizona

Marijuana Charges Dropped / Expungement Due To Prop 207

Arizona voters resoundingly passed Proposition 207 on Nov. 3, 2020. This law legalizes the recreational use of marijuana in Arizona by adults ages 21 and older. It also offers some important remedies to people who have certain types of marijuana charges, or convictions, removed from their records.

Prop 207 allows people to petition for their marijuana convictions to be expunged so that they will no longer appear on their criminal records. At the Shah Law Firm, attorney Arja Shah is prepared to help people to have their marijuana charges or convictions expunged.

Understanding Arizona Proposition 207 Expungement Provision

Proposition 207 adds a number of statutes to Arizona’s state laws. One of these statutes is A.R.S. § 36-2682, which states that people who have been arrested, convicted, or adjudicated for specific marijuana offenses to petition the court to have their records related to those offenses expunged. The eligible offenses include the following:

  • Possession or consumption of two-and-one-half ounces or less of marijuana
  • Cultivating, transporting, possessing, or processing six or fewer marijuana plants in a private home
  • Possessing, transporting, or using drug paraphernalia that is associated with marijuana

Thousands of Arizonans have these types of convictions on their records and may benefit from petitioning the courts to have their records expunged.

Let Attorney Arja Shah Help Remove a Marijuana Charge Off Your Record. Call Now (602) 560-7408

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Mesa Police at Mesa DUI Checkpoint

6 Things Police Won’t Tell You When Pulled Over for DUI

Arizona DUI laws have drastically changed over the past few decades. While law enforcement agencies have engaged in numerous approaches to minimize impaired driving, cases involving driving under the influence of drugs have been increasing. Because of the increase in drugged driving, how officers investigate suspected DUI cases has changed.

Most people do not understand the complex nature of DUI arrests and might not understand how they are affected when their blood alcohol concentrations are 0.08% or higher. Many people have unrealistic beliefs about how DUIs are investigated.

Here are six things that police officers will not tell you about how they investigate people for suspected DUIs.

1. Many people who are arrested for DUIs are initially only stopped for minor traffic offenses.

Police officers do not necessarily know that a person has been drinking or using drugs at the time that they stop their vehicles. While an officer might believe that you could be under the influence because of the time of day or the location of your stop, he or she does not know if you have been drinking before you are stopped.

Most DUI reports refer to a minor traffic offense as the reason for the stop. For example, the driver might have failed to use a turn signal while turning or moving lanes, might have been speeding, or may have committed other types of traffic violations.

Few reports list the officer’s suspicion that the driver was driving while impaired as the reason for a stop. It’s much more common for a different traffic offense to serve as the opening for a DUI investigation.

 

Click to Learn More About All 6 Things Police Won’t Tell You When Pulled Over for DUI in Arizona…

Post Bail at 4th Ave Jail in Phoenix

How to Post Bail at 4th Ave Jail in Phoenix

If your friend or family member is arrested in Maricopa County, Arizona, he or she may be booked into jail. After he or she arrives at the jail, he or she will be processed and then will either wait in jail to appear in court or until someone bails him or her out of jail.

People who are arrested for misdemeanor offenses might be booked into the 4th Avenue Jail while those who are arrested for felony offenses will likely be booked into that facility.

Below is information from the Shah Law Firm about posting bail at the 4th Avenue Jail in Phoenix.

What are Bail and Bond?

Bail is a conditional release of a defendant in exchange for a financial arrangement that someone else makes for the defendant. To secure the release of the defendant, a person or bail bonds agent will post the money or collateral. Bail is set by the court.

The person who posts bail for a defendant will be responsible for ensuring that he or she attends his or her court appearances. Bond is an agreement that the full bail amount will be paid. Some courts will accept a 10% down payment of the total bail amount.

Posting a Bond for someone at the 4th Avenue Jail

To post a bond for someone at the 4th Avenue Jail, you will want to know the forms of payment that the facility accepts. The 4th Avenue Jail only accepts the following types of payments for bond:

  • Cashier’s check
  • Postal money order
  • Western Union money order
  • U.S. currency in the exact amount of the bond
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover

Whichever of these forms of payment that you choose, they must be made out to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. If the transaction is for $10,000 or more, your Social Security number will be required because of Internal Revenue Service rules.

Click to Learn More About How to Post Bail at 4th Ave Jail…

dui charge under 21 in Arizona

Underage DUI in Arizona (Charged while Under 21): Zero Tolerance

The state of Arizona has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage DUI (underage drinking and driving), and that policy means that if you are caught drinking and driving, regardless of how low your blood alcohol concentration level may be, you will be charged with a DUI in Arizona. But what else does this mean? Well for one, it also means you will face criminal charges if found guilty of drinking and driving if you are under the legal drinking age of 21 in Arizona.

Let’s Discuss Arizona’s Zero Tolerance policy, what it means if you’ve been caught drinking and driving underage, and what Arja Shah can do to help.

Penalties for Underage DUI – Drinking and Driving in Arizona

Unfortunately for some underage drivers who are caught drinking and driving — even those who may have only had a glass of champagne to celebrate a friend’s college graduation — those who are found to be in actual physical control of the vehicle will face severe penalties for drinking and driving underage in Arizona.

According to Arizona Revised Statute ARS 4-244 (34), underage driving under the influence comes with some hefty penalties and fines.

To begin, even if your blood alcohol concentration barely registered on the breathalyzer, you will face the same consequences as an of-age driver found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or greater.

For first offenses of underage driving, you can expect the following penalties:

  • Suspension of your driver’s license for two years
  • Up to $500 in court fees and other fines
  • Court-ordered education on substance abuse
  • Regular drug and alcohol screening
  • Court-mandated drug and alcohol counseling
  • Community service as ordered by the judge in your case

Click to Learn More About Underage DUI Charges in Arizona…

diseases that cause a high BAC

Can Medical Conditions Affect BAC Readings? False DUI Arrest

Contrary to what many people are aware of, there are a variety of medical conditions that can cause your BAC level to register higher than it really is, or register falsely — as well as a host of different medications, both over the counter and prescribed. And, in addition to that, there are other factors, such as in some people, an intolerance to the minute amount of alcohol found within some medications, both prescriptions and otherwise.

Let’s discuss some of the factors and medical conditions that can cause you to have higher-than-normal and even false BAC readings.

Medical Conditions that Affect Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Levels

Acid reflux

Acid reflux is the process by which your body pushes up acids from within the stomach and from around the stomach lining up into the back of your throat. Unfortunately, in some instances, these acids do contain alcoholic content, and while it is not the same kind of alcohol you would drink at a bar or party, it nonetheless has the ability to make you fail a breathalyzer test because it can contain enough ethanol to fool the breathalyzer into showing you have imbibed alcohol, even when you have not.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause you to fail a DUI breathalyzer test because this illness causes alcohol derived naturally from your body to pool within the large intestine and stomach, and from there it is pushed into the back of your mouth. This natural alcohol, which can cause tremendous pain for the sufferer, as it sits in the back of your mouth and throat, will make a breathalyzer result inaccurate and is in no way an indicator that you have been drinking or that your ability to drive is in any way impaired.
Click to Learn More about the medical conditions that can cause a DUI charge…

Actual physical control in Arizona

What does Actual Physical Control Mean when Arrested for DUI?

According to the Arizona DUI laws, the term, “actual physical control” refers to the person who was driving the car at the time it was pulled over by police or other authorities, but actual physical control goes a good deal deeper than just being the person behind the wheel of the motor vehicle — it is also determined based on a couple of other factors, the most important among these being whether the vehicle was running, whether the ignition was on, where the keys to the car were located at the time of the incident, and in what position the driver was found at the actual time of the incident.

All of the following factors of actual physical control can be used as a strong defense by your DUI attorney to help get your charges reduced or even dismissed completely.

Other Factors That Determine Actual Physical Control

What’s more, actual physical control also makes reference to a list of other factors, including:

  • Whether the driver was awake or asleep
  • Whether or not the vehicle’s headlights were on (or off)
  • Whether or not the vehicle was stopped, be it legally parked or on the side of the road, or someplace else
  • Whether or not the driver had successfully pulled over in a voluntary manner (to the side of the road)
  • What the time of day was, and what impact this may have had on other factors listed above
  • Whether or not the air conditioning or heater was on
  • Whether the windows of the vehicle were up or down
  • What the weather conditions were at the time of the incident

Finally, another important factor for the authorities who are making the determination of who is in actual physical control of the vehicle at the time of the incident will be the explanation of the above circumstances. These will be part of what would be discussed in a court of law if the case ever goes before an Arizona judge.

As is reported in advance of a court hearing, what is said by the person in actual physical control of the vehicle will be important, and authorities will notate it in preparation for court.
Click to Learn More about actual physical control and what it means for you…

bench warrant for failure to appear in court in Arizona

How to Clear an Arizona Bench Warrant for Failure to Appear in Court

Some defense lawyers in Phoenix might suggest that the defense against a failure to appear charge in the state of Arizona are relatively limited due to the fact that in almost all instances, the defendant knowingly missed his or her court date — and proving otherwise can be pretty difficult to do — especially if you don’t have the right defense attorney. With that said, however, there can in some instances absolutely be extenuating circumstances outside of the control of a defendant, such as a car accident, the hospitalization of the defendant or his or her spouse or child, and so on.

But even in instances where the reasons for missing a court date are valid, you will still have to go to court — now, for the original reason you were supposed to appear, as well as to explain to the court why you were absent on the day of your original court date. As long as you received the proper notice of your court date and failed to appear, the judge will want to hear why, and if possible, see proof of the reasons you give to the court for missing your original date.

In instances where a bench warrant was filed due to your missed court date, you and your attorney do have the ability to file a motion to cancel the bench warrant and give your reasons for missing the original date. This process is called “filing a motion to quash a bench warrant for failure to appear,” and as long as the circumstances that made it virtually impossible or totally impossible for you to appear in court, most of the time, the judge will dismiss the charge and cancel the bench warrant, leaving you to only have to deal with the original charge or charges you were facing.

What Kind of Charge is a Failure to Appear in Court in Arizona?

In the state of Arizona, failure to appear in court can be either a felony or a misdemeanor charge depending on the circumstances. In circumstances where the defendant knowingly failed to appear in court when the original charge was a felony, a failure to appear in court will be considered a first degree failure to appear in court and deemed a Class 5 felony in accordance with Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-2507.

  • For this charge, you could face up to 1.5 years in jail and up to $150,000 in fines and fees.

In instances when your failure to appear in court was related to a petty offense (something for which there is no possible jail or prison time) or misdemeanor charge rather than a felony, you will be charged with a second degree failure to appear in court in accordance with Arizona Revised Statute 13-3903.

  • Second degree failure to appear in court is deemed a Class 2 misdemeanor, for which the maximum sentence is four months in facility that is not a prison along with a fine of no more than $750.

Click to Learn More about Arizona bench warrant laws for failure to appear in court…

Arizona manslaughter laws

How Can Manslaughter Charges Be Ruled Self-Defense in Arizona?

In the state of Arizona, the law allows you to fight — and even in some instances kill, if warranted — in an effort to protect yourself, your family, or other loved ones. With that said, proving that how you used physical force in the act of self-defense is a great deal more complicated than most people realize against manslaughter charges.

Other states in the US have similar laws, such as the popular “stand your ground” laws that explain to residents that suggest that someone would be justified in threatening to use — or actually using — physical force against another person to a reasonable extent when the first person believes it to be immediately necessary for the purposes of protecting him or herself and/or others.

In the state of Arizona, and according to ARS 13-411, citizens have no duty to retreat before making any threats of physical violence in most instances if you are in a situation or a place where you have the legal right to be, and you have not engaged in any illegal acts.

When You Can Legally Use Force, Even Deadly Force

In fact, here in Arizona, there are a variety of situations in which the use of physical force are entirely justified, not just self-defense. Physical force may also be used in the state of Arizona in an effort to thwart certain crimes, as well as to come to the physical defense of a third-party whom you may or may not know. Furthermore, when a justification defense is something you plan to use, the prosecution bears the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant in question did not act in a justified manner.

The statutes that protect you and allow you to use self-defense, and even to commit manslaughter in Arizona when justified are as follows:

  1. Arizona Revised Statute Section 14-404: Justification: Self-Defense
  2. Arizona Revised Statute Section 13-405 Justification: Use of Deadly Physical Force

Threatening or using force in self-defense, including deadly force, is justified when a reasonable person could believe that that force was immediately necessary to stay safe (protect yourself) from another person’s use — or attempted use — of illegal physical force.

Self-defense is NOT justified when:

  • The other person has only made a verbal threat
  • If you are resisting arrest from a law enforcement officer
  • If an innocent third-party was injured or killed as a result of your recklessness
  • If you were the person who initiated the provocation of the other person’s use of force, except when you were the one who withdrew first and clearly stated your intent to withdraw AND the other person continued to then use illegal physical force.

Click to Learn More about Arizona manslaughter laws…

Resisting arrest in Arizona: ARS 13-2508

What is Considered Resisting Arrest by Police in Arizona?

In Arizona, there is actually a statute that defines what it means to resist arrest — lawmakers did this to ensure there would be no confusion in the courtroom after an arrest has been made, as resisting arrest is often a charge that is added to, or that happens in addition to, other charges at the same time.

Arizona Revised Statute 13-2508: Resisting Arrest in the State of Arizona

According to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-2508, resisting arrest in Arizona is defined as the act of intentionally preventing an arrest by either:

  1. Using or threatening to use physical force
  2. Creating substantial risk or physical injury
  3. Passively resisting an arrest through nonviolent physical means in a manner meant to impede, delay, or otherwise hinder an arrest

Passive Resistance of Arrest

Because it is one of the most common forms of resisting arrest today, and because peaceful resistance of arrest is known as a tool of protestors and others during the course of exercising their First Amendment right to free speech, it is important to understand passive resistance to arrest.

Passive resistance can mean more than one thing, but it is important to understand that the same rules for resisting arrest that apply to someone violently resisting through physical harm to authorities will also apply to someone who is peacefully resisting. And, in the courtroom, an Arizona judge is not likely to note the difference between a peaceful resistance and a physical revolt against arrest, with the only obvious difference — which would result in further charges — being resisting arrest in a violent manner that resulted in an injury or injuries to one or more police officers or other authorities.

A peaceful or nonviolent resistance to arrest can simply mean failure to act when told you are under arrest, refusing to put your hands behind your back, refusing to get out of your car or move from a specific physical space when an officer or other authority has commanded you to, or “dead weighting” your body in such a manner that arresting you and moving you from where you are on the street or another public space into a patrol car is exceedingly difficult for authorities.

ARS 13-2508 Includes Quite a Bit of Unclear Language

While Arizona law does have a specific statute for resisting arrest as noted above, Arizona Revised Statute 13-2508 is difficult to pin down, not only for officers and citizenry, but even for the courts and judges themselves. The statute contains a lot of room for interpretation — or misinterpretation — that makes it incredibly broad, far reaching, and frankly, that gives both the state and the person who allegedly resisted arrest a good amount of wiggle room.
Click to Learn More about Resisting Arrest in Arizona…

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