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…

Shannon's Law illegally discharging a firearm in Arizona

Shannon’s Law & Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm in Arizona

Shannon’s Law is legislation that was passed in the state of Arizona that makes it illegal to discharge a firearm anywhere within the city limits of any city or town within the state of Arizona.

The law was passed in response to the 1999 gun-shooting tragedy that ended the life of Shannon Smith. As the story goes, Shannon Smith was casually walking around the back yard of her Central Phoenix home when suddenly, a bullet that had been fired into the air more than a mile away from her location struck her in the head and killed her.

Shannon Smith’s parents fought and won to create Shannon’s Law in a grassroots effort that included a veritable who’s who among Phoenix area prosecutors, politicians, area citizens, and law enforcement officials, among others, who wanted to see the legislative change that would restore peace in the Phoenix Metropolitan area, making it illegal to fire any type of gun or rifle into the air in an effort to avoid future tragedies such as the one that tragically took the life of Shannon Smith.

Known legally as Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-3107, enacted in 2000, Shannon’s Law makes it a felony for anyone, according to the law, “who, with criminal negligence discharges a firearm within or into the limits of any municipality” within the state of Arizona.

Not Every Discharge of a Firearm is a Felony in the State of Arizona

While it is true that Shannon’s Law makes it unlawful to discharge a firearm, it only does so when, according to the Shannon’s Law legislation, that person does so with criminal negligence, which may not always apply in every case. To prove this and obtain a misdemeanor charge instead of a felony charge, you may have to strike a plea bargain, but in the state of Arizona, these are relatively rare.

It’s important to understand that, because of the notoriety Shannon’s law received upon its passage, and because the law provides for mandatory sentencing, cases that fall under its purview are prosecuted with relative aggressiveness when compared to other, similar offenses within the state of Arizona, and especially within the Greater Phoenix Metro Area.

However, the important exceptions to Shannon’s Law that some people may not be aware of include shooting that occurs within supervised outdoor shooting ranges, areas where hunting is permitted, and select other designated areas in and around Phoenix and other parts of the state of Arizona.

Illegally discharging a firearm and understanding Shannon's Law in Phoenix
Click to Learn More about Shannon’s Law…

Order of protection violation in Arizona

Violation of a Restraining Order or Order of Protection in Arizona

Violating a restraining order in the state of Arizona is a serious charge that comes with serious repercussions, including fines, potential jail time, and even criminal charges. But before we discuss exactly what happens if you do violate an order of protection in Arizona, let’s first talk a little bit about what they are, what the implications are, and why you may have been ordered to stay away from a specific person or other entity in the state of Arizona.

What Exactly is a Restraining Order or Order of Protection in Arizona?

The state of Arizona defines a restraining order as an order of protection, offering protection from one individual to another against any potential acts of abuse of any kind, harassment, or other violations of the protection order holder’s rights and freedom of movement. Orders of protection are served to those defendants who the criminal court has decided could be a danger to the holder of the order of protection, and this could be simply based on that person’s fear of you or what you may do if the two of you come into contact.

Orders of protection can be served both to those who know one another well as well as to those who are strangers or virtual strangers to one another based upon the circumstances of the record of potential harassment. In Arizona, you can be served with an order of protection, an emergency order of protection, an injunction against harassment, or an injunction against workplace harassment — which one you are served with will depend on the circumstances surrounding the reasons for the order in the first place.

Who Can Have an Order of Protection Filed Against Them in Arizona?

This is an important question with a variety of disparate answers. In the state of Arizona, an order of protection can be served to any of the following people:

  • A current or former husband or wife (spouse or ex-spouse)
  • A person with whom you have lived, shared a household, been roommates, or cohabitated as an unmarried couple
  • Any person with whom you have had or currently have a romantic and/or sexual relationship as defined by Arizona law
  • A person who impregnated another person, or with whom you have a child or children in common
  • Any relative of any kind, including the relatives of a current or former husband or wife (spouse or ex-spouse’s relatives), including your own parents, grandparents, in-laws of any kind, or siblings and step siblings

Click to Learn More about order of protection violations in Arizona…

Arizona Dram Shop Liability Laws

Dram Shop Liability In Arizona ARS 4-311 (D)

According to Arizona Revise Statute (ARS 4-311 (D), any restaurants, bars, nightclubs, saloons, or any other places licensed to serve alcohol — known as dram shops — are liable for serving intoxicated patrons and/or minors under the following conditions:

  • Whether the establishment sold liquor or other spirits to any person who was clearly and obviously intoxicated
  • Whether or not that individual consumed all the alcohol that he or she purchased
  • Whether or not the consumption of the alcohol served by the dram shop was the proximate cause of any injuries, property damage, or other types of damages.

What It Means to Be Intoxicated Under Dram Shop Liability Laws in Arizona

In order for the tenets of ARS 4-311 (D) to be properly upheld, the definition of what it means to be intoxicated has to be legally established. For the purposes of this Arizona Revised Statute, intoxications is when any individual drinking — or ordering drinks at the dram shop — is inebriated to a point where the physical and mental impairment is obvious to those around that individual, including other patrons, bartenders, and servers, due to the fact that the intoxicated person is physically uncoordinated, is showing signs of serious physical dysfunction, and other signs, such as slurring speech.

It is under this definition of intoxication or inebriation that a dram shop could be held liable for any injuries or damages done when that dram shop continues to serve alcohol to the individual displaying these signs and symptoms.
Click to Learn More about Arizona Dram Shop Liability Law…

Commercial Driver DUI in Arizona attorney

DUI with CDL (Commercial Drivers License) in Arizona: What You Need to Know

If you are a commercial driver or professional trucker with a Class A commercial driver’s license in the state of Arizona, you already know, the rules regarding safety on the road apply in a more stringent manner to you because of the type of professional license you hold.

You can still obtain a Class A CDL in the state of Arizona if you have been previously convicted of a DUI, but only after you have completed the original license suspension before applying — or reapplying — for a new Arizona CDL. If you have not taken this vital step, any application you submit for a Class A CDL in Arizona will be rejected.

What Happens When You are Charged with a DUI While Driving a Commercial Vehicle

If you are caught driving a commercial vehicle, including a tractor, flatbed, reefer, or any other type of semi or commercial vehicle, while allegedly under the influence and found guilty of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge, the penalties include, but may not be limited to:

  • A class 1 misdemeanor, which could mean probation along with anywhere from 0 days to 1 year in jail
  • The potential of extensive fines and fees to the court
  • Mandatory counseling for alcohol use
  • Mandatory use of an ignition interlock system on any vehicle you drive, even though your CDL is suspended

Click to Learn More about CDL DUI charges in Arizona…

AZ fraud attorney

What are the Penalties for Credit Card Fraud in Arizona?

Credit card fraud is a serious offense in the State of Arizona. It is the crime of taking and/or possessing someone’s credit card without his or her consent, or without the consent of the business entity that owns the credit card. Additionally, any person or other entity that accepts any gift that was purchased with a stolen credit card may also be charged and convicted of fraud. Because credit card fraud can mean so many different things legally, it’s important to have an experienced Arizona fraud attorney by your side before, during, and after any court proceedings. At the Shah Law Firm, we have years of experience representing people and business entities facing credit card fraud charges in Phoenix, AZ.

In Arizona, Credit Card Fraud Can be Committed in a Variety of Ways, Including:

  • Skimming credit card numbers online or off
  • Abuse of a credit card in your own name or that of another person in the form of telling the card provider that certain charges were fraudulent when they were not
  • Identity theft by way of credit card or through the use of a credit card and another form of ID, be it Arizona or federal
  • About Credit Card Fraud

Theft charges will depend on the value of the item stolen while using any credit card illegally. Anyone who controls a credit card without the cardholder’s permission, who possesses or controls the credit card as security for a debt, or who sells or transfers a credit card with the intent to defraud is guilty of credit card fraud in the state of Arizona.

Click to Learn More about credit card fraud in Arizona…

get your AZ DUI or DWI dismissed or reduced

Can an Arizona DUI charge be dropped?

Getting a DUI charge in Arizona dropped is difficult, but not impossible, and of course, there are many good reasons you’d want to have one dismissed. No one wants to go to jail for 10–45 days, pay thousands of dollars for new, unnecessary car insurance and alcohol education classes, and at the most basic level, you just don’t want something like a DUI in your history, because it’s permanent in most cases, and visible to anyone as a matter of public record.

The Shah Law Firm knows how to get charges dismissed if it’s possible, and at the very least charges can be reduced. For example, Shah Law Firm has gotten felony DUI charges reduced to reckless driving charges, which is much less severe.

Reducing Versus Dismissing AZ DUI Charges

Arizona law states that a DUI isn’t supposed to be dismissed unless there is insufficient evidence for the DUI charges. Certain cities in Arizona won’t give a lesser charge, but will instead typically dismiss DUI charges altogether. If this happens with your case, it means you won’t have to worry about Arizona DUI charges causing your insurance to go up, you won’t have to pay hefty fines, and best of all, you wont have to worry about serving any jail time. 

Ultimately, in order for DUI charge in Arizona to be reduced, the blood alcohol content (BAC) and specific facts pertaining to your unique DUI or DWI case will be closely analyzed. Any facts that can be proven wrong, inaccurate, or insufficient in most cases will be automatically grounds for your case to be dismissed.

The highly trained and experienced DUI and DWI attorneys at Shah Law Firm can help determine if your case is eligible for Arizona DWI or DUI dismissal or reduction.

Get your Scottsdale DUI dismissed

Call Today to Learn More About Dropped DUI Charges in Arizona

If you’re facing a DUI charge anywhere in Arizona, you need the Shah Law Firm Arizona DUI lawyers by your side. A reduced charge, if applicable, looks much better on your record than a DUI. It also doesn’t carry as harsh of penalties. To schedule a free legal consultation with a DUI attorney at Shah Law firm, call us today at 602-560-7408. We serve clients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Goodyear, and Apache Junction, AZ.

Penalties for Domestic Violence and Disorderly Conduct Convictions in Arizona

Domestic violence is not an explicitly codified crime in Arizona. Instead, it is a term used to describe the nature of the relationship between the parties. Arrests related to domestic violence typically include assault, battery, or disorderly conduct charges.

Disorderly conduct occurs when an individual ‘disturbs the peace,’ and these charges can run concurrently with each other. If law enforcement arrested you for domestic violence disorderly conduct, you might find it helpful to discuss the details of your case with a domestic violence defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ.

Disorderly Conduct Penalties in Arizona

We previously defined disorderly conduct above as a disruption to public peace and enjoyment. Within the context of domestic violence, this type of behavior affects neighbors and family members. Examples of disturbing the peace may include:

  • Fighting or engaging in violent acts
  • Using abusive language or gestures to provoke others
  • Making noise that is unreasonably loud
  • Interfering with lawful gatherings or meetings
  • Failing to follow public safety orders
  • Recklessly handling or discharging a deadly weapon

Arizona classifies disorderly conduct as a class 1 misdemeanor. The only exception to this rule pertains to deadly weapon discharges. In this case, the charges become a class 6 felony.

Class 1 misdemeanor convictions may result in jail time of up to six months, a fine of up to $2,500, and up to three years of probation. Additional penalties may include mandatory counseling depending upon the circumstances of your case.

The Application of Disorderly Conduct to Domestic Violence

Let us take a closer look at how disorderly conduct charges apply to domestic violence allegations. Arizona courts can use the domestic violence context for pending charges as long as the involved parties are:

  • Married or share children
  • Pregnant with the alleged abuser’s baby
  • In a sexual or romantic relationship
  • Related biologically or by law
  • Minor-aged dependents

Disorderly conduct charges related to domestic violence can increase the penalties associated with other charges if any. Courts may require you to leave the residence or issue a restraining against you at the request of your accuser.

Discussing Your Case with a Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ

It is critical for you to remember that pending charges do not mean that you are guilty. It just means that the State of Arizona believes it has enough evidence against you to prosecute your case. If you follow any form of media, you know how often state and county prosecutors are unable to convict people of the charges against them for several reasons.
One reason for dismissed or reduced charges lies within your ability to defend and argue your case. Hire a licensed Arizona criminal defense attorney to handle this aspect for you. He or she has the knowledge, training, and experience to offer you the best defense possible.

Consider Working with Arja Shah Law

Our firm’s founder, Arja Shah, is an aggressive criminal defense lawyer with offices in downtown Phoenix and serving clients in all of Arizona. Clients appreciate her strong advocacy in the courtroom with a client-centered approach to service. You can discuss your case directly with attorney Arja Shah by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending her a message through the firm’s free attorney consultation request form.

Contact Arja Today to Learn How She Can Help You!

1 + 0 = ?

This contact form is deactivated because you refused to accept Google reCaptcha service which is necessary to validate any messages sent by the form.
Call Now ButtonAvailable Now by Phone/Video