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.
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Shannon's Law illegally discharging a firearm in Arizona

What is Shannon’s Law? Learn About 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
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Order of protection violation in Arizona

What Happens if You Violate a Restraining Order in Arizona? What You Need to Know

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

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Arizona Dram Shop Liability Laws

Dram Shop Liability In Arizona: What You Need to Know About 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 the individual displaying these signs and symptoms.
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Commercial Driver DUI in Arizona attorney

Getting a DUI When You Have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) 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

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Failing an Ignition Interlock Device Test

If you were arrested, charged, and convicted with driving under the influence in Arizona, you may have been required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This device detects any alcohol on someone’s breath, and if that is the case, the device will not allow the vehicle to start. Unfortunately, an ignition interlock device can not always tell the difference between alcohol and some other types of substances. Learn what you should do if you fail an ignition interlock device test — even when you have not been drinking.

Ignition Interlock Violations

There are five types of ignition interlock violations that can happen after you are required to install this device on your vehicle.

  • Failing a breath test. Any driver younger than 21 years of age will receive a violation for any failed breath test. Any driver older than 21 will have one violation as a “pass” and the second violation will result in a six-month extension of the ignition interlock device requirement.
  • Failed or missed rolling retest. After three failed or missed rolling retests, such as turning off your vehicle while the device is requesting a sample, it will result in a six-month extension.
  • Missed 90-day calibration appointment. If you fail to bring your vehicle in after 90 days to check the device, it will result in a complete resetting of your time period and a suspended license.
  • Tampering with the device. Any tampering with the device will result in a six-month extension and a possible class 1 misdemeanor criminal charge.
  • Disconnection or removal of the device. If you disconnect or remove the device, it will reset the entire time frame you are required to have the device, and result in a suspended license.

Avoiding False Alarms

You may have had a genuine false alarm with respect to the ignition interlock device. While it is possible to defend them in court, it is better to avoid the possibility of them in the first place. The following ways can help you attempt to avoid any false alarms.

  • Refrain from drinking any alcoholic beverages before you drive
  • Rinse your mouth with water before your test
  • Avoid using any mouthwash that would be alcohol-based
  • Never use breath mints or chew gum while driving
  • Avoid over-the-counter medicines with alcohol
  • Always brush your teeth thoroughly after eating to avoid any kind of fermentation that may develop on your breath after eating certain types of food

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have had a false alarm on an ignition interlock device, or a mistake has been made, you may end up receiving a violation. This violation can result in serious and severe consequences, including criminal charges in some cases. If you have had a false alarm with your device, please contact Arja Shah, an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ who can give you individual attention and help you with your false alarm on your ignition interlock device case. Contact Arja Shah by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form today.

Arizona is the Strictest State on DUIs

Every state has laws making it illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Every state also has penalties for those who are caught drinking and driving. However, the state of Arizona has the distinction of being one of the strictest states regarding DUIs and DUI penalties. The purpose of these harsh laws and penalties is to attempt to prevent DUIs from occurring in the first place.

Arizona is #1

A recent study ranked Arizona as #1 in criminal penalties for those who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and #2 in DUI prevention efforts across the country. The theory is that the stricter the penalties, the greater the deterrent to committing DUIs to begin with. The Arizona laws regarding DUIs are harsh and the penalties are severe.

Arizona Legal Limit

Arizona has strict limits regarding the amount of alcohol consumption allowed when operating a vehicle. If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is above .08% in the state of Arizona, you will receive a DUI. If you are a commercial driver with a CDL license, you can be arrested, charged, and convicted of a DUI if your BAC is above .04%. If you are under the age of 21, you can be charged with a DUI if you have any alcohol in your system at all. Reaching these legal limits will likely result in strict penalties.

DUI Penalties in Arizona

The reason Arizona is ranked number #1 for DUI penalties is that the penalties here are severe. Comparatively to other states, Arizona has longer jail times, stricter penalties, and more severe consequences for all DUI offenders.

  • First Offense. 24 hours to 10 days of jail time, $250 fine, 90-360 days suspended license.
  • Second Offense. 30-90 day jail sentence, $500 fine, one year suspended license.
  • Extreme DUI. If you have a BAC of .15%, you will serve at least 30 days in jail and have to pay a minimum of $2,500.
  • Ignition Interlock Device. All DUI convictions require the installation of an ignition interlock device.
  • More than 2 DUIs. If someone has more than two DUIs, Arizona automatically regards it as a Class 4 felony, and an offender must serve a minimum of four months in prison.

There have been cases in Arizona in which a DUI offender was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a fatality involving a DUI. Manslaughter charges for DUIs involving the death of another person can lead to 21 years in prison.

Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney

If you were arrested and charged with a DUI in Arizona, you are likely facing some serious penalties. Contact Arja Shah, an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ who can review your arrest and charge for DUI. She can help you with your case and work to get you the least severe sentence possible. Contact Arja Shah by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form today.

Get Back on Track After a DUI Conviction

If you were arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), contact an attorney as soon as possible to help build your case and attempt to reduce or remove the charges from your record. If you have already been convicted of a DUI, you may feel as if your life is permanently scarred, and that you will never get back on track. While a DUI is very serious, you have options to rebuild your life after either your sentence or a fine you had to pay, or both. Here are some steps you can take to move your life in a positive direction.


If you actually received a DUI conviction with jail time, you may not be a first-time offender. If this is the case, you should determine if you truly have a substance abuse disorder. DUIs are often a symptom of a greater problem, which is a compulsive addiction to either drugs or alcohol, or both. If this sounds true for you, please consider seeking professional help. Rehabilitation options are available in out-patient and in-patient settings.

Professional Help

Perhaps you feel as if you do not need an actual in-patient or out-patient rehabilitation center. If you still feel you struggle with alcohol or drugs, consider visiting a professional therapist, counselor, join an Alcoholics Anonymous group, another recovery program, or visit with a professional who specifically deals with addiction issues.

Ignition Interlock Device

Oftentimes, an ignition interlock device will be mandated by the court for those who are convicted of a DUI. This device requires a driver to prove that he or she had no alcoholic drinks by blowing into it before the car will start. While these devices are only required for a certain period of time, it is interesting that they are associated with a 70% reduction in DUI arrest rates. Consider keeping your ignition interlock device in your car, even after the court mandate is over, as an insurance policy for you and others that you will be safe.

Find New Interests

It may seem silly and trite to say you should find a hobby. However, it has been proven that when people are trying to get their lives back on track, finding a new activity to give them purpose can actually help them heal emotionally more quickly. If you find a hobby that you can do instead of drinking, such as training to run a 5k, it will make you physically and emotionally healthier.

Strong Support Network

Your family and friends should be your support system. If you were surrounded by people who made poor choices in the past, take this time to create a new group of friends who do not drink or do drugs. Find the people who will be your biggest cheerleader and help you on the road to recovery as you get your life back on track.

Contact a DUI Attorney

If you were arrested and charged with a DUI, contact Arja Shah. She is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ who can review your arrest and charge for DUI. She can help you with your case so you can get your life back on track after a DUI. Contact Arja Shah by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form today.

Reasons to Appeal a Criminal Case

If you were charged and convicted of a criminal offense, you still have legal options. You have the legal right to an appeal, which would ultimately be investigating the court’s legal basis for their decision in your case. Errors in judgment are made in courts of law, and if you were denied the right to a fair trial due to factual or other types of errors, you would have the right to appeal your conviction. The types of reasons you may have to appeal a criminal case are listed below.

False Arrest

If you were falsely arrested without probable cause by law enforcement, you may have the right to appeal your conviction. If you were arrested without a warrant or under circumstances that would not include any legal warrant exceptions, then you may have the right to appeal your criminal case conviction.


There are two instances where issues with evidence could allow for an appeal.

  • Inaccurate Evidence. Both sides have the right before a trial to view each other’s evidence, and decisions are made regarding what evidence is allowable in a court of law in your unique case. If proper evidence was excluded, or improper evidence was allowed, you may have the right to an appeal.
  • Lack of Adequate Evidence. The prosecutor has the responsibility to establish that you committed each criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is inadequate or inaccurate evidence, the jury may not have had the information needed to correctly make a determination. While difficult to prove, you may be able to appeal on the basis of inadequate or inaccurate evidence in your criminal case.

Jury Instructions

A jury is always provided instructions by the judge before their deliberation. These instructions tell them how to handle all of the applicable law in your particular case and are called jury instructions. If the judge in your case provided incorrect, incomplete, or somehow inaccurate instructions to the jury regarding the laws, how they should be applied, or which do not include all laws applicable to your criminal case, you may be able to appeal your conviction.

Juror Misconduct

The law requires that jurors must follow strict rules that are designed to ensure that they reach an impartial decision. Juror misconduct occurs when a juror acts inappropriately regarding his or her decision in a criminal case. These instances are fairly common and typically include scenarios in which jurors communicated inappropriately with other jurors, attorneys, or witnesses.


If you were charged and convicted of a criminal offense, you will have gone through the sentencing process, which determines your punishment. This phase of a criminal trial is complex, and several factors are taken into account, including previous convictions, the severity of the crime, and other circumstantial evidence. Judges must follow specific legal rules exactly, or there can be errors during the sentencing phase. If this occurs, then you may have the right to an appeal.

Contact Experienced Criminal Attorney Today

The criminal appellate process is legally complex. Arja Shah is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ who can review your original criminal case, and explain your appeal options to you. Contact Arja Shah by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form today.

First Offense DUIs in Arizona

Arizona statutes prohibit driving while under the influence (DUI) of any intoxicating substance, which would include alcohol, drugs, legally obtained prescription medications, or other substances that would impair judgment. If you impaired at all while operating a motor vehicle, you will likely be subject to severe punishment in the state of Arizona. Arizona has some of the strictest consequences for DUIs. If you have been arrested or charged with your first DUI offense in Arizona, it is important to know your rights as well as the likely consequences you may be facing.

Penalties for a First Offense

According to the state of Arizona, if you are found operating a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above 0.08%, then you may be found guilty of a DUI. While there is no exact test for drugs, a police officer can make the determination regarding impaired judgment through a series of tests that will assess mental ability, coordination and cognitive ability. If you show any kind of impairment due to an intoxicating substance, you will be given a DUI, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

The following penalties are applied to a first time DUI offender in the state of Arizona:

  • Minimum of 24-hour jail sentence up to a six-month jail sentence
  • Minimum $250 fine up to $2500
  • Driver’s license suspension from 90-360 days
  • Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device on your car at your own expense. (This device prevents you from driving your vehicle without blowing into the device first to prove sobriety.)
  • Potential three-year probation
  • Potential community service
  • Potential alcohol/drug assessment and educational classes

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record

A DUI will stay on your record permanently. However, there is a seven-year lookback period in the state of Arizona. This means that if you have any future DUIs, the first conviction for a DUI will be used to influence any subsequent DUI criminal cases within that seven-year period. If seven years pass without any DUI on your record, the next DUI you receive could be considered as a first offense again.

Aggravated DUI in Arizona

As a first offense DUI, you can still be convicted of an aggravated offense if you had a minor child under the age of 15 in your car. If you drive with a child under the age of 15 in your car as an intoxicated driver, it is considered a Class 6 felony according to Arizona Statute 28-1383.

Additionally, if you had a BAD of 0.15% or higher it is considered an Extreme DUI. A BAC of 0.20 or higher is considered a Super Extreme DUI. These criminal charges bring with them even harsher penalties and consequences, even as a DUI first offender.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

While some of the penalties for a first DUI offense are required, an experienced attorney will be able to offer certain plea bargains to the court. Arja Shah is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ who can review your first offense DUI case, and explain your options to you. Contact Arja Shah today by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form today.

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