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Vehicular Manslaughter Archives - Arja Shah Law
Arizona Police use dog to search vehicle

Do Police Need a Search Warrant to Search a Car in AZ?

In Arizona, people are protected against an unlawful vehicle search or seizure by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While the Fourth Amendment requires officers to get search warrants before they search your property, there are several exceptions to the warrant requirement that allow them to search without a search warrant.

Vehicle searches are treated differently than searches of your home,and police are generally allowed to conduct warrantless searches of vehicles as long as they have probable cause.

Several other exceptions also allow police to search vehicles without warrants, including consent, searches incident to an arrest, inventory searches, plain view searches,and searches based on reasonable suspicion. We’ll take a brief look at each of these exceptions below.

Warrantless Searches Based on Probable Cause

In 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court established the mobile conveyance exception to the search warrant requirement in Carroll v. United States. In their decision, Supreme Court distinguished vehicles from homes, noting that vehicles can easily be moved away from a traffic stop, and evidence could be destroyed.

As long as police have probable cause, they can search your car without a warrant under the mobile conveyance exception without it being considered an unlawful search.

An officer has probable cause when a reasonably prudent person in the same situation would believe that evidence of a crime is likely located inside of a vehicle. However, only the areas in which the suspected evidence would likely be located can be searched.

For example, if a police officer has probable cause to believe that you stole your neighbor’s 60-inch television and that it is likely hidden in your car, he or she can search your vehicle’s trunk. However, the officer would not have probable cause to search your glove box since a television would not fit inside.

If a police officer pulled you over for a minor traffic violation, he or she will generally not have probable cause to support a warrantless search of your vehicle. However, if your conduct following the stop allows the officer to develop probable cause that evidence might be located in your vehicle, he or she can search without a warrant.

Consider this, if you are stopped for speeding, the officer will not be able to search your car based only on that. However, if he or she smells alcohol on your breath, he or she can search your car for open containers of alcohol.

Click to Learn More About Search Warrant to Search Your Car…

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…

Hire Vehicular Manslaughter Charges Defense in Tempe

Vehicular manslaughter is a serious criminal charge that can turn into an even more serious felony conviction, second-degree murder, if there is a fatality involved. At The Shah Law Firm PLLC in Tempe, Arizona, our vehicular manslaughter charges defense team has 12 years of experience working with these criminal cases and can prepare a strong defense for you that ensures a positive outcome.

About Driving Under the Influence

In Arizona, anyone driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher can be charged with DUI. This criminal charge can be given to anyone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol that impairs their ability to drive. A DUI charge in Tempe, Arizona can lead to a vehicular manslaughter charge if the driver harms someone while driving. If you’ve been charged, it’s imperative that you contact our vehicular manslaughter charges defense team at Shah Law Firm PLLC to represent you.

Other Violations Resulting in Manslaughter

A DUI isn’t the only violation that can lead to a manslaughter charge in Arizona. Anyone driving over the speed limit (85 miles per hour or more) can be charged with reckless driving. Charges of aggressive driving, where the driver ignores traffic signs or signals, follows too closely or doesn’t yield the right of way, can also become a manslaughter charge if another driver is injured or killed. At The Shah Law Firm PLLC of Phoenix, Arizona, we can investigate your case closely and determine the best way to defend your legal rights.

Call to Schedule a Free Legal Consultation with a Vehicular Manslaughter Charges Defense Attorney in Tempe, Arizona Today

If you’ve been charged with vehicular manslaughter in or around Tempe, Arizona, you need to call us immediately to schedule a free legal consultation with an experienced vehicular manslaughter charges defense attorney. Call us at (602) 888-0369 and begin protecting your rights and your freedom today.

The Shah Law Firm PLLC of Phoenix, Arizona serves the communities of Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Goodyear, and Apache Junction.

Contact Arja Today to Learn How She Can Help You!

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