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Flagstaff Criminal Law Blog

Disposition of seized guns comes under fire

When many people think of criminal charges, their thoughts turn to the possibility of going to prison. This isn't the only thing that people who have been charged with a crime, and those who are involved in the criminal justice system, face.

Another thing that these individuals have to think about is the possibility of asset forfeiture. This concept means that police officers take assets, such as money, guns or other items, that they feel are tied to criminal activities. These items are sometimes returned to the rightful owner if it is found that the items weren't tied to criminal activities.

Arizona has the 5th highest incarceration rate in the nation

The drug problem in Arizona is something that is hard to deny. A recent report notes that drug charges are the top reason why people are incarcerated in this state. As shocking as it might seem, Arizona has the fifth highest incarceration rate in the entire country.

The shock doesn't stop there. This state spends almost $600,000 per month to keep drug offenders behind bars. This shocking number and issue of drug addiction are the reasons why some people are noting that the state should consider the drug epidemic as a public health issue instead of a criminal matter.

Does prison actually help drug addicts?

If you've even glanced at the news these days, you've probably heard that the nation is in the midst of a drug addiction epidemic that is unlike anything it has experienced in the past.

Addicts aren't just enjoying their highs and having wild parties...they're dying from lethal concoctions of synthetic prescription drugs and high-powered additives that can kill if the dose is mixed incorrectly or a casual user gets their hands on a batch meant for a hardcore addict.

Don't downplay the seriousness of a misdemeanor charge

Many people think that misdemeanor charges are something that can just be ignored. This isn't the case. These charges can have serious implications on your life. We know that might think that you don't need to do much preparation to face these charges, but you can't fall into that mode of thinking.

Instead, you need to get to work on your defense just the same as what you would do if you were facing felony charges. Yes, the penalties of felony charges are usually more serious than misdemeanor charges; however, a misdemeanor charge on your criminal record can still have effects on your life.

Understand the consequences of drunk driving in Arizona

Don't get caught driving drunk. One of the easiest ways to ensure you don't get caught is to simply not get behind the wheel after you've had alcohol. Of course, life doesn't always make it that easy. If you are facing a drunk-driving charge, you should let the real consequences of this charge spur you to work on your defense.

In Arizona, you face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days on a first offense. Subsequent convictions come with a 90-day mandatory minimum jail sentence and a 12-month driver's license revocation.

Evaluate the options you have for a felony DUI defense

Most people have heard the saying that "ignorance is bliss." While that might be true in many areas, the criminal justice system isn't one of them. If you are facing criminal charges such as drunk driving, you can't just claim that you didn't know the laws. That claim isn't going to get you out of the charges.

Instead of relying on the false premise of ignorance of the drunk driving laws, you need to put on your thinking cap and determine how you are going to approach your defense of the charges against you. In the case of drunk driving charges, your options for a defense are likely going to be limited. But determining which options you have allows you to begin planning your defense strategy.

Following court orders is necessary or you can face more charges

It is imperative that anyone who is given a court order to follow does so perfectly. Failing to follow a court order can lead to criminal charges. Joe Arpaio, former sheriff in a Arizona, learned this the hard way.

Recently, Arpaio pleaded guilty to federal criminal contempt charges. He hasn't been sentenced yet, but his case does show that your status doesn't matter when it comes to facing charges or not.

Know what you want to do with your defense

The criminal justice system is one that is difficult to navigate if you don't know its ins and outs. Facing a criminal charge is something that is frightening to most people. Thinking about the penalties, such as time in prison, that you face can be very hard. You must take the fear and the uncertainty and put it to work for you.

We know that you have a lot on your plate, but you need to think carefully about the criminal case against you and how you are going to handle it. There are many unknowns in these cases that you have to think about, so don't put off planning your defense.

Your cellphone, border agents, and what possibilities exist

Crossing the border is a common occurrence for some people in this area. When you cross the border, you are the subject of scrutiny sometimes. This is something that can be a frightening experience.

When you are dealing with customs agents, you might not be thinking clearly. This is a difficult situation to be in, but you have to try to keep your wits about you. In some cases, the agents might want to search your cellphone. This is something that is allowed, but there are limits to what they can search.

Plan your drunk driving defense instead of ignoring the charges

Facing a drunk driving charge can be a life-changing experience. You have to make sure that you take it seriously because the impacts of a conviction can affect more than just your criminal record. We know that you might be concerned about what options you have. We are here to help you evaluate these choices so that you can make informed decisions about your case.

In a previous blog post, we discussed ignition interlocks. If you recall, this is something that can change how you drive and when you drive. If you are ordered to use one of these devices, you can only operate vehicles with one installed. This means that you can't just borrow the most convenient car in the house to run to the store. Instead, you would have to drive whatever vehicle has the interlock.

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