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Archive for the ‘Criminal Defense’ Category

DUI And The Difference An Attorney Can Make

Posted on: October 4th, 2013 by Scott Law

It is an awful feeling. You are driving in your car and you see the police lights behind you. This can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable experience for even the most minor traffic violations. When someone is pulled over with drugs or alcohol in their system, things can quickly go from bad to worse. Faced with a court date in the near future and knowing that Arizona has very strict laws and punishments for DUI, you have to decide if hiring a Glendale DUI attorney is the right choice for you.

You might be thinking, what difference can an attorney make in my case? A criminal defense attorney experienced in DUI representation can help you navigate the complex issues that are often involved in DUI cases in Maricopa County. They can assist with your license suspension and MVD hearing. They know how to take certain actions to avoid additional fines, fees and insurance costs. They can see problems in a case that could warrant a dismissal or reduced plea offer. They will assist with the court proceedings, preventing you from having to take substantial time out of work or school. Most importantly, they are there to advocate for you in the event that the matter goes to trial.

Can a Glendale DUI lawyer make a difference in your case? Call an experienced DUI lawyer to find out.

Scott Law Offices is a Glendale law firm providing Peoria DUI attorneys, Deer Valley DUI attorneys, Desert Ridge DUI attorneys and DUI representation throughout the valley.

Domestic Violence and Family Court

Posted on: September 26th, 2013 by Scott Law

Every year more than three million children witness domestic violence in the home. These children tend to experience abuse or neglect at high rates. Studies have found that children who are exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems and are at risk of suffering injuries themselves in many circumstances. More than 60% of domestic violence incidents happen at home. Without help, children exposed to domestic violence in the home are more likely to commit acts of domestic violence in their future. In order to stop the cycle of domestic violence, it is important for incidents of abuse to be reported and for the court to intervene.

Orders of Protection can be the first step towards acting against domestic violence in the home. An order of protection is issued through the court to protect a person where they live, work, go to school and even prevents telephone and electronic contact. Such orders can be issued to protect the victim of the abuse as well as the children exposed to it. In an order of protecting hearing it is important that your Phoenix family law firm understands the sensitive issues involved and the scope of the hearing.

Once the safety concerns are addressed, family court involvement is often the next step. A Phoenix divorce attorney with experience in high conflict divorce cases can assist in ensuring that the proper orders are requested and that the court is aware of the serious allegations involved in the case. There are many tools available to the family court in domestic violence cases to ensure that the violence ends and safeguards are in place.

If the threat is severe, you may choose to press criminal charges. Before doing so, it is advisable to seek the advice of your divorce attorney in Arizona. Keeping organized and creating a list of all the facts prior to preparing a complaint against partner can be the difference between the court taking action or not. One should never limit their complaint to just the end result. Most often, an incident of domestic violence starts with very minute issues that escalate over time. Such details could later prove helpful during the divorce process. Safety is the primary goal. Seeking help right away and reporting acts of abuse can help avoid future incidents.

For more information on orders of protection, domestic violence representation and high conflict divorce or custody cases contact Scott Law Offices.

Charged With A Phoenix DUI

Posted on: November 17th, 2012 by Scott Law

When charged with a misdemeanor DUI, a call to a DUI attorney in Phoenix can be the difference in avoiding excessive jail time, restrictions, fines or fees.  One can be charged with a misdemeanor DUI in Phoenix for driving while having a blood alcohol concentration of over .08, .15 or .20.  Charges can also be brought against a person so long as they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs and their ability to drive was impaired.  A person faced with a misdemeanor DUI could potentially be exposed to up to 6 months in jail.

There are many pieces to a DUI case that must be carefully considered and coordinated to avoid being exposed to additional penalties or future expense.  Scott Law Offices client’s often express their surprise in learning of the intricate ways in which we promote the best interests of our clients.  If you or someone you know is charged with a DUI and could benefit from the advice of a Phoenix DUI Lawyer, do not hesitate to call Scott Law Offices for a free DUI consultation.

Criminal Case Procedures

Posted on: June 19th, 2012 by Scott Law

When someone is charged with a criminal offense, the court process can be overwhelming and confusing.  The following explains the path that a criminal case may take depending on the decisions made by the defendant:

Initial Appearance

In criminal case procedures the initial appearance is an individual’s first appearance in court.   When arrested and in-custody, this must occur within 24 hours of the arrest.  If not in-custody, a summons is mailed to the person’s home with a court date and time.  At the hearing, the individual is informed of the charges they are facing.  The release conditions are set by the Judge and a future court date is set.

Preliminary Hearing

Once a direct complaint is filed by the State formally charging a person with a crime, a preliminary hearing is set.  At this hearing, a person may be presented with a plea offer to settle their case or may choose to move forward with the hearing.  At the hearing, the State would present witnesses and evidence to try to establish probable cause that a crime was committed and by the individual accused.  If probable cause is found, an arraignment will be completed by the Court and an initial pre-trial conference will be scheduled.

Grand Jury

The State may also choose to proceed by grand jury indictment in the criminal case procedures.  Grand jury proceedings are held in secret.  A prosecutor presents evidence to the grand jury.  Then the grand jury makes a determination on whether there is probable cause that a crime was committed, by the person accused of the crime.  If an indictment is issued, an arraignment is scheduled for a future date.

Arraignment

The arraignment is a brief hearing before the Court where an individual facing criminal charges enters a plea of guilty or not guilty.  A plea of not guilty will result in the scheduling of an initial pre-trial conference.

Pre-trial Conference

Pre-trial conferences are brief hearings in the Superior Court.  They are typically before a Commissioner, where the Court determines if the State and defense have complied with the Rules of Procedure.  Also, whether there are discovery issues or whether a plea offer exists. Finally, in the criminal case procedures if found necessary a trial date or other hearings are set.

Settlement Conference

The Court typically orders that the parties participate in a settlement conference before the expiration of any plea offer.  The settlement conference Judge will advise the individual charged in the case with regard to their plea offer.  The settlement conference Judge will also advise the individual charged in the case the sentencing possibilities at trial.  As the criminal case procedures move forward the defendant is typically permitted to ask questions of both the Judge and the prosecutor so that they can be fully informed prior to deciding to accept or reject a plea offer.

Trial Management Conference

The trial management conference is typically the last hearing before the trial occurs.  Any trial issues are discussed at that time and the Court ensures that both sides are prepared to move forward on the scheduled trial date.

Trial

If an individual chooses to take their case to trial, a Jury of either eight or twelve jurors will determine the outcome of the case.  The State must prove to the jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the crime charged in the case was committed by the accused.  The jury must all agree on the verdict in order to find someone guilty of a crime.  In certain rare circumstances, the State and the defense may agree to a bench trial where there is no jury and the Judge determines guilt or innocence.  If a person is found not guilty of the charges, the case is over and they cannot be retried on the same charges.  If the person is found guilty, they will appear before the Court for final sentencing.

Sentencing

Sentencing is typically set thirty days out from the finding of guilt.  Both the State and the defense can provide evidence to the Court so that the Judge can better determine what sentence is appropriate.  The Judge is bound by the law and can only sentence an individual under the statutory sentencing range set for the particular crime.