Preparing for Criminal Defense in Phoenix
Have you been charged with a crime in Arizona? Did something go terribly wrong and now you’re under police investigation? Is a bench warrant out for your arrest? Were you re-arrested for violating probation? Is a bond or release hearing coming up? No one should face criminal charges without competent legal representation. When individual rights are in jeopardy or personal freedom could be lost, that is where our defense attorneys come in.
When in trouble with the law, waste no time getting legal assistance. Consult an experienced criminal defense attorney with the Stewart Law Group. Put your trust in our team of dedicated advocates for defendants’ rights. Have confidence in our proven ability to lighten the darkest circumstances. No matter how challenging the proceedings, no matter how serious the offense, we can help.
Doing nothing to prepare a strong defense, is what could stack the deck against you. Your defense has to begin with you. It’s not the prosecutor’s job to look out for the defendant’s best interests. Nor is the criminal justice system always as “just” as it could be. SLG’s criminal defense team has the resources, intelligence, legal and scientific training, and courtroom experience to make a real difference in the proceedings. Although no attorney can guarantee a specific outcome, we promise to do everything in our power to obtain the best possible results. We mean it.
Every criminal defense attorney with SLG is a former prosecutor. As such, we anticipate the State’s case and quickly spot weaknesses that could benefit the defense. The prosecution has the burden of proving every element of the alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt. To the trained eye, that burden provides an opportunity for defense counsel to attack the prosecution’s case in chief.
No criminal trial is a slam dunk. The prosecution will have a strategy for conviction; the defense must have a strategy for acquittal. Although dismissal, acquittal, plea bargain, or reduced sentence are all possibilities, the stakes vary considerably with the offense.
A criminal investigation, trial, or conviction may weaken a party’s family law case, too. Accusations of cyber-stalking the other spouse, of threatening domestic violence, or of violating an order of protection or order against harassment, could easily damage one’s case for child custody. Criminal charges may influence the family law judge’s determination of parenting time and legal decision-making authority. If hoping to co-parent your child, then hire the criminal defense attorney who has a proven track record of fighting and obtaining positive results.
Generally, violent crimes that put others in danger of serious physical injury or death, such as arson of an occupied building, carry harsher sentences than non-violent crimes, such as a weaponless criminal trespass. Armed robbery carries penalties far more severe than shoplifting or bad check writing. Grand theft auto is criminalized and penalized more harshly than petty theft.
Defense counsel approaches the sentencing phase as a way to obtain a more favorable sentence and probationary terms, to show mitigating circumstances, seek less jail time, and offer evidence of the client’s good moral character in the community. The sentencing hearing is an opportunity to show the judge the defendant’s willingness to make lifestyle changes, to take responsibility for past acts, and be a better citizen.
Not every case will result in dismissal or acquittal. That a conviction was not supported by the evidence; that the State did not carry its burden of proof; that the sentencing judge’s orders exceeded Arizona’s sentencing guidelines, these are all basis for appeal. Experience in criminal appellate practice is yet another reason to hire a criminal defense attorney with SLG.
All convictions have collateral consequences for the defendant and his or her family. Whether a misdemeanor or felony conviction, a criminal record follows that person everywhere. A criminal record may be expunged or conviction set aside when certain conditions are met. We can help with that, too. By far and away, though, the most effective defense involves a sustained attack from start to finish. Keep fighting throughout the trial, sentencing hearing, and any criminal appeal.
Although the elements of crimes vary substantially, the proceedings are governed by the same court rules. Read about Arizona crimes, court proceedings, and punishment on this website.
We also provide pre-charge representation. This involves the defense attorney in the case early on, often while law enforcement is still investigating. Police investigations can go on for months, sometimes years, especially with complex white-collar crimes and fraudulent schemes. If the prosecutor files an information or the grand jury indicts, then pre-charge defense preparation could place the client in a much better position.
Contact us now to learn more and schedule a consultation with a Phoenix criminal defense attorney from our team. We have office locations in Phoenix, Peoria, Glendale, Chandler, Avondale, and Surprise.
How should anyone in Arizona defend against a charge of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol? There is no sense in waiting to see what might happen next. Your DUI defense begins with you. Take action now because every DUI conviction – misdemeanor or felony – will have direct and collateral consequences sufficient to disrupt your life on just about every level. Relationships suffer. Employment opportunities vanish. Finances crumble. Consult an experienced DUI defense attorney with the Stewart Law Group. We pull out all the stops for our clients. Trust us to help you, too.
Under Arizona DUI law, it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or some other intoxicating substance. Impairment need only be slight and includes lawful use of prescription drugs. There is no safe harbor from Arizona DUI law. Although an affirmative defense for some, generally, a patient with a valid MJ Card could be arrested, charged, tried, convicted, and sentenced for driving under the influence of medical marijuana.
Every DUI case involves unique circumstances. Arrest for so-called “drunk driving” or “drugged driving” could lead to a misdemeanor (Class 1) or felony charge (Class 6 or Class 4).
Dismissal without trial is possible, too. Defense counsel will identify during discovery any weaknesses in the State’s case, making acquittal more likely. Strategically, the defense negotiates any plea agreement from a position of strength. Discovery is an opportunity to get answers about what happened. How did law enforcement handle the traffic stop, BAC testing, arrest, and Miranda Warnings? Were defendant’s rights violated? Did police misstep or exceed authority? If a confession was obtained, how and under what circumstances? Talk to a lawyer and learn why DUI charges are sometimes dropped.
A driver charged with DUI is all too often convinced that jail is inevitable. Not so! There are many defenses to a DUI charge, whether alleged impairment was slight or the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was over the legal limit. If the defendant has a strong case, then why accept the prosecution’s offer of a plea deal? No outcome can be guaranteed, but experience teaches the DUI defense attorney how to assess the merits of the prosecution’s case.
An attorney’s defense strategy includes asserting affirmative defenses. Defense counsel is alert to any issue with the prosecution’s case in chief. Specifically, what will impede the State’s ability to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt on every element of the DUI crime?
There are many ways to challenge the State’s case, starting with the traffic stop that led to arrest. Was the traffic stop lawful? Did police have reasonable cause to pull the driver over? Were proper procedures followed by police at the sobriety checkpoint? What field sobriety tests were conducted? Did the driver refuse the officer’s request for blood, breath, urine, or other testing? Was Arizona’s implied consent law properly explained? Was the vehicle impounded? Were Miranda warnings given to the driver when questioned in police custody?
Defending against a DUI charge takes skill and confidence built on years of criminal trial practice. This is where our legal team excels. Our DUI defense attorneys are all former prosecutors. Experience matters.
After a finding of guilt by plea, bench trial, or jury verdict, sentencing follows. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws on the books, including zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. At a minimum, a DUI sentence includes court fines and assessments (in the thousands), incarceration (jail or prison, depending), and suspended driver’s license. With probation, there are additional costs: drug and alcohol testing, counseling, and installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in the vehicle. There will be a criminal record with long-lasting stigma. Is this a second or third offense? Another reason to aggressively defend against DUI charges – repeat offenders, or recidivists, are more severely punished. Learn more about how the state of Arizona defines extreme DUI, super extreme DUI and aggravated felony DUI.
With a DUI, freedom and hope for the future are on the line. Do not go into the courtroom unprepared, unrepresented, or under-represented. Arizona DUI law is a very complex niche of criminal law practice. Start preparing by reading the DUI information on this website. Then present the strongest case possible through your attorney. Our DUI defense team has proven, again and again, that we are a real match against the State’s resources.
Consult an attorney early on so a thorough DUI investigation can be conducted and an aggressive strategy developed. Prepare to fight all charges from every possible angle. Still, sometimes appeal follows conviction and sentencing. When criminal appellate practice is needed, we help our clients with that, too.
You’ve worked hard to get this far in life. Sadly, your efforts could quickly be torn down with a single accusation. This threat pervades every day in the workforce, especially if you work in a state-regulated field such as law, child care, or real estate.
The good news? Options exist even when the chance of retaining your license seems minimal. With strong legal defense, it’s possible to avoid disciplinary action from your profession’s state board.
Arizona’s Stewart Law Group offers comprehensive services for the state’s finest professionals. Our efforts could protect you from professional censure or license revocation. We will work to help you sustain your hard-earned reputation as a trusted professional.