Criminal law is comprised of Substantive Criminal Law and Procedural Criminal
Law, as well as Legal and Factual Defenses. We have previously defined
procedural defenses in this blog entry
here and also discussed factual defenses in this blog entry
here. The focus of today's blog posting is going to be a discussion regarding
Substantive Criminal Law. If you have been arrested in
Scottsdale, AZ for any criminal or DUI charge, it is advisable to seek the advice
of competent and experienced criminal defense counsel before making any
potentially life changing decisions in your criminal case. If you plan
to hire an attorney, it is important to find one who has the experience
and knowledge to investigate and litigate criminal and DUI cases, and
assist you in navigating through our often-complex criminal justice system.
While a criminal or DUI investigation includes many components, our focus
today will be on
Substantive Criminal Law.
Substantive criminal law is sometimes referred to as the "black letter"
of the law. In other words, it means that it is those things the legislature
has declared illegal and written a law forbidding the conduct described
in the law. (Normally these laws are printed in black ink – hence
the name "black letter" of law.) Every substantive criminal
law will have 'elements' identified in the written language of
the law. You can locate what law is being alleged to have been violated
by looking at your complaint or indictment. However, this will only tell
you what law was violated, to find the 'elements' you will need
to look it up in the legal code book – known as a statute book.
In Arizona, criminal laws are codified at Title 13 of the Arizona Revised
Statute. Even if you should locate a copy of the law applicable to your
case you will still need the assistance of counsel to deconstruct what
the law is actually saying, and to determine what the 'elements'
are that the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt before they
are entitled to a conviction. Below is a list of categories in which almost
all "black letter" laws or statutes will address:
Offenses Against the Person:
- Vehicular Homicide
- Assault and Battery
- Rape/Sex Crimes
- False Imprisonment
- Offenses Against Property
- False Pretenses
- Receiving Stolen Property
- Malicious Mischief
- Criminal Damage (personal property)
Offenses Against Habitation:
- Home Invasion
- Criminal Damage (real property)
Almost all substantive crimes will fall under one of these broad categories.
To develop a successful defense one must first identify the nature of
the substantive crime being alleged. Only then can one begin to identify
the "elements" of the offense. Once this has been identified,
a criminal defense strategy can be formulated to address the allegations
against the accused. Click
here to learn more about factual defenses in a criminal case and
here to learn more about procedural defenses in a criminal case. We will discuss
more about Procedural Criminal Law in a future blog posting.
Every case is unique and the criminal defense attorney you choose should
be able to identify the nature of the crime being alleged as well as the
relevant defenses that best fit the specific circumstances and facts of
your case. Mr. Buckallew is a
Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law – Certified by the Arizona State Bar. He has significant experience
in litigating all types of
DUI and criminal cases and has a proven track record of successfully resolving
countless cases throughout the course of his career. Mr. Buckallew has
Scottsdale criminal and DUI cases – both at the Scottsdale City Court, McDowell
Mountain Justice Court, Desert Ridge Justice Court (misdemeanor cases)
as well as the Maricopa County Superior Court (felony cases), and in most
other courts throughout the valley. He has handled all types of criminal
Homicide, Vehicular Homicide,
Sexual Assault, Theft, Criminal Damage, Burglary,
Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Offenses, just to name a few.
Contact the Firm today for a free consultation regarding your Scottsdale criminal or DUI case.
**This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not
create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not
be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact
the Firm to schedule a consultation regarding your case.
Excerpts in this blog posting were taken from Mr. Buckallew's e-book
listed below. You may request a free copy of his book
Arizona Criminal Defense Strategies (e-book)Copyright © 2011 Trent R. Buckallew, Attorney at Law The Law Offices
of Trent R. Buckallew, PC Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney