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If you are facing criminal misdemeanor charges in the Scottsdale City Court or one of the Maricopa County Justice Courts in Scottsdale, especially if this is the first time you have ever been involved in the criminal court system, you may be wondering what to expect during misdemeanor court proceedings.

Misdemeanor cases are handled in either the Scottsdale City Court or one of the nearby Justice Courts – McDowell Mountain Justice Court and Desert Ridge Justice Court. The procedures are generally the same, although some rules may vary slightly from one court to another. When you hire a Scottsdale Criminal Defense Attorney, the first legal documents your attorney will typically file on your behalf will include a Notice of Appearance and a Motion for Discovery. The Notice of Appearance informs the court and assigned prosecutor that your attorney will be appearing with you at all future court dates. The Motion for Discovery is filed so that your attorney can obtain all discovery materials from the assigned prosecuting agency.

Arraignment

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We have recently discussed both initial and pretrial hearings in a DUI cases, and while many cases can be resolved during the pretrial phase of a case (or even earlier in some cases), there are various circumstances where a DUI case is set for trial. The thought of trial can be very nerve-wracking for many reasons, but understanding what to expect once a case is set for trial can possibly alleviate some of these concerns. Prior to the day of trial, you will likely have what is usually referred to as a Trial Management Conference or a Calendar Call.

Trial Management Conference

A Trial Management Conference is a final conference that precedes a jury trial. In misdemeanor courts it is often called a ‘calendar call’. Regardless of the name given, the purpose of the hearing is for the attorneys, you and the assigned judge to discuss final attempts at settlement, and to discuss any legal issues that may be relevant to the upcoming trial once it is determined that settlement will not occur. A Trial Management Conference can also be an opportunity for the court to rule on substantive pretrial motions that have been filed by your attorney. This can include judicial rulings on Motions to Dismiss, Motions to Suppress, and other pre-trial motions arguing procedural defenses. This is an important hearing as it may be your last opportunity for a successful resolution short of a trial. Thus, it is important that you work with your attorney in a collaborative effort to prepare for the Trial Management Conference so that you may achieve your litigation objectives.

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https://www.crim-law.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/DSCN0489-1500-ffccccccWhite-3333-0.20.3-1.pngIn a recent blog posting, we discussed the initial hearings in DUI cases and what to expect early on in a DUI prosecution. After the initial hearings, a DUI case will be set for various pretrial hearings with opportunities for case settlement at any point during this phase of the DUI court process. Ultimately, if a settlement agreement (or dismissal) is not achieved during pretrial proceedings, your case will likely proceed to trial. What can you expect during the pretrial phase of your Scottsale DUI case and what are the different types of pretrial hearings you can anticipate in the DUI court process? If you were stopped in Scottsdale and charged with DUI, which courthouse will you need to appear at?

To answer the question regarding location of your court appearance, it will depend upon which law enforcement agency cited you and whether you are being charged with Misdemeanor DUI or Felony DUI. If you were stopped by the Scottsdale Police Department and cited for a misdemeanor DUI, you will likely be appearing in the Scottsdale City Court. If you were stopped by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) or Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), you will likely be appearing in one of the Scottsdale Justice Court Precincts – either the Arcadia Biltmore Justice Court, the Desert Ridge Justice Court, or the Dreamy Draw Justice Court. If you are facing felony DUI charges in Scottsdale then you will likely be appearing in the Maricopa County Superior Court / Southeast Facility, at least for your initial hearings. Your case could be transferred to the Maricopa County Superior Court / Downtown if it’s not resolved in the early stages of the court process. You will need to refer to your traffic ticket, summons, or other court paperwork you received to determine the exact location, date and time of your first court appearance.

A Pre-Trial Conference is a court hearing where your attorney will have an opportunity to discuss your case with the prosecutor. On many occasions an initial plea offer will be extended by the government at the first Pre-Trial Conference. Except for the most unusual of circumstances, it is normally best not to enter into a plea agreement at your first Pre-Trial Conference simply because there has not been sufficient time to investigate your case to develop a criminal defense strategy. Nor has there been sufficient time, at the first Pre-Trial Conference, to really make a determination of the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecutor’s case. Most of the time, especially in misdemeanor courts, you will probably want to have at least three Pre-Trial Conferences (about 90 days) to allow for an appropriate amount of time to consult with legal counsel. This should be sufficient time to develop a Defense Investigation Outline, and to conduct a proper defense investigation of your case. This process will allow you an opportunity to identify the strongest legal and factual defenses available to you.

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You have been charged with a Mesa DUI and are quite possibly preparing to enter a criminal court room for the first time in your life, other than perhaps appearing for jury duty at some point in the past. This can seem quite daunting, not knowing what to expect, unfamiliar with the location of the courthouse/courtroom, uncertain of what will happen at the first court hearing, and having no idea what to wear or how early to arrive at the courthouse, among many other unanswered questions swirling around in your mind.

To answer the question regarding location of your court appearance, it will depend upon which law enforcement agency cited you and whether you are being charged with Misdemeanor DUI or Felony DUI. If you were stopped by the Mesa Police Department and cited for a misdemeanor DUI, you will likely be appearing in the Mesa Municipal Court. If you were stopped by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) or Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), you will likely be appearing in one of the Mesa Justice Court Precincts – either the East Mesa Justice Court, West Mesa Justice Court, or the North Mesa Justice Court. If you are facing felony DUI charges in Mesa then you will likely be appearing in the Maricopa County Superior Court / Southeast Facility, at least for your initial hearings. Your case could be transferred to the Maricopa County Superior Court / Downtown if it’s not resolved in the early stages of the court process. You will need to refer to your traffic ticket, summons, or other court paperwork you received to determine the exact location, date and time of your first court appearance.

As for what you should wear – there is usually a minimum dress code policy inside a courthouse such as no clothing with rips or tears, no tank tops, hats, halter tops, sunglasses, etc. but beyond that, it is a good idea to dress modestly and wear clean and neat clothing. This doesn’t mean you need to go out and purchase a new outfit, but you should dress in a way that will demonstrate to the judge that you are taking your case seriously. If in doubt, ask your attorney what he/she recommends you wear.

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https://www.crim-law.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/IMG_2755-1500-ffccccccWhite-3333-0.20.3-1.pngThe Town of Carefree is home to nearly 4,000 residents and is situated in the foothills of the Sonoran Desert, to the north of its larger neighbors – Scottsdale and Phoenix. The town was incorporated in the 1980’s and experienced a large population growth in the 1990’s of nearly 2,500 residents. This quaint desert town in the north valley is also known for its many world class art shows throughout the year, as well as community concerts. It’s worth a trip and offers many shops, galleries and restaurants surrounded by the beauty of the dessert.

The safety of the town is overseen by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) under an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Town of Carefree. The MCSO substation is located at 37622 N. Cave Creek Road. The town also has a courthouse – the Carefree Municipal Court, which is located at 100 Easy Street, Carefree, AZ in the Town Council Chambers (in the same building as the US Post Office). The Carefree Municipal Court handles all traffic, misdemeanor and town ordinance violations, and court is held on Thursdays at 9:00 a.m..

The Firm handles all types of criminal and DUI cases throughout the valley, including cases in the Carefree Municipal Court. If you have been charged with any crime, including any type of DUI charge, Disorderly Conduct, Assault, Domestic Violence, Criminal Traffic, Juvenile Crime or any other criminal charge in the Town of Carefree, the Firm can help. The Firm also represents individuals in Order of Protection proceedings.

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https://www.crim-law.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/DSCN0488-1500-ffccccccWhite-3333-0.20.3-1.pngCriminal 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:

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https://www.crim-law.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Trent-Prof-Photo-1000-ffccccccWhite-3333-0.20.3-1.pngCongratulations to Attorney Trent Buckallew! The Arizona State Bar, Board of Legal Specialization has certified him as a criminal law specialist.

What Is a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist?

In Arizona, attorneys can achieve the status of “certified legal specialist” once they have proven experience in a particular area of law, such as criminal law. In order to qualify for this specialization, the attorney must meet the following requirements:

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If you have been arrested for a criminal offense, hiring a skilled Mesa criminal defense attorney is in the best interest of your future. There are a number of factors that must be taken into account in order to determine how to best fight for your reputation, your rights and your freedom. One of the primary reasons behind hiring a criminal defense lawyer is because of the fact that everything that occurs with law is not easily accessible if you go to the local library in order to defend yourself. A skilled defense attorney will have not only the years of knowledge in training, but also countless years of actual experience in the courtroom fighting for people in similar situations. By hiring an attorney to represent you, you will be able to rest more confident in the defense that is being prepared to protect you.

There are a number of benefits that an lawyer can help you with such as negotiating deals with the prosecution if you are in fact guilty of a crime and want a lesser punishment. It is not uncommon that prosecution will be less likely to help you out if you are representing yourself. A skilled defense attorney will also know what is necessary to prepare for your defense, and create a game plan specifically addressing your needs in the situation, in a way that you may not be equipped to do.

Lastly, hiring a criminal defense lawyer means that you are giving yourself a chance to keep fighting after a criminal charge. Just because you have been accused of a criminal activity, it does not mean that your life is over. By hiring trusted legal representation, you can rest assured that your future will be fought for relentlessly. Contact the Law Offices of Trent R. Buckallew, PC today for more information about how our team can help you!

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Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, it is within the right of all people to be protected from experiencing unreasonable search and seizure of their properties. An officer of the law must have probable cause for checking your person or your property, particularly when seeking to use this information against you in the court of law. As an American, this right to privacy is only within reason from the federal or state authorities; the key word that one must remember is “unreasonable.”

If the officers of the law have any reason to suspect that your property can give them evidence of your involvement in a crime, or there is a specific circumstance that gives them justifiable reason to search your property prior to obtaining a warrant, then it is considered to be legal. If a law enforcement official does have probable cause, then your rights to protect anything your own or have is essentially eliminated. This means that they can search through your bank records, your home, garage, car, office, business or personal documents, trash cans, etc. There are also times in which the Fourth Amendment cannot protect a person as determined by the U.S. Supreme Court if there is no expectation to receive privacy.

First, if an individual expects they will have some level of privacy, then the officers cannot violate those rights outside of the probable cause. A clear example of this would be a person at the mall who uses the restroom will expect in their stall to have personal privacy, therefore someone opening the door on them would be an obstruction of that right. The second rule for this amendment is that if a person leaves something within plain sight, then the officer searching would not be conducting a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. For example, a student parks in the school parking lot and leave a handgun in their center console of the car, the officer can legally search the car without violating privacy rights because it was in a place where society could view the item.

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Felony Charges in Phoenix, AZ

If you are facing first time felony charges in Phoenix, AZ, you may be unfamiliar with the court proceedings and case progression involved in this type of case. Felony charges are taken very seriously and it is important that you understand what is expected of you and how your attorney can help you navigate through our often-complex criminal justice system. If you retain a private attorney, typically the first documents filed on your behalf will be a Notice of Appearance – to inform the court and assigned prosecutor that this Firm will be appearing with you at all future court dates, and a Motion for Discovery – so we can obtain all discovery materials from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (or assigned prosecuting agency).

The first hearing in a Phoenix felony prosecution is called an Initial Appearance. The purpose of the Initial Appearance is to ascertain the true name of the accused, inform the accused of the charges pending, appoint counsel if appropriate, make an initial probable cause determination, and determine release conditions – you may be released on your own recognizance “OR”, the Judge may set a bond amount, or in some cases you may be non-bondable. If you have retained an attorney prior to this hearing, the attorney will argue for your release, or in the alternative, for a reduction in the bond amount.

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