When a Child Wants to Live with the Other Parent in Arizona
Although your Arizona child custody orders may have been in place for a long time, as children age (especially when they reach the teen years) they sometimes want to try living with the non-custodial parent. This can be an emotional and confusing time for parents, as it may seem like rebellion or rejection, and it can stir up old feelings about the divorce – not to mention reopen the legal process.
Many states allow children to choose which parent they live with, but Arizona is not one of those states. Although the judge may listen to a child’s wishes and take those wishes into account, the decisions will still ultimately be based on what is in the best interest of the child. The judge may interview the child, talk to the parents about their perceptions of what the child wants, and look at how the custody modification would affect the child’s wellbeing and relationship with both parents. Although the child’s desire to live with the other parent may be what started the process, that desire is not the only deciding factor.
If your child wants to live with the non-custodial parent in Arizona, speak with a qualified Phoenix child custody attorney today at 888-929-5292. We look forward to speaking with you about your situation in a completely free and confidential consultation. If you you’d like to learn more about who we are and what we do, take a look at our book, Arizona Family Law: The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
When Is It Legal to Fire a Gun Within City Limits in Arizona?
Shannon’s law in Arizona means that you could be facing a class-6 felony if you are arrested for unlawful discharge of a firearm in Phoenix. This means that, even if the firearm was fired into the air or not aimed specifically at a person, you could end up with a felony on your record – even if it your first offense and no one was hurt. Shannon’s law is very strict and is often prosecuted very aggressively as a “”dangerous offense”” in Arizona, which comes with very stiff penalties.
However, there are some exceptions written into the law which make firing a gun in city limits legal when you:
- Are on a supervised shooting range
- Are in a designated hunting area or have a special permit
- Are firing blanks
- Are shooting in defense against an animal attack, assuming deadly force was reasonable in the situation
- Are at least a mile away from any occupied structure
Don’t take accusations of a felony offense lightly. If you have been arrested for unlawful discharge of a firearm in Phoenix, contact an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and explain your options at 888-929-5292. If you’d like further information, request a FREE copy of our informative book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
How Is Money from Illegal Drugs “Laundered” in Arizona?
Actions that may add money laundering charges to felony drug charges.
Felony Drug Charges in Arizona and Control of an Illegal Enterprise
If you have been arrested for selling drugs or even, in some cases, possessing illegal drugs with the suspicion of intent to sell, it is possible that you will also be charged with illegal control of an enterprise. This very serious charge can result in a felony conviction on its own, but it is often seen in relation to other felony drug charges. If you have questions about what happens next after a charge of illegal control of an enterprise, read through the following basic information and contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to talk about how it relates to your specific situation.
What Does the Law Say?
A.R.S. §13-2312 defines illegal control of an enterprise as when a person, “through racketeering or its proceeds, acquires or maintains, by investment or otherwise, control of any enterprise.”
“Racketeering” related to felony drug charges in Arizona might be defined as engaging in any of the following for financial gain, whether actual or intended:
- Illegal drug sales or trafficking
- Theft or robbery
- Money laundering
- Obstructing police investigations
So, as you can see, you may be slapped with a charge of illegal control of an enterprise if you are believed to have been selling drugs in Arizona for financial gain with the help of others.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Charged with Illegal Control of an Enterprise?
If you have been charged with illegal control of an enterprise along with other felony drug charges, it is extremely important that you contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible for help. A skilled Phoenix drug offense lawyer can look at the facts in your case, build a strong defense, and work toward reducing the penalties in your case or even having some or all of the charges dropped. We would be happy to discuss your case with you in a free and confidential legal evaluation.
To learn more about what to do after you or a loved one is arrested in Phoenix, request your free copy of our informative book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know. Just give us a call at 888-929-5292, or fill out our confidential online contact form.
Can the Police Search Me Without a Warrant in Arizona?
Your rights regarding illegal search and seizure are defined by the U.S. Constitution, Arizona law, and many other specific court rulings over time. Although interpreting the law regarding search and seizure can be a complex task and has been at the center of many complicated felony drug cases, what it boils down to is that officers cannot search you without a probable cause for the search. And, if the police search you illegally, that evidence cannot be used in court against you. For the most part, officers must obtain a warrant to legally search you, your car, or your home and use any evidence they find against you. If you have been charged with a felony drug crime after the police searched you without a warrant, speak with a Phoenix criminal attorney as soon as possible about your case.
However, there are some situations in which the police may be able to legally search you, your home, or your car without a warrant, including:
- Consent. If you willingly give consent for the search, then officers do not need a warrant or probable cause to search.
- Plain view. If an officer sees a potentially illegal item in plain view, then they can seize that item and use it as evidence against you.
- Incident to arrest. If you have been arrested and there is probable cause that you committed a crime, the officer may search you without a warrant.
- Exigent circumstances. If there is an emergency situation or an immediate threat to public safety, then officers may be able to enter a building or search without a warrant.
If you have been charged with felony drug possession in Arizona or another drug-related crime after a police search, speak with a skilled criminal lawyer as soon as possible about your rights. If you were searched illegally in Arizona, then you may be able to avoid conviction or your case may be dismissed entirely with a smart defense. Give one of our experienced Phoenix drug lawyers a call today at 888-929-5292 and learn more about your rights and options after an arrest.
If you or a loved one would like more information about how a criminal attorney can help you, request your completely FREE copy of our informative book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know. You can receive your FREE copy today by either giving us a call or filling out our quick online contact form.
When Can the Police Search My Car for Drugs in Arizona?
It is not unusual to see felony drug charges after a car search. However, police are limited by the law as far as when they are allowed to search your car for drugs. As drug possession attorneys, here is a little information we would like to share with you about car searches.
When Can the Police Search My Car for Drugs?
Law enforcement officers do not have to have a warrant to search your car in most cases. However, your Fourth Amendment rights still protect you from unreasonable search and seizure even when you are in a vehicle. This means that, by federal law, police must have probable cause before they can search your car for drugs.
For example, if you are pulled over for running a red light, police cannot search your car for drugs unless there is some other sign that drugs or other crimes are involved. A probable cause in this case might be the smell of marijuana in your car or drug paraphernalia in plain sight when you are pulled over.
If the police do search your car, be aware that your and your passengers’ belongings may be included in the search. This would include searching purses, backpacks, etc. Keep in mind that, even if you refused a search, the contents of your car will be routinely inventoried by the police if the car is towed after your arrest.
Police Searched My Car in Phoenix. What Happens Now?
If you are facing Arizona felony drug charges after the police searched your car, don’t wait until it’s too late to get help. Speak with a an attorney as soon as possible at 888-929-5292 to talk about your situation and the circumstances of your arrest. The Phoenix criminal defense lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten serve Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Glendale, and the surrounding areas.
We understand that facing criminal charges can be difficult and confusing. Learn more about Arizona laws and what to do after an arrest with a FREE copy of our helpful book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know. Just give us a call or use our online contact form to request your copy today.
How do I get my undesignated felony made a misdemeanor in Arizona?
Make sure that your undesignated felony is made a misdemeanor; don’t assume that it will automatically happen.
We get numerous calls from people convicted of an “undesignated” felony who don’t understand why their offense was not designated a misdemeanor after they completed probation. In Arizona, an “undesignated” felony is a Class 6 felony offense where the court has specifically set forth in the sentencing document that the offense is “undesignated.”
“Undesignated” means the defendant is given the opportunity to have the offense designated as a misdemeanor at some point in time. Sometimes, it can be designated a misdemeanor at sentencing but oftentimes a plea agreement requires the defendant to successfully complete probation before the court designates the conviction as a misdemeanor. If the court keeps the conviction undesignated at sentencing and then places the person on probation, the offense is considered a felony conviction for all purposes UNTIL it is actually designated a misdemeanor by the court. Even if there seems to be no problems on probation, a defendant should not assume that the court designated the offense a misdemeanor just because a person finished his/her probation. Many times an offense is left undesignated after probation because certain sentencing terms weren’t fulfilled, such as owing fines, fees or restitution.
What should you do?
When probation ends, a defendant should always make sure to check if the offense is still an undesignated felony or has been made a misdemeanor. If it still remains an undesignated offense, a defendant needs to inquire as to why it is still undesignated. Have all terms been fulfilled? Were all fines, restitution and fees paid? Did the defendant remain law abiding during probation? If all conditions were fulfilled or the defendant later fulfills all conditions (i.e. pays off any monies owed), then the defendant can file a motion with the court to designate the offense a misdemeanor. It is very important to have the conviction designated as a misdemeanor so not to have any felony convictions on one’s record.
Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Curry, Pearson & Wooten if you have any questions about this process. Call 888-929-5292.
Organizing Assets, Debts, Lower Your Attorney’s Fees
Use our free worksheets to help ease the stress of creating a household inventory.
Prenuptial Agreements: For Good, Not Harm
A prenuptial agreement is a versatile tool that can protect both marriage partners.
NBC News’ Sunday Today on Co-Parenting
While divorce rates are on the decline, it is still common. Among those divorces that include children, there is widespread agreement that it is in a child's best interest for parents to effectively co-parent long after the divorce decree is signed. Over the past several years, smartphone apps have assisted families in maintaining healthy and effective communication. Sunday Today's recently looked into the apps and the benefits they provide families.
Video: Sunday Today's 'Digital Parenting'
If you think you and the other parent may benefit from an app, contact our experienced Family Attorney to discuss how you can obtain a court order, ordering the parties to utilize a third party co-parenting app.
Common Apps Help Communicate with the Other Parent
Our family law attorneys explain court orders for co-parenting apps.
Man Arrested, Bizzare Stunt to Avoid Paying Child Support
A Louisiana man staged his own shooting to avoid paying child support.
Is getting my medical marijuana card a defense to a charge?
Let's say that you have been arrested for possession of marijuana or a marijuana related DUI but you weren't a medical marijuana cardholder at the time. If you get your card after your arrest, is that a defense? The answer to that is NO. In order for you to have a "medical marijuana" defense to a possession or DUI charge, you must have been a cardholder at the time of the incident for which you are charged. Getting a medical marijuana card after the fact does not cover you for a date before you got your card. If you were a cardholder at the time, you can possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana as a patient. If you were charged with a DUI related to marijuana, the State can still prosecute you if they can prove you were impaired by marijuana even if you were a cardholder. Contact Curry, Pearson & Wooten to discuss other defenses you may have or if you have any further questions on this issue.
Medical Marijuana Cardholder: Is That A Defense
Is getting my medical marijuana card a defense to a charge?
Declining Divorce RatesOver the past week, I’ve read that divorce rates have declined over the past decade. One article I read breaks down this trend at a scholarly level while another is more direct: millennials are prioritizing rising cost of housing, paying off student loan debt, and advancing their careers over marriage.
That means, that instead of marrying in their early 20s, millennials are delaying marriage until their late 20s and early 30s; and when they marry, remain married. To some delaying the prospect of marriage and starting a family equates to a greater focus on developing and growing their career, income, and assets.
Are you this person? Have you worked tirelessly for the past 5-10 years to grow your network, business, and income? Have you accumulated a retirement plan, earned pension credits, or individually purchased a home? Now, are wedding bells in the future?
If so, and you want to protect the assets you’ve amassed and more, you want to strongly consider a prenuptial agreement. Even though divorce rates are declining, couples still file for divorce everyday. In the event that your marriage does not last, you can protect your years of hard work (and even future work) with a prenuptial agreement.
If you’re preparing for an engagement or you and your soon-to-be-spouse have settled on a date, contact our family law attorney at 602-258-1000 to discuss how you can protect your premarital assets in the event of a divorce.
USA Today: Divorces spike after the Summer
The USA Today published an online article titled “Divorces spike in the summer. Here’s how to prepare for the end, experts say”.
The article reads that the summer season often exacerbates marital issues because families spend more time together as the children are out of school and/or a couple takes an extended vacation. This leads to the spouse that is already contemplating divorce to reflect on whether that spouse truly wants the divorce and how they see it taking shape. I agree.
As a family attorney I see an upticks in filings – whether those filings are for divorce or custody modification – immediately after summer and winter holidays for these same reasons.
But regardless of when you intend on filing for divorce, you want to be prepared by meeting with your attorney and planning your divorce before you file. That means:
- collecting documents,
- reviewing bank accounts,
- pulling credit reports,
- checking retirement balances,
- obtaining personal documents, and
- obtaining titles to real estate and vehicles just to name a few.
Why is this important? Because divorce is a stressful time. The more prepared you and your attorney are before you file, the more prepared you will be to handle the natural stressors of divorce.
If you are contemplating divorce, call our office at (602) 258-1000 to meet with our family law attorney and begin the process of preparing yourself for your divorce. In addition, request a copy of our free book Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide today.
Golf and Divorce: The Art of Not Driving It Past Your Goals
I love to golf in my spare time. By no means am I a good golfer, but that does not stop me from teeing it up. What I love about the game is how the player has to create a strategy for each hole.
First hole: 411 yard par 4. Great. Hit driver 250 yards, second shot a mid to short iron, and hopefully (reminder: I’m not that good) two to three putts and I’m on to the next hole.
Second hole: 175 yard par 3. Mid iron to the green (God willing!) and a putt or two to finish.
By now you’re reading this and asking yourself, “Why the heck is he discussing golf in his family law blog”. Well just as no two golf holes are the same, no two divorces are the same. Similar to playing a successful 18 holes, each divorce demands a thoughtful strategy and balanced approach. Would playing aggressive and hitting a driver for each shot lead to positive results? No, of course not; using a club that I know I can hit 250 yards on a 150 yard hole means I will overshoot my goal (the hole) by 100 yards! The same can be said in a divorce proceeding.
Unfortunately many attorneys want to show their clients they can hit the ball 250 yards when the hole is only 150 yards away. Your attorney represents you and your goals; do you want your representative to miss and overshoot your goals time and time again? No.
A divorce is a serious and life altering event and to obtain the best result for you, it is critical that your attorney has a strategy and plan that benefits you.
If you are considering or in the midst of a divorce and do not have a strategy or goal, you are likely about to (or already have) hit the golf ball 250 yards when you only need 150. Contact our office at (602) 258-1000 and speak with one of our family attorneys immediately.
Divorce Mediation in Phoenix, AZ: A Beginner’s Guide
While people may traditionally hear the word “divorce” and picture an angry and emotional legal battle, the fact is that divorce can also be a fairly civil proceeding.
Couples pursuing a divorce in Phoenix have many important agreements to reach, such as division of assets and alimony awards. Perhaps the most critical agreement that must be settled on is a solid plan for custody, care, and visitation rights of any children that the couple shares.
The Benefits of Phoenix Divorce Mediation
If you and your spouse are both “on the same page” as far as your separation, the standard divorce procedure may not seem like the right fit. It may seem unnecessary to hire an expensive Arizona divorce lawyer to help you negotiate issues that you both agree on. Since these issues must all be made legally binding, however, going it alone is simply not an option.
In this type of situation, one in which you and your spouse are relatively amicable, mediation may be a suitable option. A mediator is a neutral third party that can help both you and your spouse reach common ground on many issues that accompany a divorce, namely in matters of custody.
Unlike a traditional court hearing in which a judge ultimately decides on issues for you, you and your spouse are reaching agreements together in mediation. Both of you must be willing to make small compromises in order to settle on important issues, which results in a mediation agreement that you can both live with.
Hiring an Arizona Divorce Mediation Attorney
While your attorney is not able to be present during the actual mediation, he or she will serve an important role in helping you prepare for your mediation, and put into motion the agreements reached mutually by you and your spouse.
It is important to choose an attorney that is experienced and knowledgeable in the art of divorce mediation in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. The Phoenix family law attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten will work hard to ensure that you and your family achieve a satisfying resolution to the challenges brought on by divorce. For a free, confidential consultation, contact them today at 888.929.5292.
Unpaid Child Support Payments? You can collect
Once the court establishes child it is not, unfortunately, uncommon for the parent who owes the obligation to either get behind in payments or not remit any payments. If that is your situation, you can file an enforcement action with the Court to force that parent pay.
Child support statutes provide the Court additional tools to make sure that child support are consistently paid to the receiving parent. Those tools are, but not limited to:
- Issuance of judgment(s)
- Potential jail time
- Review Hearings
- Liens on personal and real property
- Liens on motor vehicles
- The suspension of licenses including drivers, professional and recreational licenses
- The interception of both state and federal tax refunds
- Passport denial
- Credit bureau reporting
Which option is best for your specific case depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. Call us today to receive more information and to order our free book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
If you are facing a child support matter you should contact our experienced family law attorney calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Arizona Family Law: How Parenting Time is Decided in AZ
Far too often a dissolution with children conjures up horror stories of two parents yelling at each other and forcing an elementary school child(ren) to determine “who they love more” or “who is the better parent”. If the two spouses are fit parents, this should never be the case.
What’s Best for Your Child
You want to do what is best for your child, but what exactly will that look like? How will the custody situation be handled? The correct response is by two parents who decide to put their personal issues with the other spouse on the back burner and focus on how their great of a parent their soon-to-be ex spouse is to the child(ren).
If the two parents cannot reach an agreement then they voluntarily leave the decision to the judge. At that time, the judge must consider several statutory factors and it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with those; below are some of the factors to consider:
- What the child wants (depending on his or her age)
- Parent and child relationship
- The mental and physical health of the parents and child
- Child(ren)’s adjustment to the home, school and community
- Each parent’s ability to allow the child(ren) frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with the other parent
- Whether there is evidence of child, spousal, domestic violence or drug abuse
This list is only a sample of the many factors that are considered by the court. It is important that you speak with our experienced Family Law attorney for specific advice about your situation. You can also order a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide, which has further information about child custody factors.
For advice regarding your situation, contact our experienced family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Grounds for Divorce in Arizona
Arizona law does not require one spouse to prove blame or responsibility against the other in order to obtain a divorce. The only claim either spouse needs to make is that the marriage is irretrievably broken – there is not a chance that you and your spouse desire to continue with the marriage – for what ever reason.
The one exception to this rule is if you and your spouse have a covenant marriage or you wish to annul the marriage. In either of those case you must put forth and prove specific factors pursuant to state statute.
Regardless of how you choose to proceed with dissolving the marriage, you want to make sure you obtain representation that will educate and mentor you through the process. At Curry, Pearson & Wooten our family law attorney teaches each person about their rights under the law so that he or she can make informed decisions. In addition, our attorney will discuss the how those decisions affect your future as you move towards beginning your new life.
Contact us today at 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Be sure to order a FREE copy of the book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Property rights during physical separation
Every month, I receive phone calls seeking advice on divorce. More and more I listen to a spouse that decided years ago to physically and financially separate from their other spouse without filing for divorce or legal separation. They reason and hope that time away will do the marriage good. I understand this thinking and at a certain level it makes sense. Many of these couples have been married for 10+ years, have children, and truly want to give their marriage a second chance and think a little time away will “reboot” the relationship. Then there are others who find themselves on opposite sides of the country and, for whatever reason, simply never get around to filing for divorce for a number of reasons.
During this time, one or each spouse continues to work, contribute to retirement, accumulate debts and assets, and exist as a single person. But what happens when one files for divorce in Arizona? Does the law treat the spouses as if they’ve lived separate and apart? Not necessarily.
According to Arizona law the court is tasked with dividing all property (assets and debts) from the date of marriage to the date of service of the petition for dissolution. While an artful attorney may argue to a trial court that it is not equitable (fair) to divide the assets at the date of service of the petition when the spouses have lived separate and apart for a certain number of years, the trial court can divide all property based on the assets and debts possessed at the date of service. What does this mean for the spouse that has continued to save towards retirement, accumulate service years towards a pension, or build up a rainy day fund? The other spouse receives half.
Now, if the spouses agree to divide based on the date of separation then they can enter those agreements and the trial court will adopt the same. But when the spouses do not agree, not immediately filing for or setting a deadline to file for dissolution or legal separation can have a serious impact on your present and future personal finances.
What’s the Difference: Theft, Robbery, Burglary
A thief, a robber, and a burglar walk into a courtroom…
Arizona courts calculate child support pursuant to the income shares model. Under this model, both parents’ incomes are used to calculate the amount of child support that one parent will pay to the other. In addition, this support amount is not based directly on actual spending; rather indicate estimates of child costs. As such, the purpose of child support in Arizona is to establish a standard of support for child(ren) consistent with the reasonable needs of child(ren) and the ability of parents to pay.
If you are establishing or modifying a child support order, you may hear the phrase “Child Support Worksheet” used in and outside the courtroom. The Child Support Worksheet is just that, a worksheet that the Court and attorneys will use to establish the basic child support obligation.
What Factors into the Child Support Worksheet?
When determining the basic child support obligation the Court and/or your attorney will ask for the following information:
- Parenting time and time-sharing arrangement;
- Gross income;
- Court ordered spousal maintenance (paid or received);
- Whether there are any additional natural or adopted children and, if so, whether they are subject to a support order;
- Whether either parent carries private health insurance for the child(ren);
- Whether there are any childcare costs;
- Whether there are any extra education (think: mandatory tutoring) costs;
- Whether there are any extraordinary (gifted or handicapped) expenses;
Once all of this information is gathered, verified, and upload into the Child Support Worksheet, a child support obligation is determined. Thereafter, the parties can discuss deviation of the support order up or down depending on the particular circumstances of the case.
If you would like to discuss establishing or modifying child support contact one of our friendly and experienced family attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 or 602-258-1000 for a completely free consultation. We'd also like you to have a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Tax Season in Family Court
Child Support – Is the obligor caught up?
In Arizona, the parents' child support order will designate which parent claims the child(ren) for the yearly tax dependency exemption. If the child support order allows for the obligor (parent who is paying support) to claim the child(ren) for the upcoming tax year, the obligor must ensure that he or she is current with his or her monthly obligation and all ordered payments on arrears by December 31st. If the obligor is not current on their obligation and any ordered arrear payments, then the other parent has the right to claim the child(ren). In such a scenario, the parties should execute Form 8332 from the IRS clearing the way for the other parent to claim the child(ren).
Tax Filing during a dissolution
Sometimes, the dissolution process is such that the parties are still progressing with settlement negotiation during the tax season or it does not appear resolution will come after the tax filing deadline. In these situations, the parties can discuss whether it is appropriate to file taxes jointly or separately. If you are represented by counsel, you should discuss this with your attorney before deciding. But here are some items to consider when determining how to file:
1) Is there a tax benefit to filing jointly or separately? Are the parties going to receive a larger refund if they file jointly, if so, they might want to consider filing jointly one last time. If you do, make sure there is an agreement as to how the refund is to be divided.
2) If there is a refund, where will it go? If there is a liability, who is to pay? If the parties receive a refund, sometimes it is beneficial to use the refund to reduce community debts. If there is a liability, the parties will want to agree on how to split that debt.
3) Can we work together? Compiling the necessary documents to complete joint taxes requires communications between the parties. If communication is difficult, filing jointly will be difficult.
4) Should a third party complete and file? Regardless if the parties can or cannot communicate, it is often more efficient for a tax professional to complete taxes and maximize the parties' return or limit their exposure. If the parties can agree to a third party professional and who will pay, this may be an efficient option that limits issues of claiming correct amounts.
Please note that Curry, Pearson, & Wooten, PLC is not a tax law firm and the information above should not be considered legal tax advice. If you have a legal tax question, call our office at (602)258-1000 and our experienced Family Law Attorney will happily refer you to a tax professional.
How important is it to hire a divorce lawyer in Arizona?
Divorce laws vary considerably from state to state, so how divorce law works in California is not necessarily how it works in Arizona. Although you may have a friend or family member who knows a fantastic lawyer in another state, you could actually find yourself at a steep disadvantage if you don’t hire your attorney locally. There are a few reasons for this:
- Familiarity with Arizona law: As we said, state divorce laws vary dramatically, and no lawyer has the time to be familiar with the specific details in every state. Hiring a local divorce lawyer means hiring someone with an intimate knowledge of Arizona divorce law.
- Meeting in person: You can learn a lot when you meet in person. In a complicated divorce, juggling long-distance phone calls and mailed documents can quickly become a nightmare, no matter how experienced an out-of-state lawyer may seem.
- Familiarity with your specific city or county: Beyond being familiar with Arizona state laws, hiring a local divorce lawyer who works with the judges, case managers, and other attorneys right here in Arizona can make a huge difference. We know all the quirks and unique challenges of the Arizona court system, and thus we can better explain to you what to expect.
If you are considering divorce in Arizona, give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292. We look forward to helping you understand your rights and options during a free and confidential consultation.
Third Party Visitation in Arizona
Are you a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or stepparent and wondering what your rights are in the event that your relationship with a child(ren) is The facts might shock you.
Who is classified as a third party?
A third party is any one of the following:
Does Arizona allow a third party, such as a grandparent, to request visitation?
In short, the answer is yes. As a third party, you can request visitation with a child(ren) if you meet the factors outlined in A.R.S. 25-409.
What must a third party do
Since legal parents have a fundamental right to the care and custody of their child(ren), as a third party, you will be required to prove that awarding visitation to you is in the child(ren)’s best interests.
Third party matters are difficult due to the burden the third party must carry and should not be advanced without the advice of an attorney. If you are considering filing for third party rights, contact one of our experienced Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). One of our Arizona family law attorney can assist you.
Contact us today to order our free book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Grandparent Visitation in Arizona: In the Child’s “Best Interests?”
As family law attorneys, we know it can be frustrating when it’s up to the court to decide the “best interests” of your grandchild(ren). It seems like it should be the most obvious thing in the world. You may be saying, “of course it’s in her best interests! A child needs Grandma and Grandpa!”
These types of determinations are frustrating, but keep in mind that these laws were put in place to keep your grandkids safe and secure during and after a Phoenix divorce. The good news is that, if you have been maintaining a loving and supportive relationship with your grandchild, you’re already halfway there. The court will consider many factors when you pursue grandparent visitation in Phoenix, including:
- Why you want court-ordered visitation
- How your relationship with the child has been in the past
- If it is best for the child to maintain a relationship with grandparents and extended family, especially if one of the parents has passed away
- How much time you are requesting and the impact the non-parental visitation time will have on the child’s daily life
If you would like to pursue grandparent visitation , contact one of our friendly and experienced family attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free consultation to discuss your situation. We’d also like you to have a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Co-Parenting & Shared Custody After Arizona Divorce
In the days immediately following your divorce, everything can feel strange and uncomfortable. Things that you took for granted, such as seeing your child daily, can suddenly take a lot more effort and energy. If you and your ex-spouse have come to an agreement that joint custody and co-parenting is the best scenario for both you and your children, your full plate has become much fuller as you try to navigate the tricky waters of starting a co-parenting relationship.
The 3 Cs of Successful Co-Parenting in New Joint Custody Agreements
Joint custody, when done well, can offer a child the opportunity to have an equal relationship with both parents. However, it also requires both parents to have a civil and productive relationship with each other, which can be challenging.
Immediately following a divorce, it is important that you build a strong foundation on which to build your new co-parenting relationship. Below are some of the most important things to keep at the top of your priorities:
- Consideration. Being considerate of your ex-spouse is one of the most important parts of successful joint custody agreements. While your marriage may have ended, you must maintain a positive relationship with your co-parent for your child’s wellbeing as well as your own. This means that you may have to compromise and be flexible, as well as learn to be civil and kind in front of your child. Remember, your ex may no longer be your spouse, but you are working at building a new relationship as a parent to your child.
- Consistency. Dedicate yourself to upholding the agreements in your joint custody order. If you have made a commitment to attend your child’s extracurricular activities or doctor’s appointments, make sure that you follow through. Do not let your own insecurities (fearing an awkward run-in with your spouse, etc.) stop you from attending events and functions that are important to your child.
- Communication. Communication can often be the most difficult part for newly divorced couples, especially if the marriage did not end amicably. Remember, though, that treating each other with respect and dignity is important even when your child is not present. While it can seem like an impossible task, remember that the feelings of anger or resentment will eventually subside. The best way for parents to communicate is via e-mail; and all e-mails should be future focused – making a request for a future behavior – or information, such as providing information from a doctor's appointment.
While joint custody agreements can be difficult at first, with time and hard work they can result in positive relationships with both your children and your ex-spouse. For help crafting an agreeable custody order, speak with our experienced family law attorney today.
Preparing to Separate Assets When You’re Getting Divorced in Arizona
If you are getting divorced in Arizona, you are probably at least a little concerned about separating assets with your spouse. As you and your spouse may have accumulated many assets over the course of your marriage, including everything from retirement accounts to lawn furniture, this can seem like a daunting task. You can combat that anxiety by getting prepared and organized.
One of the best ways to get started is to review and gather together important documents such as:
- Financial statements and documents from investment accounts
- Recent pay stubs for both you and your spouse
- Tax returns from the past 5 years
- Insurance policies, including car insurance, health insurance, life insurance, etc.
- Retirement plans and employee benefits
- Mortgage information or leases for rentals
- Any documentation regarding previous property settlements, inheritances, or gifts
In addition, begin preparing a list of tangible property that you would like to receive in the division of property.
Compiling and reviewing all of these documents gives you a better idea of the assets you are working with and will help you, your spouse, and your lawyers when it comes time to start dividing property.
If you need help dividing property in a divorce, speak with an experienced family law attorney with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292. We would be happy to meet with you in a completely free, no-pressure consultation to address your divorce concerns.
We would also like to offer you a completely FREE copy of our informative book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which you can request by giving us a call or using the online contact form on this page.
Arizona Divorce: Modifying Your Child Support Payment
Since the entry of a child support order, have you changed jobs and reduced income? Lost your job? Added private medical insurance for your child(ren)? or added a new child(ren) to the family? or has a child emancipated?
If so, you may be able to modify your child support payment either through the Standard Modification process or the Simplified Modification process. In the former, you have to show a substantial and continuing change in circumstances and, in the latter you have to show the new support amount is at least 15 percent high or lower than the existing order.
The first step to beginning the modification is:
• Speaking with an experienced Arizona family law attorney;
• Speaking to the court yourself; or
• Speaking with the Division of Child Support Enforcement
Order your free book
Going through a child support payment modification can be tough. Contact us today to order your copy of our free book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
If you are considering modifying your child support payments, contact our experienced Arizona family law attorney at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
How to Sabotage Your Personal Injury Claim
You deserve to have your costs covered by the at-fault party when seriously hurt.
Bringing Attention to National Dog Bite Prevention Week
This week (May 17-23, 2015) is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and as personal injury lawyers, we take this matter very seriously. Dog bite victims are most often children and the elderly, and the injuries sustained can be very serious—even fatal when the victim is an infant. This week may not be as talked-about as upcoming Memorial Day weekend, but we’d like to shed some light on this serious and devastating injury.
Are Dog Bites Really that Serious?
Many people wonder why firms like Curry, Pearson & Wooten talk about dog bite injuries as part of a personal injury practice. They may assume that dog bites simply aren’t that common, or even that serious—but the insurance and medical industries sing a different tune.
There are thousands of dog bite injuries each year, and annually over 1,000 are serious enough to warrant injury claims through State Farm Insurance alone. The insurance giant has paid out over $528 million in dog bite injury claims over the last five years, many of which have been serious enough to warrant reconstructive surgery. Did you think homeowners insurance claims were primarily water damage and fire damage repair payouts? Dog bite liability payouts actually made up over one-third of total claim payments.
With the uptick in personal injury cases and insurance claims, one would think that the trend would reverse at some point, but dog bites were up considerably in 2014. Postal carriers are another demographic that are at high risk of dog bite injuries, and dog bite injuries to these individuals rose from 5,581 cases in 2013 to 5,767 in 2014.
What Can Be Done?
Dog bite prevention lands squarely on dog owners’ shoulders, and it is always important to remember that no matter how mild-mannered your dog, there is always a risk of injury to others. As a dog owner, ensure that:
- Your dog is always supervised around children or new people
- Ensure that your dog receives regular exercise, care, and socialization
- Always follow leash laws
As a pedestrian or house guest, other tips can be followed to protect yourself from a dog bite injury, but remember—the dog’s owner is ultimately liable for their dog’s behavior. To avoid unnecessary injury, however:
- Ask permission before approaching or petting an unfamiliar dog
- Do not tease or play unnecessarily rough with a dog
- Approach with caution when a dog is eating, sleeping, or injured
If you have been injured in a Phoenix dog bite injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries—and we can help. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation, and learn whether you have a case against the dog’s owner.
Can You Fail a Field Sobriety Test Even When You’re Sober?
How many times have you read online news sources in Phoenix and found a story about a DUI offender that denied drinking prior to their arrest? You probably rolled your eyes, thinking that the individual was just trying to get away with something. Even if a blood, breath, or urine alcohol content test was not administered at the scene, failing the field sobriety test with flying colors is sign enough of intoxication…right?
As it turns out, the science behind these field sobriety tests is shaky when it comes to certain medical conditions. Designed to evaluate the sobriety of a healthy, average-sized person, many people with very common conditions fail field sobriety tests. Police officers are trained to inquire about possible medical conditions that may affect field sobriety testing prior to administering the tests, but officers may fail to do so—meaning that the defendant may have a solid defense to avoid DUI charges.
On top of medical conditions that may affect the outcome of a field sobriety test, there are other everyday conditions that can greatly influence test results, including:
- Being over the age of 65: Arizona is home to many senior citizens for much of the year, and these individuals may have a very difficult time with balance, dexterity, and vision tests.
- Being overweight: For individuals who are obese or very overweight, sobriety tests involving balance may be exceptionally challenging.
- Knee, back, or ankle pain: Back pain is one of the most common injuries that keeps people home from work, and people with pain or weakness in their legs, feet, or back may perform poorly in field sobriety balance tests.
- Anxiety: When you are in a rush to get to work and your anxiety is high, you may notice that you seem clumsier than usual. The same anxiety can affect you in a field sobriety test, causing poor performance in dexterity and balance tests.
Failing a field sobriety test because of the above conditions may not get you out of a ticket altogether—if you were speeding or driving recklessly, you will still face consequences—but it can mean that you can shake unjust DUI charges. Speak with our firm today to discuss your concerns about your own Arizona DUI arrest in a free consultation.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Phoenix
Drivers and cyclists alike experience extreme frustration on crowded streets.
Enjoying Spring Training Without a DUI
As schools across the country are closing their doors for spring break, people from across the country are flocking to Phoenix. Not only do we boast some of the greatest weather in the nation during this time of year, but we also play host to some of baseball’s most exciting spring training games.
These games have it all—cheap tickets, expensive beer, sunshine, and a family-friendly atmosphere that is also welcoming to the rowdier adult crowds. No matter which end of the Valley you choose to visit, you can find a game to enjoy, and catch a glimpse of world-class players as they prepare for a long season of baseball.
One number that climbs in the spring, along with the Valley’s temporary population, is the number of DUIs. Arizona law enforcement is well aware of how much fun these games can be, and are on high alert for possible drunk drivers. Whether you are an Arizona native or an out-of-towner that flew in for a few games, a DUI arrest will mean that you will find yourself enjoying the Arizona spring from court.
Weigh Your Options and Your Consequences Carefully This Spring
Arizona is notoriously tough on drunk drivers, and DUIs during spring training are no exception. Visitors will face the same tough penalties as locals, and an already expensive DUI can get even more so as these visitors will be required to return for their court date on their own dime.
As the Phoenix area continues to develop and expand, however, public transportation options have improved immensely. From the light rail to the Scottsdale trolley system, options beyond the standard bus or taxi service are only multiplying. Planning ahead for your day at the old ball game may seem like a drag, but when it can save you thousands of dollars and a criminal record, it may be worth it.
If you are involved in a spring training DUI, you will need aggressive representation to ensure that your rights are protected. Call Curry, Pearson & Wooten’s Phoenix DUI defense attorneys today to schedule a free consultation about protecting your future after a DUI arrest.
Scottsdale Pedicab Accident Lawsuit
The City of Scottsdale has been approved to nearly double their contract with a defense attorney representing the city in a lawsuit brought by two Kansas men, increasing the amount from $275,000 to $525,000.
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of two Kansas men who were injured in a pedicab accident in Scottsdale last year. The pedicab that the men were riding in, both 21 years old at the time, was struck by a vehicle driven by Joseph Spano. Spano was sentenced to four years in prison on a plea deal that dropped his DUI charges for pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated assault and one count of endangerment.
The men, Cody Clark and Michael Tysver of Great Bend, Kansas, both suffered severe injuries in the crash. Tysver experienced a serious spinal injury and spent several weeks in the hospital; Clark was left with severe brain injuries that left him hospitalized for over a year, and has difficulty communicating and understanding.
The crash, which happened on Scottsdale Road near Rose Lane, led Scottsdale to create regulations for pedicab operators where none previously existed, requiring the operators to have Arizona driver’s licenses and liability insurances. The plaintiffs are bringing suit claiming that the city’s lack of regulations for pedicab drivers led to their injuries; the damages sought include $40 million for Cody Clark, $3 million each for his two parents, and $5 million for Michael Tysver.
The City has denied liability for the men’s injuries, but the new regulations have seemed to have an impact on the pedicab business, which was previously regulated in Phoenix and Chandler.
While regulations are important in maintaining safety for public transportation, the larger danger by far to pedestrians and pedicab drivers has been drunk drivers in areas jam-packed with bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. If you have been injured while enjoying Scottsdale, Tempe, or Phoenix nightlife, contact our firm today to learn how you could be compensated for your injuries.
Use Caution in Golf Carts and & Pedicabs This Holiday
If you have been frequenting Old Town Scottsdale or the Tempe Mill Avenue district, you may have noticed that over the last few years, transportation has changed a bit. Where cabs used to rule, many patrons are now turning to pedicabs and golf carts as a quick, convenient way to get from place to place, including bars, restaurants, and sporting events. Most drivers operate strictly for tip money, so for many, this has become the best way to enjoy a night on the town without the risk of a DUI.
Until recently, however, these modes of transportation were minimally regulated in Scottsdale, and just about anyone could operate a pedicab. Last January, this all changed after a horrific accident involving a pedicab and drunk driver ended in one of the pedicab’s passengers suffering a severe spinal injury, and one coping with the lifelong effects of a brain injury. The city of Scottsdale now faces a $51 million dollar lawsuit from the pedicab occupants, claiming that the city should have regulated the industry more closely.
What Was the Status Quo on Pedicab Regulation in the Valley?
Glendale was the first Valley city to regulate pedicabs, requiring a city-issued license since 2007. Glendale also limits the hours of operation and roadways that pedicabs can use. Phoenix followed suit in 2008, requiring pedicab operators to obtain inspections and inspection stickers from the Phoenix police department. Phoenix also requires each operator to carry at least $1 million in liability insurance.
Scottsdale now requires pedicab operators to have a valid Arizona driver’s license, liability insurance, and compliance with lighting and visibility for each pedicab. Inspections have not been made mandatory, but operators will be subject to fines for noncompliance.
Golf Carts Can Be a Problem, Too
Golf carts have always operated under a stricter set of guidelines, but accidents and injuries—namely from people falling off of the cart—have become fairly common. Golf carts must be insured, inspected, and have front seatbelts, and are restricted to roadways that have a posted speed limit of 35 mph or lower.
While it can be challenging determining whether the cart or pedicab transporting you is up to code, a quick look at the following can tell you a lot:
- Is the vehicle properly lit, and visible to other cars?
- Has the operator loaded it within safe capacity?
- Does the vehicle appear to be in good condition?
Use caution during the holidays and upcoming events in the Valley when choosing your transportation to and from bars, parties, and other locations. If you have been hurt in an accident involving these vehicles, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. For more information, contact our Phoenix personal injury attorneys today by calling our office or filling out the online contact form.
Arizona Child Custody Evolving
As times and society grow and evolve, the law that governs us must also adapt to remain relevant and effective. As the media remains focused primarily on same-sex marriage issues and the legalization of marijuana, another area of law has been quietly evolving since the country began.
Child custody, up until very recently, has always been focused on naming one parent the custodial parent, and granting the other visitation. Long before the twentieth century, fathers were given primary custody. The law only focused on the father’s parenting rights until the mid-nineteenth century, when women’s rights movements and burgeon industry began to turn the tables.
A few decades later, several studies were done that claimed children under a certain age were better off under their mother’s care and custody. This prompted United States courts to eventually adopt what is known as the tender years presumption, which granted maternal custody to young children. This was the legal standard for well over a century, until the tides began to turn in favor of gender-neutral custody decisions based on a child’s best interests—a change that Arizona has embraced wholly.
Shared Custody: Quickly Becoming the “Norm” in Arizona
During North Dakota elections this year, voters were faced with a measure that awarded equal parenting to both parents following a divorce known as the “Parental Rights Initiative.” While the measure did not pass, it did show that the nation was rapidly becoming accustomed to the idea of shared parenting.
In a recent study by the National Parents Organization, it was found that while most states’ custody laws do not easily accommodate the notion of shared parenting, Arizona has led the way in developing post-divorce custody and care that keeps both parents equally involved. One of the methods in which Arizona has blazed new trails is the use of parenting plans, which parents can create together with the help of a mediator or attorney. The plans are more flexible than a traditional court-ordered custody agreement, and allows for change as the child’s needs change over time.
If you are considering divorce and are looking for a custody agreement that fulfills the needs of your child as well as your rights as a parent, the family law attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten can help. Simply call our office or fill out our online contact form, and learn how our attorneys can help you create a custom solution for you.
Scottsdale Pedestrian Safety a Priority After Accidents
The city of Scottsdale has seen an uptick in pedestrian accidents in its bustling downtown area this year, and town officials may be turning to a crosswalk that was developed right here in Arizona to improve safety.
Just days ago, two women were crossing E. Camelback Road near The Mint nightclub when there were struck by a car driving east. Neither the driver nor the pedestrians were impaired by alcohol at the time of the crash, but the women were not crossing the street at a marked crosswalk. Both suffered from broken bones, but are expected to make full recoveries.
This accident is one of several pedestrian and vehicle accidents that have occurred in downtown Scottsdale in recent years as the area continues to attract nightclubs, bars, and restaurants along with large crowds. Because of the prevalence of pedestrians crossing the road midblock on E. Camelback Road, the city has considered installing traffic signals that could help people navigate across the road safely.
The HAWK: A Crosswalk Designed With Safety in Mind
The HAWK, or High Intensity Activated Crosswalk, was first used in Tucson in the 1990s, and has since swept the nation as it continues to lower pedestrian/vehicle accidents—up to 69%, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
You may have already seen HAWKs around the Valley, and you may soon see many more. Appearing midblock, the crosswalks are activated by pedestrians waiting to cross. The lights above the crosswalk will turn yellow, then a steady red as the pedestrian crosses the road. The lights will flash red when it is okay to proceed if the crosswalk is empty, and will go dark after the road is clear.
While these systems are far from perfect, and still require attentive drivers and pedestrians in order to be fully effective, they may be a good answer for busy areas like downtown Scottsdale and around school zones where heavy foot traffic could benefit from added safety.
Have You Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you have been injured by a negligent or distracted driver while walking in the Valley, you deserve compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. For a free, no-obligation consultation with our Phoenix personal injury attorneys, contact Curry, Pearson & Wooten today by filling out our easy online contact form.
Enjoying Phoenix’s Bike-Share Program Safely
This week, Phoenix will join a number of the nation’s trendiest cities on the way to being green by welcoming its first bike-share program. On Tuesday, GR:D will debut the first of up to 500 bikes and 50 bike rental racks in downtown and central Phoenix. The bikes will eventually be available along the light rail through Tempe and Mesa, as well.
Mayor Greg Stanton has made transforming Phoenix into a bicycle-friendly city a top priority. Phoenix has lagged behind other cities in this regard, and most residents still rely heavily on cars. Stanton hopes that moves like this will help Phoenix appeal to younger professionals who are drawn to walking, biking, and public transportation as a means to get to and from work and social functions.
Don’t Follow the Trend: Avoid Bicycle Accidents With These Tips
An unfortunate trend that many cities have seen when bicycle traffic increases is a subsequent increase in accidents involving bicycles. Much of this can be attributed to newer cyclists hopping onboard the exciting trend before they have become street-savvy to rules of the road.
Some of the most frequent bicycle accidents involve intersections and crosswalks, nighttime riding, cars turning right, and alcohol. To avoid being involved in one of these accidents, follow these quick tips when you are on your bike:
- Always ride with traffic on the right side of the road. Think of your bike as a smaller car—you want to follow the same rules of the road as you would in your own car. This means that traffic lights, right-of-way, and other basic driving rules apply to you, too.
- At night, be visible. Make sure that you are riding with a red light on the back of your bike, as well as a white light in the front. Ensuring that your wheels are equipped with reflectors can also help you ensure that you will be seen in intersections.
- At stoplights, hang back a little. If you and a car are stopped neck and neck at a stoplight and the light turns green, you had best hope that the car is going straight, or else you may be hit. Stop slightly behind the first car and accelerate at a slower rate to ensure that you know the driver’s intentions.
- Ride sober. An overwhelming amount of bicycle accidents involve cyclists who have elevated blood alcohol content levels. If you would not drive, don’t bike—play it safe and call a cab.
Even the most experienced cyclists can be hurt when drivers let their attention wander, and if a negligent driver hurts you, you deserve compensation. For more information, contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.
Insurance Claim Denial Tricks
You have just been hurt in an accident on one of the Valley freeways on your drive home from work. You think you have followed all the right steps; you immediately notified the police and your insurance company, you went straight to the emergency room, and you have followed all of your doctor’s orders. You are resting at home until the doctor gives you the “okay” to return to work, which should be in a few days. Now you are just waiting for the insurance company to accept your claims—but they only offer you a fraction of what you submitted.
Neither Neighborly nor Good Hands: Insurance Companies and Their Tricks
Most people love their insurance company until they are involved in an accident. Suddenly, the cheerful customer service representatives turn into calculating adjusters trying to low-ball you at every turn.
One of the ways your insurance company will try to pay you less in damages is by claiming you were liable for the accident. Arizona observes pure comparative negligence laws, which means that even if you were partially (or mostly) to blame, you may still collect a certain percentage of your damages. Your insurance company may try to claim that your percentage of fault was higher than it truly was, thereby awarding you less money.
Another trick that insurance companies use is requiring you to see one of their own recommended medical experts for an evaluation. Many people assume that this is par for the course—perhaps the same as sending an insurance adjuster to check out the damage to your car—and go along with it, only to have the insurance company’s approved doctor say that their injuries are less serious than the claim states.
If You Sense Trouble, Call an Attorney
Insurance adjusters are smart, savvy business people. While many mean well, their job is to pay out the least amount possible for each claim. If you sense that your insurance company is trying to poke holes in your claim in order to pay you less, a personal injury lawyer can help bolster your case by gathering concrete evidence of your injuries and the accident.
After an accident, do not risk settling for less that you deserve—contact Curry, Pearson & Wooten to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer today.
Who Is to Blame For Your Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are notoriously devastating. Often resulting in serious injury, death, and property damage, accidents involving trucks often leave victims wondering what to do next. As injured parties face significant medical bills as well as lost income, seeking fair compensation is always at the front of their mind.
Who Is to Blame? With Truck Accidents, It Is Not Always Clear
Most traffic accidents are caused by negligence, typically that of another driver. In truck accidents, negligence is also commonly to blame, but with commercial trucks the negligent party is not always the driver.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in which the driver is to blame include:
- Excessive Speed
- Drug Use & Intoxication
While these are also common causes of many traffic accidents, commercial drivers operate under much higher standards and stiffer regulations than typical motorists. From mandated rest periods and duty limitations to stricter guidelines on over-the-counter drug use, truck drivers found in violation of these rules after an accident will be held liable.
Of course, truck drivers can do everything right and end up in an accident—so how would liability be determined? Many times, equipment failure on the truck or trailer could be to blame, in which case it would need to be determined whether mechanics, a part manufacturer, or a trucking company’s lax maintenance standards are to blame.
There are so many behind-the-scenes players in a commercial truck carrying a load that hiring an attorney after an accident is a must for any person that has suffered property damage or injuries. With several potentially liable parties as well as several insurance companies involved, truck accident injury cases can quickly become messy.
By hiring an attorney that is familiar with the regulations governing the commercial trucking industry, as well as a skilled negotiator, you will greatly increase your odds of recovering maximum compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten have the experience necessary to successfully represent you in your claim—connect with our firm today to schedule your free consultation.
Halloween Pedestrian and Driver Safety
As you head out tonight in Valley cities to take advantage of Halloween festivities, take an extra moment to make sure that your night includes some Halloween safety, as well.
For adults as well as kids, Halloween can be a dangerous evening to be out. Drunk driving incidents are not unusual, especially when Halloween falls on a Friday or Saturday. If you are of age and planning on attending one of Phoenix’s many Halloween celebrations, make sure that you have a plan to get home safely before you step out for the night. Taxi services and ride share programs such as Lyft and Uber have an increased presence all over the Valley tonight, so take advantage of their increased fleet this evening and leave the driving to a sober professional.
For those of you after candy and other trick-or-treating goodies, visibility is key. Pedestrian fatalities in children double on Halloween night compared to average rates, and there are some quick ways to ensure that you and your child are safe tonight:
- Reflective tape or decals: Fasten reflective material to costumes and candy bags to help cars see you.
- Walk this way: Always stick to sidewalk and marked crosswalks, and try to stick to the side of the road that faces oncoming traffic.
- Light up the night: Carrying a flashlight can help you see as well as be seen by cars and other trick-or-treaters.
- Eye-catching costumes: While it may be too late for a last minute costume change, if your child’s costume is very dark, adding reflective details to the front and back can help make sure they do not blend into shadows.
If you are out driving tonight, keep your eyes peeled for ghosts, goblins, and a few dozen Elsas from Frozen; be sure to especially drive slowly and cautiously through residential areas. The Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Curry, Pearson & Wooten wish you all a spooky and safe Halloween!
Crash Test Dummies Evolving, Growing
If you have gained a few pounds over the years, you have probably already heard it all about how it can affect your health and wellbeing. You are not alone, either—more than one-third of Americans are obese and much more are overweight in what is considered one of the greatest health crises in our nation.
It has been well-known for some time that overweight and obese individuals have a greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even stroke. What has only been recently discovered, however, is that obese adults run a higher risk of being fatally injured in a car accident—a much higher risk. Those in the lowest stage of obesity (BMI 30.0-34.9) are 21% more likely to die in an accident than a person of normal weight, and those in the highest stage (BMI 40.0 or higher) were 80% more likely to be killed.
What Is the Auto Industry Doing to Address Safety for Obese Drivers and Passengers?
For a long time, it seemed as though the transportation industry was trying to wait out the obesity epidemic before implementing major changes. As obesity only became more prevalent, it has finally come to the point where auto manufacturers must address the issue head-on and offer cars tailored for the majority of our population.
Much of the safety improvements that have been made over the years in cars has been thanks to the ever-improving technology that is being used in crash test dummies. This led Humanetics, the leader in crash test dummy production, to develop a prototype dummy that weighs in at 273 pounds with a BMI of 35.0; the current standard adult dummy weight is just under 170 pounds.
The significance of this new dummy cannot be overestimated. The biggest problem obese vehicle occupants face is that safety restraints do not properly engage with the pelvis until the lower half of the individual has traveled much further forward in their seat on impact, while their shoulders engage the restraints immediately. This often results in fatal internal injuries not seen in smaller occupants.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, along with auto manufacturers, are slow to warm up to the new dummy. Humanetics remains unphased, however, and is continuing to develop dummies that represent petite females and elderly drivers, two other demographics with increased risk of death in car accidents.
What do you think of the new crash test dummies—will they make our cars safer? If you have been injured in a crash, you know how important it is for cars to protect every type of occupant. Call the Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000 and learn if your injuries are eligible for compensation.
Arizona Auto Accident Injuries: Concussions
Many of us have heard about the prevalence of whiplash in car accidents. Whiplash is soft-tissue damage to your neck that happens when your head is rapidly thrown one way and rebounds back forcefully. In rear-end collisions, as well as side impact collisions, most people will experience symptoms of whiplash varying from mild to debilitating.
Concussions: A “Silent” Injury After Your Phoenix Car Wreck
Car accidents generate a lot of force and energy in a short amount of time, the intensity of which is often very damaging to the vehicle’s occupants. Many people who have been involved in accidents will walk away, feeling generally “okay” and assuming—perhaps based on fairly minor damage to the car—that they do not need to seek medical attention.
After a few hours, they may begin to notice that something is not right. Perhaps they have a nasty headache, or they may suddenly have a hard time remembering things. They brush it off as stress from the accident, but the symptoms persist.
What this person could be experiencing is a concussion. Even if their head did not strike the window or steering wheel during their accident, the force generated by whiplash could be enough to cause a concussion. Have you experienced any of the following after your crash?
- Difficulty with concentration or memory
- Altered sleep patterns and lack of energy
If you have experienced any of the above, you may be suffering from a concussion, and should seek medical care immediately.
After a Crash. See a Doctor—Then Call Curry, Pearson & Wooten
If you begin to feel pain or discomfort after an accident, it is important that you see your doctor as soon as possible. For medical as well as legal reasons, seeing a doctor quickly is a smart decision, and can start an important paper trail that insurance adjusters can use to tie your injuries to your accident.
Did you suffer from a concussion after a Phoenix, Scottsdale, or Tempe car accident? Call the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000 to find out how you can get the compensation that you deserve.
Are I-10 Injuries Between Phoenix and Tucson Preventable?
Last week, a tractor trailer going westbound on Interstate 10 crossed over the median just north of Casa Grande, driving into oncoming traffic in the eastbound lanes and hitting another car head-on. The crash, which happened just after 5 a.m., killed the driver of the car. The first collision between the car and truck set off another three-car wreck that sent another driver (along with the driver of the tractor trailer) to the hospital.
All lanes in both directions were closed for several hours, and cars were rerouted on several detours. This accident was the last in a string that led many Arizonans to wonder—could the design of the highway itself be to blame?
When Roadway Design Is At Fault for Your Accident
In most car accidents, other drivers are typically to blame. Whether someone was distracted, speeding, or driving recklessly, it is usually fairly easy to put blame on a driver that is liable for your injuries.
Even in cases of negligent drivers, road and highway design can aggravate already dangerous accidents. From road grade and pavement conditions to barriers and shoulder width, road design plays a major role in how an accident plays out. In crossover accidents on Interstate 10, many are beginning to question if the lack of a median barrier on major portions of I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson could be dramatically increasing the chance of fatal accidents.
If you have been injured in an accident on an Arizona road or highway, road design could have contributed to your injuries. If you have questions about your Phoenix auto accident injuries as they relate to hazardous road design, call Curry, Pearson & Wooten at 602-258-1000 for a free consultation.
Are Medicinal Marijuana Users Immune to Arizona DUIs?
As medicinal marijuana is slowly being legalized across the country, both lawmakers and law enforcement officials alike are struggling to regulate its presence in drivers’ bodies.
Last week, the Arizona Court of Appeals took a strong stand, ruling that simply because medicinal marijuana is now legal, it does not grant authorized users immunity from DUI prosecution if there is THC compound in their body at the time of arrest.
Is the State Making an Example?
In December 2011, an authorized medicinal marijuana user named Travis Darrah was initially charged with two counts of DUI. One was based on his impairment at the time of arrest, and the other addressed the presence of marijuana metabolite in his system. While Darrah was eventually acquitted of the first charge, he was found guilty under a DUI law that governs driving while there with marijuana in his body.
Darrah quickly appealed, claiming that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) offers immunity from prosecution unless the patients drive while impaired. His argument was that as an authorized user, the state had a burden to prove that he was impaired to the slightest degree.
Therein lies the problem; the state has yet to set a solid level of THC compound in the blood to count as legally impaired. Other states have determined that a concentration of 5.0 or more nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood within two hours of driving serves as proof of impairment, while levels between 2.0 ng/ml and 5.0 ng/ml indicate possible impairment.
At the time of Darrah’s arrest, his bloodwork showed 4.0 ng/ml of THC and 47 ng/ml of carboxy THC, a non-psychoactive metabolite of marijuana. Judge Michael J. Brown of the Arizona Court of Appeals delivered the final decision to uphold Darrah’s original DUI conviction.
What Does This Mean for Other Patients Authorized to Use Medical Marijuana in Arizona?
Darrah’s case had many holes in it, from his relatively high THC concentration to issues with his prescribing doctor, who was not among the approved physicians qualified to certify a user under the statute Darrah’s defense relied upon.
For authorized medicinal marijuana patients in Arizona, the takeaway from Darrah v. Hon. McClennen/City of Mesa is that only THC concentrate, the psychoactive element in marijuana, is to be considered in charges of impairment. Carboxy THC, the inactive metabolite that remains in the bloodstream long after use, is not a valid proof of impairment.
If you have concerns about charges you are facing involving your authorized medicinal marijuana use, call the Phoenix criminal defense attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000.
Arizona Implied Consent Laws & BAC Tests
Arrested in Arizona on DUI charges? You have already consented to a BAC test.
Underage DUI Charges in Arizona
Arizona has some of the strictest laws and punishments for driving under the influence. Across the country, tales of Tent City and the “pink pajamas” are well-known reminders of just how seriously Arizona treats DUI convictions. If you are underage, however, the penalties you may face for driving under the influence of alcohol are even greater.
Underage Drinking and Driving: A Dangerous Arizona Epidemic
Because of the presence of several large universities throughout Arizona, a large number of DUI arrests made involve drivers under the age of 21. While some people assume that the state may treat first-time underage offenders more gently, quite the opposite is true.
For anyone that is 21 years or older, the legal blood alcohol content level is the standard 0.08%. For drivers under the age of 21, Arizona exercises a strict zero-tolerance policy; this means that if a blood, urine, or breath test reveals a BAC over 0.00%, an underage driver will likely be cited for driving under the influence of alcohol.
In an attempt to deter young drivers from drinking and getting behind the wheel, Arizona has implemented tough penalties for those convicted of DUI. First-time offenders could face:
- Criminal Record: A lifelong class 1 misdemeanor on their record
- Imprisonment: For offenders 18 years of age or older, imprisonment for one day up to 180 days
- Fines: Fines, fees, and court costs up to $2500
- License Suspension: Two years of driving privilege suspension
- Ignition Interlock Device: Mandatory installment of device for up to three years in your car
- Alcohol Education: Mandatory counseling on substance abuse
When it comes to driving drunk, Arizona law does not see age as an excuse for driving drunk. If you drink and drive, expect to face the consequences for the rest of your life.
Contact an Experienced, Knowledgeable Phoenix Underage DUI Attorney
If you or your child have been charged with a DUI while underage, you need to act now to ensure that your life will not be forever affected by one mistake. At Curry, Pearson & Wooten, our tough Phoenix DUI attorneys can help you challenge the evidence and charges against you. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling us at 602-258-1000.
Annulling a Marriage in Arizona
When it comes to marriage annulment, Hollywood seems to portray it as a legal concept exclusive to hasty Las Vegas weddings and drive-through chapels. In reality, annulment is not an uncommon way to end a marriage that, by law, was not valid. Here in Arizona, annulment is more common that you think; keep reading to learn more.
What is an Annulment?
Like divorce, an annulment is a legal way to define your marital status. The primary difference between the two is that divorce ends a valid marriage, while an annulment is a legal affirmation that the marriage in question was invalid and nonbinding.
In order to request an annulment in Arizona, you must file a petition for annulment at an Arizona superior court, and the person you are currently “married” to must file a response. You will both be called to appear in court before a judge, and will have to present testimony that at least one of the following situations existed:
- One of you used force or fraud to get the other party to agree to the marriage
- One or both of you lacked the mental or physical capacity to get married (including intoxication)
- One of you concealed your prior marital status or was married to someone else
- One of you was a minor at the time of the marriage without proper guardian consent
- The couple did not have an official marriage license
- The couple has not had sexual relations
- The couple is related by blood
- One of you misrepresented religious beliefs
While there are a few other situations that the judge may find acceptable, these are the most commonly accepted grounds for annulment.
After the Fact: Does Annulment Have the Same Effect as Divorce?
Because an annulment proves that your marriage was invalid, the effect if very similar to that of a divorce. Establishing custody and parenting rights can be tricky at first, but once paternity is established, the court can determine matters of custody and child support along with your annulment. Unlike a divorce, however, your marriage was never legally valid; this means that the court cannot award alimony. A unique benefit of having your marriage annulled in Arizona is that your shared property with your spouse will be divided.
Call an Experienced Family Law Attorney When Considering Annulment
When you are considering an annulment, having the knowledge and support of a strong legal team can help ensure that you get the results that you want. The Phoenix family law attorneys of Curry, Pearson & Wooten can help you pursue a successful annulment petition—call us now at 602-258-1000 to learn more.
Establishing Non-Parental Custody in AZ
Perhaps he is your nephew, or she is your granddaughter. Maybe you are not related at all. Regardless of your relationship, you have been there to wipe noses, help with homework, and listen for years. Perhaps the situation started as something temporary and informal, but through either necessity or desire, it is time to make your custody legal. The state calls this in loco parentis, but you have just referred to it as “being there.”
Arizona In Loco Parentis: The Key to Legally Establishing Custody or Visitation Rights
Children being cared for by non-parental guardians is not uncommon, even in a full-time situation. At some point, it may become prudent to establish a legal guardianship or custody, and fortunately the law has grown to accommodate non-traditional custody situations.
In order for someone other than a child’s legal parents to establish a legal guardianship, the court must award sole responsibility of personal decisions regarding the minor’s wellbeing and life. Children over the age of 14 are able to voice their opinion on who they would like to be their guardian, and children under 14 are appointed a guardian by the court. This is a common option for grandparents and stepparents to establish their rights in helping to raise a child. One common caveat that stops a guardianship in its tracks, however, is that the child’s parents must give written consent for the guardianship.
Establishing custody does not require parental permission, but it does involve many more legal hoops to jump through. The court requires that the non-parent prove their in loco parentis standing with the child, meaning that they currently act as the child’s parent and have for some time. The court must also determine whether the child’s wellbeing is at stake is they remain with either of their legal parents. In order for the court to further consider granting non-parental custody, one of the child’s legal parents must have died or been missing for over three months, or the parents must be legally separated, divorced, or have a divorce or annulment pending.
Getting the Legal Help to Make it Happen
In general, Arizona law sees it best to keep a child with his or her parents. This places the burden on you to prove that the child’s wellbeing will be negatively affected by staying with their parents. It can be an uphill battle, and securing experienced legal help can help you ensure that you have a team that will fight tirelessly for your case.
If you are trying to establish non-parental guardianship or custody of a child in Scottsdale, Phoenix, or the surrounding areas, contact the Arizona family law attorneys of Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000 to discuss your case.
When Your Arizona Airman Medical Certificate is Denied
While there are a handful of pilots that do not give going to the aviation medical examiner a second thought, for many of us, there is a nagging feeling of “what if” following us the whole way into the office. For pilots whose livelihood relies on that renewal of their medical, the visit can be even more stressful.
When the Worst Case Scenario Becomes Reality
Let’s say that you have recently been to your aviation medical examiner’s office to renew your first class medical. While you have not had any major health problems in the recent past, the AME notices a few things that concern him and could point to a potentially disqualifying medical condition.
From here, your fate lies in the hands of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aeromedical Certification Division. Many times, the FAA will err towards the conservative side, and either offer you a special issuance—of which it will be your duty to prove you can safely operate under—or outright deny your certificate.
After you receive the official FAA letter denying your application for a medical certificate, you will have 30 days to respond with a request for the FAA to reconsider the denial. This reconsideration process can take a considerable amount of time, and if they uphold their denial, you will have to move forward with an appeal to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Fighting the Feds: Appealing Your Medical Certificate Denial to the NTSB
To appeal, you will need to request a hearing with an administrative law judge by filing a petition with the NTSB. At this hearing, both you and the FAA will be tasked with presenting evidence for or against your case. While you can present evidence from a slew of medical professionals who are familiar with your medical history, beware: the FAA will typically hold evidence from aviation medical professionals like your AME in higher regard than evidence brought by other physicians and doctors.
Fighting the Good Fight
It is important to everyone that our pilots—especially those who fly for a living—are healthy and safe in the skies. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to get a complete picture of a person’s health in a quick ten minute visit, resulting in a denial of a medical certificate. Appealing to the NTSB can be a very costly process, but protecting your livelihood is priceless.
If you feel as though your medical certificate has been denied in error, contact the experienced Arizona aviation attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000. We can help you fight to defend your certificate and your career.
Is ADS-B a Threat to General Aviation?
The imminent implementation of ADS-B has divided the aviation community more deeply than many other technologies before it. On one side, the Federal Aviation Administration sings its praises as far as the safety advancements it offers. It also offers the FAA considerable savings if antiquated ground-based navigation is given the boot, so a move to ADS-B may have the Feds seeing dollar signs all around.
On ramps and in hangars around the country, however, many owners are wringing their hands as they watch the clock tick down to the 2020 deadline that the FAA has been promising. For some, the equipment purchase and installation is a costly annoyance. For others, especially owners of older single-engine planes, the installation costs may be enough to drive them to sell before they are forced into pricey modifications required to support the ADS-B system.
AVweb contributor Paul Bertorelli raises another valid point—for a large portion of the average, middle-class people who fly, the ADS-B requirements may turn flying from an affordable indulgence into an unattainable luxury. It is no secret that flying has always been expensive, and fuel prices and maintenance costs have only made it more so. General aviation is already seeing dwindling pilot and owner levels, and the average age of those who remain is climbing quickly. For aircraft owners who are older, the added costs may push them to sell sooner. Younger pilots may be turned off by the higher prices. Either way, much of the traffic ADS-B could alert pilots to may be scared off before it has a chance to spot it.
The Arizona aviation accident attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten are interested to hear what you think about the upcoming ADS-B mandate, so sound off in the comments below! If you have questions or concerns about what the mandate will mean for you and your aircraft, call us at 602-258-1000 today.
FAA Policy Smart Move for Amateur Built Aircraft Pilots
New policy from the Federal Aviation Administration on experimental-amateur built aircraft has the Experimental Aircraft Association and aircraft owners alike excited for a new realm of safety and possibility.
The new policy, known as the Additional Pilot Program and rolled out late last month in an advisory circular (AC 90-116), details new rules surrounding the initial test flight phase of amateur built aircraft. Pilots of amateur built airplanes are now able to take an experienced test pilot along on the aircraft’s first flight, which the EAA states should dramatically reduce the amount of accidents in the experimental-amateur built group.
The EAA has explained that the majority of accidents among the amateur built aircraft occurred within the first eight hours of flight time, and were caused not by equipment failure or malfunction, but rather pilot loss of control. This new program allows for the builder pilot to experience the first airborne hours in his or her own aircraft with the added safety of a more experienced test pilot onboard.
The new program does set qualification minimums for both test pilots and aircraft to be able to participate in the Addition Pilot Program. To meet the requirements, the aircraft must meet the following:
Built from a kit eligible under the “major portion” requirement of Part 21.191(g)
Issued an experimental certificate as an amateur-built aircraft or light-sport aircraft
Have fully functioning dual controls
Installed piston-driven powerplant recommended by the kit manufacturer
Successfully completed powerplant testing in accordance with AC 90-89
The additional pilot must meet several qualifications as well, and a scoring matrix was devised for ease of determining recency of experience. The matrix includes several instant disqualifiers, which include:
Less than 10 landings in the previous 90 days
No flight time in the model family of the test aircraft
Less than 40 hours of flight time in the previous year
Less than 500 hours of total flight time
Recency of conventional gear experience (less than 20 landings in previous year) if applicable
Another scoring matrix is available that rates the qualified second pilot based on whether or not he/she has PIC time in several different makes and models of aircraft, Phase I testing experience, flight ratings achieved, and more.
This new policy is a refreshing step forward for the FAA, and offers a refreshing amount of flexibility for the builder/pilot set. If you have questions regarding this new policy, or have received resistance from the FAA, feel free to contact the Phoenix aviation attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten today for the answers you deserve.
General Aviation Fatalities at All-Time Low
A few weeks ago, the National Transportation Safety Board released its numbers on general aviation safety, and the news was good—almost too good.
For every 100,000 hours flown in general aviation last year, the accident rate was 5.85, while the fatal accident rate was a mind-boggling 1.05, the lowest number ever recorded. Out of the 221 fatal GA crashes, 387 people were killed; this is the lowest number of GA fatalities since World War II.
Many naysayers have argued that the reported number of hours flown are too high, citing quieter skies and emptier ramps as proof that flight hours are decreasing. While it is no surprise that the number of both pilots and aircraft is decreasing steadily, Flying Magazine’s Robert Goyer makes an interesting point—more pilots are using their planes to travel (as opposed to using them for flight training), which has contributes significantly to the number of flight hours being logged.
Other contributing factors to improving safety are the pilots, themselves. With easy access to better equipment that can accurately depict weather, terrain, and other traffic, each flight has the potential to be safer than the last—especially with appropriate training. The improvements to scenario-based flight training that teaches pilots how to handle common, real-world problems in the cockpit has also contributed to the rise in safety, says Goyer.
While general aviation is getting safer, Arizona is still seeing a fair share of crashes. If you or a loved one have been injured in an Arizona aviation accident, call Curry, Pearson & Wooten at 602-258-1000 to discuss your case with an experienced aviation attorney today.
OTC and Illicit Drug Use and Aviation Accidents
When you get the sniffles, what remedy do you reach for first? If you are a pilot, you probably just thought, “Will I be flying any time soon?” Aviators are bound by strict rules that govern how they are able to medicate and treat many ailments, and the National Transportation Safety Board has found that many are not living up the standards set by the Federal Aviation Administration—at the risk of injury and death.
Drug Use in the United States
While most people tend to think of illicit drugs when it comes to dangerous behavior, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are much more commonly used in the United States, and the use of both have been on the rise in the United States.
Pilots have been at the center of an NTSB study that took place from 1990 to 2012, with investigators performed toxicology tests on pilots involved in fatal accidents. Because of the infrequency of fatal accidents among air carrier pilots, the study focused primarily on general aviation pilots. The findings, released earlier this month, found one very important thing: drug use among fatally injured pilots, both illicit and OTC, is on the rise and likely to increase.
Silent Dangers in Your Medicine Cabinet
More common among fatal accidents than illicit drugs, the real threat among the drugs that were potentially impairing was diphenhydramine, an antihistamine that appears in common sleep aids, allergy medications, and cold medications. The study did not set out to discover if these drugs were contributing factors to the crash, but one thing is for certain—the presence of these drugs in the systems of fatally injured pilots is steadily rising.
Also on the rise in the past decade is the number of pilots flying without a current medical certificate. These pilots were even more likely to be using potentially impairing drugs to treat certain ailments without the input of an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME).
Have You Been Injured by a Pilot That Misused Drugs?
The NTSB study concluded, among other findings, that the FAA’s communication with airmen about the safe and unsafe use of OTC and prescription drugs. This leaves the door open for a lot of confusion among pilots as to what may or may not be safe. One thing is for certain, however, and that is that the ultimate responsibility to determine and maintain flight fitness still lies with the pilot in command.
If you have been injured by a pilot who misused potentially impairing OTC or prescription drugs, you deserve compensation for your damages. Call Curry, Pearson & Wooten’s Arizona aviation attorneys at 602-258-1000 to discuss your case with a lawyer today.
Biennial Flight Reviews Making Arizona Aviation Safer
Can you imagine if pilots were governed by the same rules as those with a Class D driving licenses? When buzz about the new “flying car” started, it generated excitement from the masses; most pilots knew that the idea would thankfully, and quite literally, never get off the ground.
While a majority of people you share the streets with have not received any type of instruction or review for decades (unless they incurred a driving infraction), most of the people buzzing around our Arizona skies have received instruction, check rides, or a flight review within the past two years. While this cannot guarantee that each of these pilots are at peak proficiency, it does make giant strides towards a safer Arizona airspace.
The Biennial Flight Review: What it is, and When You Need It
A flight review for single engine-rated pilot consists of at least one hour of ground instruction and one hour of flight training with an authorized instructor or examiner. The training must consist of a review of FAR Part 91 operating rules as well as flight maneuvers and procedures in a manner that demonstrates the pilot’s ability to safely exercise the privileges of his or her certificate.
In the simplest interpretation of the rules, a flight review must be completed within the previous twenty-four calendar months of a pilot acting as pilot-in-command of an aircraft with a few exceptions. Student pilots receiving training for a specific certificate with current solo endorsement are not required to undergo a flight review, nor is any pilot who has received a successful check-ride for a rating or certificate within the past twenty-four months. Certified Flight Instructors are exempt from the ground training portion, but must still undergo the hour of flight training.
Why Your Flight Review Currency Matters
Flight reviews on a biennial basis are required by FARs, and if you are involved in an accident or incident, one of the first things the FAA will look as is if you are in compliance with your certificate and currency. For some reason, however, many pilots overlook the flight review and assume that a current medical certificate and regular flight time will suffice. From an administrative perspective, not to mention a safety perspective, nothing can replace the flight review or check ride.
While there is a large amount of flight training that takes place here in Arizona, the majority of pilots here are people who fly for enjoyment. While we might fly on a fairly regular basis, we may not go through the standard maneuvers and emergency procedures as often as we should to maintain a mastery of our aircraft handling skills. With a flight review, we have the opportunity to perfect these maneuvers in a safe environment, and maybe even get the chance to learn something new in the meantime.
If you have any questions about flight review requirements, feel free to reach out to us here on our website or by calling our Arizona aviation attorneys at 602-258-1000. We want to play a role in keeping you safe and legal in the skies!
Arizona Aviation Liability and Service Bulletins
For many Arizona pilots and aircraft owners, service bulletins serve as one of the greatest internal debates they face on a regular basis. While most people have the instinct to choose safety over cost, when it comes to service bulletins, it is not always clear that the action outlined is in any way directly related to safety. For many owners, the choice to comply with a service bulletin does not come down to an issue of safety at all, but rather the avoidance of potential administrative issues should an accident or incident occur.
So…What are Service Bulletins?
Service bulletins are notices sent out to aircraft owners by manufacturers. These bulletins typically address a safety concern, available improvements, or possible defects or errors in parts or manuals, and offer guidance on the appropriate action to take. Sometimes the manufacturer will advise that a certain part be replaced, a certain inspection be performed, or certain operating limitations be put in place.
It all sounds fairly black and white, until we delve a bit deeper. Federal Aviation Regulations do not require that service bulletins are complied with unless they are accompanied by an Airworthiness Directive, or AD. This puts owners and A&Ps alike in a precarious situation—is it better to blindly comply, or is it simply not “worth it?”
When the service bulletin directly addresses a safety issue, it is always prudent to comply. Most pilots, owners, and maintenance personnel will agree—safety is paramount. What remains in a “grey area,” however, is the absence of an AD. If the Federal Aviation Administration has not mandated a service action, is the issue one of concern?
Dissection: Take the Time to Investigate
If it is unclear whether or not the service bulletin is truly related to a relevant safety issue, there is one resource that you need to have a heart-to-heart with—your primary A&P mechanic. While maintenance professionals are just as concerned as manufacturers about possible liability, only they can offer you the true cost/benefit analysis (and not just the financial costs) of complying or not complying with a service bulletin.
If you have questions or concerns about current or potential liability regarding a service bulletin you have received, our experienced Arizona aviation accident lawyers are here to help. Call Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000 to discuss your case with an attorney.
Arizona Aviation Accidents and Air Shows
Air shows have been a favorite pastime of American adults and children alike for decades. From the acrobatic displays of grace, speed, and power to the important aviation history knowledge to be gained, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Of course, when there is a high volume of air traffic in a small space (typically at smaller airports that are not used to handling traffic numbers that an airshow brings), and a mix of aircraft ranging from WWII fighters to hot air balloons, the risk associated with such events is exponentially higher than operations as usual. Couple that with large crowds that may not be familiar with aviation safety, and the odds of injury or death start to grow.
Order in the Chaos: Who is Responsible?
Many of you may remember the tragic crash at the 2011 Reno Air Races involving a P-51D Mustang that crashed into box seats near the field, killing 10 spectators and the pilot, and injuring nearly 70 other people. This devastating event only proved how difficult it was to pinpoint liability, and despite a mechanical failure being found as the primary culprit, many other factors came into play.
If you have been injured at an air show—whether you were a pilot or spectator—there are many potentially liable parties, such as:
- Air Show Hosts and Organizers: Air show organizers take on a lot of responsibility in order to host an air show. From hiring on-site first responders to purchasing liability insurance, if the organizer has missed a key detail and you are injured as a result, they will be found liable. In Reno, the event promoters sold highly-priced VIP box seats in front of the grandstands that placed the crowd dangerously close to the racing aircraft.
- Airport Authorities: If the air show is at a public use airfield, airport authorities have a duty to ensure that people using the facility will be safe.
- Mechanics: If an aircraft causes injury to others and it was found to be the result of improper maintenance, the mechanic that did the work may be held responsible. In the 2011 Reno crash, the NTSB found that single-use locknuts were reused in the trim tab that eventually loosed and fell off, causing an irrecoverable loss of control.
- Pilots: If a pilot was found to be operating in a reckless manner, injured parties may be able to seek damages from the pilot or the pilot’s estate. Jimmy Leeward’s estate is facing several lawsuits following the crash, as it was found that he had pushed the P-51’s speed about 35 knots above structural limits.
If You Have Been Injured at an Air Show, Call the Attorneys Who Know Aviation
At Curry, Pearson & Wooten, our Phoenix aviation accident attorneys do not just know the law, they are also seasoned aviation professionals. If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of negligence at an air show, do not trust your case with just any lawyer. Call us today at 602-258-1000 to discuss your case, and let us get you the compensation that you deserve.
Aircraft Insurance and Arizona Aviation Accidents
Perhaps it is part of our evolution into the modern human, but people love to be insured. Whether it is homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, or health insurance, we strive to protect ourselves from the unthinkable. While we know we can only do so much to prevent accidents, having insurance helps us feel as though we have everything “under control.”
Aircraft insurance is a fact of life for most aircraft owners, and is a relatively inexpensive way to cover the aircraft, occupants, and potential property damage in the event of an accident or incident. Many Arizona pilots, however, have found that when they have called upon their insurance to cover damage costs after an incident, their insurance company has denied their claim.
Policy Provisions: Are You and Your Aircraft Compliant?
Your aircraft insurance policy likely has several rules and conditions—otherwise known as provisions—that you must follow in order to be covered in the event of an accident. Should you be involved in an accident or incident, your insurance company will do their own sleuthing to determine whether you were abiding by the rules set forth in your policy. Depending on what they find, you may be denied coverage.
One of the most common breaches of policy insurance companies find is that the pilot operating the aircraft during the accident was not covered by the policy. Just like your auto insurance only covers specific drivers, your aircraft policy will also have certain restrictions. Many policies will not force you to name specific pilots, but will require that any pilot operating the plane be current in the conditions that they are flying in and have valid medical and airman certificates. If the pilot was operating your aircraft and did not conform to the above provisions, you may be denied coverage.
Another reason that coverage is often denied is a breach of the airworthiness provision. If an aircraft is involved in a crash and is “out of annual” or has not had the required VFR inspections (or IFR if the plane was operating in IMC), your policy will likely deny your coverage, even if the crash was not caused by something that was missed by a lapse in inspection.
Play by the Policy Rules and Reap the Policy Rewards
In Arizona, it is especially important for aircraft owners to follow their aircraft insurance policy to the letter, as coverage can be denied without a direct relationship between the breach in policy and the accident. If you were in compliance and are still being denied coverage, our Phoenix aviation accident attorneys can help. Call Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000 to find out how our experience team of aviation lawyers can help you fight for the coverage you deserve.
Phoenix Aviation Law: Emergency Declarations
Following the recent tragic crash of a Socata TBM 900 that killed prominent Rochester, NY couple Larry and Jane Glazer, our Arizona avian accident attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten want to take the time to reach out to Arizona pilots regarding the declaration of emergencies.
Larry Glazer, a seasoned pilot with over 5000 hours of flight time in the TBM, was the chairman of the TBM Owners and Pilot Association (TBMOPA), and the owner of the first newly updated TBM 900. This man was no stranger to the flight deck of this aircraft or flying in general, which is why many are surprised to learn that Mr. Glazer never declared an emergency or deviated from ATC instructions in order to address the pressurization issues he was facing.
Unfortunately, this is a common problem that plagues many pilots. Whether it is the fear of administrative or enforcement action, an investigation, or simply overconfidence in the aircraft or pilot’s ability to “pull it together,” most pilots would rather give their left arm before declaring an emergency and deviating from control. This has unfortunately led to many pilots, like Glazer, facing a potentially dangerous situation without the many resources that could be made available to them.
Setting the Record Straight: What Will Happen After You Declare an Emergency in Flight
While it is true that the FAA will likely investigate your declared emergency, the likelihood of it going beyond a quick chat with an investigator is extremely low.
There is one very important FAR for you to keep in mind when it comes to declaring an emergency: FAR 91.3. It states in no uncertain terms that in “…an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule…to the extent required to meet that emergency.” At worst, you may be asked to submit a report to the FAA following such a deviation, but even “the Feds” make it clear: do what you need to do in an emergency.
On the other side of the mic, controllers are trained to give pilots in distress priority, and any situations deemed uncertain—where the pilot has not declared an emergency but the controller feels the situation may warrant it—the controllers are trained to handle you as such.
Whether you as the pilot or your controller declared the emergency, the FSDO is going to hear about it, and shortly after, you will hear from an inspector to follow up on the incident. A brief report will be written and sent to your file, but generally speaking, that will be the last you will hear of it.
Flying Safely Without Fear of Retribution
The FAA encourages the declaration of emergencies where the situation warrants, and will typically applaud a sound decision to do so. If you were forced to deviate from ATC clearance in order to handle an emergency and are facing more than a simple meeting with investigators, Curry, Pearson & Wooten’s experienced aviation attorneys can help you ensure that your certificate and record are safe from enforcement—call us at 602-258-1000 to discuss your case today.
Phoenix Aviation Accidents: Declaring an Emergency
At our Arizona aviation accident law firm, we most commonly deal with two kinds of cases—injuries and death from aircraft crashes, and enforcement action cases. Today, we would like to take a moment to share some thoughts with our Arizona pilots in light of a recent accident.
On Friday, September 5, a Socata TBM 900 crashed into the ocean off the coast of Jamaica around 2:15 in the afternoon. The plane, a small turbo-prop owned by Buckingham Properties in Rochester, NY, was piloted by Larry Glazer. Glazer was a licensed and experienced pilot and aviation enthusiast, and was known throughout the Rochester community as a brilliant and optimistic real estate developer, whose latest goals included a vision for the city’s deserted midtown area.
Early reports on the crash show a scene eerily similar to the 1999 crash of a Learjet that killed golfer Payne Stewart. Nearly every new pilot in the skies today was introduced to hypoxia by learning about the Stewart incident, in which the jet departed from Orlando, suffered a rapid decompression, and flew until fuel was depleted near Aberdeen, SD.
Larry and his wife, Jane, departed from Rochester Friday morning and were expected to land in Naples, FL just before noon. Instead, when the aircraft was over North Carolina, Mr. Glazer informed air traffic control that he would like to descend to FL180 because he had an incorrect indication. Controllers told him to stand by and proceed to FL250; Mr. Glazer remained unclear in his transmissions, and after approximately four minutes, controllers cleared him to FL200. Shortly after, communication with the plane was lost and the plane flew on for four hours. Larry Glazer never declared an emergency.
While every pilot wants to keep their aircraft, their occupants, and themselves safe, many pilots—especially less experienced pilots—hesitate to declare an emergency. Many airmen worry that unless it turns out to be a very serious emergency, they will face some kind of enforcement action from the FAA.
If you suspect that there is something wrong with your aircraft or your safety and time is of the essence, declare an emergency. If you need to deviate from control instructions to keep you and your aircraft safe, do what you need to do and keep ATC advised as your workload allows. The FAA will investigate the incident, but the most you are likely to hear from them is a phone call with a few questions.
Do not let the fear of a possible deviation prohibit you from doing what is necessary to stay safe—as pilot-in-command, you have ultimate emergency authority, and FAR 91.3 serves solely to support your authority. If you have any questions about an air crash investigation into a recent emergency deviation, feel free to call us today at 602-258-1000.
A New Approach to TFR Violations for Phoenix Airmen
Many pilots here in Arizona have a tenuous relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration. While everyone knows that the FAA is here to keep our airports and skies safe, sometimes it can seem as though they cause more grief than good. From ramp checks to administrative actions, most pilots will spend their career trying to figuratively “fly under the radar” of the Administration, following rules and minding their business until they chock in for the last time.
It is because of this all-too-common tension that a recent policy change by the FAA caused shock among the flying community. The change, which dealt with how the Administration handled temporary flight restriction (TFR) violations, took a pleasantly constructive approach to dealing with first-time violators, and the FAA hopes that the new enforcement guidelines will reduce the amount of violations through remedial training instead of certificate action.
Previously, the FAA took swift action on those who violated TFRs, immediately sending a Notice of Proposed Certificate Action and almost always following up with a 30 day certificate suspension. This method presented a few problems, but the most worrisome was that most infractions in TFR airspace were inadvertent, first-time violators that only stood to suffer more from a certificate suspension that—in the end—taught the pilot nothing about the mistake that occurred.
The new proposal is a promising start for the FAA, looking to educate and inform rather than punish. In the amended version, the FAA will still suspend the certificate of an airman who inadvertently violates a TFR for the first time for 30 days, unless the violation was the result of either:
- Intruding one mile or less into the security airspace and exiting as soon as able, without causing problems for other air traffic or ATC
- Squawking a 1200 or incorrect discrete assigned code for a brief time (under two minutes) in a security airspace without causing complications for other traffic or ATC
In either of these situations the airman would receive a warning letter and remedial training, with no violations in his or her record. If the airman has previous TFR violations, however, certificate suspensions or even revocations will occur.
Hopefully, this policy change marks the start of a new FAA that aims to create safety through education rather than punishment. As always, it pays to get a detailed briefing from flight service and check TFR NOTAMs before you embark on a flight. If you feel as though you have been wrongly accused of violating a TFR and are facing certificate suspension or revocation, call Curry, Pearson & Wooten’s Phoenix aviation lawyers at 602-258-1000 today to see what you can do to protect your flying privileges.
Phoenix Aviation Law: Who Can Determine Airworthiness?
Unlike cars in parking lots, aircraft here in Arizona do not typically get many dents or dings while out taxiing around the airfield thanks to skilled pilots, careful air traffic controllers, and specific taxiway demarcations that prevent incursions. Aircraft are far more likely to encounter problems during ground handling or in the hangar, where dings and dents are common enough to have earned the nickname “hangar rash.”
While most pilots cringe at the thought of any damage to their aircraft, many would not think to have a plane inspected after a minor dent or scratch. If there was not significant structural damage, and the flaw appears to only be cosmetic, what would the point of an inspection be, and who is capable of deciding what is acceptable?
Here is where the matter goes from simple to slightly more complex. In the cases of Administrator v. Smith and Administrator v. Scuderi, two airmen were operating their own aircraft too closely to parked aircraft, each striking a wingtip against a portion of the parked plane and causing damage to both.
In the case of James W. Smith, following the collision he noticed a paint scratch on his wingtip tank but, claiming that he believed it to still be airworthy, took off for his next destination anyway. The investigation found that Mr. Smith later took his Cessna 210 to an A&P mechanic to ensure that it was, in fact, airworthy, and to repair the scratches.
The Federal Aviation Administration learned of the incident and suspended Mr. Smith’s pilot certificate for 60 days, finding him in violation of 14 C.F.R. Part 91.7(a). After an appeal from Mr. Smith, the National Transportation Safety Board’s administrative law judge (ALJ) determined that the FAA’s actions were appropriate, and that Mr. Smith should have known that the aircraft would need an inspection prior to further operation.
Even a fairly simple case like Administrator v. Smith has an abundance of grey area, but one thing is very clear—no one disputed the fact that Mr. Smith should have known that a collision resulting in visible damage to his aircraft would require an inspection of airworthiness prior to flying it again.
While it may seem like overkill, hangar rash and other dents and dings may very well mean the difference between an airworthy aircraft and a non-airworthy aircraft. After an incident that leaves your aircraft with visible damage, play it safe and have an A&P inspect the damage and give you a proper sign-off. While it may seem like a hassle, if you knowingly operate the aircraft with damage, you may face serious enforcement and/or administrative actions on your certificate.
If you have been involved in a ground handling incident where another pilot or individual caused damage to your aircraft, or if you played by all of the rules and the FAA is still taking action on your certificate, you have the right to stand up for yourself. The Arizona aviation attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten are available to discuss your case with you today, and can help you defend your certificate or collect damages—call us now at 602-258-1000 to speak with an experienced aviation lawyer.
Operator’s Liability in Phoenix Aviation Accidents
We talk a lot about pilot error when it comes to Arizona aviation accidents, and truthfully speaking, that is because a majority of accidents are caused by pilot error. Whether it was a performance miscalculation, getting into weather that he or she is ill-equipped to fly into, or controlled flight into terrain, the odds are that when a plane crashes, investigators will find that the pilot is to blame for at least a portion of the accident.
What does not get discussed as frequently is a different kind of pilot error that occurs before the plane even takes off. As the pilot in command of an aircraft, it is that individual’s responsibility to ensure that the plane is in airworthy condition, and that all logbook entries pertaining to maintenance have been properly documented. Even if nothing bad were to happen during the flight, if a Federal Aviation Administration inspector were to ramp check that pilot after a flight and discovered that something was amiss, that pilot may face serious enforcement actions against his or her certificate.
Pilot in Command: The Burden of Responsibility
Most pilots—in fact, most people—have enough self-preservation tendencies that they would not knowingly fly an aircraft that was not airworthy. Even if something unexpected happens during a flight or away from the aircraft’s “base,” special ferry permits are fairly simple to obtain, and allow the plane to be flown back to a maintenance facility. Typically, keeping a plane “in annual” and having it serviced regularly and responsibly will prevent any AD- or condition-related mishaps, so there is usually little excuse when a pilot is found to be in violation.
Logbook entries, on the other hand, tend to be a very grey area. While it is true that the A&P responsible for the work is just as responsible to provide quality logbook entries, it is ultimately the pilot’s responsibility to ensure that such entries exist before operating the aircraft. If, following maintenance actions, the logbook entry does not clearly state that the plane is returned to service, the pilot should follow up with the A&P to determine whether or not the plane is indeed airworthy.
When Honest Mistakes or Negligence Affect You
Whether you were a passenger in a plane that was not airworthy, or your plane was damaged because of a pilot’s misjudgment, you should not have to pay the price for someone else’s mistake. If you have suffered damages because of a pilot’s negligence, call the Phoenix aviation accident lawyers at Curry, Pearson & Wooten today to discuss your case with an experienced professional.
DUIs and Arizona Pilots
As this summer draws to a close, we say goodbye to days at the lake, camping trips, and weekend parties. No matter how old we get, the fun of having a few beers with our buddies will never get old. Hopefully, we have learned enough to line up a designated driver before the fun even begins, but occasionally, we slip up and misjudge our ability to get behind the wheel. When you have made a huge mistake and gotten arrested for a DUI, do you know how to proceed with the Federal Aviation Administration?
I’ve been arrested for my first DUI…do I need to tell the Federal Aviation Administration?
For this mishap, the answers can be found inside your FAR/AIM in FAR 61.15. The new FAA requirements state that any pilot involved in any motor vehicle action involving the use of drugs or alcohol must submit a detailed report.
You will have to send a written report within 60 days of the motor vehicle action to the FAA’s Civil Aviation Security Division in Oklahoma City. Your report will need to include all of the following information:
- Your name, date of birth, telephone number, address, and airman certificate number;
- The type and nature of violation that resulted in your conviction;
- The date of your motor vehicle action;
- The State holding the record of your conviction, and
- Whether this motor vehicle action resulted from this particular incident or a previously reported one (this is important because civil and criminal actions are often separated by a significant portion of time, and both must be reported to the FAA).
While it can seem daunting to explain every detail of this to the FAA, it is incredibly important that you do so—failure to submit this report can automatically result in the suspension or revocation of your certificate, or denial of an application for new ratings or certificates.
Will the report to satisfy FAR 61.15 be enough?
In addition to the FAR 61.15 report, you will also need to provide your aviation medical examiner (AME) with court documents related to your offense at your next medical. The AME will likely review the documents and interview you to determine if you have a substance abuse problem. If you refused to give a blood sample or you were convicted of an extreme DUI, your information will be passed on to the Aeromedical Certification Division for further review.
Generally speaking, if this was your first offense and you have reported everything on-time and correctly, you will likely see no further action from the FAA. If you have more questions about the process, or feel as though you need further advice before disclosing the details of the event to the FAA, call the Phoenix aviation attorneys of Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000 or toll free at 888-929-5292.
Arizona Aircraft Purchases: Getting it Right the First Time
Congratulations, you have decided to purchase your very first plane right here in Arizona! Now comes the tricky part—the buying process. Unlike buying a car, which has become so commonplace that it is no longer considered a “big deal” by purchasers, lenders, and sellers alike, purchasing an aircraft comes with a lot of hidden pitfalls that even the most seasoned pilot can fall victim to, putting their finances and even safety at risk.
One of the primary differences between buying a car and buying a plane in Arizona is that while a majority of cars are sold at dealerships, most planes are bought and sold privately. While some people may be looking to buy a new aircraft from a dealer, an overwhelming percentage of general aviation planes will be several years old. Because of this—and the paramount role that safety plays in aviation—it is absolutely critical that you know the plane that you are buying inside and out.
The Golden Rule: Find an Impartial and Thorough A&P
While many may argue that the golden rule in aircraft purchasing is not to get emotionally attached to a plane, even if you do slip up and fall for a particular bird, having an impartial and honest A&P for your pre-buy inspection can save you—literally. Many aircraft with seemingly clean and up-to-date logbooks are out of compliance with critical ADs or have other hidden mechanical problems that could cost you money or your safety further down the road.
Many first-time buyers balk at the cost of a truly thorough pre-buy inspection, but finding out about any “gremlins” the aircraft may be hiding before you commit can help give you all of the information you need to make an informed purchase that you will not regret later. And while it may be tempting to use an A&P that the seller recommends—especially if you are unfamiliar with mechanics or inspectors in the area—be aware that he or she could be biased, and trying to help the seller move an aircraft.
Fly Before You Buy
Just like you would never buy a car you did not test drive, be sure that you have an opportunity to take the plane up for a quick turn in the pattern to see how it behaves. The owner may request to be the pilot in command and have you simply observe, since they do not know your flying ability and their insurance may not cover damage for pilots other than themselves, but even being in the plane for a test flight can reveal a lot about a plane’s characteristics and performance. Just make sure before you buckle in that a mechanic has given the plane the “OK.”
Why We Care
Just like you, we want your first aircraft buying experience to go as smoothly as possible, but we also want to help you ensure that you are purchasing a plane that is airworthy and safe. Most general aviation planes that are bought and sold around the Phoenix valley are between 30 and 60 years old; even with careful care and maintenance over the years, planes can deteriorate and weaken in critical areas.
If you have been injured in an aircraft that you have recently purchased and feel as though the previous owner may have kept crucial information from you that may have prevented your accident, give the Arizona aviation attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call today at 602-258-1000 to discuss your case.
GARA’s Effect on Arizona General Aviation A&P Mechanics
The Phoenix area is a hotbed of flight training activity, so it also plays host to a large number of training aircraft. If you take a walk down the tie-down line at any of our area airports you will see dozens of training aircraft, many of which were built in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Because of low operating costs, reliable and patient performance, and overall simplicity, these aircraft are both flight school and first-time owner favorites, and they remain popular with aviation fanatics throughout the world.
In 1994, an amendment to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 called the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) was drafted to help protect the manufacturers of these aircraft (along with the parts and components manufacturers) from civil action following an accident involving a plane or parts made over 18 years ago.
Are You an Arizona A&P Mechanic That Works on GA Aircraft? Keep Reading!
Aircraft mechanics are always under a microscope, whether from the Federal Aviation Administration or aircraft owners themselves. As a general aviation mechanic, you are probably all too familiar with the visits you get from the local FSDO’s maintenance inspectors. Since you do your work “by the books,” however, you usually do not worry much.
With GARA’s presence, however, the pressure on mechanics in the wake of an aircraft accident is even greater. Litigation against mechanics that have worked on GA aircraft involved in crashes is increasing in frequency, despite a majority of these crashes being caused by pilot error. Suddenly, legal things like putting off a service bulletin or letting an owner continue flying an engine in good condition beyond its TBO becomes a very risky undertaking, even if the owner insists.
Even when you have crossed and dotted every proverbial T and I, if you are ever accused of negligence in an accident or incident your liability does not need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, only on the "preponderance of the evidence." This is an incredibly uncomfortable position to be placed in as a business owner and A&P/IA, and to combat the risks, many mechanics have erred on the side of caution and been very conservative when deciding how to proceed with repairs and inspections.
Have You Been Wrongly Accused of Negligence?
At the center of many cases against A&P GA mechanics, there are maintenance decisions made at the request of the owner that are completely safe and legal, but could leave the mechanic in a tight spot if something goes wrong. Despite the owner having the ultimate authority to run an engine over time or ignore a service bulletin, if the aircraft in question is in an accident (even a pilot error-caused accident) maintenance records could point back to you.
If you are being wrongly accused of negligence connected to an accident, you need an experienced and aggressive aviation attorney to defend you. At Curry, Pearson & Wooten, you will find Phoenix aviation attorneys that will work hard to keep your certificate and business safe. Speak with a lawyer about your case today—call us at 602-258-1000 for a free consultation.
Why You Need an Arizona Aviation Lawyer
Aviation law is complex, and requires a lawyer specialized in aeronautics .
Phoenix Flight Training Accidents: Finding Fault
Each year, thousands of people from around the world flock to the Phoenix metro area to learn how to fly. Because of the Valley’s excellent weather and wide availability of airports, flight training is a big business, from large flight schools and universities to small private operations. Unfortunately, because of the high density of flight training occurring from Tucson to Prescott, this also means that aircraft incidents and accidents are a fairly common occurrence.
Flight Training: Who is in Control?
Much like when you learned to drive a car, a beginning is given a learner’s permit of sorts known as a student pilot certificate. While this certificate does entitle the holder to be at the controls of an aircraft, just like a learner’s permit, it also requires that a certified pilot be present.
During flight training, it is not enough simply to have any licensed pilot accompany a student. The instructor pilot must be a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), a rating that requires many flight hours and highly refined piloting skills. Like driving, the licensed operator is responsible for any incidents that occur during the student’s operation; if an accident occurs, it would be on the CFI’s record.
It Takes a Village: Jake’s Mesa Plane Crash
There are many stakeholders that may play a part in a Phoenix aircraft incident. Let’s take a hypothetical flight student, Jake. Jake is pursuing his private pilot’s license at a small flight school in Mesa. Jake and his instructor Scott have spent about 15 hours flying together, and Jake is preparing for his first solo flight next week.
Prior to their flight, Jake and Scott do a preflight check on the aircraft that they will be flying. At this point, Jake has progressed to doing the check without Scott’s help, but Scott must supervise the process. The plane seems fine, and they taxi out to the runway and prepare to take off.
As the plane ascends, though, the engine begins to sputter and quits. Scott takes control of the plane, but cannot restart the engine in time. He is able to land it in a field relatively gently, but both he and Jake suffer a few minor bone breaks, and the plane is significantly damaged.
Jake’s family would like to receive compensation for his injuries, but first, the cause of the crash must be determined, which requires a lot of investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Was Jake’s input on the flight controls incorrect? Did he forget to check the plane’s fuel or oil for contamination during the preflight check? If so, Scott may held accountable. If the problem was purely mechanical, the aircraft’s maintenance technicians could be at fault. If the plane was not insured and kept in good operating condition, the owner could be found liable.
Hire an Experienced Phoenix Aviation Accident Attorney to Protect Your Rights
Even in a simple case like Jake’s hypothetical accident, there are several stakeholders involved when it comes to flight training accidents in Phoenix. Choosing an attorney with a solid background in aviation will help you ensure that you will receive the best representation for you and your loved ones. Phoenix aviation attorney Michael Pearson of Curry, Pearson & Wooten has successfully represented aviation accident victims for decades, as well as worked with the Federal Aviation Administration for over 26 years. If you are seeking justice for damages sustained in an Arizona flight training accident, contact him today at 602-258-1000 for a free consultation.
When is Phoenix Divorce Mediation Right for Me?
Many people still think of a divorce as an aggressive, angry process where spouses are at odds with each other over every last detail of their former union. As modern society has grown to accept divorce as a more commonplace event, however, people are beginning to realize that not every marriage ends in the same manner. Some couples harbor deep anger or regret, while others are able to amicably move forward with separate lives. Because of this, many people are beginning to embrace different methods of legally ending their marriage.
Arizona Divorce Mediation: Will it Work for You and Your Spouse?
Divorce mediation is when a divorcing couple sits down with a neutral, third party mediator to settle the details of their divorce, from division of assets to parenting decisions. It can often be much less expensive and emotionally taxing than a traditional divorce in court, but not every divorce will benefit from mediation.
There are several very important questions that you and your spouse must answer in order to determine if a Phoenix divorce mediation is right for your situation. If you are both able to agree on the answers to these questions, you may want to consider contacting a Phoenix divorce mediation attorney to proceed.
- Is our divorce mutual, permanent, and blame-free? Many divorces are often initiated by one spouse, and the other is simply going along for the ride or even against the idea. If you have both mutually decided to separate, harbor no grudges against each other for the divorce, and have no intentions of reconciling the relationship, a mediation may work well for you.
- Do we still trust each other? Many couples who choose to divorce are doing so because of infidelity or other trust issues. One or both parties may have anger or violence issues, or have experienced some form of substance abuse. These couples would likely not benefit from mediation, where openness and honesty are key to agreeing upon a fair division of assets. If you are fully confident in both your own and your spouse’s ability to speak freely and truthfully about shared finances and property, mediation could be a good solution.
- Do we trust each other’s parenting choices? If you both respect each other’s parenting styles, mediation is an excellent way to reach a mutual agreement on how your children will be raised, rather than leaving the decisions up to lawyers or judges who are not familiar with your family. If you harbor doubt about your spouse’s ability to care for your child or children, you may never be able to reach a successful agreement in mediation.
Finding the Right Phoenix Divorce Mediation Attorney
While many people try to “go it alone” in mediation since your attorneys are not present during the mediation, finding the right divorce mediation attorney can help you both prepare for and carry out the agreements that you and your spouse reach.
The Arizona family law attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC are experienced in the process of divorce mediation, and will work closely with both you and your spouse to reach a mutually satisfying conclusion to your divorce. While the choice to end a marriage is never easy, there is no reason why you and your spouse should not be able to separate in a way that makes both of you happy.
Call us today at 888-929-5292 or 602-258-1000 for a complimentary consultation with our Phoenix family law attorneys
Proposition 114 Protects Victims of Arizona Felonies
Most people have heard of the case where a burglar broke into a house, injuring himself and later suing the homeowner. The burglar in question won, and was awarded damages.
While that particular story has evolved into somewhat of an urban legend, there are several examples of real-world cases where criminals were injured in the act. These criminals were later able to sue the victim of their initial crime for negligence, and often successfully settled for large sums of money.
Of course, we all hope that judges or juries will exercise good sense and protect the victims of Arizona criminals from erroneous lawsuits intended to intimidate or further antagonize. Elections earlier this month saw overwhelming voter approval for the Arizona Crime Victim Protection Act, or Proposition 114. Proposition 114 aims to amend the Arizona Constitution, preventing criminals from suing the victims of their felony crimes should they be injured while committing these felonies.
The proposition’s amendment reads, “…a crime victim is not subject to a claim for damages by a person who is harmed while the person is attempting to engage in, engaging in or fleeing after having engaged in or attempted to engage in conduct that is classified as a felony offense.” There are already two statutes in place that prevent criminals from filing lawsuits against their own victims, but one was found to conflict with the state Constitution in a 2006 appeal, as it limited the right to sue.
In the weeks leading up to the election, the Arizona Democratic Party encouraged Arizonans to vote against Proposition 114. A spokesperson, Frank Comacho, said that despite it being a redundant measure, the results in its favor spoke volumes of voters’ feelings on the matter.
Despite the amendment’s supposed redundancy, victim’s rights are an important matter that Arizona voters felt strongly about in the elections. If you or someone you love is a victim of a felony crime in Phoenix or the surrounding areas, the Phoenix attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten will work hard to ensure that your rights are protected—call today at 888.929.5292 or 602.258.1000 for a free, confidential consultation.
Do Drug Dogs in Arizona Make Mistakes?
Although drug-sniffing dogs are often used by police in Arizona to detect drugs in a vehicle, many people have raised concerns about their reliability. K9 units are not infallible, and it’s possible that a dog may make a mistake that leads officers to search your car. Our Phoenix drug lawyers understand that K9 units may make mistakes if they are:
- Overworked. Dogs may make mistakes if they are overworked or have been working too long without a break.
- Undertrained. If a dog has not been properly trained or is not experienced, then the dog might respond to other items, get distracted, or simply alert in hopes of receiving a treat.
- Improperly handled. Even a well-trained dog may make mistakes if the handler is not trained or makes a mistake.
- Taking cues from the handler. Research has shown that many drug dogs take cues from their handlers. For example, a dog may pick up on the body language of a police officer who believes you have drugs.
If you have been arrested in Arizona after a drug dog alerted police, it’s important that you seek the help of a professional as soon as possible. Our Phoenix criminal lawyers can investigate your case and determine if there may have been a problem with the dog used to search your vehicle. Speak with us today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free and confidential legal consultation with a skilled Phoenix drug lawyer, or simply fill out our easy online contact form. For more information, don’t forget to also request a FREE copy of our helpful book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
What You Should Know About Drug Dogs and Car Searches in Arizona
Many felony drug arrests in Arizona are the result of a K9 unit alerting police to potential drugs in a vehicle. The police may use a drug dog to search your car in Arizona when you are pulled over for an unrelated traffic violation if they suspect you may have drugs in your car, or they may use drug dogs routinely at certain checkpoints throughout the state. Many of these arrests are related to marijuana or drug paraphernalia, but our Phoenix criminal lawyers also see a number of arrests for methamphetamine or cocaine and, to a lesser degree, crack-cocaine or heroin.
Drug Dogs and Car Searches in Arizona
K9 units are trained to sniff out drugs on a reward-based system, meaning that the dogs associate alerting their handlers to drugs with receiving a reward or a treat. Dogs may be trained to alert handlers in a variety of ways, including actively pawing the ground or even sitting down. If the drug dog shows this alert behavior, then the officers have probable cause to search your vehicle.
Unfortunately, these K9 units do make mistakes sometimes. If the dog is tired, improperly handled, or improperly trained, then the results may be unreliable.
Why You Should Seek Help After a Drug Dog Arrest in Arizona
Because drug dogs may not be reliable or properly trained, it’s worth having a professional investigate your case. If there is concern that the officers did not have appropriate cause to search your car because of a poorly trained or overworked dog, then the evidence found in that search may not be permissible in court.
If you have been arrested in Arizona after a drug dog alerted police, it’s important that you seek the help of a professional as soon as possible. Our Phoenix criminal lawyers can investigate your case, defend your rights, and focus on building a strong case in your defense. Speak with us today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free and confidential legal consultation with a skilled Phoenix drug lawyer, and don’t forget to also request a copy of our important book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Felony Drug Charges and Money Laundering in Arizona
As Phoenix criminal lawyers, we often see money laundering charges added to felony drug charges in Arizona, especially relating to drug trafficking or sales. Although you may think of money laundering only as a high-end, “white collar” crime committed only by CEOs and other corporate professionals, the truth is that money laundering charges can accompany a wide range of offenses that involve any kind of exchange of money or services.
What Is Money Laundering in Arizona?
In Arizona and elsewhere, money laundering is basically the process of disguising the source of money obtained through illegal means or attempting to make money obtained illegally appear to be legitimate. So, for example, it would be considered money laundering if you pay someone with money you obtained illegally, or even if you attempt to deposit that money to a bank account.
How Does Money Laundering Relate to Felony Drug Charges in Arizona?
If you have been charged with a drug crime or have been involved with someone you knew to be making money from selling or transporting drugs, you could be charged with money laundering if:
- You attempt to deposit cash from illegal drugs in your bank account or deposit the cash in a bank account for another person.
- You attempt to pay another person with the proceeds from criminal drug activity or if you accept payment from someone who was engaged in illegal activity.
- You otherwise attempt to transfer money made from illegal drugs into a legitimate source.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Charged with Money Laundering after a Phoenix Drug Arrest?
If you have been arrested for money laundering related to a drug arrest, it is important to speak with an experienced Phoenix drug lawyer as soon as possible to explain your rights and start building a strong case in your defense. Our Phoenix criminal lawyers will work closely with you on your case and may be able to have the charges against you dropped or reduced. If you need help, reach out to us today at 1-888-929-5292, or simply fill out the confidential contact form on this page.
For more information about how a Phoenix drug lawyer may be able to help you or a loved one, please also request your completely FREE copy of our helpful book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Choosing a Phoenix Criminal Lawyer for Illegal Control of Enterprise
If you have been charged with illegal control of an enterprise in Arizona relating to the sale of illegal drugs, you are likely facing a complex and difficult trial with many different felony charges involved. Arizona treats these crimes very harshly, and you could be facing many years in prison, huge fines, and extended probation after your release. Your best course of action after you have been charged with illegal control of an enterprise is to get in touch with a skilled Phoenix criminal defense lawyer who can help you start building a strong case in your defense.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before hiring your Phoenix criminal attorney:
- Does he or she have experience and a successful history with drug offense cases?
- Do I feel comfortable talking with him or her, and do I understand the answers to my questions?
- Can he or she explain what is happening in my case in terms I understand?
- Is he or she familiar with the laws and courts in my local area?
If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, then you may have found the right attorney to help you with your case. If you’d like to speak with a qualified attorney with Curry, Pearson & Wooten, simply give us a call today or use our confidential online contact form.
To learn more about criminal defense and felony drug crimes in Arizona, please give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292, and request your free copy of our informative guide, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Felony Drug Charges in Arizona and Control of an Illegal Enterprise
If you have been arrested for selling drugs in Phoenix or even, in some cases, possessing illegal drugs with the suspicion of intent to sell, it is possible that you will also be charged with illegal control of an enterprise. This very serious charge can result in a felony conviction on its own, but it is often seen in relation to other felony drug charges. If you have questions about what happens next after a charge of illegal control of an enterprise, read through the following basic information and contact a skilled Phoenix criminal defense lawyer to talk about how it relates to your specific situation.
What Does the Law Say?
A.R.S. §13-2312 defines illegal control of an enterprise as when a person, “through racketeering or its proceeds, acquires or maintains, by investment or otherwise, control of any enterprise.”
“Racketeering” related to felony drug charges in Arizona might be defined as engaging in any of the following for financial gain, whether actual or intended:
- Illegal drug sales or trafficking
- Theft or robbery
- Money laundering
- Obstructing police investigations
So, as you can see, you may be slapped with a charge of illegal control of an enterprise if you are believed to have been selling drugs in Arizona for financial gain with the help of others.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Charged with Illegal Control of an Enterprise?
If you have been charged with illegal control of an enterprise along with other felony drug charges, it is extremely important that you contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible for help. A skilled Phoenix drug offense lawyer can look at the facts in your case, build a strong defense, and work toward reducing the penalties in your case or even having some or all of the charges dropped. We would be happy to discuss your case with you in a free and confidential legal evaluation.
To learn more about what to do after you or a loved one is arrested in Phoenix, request your free copy of our informative book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know. Just give us a call at 1-888-929-5292, or fill out our confidential online contact form.
What Happens if I Consent to a Drug Search in Arizona?
The majority of searches conducted without a warrant in Arizona are searches conducted with consent. If you consent to a search, the police do not have to have probable cause to search you, your home, or your vehicle, and they can use any evidence they find during the search against you in court. As a Phoenix criminal attorney, I have a great deal of experience with the law surrounding consent searches and felony drug crimes in Arizona. If you have been arrested for drug possession in Phoenix after a consent search, I want you to know that you may still have options.
Do I Have Options after a Consent Search Leads to My Arrest?
The law regarding warrantless searches can be very complicated, and even a search you consented to may not be admissible in certain circumstances, such as:
- You didn’t have authority to consent to the search.
- You asked the officers to stop searching and they did not.
- You weren’t old enough to consent to a search.
- You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- You have a medical or mental health issue that interferes with your ability to give consent.
- You were coerced or threatened into giving consent.
If you have questions about your rights after a consent search, speak with a Phoenix criminal lawyer as soon as possible about your case. We would be happy to meet with you in a completely free, no-obligation consultation and start building a strong case in your defense. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 or fill out our confidential online contact form for more information.
Separating Assets and Getting Divorced in Arizona
If you’re getting divorced in Arizona, one of the biggest considerations you will face is how to go about separating your and your spouse’s assets. As you might expect, this process is a little different for every couple, and we strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer as soon as you are able to discuss your individual situation and concerns and make sure that your interests are protected. How assets are divided can be worked out by the divorcing couple or can be ordered by the court, if necessary.
What Should I Know About Separating Assets?
Essentially, when you’re talking about separating assets in an Arizona divorce, you’re talking about two things:
- Separating marital property. Marital property includes bank accounts and investments as well as physical items like cars, furniture, real estate, electronics, etc. Property that was yours before the marriage generally remains yours, and gifts and inheritances that you received over the course of the marriage are generally also excluded when dividing property.
- Separating debt. Along with marital property, you will also separate marital debt. Generally, any debt that built up over the course of the marriage will be divided between you and your spouse. Some couples choose to divide debts and each pay an equal half, and others may choose to take more or less debt in exchange for property.
Depending on your individual situation, you and your spouse may choose a number of ways to go about separating your property and debt. You will need to carefully consider your financial needs, the needs of your spouse, and the needs of your children before you get started. Be aware that there may also be tax consequences involved.
If you are getting divorced in Arizona and have questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of the Phoenix family law attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten at 1-888-929-5292 today. We would be happy to meet with you in a completely free and confidential consultation to talk about your legal concerns and answer any questions you may have about your Arizona divorce.
If you’d like more information about how an experienced family law attorney can help you with family law issues such as divorce, child support, child custody, and more, please request your FREE copy of our informative book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Difference Between Marital and Separate Property in Arizona Divorce
As a Phoenix family law attorney, I get a lot of questions from clients about how property division in Arizona divorce is handled. Arizona is a community property state when it comes to divorce, meaning that your and your spouse’s property will be divided into two categories: marital, or “community,” property and separate property. Marital property will be divided equitably between you and your spouse, and separate property will generally be excluded from this division unless you have a different agreement in place. So how is marital and separate property determined?
Community Property in Arizona
“Community property” includes both assets and debts that you and your spouse acquired over the course of your marriage. This might include both of your incomes, bank accounts, credit card debts, and family vehicles.
Separate Property in Arizona
Separate property will consist of property you owned before the marriage and kept separate throughout the marriage, and any inheritances or gifts that were received by one spouse. Determining separate property can sometimes be tricky because those assets may be considered commingled if shared or contributed to by your spouse over time.
If you need help separating assets in an Arizona divorce, seek the advice of a professional. Contact an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292. We’d be happy to meet with you in a completely free, no-pressure consultation to discuss your divorce concerns.
For more information about divorce, child custody, adoption, and more, please also request your FREE copy of our helpful book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
How is Property Divided in a Divorce? Phoenix Divorce Lawyer Explains
If you are getting divorced in Arizona, you’ve probably run into a lot of questions about how property will be divided between you and your spouse. As Phoenix family law attorneys, we understand this concern and wanted to explain a little bit more about this confusing and important facet of divorce.
How Arizona Does It: Community Property
In community property states like Arizona, any property and debt acquired during the marriage is divided between the spouses, and separate property acquired before the marriage generally remains separate. However, there are some exceptions to this, such as inheritances received during the marriage or assets that have become commingled to the point that ownership cannot be determined. If you have questions about what may or may not be considered separate property in your Arizona divorce, talk to a Phoenix divorce lawyer who can address those specific concerns with you.
How Most Other States Do It: Equitable Distribution
Equitable distribution states will divide both marital and separate assets between both spouses. The term “equitable distribution” can be misleading for some, as it is rarely a clean 50/50 split between spouses. Instead, equitable distribution states attempt to split property and debt between both spouses fairly. However, many different factors are used to determine what is “fair” in a divorce. These factors vary by state and might include fault or infidelity, the value of a spouse’s separate assets, or his or her contribution to the marriage.
Whether you live in an equitable distribution state or a community property state like Arizona, it’s important to remember that you can take control of your divorce and attempt to reach a settlement with your spouse before you take it to court. If you’d like to talk about your divorce options, give an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer a call at 1-888-929-5292. We’d be happy to discuss your concerns and options in a completely free, no-obligation consultation.
For more information, please also see our helpful book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which is available to you completely FREE upon request.
Getting Divorced in Arizona: What You Should Know About Commingling
If you are getting divorced in Arizona, you probably already know that all of your assets will be divided into the categories of separate property or community property. However, although the line between community and separate property seems very clear, it is easy for some assets to fall somewhere in between. When community assets and separate assets blur together, which is common in most marriages, those assets can be said to be “commingled.”
What Happens to Commingled Property in an Arizona Divorce?
If you have property that was yours before the marriage, but which has now become confusingly commingled, you may be able to prove in court that it is still your separate property. You will essentially need to follow those assets back to their source as your sole property. It may also be possible to come to an agreement with your spouse that the asset in question is your separate property.
If you have commingled assets and need help figuring it all out, come talk to us in a completely free, no-pressure legal consultation. Our experienced Phoenix divorce lawyers serve clients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Avondale, Goodyear, Glendale, and Buckeye. We would be happy to answer your questions about property division, child custody, alimony, or any other issues you have regarding divorce in Phoenix and the surrounding areas.
The Phoenix family law attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten are also happy to be able to offer you a completely free copy of our informative book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times. Just give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 or use our quick online contact form.
Getting Divorced in Arizona: How Community Property Works
One of the most pressing concerns when you’re getting divorced in Arizona is how property will eventually be divided. Not knowing what to expect is nerve-wracking, and it makes it difficult to plan for what happens after the divorce.
You’ve probably heard that Arizona is a “community property” state when it comes to getting divorced, but you may still be confused. What does “community property” really mean? Essentially, what it means is that everything you and your spouse own, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, and physical items, will need to be divided into “community” and “separate” property.
What Is Community Property in Arizona?
Community property is generally anything that you and your spouse have accumulated over the course of your marriage. Both you and your spouse are entitled to half of all community property in the divorce. Examples of community property would include:
A home or other real estate purchased during the marriage
- Cars, trucks, boats, etc.
- Furniture and home décor
- Income earned during the marriage
This also means that you will generally equally share the debt accrued over the course of the marriage, including credit card debt, car payments, and loans.
What Isn’t Community Property in Arizona?
Anything that was owned before the marriage, anything that was received as a gift, and anything obtained through inheritance is generally considered separate property and not divided during the divorce. Some examples of separate property might be:
- The painting you inherited from your grandmother
- A car you received as a birthday gift
- A bank account that only contains income you made before the marriage
If both spouses agree, you can also choose to name some items as separate property, if needed. If you have questions about dividing property in a Phoenix divorce, speak with one of our experienced Phoenix divorce lawyers today.
If you need more information about getting divorced in Arizona, please refer to our book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which is available to you for FREE. Just give the Phoenix divorce lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call at 1-888-929-5292 to request your copy or schedule a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation to talk about your divorce concerns.
Phoenix Drug Lawyer Explains Drug Case that Changed Car Searches
As search and seizure cases go to the Supreme Court, our laws are clarified and a precedent is set for future cases. Over the last 15 years, the laws regarding when the police can search your car for drugs have seen several such clarifications. One of the most important of these cases took place right here in the state of Arizona.
In the 2007 case of Arizona v. Gant, it was determined that, “When the justifications no longer exist because the scene is secure and the arrestee is handcuffed, secured in the back of a patrol car, and under the supervision of an officer, the warrantless search of the arrestee’s car cannot be justified as necessary to protect the officers at the scene or prevent the destruction of evidence.” Before this ruling, police were able to search your vehicle incident to arrest even after you were handcuffed in the back of a police car.
This ruling came about in this case after Rodney Gant, of Tucson, was arrested for driving on a suspended license and placed under arrest. Police searched his car after he was arrested, cuffed, and waiting in the police car. During the search, they found drugs in the car that led to Gant’s conviction in court.
If you need help after a drug arrest or police car search in Phoenix, speak with an experienced Phoenix drug lawyer as soon as possible. You can reach a skilled Phoenix drug possession attorney by calling Curry, Pearson & Wooten at 1-888-929-5292 today.
Threshold Amounts, Intent to Sell, and Drug Possession in Phoenix
If a person possesses an amount of drugs over the statutory threshold amount, prison could be imposed. The threshold amount is different for each type of illegal drug, and you can be charged with possession for sale even if you did not intend to sell the drugs found in your possession. The penalties for drug possession for sale are much harsher than those for just possession; possession for sale is always charged as a felony, and you could be facing mandatory prison time if you are convicted depending on whether the amount possessed was over the threshold amount or if you have prior convictions.
Common Phoenix Drug Possession Threshold Amounts
If you are in possession of an amount of the drug over the threshold amount, then it is assumed that you intended to sell it. Here are some common threshold amounts in Arizona:
- Marijuana: 2 pounds
- Heroin: 1 gram
- Meth: 9 grams
- LSD: ½ ml or 50 dosage units
- Crack: 750 mg
- PCP: 4 grams
In general, other drugs not listed here are generally considered over the threshold amount if they carry a value over $1000. Speak with your Phoenix criminal defense attorney if you need more specific information.
If you need help after you have been arrested in Phoenix, speak with a Phoenix drug possession lawyer as soon as possible for help. The Phoenix drug lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten will fight hard to defend your rights and help you get the best possible outcome in your drug possession case. Just give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292.
What You NEED to Know About Possession for Sale in Arizona
As a Phoenix drug lawyer, I have dealt with many Phoenix drug possession cases over the years – and I know they can get serious very quickly. Arizona treats drug crimes very harshly, and among the most serious charges is possession for sale. Possession for sale is always charged as felony, and it generally comes with a mandatory prison sentence and big fines.
If you have been arrested for drug possession in Phoenix, you are probably concerned about how possession for sale is determined. Unfortunately, possession for sale is determined mostly by how much of the drug you were found with and any additional evidence that may have been found – not by whether or not you actually intended to sell the drugs in your possession.
“Over the Threshold” Drug Charges
The State of Arizona has set certain statutory threshold amounts for illegal drugs. If you possess drugs in an amount over the set threshold, you can be charged with possession with intent to sell, even if you possessed the drugs for personal use or had no intention to sell. If you’ve been accused of possessing drugs for sale because you possessed an amount over the threshold, speak with a Phoenix drug possession lawyer about your rights as soon as possible.
Additional Evidence of Possession for Sale in Arizona
The police or DEA will also look for additional evidence that you intended to sell the drugs in your possession. They will be looking for things like:
- Small amounts of drugs in baggies
- Scales and tools commonly used in handling drugs for sale
- Other drug paraphernalia
- Ledgers and large amounts of cash
- Evidence in your bank account and cell phone records
If you have been charged with possession of drugs for sale in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Avondale, Goodyear, Glendale, Buckeye, or the surrounding areas, don’t wait until it’s too late to get help. Call an experienced Phoenix drug possession lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292 to talk about your rights, options, and defense. At Curry, Pearson & Wooten, we will fight hard to defend you and bring you the best possible outcome.
For more information about what a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer can do for you, request your FREE copy of our important book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
When should a bail bondsman be used to post bail?
A bond has been set in a criminal case and people assume that they should go visit a bail bondsman to post the bail, right? Well, not necessarily. I always advise people to post the bail themselves if they have the money. One should only go through a bail bondsman if they do not have the cash to post the bond and need to use collateral (such as a home or car) as security for the bond. Here in Arizona, bail bondsman typically charge 10% of the bond amount as their fee. The bail bondsman then requires that you pay them the full bond amount or put up collateral worth the full bond amount is security for the bond. For example, if the bond set by the court is $50,000 then one would have to come up with $5,000 as a non-refundable fee to the bail bondsman and then give them another $50,000 or property worth $50,000 to hold onto in order to have them go down to the jail and post the bond. One could post it themselves at the jail and not have to pay the 10% fee. One should only use a bail bondsman if they do not have the cash to post the full bond and must use collateral as security for the bond.
What to Do if You Are Arrested for Selling Drugs to a Cop in Phoenix
Arizona has taken a firm stance against drug sales in the state, and the penalties if you are convicted can be very harsh, including big fines, prison time, and many years of probation. If you are arrested for selling drugs to a cop in Phoenix, the police will work hard to gather evidence against you before, during, and after the arrest. Here’s what you should do if you are arrested:
- Inform the arresting officers that you want to invoke your right to remain silent.
- Ask for an attorney, and get in contact with a Phoenix drug sale lawyer as soon as possible.
- Do not share information about the case with your friends, family, or anyone else without consulting a lawyer.
- Try to remember as much as you can about what happened before and during the arrest, writing it down for later reference if possible.
Taking these simple steps during an arrest may make a big difference when it comes time to build your defense. If you have any questions, or if you need help after an arrest for drug sales in Phoenix, speak with one of our experienced and dedicated Phoenix criminal defense lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We will work hard to defend your rights, build a strong defense, and get the best possible outcome in your drug sales case.
If you would like more information about what to do during and after an arrest in Arizona, don’t forget to request a FREE copy of our informative book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
What Influences Sentencing for Oxycodone Drug Charges in Phoenix?
If you have been arrested for possession of Oxycodone in Phoenix, whether for sale or for personal use, you are likely facing felony drug charges. As a Phoenix drug lawyer, some of the first questions I get from clients have to do with what kinds of punishments they will face if convicted.
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Sentencing for drug crimes in Arizona depends on a lot of different factors specific to your case. For example, your sentence will depend on:
- How much oxycodone was in your possession
- If you also had other drugs in your possession
- If you have any previous offenses on your record
- If it is determined that you sold oxycodone or intended to sell it
- Any complicating factors, such as gang-related charges or weapons charges
If you have been arrested for possessing or selling oxycodone in Phoenix, your defense attorney may be able to reduce your sentence or have the charges against you dismissed. For specific information about your options and what kind of outcome to expect, you will need to speak directly to an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney.
Our experienced Phoenix drug attorneys would be happy to talk to you today about your drug offense case. We are experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorneys who will fight aggressively to defend your rights and prepare a strong case for you. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to talk to someone who can help.
For more information about what to expect after you are arrested in Arizona, also request your FREE copy of our helpful book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know, which is completely free of charge to Arizona residents.
What You Need to Know About Selling Drugs to a Cop in Phoenix
Undercover police officers are often used to investigate narcotic drug crimes in Arizona. If you sold drugs to a cop in Phoenix, you are probably facing serious penalties and a felony record. Because every drug offense case is different, your next step should be to get in contact with a Phoenix drug sale lawyer to protect your rights and start working on your defense. In general, though, here are a few things you need to know.
Undercover Agents and Felony Drug Charges in Phoenix
When police use undercover officers to investigate drug deals, they are usually interested in arresting or detaining as many of the people involved as possible. They are often looking for anyone who has visited the place where the drugs were sold or who has been involved with the person arrested. Upon arrest, officers will likely ask a lot of questions looking for more information about other people or other drug activity.
Can I Be Arrested for Sales if No Money Was Involved?
Many people don’t realize it, but you can be arrested for selling drugs even if no money was exchanged. Arizona law allows for a charge of drug sales if drugs were exchanged for “anything of value or advantage, present or prospective.” This means that if, in exchange for a promise to do some remodeling work on your house, you gave an undercover cop morphine in Phoenix, you could be arrested for selling drugs – even though no money was involved and the promised work was not delivered.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Arrested for Selling Drugs in Phoenix?
If you have been arrested for selling morphine or other drugs in Phoenix, the most important step you can take is to contact an experienced Phoenix drug sale lawyer as soon as possible. The Phoenix criminal defense lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten have many years of experience with cases of drug sales in Maricopa County, and we would be happy to put that knowledge and skill to work for you and your family. Speak with us today at 1-888-929-5292 for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Facing felony drug charges in Arizona can be terrifying, especially if you don’t know what to expect. For more helpful information about criminal offenses and Arizona law, request a free copy of our informative book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Why You Should Talk to a Phoenix Drug Lawyer after an Oxycodone Arrest
If you have been arrested for selling oxycodone in Phoenix or for intent to sell, you could be facing a felony sentence if you are convicted. The State of Arizona treats the sale of prescription narcotics very seriously, and you can expect jail time, steep fines, mandatory drug treatment, and community service hours.
Facing felony drug charges in Phoenix is no laughing matter, and it is in your best interest to meet with an experienced Phoenix drug crime lawyer who can work with you to build a strong case in your defense. We can meet with you in a no-pressure legal consultation to talk about your situation, explain the charges against you, discuss your options, and prepare your case for trial. In many cases, working with a skilled Phoenix criminal defense lawyer can result in reduced penalties, and it may even be possible to have your case dismissed entirely.
What Should I Know About Oxycodone and Arizona Law?
In Arizona, getting caught selling oxycodone without a valid license generally results in an arrest and felony drug charges. It is against the law to possess oxycodone without a prescription. Even if you are self-medicating for a legitimate health condition or giving oxycodone to loved ones who have legitimate health conditions, you can be arrested and convicted.
Even if you were caught possessing oxycodone for personal use without a prescription, you can still be charged with intent to sell depending on the amount of the drug you were found with. And the charges get even more serious when it is determined that you possess oxycodone for sale in Arizona.
If you have been arrested for selling oxycodone in Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix, or the surrounding areas, contact an experienced Phoenix drug lawyer as soon as possible for help. Our Phoenix oxycodone lawyers are available 7 days a week at 1-888-929-5292, or you can reach us anytime through our confidential online contact form.
For more information about what to expect after you are arrested in Arizona, please also request your FREE copy of our informative book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
When Should a Police Officer Inform Me of My Rights?
I have a lot of clients who tell me that an officer waited to read them their “rights” until a long time after an arrest. The “rights” that they are talking about are referred to as “Miranda rights” based upon a US Supreme Court case called Miranda versus Arizona. These rights are well known to many people because we hear them on every cop show on T.V.: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to attorney prior to questioning. If you can’t afford an attorney than one will be provided for you.”
These rights only apply to questioning by the police while IN CUSTODY. They generally do not apply to pre-custody questioning such as when a cop comes to the a scene to investigate and is asking questions trying to figure out who did what. “In custody” does not necessarily mean in handcuffs or at the police station. It could be somewhere else. The test of whether someone is “in custody” is based upon the particular circumstances and whether that person was free to leave. A person only has to be notified of these rights just prior to the questioning, not at the time of the arrest.
Arizona’s New DUI Laws
New laws on Arizona DUIs changed as of January 1, 2012. One of the biggest changes under the new law relates to incarceration. Now a judge can allow home detention on a misdemeanor DUI after serving only 20% of the initial jail sentence. For example, if the jail sentence is normally 30 days for a first-time extreme DUI, then the person would only have to serve 6 days in jail and then could be released to a home detention program to serve the remaining 24 days of the 30 day jail sentence. Some jurisdictions, however, do not have home detention programs currently in place so this may not apply. Another change in the law increases the maximum work release time from 5 days to 6 days per week.
The Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) has also changed some of the laws associated DUI offenses. For a first time regular DUI or extreme DUI, a person may only have to install an ignition interlock device for as little as 6 months (under the old law it was one year). The MVD also has established new rules that allow drivers to get restricted licenses for some second-time offenders and higher DUI offenses that used to require a revocation. The new laws only apply to offenses that were committed AFTER the new law went into effect. The old laws will still apply to DUI offenses committed before January 1, 2012.
Phoenix Marijuana Lawyer: Felony Charges for Marijuana Trafficking
Marijuana transport and production are sentenced according to the marijuana trafficking guidelines under Arizona law. In general, this will mean a felony on your record if you are convicted. You may also face steep fines, drug rehab that you must pay for, and jail or prison time.
In some cases, however, you may be able to work with a Phoenix marijuana lawyer in order to have that felony charge reduced or even thrown out entirely. This will depend very much on the other factors in your case, and you should contact an attorney with any specific questions about your case.
In general, for the production of marijuana, you may be charged with:
- A class 5 felony for less than 2 pounds of marijuana
- A class 4 felony for 2 to 4 pounds of marijuana
- A class 3 felony for 4 or more pounds of marijuana
In general, for transporting or importing marijuana in Arizona, you may be charged with:
- A class 3 felony for transporting or importing less than 2 pounds of marijuana
- A class 2 felony for transporting or importing more than 2 pounds of marijuana
If you have been arrested for marijuana trafficking in Arizona, contact one of our experienced Phoenix drug offense attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292. We will help you understand what your charges mean and answer your questions clearly and honestly. You can trust us to defend your rights, explain what happens next, and always fight hard for the best outcome in your Phoenix marijuana case.
If you would like more information about how a Phoenix marijuana lawyer can help and what to expect from your ongoing Arizona criminal case, request your FREE copy of our informative book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Marijuana Lawyer | Transporting Marijuana in Arizona
If you have been arrested for transporting marijuana in Phoenix, you probably have a lot of questions that only a Phoenix drug lawyer who is familiar with your case can answer. However, here are some of the basics to help you start making sense of what you could be facing.
What is Transport of Marijuana?
“Transporting marijuana” means smuggling or taking marijuana from one place to another. There is a common misconception that this only means in a car, but it can be in a car, in a truck, on an airplane, on foot, by boat, by bike, or even on horseback. In one interesting case, a catapult was even used to transfer marijuana over the Arizona border.
Arizona states that it is illegal for any person to knowingly “transport for sale, import into this state or offer to transport for sale or import into this state, sell, transfer or offer to sell or transfer marijuana.”
What Are the Penalties?
If you are caught transporting marijuana in Arizona, how you are charged will depend on how much marijuana you were found with. Less than 2 pounds transported into Arizona is charged as a class 3 felony, and transporting more than 2 pounds is a class 2 felony.
If you are convicted of transporting marijuana, you will face steep fines in addition to the felony record and prison time. The minimum fine for a marijuana conviction is $750. Depending on the total value of the marijuana you were caught transporting, your fine could be as much as $150,000.
How Can a Phoenix Marijuana Lawyer Help?
An experienced Phoenix marijuana lawyer can help evaluate the evidence in your case and work to build a strong case in your defense. Having strong legal counsel on your side means that you have the best chance for reducing the charges against you, reducing the penalties you suffer, or even having the charges dropped.
The Phoenix drug lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten would be happy to speak with you or your loved ones after you have been arrested for transporting marijuana in Phoenix or the surrounding areas. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 or fill out the contact form on this page for assistance. We would also like to offer you a completely FREE copy of our helpful book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Meth Lawyer Explains “Dangerous Drugs”
Under Arizona law, meth is considered a “dangerous drug.” The drugs included under the classification of “dangerous drug” in Arizona include, but are not limited to:
- Methamphetamine (“meth” or “crystal meth”)
- LSD (“acid”)
- Hallucinogenic mushrooms
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Anabolic Steroids
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
Dangerous drug crimes come with their own sentencing guidelines, and even possession is charged as a felony. If you have previous convictions on your record or you are charged with selling or manufacturing meth, the penalties can be even steeper. A Phoenix drug crime lawyer can help you build a strong defense, and potentially reduce the penalties you suffer or have your case thrown out altogether.
The outcome of your Phoenix meth arrest depends on many factors, including your previous conviction history, if there was a weapon involved, if it is determined that you intended to sell or distribute, the strength of the evidence in the case, etc. An experienced Phoenix drug lawyer is ready to help you sort through your options at 1-888-929-5292. Just give us a call or use our online contact form to get answers to your questions. We would be happy to meet with you in a completely FREE, no-pressure consultation to talk about your situation.
For more information about who we are and what we do, request your completely FREE copy of our informative book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Meth Lawyer | Contact Us After Arrest for Storing Meth
The meth laws in Arizona are very severe, and the current trend is for meth laws to only become more severe over time. If you have been arrested for storing meth in Phoenix, it is extremely important that you speak with a Phoenix meth lawyer as soon as possible.
Meth Is Classified as a “Dangerous Drug”
Meth is considered a “dangerous drug” in Arizona, and it comes with strict mandatory sentencing rules if you are convicted. Because of this classification, you could be facing felony charges for possession of even a small amount of meth. If you are caught with a large amount of meth, especially if it’s determined that you had the intent to sell or distribute, then you could be facing many years in prison.
However, working with an experienced Phoenix meth lawyer gives you the chance to build a strong case in your defense. With the help of skilled legal counsel, you may be able to reduce the penalties you suffer for possessing or storing meth. It may be possible to receive probation and drug counseling instead of prison time.
How to Get Help
The Phoenix drug lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten have many years of experience in the courtroom. We will aggressively defend your rights while keeping you informed through each step of the process, and we will work hard to get the best possible outcome in your case. Our meth lawyers in Phoenix are available to speak with you in a FREE consultation at 1-888-929-5292, or you can reach us through the confidential contact form on this page.
Don’t let a drug arrest ruin your life. Call today for real help from experienced Phoenix attorneys.
For more information about what to do after an arrest in Arizona, don’t forget to also order your FREE copy of our must-read book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know. This helpful guide explains more about Arizona criminal law and how it may affect you and your family.
Social Security and Reducing Child Support in Arizona
One often-overlooked reason clients seek to reduce child support payments in Arizona is a change in Social Security benefits. As family law attorneys in Phoenix, we do see this from time to time, and we think it’s important to know how it may affect your child support payments. Here’s a brief overview:
In Arizona, Social Security benefits, whether disability or retirement benefits, are counted as income when it comes to child support. Your Social Security benefits can even be garnished if you fail to pay child support.
If your child is also receiving Social Security benefits through you, you may be able to reduce the amount of Arizona child support you pay. If you have questions about how this might affect your child support payments, meet with a Phoenix child support lawyer for the specifics. In general, though, it works like this:
- If the child’s portion of the benefits is less than you pay in child support, you will generally need to make up the difference.
- If the child’s portion of the benefits is equal to the amount you pay in child support, you will generally not need to pay any additional child support.
- If the child’s portion of the benefits exceeds how much you would normally pay in child support, your obligations are considered satisfied, but you will not receive a credit and it will not “roll over” to the next month.
If you live in Phoenix and are receiving Social Security benefits, speak with a Phoenix child support lawyer about whether you may qualify for reduced child support payments. You can reach us at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation.
Family Law Attorneys in Phoenix | Reducing Child Support
Family law attorneys in Phoenix often deal with parents’ changing circumstances and the need to reduce the amount of child support they pay. We know that life happens, and it’s not unusual for child support orders to evolve with the changing needs of the family. Fortunately, it is possible modify your child support orders in Arizona if you have experienced a significant and ongoing change in your financial situation with regards to the child.
Some reasons you might be seeking a reduction of child support in Arizona include:
- A significant change in career or the loss of a job
- An ongoing medical condition or disability
- Spending more parenting time with the child or taking over custody
- A significant increase in expenses related to the child
- Other major changes in your financial situation
In order to reduce your child support payments, your current child support orders will need to be reviewed. You will generally need to make a case for the “substantial and continuing” change in your situation that has led to asking for the modification. This may be done through the courts or through the Division of Child Support Enforcement, depending on your situation.
If you need help reducing or modifying child support orders in Phoenix, speak with our experienced family law attorneys in Phoenix today. To schedule a completely free consultation to talk about your concerns, simply give the Phoenix child support lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call at 1-888-929-5292, or fill out the confidential online contact form on this page.
If you’d like to learn more about the legal issues surrounding divorce and child support in Arizona and how our law firm handles these issues, please request your FREE copy of our book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which will guide you through what you need to know.
Phoenix Divorce Lawyer | Alimony and Spousal Support
If you are going through a divorce in Phoenix, you almost certainly have a lot of questions that need to be answered. For many divorcing couples, some of the first questions that come up are about finances and what to expect from alimony (known as “spousal support” in Arizona). While there really is no substitute for speaking with an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer about the specifics of your situation, here are some general answers to common questions about alimony in Phoenix, which will give you an idea of what to expect.
- Will spousal support payments be affected if one spouse cheated? No. Arizona is what is called a “no fault” divorce state, meaning that one spouse’s bad behavior has no bearing on the amount of spousal support awarded.
- Are spousal support payments taxable? You will generally have to pay taxes on any spousal support payments received, and you can generally take spousal support paid as a deduction on your taxes. Speak with your tax advisor or check into your local laws for more information on how spousal support payments affect your taxes.
- How long will I have to pay spousal support? It used to be that spousal support was a long-term payment, but that is no longer the case – for the most part. The judge in your case will set a certain time period during which spousal support must be paid. This can vary depending on the circumstances, and this may also be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances. Check with your Phoenix divorce attorney if you have questions about modifying spousal support in Phoenix.
It pays to have a caring and experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer on your side during your divorce. If you have questions about child support, spousal support, division of property, or other issues, please speak with one of our helpful Phoenix family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292, or use the quick online contact form on this page.
We’d also like for you to have a FREE copy of our informative guide Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which we would be happy to send you as a complimentary gift for visiting our website today. Just give us a call or an email to reserve your copy today.
What Rules Govern Bail Bondsmen? Phoenix Criminal Attorney Answers
If your loved one has been arrested in Phoenix, you may find it necessary to work with a bail bondsman in order to pay bail and get your loved one out of jail. Unfortunately, there are a lot of shady bail bondsmen out there who try to take advantage of defendants and their family members after an arrest. A Phoenix criminal attorney can refer you to a reputable bail agent who is known to be professional and responsible. However, it is still important that you know that, under Arizona law, a bondsman or bail recovery agent cannot:
- Enter your home without your consent if you are home
- Wear a uniform or badge that implies that he or she works as a state agent, federal agent, or a member of law enforcement
- Offer services in or around a jail or courthouse
- Force you to hire a particular Phoenix criminal attorney
So, for example, if you are approached by someone who claims to be a bail agent while you are at the jail or the courthouse following an arrest, you should consider it a serious “red flag” and look elsewhere for a reputable and professional bond agent.
If you have any questions about choosing a Phoenix bail bondsman, or if you need help after a loved one has been arrested in Phoenix, speak with an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney today at 1-888-929-5292. We also recommend you request a FREE copy of our informative guide Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know. We look forward to working with you to defend your loved one’s rights.
Phoenix Criminal Attorney | Choosing a Bail Bondsman
You get the call in the middle of the night – your family member or loved one has been arrested in Phoenix. In order to get your loved one out of jail, you’ll need to come up with a way to pay bail, but you just don’t have that kind of money. That’s where a bail bondsman and a Phoenix criminal attorney come in.
What Does a Bail Bondsman Do?
If your loved one is given the opportunity to be released on bail, you have the option of either paying in cash or hiring a bail bondsman. The bail agent can help you post bail for your loved one by working with a surety company, meaning you will pay a percentage of the total amount through your bail agent and the company will take care of the bail bond. As long as your loved one shows up to court, then all is well. If your loved one does not show up for court, the surety company must forfeit the entire bail amount to the court, but gains the ability to recoup its losses by apprehending your loved one – usually via a bounty hunter who works with the company.
How Can I Choose the Right Bail Bondsman?
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just choosing any bail bondsman in the phonebook. There are a lot of shady bail agents out there who are looking to take advantage of people in a sticky situation. They know you are worried and just want to get your loved one out of jail as soon as possible, and they may try to use illegal tactics to part you from your cash.
If you find yourself in need of a bail bondsman in Phoenix, an experienced Phoenix criminal attorney is a great place to start. We would be more than happy to help you find a professional and reputable bail bondsman who can carry out his or her duties responsibly.
For help finding a reputable bond agent in Phoenix, give the Phoenix criminal lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call today at 1-888-929-5292. We would also be happy to meet with you in a completely free, no-pressure consultation to talk about your situation, explain the next steps, and start building a strong case in your loved one’s defense.
Feel free to call us with any questions. You may also find it helpful to look through your FREE copy of our important book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know, which you can receive by calling us today or filling out our quick online contact form. We look forward to working with you to defend your rights.
When Can I Request a Modification of My Arizona Child Support Order?
If you have had a change in circumstances, whether you are a custodial parent or a non-custodial parent, you may be able to modify child support orders in Arizona to better fit your new financial situation. There are a few ways to go about this, including through the courts and through the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE). How you go about this will depend on the specific details of your case, and you should consult an experienced Chandler divorce lawyer for advice.
In general, you may request a modification to your child support payments if there has been a “substantial and continuing” change in your financial situation. If you are specifically pursuing modification of your child support orders through the DCSE, you may request a review if:
- There has been a change in custody or a significant change in parenting time.
- One of the spouses has suffered a disability.
- It has been more than three years since your child support orders were reviewed.
- One of the parents has been jailed or released from jail.
- There has been a change in expenses related to the child, such as medical costs.
- Either of the parents has experienced a substantial change in income, including losing or changing jobs.
- The child is now emancipated.
- There have been changes in health insurance coverage or a medical support order.
Chandler Divorce Lawyer | Modifying Child Support
Many people are surprised to find that the services of a Chandler divorce lawyer can come in handy even long after the divorce has been settled. One of the concerns that come up months or years after the divorce is the modification of child support payments. Because a person’s financial situation may naturally evolve and change over time, it does sometimes become necessary to change how much child support is paid.
How is Child Support Decided?
The amount of child support that is paid in Arizona is initially decided at the time of your divorce. This usually takes into account (among other things) the income of both spouses, the amount of parenting time/visitation each spouse has, and how much is generally spent on the children, including costs for medical care and child care.
Why Would I Need to Modify Child Support in Arizona?
Over time, many families find that their circumstances have changed since the divorce, and the child support payments are no longer adequate or appropriate in the new circumstances. In order to modify an existing child support agreement in the state of Arizona, you generally must be able to prove that there has been a “substantial and continuing” change of circumstance that makes your old child support agreement unworkable or inappropriate. This may include events such as:
- A change in income – whether an increase or decrease – for either spouse
- The loss of a job or inability to work
- Changes in health insurance coverage
- A disability or medical condition
Both the custodial parent and non-custodial parent have the ability to request a modification of child support in Arizona.
If you need help modifying child support orders in Chandler, speak with an experienced Chandler divorce lawyer today. To schedule a completely free consultation to talk about your concerns, simply give us a call at 1-888-929-5292, or fill out the confidential online contact form on this page.
Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer Offers Tactics for Dividing Community Property
Some of the tensest moments in a divorce take place when it comes time to start dividing the property you’ve acquired over the course of the marriage. Heated arguments about who gets the house or the television tend to erupt, and it can leave you feeling angry, confused, and just plan tired.
As a Scottsdale divorce lawyer, I’ve been through this step with a lot of clients. Although going through property division after a divorce in Arizona can be a difficult time, there are ways to work with each other to get a property division that works for both of you. I’ve seen couples approach this in several creative ways:
- Take turns choosing items from a list of all property
- Take turns choosing items up to a certain share of the total value of all property
- Sell most of the community property and divide the money equally
- Have one spouse divide the property into two equitable lists, and allow the other spouse to choose one of the lists
And these are only a few suggestions for how to think about equal and amicable property division. Depending on your situation and your relationship with your spouse, there may be a method that works better for you.
If you have questions or need help with any aspect of your divorce proceedings, speak with a caring and skilled Scottsdale divorce attorney today at 1-888-929-5292. You can also contact us online using the confidential contact form on this page.
Phoenix Criminal Lawyer Explains Marijuana Charges
As marijuana legislation begins to change all over the nation, many people are under the mistaken belief that drug offenses will be handled more lightly by law enforcement. If you have been arrested for a marijuana crime in Phoenix, you may even be surprised to find out you are now facing felony drug charges. The truth is that the drug laws in Arizona remain very strict, and the punishments that come along with a marijuana conviction can be unforgiving.
Although many people are under the impression that marijuana is “no big deal,” realize that you could be charged with a felony for:
- Possession of marijuana
- Possession of marijuana for sale
- Production of marijuana
- Transport or import of marijuana
We are experienced Phoenix drug offense attorneys, and we offer a FREE legal consultation to answer your questions and explain your rights. If you would like to learn more about who we are and what we do, we would be happy to send you a complimentary copy of our FREE book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer | Dividing Property after Divorce
A big part of the divorce process is figuring out how to divide up the property you and your spouse have acquired over the course of the marriage. As a Scottsdale divorce lawyer, I can tell you that many clients come to me concerned and confused about how property will be divided after their divorce in Scottsdale – and with good reason.
In Arizona, the law attempts to create a nearly equal division of property between the spouses going through divorce proceedings, but this is not always as simple as it sounds. The term “property” covers all kinds of items, including:
- Financial accounts, such as shared bank or investment accounts
- Cars, trucks, and other vehicles, which are generally divided based on who most frequently drove each vehicle
- Personal property, such as furniture, televisions, computers, etc.
- Retirement accounts and pensions, which may come into play if the spouses do not have nearly equal accounts
- “Real” property, which includes your house or other real estate
- Community businesses, which may be divided in a number of ways depending on what you and your spouse agree upon
Generally, you will be given the chance to decide with your spouse exactly how the property is divided. However, if you are unable to come to an agreement, the Court will decide for you, and your assets will be divided as equitably as possible under Arizona law.
Phoenix Criminal Lawyers Explain How to Choose a Bail Bondsman
After an arrest in Phoenix, it can be difficult to know what to do or how to handle the financial stress of posting bail for a loved one. As Phoenix criminal lawyers, we have frequently seen the families of our clients taken in by shady bail agents on the night of an arrest, and we’d like to offer some pointers for choosing a bail bondsman you can trust. Here are a few things to look into when choosing a bail bondsman in Arizona:
- Look for someone who is available on nights and weekends.
- Check up on his or her state licensing.
- Ask about the bail process and make sure he or she can answer your questions knowledgeably.
- Ask about your options for payment and make sure they seem reasonable.
If you need help choosing a bail agent in Phoenix after a friend or family member has been arrested, our Phoenix criminal lawyers would be more than happy to help you find a bondsman in your area who is likely to be honest and reliable. Just give as a call at 1-888-929-5292 today with any questions, and let us get to work for you. We are also available for initial appearances, and we are often able to get the bail amount reduced or have your loved one released without posting bail.
Phoenix Drug Offense Attorneys | Felony Possession Charges
Arizona drug laws cover the possession of many types of illegal drugs, including marijuana, crystal meth, heroin, morphine, prescription drugs, cocaine, and others. If you are found to be in possession of any of these drugs, you could be facing felony drug charges in Phoenix. In fact, as experienced Phoenix drug offense attorneys, we can tell you that most possession charges in Phoenix are felony charges, and previous drug convictions on your record could mean a serious increase in the penalties you suffer for the new charges. For some serious drug offenses, you could even be facing life in prison. And don’t expect to be treated with a “slap on the wrist” as a first-time drug offender in Arizona, either.
In your Arizona drug possession case, you can expect a difference in your expected sentence depending on:
- The type of drug you were caught with
- The amount of the drug you were caught with
- If you have any previous convictions
- If you have additional charges with the possession charges
If you have been arrested for possession of an illegal drug in Phoenix, it is worth at least speaking with a skilled Phoenix criminal lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. A felony conviction can severely limit your opportunities in the future, and it is worth taking seriously. We can help explain your rights and help you navigate the court process while building a strong case in your defense.
Phoenix Criminal Lawyer | Choosing a Bail Bondsman
When you get the dreaded call that a friend or loved one has been arrested in Phoenix, you aren’t thinking about anything except getting that person out of jail and back home. It’s usually an emotional and vulnerable time for you, as you try to figure out what happens next. Unfortunately, there are people out there who will try to take advantage of you in this trying time. As experienced Phoenix criminal lawyers, we have unfortunately seen many of our clients and their families taken in by unscrupulous bail agents shortly after an arrest.
What Makes a Phoenix Bail Agent “Shady?”
Shady bail agents are those who seek to take advantage of you when you are under stress and in a hurry to get everything taken care of. Although there are many ways to check into a bail bondsman’s history and reliability, most people don’t have time to do this research while a loved one is waiting in jail in the middle of the night. Not every bail bondsman is out to scam you, but, as a general rule, you should be wary of any bail agent who:
- Contacts you at the jail. Shady agents know that you are most vulnerable in the panic shortly after the arrest. If a bail bondsman approaches you at the jail, make sure you fully understand what you are getting into before accepting his or her services.
- Offers “cheap bail.” If a bail agent seems to be offering you a much lower rate than other agents, be suspicious. Most of the time there is some “fine print” that you’re missing – or it could be outright fraud.
How Can I Choose a Reputable Bail Bondsman?
One of the easiest ways to choose a reputable bail bondsman is to contact a criminal defense lawyer whom you trust. We can help in referring you to reputable bail bondsmen in your area, and we can explain more about what needs to happen next and what to expect.
If you’re not sure about hiring a defense lawyer, we’d be happy to speak with you in a FREE consultation to talk about how we can help. Many times, a skilled Phoenix criminal defense attorney can get the bail amount reduced or even convince the judge that your loved one should be released on his or her own recognizance without the need to pay bail.
When is Alimony Awarded in Phoenix? Phoenix Divorce Lawyer Answers
As a Phoenix divorce lawyer, I often get questions about alimony, which is called “spousal support” in Arizona. Spousal support or maintenance is the term for the payments you make or receive from your ex-spouse, which is treated separately from child support payments. How and when alimony is awarded can vary from case to case, but there are some general guidelines available to give you an idea of what to expect.
As a general rule, spousal support in Arizona is usually awarded in divorce cases where:
- The age of a spouse and the long duration of the marriage make it difficult for the spouse to support him or herself.
- One spouse paid educational costs that benefited the other spouse during the marriage.
- A spouse lacks the property or employment options to support him or herself.
However, there are other circumstances besides those listed that may warrant a spousal support order, and it will very much depend upon the specifics of your case.
If you are going through a divorce in Phoenix and have questions about spousal support, child support, child custody, or other legal concerns, speak with a skilled Phoenix divorce lawyer with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today. You can reach us at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-pressure consultation to talk about your unique situation.
Terminating Spousal Support | Phoenix Divorce Lawyer
If you have experienced a change in financial circumstances since your initial spousal support agreement, you are probably wondering if it’s possible to terminate spousal maintenance in Phoenix. The good news is that, unless you agreed to a non-modifiable spousal support order, it is possible to terminate spousal support if your situation meets certain requirements. Your Phoenix divorce lawyer can explain in more detail how this applies to your specific circumstances.
According to Arizona law, spousal maintenance can generally be terminated if:
- Either spouse dies
- The spouse who receives maintenance remarries
- There has been a “substantial and continuing” change of circumstance
What is a “substantial and continuing” change of circumstance?
A “substantial and continuing” change in circumstance is a significant change that is expected to last. This may include changes like a loss of income, disability, long-term romantic cohabitation, and other major financial changes. Losing a job without a change in your ability to obtain employment probably would not be considered a continuing change, for example, as it is expected that you could continue to work elsewhere.
If you’re not sure if your change in situation would be considered “substantial and continuing,” speak with an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer for clarification. Your attorney can help you build a strong case to prove your change in financial circumstances and help you terminate or modify your spousal maintenance agreement.
Phoenix Divorce Lawyer Offers Tips for Parents
Divorce in Phoenix is rough on both the parents and the kids. As a Phoenix divorce lawyer, I have seen a lot of clients come to me exhausted, frustrated with co-parenting, and unsure what to do next. Although sometimes it seems impossible, it really is possible to get through this part and still have a great parental relationship. There are steps you can take to make it a little easier on everyone involved.
Although you can’t completely shelter your kids from all of the stress and changes that divorce brings, let’s talk about some easy steps you can take to minimize the effect on them. During and after the divorce, make sure that you are:
- Taking care of yourself
- Being consistent with rules and promised contact
- Encouraging the kids to have contact with the other parent
- Being supportive and patient through major transitions
- Planning for financial changes that may affect your children
Phoenix Divorce Lawyer on Co-Parenting
One of the most difficult transitions you must make after a divorce in Phoenix is as a parent. Divorced couples with kids find a lot of creative ways to work together as co-parents, and everyone is different. How you handle a relationship as a parent with your ex-spouse depends very much on what kind of relationship you already have. Depending on how the two of you work together, you may need to adjust how you approach parenting plans:
- Aggressive. If you and your ex-spouse are completely unable to communicate with each other and are often working against each other, it is extremely important that you work with your Phoenix child custody lawyer to create a firm parenting plan. This way there is no question about what each parent is allowed to do with the kids and what happens when that is violated.
- Tense. If you have a fairly hostile relationship with your ex, but think you can still manage to focus on the kids, you may want to consult with a Phoenix divorce lawyer to figure out a written, structured arrangement that you can both agree to stick to.
- Friendly. Co-parents who remain friendly, on the other hand, may be able to get by with a loose, mostly unwritten agreement when it comes to the kids. Since both of you are able to communicate, you have the freedom to negotiate many of the details yourself.
- Neutral. If you and your spouse aren’t exactly friends, but can still work together amicably, it may be worth creating an agreement so you both have clear guidelines when it comes to co-parenting. This will help you avoid misunderstandings and conflict.
Fountain Hills DUI Lawyer Explains Post-Stop Signs of Drunk Driving
As a Fountain Hills DUI lawyer, I can tell you for certain that law enforcement officers usually spend some time observing your driving behaviors before pulling you over for a DUI. But did you realize that the observation doesn’t stop once you’ve pulled over? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has researched common signs of drunk driving, and those signs include behaviors you may exhibit after you have been stopped.
Once you have pulled over, the law enforcement officer will still be watching for any sign that you:
- Smell like alcohol
- Are having trouble working your car’s controls
- Are unable to keep your balance or seem to be swaying or unsteady on your feet
- Seem to fumble or have trouble getting out your license and registration
- Have trouble getting out of your vehicle
- Lean on objects instead of standing normally
- Are slurring your words
- Are slow to respond or are repeating the officer’s questions
- Change your answers to the officer’s questions or give inaccurate information
Many of the cues officers use to decide whether or not you are intoxicated can also be signs of another issue, like a medical condition. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Fountain Hills, let an expert Fountain Hills DUI lawyer defend your rights and explain your options. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292, or use our convenient online contact form.
Fountain Hills DUI Lawyer Explains the Signs of Drunk Driving
Ever wonder why you were pulled over for a DUI in Fountain Hills? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a guide to common signs that a driver is intoxicated, which is used by law enforcement on patrol. The list of DUI detection signs is based on extensive research by the NHTSA and is used in officer training.
What Are the Signs that a Driver Is Over the Legal Limit?
As a Fountain Hills DUI lawyer, I know there are many reasons a driver may exhibit these behaviors on the road. However, the NHTSA lists these signs as a good indicator that a driver is intoxicated and should be pulled over for a DUI stop:
- Driving 10 mph or more below the speed limit
- Driving in the wrong lane
- Stopping on the road without obvious reason
- Not responding to signals from law enforcement
- Problems coming to a stop
- Failing to have headlights on at night
- Delayed response to stop lights and traffic signals
- Not using turn signals properly
- Driving in the median or otherwise off the roadway
- Illegal turns
- Wide turns
- Tailgating or following another car too closely
- Unsafe lane changes
- Speed that varies or changes without an obvious reason
- Riding on the center line
- Swerving, weaving, or drifting into other lanes
- Nearly colliding with a car or other object
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Arrested for a DUI in Fountain Hills?
If you were pulled over for a DUI and have now been arrested, the decisions you make now can impact your life for years to come. Don’t let a DUI conviction interfere with your plans for the future. Speak with an expert Fountain Hills DUI lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free legal consultation. Our experts will explain your rights and options and work with you toward the best possible outcome in your case.
Buckeye DUI Lawyer on Dealing with the Embarrassment
Most people feel embarrassed after being arrested for a DUI in Buckeye, especially first-time offenders. For many people, a one-time mistake turns into a lasting humiliation, which is often only made worse by the strict punishments that are ordered after conviction. If you have been arrested for drunk driving and are concerned about the shame, embarrassment, and anxiety you feel, consider taking the following actions:
- Take the initiative to tell your family and friends what happened. If you are concerned about what your friends and family will think after you are arrested for a DUI, take the time to talk with them about what happened. It is better for the people you care about to hear it from you, and you may be surprised at the support and comfort that your loved ones offer.
- Accept that you made a mistake. Accepting that you made a mistake and moving on with your life can be difficult, but it’s important for you to recognize that you can learn from that mistake. Over time, people will forget what happened, and you will remain safe behind the wheel in the future.
- Speak with an experienced Buckeye DUI lawyer. Sometimes just knowing what to expect can help ease your anxiety, and your DUI lawyer should be willing to explain each step of the process to you in terms you understand. Additionally, seeking the legal advice of an expert could mean that you suffer fewer penalties or avoid a conviction.
What Is the Benefit of Hiring a Glendale DUI lawyer?
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Glendale, you may be wondering if you really need to hire a Glendale DUI lawyer to help you with your case. Many people are either convinced that DUI cases are simple and can be handled without the help of an attorney or so embarrassed that they just plead guilty and deal with the harsh punishments under Arizona law.
In some simple cases, you may be able to represent yourself after a DUI arrest; however, there are benefits to hiring a Glendale DUI defense lawyer – especially if your case is complicated by an accident, injury, or previous offenses.
When you hire a Glendale DUI lawyer with Curry, Pearson & Wooten, you can rest assured that you are getting:
- Local knowledge. We know the Arizona DUI laws and court system inside and out, and we know the judges, other attorneys, and even the buildings that you will encounter during your case. Hiring a local attorney to defend you means you have an edge.
- Experience. We have years of real courtroom experience successfully representing DUI clients in Maricopa County, so we know exactly what to expect in your case – even if things get complicated. We have seen just about everything that can happen in a DUI case, and we can explain each step to you in language you can understand.
- Expertise. Not every lawyer is familiar with DUI law, but we have made it a serious focus in our practice. Arizona’s DUI laws have changed more than once in the last few years, and we are always on top of the changes and prepared to skillfully defend you in the courtroom.
Buckeye DUI Lawyer | DUIs and Shame
As a Buckeye DUI lawyer, I know that a lot of people feel ashamed and embarrassed after being arrested for a DUI in Buckeye – even before they are convicted. Increasingly, public shame has been incorporated into the penalties for drunk driving in Maricopa County. In fact, public shame is being used all over the nation as punishment for various crimes. You may have seen news reports about people being ordered by judges to stand near busy roadways holding a sign that describes the crime they were convicted for, or you may remember Phoenix using billboards with mug shots of DUI offenders as a shame-based deterrent.
How Does Arizona Use Public Shame to Deter Drunk Driving?
Arizona is notoriously rough on DUI offenders, and many different shame-based penalties have been ordered or offered as an option. If you have ever been convicted of a DUI in Maricopa County, you may have had to endure:
- Serving your sentence in a tent city
- Being visible as part of a chain gang
- Billboards with your mug shot as a DUI offender
- Public databases with your mug shot and the details of your conviction
These types of penalties change all the time, and it’s hard to say what kinds of shame-based deterrents may be used in the future. Many states and jurisdictions use websites or Facebook pages to shame drunk driving offenders – some have even started posting mug shots of alleged DUI offenders who have not yet been convicted!
How Can I Avoid Public Shame After a DUI Arrest in Buckeye?
If you are arrested for a DUI in Buckeye, even as a first-time offender, you may face humiliating penalties. Sadly, many – even most – of the people who are being shamed by these types of punishments are first-time offenders.
Trying to avoid public shame and embarrassment after a drunk driving arrest can be difficult in a strict state like Arizona. Speak with an expert DUI lawyer in Buckeye before you do anything else. You can reach us today at 1-888-929-5292 or through our convenient online contact form. We’d be happy to talk about your DUI arrest and your rights in completely free, no-obligation legal consultation.
Glendale DUI Lawyer | Representing Yourself in Court
In an effort to save money or time, you may be considering handling the aftermath of your DUI arrest on your own or with the help of a friend who has had a DUI dismissed in the past. If you are interested in representing yourself in court after an Arizona DUI arrest, you should be aware that it may not be as simple as it seems. Although there are some fairly clear-cut cases in which you have nothing to gain by hiring a Glendale DUI lawyer, you could stand to lose quite a bit if you find yourself in over your head.
The DUI laws in Arizona can be very harsh and unforgiving. Especially in cases where you have a previous conviction on your record or were involved in a wreck at the time of the DUI arrest, the court case can quickly devolve into something extremely complicated that relies on carefully presented evidence and a knowledge of case law.
Additionally, if you decide to proceed alone with your DUI case, you will be expected to know how the court works, and you will be held to the same standards as a lawyer. For example, you will be expected to understand:
- Dates and time limits.
- Rules regarding obtaining and presenting evidence.
- Documents and paperwork.
- Rules and procedures of the Court.
Don’t gamble with your future after an Arizona DUI arrest. You have nothing to lose by calling us today at 1-888-929-5292. We will set you up with a completely free legal consultation to speak with an experienced Glendale DUI lawyer about your case. We’ll even tell you honestly if hiring a DUI lawyer is necessary in your situation, or if we think your case is simple enough to handle on your own.
Tempe DUI Lawyer’s Tips for Choosing a Designated Driver
As Tempe DUI lawyers, we can tell you that the best way to avoid a DUI conviction is to just not drink and drive in the first place. If you know you will be out drinking, be sure you plan ahead for a safe ride home. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to find someone willing to be your designated driver.
When you are choosing a designated driver, make sure that you:
- Plan ahead. Check with your friends or family members before you go out, and make sure someone is willing to stay sober for the evening and give you a ride home at the end of the night. If it’s a last-minute surprise, there’s a good chance that the person you had in mind won’t be available and you’ll be stuck.
- Choose a safe driver. This seems like a given, but you might be surprised how many people forget to check that their designated driver has a current and valid license, is current with his or her insurance, and is not wanted for prior traffic offenses.
- Choose someone reliable. When you choose your designated driver, make sure you can trust that person to be sober when it’s time to go home, be available to pick you up, and not give in to pressure to drink.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Tempe, don’t wait until it’s too late to talk to an expert. Call the experienced Tempe DUI lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292 for a free, no-pressure legal consultation. We would be happy to talk about your situation and work with you to reduce or avoid the penalties that come with an Arizona drunk driving conviction.
Tempe DUI Lawyers | Why “One Drink” Could Be Drunk
You’ve probably heard someone say it before: “I was arrested for a DUI after only one drink!” You may be saying to yourself “yeah, right…only one drink.” However, as Tempe DUI lawyers, we know that this is more than just an excuse – alcohol can and does affect different people very differently. In fact, alcohol can even affect you differently depending on many factors, such as:
- How much you weigh
- How often you drink
- How long it’s been since your last drink
- How fast you were drinking
- If you’ve eaten
- Drug interactions or medications
- How strong the drink was
As you can see, it can be very difficult to predict how impaired you will be after a certain number of drinks, and the effects of alcohol mean that even your ability to determine your impairment is impaired. Even if you don’t necessarily “feel” drunk, alcohol can still impair your:
- Reaction time
So, even if you’ve only had a drink or two, it is still possible to be impaired enough to be arrested for a DUI in Tempe. If you need help after a drunk driving arrest in Arizona, speak with the Tempe DUI lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292 in a completely free, no-pressure legal consultation. Hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney in Tempe means you will benefit from the advice and direction of an expert who knows the laws and the court system, and you have the best chance at avoiding conviction entirely or seeing a reduction in the penalties you suffer.
Tempe DUI Lawyer on What Having a DUI Set Aside Can’t Do
If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in Tempe, you may be interested in having that judgment set aside and effectively cleared from your criminal record. While having a DUI set aside can be extremely helpful for anyone concerned about a professional license, college application, or job prospect, it is important to remember what a “set aside” cannot do.
Having a DUI set aside will not get you out of any penalties related to the conviction. In order to qualify for having a judgment set aside, you must have completed your entire sentence, including treatment programs and any probation. And even if your Chandler DUI conviction is set aside by the judge, any penalties through the Department of Motor Vehicles will remain in place, including:
- Ignition interlock devices
- License suspensions
- Points on your license
- Traffic school attendance
If you are interested in having a DUI set aside, speak with an experienced Tempe DUI lawyer about your specific situation. We’d be happy to meet with you in a completely free, no-pressure consultation to talk about your rights and options after a DUI conviction in Arizona. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292, or fill out the quick online contact form on this page. We look forward to speaking with you.
For more information about DUI law in Arizona and how a Tempe DUI attorney can help you, request your free copy of our helpful book DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know, which will walk you through what you need to keep in mind after a DUI arrest.
Tempe DUI Lawyer | “Set Aside” for Arizona DUI Conviction
If you have been convicted of a DUI in Tempe, the consequences and embarrassment could follow you for years to come. Your DUI conviction could come back to haunt you when you’re looking for a job or even applying for college, and it could severely limit your options or prevent you from pursuing your dreams. If this is the situation you find yourself in, it may be worth speaking with a Tempe DUI lawyer about having your DUI set aside.
What Does It Mean to Have a Tempe DUI Conviction “Set Aside?”
In Arizona, you cannot erase or expunge your criminal record, but you can have a conviction “set aside,” which is very similar to expungement. Although a comprehensive background check may still show that you were convicted of a DUI in Tempe, it would show that the ruling was eventually set aside.
What Are the Requirements for Having a DUI Set Aside in Arizona?
Although DUI and traffic convictions are often fairly easy to have set aside, you will still have to meet some requirements and convince the judge in order to be successful in court. To have a DUI conviction set aside, you will have to have completed your sentence, including probation and rehabilitation programs, and limits may apply if you have had previous convictions.
Additionally, no criminal conviction can be set aside in Arizona if the crime:
- Involved a deadly weapon
- Inflicted serious physical harm
- Involved a victim under the age of 15
- Was sexually motivated
- Was a moving violation while your license was suspended
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Arizona, don’t wait until it’s too late to consult an expert Tempe DUI lawyer. At Curry, Pearson & Wooten, we offer highly experienced help with all of your legal concerns after a DUI arrest, and we are devoted to obtaining the best possible outcome for each of our clients. Speak with us today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a FREE case evaluation, or fill out our quick online contact form for more information.
Don’t forget to also request your FREE copy of our helpful book DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know, which will explain more about your rights, options, and whether you even need the services of a Tempe DUI attorney.
Getting Divorce in Arizona | Cell Phones & Text Messaging
If you are getting divorced in Arizona, our Chandler divorce lawyers recommend that you avoid talking about your divorce case or your ex-spouse on social media sites like Facebook and that you treat any email or text message you send as public communication. With the rise of text messaging and smartphones, it has become more common than ever to see cellphone records and social media communication winding up as evidence in Arizona family law cases. This is especially true in Arizona child custody cases, where evidence of harassment, lies, or poor parenting could seriously affect the outcome of your case.
How Could My Cellphone Records Be Used as Evidence?
You may be surprised how much information about you is stored in your phone and could be used as evidence against you. Some of the most common types of information we see in Chandler divorce cases include:
- Text messages
- Call history and recorded phone conversations
- Internet search history
- GPS history
- Email records
Text messages are by far the most common type of evidence we see from cellphones, and they are often used to prove lies or harassment by an ex-spouse. Social media posts made from smartphones could also be used against you – especially if you fire off a nasty public post about your ex in a moment of anger.
In fact, even recording of phone conversations might be permissible evidence in court, and you should be aware that Arizona law allows any party in a conversation to record it without your permission.
If you are getting divorced in Arizona and need an experienced Chandler divorce lawyer on your side, give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your situation in a completely free, no-obligation consultation. For more information about what a Chandler family law attorney can do for you, please request your complimentary copy of our helpful book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Consider Hiring a Phoenix Lawyer After a Prescription Drug DUI
Even legal drugs that have been prescribed by your doctor can impair your ability to drive. Unfortunately, even though many medications include warning labels, it can be difficult to predict a drug’s effect on your driving ability – especially if it is something you haven’t taken before or if there is a drug interaction with another medication you take. Many drivers are surprised to learn that they can be arrested for a DUI in Arizona after taking legally prescribed drugs – and even some medications that are available over the counter.
Fight a Prescription Drug DUI Arrest with Your Phoenix Lawyers
When you are arrested for a legal drug DUI in Arizona, our Phoenix DUI defense lawyers can help you in a number of ways. Even if your blood or urine tests positive for an impairing prescription drug, it can be very difficult to prove that your driving was impaired because of that legally prescribed drug. Additionally, a skilled Mesa DUI lawyer can review your case and look for other potential causes of seemingly impaired driving and determine if there is real evidence that your driving was, in fact, impaired.
If you have been arrested for a prescription drug DUI in Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, or surrounding areas, call us today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free legal consultation to learn more about your rights. Our experienced Mesa DUI lawyers will evaluate your case, explain your options, and help you decide if you need our expert legal representation in your specific situation.
For more information about impaired driving in Arizona, request your complimentary copy of our helpful book DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Lawyers | Arizona Legal Drug DUI
As Phoenix lawyers, we know there is a common misconception that all DUIs are related to drinking and driving. You might be surprised to learn that you could be arrested for DUI in Phoenix if you have taken some over-the-counter medications or medications that have been legally prescribed by your doctor – even if you haven’t had a drop to drink!
Why Have I Been Arrested for a DUI in Phoenix for Legally Prescribed Medication?
Although alcohol is the most familiar intoxicant related to Arizona DUIs, there are many substances that can impair your driving, including the medications you are taking for a cold or medications that your doctor prescribed. In Arizona, you can be arrested for driving under the influence of any substance – legal or illegal – that impairs your driving.
If an officer observes you driving erratically or otherwise showing signs of intoxication before or during the DUI stop, you could be arrested and face a DUI conviction.
Although most legal medications that impair your driving include a warning label, some drivers who are prescribed a new drug, have an allergic reaction, or who take a combination of legally prescribed drugs may be surprised by the effects and arrested for DUI in Arizona.
How Do I Know Which Legal Medications Could Lead to a DUI Arrest in Arizona?
If you are unsure if your legally prescribed or over-the-counter medication could impair your driving, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Most medications that impair driving include a warning label that advises against operating heavy machinery or warn of drowsiness or dizziness. However, even if your medication does not include a warning label, if the drug is new to you or if you already take other medications, you should avoid driving until you know how the drug will affect you.
Our Phoenix lawyers can help if you have been arrested for a legal drug DUI in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Avondale, Goodyear, Glendale, or Buckeye. We would be happy to meet with you and hear more about your situation in a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation. Simply call us today at 1-888-929-5292, or use the online contact form on this page.
If you would like more information about DUI law, please also request your free copy of our important book DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Scottsdale Family Law Attorneys Explain Arizona Spousal Support
A Glendale divorce can lead to a lot of financial changes for both you and your spouse. Even when children are not involved in your divorce, you may still be ordered to pay spousal support as part of your divorce. As Scottsdale family law attorneys, we’d like to explain more about spousal support and address some of your questions.
What is Spousal Support?
You may hear spousal support referred to as “maintenance” or “alimony.” These terms are just different words for the money paid out to a spouse during and/or after a divorce. An order for spousal support may be included in your divorce decree, which will include a set amount of money over a set amount of time.
When is Spousal Support Ordered?
Spousal support may be ordered in a Glendale divorce if your spouse decides to seek maintenance. If your spouse is seeking spousal support in Glendale, the request will generally be granted if:
- Your spouse lacks the ability to find employment and support him or herself.
- You were married over a long period of time and your spouse will have trouble finding employment due to his or her age.
- Your spouse has custody of a child that keeps him or her from working outside the home.
- Your spouse helped pay for your education.
- Your spouse otherwise lacks the ability to provide for him or herself.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the many decisions that go into a divorce, or if you have questions about Arizona alimony laws, spousal support, child custody, or other concerns, don’t wait to speak with an expert. You can reach one of our skilled Scottsdale family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-pressure legal consultation. We look forward to meeting with you and discussing your concerns.
If you’d like more information about divorce in Glendale, please also request your FREE copy of our helpful book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Phoenix Divorce Lawyers on Parenting after Arizona Divorce
Whether you are the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent, getting divorced in Arizona can change a lot of things. Divorce is almost always emotional, and it can be so hard for parents to transition as parents after the divorce. You may have less contact, be living apart, be working more hours, or even just be struggling with your own emotional burdens, and this can wreck relations with your children for years to come. As Phoenix divorce lawyers, we’re often faced with parents asking how to do it “right.”
How Can I Be a Great Parent after a Phoenix Divorce?
The unfortunate truth is that there is no single answer to the question. Depending on your situation, your existing relationship with your kids, and your evolving relationship with your now ex-spouse, the answer will probably combine a number of things – and you probably won’t get it “right” overnight. Building strong parental relationships after divorce is a process, and you’ll probably make at least a few mistakes. The most important things to remember, though, are:
- Keep communicating.
- Don’t rant about the other parent if the kids are listening.
- Encourage your child to build a relationship with the other parent.
- Stay involved in your kids’ lives.
- Do what you say you will.
Ultimately, keeping your focus on your kids, being willing to compromise, and approaching the situation with parental love is probably the best way to approach post-divorce parenting.
If you need help with legal issues surrounding divorce or child custody in Phoenix, speak with our skilled Phoenix divorce lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We are compassionate, experienced Phoenix family law attorneys who can help you plot the best course of action and work toward a solution. If you’d like more information about who we are and what we do, request your completely free copy of our book, Arizona Family law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Phoenix Divorce Lawyers on Long-Distance Parenting
After a Phoenix divorce, many non-custodial parents struggle with how to continue to be an effective parent and forge a strong relationship with their children. This can become even more difficult if you live a few towns – or states – away. If you’re wondering if it’s possible to still be a great parent from a distance, our Phoenix divorce lawyers want you to know that it is possible – but it takes work.
How Can I be an Effective Long-Distance Parent after my Phoenix Divorce?
- Stay involved. Just because you’re further away doesn’t mean you can’t stay involved in your child’s life. Although you may not be able to attend every dance recital or baseball game, make sure that you know what’s going on with activities like these. Ask questions about who’s involved, how your child did, and what your child is interested in. Although it may seem minor, knowing about that homerun she hit and sharing in the excitement will mean a lot to your child.
- Keep talking. If you don’t see each other every day, it can be difficult to keep the conversation going. Make sure you ask open-ended questions and provide a positive environment to make conversation easier. Additionally, try finding a hobby or interest you can share – such as a favorite television series or sport – so that you always have something to talk about when conversation lags.
- Take initiative. Don’t put the pressure on your kids to keep up the relationship with you. Take the initiative to open conversation, schedule time together, make a phone call, or otherwise make an effort to forge a strong relationship.
- Try other ways to stay in contact. Although the face-to-face time you’re able to spend with your kids is precious, don’t forget that there are other ways to stay connected. Use email, instant messaging, the telephone, and even letters through the mail.
Ultimately, it boils down to paying attention and making an effort to keep communicating and caring, even if you can’t be in the same physical space. And, of course, be sure that you and the custodial parent can agree on the rules.
If you have questions about child custody in Glendale or need help with an Arizona divorce, speak with our expert Phoenix divorce attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292. We would be happy to hear about your situation in a completely free, no-obligation consultation and talk about how – and if – we can help.
For more information about who we are and what we do, request your completely free copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Phoenix Family Law Attorneys on Divorce & Facebook
Although social media sites like Facebook have been pinned as a rising cause of divorce by some recent studies, these types of sites are also causing problems at an increasingly high rate during Arizona divorces and child custody battles. As Phoenix family law attorneys, we can attest that many of our divorce, custody, and even adoption cases have been affected by posts and photographs on social media sites.
Why Are Social Media Sites Like Facebook a Problem in Glendale Divorces?
Because social media sites seem so casual and friendly, many people forget that the information posted to social media sites is largely public. During a divorce in Glendale, anything posted to your – or even your friends’ – Facebook could be used as evidence against you. For example, your Facebook or other social media site can be mined for information such as:
- Adultery. Social media sites may be one of the main vehicles for cheaters, but even seemingly innocuous posts or comments may be construed as evidence of a pattern of cheating. Racy comments from an old flame, flirty messages, or photographs that show the two of you together could be built into a convincing argument for the evidence of adultery.
- Finances. One spouse may claim to be broke, but mention on Facebook a large purchase, like a car or expensive electronics, or even be tagged in photographs from an expensive beach vacation.
- Lies. Beyond relationships and finances, a spouse’s Facebook page may inadvertently give evidence of other lies or concerns. Imagine an ex-spouse who claims he has no time to help the kids with an important project, but posts drunken party pictures the next day.
While you may be sharing some of this information and not realize how it could be used against you, there is also a risk of the impulsive rant or angry comment about the divorce or your spouse, which could be used against you eventually in court.
How Concerned Should I Be?
If you don’t think social media sites have a big impact of divorce, think again. Some research has around 80% of lawyers reporting social media evidence being used in the courtroom during divorce proceedings. And, more than that, this evidence taken from sites like Facebook are having real and lasting impact on issues like Arizona child custody and spousal support.
If you have any questions about Glendale divorce, child custody, or any other family law issue, speak with our caring and expert Phoenix family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free legal consultation. We also encourage you to request your free copy of our important book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Glendale Family Lawyers and “Disneyland Dad” Syndrome
As a non-custodial parent or a parent in joint custody, it’s natural to want to make every second that you spend with your kids really count. In pursuit of that quality time, many fathers are accused of being “Disneyland dads,” who care little for the rules and are more friend than parent. In the aftermath of a Glendale divorce, it can be difficult to know where to draw the line. When you only have limited time with your children, it makes it extremely difficult to say ‘no’ or draw boundaries when you do have time together.
As Glendale family law attorneys, we understand that it’s hard to know where to start as a non-custodial parent. Although you want to be your child’s best friend, you also want to take on your share of the responsibility as a parent. However, “laying down the law” doesn’t mean that you have to give up quality time with your kids. In fact, it’s likely that you’ll find your bond with your children deepening as you take a more active hand in their daily lives.
What Can I Do to Avoid Being a “Disneyland Dad?”
- Keep your promises. Although you’re busy on your “off” days, make sure that you make good on any promises you’ve made to your child. Call when you said you would call. Pick up the movie you promised you’d watch together next time.
- Make rules, and stick to them. Communicate with the custodial parent about the rules, and decide how they will be implemented on your days. Be clear about the rules – and what happens when a rule is broken. Make sure you are consistent in enforcing the rules.
- Communicate. Children crave one-on-one time with their parents, and it’s important that you talk with your kids and take an interest in what they do each day. Keeping the lines of communication open will build trust, and it means that your kids will know that they can always talk to you.
- Attend activities. Even if the activity doesn’t fall on a day when the kids are with you, try to attend baseball games, dance recitals, class plays, etc. that they are involved in. They’ll love seeing you in the audience, and it will show that you want to take an active part in their lives.
- Do homework together. Working together on homework, scout badges, and other assignments means great one-on-one time, and you get a firsthand view of your child’s interests and progress.
If you have questions about child custody in Glendale, or if you need help establishing paternity, speak with one of our highly qualified Phoenix family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation. We also recommend that you request a FREE copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Glendale DUI Lawyers on Sober Driver and DUI Stops
You know for a fact you have not been drinking or using drugs, so being pulled over for a DUI in Glendale shouldn’t be a problem. You follow the officer’s instructions, complete a variety of roadside tests, and you then should be in the clear to go on your way. Unfortunately, however, the officer chooses to arrest you instead of letting you go. What happened?
As Glendale DUI lawyers, we have seen this happen more than once. Even if you are 100% certain that you are under the legal limit of .08, it is possible to fail Arizona DUI tests and end up in jail. Several factors can lead to this unfortunate situation, including the following:
- Officers must rely on their own senses to decide if you are intoxicated. How you appear and how the officer interprets your behavior and coordination could lead to a DUI arrest in Glendale even if you are under the legal limit.
- Other conditions may cause you to fail the breathalyzer or field sobriety tests, even if you haven’t been drinking. Neurological conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, or even the common flu may cause “false positives” on these types of tests.
- Seemingly minor issues can cause false positives. A breathalyzer test can give inaccurate readings based on your body temperature, what you’ve eaten, any recent physical activity, and if you’ve recently vomited. Even over-the-counter cold medicine or a physical disability could have an effect on roadside sobriety tests.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Arrested for a DUI in Glendale?
A DUI conviction in Glendale can mean serious penalties, and you should consult with an expert Glendale DUI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. Whether you believe you are innocent or believe you may be guilty, a skilled Glendale criminal attorney with experience handling DUIs can collect evidence and build a strong case to help you reduce the punishment you suffer or avoid conviction entirely. Please speak with us today at 1-888-929-5292 for help. Also, request a completely FREE copy of our important book, DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Phoenix DUI Lawyers and the DUI Eye Test
When you are pulled over for a DUI in Phoenix, it is likely that the officer will ask you to perform some field sobriety tests in order to assess whether or not you have been drinking. Among those tests is the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), which tests how your eyes track an object and involuntary eye movements (usually the officer will test this using a pen or finger). The officer is looking for a tell-tale twitch or jerking motion of the eye, which is indicative of intoxication.
What’s the Problem with the HGN in Arizona DUIs?
Although, in theory, the HGN should be a helpful indicator of intoxication, it raises many concerns in practice. As Phoenix DUI lawyers, we’d like you to know about the problems with the HGN test during a DUI stop, including:
- Non-medical training of officers. Generally, police officers in Arizona complete a weekend-long training course that covers field sobriety tests, including the HGN. The trainers are usually also officers, and they are generally not medically trained to administer and interpret the results.
- Improperly administered testing. For the HGN test to give the most accurate results, your head must stay still, the object used must be a certain distance from you, etc. In actual practice in the field, these tests are often administered improperly, especially if the potential offender has been observed to be unsteady on his or her feet.
- Other conditions may cause similar results. Intoxication is not the only condition that can give a positive result for the HGN. Neurological disorders, ear infections, epilepsy, and even high blood pressure are among the numerous conditions that could cause a false positive on a DUI eye test in Arizona.
If you have been pulled over for a DUI in Phoenix and have questions about field sobriety tests or what to do next, please don’t hesitate to speak with one of our highly experienced Phoenix DUI lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. Additionally, we encourage you to learn more about your rights and options with a FREE copy of our must-read book, DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know.
What Arizona Police Are Looking for During a Glendale DUI Stop
Although most people know that erratic driving behaviors can lead to a DUI stop in Glendale, have you ever wondered what police are looking for when you step out of the car? When you are pulled over for drunk driving in Glendale, the officer will observe your behavior in and out of your car, and he or she will attempt to draw a conclusion about your state of intoxication from what is observed. Although field sobriety testing and other roadside tests are usually administered by the officer, whether you are ultimately arrested relies very much on what the officer sees, hears, and smells aside from that testing. For example, during a Glendale DUI stop, an officer will be looking for signs of drunkenness, such as:
- Stumbling, swaying, or unsteadiness
- The smell of alcohol on your breath
- Your ability to follow instructions
- Your response to police, such as arguing, yelling, or even being too friendly
- Eye redness
- Slurred speech
- How coordinated you are retrieving your license and exiting your vehicle
Although these kinds of signs and behaviors may be a good place to start assessing your level of intoxication, human errors do occur, and an officer may misinterpret the symptoms of some medical conditions as signs of drunkenness.
If you have any questions about DUIs in Glendale, please contact a skilled Arizona DUI lawyer today at 1-888-9292-5292. We also recommend you take a look at our free and informative book, DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Your Miranda Rights during a DUI Stop in Gilbert
If you have been pulled over for drunk driving in Gilbert, the police officer involved will need to have probable cause to actually arrest you for a DUI. Officers have many ways they attempt to establish probable cause, including breath testing, coordination tests, and observation of your behaviors, among other things. As Gilbert DUI lawyers, we also want you to be aware that how you answer the officer’s questions could lead to self-incrimination and arrest.
The Right to Remain Silent
We understand that most people who are pulled over for drunk driving in Arizona want to cooperate with the police and just get on with their lives. However, officers will likely ask questions, such as “How much have you had to drink?” or “Have you been in a bar this evening?” Many people, in an attempt to be cooperative, will answer these questions without hesitation. Although we completely concur that you should be polite and cooperative with the officer during your Gilbert DUI stop, we also believe you should be aware that you can exercise your Miranda rights (i.e. the “right to remain silent”).
If you are asked these kinds of questions during a DUI stop, you do have the right to remain silent. However, it is of utmost importance that you also remain polite. If you feel that the officer is asking you a question that may cause you to incriminate yourself, or if you feel your answer could be misconstrued as probable cause for a DUI arrest, we recommend you politely tell the officer that you would like to speak with your Gilbert DUI attorney before answering any questions.
Speak with a skilled Gilbert DUI lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292 with any questions or concerns about your specific Arizona DUI case. Our experts can help you both in and out of courtroom, and we are devoted to defending our clients’ rights. For more information, request your FREE copy of DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Criminal Lawyer on Drive-By Shooting in Arizona
Like many other states, Arizona has laws in place that specifically cover drive-by shootings. Although a drive-by shooting is technically very similar to other offenses, such as unlawful discharge of a firearm, it is handled very severely under Arizona law because it is considered a gang-related crime. In fact, drive-by shooting is considered a class-2 felony, which means that it comes with a minimum sentence of 7 years in prison.
What Is a “Drive-By Shooting” in Arizona?
Arizona law defines a drive-by shooting as “intentionally discharging a weapon from a motor vehicle at a person, another occupied motor vehicle or an occupied structure.” Although this is a fairly broad definition, the key difference from other, similar weapons offenses is that it involves a vehicle. If a person is injured in the drive-by shooting, then there will likely be separate charges of aggravated assault, which carries its own mandatory sentencing rules.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Arrested for a Drive-By Shooting in Phoenix?
As you can see, a charge of drive-by shooting can become very serious, especially when it is complicated by other charges, such as assault or drug charges. If you have a history of previous felony convictions, then the penalties you suffer can increase exponentially.
If you have been arrested for a drive-by shooting, it is imperative that you at least speak with an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A conviction for a drive-by shooting comes with serious penalties and mandatory jail time, as well as the loss of your driver’s license. A skilled Arizona criminal defense lawyer will fight to make sure your rights are protected, keep you informed of what is happening each step of the way, and can work to help you reduce penalties or even avoid conviction altogether.
Speak with us today at 1-888-929-5292, and we will make sure that you are connected with a skilled Phoenix criminal lawyer who can help. We also encourage you to take a look at our important book regarding your rights: Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Gilbert Criminal Lawyers Explain Arizona Concealed Carry
On July 29, 2010, a new Arizona law went into effect that allowed most Arizona residents over the age of 21 to carry a concealed gun without a permit. This makes Arizona one of only 3 states in the US that now allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit – at least in areas where open-carry is allowed. Previously, Arizona required anyone who wanted to carry a concealed weapon to obtain a permit, which included a requirement that you complete an approved training course covering gun safety, gun use, and education on Arizona’s gun laws.
Although many see the change as a restoration of their Second Amendment rights, an unfortunate effect of this legislation is that many new gun owners are now forgoing gun training courses entirely. This, of course, raises a certain concern about gun safety in the hands of an inexperienced user. However, as Gilbert criminal defense attorneys, we’ve also seen a more subtle effect of the lack of training courses—clients who did not receive education about Arizona gun laws and did not know they were committing a crime. Additionally, we’ve seen many who were unaware that the change in concealed-carry law also put stiffer criminal penalties in place for committing a crime while carrying a concealed weapon.
As a Gilbert resident, what do I need to know about the new Arizona concealed-carry law?
- Although you do not need a permit to carry a concealed weapon in areas where open carry is allowed, you will need a permit to carry a concealed weapon into bars and restaurants.
- You may still need a permit to be allowed to carry a concealed gun in another state. However, more training courses are now allowed for the purpose of obtaining a permit.
- You are required to tell any police officer who asks that you are carrying a concealed weapon.
- The police have the ability to confiscate your gun temporarily if you are stopped. For example, the officer may take your concealed weapon for the duration of the stop if you are pulled over for a DUI in Gilbert.
- Stiffer criminal laws for concealed weapons mean that carrying a concealed weapon while committing another crime could result in a felony charge.
If you have been arrested for a concealed weapon in Gilbert, or if a concealed-weapons charge has complicated your criminal case, speak with one of our highly qualified Arizona criminal lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292 for answers to your questions and practical advice for your situation. We also encourage you to read our FREE book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Tempe Criminal Lawyers on Burglary, Theft, and Robbery
Although in day-to-day conversation you may use the words robbery, theft, and burglary to mean the same thing, these words actually have very different legal meanings in Arizona and cannot be used interchangeably in the courtroom. If you or a family member has been arrested for theft in Arizona, you may have a lot of questions about what these different charges mean. As Tempe criminal lawyers, we’d like to lend a hand in clarifying these three criminal offenses and help you understand the differences between them.
Burglary in Arizona:
According to the Arizona Revised Statues, burglary is basically “entering or remaining unlawfully” on a property “with the intent to commit any theft or any felony therein.” This can cover a fairly wide spectrum, from entering a commercial parking lot to actually entering a residential home with the intent to steal items within.
Robbery in Arizona:
The Arizona Revised Statutes state that:
“A person commits robbery if in the course of taking any property of another from his person or immediate presence and against his will, such person threatens or uses force against any person with intent either to coerce surrender of property or to prevent resistance to such person taking or retaining property.”
So, essentially, robbery is the use of threats or violence to attempt to steal from another person. It is different from burglary because intimidation or force must be used, and the victim is present at the time.
Theft in Arizona:
Theft is basically defined as unlawfully taking property that doesn’t belong to you. This may come in many forms, including stealing physical items, taking advantage of a “vulnerable adult” while you are in a position of authority, or may apply to intellectual property. While burglary or robbery involves the intent of theft, both possess different nuances and actions by legal definition.
If you have been arrested for theft, robbery, or burglary in Tempe, you could be facing very serious punishment depending on your circumstances and whether a weapon or threat was used. Don’t wait until it’s too late to consult with a skilled Arizona robbery lawyer and experienced Tempe criminal lawyer who can help protect your rights and work toward the best outcome in your specific situation. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to speak with someone who can help you get started. If you’d like to learn more about who we are and what we do, please also request your free copy of our highly informative book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Family Lawyer on What to Do after Being Served Divorce Papers
Being served with divorce papers in Phoenix can be a confusing and stressful time. No matter what the circumstances leading to the divorce action were, these earliest steps in the process can be some of the most emotionally difficult. Unfortunately, you may be under time restraints or have other complications that can lead to you losing important rights in the divorce – seemingly before it’s even started. Although it may be tempting to avoid dealing with it, it is very important that you:
- Do not ignore it. As Phoenix family lawyers, we know that being served with divorce papers can be an emotionally charged time, and we know that many people don’t even want to look at what has been received. However, if you want to protect your own rights, then it is of utmost importance that you review these documents and find out what you need to do.
- Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix family law attorney. If you’ve been served with divorce papers in Phoenix, give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292. We will not charge you for the initial consultation, but we can help answer your questions and explain your options. You’re under no obligation to hire us when you attend this meeting.
- Check the deadline. You may have a very limited time to respond, so it is important to know how much time you have and what you need to do during that time.
- File a response. If you fail to file a response, then you may lose some important rights, and you may find that many issues involved in the divorce become much more complicated. Failing to file a response could even mean that your spouse will be awarded everything in the petition by default.
If you have any questions – big or small – about divorce in Arizona, speak with one of our friendly and experienced Arizona family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292. We are always happy to address your concerns and help you make the best decisions regarding divorce, legal separation, child custody, and other family legal issues. If you’d like more information about who we are and how we can help, request your completely free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Rising Fuel Prices Mean Passing Costs on to Arizona Airline Passengers
As fuel prices soar, the airline industry is taking action to ensure its financial survival in the short term. However, will these short-term decisions end up hurting airlines in the long run? In a recent interview with Ted Simons, our aviation law attorney Mike Pearson weighed in on what rising jet fuel costs could end up meaning for both Arizona airline passengers and the industry as a whole.
We’ve already seen changes at a consumer level, including:
- Higher airfare
- Charges for baggage
- Changes in carry-on luggage
- Smaller aircraft with fewer seats
- Changes in “peak days” for frequent flier miles
- Cutting of some air routes
Many experts believe this will only continue to get worse, and airline passengers can expect to be paying more for what once was complimentary. Mike Pearson agrees that the situation is bad, and that it will probably get worse. Pearson said that these types of changes may help the airlines now, but that, in the long term, these changes could keep many leisure travelers out of the air and looking for different ways to get from point A to point B. Pearson points out that many airlines have started cutting the number of seats available in order to drive up fares and keep planes full, but that there are only so many seats an airline can cut. With long-term survival in mind, many airlines are looking to mergers, moving toward what Pearson calls a “natural oligopoly.” Several airlines have either already completed mergers or are looking in that direction. Unless we see a quick reduction in the price of fuel, these significant changes will probably only get worse for the consumers.
Air Traffic Controller Error Spike May Be Misleading
Reported Air Traffic Controller Errors Double: MyFoxPHOENIX.com
A report showing a huge spike in reported air traffic controller errors has some passengers worried about the safety of passenger flights, and Congress is looking to take action. Reported errors have nearly doubled, rising from 947 reported errors in 2009 to 1900 reported errors in 2010. But don’t cancel your flight just yet. Tempe aviation lawyer Mike Pearson has stated that those numbers could be misleading due to a few changes in the airline industry and the air traffic controller profession.
Pearson acknowledges human error is inevitable; thousands of planes carry passengers each day, and there is a lot that could potentially go wrong. Even though air traffic controllers are always observed closely on the job by several sets of eyes, mistakes can happen. But human error may not be solely responsible for the spike in reported errors. Pearson points to a memo released by the FAA last year, which changed the rules for reporting errors and sought to remove the fear of punishment associated with reporting errors. What this means is that more errors—or even the potential for errors—can be reported without fear. So the spike could, in part, be due to more errors actually being reported rather than committed. Additionally, Pearson said that new technology being used by air traffic controllers to determine plane proximity could have also contributed to the rise.
Pearson states firmly that passengers should not be afraid to board a plane due to these numbers. And, although the number of reported errors has risen, only a small percentage of those errors were categorized as serious.
The law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten serves the community as Arizona trial lawyers, aviation attorneys, personal injury lawyers, family lawyers, and criminal defense attorneys. We would be happy to speak with you today about your legal needs and answer your questions. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292, and schedule a completely free, no-pressure consultation with one of our friendly and knowledgeable attorneys.
Phoenix DUI Attorneys Explain The Changes to Arizona DUI Laws
As of January 1, 2012, Arizona’s DUI laws have changed. For DUI offenses committed after January 1, 2012, the following changes are now in effect:
- A person charged with a first offense regular DUI (non-extreme) is no longer entitled to a jury trial.
- Jurisdictions with Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Programs can allow home detention after serving 20% of the initial term of incarceration.
- Work release from jail increased to 6 days a week, 12 hours per day.
- MVD can suspend a person’s license under Arizona implied consent laws if test results show the presence of a prohibited drug or its metabolite and person does not possess a valid prescription for the drug (previously the law only allowed a suspension under the Implied Consent Law for alcohol where the person’s BAC was over a .08 or refusals).
- Some license suspensions and revocations related to a DUI case may allow for a Special Ignition Interlock Restricted Drivers License.
Some courts are even applying these new sentencing provisions to cases where the offense occurred before January 1, 2012, but the cases were not resolved until after that date! It’s important to discuss these matters with an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney. The attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten will be glad to speak with you about your situation. For more information, call 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Air Traffic Controller Shortage Concerns Many; Are Fears Overblown?
Tempe aviation law expert Mike Pearson was recently featured on FOX Business News and discussed the looming shortage of air traffic controllers as the FAA attempts to fill positions. Mike Pearson has 27 years of experience as an air traffic controller, law professor, and active trial lawyer, and he reminds us that this is not the first time we’ve seen a shortage of air traffic controllers. Pearson cites the aftermath of the 1981 air traffic controller strike as an example, and he believes that the concern about these empty positions might be a bit uncalled for at this point.
One major concern has been that many of the air traffic controller slots have opened as older and more experienced air traffic controllers have retired. Some are worried that the growing number of younger and less experienced workers in the industry could cause problems as they learn on their feet. However, Pearson said that most of the air traffic controllers hired after the 1981 strike had very little experience to begin with and, of course, many of those workers now make up the highly experienced group that has reached retirement age. Ultimately, the new air traffic controllers filling the empty seats will gain the same experience and skill over time—and always under a watchful eye.
The law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten is made up of highly experienced and compassionate Arizona personal injury lawyers, criminal defense lawyers, and family law attorneys who are ready to address your concerns and help you navigate the legal system. If you would like to speak with a Tempe aviation lawyer or personal injury lawyer, give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
United/US Airways Merger: What Does it Mean for Tempe?
News of a potential merger between United and US Airways has some Arizona residents concerned about job cutbacks and sky-rocketing fares. Our very own Mike Pearson, who has almost 30 years of experience as a Tempe aviation law attorney, professor, and air traffic controller, spoke with Ted Simons recently about what the merger might mean for airline consumers locally.
We already know that the economy and rising cost of fuel has many airlines struggling to cut routes and sometimes jobs; however, this has also led many airlines to seek mergers to survive. We’ve seen more airline mergers recently, such as Delta and Northwest, and United itself had considered a merger with Continental not all that long ago. Although the merger between United and US Airways is becoming a stronger possibility—some say a probability at this point—much will depend on both businesses and anti-trust scrutiny. US Airways is still in the process of transitioning after its recent merger with America West.
What does all of this mean for Tempe? The potential loss of a Fortune 500 company is worrying; Pearson has said that we could see job cuts, especially at the administrative and corporate levels. Since United is the larger company, Pearson says it seems likely that they will keep their corporate headquarters in Chicago if the merger goes through. However, Pearson also says that nothing is certain at this point, and the business decisions of both companies will figure highly into the final outcome.
Regarding the potentially higher fares after the merger, Pearson did mention that competition with economy airline Southwest should help keep fares more reasonable despite the change in supply and demand.
If you have questions about Tempe aviation law, or if you are looking for a skilled Arizona personal injury lawyer, give Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free consultation and request your FREE copy of one of our many helpful books.
Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season after an Arizona Divorce
After an Arizona divorce, the time coming up to the holidays or other important occasions can be filled with stress and uncertainty. Whether your divorce is final or still being sorted out, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll have some conflicted emotions, some wrecked plans, some hair-tearing frustration, and times when you feel down. As Phoenix family law attorneys, we know it’s not easy to make the transition to your newly single life when everyone else seems to be happily spending time with friends and family, but it won’t always feel this way. One of the best ways to cope after an Arizona divorce is to make a conscious effort to reduce stress:
- Exercise, and eat well.
- Try relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing.
- Don’t try to drown stress in alcohol, drugs, or other unhealthy behaviors.
- Schedule time for yourself.
- Spend time with supportive friends and family.
- Try to get enough sleep.
- Keep a personal journal.
If these tactics don’t sound good, spend a little time thinking about what makes you feel relaxed and in control, and then make a plan to do it. When you are able to relax a little, you’re better able to approach the divorce transition with perspective and an open mind. If you need any help with Arizona parenting time, custody, or divorce questions, speak with one our friendly Phoenix divorce lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We’d also like you to look over a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Phoenix Family Law Attorney on Coping with Holidays
After an Arizona divorce, dealing with holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions can seem much less joyful. It’s hard to celebrate when you’re in a new apartment, you have shaky relationships with family, or your ex-spouse has the kids for the weekend. It’s easy to sink into depression and try to avoid anything relating to the holiday. As Phoenix divorce lawyers, we know how hard it can be to spend that first Thanksgiving alone or drop off a birthday present instead of staying for cake. The good news is that it is normal to feel blue after a big change, and there are things you can do to bring the joy back to your family’s special occasions:
- Talk about what the holidays mean to you. Whether it’s Christmas, the Fourth of July, or another occasion, sit down with your family and talk about what these holidays really mean to you. Potato salad on the beach? Decorating the tree? Shopping with your daughter on Black Friday? Think about what you really need to make it feel special, and then work together to try to provide the most important experiences.
- Do something for someone else. If you know you’ll be alone on a holiday morning, consider volunteering. Visit a local nursing home, help in a soup kitchen, or get involved in other community activities. You might even enjoy the experience enough to make it a new tradition!
- Make something together. Especially if you have children, it can help to get involved in a craft together in celebration. You might work together to make a Thanksgiving centerpiece, ornaments, or a birthday photo frame. You’ll be creating wonderful memories, working together, and you’ll also have a physical reminder of your time together.
- Work out a fair parenting time schedule ahead of time. If there are kids involved, don’t wait until the last minute to figure out parenting time for holidays and birthdays. It’s almost always easier for everyone involved if you know what to expect and can plan for quality time with your kids.
- Get together with family and friends. Don’t be afraid to ask to join family and friends for the holidays. Even though you may not feel up to it, spending time with others can help you get through the hardest times. If you’re uncomfortable inviting yourself or accepting an invitation, considering inviting your other single friends over for the evening. You might be surprised what a difference it makes to surround yourself with others.
Ultimately, going through a Scottsdale divorce means losing the familiar, and it’s up to you to create new traditions and memories in the transitional period. Remember: you are still a family, and that’s what’s really important. If you need help with divorce, parenting time, or custody in Maricopa County, speak with one of our compassionate and experienced Phoenix family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free and confidential legal consultation to talk about your options. We also recommend you request your free copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times. We look forward to helping you with your legal needs.
How to Complete Arizona Probation Successfully
It’s sometimes easy to forget that Arizona probation is serious. Even though you are not physically imprisoned, you still have certain terms you must adhere to in order to complete probation successfully. If you have been put on probation after a criminal conviction in Arizona, keep in mind that violating any of the terms of your probation or failing to attend required meetings or treatment programs can mean that you will go immediately to jail. As Arizona criminal defense attorneys, we’d like to offer a few tips for making it through probation successfully and regaining your freedom:
- Don’t commit another crime.
- Do not use alcohol or drugs.
- Attend all required meetings and hearings.
- Do not leave the state or move to a new address without talking to your probation officer first.
- Complete all ordered counseling, treatment programs, and community service.
- Communicate with your probation officer if you are having trouble paying your treatment bills or fines.
- Understand and adhere to employment requirements.
Ultimately, you must make sure you understand and follow the terms of your probation agreement to avoid further penalties. If you have any questions about your conviction or probation, speak with one of our qualified Tempe criminal lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292, or use the confidential contact form on this page.
Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer on Types of Probation in Arizona
Not all Arizona probation is the same. In fact, the Arizona system really attempts to tailor probation agreements to the needs of each offender and the type of crime the guilty party has been convicted of. Each probation agreement will set out certain guidelines you must follow and activities you must complete in order to be successful, but probation supervision in Arizona can be broken down into 3 general categories:
- Intensive Probation. Generally reserved for serious offenses, repeat offenders, and probation violators, intensive probation means that you will be very strictly monitored during your probation period. You may be reporting to your probation officer several times each day, and you may also receive frequent, unannounced visits from your probation officer to check in on you. You must take intensive probation in Arizona seriously. Any violation of the terms is extremely likely to land you in prison.
- Supervised Probation. This is what most people think of when they think about probation, and it is probably the most common type. With supervised probation in Arizona, you will report to your probation officer on a set schedule as part of your probation agreement. You will also, of course, have to adhere to any other terms set forth in your probation agreement, which may include counseling, community service, fines, etc.
- Unsupervised Probation. In unsupervised visitation, you will not need to report to a probation officer; although, you will need to be sure you are sticking to the terms of your probation agreement in order to avoid penalties for a probation violation in Arizona.
If you have questions about probation, or if you need help after you have been arrested in Maricopa County, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our skilled Arizona criminal defense attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292. You may also find it extremely helpful to take a look at our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know. An experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights and help you build a strong case to reduce penalties or avoid conviction altogether.
How to Handle Confusing Friendships During an Arizona Divorce
We recently talked about how and why friendships can change when you announce that you are pursuing an Arizona divorce. Of the many things that change with divorce, changing relationships with friends or family can be some of the most surprising and painful to deal with during a time when you’re already learning to adapt to so much. So, what can you do to preserve friendships during your divorce in Scottsdale?
- Make the first move. Your friend may have trouble knowing how to bring the subject up after your Arizona divorce. Make the first move by being the first to talk about it openly.
- Keep in touch. You don’t have to go crazy with it, but sending a quick email or making a phone call can help keep your friendship alive through all the changes.
- Don’t place blame. When you’re talking about the divorce or your friendship, be careful not to place blame. Make sure that you communicate your feelings honestly, but try not to say anything in anger that you might regret later.
- Don’t force a friend to take sides. Many people may be friends with both you and your ex. Don’t pressure that person to take sides in the divorce.
If you need a hand with the legal aspects of divorce, give the friendly Scottsdale family law attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call today at 1-888-929-5292. If you’d like to learn more about who we are and what we do, request your free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Scottsdale Family Lawyers Explain Losing Friends in the Divorce
For many people, going through a divorce means dividing up friends and family, along with the property. It’s a shame that, during a time when so much is uncertain financially and emotionally, your support network of people can seem so slim and difficult to navigate. As Scottsdale family law attorneys, we’ve seen many of the people we work with face these kinds of changes, and we want you to know that it’s completely normal and part of the transition.
Why Do Friendships Change with an Arizona divorce?
There are many reasons you may see friends fade away or keep their distance during your divorce, including:
- Choosing sides. It’s an unfortunate truth, but many people feel like they have to choose sides during a divorce. Friends and family members often feel that they owe an allegiance to one spouse, either because they’ve known one spouse longer or have family ties. They don’t want to make one spouse angry by supporting the other.
- Not choosing sides. On the other hand, some people don’t want to have to choose sides, so they end up avoiding both you and your spouse entirely or shut you down when you open up about the divorce.
- Divorce is “contagious.” There is a prevalent superstition that divorce is “contagious” or that you can catch divorce like a cold. When your married friends hear you’re going through a divorce, they may keep their distance in order to protect their own relationships at home.
- Divorce is depressing. Let’s face it – divorce is usually depressing. Sadly, you may have friends who disappear because they don’t want to ruin a good mood or hear about anything sad.
- Fear of change. Communal friends can have a hard time when a couple they are close with splits up. They may feel awkward or not know how to act around you now that you are no longer part of the couple unit.
- Not getting involved. Ultimately, some people just don’t want to get involved, step on any toes, or deal with the potential drama – even if your divorce is fairly amicable.
Losing friends during your Scottsdale divorce can be very painful, but you learn a lot about the people around you. You can survive this part, and you will make new connections, reconnect with old friends, and see your existing friendships evolve over time as the dust starts to settle.
If you need a hand with your legal needs during a Scottsdale divorce, call one of our friendly and experienced Scottsdale family lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We look forward to answering your questions and learning more about your situation in a completely free legal consultation. If you have questions in the meantime, please request your free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
What Driving Behaviors Lead to a Tempe DUI Stop?
Have you ever been pulled over in a traffic stop and asked to perform sobriety tests even though you hadn’t had a drop to drink? Officers rely on a lot of subjective information to find drunk drivers, and one of the main things they watch for is driving behavior. Here are some examples of suspicious driving behavior that may indicate someone driving under the influence in Arizona:
- Weaving in and out of lanes
- Driving on the center line
- Driving well below the speed limit
- Hitting or nearly hitting another vehicle or object
- Drifting into the shoulder or median
- Following too closely
- Running red lights or stopping at green lights
In fact, just about any out-of-the-ordinary or erratic driving behavior could cause an officer to pull you over for a potential DUI.
If you need help after a Tempe DUI arrest, speak with one of our experienced Tempe DUI lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We can help you protect your rights and reduce your penalties after being arrested for drunk driving in Arizona. We also offer our helpful book, DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know, to Arizona residents. Request your free copy today!
Tempe DUI Lawyers Explain the Arizona DUI Stop
Have you ever been pulled over for a DUI in Arizona or asked to complete a field sobriety test when you were completely sober? As Tempe DUI lawyers, we do occasionally have people ask why they were pulled over or what they did to make an officer suspect they’d been drinking. Although being pulled over for potential drunk driving rarely results in more than just an inconvenience for a sober driver, there have been cases in history where a sober driver was mistakenly arrested for a DUI even though he or she had not had a drop to drink!
Part of the reason for this is that Arizona police officers must rely on some subjective factors when deciding if you’ve been drinking and driving. If you’ve ever been pulled over for potential drunk driving, whether you were drinking or not, the officer involved will try to evaluate your intoxication a few ways:
- Before an officer pulls you over, he or she will look for any erratic driving behavior that might indicate you are driving under the influence in Arizona, such as weaving in and out of the lane, speeding, running a red light, etc.
- Once you have been pulled over, or if you are at the scene of an accident, the officer will look for physical signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, the smell of alcohol, blood shot eyes, etc.
- While initially speaking with you, the officer will look for any lack of coordination or confusion while you search for your license and registration, or even as you get out of your vehicle.
- During field sobriety testing, the officer will continue to assess the physical signs of drunkenness with certain tests, such as walking a straight line.
- Finally, you may be asked to perform a blood test or breathalyzer test to attempt to gauge your blood alcohol level and be placed under arrest for DUI.
There are many factors that influence an officer’s decision to arrest you for DUI in Tempe or affect the results of field testing. If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Tempe, don’t wait to speak with one of our experienced Tempe criminal defense lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We look forward to meeting with you and discussing your specific DUI arrest, your rights, and your options. Also, don’t forget to request your free copy of our must-read book, DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Scottsdale Family Lawyer Explains Steps in Stepparent Adoption
Deciding to adopt a stepchild is a big step, and it can be very rewarding to you and your family. If you’d like to adopt your spouse’s child in Arizona, the good news is that it is usually a much more streamlined process than a non-relative adoption and can be a great deal easier.
To give you an idea of what an Arizona step-parent adoption entails, here are the basic steps:
- Contact a Scottsdale family law attorney. Although not every state actually requires you to hire a lawyer for a step-parent adoption, you will probably find it helpful to speak to a family law attorney who can tell you what is required and help you work out any complications.
- Obtain, complete, and submit all court-required forms. This can be the toughest part, as you will need to make sure you have everything organized and ready. You’ll need to provide a lot of information to the court, and you will need to be sure the other parent consents to the adoption or has otherwise had parental rights terminated. Your Scottsdale family law attorney can handle a great deal of this so that all loose ends are tied up, and everything is ready to go.
- Attend the hearing(s). Depending on your situation and the specifics of the adoption, you will probably have to at least attend the finalization hearing. If you are unsure what is required, or if you need to attend the adoption hearing(s) in your county, speak with your Arizona adoption attorney.
- Finalize the adoption and apply for a birth certificate. After the final hearing, the adoption is finalized, and you will receive a copy of the Order of Adoption. At that point, you can apply for a new birth certificate for the child, which will include the adoptive parent’s name. If the child will take your last name, the name change will also be reflected on the new birth certificate.
The Scottsdale adoption attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten would be happy to speak with you in a completely free consultation about adopting a stepchild. Just give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 or fill out the confidential contact form on this page. We’d also like to offer you a copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which you can request over the phone or through our website. We look forward to helping you add to your family.
What Counts as a Probation Violation in Phoenix?
While serving your probation period, you will be held to a certain set of rules and conditions set forth in your probation agreement. What counts as an Arizona probation violation is very dependent on the type of offense, the terms of your probation agreement(s), the type of violation, and your needs for treatment.
If you violated probation, you could end up serving time in jail, paying additional fines, or seeing a longer and more intensive probation agreement put into place. As Tempe criminal lawyers, we can tell you that it is likely any of the following could constitute a probation violation in Tempe, although it is far from an exhaustive list:
- Committing another crime
- Using illegal drugs
- Failing to appear for court hearings or meetings with the probation officer
- Leaving the state
- Not completing or attending ordered treatment programs
- Failing to pay required fines
Make sure you understand your Arizona probation agreement and what might count as a violation. If you have any questions about probation in Phoenix, speak with one of our experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyers today, or request your FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Tempe Criminal Lawyers Explain Arizona Probation Violations
In Arizona, the judge in your case might order probation for you instead of, or in addition to, jail time. Although you are not physically in jail during your probation period, it is important to remember that you are still being held under certain conditions until you are no longer required to be under supervision. While you are allowed some freedom compared to jail time, any violation of the court’s guidelines for your probation can result in very serious penalties and should be carefully avoided. Be sure you know what constitutes a probation violation in Arizona so you can avoid any further penalties.
What Counts as a Probation Violation in Arizona?
What counts as an Arizona probation violation depends on the type of offense and your individual probation contract. However, as Tempe criminal lawyers, we most often deal with probation violations such as:
- You committed another crime during your probation period.
- You used or possessed alcohol and/or illegal drugs while on probation.
- You did not report to your probation officer or the court when scheduled.
- You left the state without prior approval.
- You did not attend or complete any mandatory treatment programs.
- You did not pay your fines.
What Happens if I Violate Probation in Arizona?
What happens after an Arizona probation violation is very dependent on your situation. In some cases you may be given a second chance to stick the terms of your probation; in other cases, you may be required to immediately serve jail time.
Because so much depends on your individual circumstances, it is important that you get in touch with your Tempe criminal lawyer as soon as possible after a potential probation violation. A skilled probation violation lawyer may be able to help you get probation reinstated after a violation occurs in Arizona. An experienced Arizona attorney may also be able to help reduce the punishment that you receive for the violation. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292, and take a look at our helpful book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
What is the Home Inspection Like for Foster Care in Arizona?
In a recent article about foster care in Arizona, we talked about the strict requirements involved for a person to even become a foster parent. As Scottsdale family law attorneys, we get a lot of questions and concerns about foster parents after a child has been removed from the home in Arizona. We’d like to explain a little more about how a foster parent’s home is checked by the state to assure your child’s safety.
Arizona Foster Parent Home Inspection
The potential foster parent’s home will be physically inspected for basic safety:
- The home is clean and generally safe.
- There are smoke detectors in the bedrooms and an approved fire extinguisher available.
- Medications, toxic cleaning supplies, etc. are safely locked away and out of reach.
- The home has accessible exits.
- Food is stored properly and handled safely.
- Any bodies of water, including pools, are fenced off.
Arizona Foster Parent “Home Study”
In addition to the safety inspection, potential foster parents must go through a “home study” that will take a closer look at the suitability of the social environment and people in the home. This process usually means a series of personal interviews and inspections, and it generally takes about 3 months.
If your children were removed from the home in Arizona, speak with one of our skilled and compassionate Phoenix family law attorneys at 1-888-929-5292 today. In the meantime, take a few minutes to request a free copy of our helpful book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Why Do I Need a Phoenix Criminal Lawyer after a Probation Violation?
Probation violations in Arizona usually come with serious penalties. If you violated your probation agreement, even if you didn’t realize what you did was a violation, you may be facing jail time, additional fines, more community service hours, or a longer probation period.
Hiring an experienced Phoenix criminal attorney means that your rights are protected and you are armed with the legal knowledge you need to avoid or reduce these penalties. In many cases, your lawyer can help you explain to the court why you violated probation, which means you may be able to see your original probation agreement reinstated, or you may be able to avoid time in jail with a modification of your probation agreement.
Additionally, an experienced Phoenix criminal lawyer can help you prepare for the probation hearing, gather character references, communicate with the court and the probation officer, and make sure all the details are handled appropriately within required time limits to give you the best chance for the best outcome.
If you have violated probation in Maricopa County, let an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer help you protect your rights and your freedom. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to speak with someone who can help. Also, take a look at our must-read book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers on Probation Violation Penalties
If you have violated probation in Phoenix, even if you didn’t know what you did was a violation, you could be facing very some serious penalties. Many people forget that probation is not total freedom. What may not seem like a “big deal” at the time can end up creating big problems for you down the road. Keep in mind that probation is very much like a jail sentence served outside of jail, and you MUST follow the conditions of your probation agreement if you want to avoid further punishment.
What Are the Penalties for Violating Probation in Tempe?
Probation in Arizona tends to be tailored to each individual offender’s needs, so what happens after a probation violation is also usually dependent on your personal circumstances. Although Arizona probation is focused on keeping you from re-offending (especially in probation options such as the Drug Court Program), any violation of the terms of your probation are generally taken very seriously, even if the violation seems small to you. Although a probation officer may occasionally choose to give you a “second chance,” you shouldn’t count on it. It is likely that a probation violation in Arizona will get you:
- Immediate jail time
- Higher fines
- Longer probation period
- Additional community service hours
Additionally, if you are in a probation program that allows a felony to be reduced to a misdemeanor, any violation puts that option in jeopardy – meaning you could be stuck with a felony conviction on your record.
Who Can I Talk to after a Probation Violation?
A Tempe probation violation lawyer may be able to help you reduce the penalties after a probation violation in Arizona. Make sure your rights and your future are protected. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free legal consultation, and speak with a friendly and experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer. We also offer our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know, completely free to Arizona residents. Request your copy today and get informed.
Arizona Criminal Defense Attorneys Explain Shannon’s Law
Arizona’s “Shannon’s Law,” which pertains to the unlawful discharge of a firearm, was enacted in this state in 2000 after the tragic death of 14-year-old Shannon Smith, who was hit and instantly killed by a stray bullet in Phoenix. Prior to Shannon’s law, just firing a gun into the air in city limits was usually a misdemeanor charge. Since Shannon’s law, anyone who fires a gun in any municipality in Arizona could be charged with a very serious class-6 felony.
Is Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm Always a Felony in Arizona?
Although unlawful discharge of a firearm is a felony offense, it may not always mean a felony conviction. You may be able to strike a plea bargain and end up with a misdemeanor conviction; however, this is fairly rare. Because Shannon’s law was so widely publicized, most of these cases are prosecuted very aggressively –and often as a dangerous offense with mandatory sentencing guidelines. There are some exceptions to Shannon’s law, though, such as if you were using a gun on a supervised shooting range or in a designated hunting area.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Arrested for Firing a Gun in Phoenix?
If you have been arrested for unlawful discharge of a firearm in Phoenix, it is very important that you speak with an experienced and skilled Arizona criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The choices you make now and how your case is handled could mean a big difference in the penalties you suffer.
A felony conviction for a dangerous offense in Arizona can severely impact your life and your future options. If you have any questions about your rights or options, speak with one of our experienced Arizona criminal lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. If you’d like to learn more about who we are and how we can help, take a look at our free book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
What is Covered in an Arizona Divorce Settlement Agreement?
A divorce settlement in Arizona needs to fully address many concerns, and it can also give you the opportunity to decide what happens with smaller or more unusual concerns, as well. When you and your Arizona family law attorney are negotiating a divorce settlement agreement in Arizona, you will be working to come to an agreement on issues such as:
- Dividing property/assets
- Dividing debts
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Child custody
- Parenting time
- Figuring out retirement accounts
- Dividing college savings
- Health and life insurance
The settlement agreement can also include decisions on more complex issues, such as what happens with a family business after a divorce. If you have questions about divorce settlement agreements in Arizona, speak with one of our qualified and friendly Phoenix divorce lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We’d be happy to discuss your specific situation in a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation. If you’d like more information about who we are and what we do, we’d also be happy to send you a FREE copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Phoenix Divorce Lawyers Explain Settlement versus Litigation
Once you’ve decided on a divorce in Arizona, you may be surprised by how complicated divorce proceedings can be. As Phoenix divorce lawyers, we spend a lot of time with our clients explaining each step of the process and your options at each key point. One thing that often comes up is the difference between being able to negotiate a full divorce settlement and having to go to trial.
Divorce Litigation in Arizona
Based on what you’ve seen in television or read about, divorce litigation is what typically comes to mind when you think about divorce. You and your Phoenix family law attorney will prepare your case and go to trial to work out the issues you and your spouse do not agree on. The judge will listen to both parties and make a final decision in your Arizona divorce case.
Negotiating a Divorce Settlement in Arizona
Although going to trial may be what you first think about in relation to divorce, some couples are able to come to a full settlement without going to trial. You will need to come to an agreement on all aspects of your divorce for this to work, including division of property, your parenting plan, spousal support, and any other issues.
Of course, this works best in amicable or low-conflict divorces. And, sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you will just be unable to come to an agreement with your spouse on what should happen. Even if you plan to negotiate a full divorce settlement, you and your divorce attorney should plan and be prepared to go to trial in a worst-case scenario.
If you have questions about divorce or child support in Arizona, speak with one of our qualified and friendly Phoenix divorce lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We’d be happy to discuss your specific situation in a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation. If you’d like more information about who we are and what we do, we’d also be happy to send you a FREE copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Scottsdale Custody Lawyer Explains Child Neglect in Arizona
It’s unfortunate that there’s a need for it, but there’s a lot of information out there about child abuse in Arizona. Most of us have a pretty good idea of what child abuse is and the signs to look for in children. What we don’t hear about as often is child neglect, so we find that many people are confused about what neglect is and how to recognize it. As Scottsdale family law attorneys, we get many questions about whether or not the other parent’s actions constitute neglect, and we’d like to try to clarify a little bit.
What is Child Neglect in Arizona?
Child neglect in Arizona can be defined as a lack of supervision, medical care, nutrition, shelter, or clothes that poses harm to a child. However, as Scottsdale family law attorneys, we’ve seen more than a few heated divorce and child custody cases where this definition leaves a lot of gray area. For example, could you lose custody for child neglect if you leave a child at home while you’re at work? Would it be considered neglect if you haven’t done the dishes this week and had fast food for dinner?
If you’re in a similar situation, and the other parent is trying to modify custody or visitation orders due to neglect on these kinds of grounds, you can relax a little. For the most part, the courts know that life gets hectic and sometimes a few things don’t get done. Even though the accusations are hurtful and it’s scary to go into court, it’s usually only when those sorts of issues really pose a risk of harm to the child’s physical health or emotional wellbeing that custody will be affected. Dishes didn’t get done last night? Probably not an issue. Child is showing signs of malnutrition? Definitely an issue. Any request to change custody due to neglect will be very carefully examined by the courts and Child Protective Services (CPS) to make sure that it is in the child’s best interests, and that the child is safe.
Despite that reassurance, any Arizona child custody modification involving neglect is serious and can become very complicated and very emotional. If you need answers and direction, speak with one of our compassionate and skilled Scottsdale child custody lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We also recommend you take a look at our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
What Can I Expect from the Arizona Drug Court Program?
If you’ve been convicted of a drug offense in Tempe, then the Arizona Drug Court Program can be a good option for you during probation if you qualify. The program was created to help drug offenders stay clean, and that means addressing education, treatment, and support needs surrounding the complex issue of addiction. The program in Arizona is based on the 10 key components developed by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, which includes both administrative strategies for the program itself and strategies that directly affect the participant, such as:
- Integrating drug and/or alcohol treatment programs
- Promoting safety while protecting your rights in a non-adversarial environment
- Early identification and placement of drug offenders who qualify
- Access to treatment and rehabilitation resources
- Drug and alcohol testing to promote a drug-free lifestyle
- Ongoing interaction between you and the courts
- Evaluation monitors your progress and the effectiveness of your contract
If you have been convicted of a drug offense in Arizona and have questions about the Maricopa County Drug Court Program, then it would be a good idea to talk with a qualified Tempe criminal lawyer about your specific situation and how to proceed. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 for a FREE legal consultation, and take a moment to request our FREE book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Tempe Criminal Lawyers Explain Maricopa County Drug Court Program
If you’ve been sentenced for a drug offense in Tempe, you may have the option to complete an Arizona Drug Court Program. The Drug Court Program is a probation program offered to some drug offenders, and it focuses on education, treatment, and keeping you drug-free. You will work with your Arizona criminal defense attorney, treatment counselor, the judge, and others to develop a behavior contract and stick to it. Generally, you will be issued a new contract with each court hearing during the period, and you will need to complete each contract successfully. The program could be a good option for you after an Arizona drug offense, and you should speak with your Tempe criminal lawyer if you have questions about your specific situation.
What Are the Benefits of the Maricopa County Drug Court Program?
Beyond the education, support, and treatment you receive, there are several other benefits to the program, including:
- Saving money. As a drug offender in Arizona, you are required to pay for any mandatory treatment programs ordered by the court. With the Drug Court Program, the court will waive your fines and will pay for your urine drug testing.
- Shorter probation period. If you successfully stick to your behavior contract and complete the Drug Court Program, then you could see a reduction in your probation period.
- Felony to misdemeanor offense. If you successfully complete all contracts in the Drug Court Program, there is a chance that your felony drug conviction could be reduced to a misdemeanor. This means that you will no longer have to worry about the impact that felony conviction could have on your future opportunities.
Who Qualifies for the Adult Probation Drug Court Program?
Generally, you can qualify for the Drug Court Program if:
- You were found guilty of use or possession, and no other charges were involved.
- You do not have a history of violent offenses or behavior.
- You are not on methadone treatment.
- You did not use a “dangerous weapon.”
- You do not have more than one felony on your record.
If you have been convicted of a drug offense in Arizona and have questions about the Maricopa County Drug Court Program, then it would be a good idea to talk with a qualified Tempe criminal lawyer about your specific situation and how to proceed. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 for a FREE legal consultation, and take a moment to request our FREE book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Which Tempe DUI Offenses Come with Mandatory Jail Time?
If you are convicted of a DUI in Arizona, our mandatory sentencing laws mean that you will serve jail time – even if this is the first time you have been charged with drunk driving. Judges are not given the leeway to change these minimum sentences, and the penalties only get stiffer, depending on your blood alcohol content (BAC) and previous convictions. Take a look at the following:
- BAC Below .15: Minimum of 24 hours in jail
- BAC Between .15 and .20: Minimum of 30 days in jail
- BAC Above .20: Minimum of 45 days in jail
- BAC Less than .15: Minimum of 30 days in jail
- BAC Between.15 and .20: 120 days in jail
- BAC Over .20: 180 days in jail
As Tempe DUI lawyers, we can help you figure out the best plan of action after you have been pulled over for drunk driving in Maricopa County. Whether you are an Arizona resident or from out of state, a skilled Arizona criminal defense lawyer can explain your rights and options and fight to get you the best possible outcome. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation, and also request a FREE copy of our book, DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Tempe DUI Lawyer Explains Out-of-State DUIs in Arizona
If you have been pulled over for a DUI in Tempe as an Arizona driver, you could be facing some serious penalties, including mandatory treatment classes, an ignition interlock device, and stiff mandatory sentencing laws. There is no doubt that Arizona’s DUI laws are some of the harshest in the nation, but what happens when you’re from outside the state of Arizona?
Although Arizona DUIs come with stiff criminal penalties, the Department of Motor Vehicle’s punishments are comparatively light. However, when you are from out of state, you not only face Arizona’s penalties, but also the penalties from your home state’s DMV. Since Arizona notifies your home state of your DUI conviction, you will potentially face penalties from an Arizona court, the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles, AND your own state’s DMV.
DUI enforcement is also much stronger in Arizona than it usually is in other states. Many visitors may be unaware of the zeal with which DUI arrests are pursued, especially near the ASU campus and other busy hubs. As a consequence, we see many of non-Arizonans convicted of drunk driving in Tempe.
Because Arizona has mandatory sentencing laws for DUIs, someone visiting from a different state faces some unique challenges. Even a first-time offender could face anywhere from 1 to 45 days in jail depending on the blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. Although local residents are usually able to keep their jobs through work release, an out-of-state visitor convicted of a DUI in Tempe will need to jump through some complex hoops in order to serve the mandatory time. A Tempe DUI lawyer can help you navigate these complexities and may even be able to help you avoid conviction altogether.
If you have been pulled over for an out-of-state DUI in Tempe, a skilled Tempe DUI lawyer can help. Take a look at our FREE book, DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know, and give us a call at 1-888-929-5292 to meet with us in a completely free legal consultation to talk about your rights and options. The Tempe criminal defense lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten look forward to speaking with you.
Why pro bono….
Why Pro Bono?
By: Daniel Riley, Esq.
October 23-29 is National Pro Bono Week, and the Bar Association has asked attorneys to share their pro bono experiences. Rather than donate yet another “war story,” I’ve decided to explain why I do pro bono work. I donate legal services, because I know what it’s like to not have a voice.
At age six, I was held back at Berthoud Elementary School, because my teacher thought I was illiterate. To be fair to her, it was a reasonable assumption. Every day, she would arrange the class in an arc and hand a book to the student at one end. Slowly, the book would pass from student to student, as each took a turn reading aloud. As the book moved closer toward me, my anxiety would reach a crescendo. When it was finally passed to my shaking hands, I would stare at the page without uttering a word and refuse to meet my teacher’s stare.
In reality, I had no trouble reading. Books were strewn around every corner of my room at home on account of my librarian grandmother. Almost all my free time was spent at an abandoned grain mill across town, reading books in silence. Hidden behind tall grass in the overgrown lot surrounding the old grain mill, I would read for hours. I loved books. My favorite was a series by Eleanor Cameron, about two boys who built a spaceship and left Earth to rescue a far off planet.
The reason I couldn’t read aloud in class was that I was too ashamed of my own voice. What my teacher didn’t know was that I was a severe stutterer. When I was told I would have to repeat first grade, I resolved to make an effort to speak in class. Yet, no matter how often I raised my hand, I was rarely – if ever – called on. Few of my teachers bothered to hide their exasperation with this boy who croaked out shaky consonants, oozed vowels laboriously, and constructed long convoluted sentences just to avoid pronouncing a particular word. Eventually, I found that there were only two activities I could do without stuttering: I could sing, and I could speak to animals. Unfortunately, neither helped me much in school.
By the third grade, I had given up on the notion that I would ever speak normally, and I began to look with increasing envy at my classmates, who made the everyday task of communicating seem so easy. Without the ability to speak fluidly, I couldn’t join in conversations. As Colin Firth said in his role as the stammering Prince Albert in The King’s Speech, timing was not my strong suit. I could think of a witty remark, but I couldn’t say it.”
At age ten, I began attending Helen Baller Elementary, in Camas, Washington. The second week of class, an adult walked into my teacher’s room and handed her a note. My teacher motioned for me, and when I approached, she said, “This nice lady is going to take you to the office.” My mind raced, as I thought of what I could have done to merit a trip to the office. Betraying nothing, the lady with the note led me silently. My heart sank as we approached the principal’s office, but then we past it and walked further down the hallway, to a door I’d never seen before. A tall woman was seated inside. As I entered, she stood and reached out to shake my hand, saying, “I’m Miss Elizabeth, and I’m a speech therapist.”
The first thing Miss Elizabeth asked me to do was recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I stammered, “I P-p-p…” Anxiety and embarrassment flooded my brain. I expected her to tell me to “Just spit it out” any second, but instead, she politely smiled and asked me to take a deep breath and just take one word at a time. I took a breath. “I.” Another breath. “P-pledge.” The anxiety evaporated, replaced with a cautious optimism. “I can do this?” I thought to myself.
I had no idea what a speech therapist was, until I started seeing Miss Elizabeth every day. After the first year, I’d built enough confidence to do something that had been unimaginable to me before speech therapy: I tried out for the school play. Not only did I get a part – I was the narrator! I had more lines than anyone else. The night before the play, I didn’t sleep at all. I was terrified that I would get on stage and stutter through my lines. My dad could sense that I was nervous, and he got his best tie from his closet and helped me put it on. Of course, it was too big, and the skinny end hung down below my waist. My dad fetched a pair of scissors and cut off the end. “It’s yours now,” he told me. “You’re going to do great.” It turns out, he was right. That night, for the first time in my life, I stood in front of a group of people, and I spoke.
Every stutterer wishes for one thing: A voice. I spent the first ten years of my life without one. Every time I made a wish for a voice of my own, I promised that I would use it to give a voice to others. Pro bono work allows me to fulfill that promise. Pro bono is a truncation of the Latin phrase, pro bono publico, or “for the public good.” Pro bono clients cannot afford an attorney. They are often the most disadvantaged members of our society. Their voices have been silenced in some way – perhaps by an abuser, the loss of a job, or some other twist of fate. When attorneys agree to represent clients pro bono, they provide a voice to the voiceless, and that is truly the highest good that can be done for one’s community.
To this day, I occasionally go through bouts of disfluency. And no matter how many years pass, I think I will always feel that familiar moment of panic every time I’m in court, walking up to the podium. But I continue, because of that promise I repeated every night for the first years of my life. Miss Elizabeth gave me my voice, and as long as I am able, I will use it to give a voice to others.
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How Does a Tempe Domestic Violence Charge Get So Complicated?
As Phoenix criminal defense attorneys, it’s a question we often hear: “how did this get so complicated?!” Most domestic violence accusations come with complex emotional, legal, and practical concerns. For those who have been arrested for domestic assault or domestic violence, the legal situation can become even more serious than a non-domestic violence offense and comes with harsh punishments:
- The police can arrest you for domestic violence, even if they did not see the alleged crime in action.
- If a weapon was present, you could face more serious felony charges.
- You could be looking at supervised probation or jail time, and you will need to pay for and complete a treatment program.
- If you’ve been convicted of domestic violence in the past, your punishment for any future offenses could increase exponentially.
- If the victim was pregnant, your sentence could be increased.
- You may be ordered to stay away from the victim, your children, or your shared home.
Do you see now how quickly these kinds of cases can get out of hand? If you have been arrested for domestic violence in Arizona, contact one of our experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We look forward to answering your questions and addressing your concerns. If you’d like to learn more about your rights and how we can help, request your free copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Why Do I Need a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer for Domestic Violence?
If you have been arrested for domestic violence or domestic assault in Tempe, there’s a good chance that the situation is complicated and emotional. Dealing with accusations from family members can be very difficult, and your legal situation could become very serious. Although you may be tempted to handle these kinds of issues “within the family,” an experienced Tempe criminal lawyer can help you navigate complications and protect your rights.
Here are a few reasons you might want to give us a call after a domestic violence arrest in Tempe:
- You may be forbidden to contact the victim at all or return to your home.
- Your relationship with other family members can suffer, and your child custody rights may be at risk.
- Domestic violence cases tend to be prosecuted much more aggressively than other cases, come with harsh punishments, and any future offenses could be punished much more harshly.
- An Arizona domestic violence charge could mean a felony conviction that you will need to report on all of your future employment applications.
If you have been arrested in Tempe for domestic violence, speak with a skilled Tempe criminal lawyer who can protect your rights, provide sound legal counsel, and treat you with respect and care. Give us a call at 1-888-929-5292 today to schedule a completely free legal consultation to address your questions and concerns.
If you’d like to learn more about the Phoenix criminal defense attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten and how we can help, request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer on Relationships and Domestic Violence
Arizona domestic violence laws cover a wide range of familial relationships. It comes as a surprise to many people, but domestic violence laws cover more than just husband and wives. If you were arrested in Tempe and a family member was involved, even if no one was injured or threatened, you may be surprised to see that you were charged with domestic violence.
Phoenix domestic violence laws cover both legal and “blood” relationships, including:
- Someone you are married to or were previously married to
- Someone who you are living with or have previously lived with
- Anyone you have had a child with
- Anyone you are expecting a child with
- Any parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, step-parent, step-grandparent, step-child, step-grandchild, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law
- Any child who is living with you or has lived with you
- Any child who is related by blood to someone some you lived with or were married to
- Anyone with whom you are in a romantic/sexual relationship
It is important to note that if a romantic relationship is in question, the court will attempt to decide where it falls. The court will take a close look at the type of relationship you had with the person, the length of that relationship, the frequency of contact the two of you shared, and how long ago you broke up.
A domestic violence conviction carries a serious stigma and could negatively affect your life and your future. If you have been arrested in Tempe for domestic violence, it is crucial that you speak with a skilled Tempe criminal lawyer who can protect your rights, provide sound legal counsel, and treat you with respect and care. Give us a call at 1-888-929-5292 today to schedule a completely free legal consultation to address your questions and concerns.
If you’d like to learn more about the Phoenix criminal defense attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten and how we can help, request a FREE copy of our must-read book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Tempe Criminal Lawyers Explain Arizona Domestic Violence
Although domestic violence cases are more and more common in Arizona, these cases are rarely easy. Accusations of domestic violence could have serious legal consequences, even if it was a misunderstanding or police did not witness you committing the crime. There could be serious emotional repercussions, too, as it could affect your relationship with family members and your child custody rights.
What is Domestic Violence in Arizona?
In Phoenix, the term “domestic violence” refers to certain crimes against family members, such as:
- Criminal Damage
- Disorderly Conduct
These laws cover just about any kind of familial relationship, including both legal ties and blood ties.
Why Was I Arrested for Domestic Violence in Phoenix?
Police who respond to a domestic violence call are required to make some fast judgment calls when they arrive. Arizona law allows you to be arrested without a warrant for domestic violence, and the officer does not even have to see the alleged crime happen. As long as an officer feels he or she has probable cause to believe you committed the act, he or she can take you in.
What Can I Do if I’ve Been Arrested for Domestic Violence in Phoenix?
If you are arrested for Phoenix domestic violence, it’s important that you act quickly and learn about your rights. Domestic violence has the potential to turn into a serious felony charge, especially if any weapons were present, and you will need experienced help.
A domestic violence conviction carries a serious stigma and could negatively affect your life and your future. If you have been arrested in Tempe for domestic violence, it is crucial that you speak with a skilled Tempe criminal lawyer who can protect your rights, provide sound legal counsel, and treat you with respect and care. Give us a call at 1-888-929-5292 today to schedule a completely free legal consultation to address your questions and concerns.
If you’d like to learn more about the Phoenix criminal defense attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten and how we can help, request a FREE copy of our must-read book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Scottsdale Child Custody Lawyer on the Role of Grandparents
It’s not often addressed, but grandparents can suffer after a Scottsdale divorce. Depending on your relationship with the parents, you may be unable to see your grandchildren as often as you like… or at all. If the custodial parent moves away after the divorce, it can be heartbreaking for Grandma and Grandpa, and we know you worry about maintaining a loving relationship with the kids.
Here are a few tips for grandparents to help their grandchildren transition through divorce in Arizona:
- If the kids want to talk, listen. Although you shouldn’t pry too hard into a child’s feelings about the divorce, they will often open up on their own. Many children find it’s easier to talk to a grandparent because they don’t have to “take sides.” Listen carefully, and offer love, positivity, and assurance.
- Make your house a “safe place.” In the turmoil accompanying a divorce, many children are constantly bombarded with stress, anxiety, and the tension between Mom and Dad. Make your house a neutral escape from that stress by focusing on quality time with your grandchildren and not on the divorce.
- Stay neutral. Most children feel distress when their parents fight, and they may have trouble navigating their feelings or feel pressured to take sides. Don’t speak negatively about either parent while the kids are listening, even if you are not speaking directly to the children. Little ears pick up EVERYTHING, and it makes a big difference in how they handle the divorce process.
- Bring concerns to the parents, but be careful. If a child tells you something that concerns you or is showing strange behaviors, let the parents know, but be attentive to how you bring it up. If there has been a lot of conflict in the divorce, it’s likely your concerns could stir up a lot of angry emotions. Be sure you talk about it when the child is elsewhere, and be careful not to make the child feel as though they are “in trouble” for talking about it with you.
Ultimately, the best way to help your grandchildren deal with the divorce is to keep providing the same love, care, and attention you always have. If you need help obtaining grandparent visitation rights after a divorce in Arizona, contact a friendly and experienced Scottsdale child custody lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free, no-pressure meeting to learn about your rights. If you’d like more information about who we are and what we do, request your free copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
The Controversy Surrounding Arizona No-Fault Divorce
Although most US states have enacted no-fault divorce laws at this point in time, there are many people out there who disagree with the idea and believe that no-fault laws are actually harmful. It’s not an easy issue, and both sides have made compelling arguments for and against Arizona no-fault divorce.
The Argument against Arizona No-Fault Divorce
Many people who are against no-fault divorce believe that the law makes it too easy to get divorced and devalues the promises inherent in marriage vows. It does not give the other spouse a choice – or a chance to save the marriage – but that person may still be left with a much lower standard of living, even though he or she did nothing wrong.
The Argument for Arizona No-Fault Divorce
For those who support no-fault laws, there is a belief that these laws reduce the strain on Arizona family courts and shorten the divorce process, which reduces the emotional toll on both children and parents. No-fault laws also make it easier for people to leave abusive marriages, and supporters point out that financial decisions are made based on need and ability rather than fault.
No matter how the laws stand, the Scottsdale divorce attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten will always work hard to provide skilled legal assistance to our clients. Contact a friendly and knowledgeable Scottsdale divorce attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-obligation meeting to discuss your situation.
Phoenix Family Law Attorney Explains Changing Child Custody
Your life has changed since the time of your Scottsdale divorce, and your custody orders are no longer appropriate for where you are. Whether you, as parents, request the change or your now-teenaged child wants to live with the other parent, sometimes you need to reexamine and change custody orders in Arizona.
When Can I Change Custody Orders in Arizona?
In cases of abuse, neglect, or imminent danger, you can file for emergency orders to modify custody at any time. However, if you want to modify custody orders due to a situational change, then you generally must wait at least one year before filing for the modification. In some cases, the court may also require you to go through counseling or mediation before you can change your child custody orders.
How Do I Change My Arizona Custody Agreement?
If you want to modify a custody order, you will need to file with the court and provide proof that the change in custody is in the child’s best interests and that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. If both parents agree and the change seems to be in the child’s best interests, this usually goes smoothly. If the other parent opposes the change, or if the reasons for the custody change are flimsy, then the process could be much more complicated. The judge will carefully consider a lot of factors when deciding the “best interests” of the child in the case, including:
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The wishes of each parent
- The child’s wishes
- If the change will have a negative impact on the child’s life, whether at home, at school, or socially
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- The mental and physical health of the child
Keep in mind that the court is strict if it is felt that you are using the modification request to harass the other parent or if you have coerced the child into requesting the change.
If you’d like to modify child custody orders in Phoenix, contact one of our friendly and experienced Phoenix family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292. We’d be happy to answer your questions and address your concerns in a completely free consultation. We’d also like you to have a free copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer Explains Arizona No-Fault Divorce
In order to get a divorce in Scottsdale, it used to be that you had to prove a spouse did something wrong, such as adultery or domestic abuse, to cause the end of the marriage. You had to have grounds for the divorce, in other words. In fact, it used to be that way almost everywhere in the nation. Although the nation’s first no-fault divorce laws were passed in 1953, it was really only in 1970 that the US saw no-fault divorce laws start to take hold. Now, almost every state has enacted no-fault laws regarding divorce.
No-Fault Not for Everyone
The change in Arizona divorce law didn’t sit well with everyone, and many people have pointed to no-fault laws, which made it easier for couples to get divorced, as the cause for the increase in divorce rates. However, no-fault divorce laws did prove helpful in some cases; many survivors of domestic abuse found it easier to remove themselves from abusive marriages through a no-fault divorce.
Does No-Fault Divorce Really Mean No Fault?
The name itself can be somewhat misleading, and Scottsdale divorce attorneys answer a lot of questions about what “no fault” really means. An Arizona no-fault divorce does not necessarily mean that your spouse did nothing wrong, it simply means that the actual cause of the divorce is irrelevant to the court. Essentially, instead of needing to prove to the court that your spouse cheated or otherwise behaved badly, you can claim “irreconcilable differences” in the marriage. You can pursue a no-fault divorce in Scottsdale, even if you believe that your spouse’s wrongdoing was to blame for wrecking your marriage.
The term “no fault” can also be misleading when it comes to other issues in the divorce proceedings. If your spouse was physically or emotionally abusive, abused drugs or alcohol, or mismanaged your finances, that behavior may still be taken into account when deciding custody or the division of property-even though that behavior is not “officially” listed as the cause of your Scottsdale divorce.
The First Step
If you have any questions about Arizona no-fault divorce, or if you are considering getting divorced in Maricopa County, contact a friendly and experienced Scottsdale divorce lawyer with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292. When you call, we’ll set you up with a completely free, no-pressure consultation to talk about your specific circumstances and how we can help. If you’re interested, we can also send you a completely free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Tempe Criminal Lawyers Provide Examples of Police Entrapment
As Tempe criminal lawyers, we believe the best way to understand police entrapment in Arizona is to look at a few examples. Although the line between entrapment and actual guilt can be very thin, seeing examples can help you better understand your real-life situation and rights.
Examples of potential police entrapment include:
- While you are waiting for your designated driver after a night out drinking, he gets into a fight. When police get involved, they order you to get into your vehicle and leave the scene. They then arrest you for a Tempe DUI.
- An undercover officer knows you used to use drugs, and she asks you to obtain methamphetamine for her. You refuse, but she continues to pressure you to do so. When you finally break down and find meth for her, you’re arrested for a drug offense.
- Undercover police agents offer to sell you underage pornography. Although you decline, they continue to send you offers and use different tactics to get you to buy. You eventually give in, and they arrest you for child pornography.
In each of these cases, your specific circumstances will figure highly in how possible it will be to prove entrapment. For example, if you feel you were pressured into selling drugs, it would be important to show that no drugs were found in your home, and you have attended rehab in the past. Entrapment defenses can be extremely subjective, and it’s crucial to have a skilled Tempe criminal lawyer on your side to protect your rights. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation and request your FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Tempe Criminal Lawyers Talk About Arizona Police Entrapment
As Tempe criminal lawyers, we deal with issues of police entrapment most often when it comes to drug offenses, sex crimes, and DUIs in Tempe. Depending on your circumstances, an entrapment defense may be appropriate; however, many people are either unaware of the laws governing entrapment or misunderstand them.
What is Police Entrapment in Arizona?
When an officer causes you to commit a crime that you would not otherwise have committed, it is called entrapment. Entrapment may be a fairly simple idea, but it can be very difficult to prove. For an entrapment defense in Tempe, the Arizona Revised Statutes specifically state that it is up to the defense to prove that:
- The idea of committing the offense started with law enforcement officers or their agents rather than with the person.
- The law enforcement officers or their agents urged and induced the person to commit the offense.
- The person was not predisposed to commit the type of offense charged before the law enforcement officers or their agents urged and induced the person to commit the offense.
Is It Entrapment Anytime an Officer Initiates a Crime?
This is where most of the misunderstanding and confusion about entrapment starts. A police officer can initiate the crime while on duty, and it might not be considered entrapment. For example, if an undercover officer approaches a suspected drug dealer, asks to buy marijuana, and the dealer provides it, that is probably not entrapment. If an officer repeatedly harasses a person to find drugs, and that person eventually relents, then it could be considered entrapment. The most important thing to understand about police entrapment is that you must prove you were not predisposed to commit the crime.
How Can I Prove Entrapment?
If you believe police pressured you into committing a crime, we strongly recommend you speak with an experienced Tempe criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your rights. Proving entrapment can be very tricky, especially if you already have past offenses on your record. It can also be very difficult to locate witnesses who can prove an officer was pressing you to commit the crime. Additionally, many people believe that police officers are likely to protect each other in these cases, meaning it is highly unlikely that any officers will admit to entrapment or call a fellow officer out for it.
If you believe you were pressured into committing a crime by a police officer, contact a skilled Tempe criminal lawyer with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation. In the meantime, check out a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Changing Parenting Time in Arizona to Supervised Visitation
The courts don’t like to change visitation orders in Arizona once they are in place. There is a belief that modifying parenting time is very stressful for everyone involved, especially the children, and that it creates more conflict than is necessary. However, there are some cases in which visitation is harmful to your children, and you will need to request supervised visitation to protect their well-being. These types of situations would include:
- Substance abuse. You may request supervised visitation if you have reason to believe the non-custodial parent is abusing drugs during parenting time. Alcoholism would also fall into this category.
- Abuse. Whether physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, this is a very serious situation. You should first call the police or Child Protective Services, and then consult with a Phoenix child custody lawyer. The courts take false allegations very seriously, as well, so make sure you have as much proof as possible.
- Endangerment. If the non-custodial parent is putting the kids in dangerous situations in which they could come to harm, you may have reason to request supervised visitation with that parent.
If you have questions about Phoenix supervised visitation or changing visitation in Arizona, contact an experienced Phoenix child custody attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free, no-pressure consultation. We are Phoenix family law attorneys who can help handle any legal concerns regarding child custody and divorce. If you’d like more information about how we can help, request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Tempe Criminal Lawyer Explains Arizona Exculpatory Evidence
During the Arizona discovery procedure for your Tempe criminal defense case, some of the information that the prosecution shares may be considered “exculpatory evidence.” Exculpatory evidence is evidence that is actually in your favor as a defendant or may prove your innocence. This information may be disclosed automatically by the prosecution, or your Tempe criminal lawyer may need to file a motion to obtain the information.
In general, any information, including police reports, witness statements, or crime scene evidence, that may cast doubt that you are guilty is considered exculpatory evidence. If the prosecution does not provide you with this information, it is possible that your conviction could eventually be overturned.
How Will My Phoenix Criminal Lawyer Obtain Exculpatory Evidence?
When you hire a Tempe criminal defense lawyer, he or she will attempt to find any exculpatory evidence through any avenues available. This will generally include formally requesting this information from the outset, interviewing any witnesses in your case, speaking with law enforcement, and speaking with other attorneys.
If you have been arrested for a crime in Tempe, don’t wait to contact an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer with Curry, Pearson & Wooten at 1-888-929-5292 today. We offer a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation, during which you can get to know us and find out more about your rights. For additional information about who we are and what we do, request your FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Child Custody Lawyer Talks about Abuse During Visitation
Unfortunately, as Phoenix divorce attorneys, we sometimes have to see the worst of people, and that is never truer than when we deal with cases of abuse. Many times, the abuse is the reason the marriage ended, but sometimes the abuse does not become obvious until after the divorce or during parenting time. If you suspect your ex is abusing your kids, someone connected to your ex is abusing your kids, or your kids are otherwise in danger, it can be hard to know what to do.
We know that keeping your kids safe is your number-one priority, so here are the steps to follow if you suspect abuse is happening during visitation:
- Call the police or Child Protective Services. Don’t wait. If you believe your children are in danger, you need to call authorities who are trained to handle these situations and protect your children.
- Call a Scottsdale Child Custody Lawyer. Arizona courts are very hesitant to change parenting time after it has been decided and take false allegations of abuse very seriously. You will need to have proof of the abuse or that supervised visitation is otherwise necessary. A Scottsdale family law attorney can explain if you even have a case, help you get everything in order, and handle your legal concerns with skill.
- Get “Emergency Orders.” You can file for temporary orders to change parenting time in Arizona, which are otherwise known as “emergency orders.” This will help to keep your kids safe from the abuser until you are able to come up with a long-term order for changing visitation.
- File to Modify Parenting Time. While the “emergency orders” are in effect, you’ll need to work on permanently changing visitation orders. Your attorney can help explain more about this process and what you will need to have prepared.
If you have questions about Phoenix supervised visitation or child custody, contact an experienced Phoenix child custody attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free, no-pressure consultation. We are Phoenix family law attorneys who can help explain the visitation process and fight for your child custody rights. If you’d like more information about how we can help, request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Tempe Criminal Lawyers on Arizona Discovery Procedure
The Arizona discovery procedure in your criminal case may seem as though it takes a long time, but it’s a very important aspect of building your case. “Discovery,” in this context, is the procedure by which you, your Phoenix criminal defense lawyer, the prosecuting attorney, and the judge share information. Not all information is necessarily disclosed to all parties, but the discovery procedure means that certain information must be shared or must be provided if requested.
What Information is Shared during the Arizona Discovery Procedure?
In Arizona, discovery procedure reform in 2003 means that the prosecution must disclose police reports and the names of any experts they plan to use at the time of arraignment. Additionally, they may need to automatically disclose other information, such as witness statements, felony history of witnesses, and other pertinent information. For information that is not automatically “discovered,” Arizona law often allows the defense to request it be disclosed.
Why Is Information Shared During Discovery in an Arizona Criminal Defense Case?
The Arizona discovery procedure helps protect your rights and lets you and your Tempe criminal lawyer better prepare for your trial. Essentially, the discovery procedure means you aren’t likely to be taken by surprise with information that the prosecution plans to use against you. It also helps you and your attorney when considering a potential plea agreement. In some cases, the information provided by the prosecution can actually help your case!
If you have been arrested for a crime in Tempe, don’t wait to contact an experienced Tempe criminal defense lawyer with Curry, Pearson & Wooten at 1-888-929-5292 today. We offer a completely-free, no-obligation legal consultation, during which you can get to know us and find out more about your rights. For additional information about who we are and what we do, request your FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Arizona Legal Separation and Covenant Marriage
Although the emphasis in Arizona covenant marriage is more on avoiding divorce, choosing a covenant marriage also means that there are only very limited reasons you can seek legal separation in Scottsdale. Although these reasons are very similar to those allowed for divorce in a covenant marriage, here are the specific circumstances for legal separation:
- Your spouse has “cheated” on you.
- Your spouse has physically, sexually, or emotionally abused you or another relative in the home, or he or she has committed domestic violence.
- You have both been living separately for 2 continuous years, without reconciliation.
- Your spouse has been sentenced to life in prison or has received the death sentence.
- Your spouse abandoned the marriage and has been gone for a year or more.
- Your spouse has abused alcohol or drugs regularly.
Arizona laws are very specific when it comes to covenant marriage, and it’s important to clearly understand your legal options. If you have questions about covenant marriage or divorce in Scottsdale, contact a friendly and skilled Scottsdale divorce attorney today at 1-888-929-5292. You may also want to request a copy of our helpful FREE book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Getting Divorced in Scottsdale: Practical Considerations
In all of the confusion, emotion, and concern surrounding your decision to pursue a Phoenix divorce, you may not yet have given a thought to what your life will really be like post-divorce. Let one of our friendly Phoenix divorce attorneys handle the legal proceedings while you consider taking a few practical steps to protect your financial future:
- Will you need to go back to work or change jobs? Start thinking about what your needs will be, and update your resume now, even if you don’t submit it right away.
- Are you due for your annual physical? It might be a good idea to see your family doctor and dentist while you are still covered by your spouse’s health insurance plan.
- Is your car in good shape? Having reliable transportation is important, especially if you will be commuting to work or transporting the kids to school and activities. Take a few minutes to take stock of your ride now.
- Do you have any joint accounts? Set up an individual account and freeze any joint credit card accounts you share with your spouse. If you use direct deposit for your paycheck, be sure it is no longer being applied to a joint account.
If you have any questions or concerns about your Scottsdale divorce, contact one of our friendly Scottsdale family law attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292. Also, take a look at our FREE book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
What Makes Arizona Covenant Marriage Different?
In Arizona, couples who are getting married have the option to enter into what’s called a “covenant marriage.” Entering into a covenant marriage means that you will be unable to pursue a divorce or legal separation at a later date except in very specific and limited circumstances. In addition to meeting those requirements, a covenant marriage also means that the other spouse must agree to the divorce or separation.
How Do I Enter a Covenant Marriage?
The covenant marriage process is the same as for any other Arizona marriage, but it comes with a few extra steps. Couples who want to enter a covenant marriage in Arizona must attend premarital counseling and also sign an additional declaration of intent when applying for the marriage license.
For couples who are already married, it is possible to convert the existing marriage to a covenant marriage. You can simply sign a similar declaration, provide information about your marriage ceremony, and pay a small fee.
What Are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in a Covenant Marriage?
Outside of both spouses agreeing to the divorce, there are only very limited reasons that a divorce or legal separation can be granted in an Arizona covenant marriage, including:
- Abandonment, usually requiring an absence of 1 year or more
- Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse/Domestic violence
- Substance abuse that takes place on a regular basis
- Living apart for at least a 2-year period
- Felony death sentence or life imprisonment of a spouse
If you have questions about covenant marriage or divorce in Scottsdale, contact a friendly and skilled Scottsdale divorce lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292. You may also want to request a copy of our helpful, FREE book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Phoenix Divorce Lawyers on Planning for your Scottsdale Divorce
As Scottsdale divorce lawyers, we know that the decision to divorce is often an emotional one. Unfortunately, many people do not take practical considerations, such as post-divorce finances, into account. There are so many questions to deal with initially (Am I ready to divorce? What will happen with my kids? Who gets the house?) that it can be difficult to even think about finances, especially when you are unsure what your post-divorce situation will actually look like.
When you are getting divorced in Scottsdale, keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of women who go through a divorce see a drop of 30% or more in their standard of living. Men, too, can struggle after a divorce. Losing the other spouse’s income, working fewer hours to take care of children, or the extra expenses required to rent and transfer utilities into your name may mean serious financial problems and mountains of debt down the road.
If you are currently going through an Arizona divorce, start planning your finances now, and be aware that:
- You may be eligible for spousal support and/or child support.
- You may need to pay for your own health insurance and/or obtain health insurance for your children.
- You may be able to extend your health insurance coverage from an ex’s plan via COBRA.
- You may not realistically be able to afford to keep the house on your own.
- Any debt you had before the marriage will likely remain yours.
- You could be eligible to collect a portion of your spouse’s Social Security pension.
- You and your children could qualify for survivor benefits if your spouse dies.
There are so many financial changes and questions that come with a divorce, and this is hardly an exhaustive list. So much of this can be up in the air during your divorce proceedings, but it is wise to immediately begin taking steps to stock back emergency cash and plan for your newly-single living expenses.
Feeling overwhelmed? Your Phoenix family law attorneys have the answers to your divorce questions and are ready to address your concerns. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-pressure legal consultation with one of our friendly Phoenix divorce lawyers. Also, request your FREE copy of our book for families: Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
A Tempe Commercial DUI Lawyer Could Help You Save Your Job
As Tempe commercial DUI lawyers, we understand that being pulled over for a DUI in Tempe can be a threat to your financial stability if you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Whether you drive a bus, an 18-wheeler, or another commercial vehicle, holding a CDL means that the legal limit is different for you (.04) than it is for other drivers (.08). Additionally, you incur stiffer penalties than other drivers, and could even lose your CDL and your source of income.
If you are a commercial driver who has been charged with a DUI, an experienced Tempe DUI lawyer can help you build a strong case and possibly avoid a conviction. Although it is possible for a non-CDL driver to handle a DUI charge alone, it is critical for a commercial driver to seek legal advice after a Tempe DUI stop. Your case can become complicated very quickly, even if you were off duty at the time of the DUI arrest. The consequences can be grave.
The Tempe DUI lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten represent commercial drivers in drunk driving cases across Maricopa County. If you have questions about your commercial drunk driving case, call us today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free, no-obligation consultation. We’d also like you to have a FREE copy of our book, DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Tempe DUI Lawyer Explains Commercial DUIs in Arizona
Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders need to exercise extra caution when it comes to commercial DUIs in Tempe. Not only will you face the usual criminal charges and punishments that any driver faces under Arizona law, you will also potentially face additional penalties because you hold a CDL.
What Happens if I’m Pulled Over for a DUI in Tempe as a Commercial Driver?
If you are pulled over for a DUI as a truck driver, bus driver, or other commercial driver, you will face the usual license suspension, jail time, and mandatory educational classes. However, there are some MAJOR differences in the law for commercial drivers, such as:
- The legal limit for CDL holders in Arizona is .04. This is lower than the standard .08 legal limit that applies to non-commercial drivers.
- The stiffer rules for CDL DUIs apply all the time, whether you are on or off duty.
- If you refuse the blood alcohol test when you’re pulled over for DUI in Tempe, your CDL will automatically be suspended for 1 year. If you already have a DUI offense on your record, refusing the test could mean you lose your CDL for good.
- You could have 8 points assigned to your license.
In general, commercial drivers who are convicted of a DUI face much harsher penalties, and many CDL holders could see penalties REGARDLESS of how your DUI criminal case turns out.
If you are a truck driver, a bus driver, or any other CDL holder who has been pulled over for a DUI in Tempe, don’t risk your financial stability. Your behavior and decisions in the first few hours after a commercial DUI arrest can have a significant impact on your case as a whole. Call a respected Tempe DUI lawyer as soon as possible at 1-888-929-5292. Your unique commercial DUI case deserves individual treatment, and we are devoted to providing compassionate and personal attention to our clients after an Arizona CDL DUI arrest. Learn more about your rights and how we can help in our FREE book, DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know.
“Probable Cause” and Tempe Field Sobriety Tests
The use of field sobriety tests during a Tempe DUI stop has been argued against many times. These types of roadside tests can be very unreliable, but they can still be used as “probable cause” for an Arizona DUI arrest.
You may be asked by police to walk a straight line, touch your finger to your nose, recite the alphabet backwards, or any number of other mental or physical tests. Although this may seem to work part of the time, there are many reasons a completely sober person may perform poorly.
People who are elderly, suffering from certain medical conditions, have prior injuries, or are overweight may not be able to complete these tests to the satisfaction of officers and could be arrested-despite being entirely sober at the time of the DUI arrest in Tempe.
You do have the right to refuse a field sobriety test in Arizona. It may even be in your best interest to do so. If you have any questions about your Tempe DUI arrest, contact an experienced Tempe criminal defense lawyer at 1-888-929-5292 today. For more information, request a FREE copy of our helpful book, DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Tempe Criminal Lawyer Explains Probable Cause and Illegal Searches
“Probable cause” is a legal concept that determines if an Arizona search warrant can be issued, what police can seize (with or without a search warrant), if an arrest can be made, and other such steps in the criminal arrest process.
The term itself originates from the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment regarding rights during search and seizure:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
“Probable cause” can be broken down into 4 general categories:
- Observation – This includes anything that an officer can detect through the 5 senses, such as smelling illegal drugs or seeing suspicious behavior.
- Expertise – This is a general category that includes special police training, such as the ability to read gang signs or identify burglary tools.
- Information – This includes things like witness accounts or police bulletins.
- Circumstantial Evidence – This involves information that implies a crime was committed, but does not actually prove it.
Although there are some standards, “probable cause” can be a murky issue, and it’s important to know your rights. Many times, “probable cause” is based on observing common criminal behaviors or other subjective information.
If you believe you were arrested or searched illegally in Phoenix, you need the help of an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer who can protect your rights. Call us today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free legal consultation. Also, take a look at our FREE book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
What Do Arizona Parent Education Classes Cover?
Most parents of minor children in Arizona will be required to attend a parent education class before any request is granted in their Scottsdale divorce, paternity, separation, or child custody proceedings. There is a common misconception that parent education classes in Arizona teach basic parenting skills, but that’s not accurate. These classes focus specifically on parenting during a divorce or other family restructuring, how it might affect your children, and how to deal with it.
Classes may vary somewhat depending on the county in which you attend, but in general, you can expect to learn more about:
- Helping your child adjust to a Scottsdale divorce
- The emotional effects of divorce or separation on both parents and children
- How parental conflict or domestic violence affects children and how to reduce conflict
- Avoiding major problems and dealing with issues that arise
- Parenting plans
- Arizona family law procedures and available resources
- Behaviors that are harmful and behaviors that are helpful
- Communicating with the other parent and developing co-parenting skills
- Recognizing the signs that your child is having serious problems
- The emotional and financial responsibility of both parents
If you have any questions about Scottsdale child custody or other Arizona divorce questions, contact a friendly and experienced Phoenix family law attorney today at 1-888-929-5292.
Scottsdale Divorce Attorneys Explain Arizona Parent Education Classes
Since 1996, Arizona law has required parents going through a divorce to attend parent education classes if their child or children are under the age of 18 and not emancipated. Although these classes are sometimes waived by court order, it is very rare, and you should plan on needing to attend. Generally, the court will not grant any request in your Arizona child custody case until you have attended.
Why Do I Have to Attend Parent Education Classes in Arizona?
The parenting class will be required of parents going through Scottsdale divorce, child custody, parenting time, paternity, or separation proceedings. It addresses issues that arise during these kinds of cases and how they can impact your kids. The class also offers tips on dealing with the stress of restructuring a family and recognizing the signs of serious problems in your children.
The idea behind the class is that divorce and separation can be rough on a family, and it can be especially rough on kids whose parents are going through a high-conflict divorce in Arizona. Many studies have shown that parents who attend parent education classes during their divorce are better with working together during the process and are less likely to need to return to court to work out issues related to child custody and parenting time.
How Long Will the Parent Education Class Take?
In general, the class will take a total of 4 to 6 hours, with a minimum length of 2 hours. It will usually be ordered early on in the divorce, and most parents find they are able to schedule a class for evenings or weekends so as not to interfere with work. If you are concerned about taking the class with the other parent, you can arrange to take separate classes. In fact, in most Arizona counties, both parents can only attend the same class together if they get specific approval from the court.
If you have any questions about your Phoenix child custody case, paternity proceedings, or any other issues related to your Arizona divorce, contact a friendly and experienced Scottsdale family law attorney today at 1-888-929-5292. Also, request a free copy of our book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
When Can a Person be Held Without Bail in Arizona?
If you or a loved one has committed a serious crime in Arizona, it is possible that you will be held in jail without bail or with bail that is set too high for you or your family to pay. Although it seems unfair, the judge may decide to do this if:
- You might be a danger to others.
- You might flee or fail to appear.
- You’re charged with a very serious or violent crime.
- The crime you have been accused of is punishable by death or life in prison.
- You’re charged with certain drug-related crimes in Arizona.
- You might tamper with evidence or otherwise obstruct justice.
- You have a history of felony offenses in Arizona.
If you have been arrested in Tempe and have questions about bail or any other issues, contact a skilled Tempe criminal lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292 to talk with us about your situation in a FREE, no-pressure consultation. Also, request a FREE copy of our helpful book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
How to Make Arizona Supervised Visitation Better for You and Your Kids
As Phoenix child custody lawyers, we know how hard supervised visitation can be for both parents and children. The experience may seem very artificial, especially at a time when you want so badly to connect with your kids. However, if supervised visitation has been ordered in your Phoenix child custody case, there are ways to cope. Try making the most of your time together with planned activities, such as:
- Board games. Board games are fun, engaging, and distract from the artificial environment. If there are no board games available at your visitation location, ask if you can bring one from home.
- Craft projects. Try making something together, like a picture frame, a scrap book, or even puppets. You’ll spend quality time together working on the project, and then you have a physical reminder of your positive time together.
- Make a snack together. If you have a kitchen available to you or can bring what you need, preparing a snack together can seem more like “old times.” It’s fun for the kids to be involved in cooking, and the familiar flavors can be comforting.
- Read a book together. Choose a longer book with chapters, and read it out loud together. You and your kids will both be looking forward to the next visit to hear the rest of the story.
Ultimately, supervised visitation can be an opportunity instead of a punishment. If you have any questions related to supervised visitation in Phoenix or child custody, contact one of our friendly and skilled Phoenix child custody attorneys today at 1-888-929-5292.
Phoenix Child Custody Lawyer on Surviving Supervised Visitation
If supervised visitation has been ordered in your Phoenix child custody case, it’s probably not an ideal situation for you. You may be worried that your kids are not getting quality time with both parents, and you may be concerned that the additional stress on everyone involved is taking a toll.
Don’t worry too much. Although supervised visitation may not be exactly what you wanted in your Phoenix child custody case, it can be beneficial for you, your former partner, and your children. Also, if it goes well, it could mean change down the road. For now, focus on the following positive aspects of Phoenix supervised visitation:
- Non-custodial parent. When supervised visitation is ordered, it is often because you have been accused of abuse, neglect, or some other harmful activity. Having someone there with you and your kids means that you have a witness in the case of any new accusations.
- Custodial parent. If there has been conflict in the divorce, or if you are intimidated by your former partner, supervised visitation means that you don’t have to deal with him or her, and you know that your kids are safe.
- Kids. Supervised visitation is good for kids because it gives them a chance to build healthy relationships with both parents, and it can shield them from any conflict or fighting that may result when both parents have to interact.
If you have questions about Phoenix supervised visitation, contact an experienced Phoenix child custody attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free, no-pressure consultation. We are Phoenix family law attorneys who can help explain the visitation process and fight for your child custody rights. If you’d like more information about how we can help, request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Tempe Criminal Lawyer Answers “Should I Post Bail in Arizona?”
It’s the dreaded call you get in the middle of the night: “I got arrested in Tempe. Can you bail me out of jail?” Whether it’s a friend or a family member, you feel like it’s your duty to post bail for someone you care about. You want the person to get out of jail, go home, and be able to show up for work the next day. However, you might find yourself wondering if it’s always a good idea to post bail right away. As Tempe criminal defense lawyers, we’ve seen some problems with bail over time and want you to consider a few things.
If any of the following situations apply, you may want to wait to post bail in Arizona:
- The person is dangerous. If you believe the person might continue to be a danger, whether to themselves or others, it might be best to allow the police to hold them until they “cool off.”
- The person is in danger. Likewise, if you believe the person may be in danger after committing a crime in Tempe, jail may be the safest place for him or her.
- You don’t have the money. If you don’t have the money, or if you can’t wait at least several months before the person paying you back, think twice before you post bail in Arizona. The more serious the crime, the higher the bail will be, and you need to be prepared to never see that money again.
- The person was arrested for a minor crime. If the crime was very minor, the person could be released from jail as soon as the next day. It might be wise to wait and see what happens before putting your cash on the line.
- It’s happened before. If these kinds of calls are common, you might consider letting the accused fend for themselves this time. You may have a son or a sister who constantly seems to be in trouble with the Law in Tempe. Sometimes, a person has to learn their lesson.
- You think they may not show up for court. If the person does not show up for court, you could be left on the hook to pay the full amount. Additionally, you may have to help track the person down and/or pay the costs of the search.
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Tempe, pulled over for a DUI in Phoenix, or is in any other legal trouble, contact a respected Tempe criminal lawyer at 1-888-929-5292 today for a completely-free legal consultation. We will be happy to explain your rights and help you form an action plan after an arrest in Arizona.
For additional information, please request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Does an Arizona Search Warrant Always Mean that Evidence is Permissible?
Just because police obtained a search warrant in your Phoenix criminal arrest, it does not mean that what they found will necessarily be permitted in your case. It is possible to challenge that evidence with the help of an experienced Tempe criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights.
For example, the evidence obtained by police from your car, home, or person with a search warrant could be “thrown out” if:
- The police search went beyond the bounds of the search warrant. Your Phoenix search warrant is specifically limited in scope to protect your rights. The search warrant itself should state what and where police can search. If the police go outside of those limitations, that evidence could be disallowed in your case.
- “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree.” This is a term that describes evidence obtained through an illegal search-whether it was due to a problem with a warrant or a lack of a warrant in a situation where one is required. If evidence would not otherwise have been found without the illegal search, it could be thrown out.
Unfortunately, the need for an Arizona search warrant can be somewhat ill-defined. There are many situations in which evidence obtained by search warrant could be disallowed, but it can be tricky to prove. If you have questions about evidence obtained with a Phoenix search warrant, contact a knowledgeable Phoenix criminal lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292.
Phoenix Criminal Lawyers Explain Arizona Search Warrants
As Phoenix criminal defense attorneys, we get a lot of questions about search warrants in Arizona and how they work. This confusion is not at all surprising; there is much to understand about search warrants and what constitutes an illegal search during a Phoenix arrest.
When Is a Search Warrant NOT Required?
Not every search requires a warrant in Arizona. In the following cases, for example, police may be able to conduct a search without a warrant:
- You give consent to the search.
- An item is in plain view.
- The evidence could be destroyed before a warrant is obtained.
- A police officer is concerned for safety during a “pat down.”
- An officer has “probable cause,” which is often seen in vehicle searches for Tempe DUI or traffic cases.
- Any search that is incident to an arrest.
How Do Police Obtain an Arizona Search Warrant?
If police suspect you have committed a crime in Phoenix and feel a search is necessary, then they will attempt to obtain a search warrant. This may apply to your vehicle, your home, your place of employment, or just about anywhere you could store evidence.
The police must submit a request to the court that states:
- Why the police feel a search will be necessary
- What kind of evidence they are looking for
It is also important to note that the warrant, if issued, should state what officers are allowed to look for and where. Essentially, a search warrant should not grant police unlimited access to search you or your property; they need to stay within in the limitations of the warrant.
If you are a suspect in a Phoenix crime and have questions about search warrants and your rights, speak with a dedicated Phoenix criminal defense lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292. To learn more about how we can help, take a look at our FREE book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Why does the Tempe discovery procedure take so long?
During legal discovery, your Tempe criminal attorney is working to obtain as much information that is relevant to your case as possible. The lawyers on the other side are doing the same to build their case. Such work can take many steps, which could delay your trial.
If doctors or other professionals are needed as experts, their schedules sometimes dictate how fast a lawyer can get information or documents. For example, many doctors will only do depositions on a certain day or two each month. You may need to go in for additional medical or psychological evaluations as well.
Additionally, it can take a long time to find and then obtain records, documents, and witnesses to help build your case. In general, the Tempe discovery procedure usually takes six months or more.
It’s easy to get frustrated when it seems to take so long to get to trial. Just remember that it is this process of discovery that often ends up making or breaking your case, and your Tempe criminal defense lawyer is behind the scenes working hard for you. What happens during this phase will have a big impact later on.
If you have further questions about your Tempe criminal case, contact a helpful Tempe criminal lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292. You also can request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law: What You Must Know.
Tempe Criminal Lawyers Explain Discovery Procedure in Arizona
The discovery procedure is basically the pre-trial process during which your Tempe criminal defense lawyer will obtain and disclose information concerning your case. Tempe lawyers can do this in ways including, but not limited to:
- Written questionnaires
- Depositions, either oral or written
- Physical or mental examinations
- Information from experts
- Production of other documents or items
Although discovery must be limited to what is considered reasonable, most Arizona criminal lawyers are given a fair amount of leeway. The process can take a long time, sometimes even years, and the court can settle any disputes between the lawyers in the case regarding discovery.
Why is it important?
The court is not responsible for the discovery process; your Tempe criminal defense lawyer is. Some might say that it is during discovery that your case is really won or lost. So, it is of utmost importance that you have a skilled and experienced Tempe criminal defense lawyer who will carefully consider the information needed to help you obtain a favorable result.
For example, some of the statements given in a deposition from witnesses or others could end up being used in the trial. Therefore, any discrepancies between the answers given during a deposition and the answers given during the trial could have a strong impact on the credibility of certain witnesses.
If you have questions about the Tempe discovery procedure in your Arizona criminal case, contact a highly skilled Tempe criminal lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292. We will fight hard to defend your rights, and we are always available to answer your questions and address your concerns.
If you’d like to learn more about who we are and what we do, request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law: What You Must Know.
Scottsdale Child Support: Staying Organized and Avoiding Conflict
Even after your Scottsdale divorce is final, there could still be some conflict regarding child support payments and parenting time. We recently talked about keeping a calendar and organized records regarding visitation after a Scottsdale divorce, and we’d like to follow up on that with help regarding the organization of your child support payments.
Whether you are paying or receiving child support in Arizona, it is important to keep your records straight. Even in low-conflict child support cases, keeping accurate records can save you both time and heartache. We recommend that you invest in an expanding file folder, so you always know where all of your documents are if you need them.
In this file, you should keep:
- Any applicable court case numbers
- Each child’s full name, date of birth, place of birth, and Social Security number
- The name and contact information for your Scottsdale divorce attorney
- A copy of all documents sent by the court
- A copy of all correspondences between you and your ex-spouse regarding child support payments
- A copy of all checks, whether you are paying or receiving, including the amount and the date of the check
You also may be able to request a yearly report of child support payments if you contact your local clerk of the superior court. If you do receive this, be sure to keep it in your file with the rest of your documents.
If you need help with a Scottsdale child custody issue, contact a skilled and experienced Scottsdale divorce lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292. For more information, please see our FREE book, Arizona Family Law: What You Must Know.
Scottsdale Divorce Lawyers Explain Scottsdale Child Support
As Scottsdale divorce lawyers, we answer questions about child support payments all the time. If you are going through a Scottsdale divorce with children involved, take a look at this general guide for Arizona child support. And, of course, if you have any questions that aren’t answered here, don’t hesitate to give one of our skilled Scottsdale divorce lawyers a call today at 1-888-929-5292.
How is Scottsdale child support determined?
Once custody has been assigned, the child support payments will be calculated by looking at both the custodial and non-custodial parents’ incomes. This can vary quite a bit, so give a Tempe divorce lawyer a call for a better idea of what you might be paying.
It is important to note, though, that paternity will need to be established with the court if you were unmarried at the time of the child’s birth.
What happens if my ex stops paying child support in Scottsdale?
If your ex stops making child support payments, or if he or she does not make the payments on time, then you will probably need to enlist the help of a Phoenix family law attorney to get things back on track.
If the non-custodial parent stops paying child support, there are a few things that could happen, including:
- Seizure of his or her bank account
- Interception of unemployment or workers’ compensation payments
- Interception of his or her tax refund
- Reports to the credit bureau
- Court action and ordered jail time
- Suspension of certain licenses
If you have an issue regarding non-payment of child support in Scottsdale, we can help. We are experienced and friendly Scottsdale child custody lawyers who can explain your rights and offer honest answers to your child support questions. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation.
You also can learn more about Arizona child support and other Phoenix family law issues by requesting our FREE book, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
What documents need to be signed during my Scottsdale divorce?
When you decide to go ahead with your Scottsdale divorce, there are a lot of practicalities to take care of, one of which is serving your spouse divorce papers.
Whether you are doing so in person or through a qualified Scottsdale divorce attorney, serving the divorce papers is how you will officially notify your spouse that you have started legal proceedings for your Arizona divorce.
There are a lot of ways to serve papers to your spouse during a Scottsdale divorce, but regardless of how it’s done, you will need to be sure to include these specific documents:
- Family Court Cover Sheet
- Preliminary Injunction
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with or without Children
- Notice of Right to Convert Health Insurance
- Notice Regarding Creditors
Once you have served papers to your spouse, you also will need to prove to the court that you gave a copy of the documents to your spouse. Generally, you will file this with the clerk of the court. If you’re not sure about the process, let your Maricopa County divorce lawyer handle it for you.
If you have questions about any of the documents needed for your Scottsdale divorce, contact a qualified Scottsdale divorce lawyer at 1-888-929-5292. We look forward to answering your questions about Arizona divorce.
Arizona Divorce Lawyer on How to Serve Papers in a Scottsdale Divorce
It’s the part of a Scottsdale divorce that few people talk about, but serving divorce papers to your spouse is one of the most emotionally-fueled moments in the divorce process. Even for couples who have agreed to divorce amicably, the moment when your spouse signs those documents is a big milestone.
It’s not always easy to serve papers, and your spouse is not always ready to sign without another fight. You know that the papers have to be signed, but many people have trouble knowing exactly HOW to do so. Many people choose to let their Scottsdale divorce attorney handle getting the documents where they need to be. However, if you don’t feel comfortable enlisting the help of a qualified Scottsdale divorce lawyer for this part of the process, you can handle it yourself.
Luckily, there are a few routes you can take to serve divorce papers to your spouse:
- In person: You can hand-deliver the documents that need to be signed. Of course, this works best in a low-conflict divorce situation.
- Certified mail: This works great if your spouse signs and returns the certified mail receipt. If he or she does not, then you will need to try another route.
- First-class mail: You can send the documents through first-class mail, but it’s a little trickier. You will need to include an acknowledgement for your spouse to sign and return. Again, if you do not receive this back, you will need to try something else.
- Third party: A third party process server, such as a sheriff, can serve the papers for you and ask your spouse to sign.
- Newspaper: If you have been unable to serve the divorce papers through any other means, you can ask the court to allow you to publish the notice in a newspaper of your choice. Generally, you will need to provide copies of the published notice and a statement of the time period the notice was run.
Ultimately, if you’re having trouble serving papers to your spouse during your Scottsdale divorce or don’t feel as though you’re up to it, let Curry, Pearson & Wooten help. We are friendly Scottsdale divorce lawyers who can handle preparing and serving any documents that you need in your Arizona divorce. If you’d like more information about what we do, we’d be happy to send you a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Avoid a Tempe DUI Arrest by Using a BAC Calculator
You know you should never drink and drive, but so many people who are arrested for a DUI in Tempe for being over the legal limit say they felt “ok to drive.” Don’t risk a Tempe drunk driving arrest. Learn how to calculate your approximate blood alcohol content (BAC) before you leave the party.
For those of you who aren’t interested in the math, there are apps available for both the iPhone and Android that will calculate your BAC for you! Check your app store for BAC calculators, and impress everyone at the party. There are also multiple websites that offer free BAC calculators for you to use.
For these calculators to work, you’ll probably need to know:
- The standard size of what you were drinking. For example, hard liquor is usually about 40% alcohol and the size of a standard drink is a 1-ounce shot.
- How much you drank over what length of time. The calculator will subtract .15 for each hour that passes after your first drink.
- Your weight and gender (if you’re too drunk to remember, DON’T DRIVE). BAC calculations use the water content of your body, and the best predictor is your gender and weight.
Plug these numbers into the calculator, and you’ll have an approximation of your BAC at the given time. You’ll also find out if you’re likely to be over the legal limit of .08.
If you have already been arrested for a DUI in Tempe, call an experienced Tempe DUI lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292 to set up a free consultation and talk about your Arizona DUI case.
Tempe DUI Lawyer Talks about Inaccurate Breathalyzer Tests
As Tempe DUI lawyers, we know that many Arizona DUI arrests are made as a result of breathalyzer testing by police. We are led to believe that the breathalyzer test is an accurate way to measure blood alcohol levels during a Tempe DUI stop, but that is far from the truth.
There are a lot of factors that can influence a false breathalyzer result, including:
- Your temperature: How warm your body is can have a big impact on the accuracy of your breathalyzer test results. For example, a 1-degree change in your body temperature can falsely elevate a breathalyzer result by 8%.
- Diabetes: Compounds in your body that are similar to ethyl alcohol can trigger a higher breathalyzer result. People who are diabetic, and even people who are dieting, have significantly higher levels of these compounds – up to thousands of times the level found in most people.
- Your mouth: Residual alcohol in your mouth may mean the breathalyzer result is by far higher than your actual blood alcohol level during a Tempe DUI stop.
- Your stomach: If you belch, throw up, or tend to have heartburn and reflux, you can throw off the results of the breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer should not be given if you have had any of those symptoms in the previous 20 minutes.
- The environment: Outside air temperature, pollutants in the air, gas or paint fumes, and even other electronics nearby may influence the accuracy of a breathalyzer test.
- How fast you breathe: Even your rate of respiration can throw off a breathalyzer test, leading to a false
Tempe DUI arrest. Physical activity just prior to a test, like running up a flight of stairs, can skew the result by 10-25%.
As you can see, the breathalyzer test is an inaccurate way to measure your blood alcohol content. It could lead to an embarrassing false arrest or even a conviction.
If your inaccurate breathalyzer test leads to a Tempe DUI arrest, it’s time to call an experienced Tempe DUI lawyer at 1-888-929-5292. You need to build a strong case in order to avoid license suspension, fines, and jail time, and our respected Tempe drunk driving lawyers have what it takes to help you get a better outcome. If you’d like to get to know us and learn more about what we do, take a look at our FREE book, DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer on Why Arizona Couples Divorce
People get divorced for a lot of reasons. If you’re going through the process yourself, you may be wondering what went wrong. In most Scottsdale divorce cases, couples cite multiple reasons for ending their marriages, but these reasons can be boiled down to a few common themes.
Here are some of the top reasons for a Scottsdale divorce:
- Communication: People change over time, so it can be difficult to keep the lines of communication open with your spouse. You may find that you talk quite a bit about the kids, the budget, or what to have for dinner, but you’ve lost touch with each other as individuals.
- Money: As economic times get hard, it can put a big strain on your relationship. As Scottsdale divorce lawyers, we’ve heard this more and more lately. The stress and the struggle to make ends meet drive a lot of couples apart.
- Infidelity: A cheating spouse leads to about 1/3 of all divorces in the US. Although it may be the result of the breakdown of the marriage rather than the cause, infidelity is the final straw for many troubled couples.
- Abuse: It’s unfortunate, but many Scottsdale divorces are the result of domestic abuse, whether physical or emotional. If your spouse is abusing you or your kids, you need to seek help immediately. Once you are safe, contact a Scottsdale family law attorney to learn about your rights.
- Addiction: Whether it is gambling, drugs, or alcohol, a spouse with an addiction can be grounds for an Arizona divorce. As your spouse’s addiction gets stronger, your family’s needs slip further down his or her list of priorities.
No matter reasoning, you’ll find compassion and understanding with our friendly Scottsdale divorce lawyers. We understand that divorce sometimes brings more questions than answers, so we invite you to meet with a Scottsdale family law attorney as soon as possible. Schedule a completely free consultation today by calling 1-888-929-5292. You’re under no obligation, and we think you’ll be relieved to start getting clear, practical answers about your Arizona divorce.
For more information, request a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers on Internet Stalking in Arizona
There’s a fine line between an inconvenient or unwanted conversation and internet stalking. Internet stalking charges in Arizona may be the result of communication or harassment through:
- E-mail correspondence
- Facebook or other social media
- IRC, messengers, and other live chat
- Virus or spam attacks
- Blogs and blog comments
- Internet forums
If you have been accused of internet stalking in Phoenix, it is crucial that you speak with a Phoenix criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.
Why should I contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer after an internet stalking arrest?
As commonplace as electronic communication seems to us now, many police and enforcement agencies are still “catching up” when it comes to the proper investigation of internet stalking. Therefore, the levels of investigation of a Phoenix electronic crime can vary from police officer to police officer.
What are the cyberstalking laws in Arizona?
Although there is not a specific law governing cyberstalking in Arizona, internet stalking generally falls under harassment laws. “Harassment” is defined as “conduct directed at a specific person which would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed and the conduct in fact seriously alarms, annoys or harasses the person.” You commit harassment by intentionally doing the following:
- Anonymously or otherwise communicating or causing a communication with another person by verbal, electronic, mechanical, telegraphic, telephonic, or written means in a manner that harasses.
- Continuing to follow another person in or about a public place for no legitimate purpose after being asked to desist.
- Repeatedly committing an act or acts that harass another person.
- Keeping another person under surveillance or causing another person to surveil a person for no legitimate purpose.
- Making a false report to a law enforcement, credit, or social service agency on more than one occasion.
- Interfering with the delivery of any public or regulated utility to a person.
What can I do if I’ve been accused of internet stalking in Phoenix?
The laws surrounding internet stalking can be complicated, so you will need a strong case. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact a friendly and professional Phoenix criminal defense lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292. We can talk about your specific rights and options in a free consultation, and you’re under no obligation to hire us. We also want to offer you a copy of our FREE book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Family Law Attorneys Explain Contested Relative Adoptions
Phoenix relative adoptions have their upsides and their downsides. On the one hand, relative adoptions in Arizona tend to be easier and go a little more smoothly. On the other hand, things only really go smoothly if everyone gives consent. When a Phoenix relative adoption is contested or a party refuses to give adoption consent in Arizona, the process can become a nightmare.
Birth Mother Consent
If the birth mother or legal guardian of the child does not give consent, then adoption generally cannot proceed. However, if the courts terminate parental rights, then the birth mother does not have to give consent. This may be the case if it can be proven that the mother abandoned, abused, or neglected the child or is otherwise unfit.
In some cases, the birth father or the child may also need to give consent for the adoption to proceed. However, the birth father is required to give consent only under certain circumstances, or if he has established paternity. Additionally, the birth father’s parental rights can be terminated if he is deemed unfit or has abandoned the child.
If you are unable to get consent from the necessary parties, then the adoption cannot proceed. Once the consent is signed, however, it generally becomes irrevocable.
Doing research on your own is always a great start, but there is no substitute for an experienced Phoenix family law attorney. Every case is different, and we want to help you understand the details and unique challenges of your Arizona adoption case. Give us a call today at 602-258-1000 or 888-929-5292 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. For further information, don’t forget to order a copy of our FREE book, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Phoenix Visitation: How Can We Make It Work Better?
In theory, visitation is easy in Arizona. Everyone makes a plan and sticks to it. However, even for parents who are able to agree amicably on an initial parenting time plan, situations change over time. Making visitation work requires that you work with your former spouse and around your child’s school and extracurricular schedules, taking into account holidays and vacations as well. Sometimes the schedule that sounded good at first doesn’t quite work out the way you’d hoped, or you or your former spouse change jobs or work schedules. While you can talk to a qualified Maricopa County child custody lawyer about making changes to your custody or visitation agreement, you also can make a few simple changes to how you organize visitation:
- Keep a calendar. Mark both parents’ visitation times clearly, using a different color or symbol for each of you.
- Show up on time. If a parent is always late in dropping off the kids, it can aggravate the situation or cause confusion.
- Make any changes in writing. You might consider communicating changes through e-mail and asking your spouse to confirm each change. Keep a file with this correspondence, and add each change to your calendar.
If you are having trouble with visitation in Phoenix or have questions about Arizona parenting time, contact one of our experienced Phoenix child custody lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a FREE consultation.
A Tempe Criminal Lawyer Explains Arizona Rule 32
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime in Phoenix and sentenced to prison time, you may be curious about Arizona Rule 32 for post-conviction relief (PCR). Rule 32 may allow for review of your Phoenix criminal conviction, including any mistakes that were made in the original court process and any new evidence. Arizona Rule 32 is not the same thing as an appeal; it is considered separate from the appeals process. In fact, you may be able to petition for Rule 32 proceedings even if you applied for an appeal that was denied.
What is Arizona Rule 32?
According to Arizona law, Rule 32 may be used to reduce a sentence or fix errors involved with the sentencing or trial. You may be able to petition under Rule 32 if:
- Your conviction or sentence is in violation of the Constitution of the United States or the State of Arizona.
- The court was without jurisdiction to render judgment or impose a sentence.
- The sentence imposed exceeds the maximum allowed by law.
- You are held in custody after the sentence has expired.
- Newly discovered material facts or evidence exists, and those facts probably would have changed the verdict or sentence in your case.
- You failed to appeal, and that failure was not your fault.
- There has been a significant change of law that would probably overturn your conviction or sentence if applied in your case.
How does Arizona Rule 32 work?
You only have a limited time period after your Phoenix criminal conviction to file a petition under Rule 32, so it is important to talk with an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after your conviction. If you miss any of the deadlines, you may completely lose your right to petition under Rule 32.
Rule 32 proceedings can be very complicated, and it would be to your advantage to contact a Tempe criminal lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292. We can help explain what you will need to do to start Rule 32 proceedings and if it is even appropriate to do so in your case. If you’d like to learn more, request a free copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Child Custody Lawyers on Changing Visitation in Maricopa County
Modifying parenting time in Maricopa County sometimes becomes necessary if your circumstances or those of your child have changed since your initial parenting plan was made. There are many reasons for this, including:
- Change of jobs
- Change of location
- Child’s wishes
- Child’s age and needs
- Parent’s wishes
- Lack of interaction from a parent
- Abuse or neglect
How can I change my custody or visitation agreement?
Generally, you must wait a year after the last custody order before you are able to change custody or parenting time. In the case of abuse or neglect, or if one parent violates the custody order, you may be able to petition for an “emergency” change of parenting time. An “emergency” change may also be an option if one parent is arrested for a crime involving a child. If you think you have reason to change your visitation or custody agreement before a year has passed, talk to one of our experienced Phoenix child custody lawyers for answers that are more specific to your unique case.
In order to modify visitation or custody, you will need to show a “substantial and continuing change in circumstances” or that a change in parenting time would be in your child’s best interest. For minor changes to the visitation schedule, Arizona law is more forgiving. A small change may not require the year-long wait, and you may not need to prove a “substantial and continuing change in circumstances,” only that the change would be in the child’s best interest.
What’s the first step?
Because custody and parenting time changes are so very dependent on your circumstances, we recommend that you speak with a Phoenix visitation lawyer as soon as possible to get a clearer idea of what you will need. These kinds of changes can be confusing, not to mention highly emotional, and it helps to know the legal process is in good hands while you ease your children through the process and figure out logistics with your former spouse.
Here at Curry, Pearson & Wooten, we understand that a family’s needs change over time, and we want to help you come to an agreement that works best for you and your child. Give us a call at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a FREE legal consultation, or request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Do I need a criminal lawyer for an Arizona internet stalking charge?
Although Arizona does not have any laws that specifically govern Phoenix internet stalking, you could still be charged under Arizona’s harassment laws. If you have been arrested for actions related to internet stalking, your case can become very complicated very quickly. We recommend that you consult an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. This is not because we’re looking for a paycheck, but because of the following:
- Law enforcement is still “catching up” with the electronic age, so many departments do not have appropriate procedures in place to handle electronic crime investigations.
- Electronic evidence is often lost or mishandled during the investigation, which could affect your case.
- There’s a fine line between unwanted conversation and actual harassment or internet stalking.
- Many cases involve accusations of both internet stalking and physical stalking, further complicating your case and evidence.
If you have been accused of internet stalking in Phoenix, contact a friendly and experienced Maricopa County electronic crime lawyer at 1-888-929-5292 today for a completely free consultation. We want you to understand your rights and options, and we will fight to obtain the best outcome for you. If you’d like to learn more, please request a FREE copy of our helpful book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Underage DUIs in Tempe: What ASU Students Need to Know
The punishments for a Tempe DUI are quite harsh, but the law also strictly punishes underage DUIs in Arizona. If you are a minor and charged with an underage DUI in Tempe, we recommend that you speak with a qualified Tempe DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Things can happen quickly once you’ve been arrested, and you could face penalties even before your hearing.
Don’t wait or be tempted to “hurry it along” because you’re embarrassed. Talking to a Tempe drunk driving defense lawyer will give you a clearer idea of your rights and how to handle the DUI offense so that you get the best result. This is especially true in cases where you have additional charges, such as drug possession, or previous DUI convictions.
In Arizona, you can be convicted and punished for an underage DUI even if your blood alcohol content was below the legal limit, or if the police don’t have sufficient evidence to convict you of a regular DUI. Any evidence of alcohol in your body could result in a DUI charge if you are under the age of 21 – that means consuming a single beer could be enough to convict you! You could be facing a misdemeanor record and a 2-year license suspension if convicted.
If you are a minor and your blood alcohol content was over the legal limit, then you will face the same punishments as a person over 21. In fact, many judges will decide to punish you more harshly because you are underage.
Play it safe – just don’t drink and drive. However, if you are arrested for an underage DUI in Tempe, seek the experience and knowledge of our Tempe DUI lawyers by calling 1-888-929-5292. Our first meeting with you is completely FREE so that you can get to know us while we explain your rights and options.
Tempe DUI Lawyers on College Student Drinking and Driving
It shouldn’t be news to anyone that college students drink. Studies have shown that 56% of college students are binge drinkers and 70% drink at least once each month. Unfortunately, many students also get behind the wheel when they’ve been drinking, even though a Tempe DUI could have a big impact on their futures. If you’ve just arrived at Arizona State University for the semester, consider this before drinking and driving in Tempe:
- You could be expected to pay fines or attend mandatory educational programs.
- You could be convicted of an underage DUI in Tempe even if your blood alcohol level is below the legal limit.
- At many universities, including ASU, you could be expelled or subject to academic disciplinary action for a Tempe DUI offense.
- Your license could be suspended before you ever have a hearing, depending on the results of your blood test. That’s an entire semester without a car.
- An ignition lock device could be ordered for your car.
- Arizona drunk driving laws are very strict, and a conviction means mandatory jail time, regardless of whether the Tempe drunk driving offense was deemed a misdemeanor or felony.
- A second Arizona DUI offense is punished very harshly, especially when accompanied by other crimes, such as drug possession.
- A felony DUI charge can seriously restrict your employment opportunities, regardless of your education, qualification, and training.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Tempe, contact a Tempe DUI lawyer as soon as possible at 1-888-929-5292 to look at your rights and options in a completely FREE legal consultation. Hiring a qualified Arizona drunk driving lawyer to handle your case can help you obtain a more favorable result in court after a Tempe drunk driving arrest. You may also want to request a FREE copy of our book, DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Should I consult a criminal defense lawyer about Arizona Rule 32?
If you have been convicted of a crime in Phoenix and feel that your sentencing was not appropriate or mistakes were made during the trial, you may be wondering if Arizona Rule 32 applies to you. Because Rule 32 proceedings can be very complicated, it is important to speak with a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer for answers about your specific case. In general, however, you should be aware that:
- Rule 32 is not the same as an appeal. You can actually petition under Rule 32 even if you have applied for an appeal that was denied.
- You have a limited amount of time to start Arizona Rule 32 proceedings. The timeline is very strict. If you miss a deadline, you will be unable to pursue Rule 32 proceedings.
- Rule 32 proceedings can correct errors. Many people believe that Rule 32 post-conviction relief is only used to reduce a sentence; however, it also is used to correct errors made during the trial or the sentencing.
Arizona Rule 32 proceedings can be very complicated. You will need to be aware of deadlines and requirements, and you will need to go in with a strong case. Contact one of our friendly Tempe criminal defense lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free consultation. For more information, you also can request a free copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Be Prepared to Make Fast Decisions after Your Arizona DUI Offense
There are stiff mandatory penalties for DUI offenses in Phoenix so you’ll need to be prepared to make some serious decisions before you even go to trial if your blood test results come back as greater than the legal limit. Your DUI history, blood test results, and specific circumstances affect your case greatly, so it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Tempe DUI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. However, in general, be aware that a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater will mean:
- Your license will be suspended for 90 days.
- After the first 30 days, you may be permitted to drive to and from work, school, or counseling.
- You may request a civil hearing for your Arizona DUI offense.
If your blood test reading is less than .08, then there is not a 90-day suspension unless you’re convicted of the DUI. If you are eventually convicted of the DUI in Arizona, and you have already served the 90-day license suspension, then you will not have to serve it again.
Your behavior and decisions in the first few hours after a DUI arrest can have a significant impact on your case as a whole. Don’t try to go it alone! If you have been arrested for driving drunk in Arizona, call a respected Tempe DUI lawyer as soon as possible at 1-888-929-5292. If you’d like to learn more about your rights and how we can help, request our FREE book entitled DUI’s in Arizona- What You Must Know.
Tempe DUI Lawyers Explain Drunk Driving Offenses in Arizona
As Maricopa County DUI lawyers, we have seen firsthand how tough Arizona law is on DUI offenders, even on first-time offenders. If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Phoenix, there is a very real chance that your license will be suspended, and you will probably have to serve mandatory jail time.
License Suspension for Arizona DUI
Depending on the results of the blood alcohol test, your license may be suspended before your hearing. If your test results come back as .08 or higher, you will receive a notice that your license is suspended for 90 days. After the first month of suspension, you will be permitted to drive to and from school or work.
Sentencing for Arizona DUI
Arizona drunk driving laws are tough, and you will serve time in jail if you are convicted. As a first-time offender, depending on your blood alcohol content, you can expect the following:
- Below .15: Minimum of 24 hours in jail
- Between .15 and .20: Minimum of 30 days in jail
- Above .20: Minimum of 45 days in jail
If this is not your first Arizona DUI offense, then you can expect much stiffer sentencing. For a second offense, although it depends on your circumstances and history, you can expect:
- Less than .15: Minimum of 30 days in jail
- Between .15 and .20: 120 days in jail
- Over .20: 180 days in jail
Along with the license suspension and jail time, you also can expect orders for mandatory fines, alcohol/drunk driving education classes, and an ignition interlock device in your car.
The First Step after a Maricopa County DUI Arrest
Your behavior and decisions in the first few hours after a DUI arrest can have a significant impact on your case as a whole. Don’t try to go it alone! If you have been arrested for driving drunk in Arizona, call a respected Tempe DUI lawyer as soon as possible at 1-888-929-5292. Your unique case deserves individual treatment, and we are devoted to providing compassionate and personal attention to our clients after an Arizona DUI arrest. Learn more about your rights and how we can help in our FREE book, DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Helping Your Kids through Your Scottsdale Divorce
Talking to your kids about your looming Scottsdale divorce is an important step, but you can bet that it will be a hard one. It’s impossible to know exactly how your children will react, but be aware that there are a few factors that make a negative reaction more likely:
- High-conflict divorce: Children listen when you say terrible things about your spouse or get into a shouting match. Although anger is normal after a divorce, do everything in your power to keep that negativity away from your kids.
- The child’s age: Younger children have more trouble making sense of divorce and the changes that come along with it. However, young children are also very resilient. It’s actually your teenagers that will have the hardest time, sometimes due to issues with their peer group.
- Lack of contact with a parent: Divorce can make a child feel as though he or she has “lost” a parent. It’s important that both parents take extra time and care to build a relationship with the child.
- The child’s relationship with each parent: Additionally, it’s important that your relationship with the child is positive. Constantly fighting or otherwise having difficulty getting along can strain emotions for everyone involved.
If you have questions about what will happen with your children during an Arizona divorce, call the Scottsdale divorce lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation. Also, please take a FREE copy of our book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer | Talking to Your Kids about Arizona Divorce
Many couples who have been through it would agree: the hardest part of a Scottsdale divorce is telling the kids. Divorce is an emotionally complex process, especially if tempers flare and you and your partner have trouble getting along. A lot of parents dread telling their kids about their impending divorce, but it’s just another necessary step in the Arizona divorce process. If you’re worried about telling your kids about your Scottsdale divorce, here are some tips for talking with them:
- Be certain: This may go without saying, but don’t have the conversation with your kids until you are certain that you are getting divorced. Children want to know what will happen, and it’s best to start the conversation once you have decided on a plan of action.
- Tell them: It’s tempting to put the conversation off, or avoid it altogether. However, waiting too long can be disastrous, and kids can feel when something is wrong with Mom and Dad. Don’t let it come as a shock; be there for them through the entire process and help them transition.
- No blame: You and your spouse need to work very carefully to restrain feelings of anger or blame when in front of the kids or explaining the divorce. Don’t force your kids to take sides or be used as weapons.
- Timing: Have the discussion when you, your spouse, and your kids all have enough time to talk and ask questions.
After the conversation and throughout the divorce process, it’s so important that you continually assure your children that they are still loved and that you will remain in their lives. Divorce is never easy, but you can take steps to make it easier on the kids.
If you are going through a divorce in Arizona and have questions about your options, schedule a free and confidential consultation with a friendly and compassionate Scottsdale divorce lawyer. You can reach us at 1-888-929-5292 with any questions. Don’t forget to also take a copy of our FREE book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Scottsdale Family Law Attorney | Finding the Right Divorce Lawyer
Once you’ve decided on a divorce in Arizona and you’ve started getting down to researching the process, the “nuts and bolts” and complexities of a divorce can seem overwhelming. What will happen with the kids? What about the house? Do I need a Scottsdale divorce attorney? Is mediation a better idea?
We highly recommend that you at least speak with a Scottsdale divorce lawyer, but we understand how difficult it is to find the right lawyer for you and your case. Here are a few tips for when you start looking through the phonebook:
- Take your time. There are a lot of emotions wrapped up in divorce, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to take a step you’re not ready to take. If possible, make an agreement with your spouse that you’ll keep the lines of communication open and allow reasonable time to respond to any changes.
- Learn more about divorce law. Take a look around our site to get an idea of how Arizona law works and what you can expect during your Scottsdale divorce.
- Make a list. Think about what you want from an attorney. Do you want someone who is more compassionate or more aggressive? Do you have any special circumstances in your case? Write down what you come up with and consult your list when speaking with potential Arizona divorce attorneys.
- Ask your family and friends. One of the best ways to find a great lawyer is by asking family or friends who have already gone through a divorce in Scottsdale. Even hearing about their bad experiences can help you better formulate what you need, and if they had a good experience, then you have a potential lead.
- Interview several Arizona divorce lawyers. When you’ve started to narrow down your search, spend a little time talking with each lawyer. Meeting in person will give you a chance to see if you feel comfortable with the attorney, and give you an idea of what you’re looking for in your specific area.
The Scottsdale divorce lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten offer a completely free and confidential consultation. We believe that every single one of our clients deserves to be treated with great care and respect, and we will use our experience, skills, and knowledge to help you and your family during this difficult time. Give us a call at 1-888-929-5292 today, and also pick up a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Is a Tempe DUI lawyer really necessary?
After being arrested for drunk driving in Maricopa County, you may wonder if you really need legal help for your case. You may expect a license suspension in the mail, and you will probably be embarrassed about the whole situation. Most lawyers will tell you that you ALWAYS need an attorney after a Tempe DUI arrest. The truth is that it really depends on the circumstances of your particular case. You may be able to avoid hiring a Tempe DUI lawyer if:
- You are a first-time offender.
- You do not have additional charges along with the DUI.
Although, for the most part, you won’t need a lawyer in these cases, you might find the legal process a little overwhelming. If you’re not sure if you need help, contact one of our experienced Tempe DUI lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. We will schedule a FREE, confidential, and no-obligation consultation to answer your questions and explain your options, including whether or not you need an attorney in your situation. Don’t forget to also take a FREE copy of our helpful book, DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Tempe DUI Lawyers | When to Call a Tempe DUI Attorney
Depending on the circumstances of your Tempe DUI case, you may not need a lawyer at all. If this is your first arrest for drunk driving in Arizona, you may be able to navigate the legal system just fine on your own. The problems start when your case is complicated by:
- A previous DUI conviction: Any previous conviction for an Arizona DUI means you will probably be subject to Arizona’s mandatory sentencing laws. It is very important that you speak with a Maricopa County criminal lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest to start looking at your options.
- An accident: If you caused an accident while driving drunk in Tempe, your case could get extremely complicated and carry very heavy penalties. Trying to pursue an Arizona DUI accident case on your own can be daunting and is not recommended.
- Additional charges: This is where your case really requires an experienced professional. If you were also charged with resisting arrest, aggravated assault, or drug possession during your DUI arrest, there are multiple mandatory sentences to contend with and a lot of potential for things to go wrong.
In short, if you are arrested for a DUI that is not a first offense, or if you have any complicating factors, then it’s in your best interest to speak with a lawyer before making any major decisions about your Arizona DUI offense. The skills, knowledge, and experience that only a Tempe DUI lawyer can provide can help you obtain the best outcome, in or out of court.
The Tempe drunk driving lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten want to help you avoid conviction and retain your driving privileges after your Maricopa County drunk driving arrest. Give us a call today to learn more about your rights and options in a completely free legal consultation. You are under no pressure to hire us, and we’ll also give you a copy of our FREE book, DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Drug Possession in Arizona: What to Expect
Arizona drug possession comes with strict mandatory sentencing rules depending on the type of drug and the amount you are found carrying. If you have been arrested for drug possession in Arizona, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced Phoenix drug offense lawyer as soon as possible. Because the drug laws in Arizona are very complicated, it is extremely difficult to navigate the system on your own and know what to expect.
Arizona drug possession laws cover many illegal drugs, including:
- Methamphetamines (“crystal meth”)
- Narcotic drugs, such as heroin and morphine
- Prescription drugs
- Nitrous oxide
- Toxic vapor-releasing substances, as used for “huffing”
Sentencing for Arizona drug possession varies quite a bit depending on the type of drug, the quantity, and any past conviction history. Some drug offenses, termed “serious drug offenses” by Arizona law, can come with a sentence of life imprisonment.
If you’d like to learn more about drug possession charges in Phoenix, contact the experienced Maricopa County drug offense lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292 to receive a copy of our free book: Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers on Arizona Drug Possession
In your Arizona drug possession case, the type of drug and the amount you were caught with make a very big difference in the sentence you can expect. Although many first-time offenders will not serve time in jail, a previous drug conviction can increase the severity of your sentence by quite a bit. Your Arizona drug offense case is unique, so you will need to speak directly with a qualified Phoenix criminal defense lawyer for specific answers to your questions. In general, though, you should know that:
- Most drug possession in Arizona is charged as a felony;
- Even a first-time offender could be subject to mandatory probation;
- Some serious drug offenses in Arizona could mean life in prison.
Under Arizona law, a “serious drug offense” is defined as any violation of (or attempt/conspiracy to violate):
- Section 13-3404.01, which covers possession and sale of ephedrine or other “precursor chemicals”;
- Section 13-3405, which covers the sale and distribution of marijuana;
- Section 13-3407, which covers the sale and distribution of dangerous drugs;
- Section 13-3408, which covers the manufacture, sale, and transport of narcotics in an amount exceeding the threshold amount;
- Section 13-3406, which covers prescription drug offenses;
- Section 13-3409, which covers drug offenses involving minors.
If you have been charged with what is considered a serious drug offense in Arizona you could be sentenced to life imprisonment if:
- You had a pattern of drug offenses, meaning three or more related drug crimes, which make up a significant part of your income.
- The offense was committed as part of an enterprise involved in dealing drugs in Arizona and you “organized, managed, directed, supervised or financed the enterprise with the intent to promote or further its criminal objectives.”
If you have been arrested for drug possession in Arizona, contact one of our experienced Maricopa County criminal defense attorneys today. We will help you understand what your charges mean and answer your questions clearly and honestly. Also, take a look at our FREE book: Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Medical Marijuana and Arizona Drug Offenses
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act allows anyone to use medical marijuana without penalties, as long as the individual holds a valid medical marijuana card. However, there are many limitations in place, and it’s important to understand the details if you have been prescribed marijuana for a debilitating medical condition.
If you have a valid Arizona medical marijuana card, you do have some additional protections aside from the criminal exemptions. For example:
- A school or landlord can’t refuse enrollment or leasing to you, unless failing to do so would cause the school or landlord to lose benefits under federal law.
- An employer can’t discriminate against you in hiring, terminating, or imposing employment conditions, unless failing to do so would cause the employer to lose benefits under federal law.
- An employer can’t penalize you for a positive drug test for marijuana, unless you used, possessed, or were impaired by marijuana on the employment premises or during hours of employment.
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act does not allow you to possess and use marijuana without limitation. Under the act, you are not authorized to use marijuana if:
- You are on a school bus, on the grounds of a school, or in prison;
- You are in a public place, including public transportation;
- It would constitute negligence or malpractice at your job;
- You are operating a motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat.
The marijuana laws in Arizona can be very confusing, so it is a good idea to talk with a qualified Phoenix drug offense lawyer for the specifics. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 for a FREE legal consultation, and take a moment to request our FREE book: Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Drug Offense Lawyers Explain Arizona Marijuana Offenses
As more and more states start to discuss marijuana legalization and medical marijuana, more people have been asking us about Arizona’s laws and how the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act has changed marijuana offenses in Arizona. For those with a valid medical marijuana card, state law allows possession and use of the drug to treat a debilitating medical condition. Such patients are subject to certain limitations under state law, though. However, for those individuals without a valid medical marijuana card, Arizona drug offense laws still apply and crimes are treated very seriously.
Under Arizona law, without a valid medical marijuana card or other appropriate documentation, it is illegal to:
- Possess or use marijuana;
- Possess marijuana for sale;
- Produce marijuana;
- Transport for sale, import into this state or offer to transport for sale or import into this state, sell, transfer or offer to sell or transfer marijuana.
If you are arrested for marijuana in Arizona, you could be charged with a:
- Class 6 felony for possession of less than two pounds;
- Class 5 felony for possession of at least two pounds but less than four pounds;
- Class 4 felony for possession of four pounds or more;
- Class 4 felony for less than two pounds for sale;
- Class 3 felony for at least two pounds but not more than four pounds for sale;
- Class 2 felony for more than four pounds for sale;
- Class 5 felony for production of less than two pounds;
- Class 4 felony for production of least two pounds but not more than four pounds;
- Class 3 felony for production of four pounds or more;
- Class 3 felony for transport/import of less than two pounds;
- Class 2 felony for transport/import of two pounds or more.
The laws are a little bit different if you are on probation or carry previous convictions. Additionally, sentencing can vary quite a bit if you are convicted of a marijuana crime, and it may come with certain mandatory sentencing rules. For more information about marijuana violations in Maricopa County, contact the Phoenix criminal defense lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292. We are experienced Arizona drug offense attorneys, and we offer a FREE legal consultation to answer your questions and explain your rights. Don’t forget to also take a look at our FREE book: Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Marriage Contracts: Crazy Celebrity Prenuptial Agreements
There’s a common misconception that Arizona prenuptial agreements only cover division of property or custody after an Arizona divorce. However, many couples choose to include additional agreements, and those additions can range from the practical to the bizarre. Couples can include just about anything in their marriage contracts, and we mean anything. Take a look at some of these celebrity prenuptial agreements:
- The prenup of Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards included a clause that would get Richards $4 million if Sheen cheated on her.
- Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman’s prenup allows Urban to receive $640,000 for each year they remain married, unless he relapses and uses drugs again.
- Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom’s prenup includes some lavish support options for Kardashian, including $25,000/month in support, $5,000 for shopping, courtside season tickets for the Lakers for her and her family, and a new luxury vehicle on a regular schedule.
- Other celebrity prenups are rumored to have some unusual provisions, such as payments each time a spouse is rude to his wife’s parents or a forfeiture of property if the wife gains weight.
Although you probably aren’t planning on a prenuptial agreement with these kinds of lavish provisions, it is still a good idea to talk to your fiancé about your plans and hopes for the future. Give the friendly and experienced Phoenix family law attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call today to get answers about your Arizona prenup and to receive a free book: Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Phoenix Family Law Attorneys Explain Arizona Prenuptial Agreements
Many couples feel uncomfortable with the idea of an Arizona prenuptial agreement. Thinking about divorce before you’re even married may seem ridiculous, especially at a time when you’re both so in love and getting ready to spend your lives together. However, a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean that the worst will happen; it simply outlines how you wish to proceed if it does. For so many couples, an existing prenuptial agreement has eased the path significantly after an unexpected death or a sudden divorce. And there’s no better time to decide on certain issues than when you’re both very much in love and have a clear idea of what you want out of the future.
What is a prenuptial agreement in Arizona?
A prenuptial agreement, also called a marriage contract or premarital agreement, is essentially just a chance for you and your fiancé to define and organize what happens after a divorce or death. Your prenup in Arizona can outline financial issues, custody, spousal support, and many other facets of your life together. It is considered a contract in the eyes of the law.
What should I include in an Arizona prenuptial agreement?
When you start putting together your prenuptial agreement, you and your potential spouse will decide on practical matters to help safeguard your marriage and prepare for the occurrence of divorce or death. Such matters include:
- What will happen with any children, including custody and support;
- How debts will be paid;
- Who will receive the home and other properties;
- How alimony/spousal support will be paid;
- What happens with assets and income;
- How inheritance and gifts will be handled;
- Clarification of death benefits and what will be covered in your will;
- How medical insurance, disability, and long term care insurance will be handled;
- Inheritance for children from before the marriage;
- Protection of a preexisting “nest egg” or protection from a preexisting debt.
Although these are the major issues that most couples work out in a prenuptial agreement, you can include just about anything in the marriage contract. For example, some couples decide ahead of time what happens with “custody” of family pets or what will happen during the marriage, such as if one spouse will stay at home, how equality will be defined in the marriage, or what happens in circumstances such as adultery.
While a prenuptial agreement is not the final word in Arizona divorce law, it can go a long way toward resolving disputes in the case of a later divorce.
If you and your spouse-to-be are considering an Arizona prenuptial agreement, contact the friendly and experienced Phoenix family law attorneys with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292. Our first consultation is completely free so that you can get answers to your questions and understand your options. We also offer a completely free book to our web visitors: Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Sentencing for Arizona Murder Charges: What to Expect
Sentencing for murder in Arizona varies depending on the severity of the crime. The state of Arizona has strict mandatory sentencing laws that apply to murder cases, although they do allow some room to increase or decrease the sentence depending on the circumstances in some cases. For example:
- First degree murder may be punished by death, life imprisonment, or natural life imprisonment. In the case of life imprisonment, you may be eligible for release after 25 years if the person murdered was an adult, or 35 years if the person was under the age of 15.
- Second degree murder may be punished by imprisonment for 16 years, or 6 years more or less, depending on the circumstances. However, if you have previously been convicted of second degree murder or a Class 2 or Class 3 felony involving a deadly weapon or the intentional infliction of physical injury on a person, then you may be sentenced to 20 years, give or take 5 years depending on circumstances.
- Manslaughter and negligent homicide carry more wildly varying sentences, which may be increased if the homicide is considered a “dangerous offense.”
If you have been accused of murder in Arizona, contact an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer at 1-888-929-5292 today for a FREE consultation. We have answers to your many questions and are devoted to defending your rights.
Phoenix Homicide Defense Lawyers Explain Murder Charges in Arizona
In Arizona, homicide or murder is when you take another person’s life. It is a serious offense that comes with stiff and mandatory sentencing by state law. If you have been arrested for murder in Phoenix, you probably have a lot of questions about your rights and what happens next. Each Arizona homicide case is unique, and you need to contact a Phoenix homicide defense lawyer for specific answers to your questions. We can, however, offer you some general information about homicide charges in Arizona.
Four Degrees of Severity
Arizona murder laws allow for varying degrees of severity, and those designations can strongly impact your case and the punishment you receive for murder in Arizona. There are four levels of severity:
- Negligent homicide: This applies when you cause the death of another person, including an unborn child, through negligence. It is considered a Class 4 felony.
- Manslaughter: This is a Class 2 felony that applies when you recklessly kill another person, intentionally help someone commit suicide, are coerced by a person threatening you with physical force, cause the death of an unborn child by physically injuring the mother, or commit second degree murder when provoked by another, after an argument, or in the “heat of passion.”
- Second degree murder: This applies when there is no premeditation, and you intentionally kill another person, know that the person’s behavior will result in death or serious injury, or kill a person by engaging in conduct that you know could kill someone. It is a Class 1 felony.
- First degree murder: This applies when there is premeditation (i.e., you plan intentionally) to kill a person or know your conduct will be deadly, kill a person in the course of committing certain other crimes, or kill a police officer in the line of duty. It is a Class 1 felony and could be punished with death or life imprisonment.
A murder conviction can change your life forever and have a huge impact on your opportunities. For more information, talk to a qualified and experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer today by calling 1-888-929-5292. We will answer your questions clearly and honestly and ensure the protection of your rights. For more details about us and what we do, take a moment to read through our FREE book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
What are the consequences of Arizona annulment?
The consequences of annulment in Arizona are very different from the consequences of divorce. Because an annulment essentially makes it as though the marriage never existed, you are not afforded the same rights after the legal process as someone who has gone through a divorce in Arizona.
After an annulment, be aware that:
- You will not have marital property rights: Your former spouse does not need your consent to sell or lease any house or property for which you’re not the legal owner.
- You will not have succession rights: If your former spouse dies, you have no claim to the estate.
- You will not receive spousal support: Although child support may be ordered in an annulment, no financial support will be ordered for a former spouse.
- You might not have guardian rights as a father: You will only be given guardian rights if you can prove that you believed the marriage was valid and the child was born within ten months of the annulment.
If you have questions about your rights after an Arizona annulment or divorce, contact a friendly Arizona family lawyer today by calling 1-888-929-5292. We are devoted to helping our clients through tough times and answering their question clearly and honestly. If you’d like to know more about what we do, request a copy of our free book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
Phoenix Family Lawyers | Annulment in Arizona
Annulment in Arizona is distinctly different from divorce in Arizona. An annulment declares your marriage null and void, essentially seeming as though it never happened. A nullified marriage, in theory, is not valid in the first place, as it involves a legal impediment of some kind or something a spouse was unaware of before the marriage.
Consider the reasons for annulment in Arizona:
- Mental illness/mentally challenged: If a spouse is mentally ill or mentally challenged, he or she is legally incapable of consent, and the marriage may be annulled.
- Fraud: If one spouse lies in order to entice the other spouse into marriage, it may be annulled.
- Lack of consent: If a spouse is forced into the marriage under threats of violence, it may be annulled.
- Intoxication: If either spouse is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage, it may be annulled.
- Inability to consummate the marriage: If the impotence of one spouse is unknown to the other spouse at the time of the marriage, it may be annulled.
- Lack of parental consent for an underage marriage: If an underage person is married without court or parental approval, the marriage may be annulled.
- A spouse is already married: A marriage entered into before an earlier marriage has ended may be annulled.
- Incestuous marriage: If a marriage takes place between a child and a parent or certain other family members, it may be annulled.
- Same-sex marriage: Same-sex marriages are not legal in Arizona, and thus they may be annulled.
- Mock marriage: If a marriage takes place with no intention that it last or be binding, it may be annulled.
Each of these reasons is grounds for annulment, as the marriage was technically invalid at the start. After an annulment, the marriage is erased from the record entirely, as though you were never married. This makes annulment very different from divorce, especially regarding the rights of each spouse. If there are children involved, it’s important to note that any offspring from the marriage are still considered legitimate.
If you are considering a divorce or annulment in Arizona, contact a friendly Phoenix divorce lawyer at 1-888-929-5292 today. We are experienced Maricopa County family lawyers who understand that each case is unique, and we look forward to building a relationship with you. If you’d like to know more about us and what we do, request a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.
How to Avoid Criminal Trespassing Charges in Maricopa County
It’s not always easy to tell if you’re trespassing in Maricopa County. For instance, if you hunt or hike, you probably often come upon areas in which it’s not obvious who owns the land or if you’re allowed to be there. For the most part, a first-time trespasser or lost hiker is not likely to receive formal criminal trespassing charges. However, it is possible. If you hunt, hike, walk your dog, or otherwise find yourself wandering on land you don’t own, take a few tips on avoiding criminal trespassing from your Phoenix criminal defense lawyers:
- Ask permission: If possible, contact the owner of the land for permission before you enter the property. It could save both of you time and keep you out of legal trouble.
- Don’t jump the fence: If you notice that an area is fenced off or gated, don’t enter it. This is generally a good sign that the owner doesn’t want you to be there.
- Obey posted signs: Landowners should post “No Trespassing” signs along the perimeter of their property if they want to keep trespassers out. Check the area for these signs or orange paint, which Arizona law allows to be used along with the signs, and obey them when present.
Arizona trespassing charges range from misdemeanors to felonies, and they could have an impact on your future. Take trespassing charges seriously, and contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a FREE legal consultation. In the meantime, we would like for you to have a copy of our FREE and helpful book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers Explain Criminal Trespassing in AZ
Trespassing may not seem like a big deal to some people, but the truth is that trespassing in Arizona is illegal and could net you charges of criminal trespassing. We enter and exit property that doesn’t belong to us on many occasions in the course of a day, such as by going to the bank or visiting a neighbor, but being in these same areas under certain circumstances could be construed as trespassing. Let’s look at Arizona’s trespassing laws:
1st Degree Criminal Trespassing:
- Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in or on a residential structure;
- Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in a fenced residential yard;
- Knowingly entering any residential yard and, without lawful authority, looking into the residential structure thereon in reckless disregard of infringing on the inhabitant’s right of privacy;
- Knowingly entering unlawfully on real property that is subject to a valid mineral claim or lease with the intent to hold, work, take or explore for minerals on the claim or lease;
- Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on the property of another and burning, defacing, mutilating or otherwise desecrating a religious symbol or other religious property of another without the express permission of the owner of the property;
- Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in or on a critical public service facility.
2nd Degree Criminal Trespassing:
- Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in or on any nonresidential structure or in any fenced commercial yard.
3rd Degree Criminal Trespassing:
- Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on any real property after a reasonable request to leave by the owner or any other person having lawful control over such property, or reasonable notice prohibiting entry;
- Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on the right-of-way for tracks, or the storage or switching yards or rolling stock of a railroad company.
The punishment for criminal trespassing varies depending on whether you are charged with misdemeanor or felony trespassing and if you have been charged with additional Arizona crimes in the process. A trespassing conviction could impact your future opportunities for work or education, and thus should be taken seriously.
If you have been arrested for criminal trespassing in Maricopa County, give the experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call today at 1-888-929-5292. We also want you to take a copy of our helpful book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know, which answers many questions about what to do next.
Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers | Phoenix Curfew Violations
Phoenix curfew laws define when your minor child may be outside without adult supervision. They are enforced by the police and can result in an Arizona juvenile offense for your teen if not followed.
Although it is commonly believed that the curfew hours are extended during the summer, the curfew laws are exactly the same for your child whether he or she is outdoors unsupervised during the summer or during the school year. Understanding curfew laws is important if you are the parent of a Phoenix teen. Not only do you want to keep your teen safe and out of trouble, but the law also allows you, as the parent, to personally be held responsible for a curfew violation in some cases.
What are the Phoenix curfew hours?
The hours that the Phoenix curfew is in effect vary depending on the age of your child:
- Under the age of 15: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
- Ages 16 and 17: Midnight to 5 a.m.
What are the exceptions to the curfew?
- Exceptions to the curfew apply if your teen is:
- With a parent or legal guardian;
- With another adult person;
- On an emergency errand;
- Involved in any “reasonable, legitimate, and specific business or activity directed or permitted by his parent” or other adult responsible for the teen;
- An emancipated minor.
It is important to note that an older teen, such as a sibling, cannot count as a valid guardian for a child. Only adults over the age of 21 can “supervise” your teen, according to Phoenix city laws.
What are the penalties for a Phoenix curfew violation?
A teen found in violation of the curfew laws could be charged with a misdemeanor offense in Phoenix. If it is a first offense, however, offenders are usually offered the option of attending a communication course for a fee instead. Any parent can be charged with violating the curfew laws if the judge feels this is appropriate.
Many other cities near Phoenix, such as Scottsdale and Mesa, have similar curfew laws. If you have questions about curfew laws or are the parent of a teen charged with a Phoenix curfew violation, call the Phoenix criminal lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292. We are Arizona juvenile defense lawyers who are prepared to answer your questions thoroughly and honestly. We also offer a free book that may be helpful for parents: Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Arizona Child Custody and Visitation Considerations
In an Arizona divorce, both parents usually are granted at least some aspects of custody, and the noncustodial parent will generally have visitation rights. The courts consider many factors when deciding who gets custody, how visitation is handled, and what is best for your kids. Behind the scenes, these are the factors the courts are considering in your Phoenix child custody case:
- The child’s age and preference;
- The child’s health, both mental and physical;
- The parents’ health, both mental and physical;
- Lifestyle of the parents, including any history of abuse;
- Emotional relationship with the child and ability to parent effectively;
- Ability for the parent to provide necessities, such as food, shelter, and medical care;
- The lifestyle and patterns the child is used to, such as activities, schools, and churches;
- The parent’s ability to communicate effectively with the other parent.
There are a lot of considerations when it comes to Arizona divorce, and it’s important that you understand your rights during the difficult custody and visitation process. Contact a compassionate Phoenix divorce lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292, and also request a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide. We are devoted to helping our clients get the best results.
Phoenix Divorce Lawyers | Supervised Visitation in AZ
Supervised visitation is an option in high conflict divorces to ensure that the kids are safe and supervised when in the company of the noncustodial parent. In many cases, supervised visitation is an alternative to no visitation at all, so it is important that everyone understands the rules and works under them.
What is supervised visitation in Arizona?
The noncustodial parent has a right to visitation in Arizona, but that right can be suspended or denied in certain circumstances. Supervised visitation is a visitation limitation that means the noncustodial parent may only see the children when a third party is present to ensure that the children are safe.
What are the reasons for supervised visitation?
In general, visitation is only restricted when the child is in danger or when unrestricted visitation is against the child’s best interest. Typical reasons why supervised visitation may be ordered include:
- Violence, abuse, or physical endangerment
- Emotional harm or abuse
- It’s what the child wants: The child’s age and maturity level will be considered in this case.
- A parent’s mental illness: If the noncustodial suffers from a mental illness, he or she is not automatically restricted, but can be if the illness has the potential to cause harm to the child.
- Substance abuse: This is especially important in cases such as alcoholism where the child is mistreated or otherwise harmed by the noncustodial parent’s substance use.
- Sexual behavior: Although it’s rare for visitation to be restricted due to the noncustodial parent’s relationship behavior, it is possible for the court to restrict overnight visitation if the noncustodial parent is living with an individual and it causes harm to the child in some way.
- Parent is in prison: Incarceration does not automatically deny or limit visitation, but it can be denied if the visitation is harmful to the child.
- Religious beliefs: If the noncustodial parent’s instruction in a religious belief harms the child, then visitation may be limited.
- Abduction threat: If there is a strong probability that the noncustodial parent will kidnap the child, visitation will be limited.
If you are involved in a Phoenix divorce and have questions about visitation, contact an experienced Arizona family law attorney at 1-888-929-5292 today. We know the divorce process is never easy, especially when there are children involved. Request a copy of our free book to help you through this difficult time: Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Arizona Criminal Defense and Electronic Evidence: Not Just for Hackers
A recent study in California showed that around 93% of all new information is in digital format. Computers and electronic devices dominate our society, and these devices are used by those accused of crimes as well as police and other authorities. While computers and related electronic evidence were once only used in cases of Arizona computer crime, it is now admissible to use such technology as evidence in all kinds of criminal cases, including everything from fraud to murder.
No matter what kind of crime you were arrested for, your cell phone or computer could be confiscated and that information used against you in court. Some examples of criminal cases in Arizona that may resort to using electronic evidence in court are:
- Narcotics investigations
- Copyright violation
- Breach of computer security
- Child pornography
- White-collar crime investigations
- Sexual assault
As you can see, just about any crime in Arizona may involve a computer or digital device, and that information can be used against you in court.
If you have been arrested and want to know more about your rights regarding your computer files or other electronic evidence, contact our experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. For further information, we recommend that you request a copy of our FREE book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Arizona Internet Crime Lawyers | Electronic Evidence
As technology advances, electronic evidence is no longer solely used in cases of Arizona internet crime. Increasingly, electronic evidence such as e-mail, chat logs, and Word documents are being used in cases ranging from fraud to murder. If you have been arrested in Phoenix, information from your computer or cell phone could end up being used in court, even if the charges are not computer-related.
What is electronic evidence?
“Electronic evidence” can be defined as any evidence that is stored or sent in a digital format that can be used by a party in a court case. Examples include:
- Address books
- Chat logs
- Encrypted, hidden, password-protected, and potentially misnamed files
- Internet bookmarks, cookies, and history
- Image files
- Text documents
- Database files
- Configuration files
- System files and logs
- Voice mail
- Backup tapes
- Disks, CDs, and thumb drives
The problem is that electronic evidence can be very fragile, and the court will carefully scrutinize any digital evidence that was handled improperly, damaged, or destroyed. In fact, electronic evidence is often thrown out during trials because it was obtained without authorization or otherwise mishandled. Additionally, many companies do not yet have policies and procedures in place to handle digital evidence, and they may have mishandled it long before the police investigate.
How is electronic evidence handled at the crime scene?
Generally, when authorities investigate and find potential digital evidence, they will:
- Physically secure the items, such as computers and external hard drives;
- Take pictures of the room and the systems;
- In the case of an item (such as a computer) that is already on, take note of onscreen items;
- Remove the plug from the electrical source;
- Take the system apart and document all components;
- Copy evidence to sterile media, if necessary.
If you have been accused of a crime in Arizona and believe that your computer may be used as electronic evidence, call a qualified Maricopa County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible at 1-888-929-5292. We want to help you understand your rights and prepare for your trial. We also are offering a free legal book for our web visitors: Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Adoption Lawyers | Arizona Adoption Scams
The adoption process in Arizona is difficult enough without having to deal with an adoption scam. Adoption scams are heartbreaking for families, but also financially devastating. Many families prepare for an adoption by buying a bigger house, renovating a nursery, or quitting full-time jobs. Adoption scams, for many, cause emotional trauma that lasts long after the financial trauma has been mitigated. The best way to prevent an Arizona adoption scam is to be prepared to spot trouble.
False Promises and Emotional Manipulation
Making the decision to seek adoption is an emotional one for families. Fraudsters are aware of this, and thus look to take advantage of people who are emotionally invested and impatient to find their new family member as soon as possible. This is how adoption agencies get you:
- Promise to find a baby and guarantee placement within a short amount of time;
- Avoid meeting in person;
- Do not offer proof of pregnancy or medical information;
- Claim not to have ever had a negative report or refuse to offer references;
- Claim to successfully place each and every time;
- Charge large fees upfront for the adoption and related services;
- Give you the run around when you ask for documentation;
- Do not return your phone calls;
- Relocate the birth mother;
- Avoid questions about the birth father.
Not Just Adoption Agencies
Unfortunately, fraud is not just an issue with agencies, either. Dealing with the expectant birth parents may leave you vulnerable to adoptions scams, as well. Be on the lookout for a birth mother who:
- Seems to be in a constant state of crisis and high drama;
- Constantly requests money and offers excuses;
- Refuses to sign a medical release;
- Will not talk about the birth father;
- Refuses to talk to your Arizona adoption lawyer or agency;
- Changes the due date or sends medical information, such as ultrasound pictures, without identifying information;
- Avoids face-to-face meetings and refuses to give out contact information;
- Refuses to tell family, friends, and doctors about the adoption.
If you are seeking to adopt in Arizona, it can be dangerous to go it alone. Contact a compassionate Phoenix family law attorney today for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling 1-888-929-5292. We are devoted to our clients’ needs and explaining all available options as clearly and honestly as possible. If you have more questions about what a Maricopa County adoption lawyer can do for you, request our free book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Does it matter if my AZ criminal charge is a felony or a misdemeanor?
The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor charge may not seem very important, but the distinction makes a huge difference in the severity of your punishment and your life in the future. Being convicted of a felony in Arizona means prison time, which is served in a state prison instead of your local jail. It means reporting the conviction on your job applications and losing some civil rights.
A felony conviction also means a longer sentence. Misdemeanors are generally punished with fines or up to six months in jail. Felonies, however, can result in very long sentences, depending on the severity. A Class 6 felony may mean a year in prison, while a Class 1 felony could be life imprisonment or the death penalty. That’s a big difference.
Sometimes the line between a misdemeanor and felony isn’t very clear. If you read our recent article about assault versus aggravated assault, then you know that assault can easily become a felony in many circumstances.
Our experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyers know that each person’s case is unique. We will walk you through every step of your case and answer your questions honestly. Give us a call at 1-888-929-5292 today to schedule a free consultation and request our free book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyers | Aggravated Assault in Arizona
Under Arizona law, any of the following are considered to be assault:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person;
- Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury;
- Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke such person.
Simple assault is a misdemeanor. Under certain circumstances, however, you may be charged with aggravated assault, which is a felony.
What is aggravated assault in Arizona?
Aggravated assault is a more serious crime that results in felony charges. If convicted, you face jail time and harsher punishment, and you put your future employment in jeopardy. If you have been charged with aggravated assault, it is very important that you contact an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer, who will answer your questions thoroughly and explain your rights. The dividing line between assault and aggravated assault is not always clear, and can become very complex depending on the circumstances.
For example, assault becomes aggravated assault when you commit assault, but also:
- Cause serious physical injury to another;
- Use a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument;
- Enter a private home with the intent to commit assault;
- Are 18 or older and assault someone who is 15 or younger;
- Know that the person is a peace officer or a person officially summoned and directed by the officer;
- Know the victim is a teacher or school employee who is on school grounds, in any part of a building or vehicle used for school purposes, or otherwise performing professional duties;
- The victim is physically restrained or the capacity to resist is substantially impaired;
- Know that the victim is a fire fighter, paramedic, or other medical professional performing an official duty;
- Use any means of force that causes temporary but substantial disfigurement, temporary but substantial loss or impairment of any body organ or part, or a fracture of any body part.
The laws differ somewhat if you already have been imprisoned and commit assault. Aggravated assault is a very serious crime that can have a long-term impact on your life. Contact one of our Arizona aggravated assault lawyers today at 888-929-5292 so we can answer your questions and explain your rights. Our first consultation is free, and we also offer a free book: Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
There’s More to an Arizona Legal Separation than Just Legal Concerns
Even the best Phoenix divorce attorney can’t help you with the non-legal aspects of a legal separation. Although you remain legally married, you and your spouse will experience many of the same emotional reactions and stresses that face divorcing couples. Concerns about your children, your living situation, and your property can cause tempers to flare. In our experience, we have seen legal separation cases go much more smoothly for those who were able to:
- Stick to the terms of the separation agreement;
- Control feelings of anger;
- Communicate civilly;
- Make children the priority.
What actions should I avoid?
If you’re going through a legal separation, it can be very difficult to control your anger or stifle impulses. During the period you are legally separated from your spouse, try to avoid:
- Engaging in physical intimacy with your spouse;
- Starting a relationship with someone new;
- Talking badly about your spouse, especially to your children;
- Doing hurtful things to your spouse out of anger.
Legal separation gives you and your spouse time to reflect on the marriage and see what divorce might look like. Giving in to anger ultimately works against you, and can even hurt your case later. If you have questions about your Arizona divorce or legal separation, give your Phoenix divorce lawyers a call at 1-888-929-5292 today.
Maricopa County Family Law Attorneys | Legal Separation in Arizona
Obtaining a legal separation in Arizona means that, although you remain legally married, you and your spouse will live apart from each other. Many couples choose this option as an alternative to divorce, and, although some remain legally separated for the long term, many do choose to divorce eventually. If you’re not sure if you and your spouse are ready for a divorce, legal separation can provide a sort of “test run” before you decide.
Why Many Arizona Couples Choose Legal Separation
There are a lot of reasons why some couples prefer to undergo a legal separation rather than a divorce. Legal separation allows spouses to live apart, but still protects some of their rights and benefits. Some reasons why couples choose legal separation include:
- Time apart: Sometimes couples aren’t sure if divorce is the answer, and just need some space to think and decide.
- Social Security benefits: Some of these benefits require that a couple remains married for ten years or more.
- Military benefits: In order to take advantage of some military benefits, the marriage must have lasted at least ten years.
- Religious beliefs: Couples may want to remain legally married while living apart due to the fact that their religious beliefs conflict with divorce.
- A “test run”: The separation agreement can be the template for a later divorce settlement.
How Legal Separation in Arizona Works
When you decide to work toward a legal separation in Arizona, many concerns will be addressed and agreed upon, such as:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Division of property
- Division of debts
- Spousal support
Be aware when negotiating the separation agreement that many judges do use this as a template for your later divorce. It is very important to consider the terms of the separation agreement as though they were the terms of a divorce, even if you don’t plan on divorcing right away.
Legal separation and divorce in Arizona can be very confusing and emotionally difficult. If you need help preparing for a Maricopa County divorce or legal separation, give the Arizona divorce attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call today at 1-888-929-5292.
Arizona Divorce and Financial Security: The Settlement Agreement
We talked recently about the idea of community debt in Arizona and how it might affect you after a divorce, but we know that you have other financial concerns, too. When it comes time to negotiate a settlement agreement, keep in mind:
- Your retirement plan may not kick in as soon as you think. Due to changes in Social Security, your benefits may not begin at the age of 64. In fact, you might not receive benefits until you’re 67.
- You may be paying extra for health insurance. It may be necessary for you to obtain health insurance for any children involved, or it may be necessary to pay more in child support to cover those costs. Additionally, if you’re covered by a health plan at work, your spouse may have a right to coverage under that plan for a few years after the marriage.
- Your cost of living may increase after the divorce. Especially if you have children, maintaining your lifestyle can become very difficult if you’ve been depending on a second income from your spouse.Keeping up with your necessary expenses and monthly bills can quickly get you in over your head if you’re not prepared.
How your settlement agreement is negotiated has a huge impact on your financial security after a divorce. Hiring an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer is a tremendous help, and we are devoted to providing clear, honest answers to your difficult questions. Give us a call as soon as possible at 1-888-929-5292. Also, don’t forget to request a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide. We look forward to speaking with you.
Maricopa County Divorce Lawyers | Community Debt in Arizona
Much like community property, any debts or financial obligations are divided up between the two individuals during a divorce in Arizona. Regardless of which spouse incurred the debts, the courts consider any debt racked up by either spouse during the course of the marriage “community debt.” Dividing property and debt in the divorce can be very complicated and stressful. Although speaking personally with a qualified Arizona divorce lawyer is the best way to understand the intricacies of your divorce case, we’d like to share a little general information about community debt so you have an idea of what to expect.
What is community debt?
As stated above, community debt in Arizona is any financial obligation or debt incurred by either spouse during the marriage. This includes money owed for items only one spouse used, such as a computer used by one spouse for work or perhaps a fishing rod only the husband used. Any debts still owed that stacked up during the marriage belong to BOTH spouses, according to Arizona divorce law. However, under certain circumstances the court may assign the debt to only one party. During divorce proceedings, the debt will be equitably divided so that each spouse is responsible for roughly half.
What are the exceptions?
This is where it gets complicated. There are some exceptions to community debt:
- Debt incurred before the marriage: These debts do not become community debt simply because you married. Instead, these debts generally remain the responsibility of the spouse who incurred them. An example would be old college loan payments from before you were married.
- Excessive or abnormal expenditures: The courts may take large or unusual debts incurred by one party into account when dividing community debt.
- Creditors can ignore the court’s decision: Even though the court may have divided the debts between you and your spouse, your credit card company or other creditors have no legal obligation to follow this decision. For example, if the balance on a credit card was assigned to the husband and he fails to make payments, the credit card company can still pursue the wife and even take legal action against her.
Dividing property and debt is one of the most stressful and complicated parts of the Arizona divorce process. If you have questions about how community property laws affect you, contact an experienced Maricopa County divorce attorney today at 1-888-929-5292. We offer a legal consultation for no charge, and we also want you to have a free copy of our helpful book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Arizona Pyramid Schemes: Hard to Spot, Doomed to Topple
Similar to Arizona Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes are illegal and usually end in disaster for everyone involved. In a pyramid scheme, you pay a sum to get in on what seems like a legitimate opportunity, but you must recruit new investors in order to get paid. The person at the top of the pyramid gets a cut from each new recruit, sometimes making a large amount of money this way. The problem occurs as more and more people are recruited, since the returns become increasingly smaller for the investors at the bottom of the pyramid, until the entire scheme collapses.
Many pyramid schemes come under the guise of legitimate investments or opportunities, but you run into trouble as more and more people are required to keep the pyramid going. For example, in a model where each recruit must recruit six more, the number of new recruits required actually exceeds the population of the world by the 13th level! It pays to be careful where and how you make your money, but sometimes it’s impossible to tell if an opportunity is really a pyramid scheme or not.
If you have been accused of being involved in an Arizona pyramid scheme, give the Phoenix criminal defense attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call today at 1-888-929-5292. During your free consultation, we can help answer your questions and explain your rights. Don’t forget your free copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix White-Collar Crime Lawyers | Arizona Ponzi Schemes
The Ponzi scheme has become prevalent in recent years, especially with the poor economy and so many folks scrambling to stash their remaining cash in high-return investments to weather the storm. Ponzi schemes are like many other Arizona white-collar crimes in that public opinion seems to be that such “schemes” are run only by very, very rich people who specifically plan the scam to take their unsuspecting clients’ money. However, the truth is that many Ponzi schemes are not due to malice, but are actually born of pure bad luck, bad planning, or panic.
What is a Ponzi scheme?
A Ponzi scheme is an investment scheme in which investors are promised high returns, generally within a short amount of time, but in actuality, the money is never invested and instead goes to paying off earlier investors to “keep up appearances.”
How does a legitimate investment opportunity become an Arizona Ponzi scheme?
Some Ponzi schemes start out as completely legitimate investments, but begin to do poorly over time or don’t work out as planned. As money becomes tighter, or as news of progress becomes worse, the person offering the investment begins to panic and pays some dividends straight from new investors, hoping that things will improve soon. It all spirals downhill as the cash is funneled into business expenses and paying off earlier investors, until the whole thing topples.
What can I expect if I’m accused of running a Ponzi scheme?
If you are accused of running a Ponzi scheme or a similar Arizona financial scam, you may face charges on the state level, the federal level, or both. Often, other additional charges can complicate your case, including charges of mail fraud, bank fraud, or wire fraud. If convicted, you may be facing extensive fines and years in prison.
If you or a loved one has been accused of running a Maricopa County Ponzi scheme, contact the Phoenix criminal defense lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten right away at 1-888-929-5292. Our goal is to make a difference in the life of each and every one of our clients. We offer a free consultation and clear, honest answers about the options for your Phoenix criminal case. We also offer a free, informative book to help you understand more about your rights: Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorneys: Blue-Collar Crime in Arizona
You may have read our recent article about white-collar crime in Arizona, but what about blue-collar crime? We hear about these types of crime all the time, but it can be difficult to understand what they really mean. You probably don’t even think much about such crimes-until you or a family member faces charges in Arizona.
The term “blue-collar crime” refers to any criminal act committed by a member of a lower social class. While those of higher social status can commit crimes such as embezzlement or bank fraud, those of lower social status usually don’t have access to the kinds of resources that make white-collar crime possible. Blue-collar crime is generally dominated by violence and property damage, as opposed to fraud or embezzlement. Examples of Arizona blue-collar crime include:
Typically, police are more active in enforcing the laws relating to blue-collar crime, and courts are more likely to impose severe penalties. If you or a family member has been accused of vandalism in Phoenix or are otherwise involved in a criminal case in Maricopa County, give our compassionate Arizona criminal defense lawyers a call today at 1-888-929-5292. To thank you for stopping by, we’d also like to give you a free copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers | White-Collar Crime in AZ
Edwin Sutherland, a sociologist, coined the term “white-collar crime” in 1939, defining it as “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.” The FBI defines white-collar crime as “those illegal acts which are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and which are not dependent upon the application or threat of physical force or violence.” The definition seems to vary, and it actually has been hotly contested by experts for years. Understanding white-collar crime can be difficult, and this is especially true when you’ve found yourself or a loved one accused of acts such as bank fraud, counterfeiting, or bribery.
What are some examples of white-collar crime in Arizona?
Definition aside, perhaps the best way to understand white-collar crime in Arizona is to look at the types of crime that fall under its umbrella. White-collar crimes include:
- Bank fraud, which is attempting to obtain money or assets from a bank or other financial institution through fraudulent means.
- Blackmail, which is attempting to obtain money from a person in return for not revealing potentially compromising information.
- Bribery, which is using the gift of money or other items in order to change the recipient’s behavior.
- Embezzlement, which is taking money or property that has been entrusted to you but belongs to your company or someone else.
- Counterfeiting, which is creating an imitation of currency or another item in order to pass it off as the real thing.
Ultimately, white-collar crime can be a complicated and slippery term. Unfortunately, many court cases involving white-collar crime also become complicated quickly. Those who commit so-called white-collar crimes often walk the line between legitimate business activity and criminal offense.
If you or a loved one has been accused of white-collar crime in Arizona, contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible at 1-888-929-5292. We are devoted to helping our clients with complicated cases, and can offer clear, honest answers to your questions. For further reading, we recommend you request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
Tips from AZ Criminal Defense Lawyers on Avoiding Juvenile Charges
If your child has been arrested in Arizona, the police and court officials will need to make a decision on how to handle the case and whether or not to file formal charges. This is a crucial point in the process, and a lot of factors come into play that will impact the future of your child’s case. In order to be prepared, keep in mind that the following will be taken into account when deciding whether or not to file formal juvenile charges:
- Your child’s age
- Your child’s past record
- The severity of the offense
- The presence or absence of an Arizona juvenile offense attorney
- Your child’s attitude toward the offense and how well you are able to control him or her
- The evidence in the case
And while that list covers most of the “official” considerations, you can be assured that in most cases the following “unofficial” considerations will also have an impact:
- Your child’s appearance
- Your socio-economic status
- Whether your child is male or female
- Your child’s ethnicity
- Your child’s attitude and behavior when speaking to officials
If your son or daughter has been arrested, it is in your best interest to schedule a free consultation with an Arizona criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible at 1-888-929-5292. Let us calm your fears, answer your questions, and explain your rights in an environment where you are treated like a real person with real concerns. We look forward to speaking with you.
Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyers Explain Juvenile Offenses
As a parent, it is scary to see your minor child arrested in Arizona. There are a lot of unknowns, and you fear for your child’s future if he or she has to carry a criminal record into adulthood. For the most part, juvenile crimes are exactly the same crimes for which adults are tried. The main difference is that your child may be tried in juvenile court, which generally focuses more on rehabilitation. However, if the crime is serious enough, a child can still be tried in an adult court, with adult consequences.
Is it possible for my child to avoid going to court?
Fortunately, not every juvenile suspect is immediately handed to the court system. Police may decide to detain the child or refer the child to a court official who can decide how to handle the situation. At this stage, a decision is generally made to dismiss the case altogether, handle it “off the record,” or go ahead and file formal charges.
Who can be tried in Arizona juvenile court?
While a juvenile is defined by most states as any individual under the age of 18, it’s a bit more complicated when talking about Arizona juvenile crimes. In general, juvenile court applies to:
- Any child over the age of 7: For the most part, children under the age of 7 are not considered to be capable of intent, and thus cannot be tried in any court. In some cases, however, the parents can be tried instead.
- Any child between the ages of 7 and 15: Such an individual is generally a very good candidate for juvenile court, although it depends on the circumstances and severity of the crime.
- Any child between the ages of 15 and 18: Such an individual may initially go through juvenile court, but it is becoming increasingly common for individuals in this age group to be transferred and tried as adults, especially for serious crimes.
What kind of outcome can I expect?
For more minor crimes, your child may be ordered to complete:
- Community service
- Formal letter of apology
For more serious crimes, your child could be confined in a juvenile facility or be transferred to an adult court to be tried as an adult.
Ultimately, even if you go through juvenile courts, your child could still end up with a criminal record, which can negatively impact future educational and employment opportunities. Speaking with an experienced Phoenix juvenile offense lawyer as soon as possible can help protect your child’s future. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292, and request a copy of our FREE legal book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know, which can help you make sense of what is happening.
How can I prepare my kids for an Arizona custody battle?
Although new research shows that staying together for the children is not always best, a nasty Arizona custody battle can still affect children negatively if it is handled poorly. As a parent, it can be very difficult to keep yourself together and ease your children through a process that is already painful for you. As Arizona family law attorneys, we want you to be prepared for the challenges that custody proceedings can bring.
Divorce can bring out the worst in parents, and in some cases children experience the following:
- Losing contact with one of the parents;
- Losing participation by one of the parents;
- Overhearing parents speaking badly about each other;
- Interviews with police, lawyers, counselors, etc.;
- Moving to a new neighborhood or school;
- Financial issues creating problems.
While some of these events are out of your control, anticipating the challenges ahead and being prepared can make a big difference for you and your kids. Seeking the advice of an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer can make your Arizona custody battle go more quickly and smoothly. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a free consultation so that we can talk about your unique case. We look forward to helping you.
Arizona Divorce Lawyers | Divorce with Children in AZ
An Arizona divorce is never easy, and it is especially difficult when there are children involved. You want to do what’s best for the kids, but you are completely miserable, fight every day with your spouse, and just want to get away. It is commonly thought that it is always best to avoid a divorce and stay together for the children, but a recent study may have actually proven the opposite.
The study, released last year, followed close to 7,000 families over the course of 15 years.
- The level of marital conflict in each relationship
- The perception of conflict by the children
- The conflict in the children’s later adult relationships
The results were surprising: the children who were raised in high-conflict environments did better in their adult relationships if their parents had divorced. The researchers believe that it is exposure to their parents’ constant conflict, not the divorce itself, which causes a child to have trouble in future relationships.
But what does the research mean for my divorce in Arizona?
Basically, the research implies that staying together “for the children” is probably more harmful in the long run than divorce if you are in a high-conflict marriage. Although kids do go through a “crisis period” for a year or two after the divorce, the study suggests that they bounce back and go on to have healthier adult relationships.
Not every divorce ends peacefully, unfortunately, and continued conflict between parents after the divorce may still affect children negatively. Strangely, the study also showed that, while children of happy couples did have healthy relationships in the long run, they did not have significantly happier adult relationships compared to the children of high-conflict couples.
Of course, one scientific study doesn’t make the process of deciding whether or not to get divorced any easier. If you live in Arizona and you have questions about divorce and custody, schedule a FREE consultation with one of our qualified Phoenix divorce lawyers at 602-258-1000 or 888-929-5292. We will take your concerns seriously and be honest about what we can do to help. For further information, we also recommend that you read our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Arizona Adoption Lawyer | Adoption by Relatives
State laws pertaining to adoption by relatives vary. Even the definition of “relative” can be different in different states. For example, Arizona defines a relative as an uncle, aunt, adult sibling, grandparent, or great-grandparent of the child. In contrast, Florida defines a relative as anyone related by blood and within the third degree of relation to the child. Despite these variances, children are adopted by relatives quite often. In fact, around 30 percent of all children adopted from foster care in Arizona are adopted by their relatives.
What do I need to know about relative adoption?
The good news is that most Arizona relative adoptions are treated less formally than adoptions by strangers. The bad news is that these cases can be confusing, and you will still need to go through the legal process. Although the specifics of state laws vary, you should keep in mind that:
- Adoption by a relative is not treated the same as adoption by a stepparent.
- Both biological parents generally must terminate parental rights to enable the relative to adopt the child.
- Counseling is highly recommended due to the potential change or strain in your relationship with the child’s parent or parents, since everyone knows each other.
- The child may have questions about family relationships after the adoption or trouble transitioning, especially in very emotional cases.
As with any adoption, it’s important to remember that the “hard part” of adopting a child doesn’t end when your legal case ends. While your Phoenix adoption attorneys navigate the legal system, it will be up to you to deal with tricky relationships and focus on easing the child into your home.
Doing research on your own is always a great start, but there is no substitute for an experienced Arizona family law attorney. Every case is different, and we want to help you understand the details and unique challenges of your Arizona adoption case. Give us a call today at 602-258-1000 or 888-929-5292 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. For further information, don’t forget to order a copy of our FREE book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
The Role of a Father Coming from an Arizona Divorce is Ever-changing
No couple starts their marriage with the intent of going through an Arizona divorce. Unfortunately, divorces have become all too frequent and are leaving more fathers living apart from their children.
A quick look at the numbers
According to the Pew Research Center, more and more fathers are living apart from their children:
- In 1960, approximately 11% of children did not live with their fathers
- That number rose to 27% in 2010
Does race have anything to do with it?
A Pew Research Center analysis of the National Survey of Family Growth found a strong correlation between race/ethnicity and living arrangements between fathers and their children. Nearly:
- 44% of black fathers live apart from their children
- 35% of Hispanic fathers live apart from their children
- 21% of white fathers live apart from their children
At-home fathers are more involved
Research also suggests that fathers who live with their children are more active in their child’s day-to-day lives, helping more with activities such as:
- Meal preparation
There is a lot more information available to you if you are facing a divorce. Contact us today to order our free book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
If you are facing a divorce, especially with children involved, contact one of our experienced Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Arizona Post-Conviction Relief Petition or Rule 32
Arizona post-conviction relief petitions (PCR) are governed by Rule 32 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedures. Many people become confused and believe that PCR petitions and Rule 32’s are separate items. However, they are not. They are one in the same. In fact, PCR petitions are often called a “Rule 32.”
Why a PCR petition/Rule 32?
A PCR petition is the only option a person has when it becomes necessary to appeal a conviction when that person either:
- Entered a guilty plea
- Admitted to violating their probation
If a guilty verdict was reached via a bench or jury trial
If a person was found guilty either by a bench or jury trial, that person has the right to file a Direct Appeal. In the event that appeal is denied, they can still file a Rule 32. It is important to note that Direct Appeals and PCR petitions are different from one another.
Order your free copy of our book
Call us today for more information about your criminal case and/or to learn more about post-conviction relief petitions (Rule 32). You can also order our free book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
If you are looking to file a post-conviction relief petition, contact one of our Arizona criminal defense attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
What You Need to Know About Arizona Paternity Issues
There are many reasons why a single mother or father would want to prove paternity. However, establishing Arizona paternity can be a difficult task.
Benefits of establishing paternity
First, it’s important to point out some of the benefits of establishing paternity, which include:
- Providing legal, emotional, social and economic ties between the father and the child
- Providing certain legal rights to the child, such as rights to inheritance, medical insurance benefits, life insurance benefits and Social Security benefits
- Providing the child an opportunity to develop a relationship with the father
When paternity is contested
The father may contest paternity. The court can therefore establish paternity, if:
- Both parties agree to a paternity test
- The evidence is presented in court
- The genetic test reflects a 95 percent likelihood of paternity
Will the state of Arizona pay for the test in advance?
The short answer is yes. However, if the man turns out to be the biological father, he will be required to reimburse the state.
For more information about family law issues, you can order a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
If you are trying to determine paternity of your child, you should contact one of our experienced Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Understanding Arizona Internet Crimes
Internet-based crimes come in all fashions. Authorities deal with Arizona Internet crimes very seriously. These types of crimes can be very costly, difficult to defend, and can lead to serious consequences.
Common types of internet crimes
Common types of computer/internet crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Computer crimes against children
- Identity theft
- Illegal downloading, including child pornography
- Credit card theft
- Cyber stalking
- Internet sex crimes
- Internet threats
- Phishing scams
Common consequences for Internet crimes
If you are found guilty of committing an Internet crime, you could face:
- Prison time
- Being forced to pay restitution
You can face multiple counts for the same crime
A defendant often faces multiple counts for the same crime because the jurisdiction in many Internet crimes is shared by local, state, and federal authorities.
You need to speak with an attorney immediately if you have been accused of committing an internet-based crime. Call us today to order our free book, Arizona Criminal Law: What You Must Know.
If you have been accused of committing an internet crime, contact one of our Arizona criminal defense attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Phoenix Divorce Lawyer Explains Property & Asset Settlements
One of the most challenging tasks that must be done when dissolving a marriage is determining how the debts and assets will be divided. It is important that you understand the state law and other factors that will help you reach a reasonable settlement.
There Are a Few Things You Need to Know About Property Settlement After Divorce
When you decide to divorce, your property will need to be divided between you and your spouse. Property isn’t limited to the house you own; other assets, such as bank accounts, retirement savings and even home furnishings, must be included in the property settlement.
You need to keep the following in mind regarding property settlements:
- Arizona is a community property state. What does this mean exactly? According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-211, any property that is acquired by either spouse during marriage is considered community property of both spouses. There are some exceptions though. If the property was “acquired by gift, demise or descent,” it is considered separate property and would belong to the spouse to which the property was given. There are some other exceptions, which should be discussed with an experienced lawyer.
- Marital misconduct isn’t a factor the court considers when dividing property. If you feel like your spouse owes you something or should be punished for marital misconduct, the court will not consider that as a factor when dividing the property. However, the court might look at “excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of” community property.
- Debts must be divided too. When you divorce, your debts will also need to be divided between you and your spouse. It doesn’t matter if your husband or wife incurred the debts, because they are still considered community debts.
You can learn more about property settlement and divorce in our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide. We are currently offering this informative guide for FREE, so be sure to get a copy.
Get Your Questions Answered
If you have questions about getting divorced in Arizona, contact an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Arizona Internet Crimes & Defense | Phoenix Criminal Lawyers
“Information at your fingertips.”
That is how Bill Gates described personal computing in the early 1990s. Since his notorious speech, much has evolved and the computer has become the gateway to the World Wide Web.
The Internet is now a resource for people looking for facts, figures, products, services and even entertainment. Over the years, the Web has also been associated with crime.
If you or a family member has been accused of an Internet crime in Arizona, don’t dismiss the charges as being minor. Internet crime is considered a serious criminal offense in our state and the prosecution will do all that is within their power to make sure you pay the price for your alleged wrongdoing.
What’s Considered an Internet Crime?
An Internet crime sounds ambiguous, but the law is pretty specific about what is considered a cyber crime. Some of the most common charges brought in our state include the following:
- Identity theft
- Solicitation of minors
- Child pornography
- Cyber stalking
- Internet threats
- Computer hacking
Over the years, as the popularity of the Internet has increased, so have the penalties for cyber crimes. If you have been accused of an Internet crime in Arizona, you could be looking at time in prison and fines, not to mention a damaged reputation.
How Our Phoenix Criminal Lawyers Can Help You
Whenever you are accused of a crime, you have a lot at stake. You need to consider the impact the conviction will have on you, your family and your future. It is crucial that you work with a Phoenix criminal lawyer who can build a strong defense on your behalf. Not every attorney is experienced in handling Arizona Internet crimes. Make sure the one you choose has a strong background in this area of law and has achieved successful results for his or her clients.
To obtain personalized legal advice about your specific criminal case, contact one of the Arizona criminal lawyers at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Be sure to order our FREE book, Arizona Criminal Law: What You Must Know. It will educate you on the legal process and what to expect.
Phoenix Criminal Lawyers Explain Rule 32 and Post Conviction Relief
It probably felt like all was lost when you were found guilty of an Arizona crime. You may be facing several years, even decades in prison. Is there any hope?
There is something known as a post-conviction relief proceeding that could help you or a family member if convicted of a crime. Basically, a person has the right to have his or her criminal conviction or sentence reviewed by a court to determine if any mistakes were made along the way. This is often referred to as a post-conviction proceeding or Rule 32 proceeding.
Become Familiar with Rule 32
Post-conviction relief proceedings fall under Rule 32 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedures. Even if you appealed a conviction after a trial and it was denied, you may still be able to pursue a Rule 32 proceeding. Keep in mind that direct appeals and Rule 32 proceedings are not the same thing.
There are some important issues that you need to be aware of regarding Rule 32:
- There are time limits. If you miss a deadline, you may forfeit your right to have the court review the conviction. It is therefore imperative that you talk with a Phoenix criminal lawyer right away.
- A post-conviction relief proceeding may reduce a sentence or correct errors. Many people make the mistake of believing that the proceeding is used to reduce a sentence only. The reality is that it is sometimes used to fix errors made by the trial court or at the time of sentencing.
- Hiring an attorney is highly advisable. Since there are many time limits regarding post-conviction proceedings and complex factors involved, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced Arizona criminal lawyer.
Make Sure You’re Informed
To learn more about criminal law in our state, order our FREE book, Arizona Criminal Law: What You Must Know. It will guide you through the complex legal system, including what to expect before, during and after trial.
For advice about your specific case, contact one of our Phoenix criminal lawyers by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Arizona Homicide Charges & Why You Need a Phoenix Criminal Lawyer
Whether you were charged for intentionally killing another human being or for acting negligently and causing someone’s death, you are facing a grave situation. Arizona prosecutors want nothing more than to see people pay the price for their alleged crimes. You will be no different. If it is believed that you have committed homicide, understand that you are in for the battle of a lifetime.
What You Might Have Been Charged With
Arizona homicide charges carry some of the most severe consequences when it comes to crimes in our state. Depending on the allegations against you, there is a very good chance that you could be facing life in prison, if convicted. While the general definition of homicide might be vague – the killing of one person by another – there are various degrees and forms of this crime. Below is a list of some of the homicides that often arise in Arizona:
- First degree murder
- Second degree murder
- Vehicular homicide
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Negligent homicide
Know Your Rights Following a Homicide Charge
You have rights under the law, including the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and the right to a trial by a jury of your peers. Among these important rights is the right to consult with an attorney. When you are facing homicide charges, consulting with a Phoenix criminal lawyer is exactly what you should do.
There is a lot at stake when you are accused of murder, manslaughter or homicide. Choosing the right lawyer to represent your case should be the first action you take. Your attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case, so make sure you choose wisely.
If you have been accused of homicide or another crime, contact the Arizona criminal lawyers at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). You can also fill out our online form.
We have written an informative book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know, which will guide you through the criminal law process, letting you know what to expect. This book is offered for FREE.
Factors Associated With a Discharge of a Deadly Weapon Charge in Arizona
Being charged with an Arizona discharge of a deadly weapons offense is a serious matter. Understanding the basics behind an Arizona weapons charge is critical.
What is the definition of a deadly weapon?
First, you need to understand how the state of Arizona defines a deadly weapon. A “deadly weapon” is anything designed for lethal use that includes, but is not limited to, firearms. A weapons charge can result when that deadly weapon is used to cause harm to another person.
Penalties associated with a weapons charge
There are many factors that will be considered in determining the severity of your charges, as well as any penalties associated with your charges. A conviction can result in:
- A misdemeanor or a felony charge
- Prison time
Potential factors that can affect your case
Again, there is a wide array of factors that can affect your case and the penalties associated with your case. They include, but are not limited to:
- If anyone was injured
- The severity of those injuries
- Previous criminal record
- Type of weapon used
Your defense strategy is critical to avoid being found guilty. Call us today to learn more and to order our free book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
If you have been accused of an Arizona weapons charge, contact one of our Arizona criminal defense attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Discharge of a Deadly Weapon in Arizona
Have you been accused of an Arizona discharge of a deadly weapon charge? If so, there are a few things you should know about this serious accusation.
Definition of a deadly weapon
According to the state of Arizona, a “deadly weapon” is anything designed for lethal use, including a firearm. Though it is not illegal to have a deadly weapon, it is illegal to use that deadly weapon to cause harm to another person.
Types of weapons included
Many people are under the impression that an Arizona weapons charge is limited to guns. However, other types of weapons include, but are not limited to:
- Other sharp weapons
- Anything used to cause harm against another person
Types of misconduct involving weapons
You can be charged with a weapons charge for the following misconduct:
- Discharging a firearm
- Displaying a firearm
- Concealing a weapon
- Unlawful gun possession
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Using a weapon in a threatening manner
- Possessing a weapon if you are a felon
It is important that you contact a Phoenix criminal lawyer immediately if you are charged with this type of crime. Contact us today to order our free book, Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.
If you have been accused of committing an Arizona weapons charge, contact one of our Arizona criminal defense attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292).
Phoenix Divorce Lawyer Gives 5 Helpful Tips on Arizona Divorce & Taxes
Taxes probably weren’t the first thing going through your mind when you and your spouse decided to call it quits. The initial worry about what would happen when you filed your taxes most likely didn’t set in until you were well into the divorce process. All of a sudden the thought finally hit you – what will your taxes look like this year?
Time magazine published a very interesting article about this subject titled, “Divorce and Taxes: Five Things You Need to Know.” Below is a summary of some of the key points that will hopefully shed some light on your situation:
- Use the calendar year when determining your marriage status. It doesn’t matter if your divorce became final sometime between the first of the year and tax day, because you might still be viewed as a married couple in terms of your taxes. For example, if your marriage was dissolved on February 3, 2011, you would still be considered married as far as your 2010 taxes are concerned.
- You might be considered “head of household.” You aren’t limited by claiming single or married, as there is a third option – head of household. If you are in the process of getting divorced, you may qualify for this status. The good news is that this option could save you money.
- Your children might not be dependents in the eyes of the IRS. Deciding who gets custody of the children and how often they spend with each parent is no longer a cut and dry issue. There are many unique arrangements made in regards to child custody. For the most part, you are only allowed to claim your children as dependents if you are the custodial parent identified by court order. If you don’t have a court order, generally you would be considered the custodial parent if your children lived with you for most of the year.
- Spousal support makes for a good deduction. Spousal support, also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance, is considered an above-the-line deduction. What does that mean to your tax bill? It means you don’t have to itemize deductions in order to take advantage of the tax savings.
- The house won’t come tax-free. If the house is yours after the divorce and you decide to sell it, you could be slapped with capital gains taxes. A married couple doesn’t have to pay taxes on a gain of up to $500,000 on the sale of their primary residence. However, single people only are exempt up to $250,000.
Of course, you should always consult with an experienced tax professional when it comes to divorce and taxes. An accountant or knowledgeable tax preparer will be able to explain the IRS rules and any resulting tax liabilities you might face.
Get the Help You Need From Experienced Arizona Family Law Attorneys
If you need help with a family law matter, contact an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). You can also fill out our online form.
Be sure to order a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – The Essential Arizona Divorce Guide.
Arizona Spousal Maintenance Alimony | Phoenix Divorce Lawyers
Whether you will be the one paying Alimony in Arizona or the one receiving it, there are some things you need to know. Alimony, which is known as spousal maintenance in Arizona, can be defined as an allowance of support paid by one ex-spouse to the other. Spousal maintenance may be paid to the former husband or wife.
Factors to Consider
The court may award spousal maintenance based on any of the following factors:
- The spouse doesn’t have enough property to cover his or her needs.
- The spouse lacks appropriate employment needed to pay living expenses.
- The spouse can’t or shouldn’t work outside of the home because of the age or condition of a child who is in his or her custody.
- The marriage was of a long duration and the spouse is at an age when obtaining appropriate employment may not be a possibility.
- The labor market is prohibiting the spouse from earning money to support him or herself.
Spousal maintenance cannot be used as a way to punish one spouse in the divorce. For example, you will not be awarded alimony simply because your spouse cheated during the marriage. It is designed specifically to provide financial support.
When You Need Help
If you are dealing with a family law issue, such as spousal maintenance, you don’t have to face the situation alone. The Arizona family law attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC have helped residents of Maricopa County, just like you, with spousal maintenance, divorce proceedings, child support and more.
To talk with an experienced lawyer, contact us today by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). You can also fill out our online form.
We have written numerous articles, frequently asked questions and blog entries regarding some of the most pressing family law issues. Below are some of the most popular topics viewed on our website:
- Do You Have a Good Enough Reason to File for Divorce in Arizona?
- How does the Court handle support (alimony) or maintenance?
- Can I force my spouse to pay alimony after our divorce?