Saturday, September 16, 2017

Drug Sentencing in Arizona: Practical Policy Recommendations

American Friends Service Committee-Arizona analyzed the court records of people who were sentenced to prison for a drug crime in Maricopa, Pima and Yavapai counties in 2015. They discussed their findings and recommendations in Drug Sentencing in Arizona: A Prescription for Failure, by Rebecca Fealk, MPA, and Caroline Isaacs, MSW, August 2017. All quotes and data are taken from their report. The report recommended defelonizing drug possession, expanding non-criminal justice interventions, restructuring drug sentences, and utilizing public health and harm reduction approaches. Drug Defense Attorney- Criminal Lawyer

Defelonizing drug possession would save Arizona a lot of money:

“In one year in Pima County, 60.39% of people were charged with possession for 2.5 grams or less of a drug. We can assume these are likely individuals struggling with an addiction. Seventy-six percent of these individuals went to prison for their possession, not probation or treatment. They were sentenced collectively to 352 years in prison, meaning that this one county, in just one year cost taxpayers over $8.3 million to incarcerate people charged with low-level possession.” Originally found published on Prison Legal News.
 

Expanding non-criminal justice interventions would save Arizona money:

“Drug treatment, trauma counseling, and medical care should be the first line of defense against the disease of addiction, not state surveillance or incarceration. Aside from being more effective, one report found that for every dollar spent on substance abuse disorder treatment saves $4 in health care costs and $7 in criminal justice costs. Types of drug treatment vary, and like any other health issue, different treatments work for different people. . . “ Originally found published on Prison Legal News.
  The report stated that medical monitoring, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services had been recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General as proven options for reducing addiction. Restructuring drug sentences would mean abolishing the practice of charging a person with possession based on residue or admissions of use within the last 72 hours and a positive urine test result. It would also mean abolishing the use of sentence enhancements for prior convictions when the nature of addiction dictates that most people are likely to relapse. The report noted:
“Far from stemming drug use or making communities safer, these overly harsh [Arizona] laws have served to clog our prisons with drug addicts, deny them meaningful treatment while incarcerated, and then release them with a felony conviction that bars them from meaningful employment, safe housing, or other critical services.”
 

Utilizing the following public health approaches would save lives and encourage treatment:

911 Good Samaritan Laws: 911 Good Samaritan Laws exempt people who call 911 for help during a drug overdose from arrest and prosecution of drug possession crimes. At the time of this report, 37 states and the District of Columbia have passed 911 Good Samaritan Drug Laws. This law saves lives. 911 Good Samaritan laws have been supported by police and emergency medical technicians (EMTs), as they are often the first to respond to overdose emergencies. Clean Needle Exchanges: Also known as syringe access, these laws allow for people or organizations to provide those who use an intravenous drug with sterile needles without fear of arrest or punishment. Implementation of such programs has occurred in various states and cities, from all political ideologies. Opiod Urgent Care: Using the same process as general urgent care centers, the opiod urgent care model allows those who want addiction treatment rapid access to treatment, counseling, and healthcare resources. Targeted marketing is needed to draw in the affected populations, but the structure can be integrated into the general healthcare model over time, evolving addiction treatment into a norm and not a taboo.”
Arizona may never defelonize drug possession or implement any of these policy recommendations. If you or a loved one has been charged with drug offenses, you need an experienced criminal attorney in Scottsdale, AZ to defend you. Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law has over thirty years experience. Call him today for a free consultation.

The article Drug Sentencing in Arizona: Practical Policy Recommendations is courtesy of call us – Robert Dodell Law Offices Drug Sentencing in Arizona: Practical Policy Recommendations first appeared on:

DUI Attorney Scottsdale - Scottsdale Criminal Lawyer | Robert Dodell Law Offices

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321

https://goo.gl/maps/diwY4pu8X5m

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Robert A Dodell, Attorney At Law Announces Charity Donation Program

Are You Looking For An Attorney to Help With Your Adoption?

The law practice of Scottsdale attorney, Robert Dodell represents a client base of foster parents who adopt dependent children in Arizona. Effective immediately, Robert Dodell will donate a portion of legal fees to a charity of choice by the foster parents.
Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law, is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, he will be donating 10% of the legal fees to the charity of the foster parents choosing upon completion of the adoption. This offer expires June 30, 2018, for foster parents. The adoption does not need to finalized by that date, but attorney Robert Dodell must be retained prior to June 30, 2018, for the offer to be valid. The Scottsdale attorney has long represented foster parents adopting dependent children through the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Department of Children Services. Robert A. Dodell adoption attorney has found those adoptions particularly important and satisfying, as it removes children from the foster care system and places them in a permanent loving home. Adopting a child is an exciting step in one’s life. It is always a privilege and a pleasure to help people who want to offer their homes and support to a child. In the legal aspects of the adoption processes, it is critical to retain an attorney who understands the law and who will assure that all the paperwork is accurately and fully completed. Robert A. Dodell takes great pride in helping people through the adoption process. He will help prospective parents navigate the process efficiently and effectively. He will address all legal matters as the parents bring a new child into the family. Robert will assist with every step of the adoption process. In addition to adoption legal services, Robert Dodell provides personal legal services in the areas of criminal defense, DUI and domestic violence. Additional services for juveniles include juvenile delinquency defense and juvenile dependencies. Robert encourages prospective clients to visit the blog at https://azcrimlawblog.wordpress.com for a wealth of information about all things legal. The blog posts cover a broad range of topics, written in a manner that will help potential new clients, students, and his peers. Source URL: https://marketersmedia.com/robert-a-dodell-attorney-at-law-announces-charity-donation-program/234103
  Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law 10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103 Scottsdale AZ 85260 (480) 860-4321 http://www.azcrimlaw.com

Robert A Dodell, Attorney At Law Announces Charity Donation Program was first seen on Top Rated Robert A Dodell, Attorney At Law Announces Charity Donation Program first appeared on:

DUI Attorney Scottsdale - Scottsdale Criminal Lawyer | Robert Dodell Law Offices

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321

https://goo.gl/maps/diwY4pu8X5m

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Parole in Arizona: A Legal Illusion

You may be surprised to learn that Arizona abolished parole for murderers in 1993. What’s even more surprising is that defendants continued to be sentenced to “life with chance of parole” after 1993. Arizona Republic reporter Michael Kiefer wrote an excellent article called “The Myth of Parole in Arizona” that can be found at AZCentral. All facts and quotes come from his article. In 1993, the Arizona Legislature passed a Truth in Sentencing law that abolished parole and disbanded the parole board. The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency was created to take its place. The sentence was changed from “life with chance of parole after 25 years” to “life with chance of release after 25 years. As Mr. Kiefer explained:

“Life with chance of release, in effect, is a mitigated sentence, meaning it is imposed when there are circumstances that render the crime less horrible than a murder that calls for natural life or death. Life sentences also may be imposed for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, sexual conduct with a child, and in certain cases where a repeat offender is deemed incorrigible.” Originally seen published on http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/03/19/myth-life-sentence-with-parole-arizona-clemency/99316310/
  Although the sentences sound similar, the change meant that the only chance for release was to obtain a pardon or sentence commutation from the governor:
“But under the new system, there is no automatic hearing. Instead, the prisoner has to petition the Board of Executive Clemency, which would likely require a lawyer. The board can then choose to hold hearings on the prisoner’s likelihood to stay out of trouble and make a recommendation to the governor. Rather than parole, the prisoner needs a pardon or a sentence commutation. Only the governor can provide those.” First see on http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/03/19/myth-life-sentence-with-parole-arizona-clemency/99316310/
  Only four people were accidentally sentenced to “life with parole” in 1994 and 1995. The Arizona Republic reviewed relevant sentencing minute entries between January 1, 1994, and January 30, 2016, and found that 248 offered a chance of parole which contradicted the law. 175 of those sentences were imposed in Maricopa County Superior Court. Of these 248 sentences, 90 came about through plea agreements. Apparently, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges never informed defendants that parole had been abolished and their only hope was to try to obtain a pardon or sentence commutation by filing a petition with the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency. Mr. Kiefer interviewed several prisoners who informed him that they were never told that parole didn’t exist and that they relied on the chance of parole when they decided to enter into plea agreements. The first prisoner will be up for illusory parole in 2019. Arizona politicians have not addressed the issue. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery stated that he thinks the solution is just to admit that the sentences were in error and correct the paperwork. Kathy Brody, Legal Director of the ACLU of Arizona, remarked: “It’s a contract. It’s a deal. How can you say it’s a knowing and voluntary decision (by the defendant) if it’s an incorrect sentence?” Judges thought that the issue would have to be resolved on a case-by-case basis or even in federal district court. Unfortunately, no one mentioned reestablishing parole in Arizona as a possible solution. It will be interesting to see what happens in two years. If you or a loved one has been charged with an offense where you are facing 25 years with a chance of release, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Attorney Robert A. Dodell has over thirty years experience. Call him today for a free initial consultation.  

Parole in Arizona: A Legal Illusion is republished from Law Offices of Robert Dodell Parole in Arizona: A Legal Illusion first appeared on:

DUI Attorney Scottsdale - Scottsdale Criminal Lawyer | Robert Dodell Law Offices

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321

https://goo.gl/maps/diwY4pu8X5m

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Proposition 200 Probation for Drug Offenses

How Prop 200 Can Affect Your Drug Case

In 1996, Arizona voters passed Proposition 200. Part of Proposition 200 became A.R.S. § 13-901.01 entitled “Probation for persons convicted of possession or use of controlled substances or drug paraphernalia; treatment; prevention; education; exceptions; definition.” A person who is convicted of the personal possession or use of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia is eligible for probation according to A.R.S. § 13-901.01(A). The definition of “controlled substance” is the same as that found at A.R.S. § 36-2501 pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-901.01(J). As a condition of probation, the court shall require a person placed on probation to participate in and pay for to the extent of his or her financial ability an appropriate drug treatment or education program administered by a qualified agency or organization that provides programs to persons who abuse controlled substances pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-901.01(D). A person who the court determines has violated probation shall have new conditions established by the court under A.R.S. § 13-901.01(E). The court shall select additional terms it deems necessary, including intensified drug treatment, community restitution, intensive probation, home arrest or any other sanctions except a term of incarceration unless the court determines that the person violated probation by committing a drug offense or imitation substance or drug offense or an act in violation of a court order related to drug treatment. If a person is convicted a second time of personal possession or use of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia, the court may include additional conditions of probation it deems necessary, including intensified drug treatment, community restitution, intensive probation, home arrest of any other action within the court’s jurisdiction according to A.R.S. § 13-901.01 (F). If a person on probation fails or refuses to participate in drug treatment, the probation department or the prosecutor may petition the court to revoke the person’s probation according to A.R.S. § 13-901.01(G). If the court finds that the person refused to participate in drug treatment, the person is no longer eligible for probation and shall be sentenced under the relevant A.R.S. criminal code section for drug offenses found in Title 13, Chapter 34. Personal possession or use of a controlled substance under A.R.S. § 13-901.01 shall not include possession for sale, production, manufacturing or transportation for sale of any controlled substance pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-901.01(C). The following persons are not eligible for probation under A.R.S. § 13-901.01 and shall be sentenced pursuant to Title 13, Chapter 34:
  • A person who has been convicted of or indicted for a violent crime as defined in A.R.S. § 13-901.03 as any criminal act that results in death or physical injury or any criminal use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. See R.S. § 13-901.01 (B).
  • A person who has been convicted three times of personal possession of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia. See R.S. § 13-901.01(H)(1).
  • A person who has refused drug treatment as a term of probation. See R.S. § 13-901.01(H)(2).
  • A person who has rejected probation. See R.S. § 13-901.01 (H)(3).
  • A person whose offense involved methamphetamine. See R.S. § 13-901.01(H)(4).
  A court is not prohibited from placing a person ineligible for A.R.S. § 13-901.01 probation under probation pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-901 if the person otherwise qualifies for probation under that section according to A.R.S. § 13-901.01(I). If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug offense, you need an experienced attorney to see if probation under A.R.S. § 13-901.01 is possible. Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law has over thirty years experience. Call him today for a free initial consultation.   Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law 10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (480) 860-4321 http://www.azcrimlaw.com/  

Proposition 200 Probation for Drug Offenses was originally published on Robert Dodell Attorney at Law Proposition 200 Probation for Drug Offenses first appeared on: DUI Attorney Scottsdale - Scottsdale Criminal Lawyer | Robert Dodell Law Offices 10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (480) 860-4321 https://goo.gl/maps/diwY4pu8X5m

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Prior Convictions in Arizona

Arizona has a detailed definition of “historical prior felony conviction” which is found at A.R.S. § 13-105(22).  

The following are all considered a “historical prior felony conviction”:

  • Any prior felony conviction that mandated a term of imprisonment except for a violation of Chapter 34, Title 13 involving a drug below the threshold amount. See R.S. § 13-105(22)(a)(i).
  • Any prior felony conviction that involved a dangerous offense. See R.S. § 13-105(22)(a)(ii). A “dangerous offense” is any offense involving the discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury on another person. See A.R.S. § 13-105(13).
  • Any prior felony conviction that involved the illegal control of a criminal enterprise. See R.S. § 13-105(22)(a)(iii). Surprisingly, “criminal enterprise” is not defined in the Arizona Revised Statutes or case law. The State would most likely argue that any prior felony conviction where a person was convicted along with one or more co-defendants was “involved in the illegal control of a criminal enterprise.”
  • Any prior felony conviction that involved aggravated driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. See R.S. § 13-105(22)(a)(iv).
  • Any prior felony conviction that involved any dangerous crime against children as defined in A.R.S. § 13-705. See R.S. § 13-105(22)(a)(v). A “dangerous crime against children” is basically any sexual or violent crime where the victim is under age 18.
  • Any Class 2 or 3 felony other than those listed in subsection (a) above that was committed within the ten years immediately preceding the date of the present offense. See R.S. § 13-105(22)(b).
  • Any Class 4, 5 or 6 felony other than those listed in subsection (a) above that was committed within the five years immediately preceding the date of the present offense. See R.S. § 13-105(22)(c).
  • Any felony conviction that is a third or more prior felony conviction. For the purposes of this subsection, “prior felony conviction” includes any offense committed outside of Arizona that was punishable by that jurisdiction as a felony. See R.S. § 13-105(22)(d).
  • Any offense committed outside of Arizona that was punishable by that jurisdiction as a felony and that was committed within the five years immediately preceding the date of the present offense. See R.S. § 13-105(22)(e).
  • Any offense committed outside of Arizona that involved the discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or the intentional or knowing infliction of death or serious physical injury and that was punishable by that jurisdiction as a felony. A person who has been convicted of a felony weapons possession violation in any court outside of Arizona that would not be punishable as a felony under the laws of Arizona is not subject to this paragraph. See R.S. § 13-105(22)(f).
  If you or a loved one has historical prior felony convictions, you need an experienced attorney. Attorney Robert A. Dodell has over thirty years experience. Call him today for a free consultation.

The following blog post Prior Convictions in Arizona is available on Top Rated Prior Convictions in Arizona first appeared on: DUI Attorney Scottsdale - Scottsdale Criminal Lawyer | Robert Dodell Law Offices 10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (480) 860-4321 https://goo.gl/maps/diwY4pu8X5m

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law Announced Its Legal Services in Tempe, AZ

A legal defense attorney with over 30 years of professional experience in Tempe, AZ.

Robert A. Dodell has recently announced the availability of his legal services for domestic violence, criminal defense, juvenile dependencies, juvenile defense and as an adoption attorney in Tempe, AZ
 — Robert A. Dodell has been providing legal services for people seeking legal counsel in the areas of domestic violence, criminal defense, DUI/DWI and juvenile defense for over 30 years. His experience, expertise and a proven track record has made him one of the best criminal defense lawyers in the city. His firm has recently made an announcement in which the company has confirmed that he will now be providing his legal services as a criminal lawyer in Tempe, AZ and the firm will be assisting its clients with complete dedication. “Robert has more than 30 years of experience in providing personal legal services to his clients. In those 30 years, he has successfully handled thousands of cases and gained a tremendous reputation for himself", the representatives from the firm said. They added, "With our firm now serving the city of Tempe, AZ, we wish to make sure that people in need of legal counsel get the best possible services and consultation from Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law in Tempe, AZ.” Hiring the best possible attorney in case of being convicted of a crime, even a misdemeanor is highly suggested; otherwise, one could end up incarcerated or may face heavy fines, probation, counseling, suspension of license or loss of civil rights. Being convicted also means the chances of finding a job can also be limited. “We understand that such instances can completely change one’s life and make it difficult for the convicted person and their loved ones. We are committed towards serving our clients with sensitivity, create an atmosphere of open communication, give complete attention to each and every detail and provide them correct legal guidance”, the representative said. They added that with someone as experienced as Robert representing them, defendants can rest assured that their case is in professional hands and can hope for a positive result. “Whether people need a criminal or DUI attorney in Tempe or they seek legal aid in cases of domestic violence, juvenile crimes or any other matter, Robert makes sure to provide a direct and personal contact with the clients he works with. He is committed towards his clients and is involved in their cases right from the start to finish”, they mentioned. Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, as a firm, works towards a goal of offering more than just a regular law firm. Potential clients in the city of Tempe can now seek the legal aid from a seasoned attorney with a proven track record. For additional information and tips, visit the blog at http://azcrimlaw1.blogspot.com Originally posted on: http://marketersmedia.com/robert-a-dodell-attorney-at-law-announced-its-legal-services-in-tempe-az/216174 For more information, please visit http://tempe.azcrimlaw.com/practice-areas/

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law Announced Its Legal Services in Tempe, AZ Find more on: (Robert A. Dodell Attorney At Law) Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law Announced Its Legal Services in Tempe, AZ first appeared on: DUI Attorney Scottsdale - Scottsdale Criminal Lawyer | Robert Dodell Law Offices 10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (480) 860-4321 https://goo.gl/maps/diwY4pu8X5m

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Surviving a Traffic Stop — What You Should Do

Being pulled over by the authorities, known as a traffic stop, can be a nerve-racking experience, especially when it is your first time or if you do not have any idea of what you’ve done wrong. But don’t panic, breathe, and remember that what you do and say can be critical and may have an immense effect on any legal proceeding that might follow, whether it be a simple violation or a more serious crime. Surviving a traffic stop will greatly depend on your next actions.  

Here are some tips to surviving a traffic stop.

 

Tip 1: Pull over right away.

Pull over safely, using signals to indicate lane change, and come to a complete stop in a safe place. This action demonstrates your alertness and focus on the things that are happening around you and is not necessarily an admission of guilt. When you pull over safely, you’ll have a better chance of figuring what went wrong and what you need to do next.  

Tip 2: Stay focused and make sure that your license, ID, vehicle registration, and mobile phone are within reach.

A valid license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance are the most important things you need to have in a traffic stop. It is important that these things are all visible and within your reach but do not proactively hand them over to the officers. When they ask for such, you should not have to check underneath your seat, grab your bag, or open anything in your car just to get these items. Reaching out for something will never look good in traffic stop situations.  

Tip 3: Keep calm, never make sudden movements, and don’t get out of your vehicle unless asked.

The officer will be attentive to your every move and a slight movement might suggest that you’re attempting to cover up or hide anything. A traffic stop can be very stressful but it is not an excuse for you to be overly nervous. Be sure to stay calm as any sudden movement, especially getting out of your vehicle without being asked, can be perceived as a threat or an attempt to flee.  

Tip 4: Be polite, listen, and follow commands.

Showing courtesy might go a long way in traffic stop situations. Be polite and follow the officer’s directives. An officer is normally not allowed to search your vehicle but there are exceptions to this rule. You would not want to give them any reason that might lead to this exception. You should let the officer talk and you should respond when appropriate. Sometimes, it can be tough to gauge the right answer or know exactly what to say, but regardless of the situation, do not argue.  

Tip 5: Know your violation, learn from it, and consult an attorney if necessary.

Simple warning and violations don’t necessarily require assistance from a lawyer. Sometimes, all you need is to accept it, know the violation, and learn from your mistake. Some officers might even give you a valuable tip on how you can avoid such situations in the future. For more serious accusations and violations, it is always best to consult an attorney. A good and knowledgeable lawyer will help you determine whether there is a basis for the violation and will be able to guide you through the process and provide advice on how you should deal with it.

The following post Surviving a Traffic Stop — What You Should Do See more on: write up on the Robert Dodell Blog