Tuesday, March 17, 2020

How Do You Expunge a Felony?

Expungement is the act of striking out, obliterating, or marking something for deletion. In legal processes, what is expunged is a person’s criminal records, treating these records as if they did not at any time in the past exist. Arizona does not have a true expungement statute, as in some other State. Arizona has a “Set Aside” statute. If the court has cleared you of all charges, or you have served your time and paid the fines stated in your sentence, it is only just that the system allows you to get a fresh start. Hiring a Criminal Lawyer to Represent You


There are specific criteria to meet before once can file a petition to set aside a conviction. These criteria may include:
  • Satisfying terms of conviction (jail time, fines, restitution, etc.)
  • Providing evidence of clean record after a conviction
  • Showing the court evidence of rehabilitation and contribution to the good of society (volunteer work, education, employment, etc.)
  • Although there is no statutory time frame, many courts may have a waiting period from the completion of all the terms of the conviction before it will entertain a set-aside.
Generally, the petition is filed with the particular court where the criminal case was heard and decided.

Expunging a Criminal Record in Arizona

Technically, AZ law does not provide for an expungement of criminal records. One’s records will stay in the books until he/she reaches the age of 99, even if probation terms have already been met. Check Ariz. Admin. Code R13-1-102 (2018). However, one who is seeking an expungement may opt for a judge to “set aside” their conviction, where some of the benefits of a full expungement can also be acquired. At the very least, the judge will void your conviction. As part of the court’s decision, the judge must be convinced that it is in the best interest that your conviction is set aside. Furthermore, the judge must have a strong belief that approving the petition is “consistent with the public welfare.'' However, voiding your conviction does not mean the charge and the conviction you received will be deleted from the records. Your future employer might want to check on you, and if he does check on your criminal records, he would see the set-aside order that specifies that you were able to fulfill your probation or sentence terms, that the court vacated your conviction, and that the charges filed against you have been dismissed. Certain conditions disqualify a person from having their petition approved, such as:
  • Commission of a dangerous offence
  • Commission of a crime where you were required to register as a sex offender
  • Conviction where the offence involves a “finding of sexual motivation” - “Finding of sexual motivation” means that one of the purposes for committing the crime was sexual gratification
  • Offence committed against a person under 15 years old
  • Certain driving offences

Process of Felony Expungement

There are fees to pay to the court, and courts usually post the payment details on their websites. If you have multiple criminal cases, you will have to pay for each separately. Following your application, the prosecutors involved in your case will be notified about your intent. Whether or not an objection from them is raised, the judge will proceed and decide on the application to set aside without a hearing. Therefore it is important to present the request with all the information needed to give the judge reason to grant the application. Filing out the form for the set aside is not enough. It is important to get letters from employers, friends and family about how much your life has been turned around and your road toward rehabilitation. The judge needs to know how important it is that the set aside to be granted for you. Without it, you may lose the chance to gain employment and lose future opportunities that will come your way. The judge will decide either in favor of set aside, which means your conviction will be rendered void or against it, which, in this case, means that your request is denied.

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law – Get Legal Help

The rules for setting aside criminal records in Arizona are complicated. To learn more about it, get help from Robert, an experienced criminal defense , bringing in over 30 years of solid practice in every legal case that he handles - fervently defending his clients’ rights.

How Do You Expunge a Felony? is available on www.azcrimlaw.com robert a dodell attorney How Do You Expunge a Felony? first appeared on:

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law - Serving Scottsdale, Tempe & Mesa, AZ

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Can I Have My Gun Rights Restored?

Most states have similar gun rights provisions in their laws, with slight variations from state to state. Provisions in the law for gun right restoration after a felony is usually discussed in a section titled “certificate of rehabilitation” or “restoration of rights”. Criteria for restoration is not a strict one. Generally, there should only be one felony conviction, and it is not considered a serious offence. The felony sentence will need to have been completed,  whether the sentence was prison or jail or probation. You must have paid all your court fees and restitution, and lived an irreproachable life ever since. My Gun Rights Restored Then, you can ask the court that sentenced you “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”, and if the circumstances favor you, with the help of a criminal lawyer in weapons charges, the court may restore your gun rights.

Gun Rights Laws in Arizona

Arizona law provides two ways for felons to receive the gun right restoration.
  • If the offence is “not serious”
You petition the court after the completion of probation, or the date absolute discharge from incarceration to restore your rights.
  • If the offence is a “serious” offence defined under Class 6 felony 13-604 (first- or second-degree murder, and aggravated assault that results in serious physical injury, sexual assault, manslaughter, armed robbery, kidnapping, etc.)  You can ask the court for restoration of your 2nd Amendment rights 10 years after release from prison or completion of probation.
  • Note: If the conviction is for a “dangerous” felony offence, you cannot ever restore your gun rights. In Arizona, “dangerous offence” as defined by the Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-105(13), involves “the use, discharge, or threatening display of a deadly weapon or instrument or the intentional infliction of serious physical injuries on another person”.

Common Pitfalls to Gun Rights Restoration

The following conditions may cause a denial of your request to restore your gun rights:
  • A conviction due to a serious offence calls for a 10-year wait period after release from prison or end of probation. Any request for gun rights restoration filed short of the required wait period will be denied.
  • Approval or denial of requests may also depend on the nature of the offence.
  • In the case of multiple priors or subsequent priors, it could be difficult for the convict to convince the court to grant his motion.
  • Another reason for denial is unpaid fines or restitution. Satisfying this requirement might sound easy, but many offenders trying to meet this requirement might find it to be the hardest to fulfill. Depending on the state, the fines can be exorbitantly high, and that is true with Arizona.  In Arizona, until you pay to the last cent you will not even be eligible to file a motion for your conviction to be set aside.
If your application is denied, you can ask your lawyer about the best way to proceed. There are options including refiling immediately with more information and allowing more time to pass before refiling.

How to Choose the Right Attorney for Gun Rights Restoration

Prosecutors representing the government may object to a motion for restoration even for non-violent crimes. This is why you need a lawyer to fight for your rights to the end. When looking for the right lawyer, ask these questions:
  • Are the lawyer’s experience and background sufficient for your legal fight to have your rights restored?
  • Do you think he is someone you will feel comfortable working with?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the fees and how they are structured?
It is in your best interest to get a lawyer’s service. The attorney will make sure that the process is properly done the first time - This translates to a higher chance of succeeding to secure your gun rights again and prevent unnecessary delays

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law

Robert is one of the best lawyers you can find in AZ. He has over 30 years of experience practicing criminal law and handling thousands of cases. He will defend your rights and prove that it is just that your gun rights be restored.

Can I Have My Gun Rights Restored? is courtesy of Robert A. Dodell Can I Have My Gun Rights Restored? first appeared on:

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law - Serving Scottsdale, Tempe & Mesa, AZ

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

What Makes an Assault Aggravated?

Misdemeanor assault charges can be raised to felony assault charges if there are aggravating factors surrounding the crime. In Arizona, these crimes are taken seriously as they are crimes that cause injury to another person. If charged with aggravated assault, you will need an experienced assault lawyer to represent you in court and make sure your rights are protected and you will be treated fairly in accordance with the equal treatment provisions stated in the law. If you need an excellent lawyer in Arizona, you should consider Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law. They’ve handled thousands of clients in their over 30 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and as a prosecutor. Robert will help you defend yourself and maintain your legal rights.

What Is Classified as Assault?

Assault is defined as three separate possible acts.  (1) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes physical injury to another person. (2) Intentionally placing another in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury or (3) Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke the person.

When Is an Assault an Aggravated Assault?

The law in Arizona classifies assaults as either as a simple misdemeanor assault or as an aggravated, which is a felony.  There needs to be more than just the misdemeanor assault before a felony can be charged. Additional factors must exist.

Aggravated Assault in Arizona

In Arizona, the first definition of assault must be met if you are to be charged with aggravated assault. If you have committed any of the following acts from this partial list, the State of Arizona will most likely file an aggravated assault charge.
  • You have seriously injured the person or have used a dangerous weapon in committing the assault;
  • If you use force on the person, causing temporary but substantial disfigurement, loss or impairment of a body organ or part, or fracture of any body part;
  • If you commit the assault while the person is physically restrained or their ability to defend themselves is substantially impaired;
  • You have forcefully entered a home with the intention to assault a resident living there;
  • If you are 18 years or older and commit an assault on a minor under 15 years old;
  • You have assaulted someone who has a judicial restraining order against you;
  • If you assault a public officer including constable, EMT, firefighter, licensed healthcare practitioner, peace officer, police officer, park ranger, public defender or criminal prosecutor, judicial officer, school employee, or teacher, while that person is working in their official duty.

Aggravated Assault Sentences in Arizona

Charges range from Class 2 to Class 6. Class 2 felonies receive the severest penalties, depending on the specific offence. In Arizona, first-time offenders could receive the following prison sentence, although probation is available:
  • Class 6 – 4 months to 2 years (1-year presumptive term)
  • Class 5 – 6 months to 2.5 years (1.5-year presumptive term)
  • Class 4 – 1 to 3.75 years (2.5-year presumptive term)
  • Class 3 – 2 to 8.75 years (3.5-year presumptive term)
  • Class 2 – 3 to 12.5 years in prison (5-year presumptive term)
If the State of Arizona adds the allegation of a dangerous offence, the prison sentence is mandatory and the range of prison time increases substantially.  A dangerous offence involves 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.”

Potential Fines in Arizona

The court can also impose a fine of up to $150,000 for aggravated assault convictions in Arizona. The court will require restitution to the victim for a financial loss, including, but not limited to, medical bills and lost earnings.

What is a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument?

A baseball bat, golf clubs, a tire iron, or a vehicle can be considered dangerous or lethal weapons. An item that may not look dangerous can still be classified as such depending on the circumstances during the assault. Normally, a pen would not be considered a dangerous instrument capable of killing a person, but if the pen was used with the intent to stab somebody, then it could be argued that the pen was a dangerous instrument capable of maiming or killing a person in such a case.

Aggravated Assault Statistics

In their 2017 report, the Arizona Department of Public Safety documented 19,483 aggravated assaults for the year; 8,627 of those were cases where charged. Out of the 19,483 aggravated assaults committed:
  • 1,531 cases – knife or cutting instruments were used
  • 1,630 – involved the use of firearms
  • 2,415 – involved some other dangerous weapon
  • 3,051 – used hands, fists, feet as weapons
Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, is ready to provide you with a criminal defense. If unsure of how you stand legally when facing an Arizona criminal case, trust Robert A. Dodell to protect your rights to the very end. Give them a call now. https://www.azdps.gov/sites/default/files/media/FINAL_Crime_in_Arizona_2017.pdf

The following article What Makes an Assault Aggravated? is republished from Arizona Crim Law What Makes an Assault Aggravated? first appeared on:

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law - Serving Scottsdale, Tempe & Mesa, AZ

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Domestic Violence Charges Defense in Tempe AZ

Charges of domestic violence should always be taken seriously. The State of Arizona has many laws concerning domestic violence and has been very serious about enforcing these laws to the fullest extent allowable. In some cases, the state prosecutor can pursue charges against a person accused of this crime, even if the victim changes their mind and refuses to press charges or provide testimony in the case. If you are facing charges for domestic violence or are currently under investigation, protect your rights and schedule a consultation with criminal defense attorney Robert A. Dodell. Legal representation in Tempe courts will allow you to aggressively fight these charges and get the best possible outcome for your case. Many criminal offenses, including the listing crimes below, may be enhanced by adding the allegation of domestic violence to the crime. • Assault or Aggravated Assault • Abuse of a Child or a Vulnerable Adult • Threatening or Intimidating • Criminal Trespassing • Violation of Restraining Orders • Disorderly Conduct or Harassment • Kidnapping or Unlawful Imprisonment of a Victim • Stalking • Endangerment • Sexual Assault • Manslaughter • Homicide Any additional charges that are added to the domestic violence charge can significantly increase your risks for serious punishment.

What is Domestic Violence?

According to Arizona state law ARS § 13-3601, domestic violence means any act that where there is the following relationship between the victim and the defendant: • Marriage or former marriage • Persons residing in the same household • Have a child in common or either is pregnant by the other • Related by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step=grandparent, step child, step-grand-child, brother-in-law or sister-in-law • Victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant. • The relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship.

Penalties for Domestic Violence Convictions

A conviction for domestic violence in Arizona can result in a jail sentence. However, first-time offenders may potentially get a sentence that does not include jail time.. Sentencing for domestic violence for a first time offender can include the following: • Class 3 misdemeanor conviction - Up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500 • Class 2 misdemeanor conviction - Up to four months in jail and/or a fine up to $750 • Class 1 misdemeanor conviction - Up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500 • Class 6 felony conviction - Prison term ranging from six months to 18 months, with a presumptive term of imprisonment for one year • Class 5 felony conviction - Prison term ranging from nine months to two years, with a presumptive term of imprisonment for 1.5 years • Class 4 felony conviction - Prison term ranging from 18 months to three years, with a presumptive term of imprisonment for 2.5 years • Class 3 felony conviction - Prison term ranging from 30 months to seven years with a presumptive term of imprisonment for 3.5 years • Class 2 felony conviction - Prison term from four years to ten years, with a presumptive term of imprisonment for five years It should also be noted that anyone convicted of domestic violence will be required to take part in a court-ordered Domestic Violence Class and financial assessments. You may also be required to serve probation and community service at your own expense.

Additional Consequences

In addition to the penalties imposed by the court for being convicted of this type of crime, you may find that you may also suffer the following consequences from being convicted: • Limited visitation rights with your children • Loss of gun ownership privileges • Reporting to a professional licensing board • If convicted of a felony, may have to report the offense on any job and rental applications

Why Hire Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, understands the seriousness of being charged with domestic violence. I also understand that there are two sides to every story. In an atmosphere where domestic violence accusations are often used to manipulate divorce and child custody proceedings or as a tool for vengeance, Attorney Robert A. Dodell is aggressive about representing clients charged with this type of crime. The outcome of your case can never be guaranteed. However, with a knowledgeable attorney representing your case, who firmly believes in protecting the rights of his clients, I will seek to secure the best possible outcome no matter the charge.  

Domestic Violence Charges Defense in Tempe AZ was first published to Robert A. Dodell Attorney LLC Domestic Violence Charges Defense in Tempe AZ first appeared on:

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law - Serving Scottsdale, Tempe & Mesa, AZ

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


Criminal Charges Defense in Tempe AZ

It can take less than a minute for your life to be thrown into chaos. The very second that those handcuffs are placed on your wrist, everything changes. The chaos is only intensified when you do not know what to do or where to turn for help. I understand what you are going through, The Law Offices of Robert A. Dodell has seen how facing the uncertainty of criminal charges impacts its clients, and I am here to help. My law firm is dedicated to helping those who have been charged with any type of crime in Arizona. I know criminal law, and aggressively represent my clients for the best possible outcome for their cases. I am pleased to say that my clients have been happy with my successful representation of their cases and I am happy to help them in their time of need. You don’t have to face these charges alone. If you have been accused of a crime, contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, for a case evaluation today.

Common Criminal Cases We Represent in Tempe

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law is qualified to represent anyone who has been charged with a crime, regardless of the charges. However, there are some criminal activities that I see more often than others. The most common cases that my firm represents include: • DUI/DWI – All types including Aggravated or Multiple Offender • Domestic Violence • Assault and Violent Crimes • Vehicular Crimes • Drug Offenses • Theft • Property Crimes • Sexual Offenses Attorney Robert A. Dodell is prepared to handle all types of misdemeanor and felony charges, even if they are not listed above. I am here to help you in your time of need.

Difference Between a Misdemeanor and Felony

Misdemeanors are generally less serious types of crime. Felonies are more serious of the two types of crimes and generally include things like murder, sexual assault, kidnapping, and similar actions. Misdemeanors include crimes like possession of an illegal substance, DUI, drunk and disorderly, and similar things. If you are unsure what category the crime you are being charged with falls under, consult with your criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can explain to you the facts of your case based on the charging information.

Penalties and Fines

Arizona has a broad range of penalties and fines that may be levied against someone who is convicted. These penalties include, but are not limited to: • Court-ordered anger management, domestic violence, and drug or alcohol therapies • Probation • Fines • Community service • Loss of driving privileges • Requirements for an ignition interlocking system • Jail time in county jails • Prison (minimum to maximum security) Arizona Law has jail sentences that are associated with each class of felony or crime. If you are convicted of a felony or crime, you may face the following jail terms:

Criminal Felony Sentencing Terms:

• Class 1 Felony – Up to life in prison or the death sentence • Class 2 Felony - Up to 12.5 years • Class 3 Felony – Up to 8.75 years • Class 4 Felony – Up to 3.75 years • Class 5 Felony – Up to 2.5 years • Class 6 Felony – Up to 2 years

Criminal Misdemeanor Sentencing Terms:

• Class 1 Misdemeanor – Up to 6 months in jail • Class 2 Misdemeanor – Up to 3 months in jail • Class 3 Misdemeanor – Up to 30 days in jail The penalties and fines are different for each type of crime and each type of circumstance relating to that crime. It is not allows common to get the exact same type of punishment to every person that is convicted of a specific crime. As your defense attorney, it is my responsibility to try to prevent you from getting convicted. However, if you are convicted of a crime you are being accused of, I will work diligently to get the least amount of penalty or fine imposed.

Juvenile Criminal Case Representation

Parents and guardians are encouraged to seek qualified legal assistance for their minor children when they have found themselves accused of a crime. It is crucial to work with an attorney that has a working knowledge of juvenile law and the resources to manage a juvenile case. Juvenile court is much different than regular court, and it should be the top priority of your attorney to do their best to keep the charges in the juvenile system. Your attorney should also have experience working with younger clients. Minors see things in a much different way than adults, and your attorney must be able to understand and work with minors to achieve the best results possible..

Why Hire Attorney Robert A. Dodell

Facing the uncertainty of criminal charges is emotionally draining and incredibly stressful. Not knowing what to do when you are facing these serious charges can make matters worse. Your best option is to seek quality legal advice and representation. Attorney Robert A. Dodell is an experienced Arizona defense attorney that has helped many people who have faced serious criminal charges. The Law Office of Robert A Dodell is ready to represent your case aggressively so that you can achieve the best possible outcome for your charges. It does not matter if you are facing a small misdemeanor charge or a serious life-changing felony. It is all serious for you. Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, has the knowledge and resources to help your case. You do not have to face this difficult time alone. Schedule a consultation with the Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, today. Your best chance for success is with quality legal representation.  

The following article Criminal Charges Defense in Tempe AZ is available on www.azcrimlaw.com – RobertDodell Criminal Charges Defense in Tempe AZ first appeared on:

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law - Serving Scottsdale, Tempe & Mesa, AZ

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


DUI Charges Defense in Tempe, AZ

Being charged with DUI or DWI is very serious. Even if you are a first-time offender, you face the risk of jail time, a driver's license suspension, fines and the requirement to attend alcohol or drug-related screening and classes. In addition to the legal issues that come with being convicted of driving under the influence, you will also face many personal challenges. Your car insurance premiums may significantly increase, and you may need to purchase a special policy known as an SR-22 for extra coverage. You may also find it more difficult to obtain a job or a promotion. When you are facing a serious charge like DUI, it’s important to have a qualified attorney representing your case. Having a DUI attorney in Tempe AZ manage your case can help you get a fair trial and potentially have the charges dropped or the punishment significantly reduced.

What is the Difference Between a DUI vs. DWI?

Driving under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are the technical terms used to describe operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DUI and DWI are often used interchangeably by the police and the court system. Regardless, you should take the charges very seriously. Arizona has some of the strictest DUI/DWI laws in the country, and the prosecutors are very adamant about pushing the punishment to the full extent of the law.

Penalties and Punishment

There is a very broad range of penalties and punishments that are associated with a DUI conviction. Because there are so many different levels of DUI, ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony, it is hard to say exactly what the penalties will be for the charges against you. However, anyone convicted of a DUI at any level has the potential for the following punishments:
  • Jail or prison sentence
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Requirements for an ignition interlock device
  • Drug or alcohol counseling mandated by the court
  • Community service
  • Fines
It should be understood that every conviction of a DUI will include a jail sentence, even if it is for a misdemeanor. The minimum jail sentence required is ten days, with the possibility of having nine days suspended if the drug and alcohol therapy classes are attended by the person convicted.

What is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and Felony in Tempe Courts

Generally, a first-time arrest for this offense is a misdemeanor DUI, and possibly the second arrest if the crime did not involve an accident or injuries and there were no minors under the age of 15 present in the vehicle. Misdemeanors can be categorized into three distinctions: regular DUI, which applies to anyone with a blood alcohol concentration reading of up to .15%, extreme DUI for those with blood alcohol readings greater than 0.15% but less than 0.20%, and super extreme with alcohol readings of .0.20% or greater.  Each of these categories has its own penalties and requirements. A DUI is charged as a felony if it is the third conviction for a person within a seven year period or if the person was driving on a suspended license, operating a vehicle under the influence with an ignition interlock device in their vehicle, or if a minor under the age of 15 was in the vehicle. The penalties for a felony conviction are more serious than those associated with a misdemeanor. Anyone convicted of a felony will face a prison sentence, a revocation of their license, a requirement for an ignition interlock device when their driving privileges are returned, and much higher fines. Everyone convicted of a felony will be required to attend a screening and  counseling for alcohol or drug abuse.

Why You Need The Legal Services of Attorney Robert A Dodell

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law in Tempe, has successfully represented many clients facing serious charges of DUI/DWI. I understand how much a DUI conviction could change your life. I know that I must be very aggressive in representing my clients so that they can receive a fair result and obtain the best possible outcome for their case. There are many reasons that a blood alcohol test could provide skewed results. An inexperienced officer, a testing kit that was not well maintained, improper testing of the sample, even some medical conditions can cause these devices to register a much higher number than what was actually present in the body. I look at every aspect of your case, from the arresting paperwork to the machine used for testing.  I interview the officers to determine if they did or not do their job properly and I will make sure that I build the best defense case on your behalf. Although I cannot make promises for an acquittal, I can promise that I will use all my skills and resources to get the best outcome for your case. Many people feel as if they should just appear before the judge and explain their case and hope for the best. If this was a perfect world, that may work. Sadly, the world is not perfect, and many people who self-represent in a DUI case find themselves facing the full extent of penalties and punishment. You do not have to face these serious charges on your own. Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, has successfully represented many people who have been charged with DUI. Don't risk high fines and jail time; speak with an attorney today.  

The article DUI Charges Defense in Tempe, AZ is courtesy of azcrimlaw.com/ DUI Charges Defense in Tempe, AZ first appeared on:

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law - Serving Scottsdale, Tempe & Mesa, AZ

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


Monday, February 10, 2020

Arizona Crime Statistics 2019

In terms of crime statistics, Arizona is quite well-positioned compared to other states. Arizona violent crime is decreasing statewide, but there are “hotspots” where crime rate figures are higher compared to those from previous years.

National averages show:

  • Arizona places 22nd in safest states for property crimes (1st is the lowest number of property crimes). Property crime is at 26.83 per 1000 versus the national average of 40.43 per 1000.
  • Violent crimes in Arizona are below the national average of 3.47 per 1000. With a ratio of 0.86, Arizona’s violent crime rating is only at 2.97 per 1000.

Violent Crimes vs Property Crimes

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation:

  • Violent crime is one of four offences: aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and non-negligent manslaughter. These are the offences that involve force or threat.
  • Non-violent crimes include offences such as arson, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, and burglary. The intent of theft-type offences is the taking of property of money. There is no threat or force used against victims.

Safest Cities in Arizona

The top 10 safest cities in Arizona in terms of crime rate are:

  • Florence
  • Oro Valley
  • Paradise Valley
  • Somerton
  • Sahuarita
  • Maricopa
  • Cottonwood
  • Scottsdale
  • Nogales
  • Buckeye
Paradise Valley registered only 6 incidences of violent crime in 2019, the lowest in the list, but registered 222 cases of property crime for the same year. Florence registered the lowest for property crime with only 123 cases. Scottsdale got the highest number of violent crimes in this list at 396 and also the highest for property crime at 5,470 cases.

Worst Places to Be in Arizona in Terms of Crime Rates

Here are top ten in the list of Arizona’s worst places to live (ranking takes into account property crime rates and unemployment rates):
  • South Tucson
  • Guadalupe
  • Eloy
  • Winslow
  • Snowflake
  • San Luis
  • Globe
  • Coolidge
  • Tolleson
  • Chino Valley
This listing ranks South Tucson to be the worst place to be in Arizona, with a 1 in 19.9 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized. Residents in Guadalupe, the city being the 4th highest in the state in terms of crime, have a 1 in 26 chance of being robbed in 2019. For every 300 persons living in Guadalupe, statistically, about 25 of them would have been victimized by a property crime offender in 2019. Eloy is the 39th worst place to live in the state of Arizona, as there is a 1 in  51.5 chance of you being victim of a property crime if you live there. Next in the list is Winslow, with 1 in 23.2 possibility of having been robbed, placing Winslow as the 13th most dangerous in the state in terms of property crimes. Completing the list are Snowflake (1 in every 30 chance of being victimized), San Luis (1 in 70), Globe (1 in 11), Coolidge (1 in 28.9), Tolleson (1 in 10.7), and Chino Valley (1 in30).

Top Ten Murder Capitals in Arizona

Arizona top ten murder list are as follows:

  • Tucson
  • Phoenix
  • Yuma
  • Tolleson
  • Globe
  • Surprise
  • Avondale
  • Glendale
  • Mesa
  • Somerton
The city with the highest murder rate is Tucson at 41 murders for every 100,000 residents, while the city with the highest number of murders in 2019 is Phoenix.

Statewide Arizona Violent Crime Rate Is Down

The number of violent crimes went down two years in a row throughout Arizona, but car thefts and rapes increased. Significant reduction was recorded for both robberies and murders. Similarly, burglaries in 2019 also decreased compared to two previous years. Rape cases, on the contrary, were recorded to have increased by about half a per cent. In Tucson, violent crimes dropped by over 7% in 2018. Homicides in the city slightly inched up with 47 murders. In 2017, the city reported 46 incidences of violent crimes. In 2016 and 2017, violent crimes increased significantly in Phoenix. However, in 2018, the city saw less violent crime, experiencing a 5% drop. The murder rate dropped by 13%. Rape, aggravated assault, and robbery also decreased. Phoenix’s most violent year in recent memory was 2016. You can find additional crime rate information and details on azdps.gov

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law

Are you involved in a criminal case? Whether you are the victim or the one trying to defend yourself in a criminal case filed against you, get the criminal legal services of Robert A. Dodell. He will see to it that your legal rights are protected.

Arizona Crime Statistics 2019 was first published to Top Rated Arizona Crime Statistics 2019 first appeared on:

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law - Serving Scottsdale, Tempe & Mesa, AZ

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


Monday, January 27, 2020

The Importance of Mitigation in Sentencing

In Arizona, the law provides for a wide range of sentence options and gives judges a substantial amount of discretion in sentencing. A judge may look at mitigating factors to help him decide on whether or not to give a convicted person a lower sentence.

Mitigating Factors for Lesser Sentences

The practice of giving lighter sentences due to mitigating factors exists, and this is one area you and your lawyer should fully explore early on.

Before the hearing scheduled for sentencing, prepare yourself to:

  • Talk about your background and personal information
  • Explain the mitigating factors related to your case
  • Talk about plans to address personal issues that led you to commit the crime
  • Other penalties you may experience in relation to your conviction
  • Absence of criminal record prior to the current case
  • The circumstances surrounding your offence
  • How your behavior has changed after the commission of the crime
Many mitigating factors can be presented to the court. Clinical assessments of the defendant and the circumstances are frequently helpful. This presentation of mitigating factors involves psychiatric and psychological analysis. About half of the states in the US accept evidence that shows the offender was under extreme emotional or mental distress as a mitigating factor. In this case, the defendant’s lawyer should also convince the court that his client’s capacity to appreciate the unlawful aspect of his act, or his capacity to control his behavior to satisfy the law’s requirements, was impaired.

Mitigating Circumstances: Additional Considerations

Mitigating circumstances are conditions that are taken into consideration when a court considers the consequences of legal and moral culpability. For example, you are speeding to get your father to a hospital because he’s experiencing chest pains. In court, you would argue that the mitigating circumstance of fearing your father was having a heart attack might excuse the act altogether or lower the penalty meted out by the judge.

Here are common types of mitigating circumstances:

  • Minor role – The defendant played only a minor role in the commission of the crime.
  • Victim culpability – The victim has participation in the crime or initiated the events leading to it.
  • Unusual circumstances – Significant amount of provocation and temporary emotional distress are examples under this category.
  • No harm – The offender did not harm anyone and committed the criminal act in a way that would be unlikely to cause injury or offence to another person.
  • Relative necessity – The offender committed the criminal act out of a desire to provide life’s basic needs.
  • Addiction – Drug or alcohol addiction contributed to the defendant’s tendency to commit the crime. Addiction cannot be used as an excuse to commit the crime.

How Much Time Would You Spend in Prison?

The law in the sphere of sentencing is complex. Provisions in the law state any required duration of jail sentences for different types of crimes, but the actual length of time spent behind bars can be longer or shorter. Actual term of incarceration can be affected by credit for good behavior and jail-alternative programs. Along with or instead of imprisonment, punishments can take other forms such as restitution, community service, probation, and fines.  

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law

If you face criminal charges and you need expert advice, go to the offices of Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law. He is a former prosecutor who has over 30 years of experience in court battles. Robert is results-driven and he will not rest until he gets the best resolution for his clients.

The Importance of Mitigation in Sentencing Read more on: https://www.azcrimlaw.com/blog/ The Importance of Mitigation in Sentencing first appeared on:

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law - Serving Scottsdale, Tempe & Mesa, AZ

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


Monday, January 20, 2020

How to Report Cases of Police Misconduct in Arizona

The state of Arizona has mandated its law enforcement officers to detain or stop suspects, whichever may be necessary. Thus, when a police officer tries to search your vehicle or requests that you stop, it’s best that you listen. But, the authorities, like everyone else, are not above the law. In Arizona, police misconduct is considered a serious crime. Unlawful search and seizure and planting of evidence, among others, are forms of misconduct. If you are witness to such behavior by a police officer, you can file your complaint with the appropriate law enforcement department or the Federal Department of Justice (or FBI), depending on the particular circumstances. Police Misconduct   If you have personally experienced what you believe to be police misconduct, you may file a case to recover due compensation, if you prefer. To be on the safe side, however, it is recommended that you first seek the advice of an experienced criminal lawyer like Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law, before seeking legal action or filing a complaint on your own.

Understanding the Arizona Police Misconduct Law

Law enforcement officers are immune from lawsuits unless they are in violation of individual rights or specific laws. Forms of police misconduct include sexual assault, civil rights violations, and false arrest, among others. As mentioned, if you feel that law enforcement officers have violated your civil rights, you can report the incident with your local FBI. However, achieving a successful lawsuit filing against a person in authority can be quite challenging – especially if you’re doing it solo. This is where working with a competent lawyer becomes crucial.

What Qualified Immunity Is

A police officer has what is known as “qualified immunity.” This means he has protection from recourse that includes lawsuits. The protection is effective for as long as the law enforcement officer is properly doing his job – unless he is in violation of individual rights. Under the law, a police officer may only be the subject of a lawsuit if he demonstrates unreasonable, willful actions (excluding failure to observe good care). Thus, a suspect cannot sue the police officer after an encounter in a typical police operation.

Filing a Police Misconduct Complaint

Any person who has witnessed or has knowledge of law enforcement misconduct can file a misconduct complaint. In general, you will need to file your complaint with the supervisor of the involved officer. However, you can also file a complaint through another supervisor, via the Internal Affairs Unit, by mail, or with the concerned department’s Duty Officer. You can access an area supervisor all year round, 24/7 via telephone. Bear in mind that filing a false misconduct report could result in a criminal charge.

Violations of an Individual’s Civil Rights

Federal law declares that it is unlawful to willfully deprive an individual of any privilege, immunity, or right secured or protected by the constitution or laws of the United States. These include physical assault, sexual misconduct, deliberate indifference, or failure to intervene in a case of a serious medical condition or risk of imminent harm. The Federal Justice Department handles the investigation of police misconduct charges involving civil rights interference. There will be a conviction if it is established that the police officer willfully acted in depriving you of your constitutional or legal rights as a citizen of the United States. If you feel the police violated your civil rights, get in touch with your local FBI office and file a corresponding complaint.

Instances of Police Misconduct

Civil rights laws are intended to safeguard Americans from the misconduct of law enforcers, as well as other government agents. A lawsuit can be filed if an officer intentionally or negligently inflicts injury through the use of excessive force or police brutality, enters a residence without securing the necessary warrant, abuse of a detained person, and violation of existing department policies. Other forms of police misconduct include false arrest, verbal abuse, unjustified use of a stun gun or taser, unjustified shooting, abusive behavior towards inmates, and attack by a police dog.

Final Word

If you had an incident with a law enforcement agent and you were subsequently arrested, it is important that you consult with an attorney. Even if no criminal charges are filed, you may still be able to file a case against the police officer. Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law, can help determine whether or not the case is worth pursuing.

How to Report Cases of Police Misconduct in Arizona Read more on: AZCrimLaw and associates How to Report Cases of Police Misconduct in Arizona first appeared on:

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law - Serving Scottsdale, Tempe & Mesa, AZ

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


Sunday, January 12, 2020

Drug Offenders and Sentencing

To say that drug sentencing laws in Arizona are complicated is certainly an understatement. There are plenty of guidelines, mandatory minimums, and judicial discretion to contend with. Two felons who are convicted for a similar drug offense, for instance, may not receive the same sentence, depending on a number of factors. These include:

  • If the person receives a first or second drug conviction or if he is a habitual or repeat offender
  • The type of drug involved in the case
  • The amount of the particular drug
  • If the drug involved is intended for sale
Depending on how these factors turn out, the court can order a sentence that may range from pre-conviction diversion program to fines or even lengthy prison terms. Drug Offenders  

Arizona Sentencing in General

In the state of Arizona, a felony may be punishable by a prison term of 1 year or more. The state categorizes general crimes under 5 felony classes. These are Classes 2 to 6, with each class having 5 possible sentences:
  • A mitigated sentence that is shorter than the minimum, and is available when two or more mitigating factors are present
  • A minimum sentence, which is available when one or more mitigating factor is involved
  • A presumptive sentence or the normal sentence given for the same crime
  • A maximum sentence, which is available if one or more aggravating factor is present
  • An aggravated sentence, given for crimes that involve two or more aggravating factors

First-Time Offender vs. Second-Time or Repeat Offender

The law provides a different treatment for first-time and second-time offenders. The case may be eligible for sentencing under Proposition 200.  The case may be brought to a drug court. In this arrangement, the prosecutor will consent to drop the case once the offender completes a drug rehab program. When an offender, on the other hand, habitually sells or possesses large quantities of drugs, the court may sentence the person to a long prison term.

Volume, Intent and Type of Drugs

When handing out sentences, the court also considers the amount of drugs involved, as well as whether there was the intent to sell or distribute drugs.   Harsher penalties are also imposed for some drugs over others. Compared to marijuana, dangerous drugs including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and prescription drugs get stiffer sentences.

Factors That May Be Considered to Reduce a Sentence

The judge is mandated to consider 6 mitigating factors when deciding on a sentence. These include:
  • The defendant’s age
  • Whether or not the person appreciates the wrongfulness of their actions, which can include mental impairment that does not rise to the level of a defense to the offense
  • Whether or not the defendant was under significant or substantial duress
  • Whether or not the person is only a minor player in the crime
  • The defendant complied with the required legal duties after committing the crime
  • And a catch-all provision that includes anything about the defendant, his character, background, or the crime’s nature that the judge may deem relevant

Factors That May Be Considered to Increase a Sentence

The court may also additional time to a sentence if there are aggravating factors in the crime.  Although some of these may not apply to a drug offense, aggravating factors include:
  • The infliction of harm or the threat to inflict harm
  • Whether a deadly weapon or dangerous was used or simply used as a threat
  • Property was taken or damaged
  • Whether an accomplice was present
  • The crime was committed for financial gain
  • The offense was committed by a public servant in direct relation to their office or employment
  • Whether or not the crime was related to gangs
  • Whether or not the defendant committed the crime while on probation or parole
  • And a catch-all provision that includes anything about the defendant, his character, background, or the crime’s nature that the judge may deem relevant
Sentencing for drug cases in Arizona can be complicated. Thus, if you’re facing any type of criminal charge, and need a lawyer for your defense, contact the offices of Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law for drug charges, right away. Initial consultation is free.  

Drug Offenders and Sentencing Read more on: https://www.azcrimlaw.com Drug Offenders and Sentencing first appeared on:

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law - Serving Scottsdale, Tempe & Mesa, AZ

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321