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Miranda Rights – Your Right to Remain Silent

Miranda Rights – Your Right to Remain Silent

If you have ever watched law enforcement drama shows on television such as “Cops,” you have likely heard about the Miranda rights being read to someone. This common phrase starts with “you have the right to remain silent.” In these shows, the police officers routinely read people their rights when they take them into custody. You may be unfamiliar with why the Miranda warnings are read and what they are meant to protect. Here is what you need to know about your Miranda rights when you are stopped and questioned by the police in Arizona. Keep in mind, if facing charges, speaking with a defense attorney could mean the difference between freedom and incarceration.

This article discusses:

  • What are your Miranda Rights and How do they protect you?
  • When do they have to be read to you?
  • What if the Police didn’t read your Miranda Rights?
  • What is Self-Incrimination?
  • If you chose to remain silent, can it be used against you?

What Are Your Miranda Rights?

The Miranda rights are your constitutional rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. A reading of these rights is known as a Miranda warning, and it comes from the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). In the Mirandacase, police officers went to the home of Ernesto Miranda, who was suspected of stealing $8 from a bank worker. They asked him to go with them to the police station for questioning. While he was being questioned, he admitted to rape and kidnapping and signed a statement of admission. He was subsequently tried for the kidnapping and rape and was convicted. Miranda appealed his case through the Arizona and federal court systems, and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear it.

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Arizona Wrong Way Drivers – Causes, Possible Charges & Defenses

Arizona Wrong Way Drivers – Causes, Possible Charges & Defenses

In Arizona, one of the most dangerous types of accidents that may occur is a wrong-way crash. People who are involved in head-on collisions with drivers who are driving the wrong way are much likelier to suffer catastrophic injuries or to die. Drivers who drive the wrong-way may do so for a number of different reasons. If they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their accidents, they may face a variety of different types of criminal charges that carry severe penalties.

People who are facing criminal charges for driving the wrong way and causing a collision should seek help from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Phoenix at DM Cantor. Our legal team includes four lawyers who are board certified criminal defense specialists, and we have secured more than 4,700 victories for our clients, including victories in more than 2,900 DUI and vehicular crimes cases.


Wrong-Way Car accidents vs Other Types of Collisions

Wrong-way driving occurs when a driver drives his or her vehicle in the wrong direction on a highway, freeway, or road. According to the Federal Highway Administration, an average of 300 to 400 people are killed in the U.S. each year because of collisions with wrong way drivers. While this number represents just about 1% of the total number of traffic fatalities that happen each year, wrong-way collisions tend to be much more serious than other types of accidents. This is because these accidents often occur on highways and freeways where the speed limits are higher.

According to a study that was completed by the Arizona Department of Transportation reporting from 269 wrong-way crashes during a 10-year span from 2004 to 2014, 25% of wrong way crashes involve fatalities. Among other types of collisions on highways, only 1% involve fatalities. A large majority of wrong-way accidents occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and 65% of the crashes are caused by drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. AZDOT also found that 57% of these crashes happen on the weekends.

Because of the problem of wrong-way driving in Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey signed HB 2423 into law in March 2018. This law amended multiple statutes and made wrong way driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs a felony offense. It is crucial for people who are charged with a wrong-way driving offense to seek help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon after they have been charged as possible. An attorney at DM Cantor may identify all of the possible defenses to the charge and work to build the strongest defensive strategy for his or her client.

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OUI (DUI on a Boat) Increases During Summer in Arizona

OUI (DUI on a Boat) Increases During Summer in Arizona

During the summer months in Arizona, a greater number of people head to the popular lakes and waterways for boating and other recreational activities. Boat operators should be aware that operating boats while they are impaired by alcohol is illegal in Arizona. If boat operators operate their boats while they are drinking, they may face criminal charges and potential penalties. So the main question is: can you get a DUI on a boat? Yes.

What are the Laws in Arizona about Consuming Alcohol while Boating?

In Arizona, operating a motorized watercraft on the lakes and waterways of the state while you are under the influence of alcohol is illegal under A.R.S. 5-395 – Operating Under the Influence. According to the law, you may be charged with an OUI offense if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, which is the same standard for a DUI in a vehicle. However, the law also allows an OUI charge if you are impaired to the slightest degree when you are operating a boat. This means that it is possible for you to be charged with an OUI if you have any measurable amount of alcohol in your bloodstream and have been observed boating in an erratic manner.

During the summer months, many people head to the lakes and other waterways to hike, swim, fish, and boating. Because of the large number of people in and on the lakes, law enforcement agencies work together with officers from the Arizona Game and Fish Department to patrol the waterways and to detect boat operators who are operating their boats while drinking. Boat operators who are suspected of operating their boats while they are impaired by alcohol may be stopped and charged with OUI offenses.

Watch this video of David Cantor explaining what is an OUI in Arizona:

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Boat Accident Statistics

According to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Office, 4,291 boat accidents occurred in 2017 in the U.S., injuring 2,629 people and killing 658. In Arizona, there were 123 boating accidents during that year that resulted in 77 injuries and 13 fatalities. The Coast Guard reports that alcohol use was a leading cause of fatal boating accidents in a majority of the cases. The top five leading contributing factors to fatal boating accidents include the following:

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Arizona Mortgage Fraud Charges

The Subprime Lending and Mortgage Crisis effectively exposed one thing; mortgage fraud was rampant in the system. Since the end of the Great Recession and Global Financial Crisis, regulators began pursuing more seriously investigations and prosecutions of such crimes. In this article we look at the white collar crimes of mortgage fraud and equity skimming.

Federal Government Endeavors to Reduce Mortgage Fraud Across the Nation

Mortgage Fraud Cases – Source: FBI.gov

The federal government quickly discovered that mortgage fraud and equity skimming were a national phenomenon. Congress enacted the Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Licensing Act. This created a national system of mortgage registration and licensing protocols.

It also enabled prosecutors to go hard after mortgage fraud. The FBI Director Robert Mueller declared that the number of cases of mortgage fraud rose by almost 63 percent between years 2008 and July 2009. To go more effectively after these “white collar” criminals, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announced his Treasury Department would begin collaborating more intensively with the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and Housing and Urban Development in order to effectively tackle mortgage fraud around the country.

The feds believed that such a multi-organizational approach to hunting down mortgage fraudsters would permit the federal government to successfully boost its enforcement, all the while raising consumer awareness of fraudulent and abusive schemes in existence.


Possible Penalties for Committing Mortgage Fraud

The government enacted severe penalties for such criminal behavior of mortgage fraud. The penalties can include large fines, seizure of business licenses, misdemeanor charges, and even criminal felony charges. With state and federal agencies working together to uncover and prosecute such criminals, the chances of people becoming caught has substantially increased.

The downside to this higher level of inter-agency communication lies in the higher odds for false accusations to arise. Attorneys with great experience in defending against such accusations of mortgage fraud come in handy for any business which feels that it is being improperly targeted for deceptive lending or fraudulent practices.

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What are the Child Abuse and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Laws in Arizona

Child Abuse and Vulnerable Adult Abuse (ARS §13-3623) are very serious charges and should not be taken lightly. They can carry significant, life-changing penalties and fines, not to mention including years of prison time. This article discusses what are the child abuse laws, possible defenses and an in depth look at the penalties.

In this video, David Cantor explains these charges:


What is Considered Abuse in the State of Arizona?

According to ARS §8-201, abuse is defined as follows:

The infliction or allowing of physical injury, impairment of bodily function or disfigurement or the infliction of or allowing another person to cause serious emotional damage as evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal or untoward aggressive behavior and which emotional damage is diagnosed by a medical doctor or psychologist and is caused by the acts or omissions of an individual who has the care, custody and control of a child.

Abuse includes:

  1. Inflicting or allowing sexual abuse pursuant to section 13-1404, sexual conduct with a minor pursuant to ARS 13-1405, sexual assault pursuant to section 13-1406, molestation of a child pursuant to section 13-1410, commercial sexual exploitation of a minor pursuant to section 13-3552, sexual exploitation of a minor pursuant to section 13-3553, incest pursuant to section 13-3608 or child sex trafficking pursuant to section 13-3212.
  2.  Physical injury that results from permitting a child to enter or remain in any structure or vehicle in which volatile, toxic or flammable chemicals are found or equipment is possessed by any person for the purpose of manufacturing a dangerous drug as defined in section 13-3401.
  3.  Unreasonable confinement of a child.

What are some Defenses for Charges of Abuse?

In a child abuse, or vulnerable adult abuse, case in the State of Arizona, the biggest burden of proof is proof of intention. It must be proven that the Defendant meant to harm the victim. If that cannot be proven, the Defendant can get a less harsh conviction and sentence, or even be cleared of all charges. Majority of abuse charges in the State of Arizona are charged under “recklessness” or “negligence” standards because they may be easier to prove.

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Charged with Possession of Another Person’s Prescription Drug

Charged with Possession of Another Person’s Prescription Drug

Drug possession charges often carry stiff penalties. Even being in possession of another person’s prescription drugs can result in felony charges. In Arizona, the penalty for drug possession depends on the type and amount of the drug found on a person as well as the individuals past criminal history. An experienced criminal defense attorney can mount several defenses to Below are some common charges that can result from being in possession of prescription drugs:

Potential charges relating to possession of a prescription-only drug in Arizona

Unlawful possession of a prescription-only drug

Individuals may be convicted of unlawful possession of a prescription-only drug when they knowingly possess prescription-only drugs belonging to another person, including friends and family members. In order to be convicted of unlawful drug possession, the state must prove both that the accused knowingly possessed the drug and that the accused knew that the drug was a prescription-only drug.

The penalties for possessing a prescription-only drug are relatively mild compared to other drug charges. Unlawfully possessing a prescription-only drug is a misdemeanor and carries with it a sentence up to six months in jail, potentially up to $4,575 in fines and penalties, and three years on probation.

Possession or use of a dangerous drug

Dangerous drugs” are defined as any narcotic other than marijuana and include certain prescription drugs, such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin and benzodiazapines. Although the elements of the crime are similar to the unlawful prescription-only drugs, possession or use of a dangerous drug carries with it a much more stringent penalty. The crime is a class 4 felony and is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison, depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history.

Judges have the authority to sentence defendants convicted of dangerous drug possession as a class 1 misdemeanor. Further, pursuant to Proposition 200, defendants who are first or second-time drug offenders can only be sentenced to probation, in a addition to drug treatment, community service and fines. Although defendants may be sentenced for short jail stays for up to 2 weeks for probation violations, the judge must reinstate probation upon completion of jail time.
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Arizona DUI Defense – Blood Test Inaccuracies for 2019

Arizona DUI Defense – Blood Test Inaccuracies for 2019

How to Defend against a DUI Charge in Arizona:  5 Ways Blood Tests Can Be Inaccurate

In Arizona, drivers may be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol content is 0.08% or higher. Blood tests are widely accepted as being the most accurate way of determining blood alcohol concentration in drivers suspected of DUIs and are often the only objective evidence of a defendant’s guilt, making the validity of the test a central question in a DUI trial.

Chart Showing Blood Alcohol Count - BAC Readings

Source: Stanford University

According to Stanford University, the effects of BAC levels can vary from person to person, male or female, slender or heavier; even medication can play a significant role on the blood alcohol readings. Stanford has published a BAC Graph showing the levels of blood alcohol.

Contrary to popular belief, blood tests are not always conclusive in proving that a driver’s blood alcohol content was above the legal limit. As explained below, many factors affect the accuracy of blood test results.

If your case involved the taking of blood or urine during your DUI arrest, you will need to wait and see if your BAC results come back at a reading of .08% or greater. This process can take between one (1) and six (6) months for your results to return. In the event your BAC readings are above a .08% the officer will send a suspension of driving privileges to the Arizona MVD office. You will then be notified with a “Corrective Action Notice” (i.e., notice of suspension). As soon as you receive this from the DMV, speak to our certified Phoenix DUI Specialist immediately so we can start the DUI Defense process and request a hearing on your behalf. This hearing request needs to be done within fifteen (15) days of the date of that suspension notice.


How can blood alcohol test results be challenged?

Below are 5 common categories of problems that may lead to the dismissal of DUI charges against defendants who have undergone blood alcohol testing:

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Felony Arson Charges and Possible Defenses in Arizona

Felony Arson Charges and Possible Defenses in Arizona

Arson is a serious crime in the state of Arizona, pursuant by A.R.S. §13-1703 and §13-1704 “Arson” takes place when an individual knowingly and unlawfully causes a fire or an explosion that damages property or a structure. If you were charged with Arson, and need an Arson attorney, contact DM Cantor for a free consultation (602) 307- 0808.

What Punishments can You Get if Convicted of Arson?

  • Class 2 Felony Arson – Being charged with arson can be bad, however, it’s even worse if the property was occupied, then you could be facing a class two (2) felony.

The punishment for a class two (2) felony may include probation with zero (0) days to one (1) year jail time or three (3) years to 12 and a half (12.5) years in jail. If the individual being tried has one previous allegeable conviction, then the range for “prison only” can be from four and a half (4.5) years to twenty-three and a quarter (23.25) years of incarceration. If the individual has two (2) prior allegeable convictions, then the range for “prison only” can be from ten and a half (10.5) years to thirty-five (35) years in prison.

  • Class 4 Felony Arson – If the property was not occupied, or the structure is worth more than $1000.00 in value, then the individual could be looking at being charged with a class four (4) felony for Arson.

The punishment for a class four (4) felony may include probation with zero (0) days to up to one (1) year spent in jail, or prison time can range from one (1) year to three and three quarter (3.75) years. If the individual being tried has one prior allegeable conviction, then the range for “prison only” can be from two and a quarter (2.25) years to seven and a half (7.5) years in jail. If the individual has two (2) prior allegeable convictions, then the range for “prison only” can be from six (6) to fifteen (15) years in prison.

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