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Arizona Criminal Law

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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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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Sex Abuse Charges, Laws, Penalties and Defenses in Arizona

Sex Abuse Charges, Laws, Penalties and Defenses in Arizona

Charges for sex abuse can vary from state to state, however, each state carries serious consequences for sex abuse convictions.

Arizona Revised Statute (ARS 13-1404) is where a person intentionally engages in any kind of sexual contact with a person who is the age of 15 or more who does not consent. This also includes any person under 15 where the sexual contact only involves the breast of a female. This may also end up with the charge of sexual conduct with a minor. 

What Constitutes Sexual Contact?

You can be charged with sexual contact if you have directly or indirectly touched, manipulated, or fondled the genitals, female breast, or anus against the will of the other person. Causing a person to unwillingly touch another person can also constitute as sexual contact. These cases may also be known as “fondling cases”.

If you have been charged with a sex crime in Arizona, you will want to call a well experienced sexual abuse lawyer. Contact DM Cantor today 24/7 at 602-307-0808. You will be able to set up a free consultation where we can help you build a defense for your charges.

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Federal Racketeering and the RICO Act: Examples, Penalties & Defenses

Federal Racketeering and the RICO Act: Examples, Penalties & Defenses

Racketeering (ARS 13-2314 04) covers a wide range of activity with different people, groups and organizations. It is a very serious federal criminal offense that is punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. Originally, racketeering was criminal activity that law enforcement limited to organized crime. A “racket” is an organized business or a group of people that conducts business illegally for monetary gain.

Drug trafficking, money laundering, embezzlement of funds are all forms of racketeering. However, due to infiltration of organized crime into the legitimate corporate world in exchange for money, the lines have blurred over the decades, casting a wider view of racketeering and white collar crime in general.

What Is Racketeering?

The classic Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of racketeering, or a racketeer, is someone who illegally gets money from someone, normally via intimidation. A broader definition of the term is the illegal methods of getting money or offering false services in exchange for money. Extortion, blackmail, bribery, kidnapping for monetary ransom…all of these falls under the racketeering umbrella.


RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organization)

The Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 as a whole became law on October 15, 1970. The original purpose of the creation of the RICO statute was to stop the infiltration of organized criminal activity into legitimate businesses. An example of this is the timeless film, The Godfather. The Corleone family was a major crime family in New York City. However, they used an olive oil company as a family business to cover their illegal business practices.

The first documented RICO conviction was a La Cosa Nostra boss in New York City named Frank Tieri. Mr. Tieri was convicted on November 21, 1980 of racketeering charges that included threats to a restaurant owner, loansharking (extortion), and fraudulent activity at the Westchester Premier Theater with proven affiliation to the Genovese crime family. Since this time, however, the RICO act has expanded to include any group that is conducting illegal activity under the racketeering umbrella. This can include corrupt police officers and politicians, street gangs, even businesses and corporations.

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Charges of Illegal Insider Trading

Charges of Illegal Insider Trading

What is Insider Trading?

Illegal insider trading is defined as follows: “the illegal use of information available only to insiders in order to make a profit in financial trading” – Merriam Webster

‘Illegal Insider Trading’charges can result in a maximum fine of $5,000,000 for individuals ($25,000,000 for companies) and a federal prison sentence of up to 20 years! With all charges, if you have been accused of this, the first thing to do is to speak with a white collar crimes attorney.


Why is Insider Trading Illegal?

Insider trading is considered illegal for a few reasons. First, when an employee or a broker for someone is a fiduciary of said person, corporation, government, etc., he or she gives his or her trust and loyalty, acting in the best interest of the person, business or government he or she is representing. Giving clandestine information to someone for financial gain that conflicts with one’s fiduciary duties is not only illegal, but also unfair.

Second, the stock market is supposed to be an even playing field for everyone (hence the term, “gone public”). For someone to have secretive information that no one else has and use it for their own financial gain is very unethical. Stephen Cutler, who is the Director of Enforcement of the SEC eloquently made the following statement in reference to the Martha Stewart case:

“It is fundamentally unfair for someone to have an edge on the market just because she has a stockbroker who is willing to break the rules and give her an illegal tip. It’s worse still when the individual engaging in the insider trading is the Chairman and CEO of a public company.”

It is similar to being the only person to have the answers to a major test, and you win a scholarship to an Ivy League university because of it. It is cheating, unless it cannot be proven.

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Penalties for Possession of Drugs for Sale in Arizona

Penalties for Possession of Drugs for Sale in Arizona

In the state of Arizona, if you are caught using or in possession of a drug such as meth (methamphetamines) or other narcotics, you can be charged with a class 4 felony. This includes drugs like hallucinogenic drugs, prescription medications, and amphetamines.

What is Dangerous Drug Possession in Arizona?

According to Arizona Revised Statute, ARS 13-3407 prohibits the use and possession of dangerous drugs. It also prohibits:

  • The sale of dangerous drugs.
  • The possession of any chemical and supplies that are used in the production of making drugs.
  • The manufacturing of dangerous drugs.
  • Giving the drugs to someone else, regardless of whether or not you made a profit off of it.
  • Getting dangerous drugs by misrepresentation, deceit, and fraud.
  • Transporting the drugs into Arizona or within the state.

What are the dangerous drugs outlined in this law? Well, they are broken down into several categories, and they are:

  • Any type of amphetamines, this includes meth.
  • Any type of hallucinogenic substance. For example, acid and mescaline.
  • Any type of drug that gives off a depressant effect on the central nervous system.
  • Any anabolic steroids. This includes the use of testosterone.

One important thing to remember in the state of Arizona is that if you have any drug, no matter what form it is in, it is illegal to possess unless you have a doctor’s written prescription. In certain ways the laws are worded, you could have a small ingredient of a particular drug that could make you responsible for having the drug in your possession. You could face punishment for it just like you would if you had the entire drug in front of you.

Here at DM Cantor, we see these types of felony drug charges frequently and can help you to get your drug charge dismissed, reduced, or another positive outcome. We have many years of experience in drug cases and can help you to beat your charges. If you have been charged with possession of drugs for sale or transporting drugs in Arizona, contact our office today so that we can help you.

 

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