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Assault

Mesa Driver Arrested for Assault and Aggravated DUI

Sounds like things got a little out of hand in Mesa this weekend when a motorist attempted to hit a few pedestrians as they tried to cross the street. Matthew Cochran was arrested for a number of charges including aggravated assault and aggravated DUI in Mesa, AZ.

From SFGate.com:

Authorities say a man is in custody in Mesa for allegedly trying to run over three pedestrians and assault a police officer.
Mesa police say 44-year-old Matthew Cochran is being held on suspicion of three counts of aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a police officer, criminal damage, possession of a dangerous drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and aggravated DUI.
Authorities say Cochran allegedly drove toward a man and woman walking on a road Sunday morning and then another man soon afterward.
Police say he then crashed his vehicle into the front of a gated community and allegedly punched a police officer before being subdued.
Police reported finding a small baggie later confirmed to contain methamphetamine along with a glass pipe.

 

If you need a DUI Lawyer in Mesa please click here or call our offices at (602) 307-0808 or send us an email through our confidential form.


Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer David Michael Cantor on What to Do if You’re Charged with Child Abuse

If you have been charged with Child Abuse, you’re going to require a skilled Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer.

The key to defending a charge of Child Abuse / Vulnerable Adult Abuse is to demonstrate first and foremost that any alleged abuse was not done “intentionally” or “knowingly” and remove them from the most serious punishment range (i.e., “Lack of Intent” or “Lack of Knowledge”).

The vast majority of Child Abuse cases are charged under the “recklessness” and “negligence” standards. The key is demonstrating that a person was not “reckless” and that their conduct was not a “gross deviation” from the standard that a reasonable person would observe in this situation. In regards to “negligence”, it must be shown that the person’s care was not a “gross deviation” from the standard that a reasonable person would observe in this situation. For example, if you are at the park and your child is playing on the jungle gym, and happens to fall off and break their arm, most people would agree that you have not engaged in a “gross deviation” from the standard of conduct or standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in that situation. The same applies to other household injuries. A mother or father cannot be expected to be next to their child 24 hours a day. Sometimes children are playing and they just accidentally injury themselves (this happens every day).

Click here to learn more about possible defenses and/or punishment for a Child Abuse charge.

It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also, David Michael Cantor is a skilled Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer, and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. At the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, P.C., the majority of our Lawyers are ex-Prosecutors, and all of our Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers know the system well. For a free initial consultation, call us at 1-888-822-6867, or contact Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer David Michael Cantor.


Arizona Defense Attorney David Michael Cantor on What to Do if You’re Charged with Sexual Assault

If you have been charged with sexual assault, you’re going to require a skilled Arizona Defense Attorney.

Sexual Assault charges can be extremely dangerous in the context of college parties or bar situations. Numerous false claims have been filed by women who were intoxicated and then later regretted their decision (usually after being taunted by friends who used derogatory terms). The alleged “victim” is now left with either acknowledging to their taunting friends that they are a “slut”, or they can “save face” and claim that they were “taken advantage of”. It is important to insure that all medical evidence is reviewed immediately (if there is any); that all witnesses at the bar or party are contacted and interviewed immediately; that a polygraph be conducted on the accused; and that other individuals be interviewed to determine the alleged victim’s propensity for promiscuity and untruthfulness.

Click here to learn more about possible defenses and/or punishment for sexual assault.

It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is an Arizona Sexual Assault Attorney and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. At the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, P.C., the majority of our Attorneys are ex-Prosecutors, and all of our Arizona Sexual Assault Attorneys know the system well. For a free initial consultation, call us at 602-307-0808, or contact Arizona Defense Attorney David Michael Cantor.


The Arizona Assault Defense Attorney’s Problem with Jury Bias and Hate Crime

Jury selection can be a complicated component in the defense strategy of an assault defense attorney in Arizona. A recent case brought up a string or jury excuses that were far from run of the mill, many of them relating to racial tension and the issue of illegal immigration. Out of a selection of 130 perspective jurors, only 5 were selected and the rest were excused. Either they didn’t meet the requirements of the prosecution, or they posed legitimate concern to the assault defense attorney of the accused.

The case involved Jeffrey Conroy, 19, who had been accused of killing Marcelo Lucero, a 37 year old Ecuadorian immigrant who had been stabbed to death in a hate crime. Lucero was attacked by 7 teenagers who allegedly made a sport of targeting immigrants. Lucero’s death prompted outrage and exposed the racial tensions of region, and many Latinos came forward to speak out about a string of muggings that had been aimed at Hispanics in the area. It created a scenario that made it hard for his assault defense attorney to find an unbiased jury which to try him.

As Conroy went on trial, jury selection proved difficult, partly because of the views on immigration that were held by some perspective members of the jury, as well as those who might have been motivated out of racial concerns. Certain points of jury selection had the sound of a call in talk radio show as perspective jurors were interviewed by the prosecution and the assault defense attorney.

Most of the jury responses answered questions posed by Justice Doyle. He pointed out that some testimony would be provided by illegal immigrants, and that the potential witnesses that have been named in court include some or all of the other men who participated in the attack and have since pleaded guilty.

Several potential jurors were dismissed because they had strong views on illegal immigration and would be unable to respond in an unbiased way, a dismissal made in the interest of the prosecution. Others were excused because they had Hispanic family members or were Hispanic themselves and might therefore side with the victim and his family in a way that prevented an unbiased viewpoint, a dismissal made in the interest of the assault defense attorney.

Still others stated they had followed the case in the news, and had already formed sound judgments as to Conroy’s guilt or innocence.

For example, one man confided that he grew up in a racist environment and that he doubted his ability to render a fair and impartial decision. Another had been the victim of verbal abuse aimed at his Puerto Rican heritage, which he allowed could affect the decision he made in the jury box.

Plus, as any assault defense attorney realizes, people often answer jury questions in an effort to appear to have a bias, simply to get out of serving on a jury. Jury duty isn’t as exciting as a courtroom drama on television. While serving on a jury may be a citizenship duty, it is no picnic.

These are challenges that are always presented in any case to an assault defense attorney of Arizona and prosecution team in finding an unbiased jury, but they become even greater in the instance of hate crime that involves racial issues.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona assault defense attorney, visit our site.


An Arizona Assault Lawyer Can Gain Advantage Questioning GSR Evidence

Ask any assault lawyer in Arizona who knows the law. Just because a suspect tests positive for GSR doesn’t mean he shot his victim. In fact, the tenets of GSR are so shaky that an assault lawyer has many opportunities to insert doubt over such evidence, making it practically useless in a court of law.

What is GSR?
The Trace Evidence Procedures Manual defines GSR (short for “Gun Shot Residue”) as “a particle with a spherical or molten appearance containing the elements Pb, Ba, and Sb.” The reality is that 99% of the time, neither the police nor the assault lawyer in Arizona actually tests for gunshot residue. Instead, they test for primer residue.

To understand GSR, let’s first take a look at gunpowder. Essentially, it’s combination of chemicals that, once ignited, burn at a predictable rate, expanding gases that create pressure and force the bullet down the barrel of a gun. In the early days, gunpowder was a black powder that 75 % potassium nitrate, 15% charcoal, and 15% sulfur. Nitrate is the base fuel of all gun powders, though they may take several different chemical forms. Gun powder has advanced over the years to include other ingredients, but at its base it is essentially the same.

Crime scene investigators take a swab sample from a person or article and test for a combination of chemicals from gunpowder residues, primer residues and lead residues. It is important to note that increasingly, companies are making gun powder with less or no lead residue in its ingredients. This is done in order to make shooting safer in an indoor arena, as lead free ammunition keeps the shooter from inhaling the toxic metal and risking cancer.

Problems with nitrates

Nitrates are the fuels that make the gunpowder burn. The problem that is of interest to an assault lawyer is that it is quite possible to test positive for nitrates by coming into contact with an endless stream of everyday ingredients, with fertilizers and fuels topping the list. In fact, obtaining a false positive test is so easy that most police departments these days don’t even bother to test for nitrates. They just aren’t reliable.

When the powder remains, soot is what remains. You can get soot from car exhaust, fireplaces, even a cigarette. Testing positive for soot should hardly require the need to hire an assault lawyer.

Problems with primers
Primers are the small cups or circles on the base of the cartridges that ignite the gunpowder with a small explosion – just like a child’s cap gun. This is where the job of police work gets interesting and where an assault lawyer should take notice. Most primers contain the chemicals barium nitrate, lead styphnate, and antimony sulfide. There are a number of chemicals the forensic expert must identify. The fact that they do not identify all chemicals does not mean it is not GSR, and even if they do, it does not mean that the person fired the gun. GSR is based upon shaky, questionable grounds that an assault lawyer can bring to the court’s attention in the best interest of his client.

GSR is a very inconclusive piece of evidence that is being questioned more and more by the courts. An assault lawyer in Arizona should always insert doubt into any presented testimony of GSR. The evidence is simply not valid or sound enough to base a judicial decision upon.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona assault lawyer, visit our site.


Hot to Spot a Good Assault Defense Lawyer in Arizona

A good assault defense lawyer in Arizona can make all the difference in winning your case. Knowing how to choose the right defense team and use them to their fullest potential can make or break your case. What should you look for in an assault defense lawyer?

When to investigate
Knowing the best time to investigate can be just as important as the investigation itself. A good assault defense lawyer realizes that the best time conduct investigations is always pretrial. It is unlikely you’ll be able to present new facts as evidence during post conviction proceedings. Although new evidence can sometimes be accepted, this only happens in the rarest of cases.

It is very difficult to obtain relief when an investigation is not undertaken by an assault defense lawyer until post conviction. Even in cases where exceptional evidence of innocence is uncovered, it is not uncommon for the court to refuse to grant relief.

When an assault defense lawyer in Arizona launches a comprehensive investigation at the pretrial stage, all evidence can be presented to the jury to evaluate. This puts pressure on the prosecution during the initial trial, as jurors must return a verdict for the defense if they have reasonable doubts. After conviction, the court essentially turns against the individual, as he has already been proven guilty and innocence is no longer an issue of debate. They must prove their innocence in the narrow confines of the legal system.

Pretrial presents the best opportunities for freedom. The pretrial investigation plays a critical role in establishing a good defense that can lead to an innocent verdict.

The personality of the defense
While there are assault defense lawyers that can handle a wide range of legal scenarios, generally they tend to specialize in the particular line of questioning that they are good at. If your case involves questioning recalcitrant witnesses, an investigator that works well with people is essential. A non-threatening open conversation is the best way to engage information, putting the witness as ease so that they may feel free to share their point of view.

Often, it’s the safe comfortable approach that can elicit the information you need from a witness. The personality of an assault defense lawyer helps to set the tone.

Importance of strong organizational skills and knowledge of the law
A valuable assault lawyer not only finds and interviews other witnesses, acting as a fact finder, but also provides a detailed comprehensive review of the case as well as brainstorms defense strategies. He or she should have the legal savvy and talent to become an active participant in strategy meetings, becoming an active and integral component of the defense team. Strategy as it applies to law is what we’re talking about here. A good lawyer can apply knowledge of the law in a clear case strategy that works for the best outcome of his or her client.

The best assault defense lawyer in Arizona is friendly enough to put the court and witnesses at ease, organized and knowledgeable in the application of law to develop a legal strategy, and have the versatility to pull the plan off. Look for these qualities in your search for legal advice.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona assault defense lawyer, visit our site.


An Arizona Assault Attorney Gains Leverage by Questioning Firearms Identification Evidence

Across the board challenges to the scientific nature and admissibility of firearms and tool mark identification are important leverage tools for the assault attorney in Arizona. Prosecutor bench notes of the firearms and tool marks examiner should always be obtained and scrutinized down to the last detail in every case. In many cases, this evidence can enable an assault attorney to argue that even if firearms and tool mark identifications are not per se inadmissible; the particular identifications in the particular case should be excluded because they do not conform to the standards of the field.

Recent changes in the legal landscape make such challenges by an assault attorney substantially easier. Recent court decisions have taken major steps towards recognizing the inherent scientific problems and excluding firearms and tool marks evidence. The court has recognized in many instances that ballistic examination lacks the rigors of science, suffering from greater uncertainties than other types of criminal investigation. The court has argued that suggesting a ballistics expert can conclusively link a particular bullet to a particular gun with a reasonable degree of certainty directly misleads the jury. Ballistics statements must now conclude the opinion, “more likely than not,” but nothing that suggests anything more certain than that.

In 2008, the National Research Council Committee to Assess the Feasibility, Accuracy, and Technical Capability of a National Ballistics Database provided a report that substantially boosts the defense challenges available to an assault attorney. The committee’s mandate out of necessity precluded it from evaluating the admissibility of firearms identification evidence. Nevertheless, the committee did conclude that there are serious scientific problems in both the underlining premises of firearms and tool mark identification and the methods firearms and tool mark examiners use to make identifications.

One judge even went so far as to note that the “courts have been understandably gun shy about questioning the reliability of firearm identification evidence. Storm clouds, however, are gathering.” It’s this very shadow of doubt that can be of great use to an assault attorney.

What is firearms and tool mark identification?
Firearms identification is often confused with ballistics, which deals with the motions that firearms impart to projectiles. By contrast, tool mark identification aims to identify particular tools, such as a gun barrel or bolt cutter, as the unique source of marks on crime scene evidence, such as a bullet or piece of fence. A subspecies of tool mark identification, firearms identification deals with the tool marks that bullets, cartridge cases and shot-shell components acquire by being fired and that cartridge cases and shot-shells acquire through the action of the firearm.

The question is whether or not it can be determined that only one unique tool produced the marks, or if they could have been produced by a similar tool. This question is of great use to the assault attorney.

As the courts question the credibility of firemarks identification evidence, an assault attorney in Arizona has a good deal of tools at his or her disposal to keep such evidence out of the courtroom. All evidence related to the use of the weapon must be scrutinized for discrepancies. Question the validity of such evidence in court with the latest scientific data. Any doubt that can be inserted into the prosecution’s evidence can greatly help the accused, perhaps resulting in a dismissal of all charges.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona assault attorney, visit our site.


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