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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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What to do if You Are Arrested for a Felony in Arizona

What to do if You Are Arrested for a Felony in Arizona

If you have been arrested in Arizona for a felony charge, it is vital that you understand your rights. A felony conviction can have significant consequences and may result in revocation of certain rights. Rights such as the right to vote and to possess a firearm. Because of this, you should be mindful of your rights and should contact an Arizona defense attorney as soon as possible.

What are some of Your Rights after you are Arrested for a Felony?

After you are placed under arrest for a felony offense, you have certain constitutional rights that are intended to protect your interests. These rights include the following:

The right to remain silent

  • The right to remain silent: After you are arrested, you are under no obligation to speak with law enforcement about the event. Police officers are often well-trained in interrogation tactics and will seek to obtain information that could be used against you in court. The prosecution frequently relies upon admissions made by defendants or inferences that can be drawn from statements that are made. To protect yourself and to limit disclosure of information, you should exercise your right to remain silent, at least until such time that you have legal representation present.

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How Long Can I Be Held in Custody by Law Enforcement?

How Long Can I Be Held in Custody by Law Enforcement?

In most cases, someone who is arrested will be taken into custody by law enforcement, processed into jail and then be formally charged with a crime before a judge during an arraignment hearing; but what happens if no formal charges are filed? Can the police hold you behind bars until they feel like taking action? How long do you have to wait before your case goes to trial? When should you involve a criminal defense attorney in your Arizona arrest case?

What Happens After an Arrest?

After an arrest, you are in a bit of a legal gray area. You have been taken into custody by law enforcement, but you have not been formally charged with a crime. As a result, you must remain in custody while awaiting charges for a period of time. If that time expires and you have not been charged, you must be released. While waiting, you will likely be brought before a magistrate judge who will determine your bail amount, if any. This differs from an arraignment in that, during an arraignment hearing, you are formally charged with a crime and are required to enter a plea. This is also when a trial date is set, and you will remain in jail until your trial.

If you are not charged within the hold period, you will not be arraigned, but a bail amount and the posting of bail may be required – see “how to post bail”. Once again, this is an area of legal limbo because you are still in jail while waiting to see what is going to happen, so you should contact your defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest to ensure that you receive adequate representation from the start of the criminal justice process.

While Waiting in Jail:

  • Exercise your right against self-incrimination
  • Follow commands by law enforcement within legal boundaries
  • Contact your defense attorney
  • Know that you have not been formally charged with a crime until you have been arraigned

How Long Can You Be Held After an Arrest?

In Arizona, as well as in many other states, there is a limit of 48 hours after an arrest before formal charges have to be filed.

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What are the Types of Arizona Felony Classes

Types of Arizona Felony Classes

Felony Class Types in Arizona

There are six levels of felony classes in Arizona. Each class has its own guidelines for punishment if convicted. When looking at sentencing, the law presumes that everyone will start at the presumptive sentence however, this sentence can be increased or decreased if mitigating or aggravating factors are found by the Judge or jury. The following sentencing ranges apply to a person with no prior felony convictions.

  • Class 1 – The only crime that falls under a Class 1 felony is murder. Murder charges are divided into two categories: First or Second Degree. First degree murder is punishable by the death penalty or by life in prison without parole. Second degree murder requires a minimum prison sentence of 10 years up to a maximum sentence of 25 years.
  • Class 2 – A Class 2 felony allows for a minimum sentence in the Department of Corrections of three years. This can be increased to up to 12.5 years for aggravated. Probation, with up to one year in jail, is also available.
  • Class 3 – Class 3 felonies allows for a minimum of two years in prison with an aggravated sentence of up to 8.75 years. Probation is also available.
  • Class 4– If sentenced to prison on a Class 4 felony, you face anywhere between 1 to 3.75 years. Again, probation is available.
  • Class 5 – A Class 5 felony provides for a minimum of six months in prison however, can be increased to up to 2.5 years. Probation is available.
  • Class 6 – Although a Class 6 felony, an example could be a DUI in Phoenix, also allows for a probation sentence, if sentenced to prison the range allows for anywhere between .33 – 2 years.

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Pre-charge Investigation Stage Cases

‘Pre-charge’, also called the ‘Investigation Stage’ of a criminal case is the stage when someone is under observation for a criminal offense, but no formal action has been taken. When someone is involved in such a situation, it can have a significant negative impact on different areas of their life. This initial state precedes any formal charges. Usually, a person is considered to be involved in a pre-charge stage when they have been arrested by the law enforcement and have been questioned, but later released without facing any charges. This means that the person stands in imminent danger of getting arrested anytime if police find any evidence against them.

Even if the person has not been convicted, the arrest itself may be recorded and documented, which can have a negative impact on their personal life. Their story may make it to the newspaper headline, or it may be put up on any of the news reporting websites. The individual is stuck in the pre-charge stage after being arrested, until they are actually charged with the crime. Anyone who has been arrested in connection to a crime but was later released without charges, is advised to consult a qualified criminal defense attorney. (more…)


New Evidence Leads to Dismissal of Child Sex Abuse Charges

With trial scheduled to begin only nine days later, charges of child sex abuse against Robert Koenig, 63, were dismissed at the prosecution’s request, motivated by the discovery of new evidence following Mr. Koenig’s indictment some six months earlier.

Mr. Koenig faced two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of rape under that indictment. Those charges stemmed from Koenig’s role as a foster parent, a role he and his wife had shared for five years by the time Mr. Koenig was first charged.

When it learned of the abuse allegations, the official licensing agency, Lucas County Children Services, began the process of removing the Koenigs from the foster care program. The Koenigs, however, withdrew voluntarily before that removal process was completed.

Robert Koenig - Public PhotoMr. Koenig had been a teacher for the Toledo Public Schools from 1975 to 2010, spending most of his career in middle schools. He worked as a substitute teacher in that school system for three years until his retirement in 2013.

According to Frank Spryszak, the assistant county prosecutor who sought the dismissal, his action was driven by the discovery of new evidence “that put us in a position that we no longer felt that we had sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.”

Lorin Zaner, the attorney defending Mr. Koenig, describes himself as a leading child sexual conduct with a minor lawyer with a particular interest in false abuse allegations. He said that the dismissal came as a great relief to his client. “We had the documentation to show that there’s no way our guy could’ve done what they said,” he said.

At the same time, he called attention to the negative consequences of the allegations for Mr. and Mrs. Koenig, a state of affairs that may be familiar to him as a sex crimes lawyer. “They truly had a desire to help children. To be in a position of being falsely accused because you put yourself out there to help children is a tragedy because these are good people. Their names are drug through the mud. Why do you want to put yourself in that position? It’s terrible.”

Mr. Koenig had pleaded not guilty to the charges, and he had been released on $300,000 bond after appearing before Court of Common Pleas Judge Ruth Ann Franks, the same judge who later heard the prosecution’s request to dismiss all charges.

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The Dangers of File Sharing and Peer to Peer Networks

File sharing has been a big part of the counter-culture of legal and illegal music and movie downloads in the United States. Many file sharing programs that allowed the free flow of copyrighted files like Limewire, Napster, Bearshare, Frostwire, and the like have long been shut down by the U.S. Government (or switched their business models), but new software springs up all the time. For example, as soon as Limewire was shut down, Frostwire came out and today the most prevelant Peer to Peer software of today is bit Torrent. The cycle keeps repeating as bit torrent sites like The Pirate Bay, Demonoid, and others have faced government seizures of their physical servers located in other countries. The government may not be able to completely shut down all of the file-sharing software as it continues to morph into different models that make it undetectable. Many people praise these programs as means to download and own files for free that they would otherwise have to pay for, but what these people don’t realize is the inherent danger of downloading files from anonymous sources and sharing the same files out to strangers: namely, child pornography.

Helpful Link > Click the following links to view our Child Pornography Case Victories and view all of our Arizona Sex Crime Victories.

Here is a graphic showing the old way file sharing networks worked by each user connecting through a centralized server which is how the government was able to stop them, by legally choking off the central server:

(Images Courtesy of Vuze.com)

File Sharing Networks

And here is a graphic showing bit Torrent Peer to Peer networks where the user downloads and opens a torrent file which then connects the user to the peers who are seeding the files:

Peer to Peer Networks

One of the most important issues among the file sharing community in recent years has been the prosecutions relating to the possession and distribution of child pornography. Many of the defendants that have hired a child pornography lawyer in these cases said that they were not even aware of the images that were stored on their computers. Images of child porn can be downloaded to your computer through a series of Trojan horses or by blindly downloading an entire directory that is shared with you through one of these peer to peer services. One common method of sharing child porn is the intentional mislabeling of filenames. For example, you may download a video named “Die Hard” thinking that you are getting a movie about Bruce Willis. Upon download, you might open the file and instead of finding a movie you find that it is actually hundreds or thousands of images of child pornography. Images of child porn are sometimes inserted into otherwise normal video files and may even go unnoticed by the person downloading the file. This example proves that you cannot be sure what is actually contained in the files you are downloading, which increases the risk of using any peer to peer file sharing software or methods. Remember, there is no file certification process since most of these files (movies, ebooks, software, etc) are being downloaded and shared illegally.

The most common way people are convicted of possession of child pornography, is by their permanent storage on your hard drive even after deleting it in several locations. With file sharing programs, the downloaded files go automatically into two folders: “Saved” and “Shared”. A third folder is created for “Incomplete or Temp Files” that a lot of people are unaware of. Files are labeled incomplete when they are deleted halfway through. You may not even be able to open these files, but the government can, and will attempt to prosecute and convict you for the possession of illegal images of children regardless of the folder they reside in.

The second charge of distribution of child pornography comes when you allow the program to share your files with other users. You may be doing this unknowingly as most file-sharing programs select this sharing option as a default setting. Even if you are unaware that the files you are sharing contain child porn, this act of sharing constitutes distribution.

So how does law enforcement track the child porn files? The government tracks files and images of child porn by looking at hash values. A hash value is the number of pixels a file contains. The government and law enforcement often knows the hash value of popular or commonly-shared child porn images. Any time that file is shared or downloaded; the government is alerted to the IP address of the user. They thereby obtain a search warrant and go about finding said files on your computer, upon which they arrest the user.

There are conspiracy theories out there that the government uses images of child porn to set people up for conviction. People use this to explain the surge of conviction among political rivals and other important people in society. This ruins their reputation and labels them a sex offender for the rest of their lives. Though this rumor does not have much traction, it is wise to avoid the possibility altogether by abstaining from P2P file sharing sites.

Here is a video David Michael Cantor made when Limewire was in the news in Oct 2010:

Every state in the US has laws regarding the possession and distribution of child pornography. For example, here in Arizona the law is A.R.S §13-3553 Sexual Exploitation of a Minor” (i.e. “Child Pornography”) and it is a class two (2) felony.  In Arizona, the minimum prison term is 10 years per image, if convicted. If you are facing child pornography charges, it’s a good idea to find yourself a defense attorney who has experience with these types of cases and also works with a good computer forensics expert.

If you have legal questions about Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and Child Pornography possession and distribution, please give our office a call at (602) 307-0808. If you are in the pre-charge phase or have already been charged, please call us for a free case review. The free consultation will last about 30 minutes and one of our defense attorneys will give you their professional opinion with your case.


Aggravated DUI with Child in Car – Arizona DUI

A DUI with a child in the car is referred to as “Aggravated DUI with Kid in Car”. This is a felony charge and carries more severe penalties than a typical misdemeanor DUI charge in Arizona.

In this short video, David Cantor explains what an Aggravated DUI with Kids in the Car means:

If you are stopped for a DUI with a child in the car under the age of 15, you will be charged with an Aggravated DUI and will usually be arrested on the scene. Your car will be impounded, and either a family member or Child Protective Services will be contacted to take the child home.

Depending on the results of the blood or breath test and if you do not have a prior DUI conviction, you can be sentenced to as little as 10 days in jail or as many as 45 days. Fines and jail costs range from $1,667 for a typical conviction to nearly $7,000 for a Super Extreme DUI with a blood or breath test blood alcohol content registering .20 or higher. The penalties are increased for a driver with prior DUI convictions, especially if the conviction occurred within the last seven years.

You will also lose your driver’s license for one year. If you choose to drive once your license has been reinstated then you will be required to have an Interlock Ignition Device installed on the car’s steering wheel at a cost of $1,200 per year ($2,400). This device requires a driver to blow into it in order to start the car and requires that the driver continue to blow into it every 15 minutes while the car is in operation. Every 90 days, you will be required to go to an interlock facility to have the device’s chip downloaded, in order to verify that you have not driven the vehicle with alcohol in their system.

Also, you will be required to have an SR-22. Under this high-risk auto insurance provision, the insurance companies report the driver to the DMV any time there is a lapse in coverage. The SR-22 policy is usually $500 per year and required for 3 years ($1,500). If you choose to continue to drive you can also expect an increase in your car insurance premiums. The average premium increase after a DUI conviction is $3,000 per year for 3 years ($9,000).

If convicted of any felony DUI, expect to lose any professional licenses, the right to vote, and any gun licenses. If you are engaged in a child custody dispute, you will be presumed unfit as a parent based on this conviction.

The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor has been successful in many Aggravated DUI cases with children in the car. We can and will work to have the charges reduced to a regular misdemeanor DUI in order to avoid the more severe penalties that come with a felony conviction. Call (602) 307-0808 today to schedule a free initial consultation. The consultation will take about 30 minutes and will allow us time to review your case. Our offices can be reached 24 hours a day via email or by calling us at (602) 307-0808.


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