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What is Reasonable Suspicion to Search My Car?

What is Reasonable Suspicion to Search My Car?

If a police officer has pulled you over and searched your car, you may have had questions about what your rights are and what the police are allowed to do.

  • What do police officers need to pull me over?
  • Can they search my car even if I haven’t committed a crime?
  • What do I need to know to protect myself?

While the specific answers depend on the situation, there are four critical things that you need to know about reasonable suspicion and what rules the police must follow.

Watch this short video from David Cantor about “No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop

1. What is Reasonable Suspicion to Search?

The only standard that a police officer needs to meet to pull your car over—which is also known as an investigatory stop—is reasonable suspicion, but what does that mean? Reasonable suspicion in its most basic sense says that “an officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime has been committed.” While this standard may seem simple, reasonable suspicious contains other rules that must also be met.

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What are my Options After a Conviction?

Just because you have been convicted of a crime does not mean that you have lost your case entirely. There is a Post Conviction Issues/Appeals process that seeks to overturn your conviction or modify the terms of a sentence. If you have lost civil rights due to a conviction, such as the right to vote, these right can sometimes be restored. An experienced criminal defense attorney can appeal your case in order to seek a more favorable outcome.

Post Conviction Relief Arizona: Filing PCR Petitions:
If a Defendant feels that he had ineffective assistance of counsel (this usually occurs with public defender cases); newly discovered evidence has been found which supports his innocence; or there has been a substantive change in the law, then he can file a “Post Conviction Relief Petition” (PCR).


Read more on Post Conviction Relief in Arizona.

Appeals:
A Defendant has 14 days from the date of their sentencing to file a “Notice of Appeal”. Also filed along with that is a “Designation of Record”. This will designate all of the documents and court reporter transcripts which will be necessary for the appeal. The higher court then issues a “Briefing Schedule” which gives time limits on when the “Appellant’s Brief” is to be filed.


Read more on Appeals.

Habeas Corpus:
“Habeas Corpus” is a Latin term for “that you have the body”. A Writ of Habeas Corpus is a motion which is filed most frequently to ensure that a Defendant’s imprisonment or detention is not illegal. It is sometimes used to test the legalities of an arrest or a commitment.

Read more on Habeas Corpus.

Sentence Modifications:
A “Motion to Modify Sentence” or “Motion to Modify Probation” can be filed at any time after the original Sentencing has occurred. Sometimes this can be as simple as asking for monthly probation fee or restitution fee to be reduced due to the financial hardship on a Defendant. Other times, it can include the deferral or deletion of jail time which was scheduled to begin at a future date.

Read more on Sentence Modifications.

Petition for Early Termination of Probation:
It is possible to terminate the probation in many cases when the Defendant has served approximately 50% of his probation term. In some cases, this can be done at a much earlier date. In fact, we have had numerous cases where a person has been placed on “lifetime probation” and we have had them terminated at a much earlier date (in one case, after a mere year and a half (1.5 years) from the date of sentencing).

Read more on Petition for Early Termination of Probation.

Expungement / Restoration of Civil Rights:
In Arizona, there is no such thing as a “Expungement”. However, Arizona does provide for what is known as a “Judgment of Guilt Set Aside” and a “Restoration of Civil Rights”. In essence, if the Judge grants the Motion to Set Aside Judgment of Guilt, then a Defendant can tell people that he has not previously been convicted of a crime.


Read more on Expungement / Restoration of Civil Rights.

Arizona Rule 32:
Under rule 32 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure, an individual may appeal a conviction for one of three reasons: ineffective assistance of counsel, newly discovered evidence, or substantive change of law. Ineffective assistance of counsel refers to situations in which a defendant’s lawyer provided unprofessional or substandard representation that materially affected the outcome of the court proceedings. It is not enough to prove that a defendant received poor representation; you must also prove that the outcome of the case would have been better had you received more effective counsel.


Read more on Arizona Rule 32.

If there is an avenue for an Appeal of your case or a way to modify the terms of a conviction, the Cantor Criminal Defense Attorneys will find it and utilize it to your benefit.

The Cantor Arizona Defense Lawyers Team – BEYOND AGGRESSIVE!!!

It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is an Arizona Defense Lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of it’s 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 Defense Lawyers know the system well. For a free initial consultation, call us at 1-888-822-6867, or click here to contact us now.

The Criminal Defense Attorneys on the Cantor Team offer BEYOND AGGRESSIVE legal defense for Appeals and Post Conviction Relief issues in all courts in the Phoenix metro area, including Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, Goodyear, Chandler, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Buckeye, Avondale, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Surprise, Sun City, El Mirage and in all city, state and federal court jurisdictions throughout the State of Arizona.

Contact DM Cantor and speak to an Arizona Defense Lawyer about your case. We will assist you with your Post Conviction Issues.


Expunction: Eligibility & Requirements

If you have a criminal record, it can make things quite complicated for you later in life. More and more today, businesses and employers are conducting background checks on applicants. If a landlord or employer finds that you have been arrested or convicted in the past, it can be difficult or even impossible to secure a home or job.

What Does it Mean to Expunge Records?

If you have a criminal record, do not fret. You may able to erase, or seal, arrests or convictions from your record through a process known as expungement. While the details pertaining to expungement vary from one state to another, when you have your records sealed, you do not have to disclose them to such persons as landlords or employers.

Who is Eligible for Expungement?

Expungement procedures and eligibility requirements vary from one jurisdiction to the next. Thus, it is best to check with your county’s clerk of court to find out if you are eligible and what you need to do. You do not necessarily need to hire a lawyer to request an expungement. You simply need to fill out and submit a “Motion for Expungement.”

Most jurisdictions only allow for misdemeanor arrests and convictions to be expunged. Additionally, you can only request to seal your records after you have finished serving your sentence and probation. However, if you have a good reason for wanting your records sealed, you may be able to get your probation shortened.

What is a Certificate of Actual Innocence?

A Certificate of Actual Innocence is a form of expungement that not only seals your records, but it also states that they should have never even existed. This is a great option in cases where you were found not guilty or your charges were dropped at a later date. This certificate shows that you were innocent of the offense in question.

Offenses That are Easiest to Expunge

In most jurisdictions, if you were arrested or convicted of a drug or juvenile crime, you will have an easy path to expungement. The reason that drug offenses are easily expunged is because in most cases, you will be eligible for a diversion program, which usually provides for an automatic expungement once you complete the classes.

Juvenile offenses are often easily expunged after you turn 18. In fact, some jurisdictions automatically seal records after you turn a certain age. However, felonies cannot be expunged, and for you to seal your records, you cannot have any arrests or convictions after your juvenile offenses.

Is Expungement Always Beneficial?

In most cases, expungement is highly beneficial. However, there are a few cases in which your records can be accessed even if you had them sealed. Examples of this are if you choose to apply for a professional license or if you want to work in the field of law enforcement. With so many fantastic benefits though, expungement is certainly a great way to begin a new life.

This guest article was written by Rand Mintzer, Attorney at Law. Rand Mintzer is a criminal lawyer in Houston, TX who knows how important it is to have a thorough criminal defense. He meticulously examines all the evidence in the case to provide the best defense possible.


Tucson Shooting Case Update: Laughner back in Tucson

David Michael Cantor, an Phoenix Arizona Criminal Attorney, talks about the recent change of venue for the Tucson Shooting case involving U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.. Previously the case had been moved to Phoenix after federal judges had recused themselves from the case because fellow Judge John M. Roll was one of the murder victims. Both the prosecutors and the defense agreed to this move so that witnesses would not have to travel as much.

David points out that while he respects Judy Clarke, the defense attorney assigned to the case by the feds, he thinks that this move is a bad one for the defense. Moving the case back to Tucson reopens the mob mentality issue where a judge might feel less likely to accept defense arguments in favor of pleasing the courtroom crowd.

Mrs. Clarke has held onto the option to have the case moved again at a later date, which may be the best thing to do if she wants a get a fair trial for her client. Of course this is what David thinks, let us know what you think.


Laws for Guns on Campus get limelight following Gifford’s shooting

Today David Michael Cantor, a Phoenix Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer, talks about current legislation being proposed in the Arizona state legislature that would allow teachers and students the ability to carry a gun on campus. David discusses the various implications of gun laws like this and uses an example from the recent tragic shooting in Tucson involving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. From confusion with law enforcement to constant reporting of suspicious behavior David outlines why he feels these laws are not productive and invites your discussion.

The bills were filed in December by Rep. Jack Harper, R-Surprise. HB 2001 would allow faculty to carry concealed firearms with a concealed weapons permit while HB 2014 lets anybody with a permit be armed on campuses.

Multiple law enforcement officials have voiced concern with allowing concealed weapons to be carried by teachers and students on campus. One concern is that if there is an incident and multiple people have their weapons pulled how will officers know who the bad guy is? In a gun fight timing is of the essence and officers have to make fast decisions. How many more victims will result from false identification and friendly fire?

This is one example that actually played out recently when Jared Loughner shot Congresswoman Giffords and 18 others in Tucson, AZ. Joe Zamudio, a bystander who heard the shots and had his pistol on him, ran towards the scene and threatened to pull his gun on a man with a gun. It turned out that the other man had just disarmed and apprehended Loughner. Joe later admitted on TV that he “almost shot the wrong guy“.

In another concern David M Cantor points out a more likely situation where campus police will be inundated with reports of suspicious looking people carrying guns around. We are talking about college campuses, where people tend to dress and act suspiciously because that’s what college is for.

In the end David concludes that any laws allowing concealed weapons on a college campus just don’t make sense. Then again that is his opinion, what do you think?


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