There’s a quote attributed to former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Back in 2009, he reportedly told an interviewer, “I don’t bow down to the federal government.” Joe apparently took his own advice, but it’s landed him in a heap of trouble. Arpaio has a history of what have been called “brash” techniques. They include…

Recent headlines on illegal immigration claim that since Phoenix dropped its sanctuary city status in 2008, the crime rate in the city has dropped significantly. We choose 2008 because that was the year SB 1070, the law that makes it a crime in Arizona to be an undocumented immigrant and effectively requires racial profiling, was…

On December 12, 2016, Michael Floyd was charged with DUI after being found asleep or passed out in his car in Scottsdale. At the time, he was a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. We reported on the arrest in our blog back in March. At that point, Floyd had been placed on waivers by…

When the police arrived at a Phoenix apartment complex back in 2012, they were looking for an individual who had an outstanding federal warrant, and who, they heard, was seen selling drugs in the area. At the complex, the police didn’t find the person they were searching for. Rather, they came across four black men,…

The policy of the Arizona Department of Corrections is to check to make sure that “contraband” is not being sent out into the world by prison inmates. The problem is that the policy and practice of the DOC included a page-by-page review of the content of outgoing inmate mail sent to the inmates’ attorneys. This,…

We’ve reported in the past about the enormous number of people incarcerated in the United States. In fact, the U.S. has by far the highest percentage of prison and jail inmates in the world. You may have heard lots of purported reasons for this fact. Some say we’re just catching more criminals than other countries….

No more pink underwear for prisoners Back in 1993, when former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was first elected, his campaign stressed a “tough on crime” attitude. Somehow, that campaign stance morphed into Maricopa County’s “Tent City.” This is a county jail facility of sorts, where the prisoners work, live and eat outdoors, even in…

History of Attempts to Legalize Marijuana for Medical Use in Arizona Medical marijuana has had a rather tortured history in Arizona. When Proposition 203 was finally passed by the voters in 2010, it was actually the fourth time that the issue was on the ballot. Here are the results of the prior three attempts: 1996….

According to Phoenix police, a woman has admitted that she intentionally rammed her car into a vehicle she says cut her off. The report did not indicate that anyone was injured in the collision. Nevertheless, the woman has been charged with aggravated assault, a felony. You may wonder, given the fact that there were no…

In Arizona, not all drunk driving charges are the same. Take the case of former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd. He was arrested in December for DUI after he fell asleep behind the wheel of his car. It wasn’t his first DUI charge. Back in 2011, while still a student at Notre Dame, Floyd…

“Organize a Protest, Lose your Home” Bill May be Dead There are some Republicans in the Arizona legislature who are . . . well . . . let’s just say they are not students of the United States Constitution. In an effort to drive out and punish dissenters – that’s anyone who disagrees with their…

The Arizona Supreme Court has declared certain provision of the state constitution invalid. Those provisions were inserted back in 2002, when voters in Arizona approved an amendment changing the circumstances in which a criminal defendant may be released on bail. The 2002 amendment stated in part that where a defendant is accused of sexual conduct…

Implied Consent The law in many states provides that under certain circumstances, a driver is deemed to have consented to have a blood, breath or urine test to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs in the driver’s system. It’s called “implied consent.” It is implied, because you don’t have to promise expressly that you’ll…

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the killing of Yarmila Falater by her husband, Scott Falater. Yarmila was stabbed 44 times, and then drowned in the couple’s backyard swimming pool in a Phoenix suburb. Scott, a devout Mormon, said he had a history of sleepwalking, and was unconscious during the attack – the sleepwalking…

Murder conjures up bad, bad acts. But felony murder – sounds even worse, doesn’t it? Well, words can be deceiving, and this is a case where they sound a lot worse than they are in most cases. Killing another human being is certainly one of the worst things a person can do. Homicide – the…

The theft of data by hackers has become commonplace. And the magnitude of some of these security breaches is astounding. The most recent example came to light last week, when Yahoo announced that back in 2013, hackers stole data of more than one billion users. The announcement came on the heels of a similar admission…

You have no doubt heard about drug courts. They are designed to deal effectively with offenders who, because of their addiction, may benefit from alternatives to the types of sentences traditionally available in the criminal justice system. Instead of being jailed for drug possession, for example, a defendant may be able to report to drug…

We’re told that the juvenile justice system is designed not to punish youthful offenders, but rather to rehabilitate them. A lofty goal to be sure, but does that principle reflect reality? Back in 1963, a 17-year old named Montgomery was accused of killing a deputy sheriff in Louisiana. The case went to trial, and the…

A recent news article reported that three people had been arrested on charges of robbing patrons in the parking lots of two bars in Phoenix. In each case, there were no injuries. The suspects allegedly approached the people and robbed them at gunpoint. All three (two adults and a juvenile) were charged with robbery, kidnapping…

After 24 years in office as the Sheriff of Maricopa County, “America’s toughest sheriff” has lost his bid this week for an unprecedented seventh term. The 84-year old Republican was ousted by Democrat Paul Penzone, a retired Phoenix cop, who had criticized Arpaio for spending too much time promoting himself, and too little time promoting…

It is fairly common to hear about internet crimes these days. And it seems as if any time a person feels he or she has been teased or annoyed through the internet, the claim is made that the person is the victim of cyberstalking. In Arizona, many people confuse harassment and stalking, but there are…

As Arizonans ready themselves for the November election, a lot of attention is being paid to one of the items on the ballot. Proposition 205, known as the “Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act,” consisting of 19 pages of explanations and regulatory and other items, will be voted on this fall. The essential component of…

In Arizona (and in some other states), those charged with relatively minor offenses may have the opportunity to participate in a diversion program that my offer an alternative to traditional prosecution, sentencing and jail time. One such program, which operates largely in Arizona, is called TASC, which is an acronym for Treatment Assessment Screening Center….

As things stand today, the November elections in Arizona will contain a ballot that would, if approved, legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. The ballot has been certified, but the certification is being challenged in court as we go to press with this article. The challenge claims that the 100-word summary of the…

The word “cyberattack” is thrown around in the media all the time. According to Technopedia, it’s defined as the deliberate manipulation or corruption of a computer system and/or network, leading to disruption, data compromise and cybercrimes. Those crimes include identity theft, fraud, theft of intellectual property, denial-of-service, and other consequences. Cyberattack at Wendy’s Restaurants A…

The numbers are in for drunk driving arrests in Arizona for this year’s fourth of July weekend. Since July 4 is typically one of the worst times of the year for driving under the influence, the weekend tally is often used as a kind of barometer for the issue nationwide. And if Arizona is any…

If you listen to some politicians, you might conclude that much of the crime in Arizona, and in the entire country, is the result of illegal immigration. But with access to more and more information, it has become easier to expose nonsense that is sometimes spewed out in the media. Here’s an example. Back in…

With all the talk about heroin, cocaine, and in particular marijuana, it is easy to lose sight of another huge aspect of the drug problem. We’re speaking, of course, about prescription drugs. Last week United States Surgeon General Vivek H. Murphy spoke on the subject at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. It was…

If you think that there is no hope once you’ve been arrested on a drunk driving charge, think again! The Arizona Court of Appeals has vacated the DUI conviction of a driver, saying that the Cochise County sheriff’s deputies involved in the case had no legal basis to pull the man over in the first…

Listen Being born deaf, I have to live knowing nothing can fix my ears. I primed myself to question the context of every sentence ever spoken to me. My teachers told me it was a skill I needed to develop to ensure I did not miss information or misinterpret the spoken language that surrounded me….

A Glimpse at the Life of a Star Choir Student with A Hearing Impairment When I was twelve years old, I was diagnosed with a rare tumor titled Cholesteatoma. This horridly invasive tumor fought its way through my ear canal, obliterating all of the bones in my ear. Luckily the medical professionals at Sentara Medical…

We have talked in the past about the undisputed fact that the United States is the incarceration capital of the world. We have the highest rate of incarceration of any nation on earth. With under 5% of the world’s population, we have 22% of the world’s prisoners. So what’s wrong with this picture? Well, lots…

United States District Judge Murray Snow has found that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio violated court orders, including those prohibiting the continuing of the sheriff’s “immigration patrols.” The lengthy opinion by Snow has been described as a “bruising critique” of Arpaio’s conduct. In the ruling, Snow found that the violations of his orders constituted “civil…

Don’t like the way the Arizona Supreme Court is deciding cases? Want to get an even more conservative group on the bench? Don’t make more convincing arguments. Don’t wait for the terms of the current justice to expire. Don’t get involved in the elections. Simply add new slots to the court, and the (surprise!) Republican…

“Imagine how well she would do if she did not have a hearing loss.” This a phrase my mother commonly uses when discussing my grades, especially to my teachers. As an A-B student who is involved in Advanced Placement and honor courses, I personally feel that I do pretty well. But, when truly considering what…

I was born in Viet Nam with a cleft pallet and sever ear problems. When I was five months old I was abandoned at an orphanage. The day I was dropped off my orphanage care takers were sure I would die that night. But I am a fighter and I lived. At thirteen months old…

Dear David A. Black Hearing Impaired Scholarship committee, As of August 1st, 2016 I will be relocating to Washington, DC and will begin my studies in Masters of Arts in Public Administration program at Gallaudet University. Gallaudet University is the only liberal arts university in the world for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I’m…

The Fight I’ve never been in a fight. Now, I’ve been pushed to my breaking point once back in middle school, prodded by a girl who thought it was funny to rip my hearing aids out of my ears, but no, I’ve never actually participated in one. I was writing a short story for my…

Over the course of my life, my hearing loss has been an academic horror story. When I was in preschool, we found out about my hearing loss and I was not allowed to come to the preschool because of it. The main reason as to why, I believe, is because the teachers did not have…

Half a Sense to Learn “You get two for the price of one!” a friend said when he saw I only needed one earplug to watch the Blue Angels fly over the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. I had rolled my eyes and laughed. My unilateral hearing loss was the result of spinal meningitis at…

I joined the U.S. Air Force when I was 23 years old and recently retired at 44. While in the Air Force, I obtained my Associates degree but I am now continuing my education to obtain my Bachelors degree. I was an aircraft electrical environmental specialist the first 10 ½ years I was in the…

I deserve the Hearing Impaired Scholarship- Law Offices of David A. Black because I am bilaterally hearing impaired and have showed great leadership roles in my school. I have also overcome many obstacles in my life. I want to go further in my education by studying to be an accountant at Hillsborough Community College and…

Bright smiles plastered on all the little first graders faces, thrilled to end class with a game, Ms. Kamen called “Telephone”. We were all circled up, waiting for the whispered message to be passed along to us so we could pass it to the next classmate. The message reaches me. My friend leans over and…

In most places, a significantly lower number of felony arrests would result in smiles and satisfaction. After all, doesn’t that mean that serious crime in the city is down? But in Phoenix, no matter what the statistics say, law enforcement has a response that always calls for more cops, more arrests, more criminal laws, and…

The Arizona Police Officer Standards and Training Board (POST) is charged with the responsibility of establishing rules and regulations concerning, among other things, the minimum qualifications for police officers. Those rules include setting policy on hiring applicants for police departments. As a general rule, the policy disqualifies a person from attending a police academy as…

Federal law, specifically the Clery Act, requires all colleges and universities that receive federal funds to share information regarding crimes on campus, and efforts to improve campus safety, and to keep the public informed concerning crime on and near the campus. The schools provide an annual security report containing the information, and the report is…

For almost a quarter century, Wynona Mixon was a caseworker in the federal prison system. Most recently, she worked at USP Tucson, a high security United States penitentiary housing male offenders, including sex offenders. Her job was to assist inmates lining up programs such as counseling and educational classes. Then, in 2011, she told her…

A federal judge told the courtroom earlier this month that she would consider whether to accept an agreement between the attorneys for an Arizona prison inmate and the State of Arizona to end racial segregation in Arizona’s prisons. While the state denies that it has a policy of racial segregation in the prisons, Arizona is…

Earlier this month, Senate Bill 1054 was introduced in the legislature by Arizona State Senator John Kavanagh The bill would make it an offense to take a video of “law enforcement activity” if you are within 20 feet from such activity, unless you have the permission of the officer. The proposed legislation goes on to…

It probably didn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone when Bill Cosby was officially charged with sexual assault last month. The 78-year old actor and comedian, who portrayed the wise and likeable Dr. Huxtable on the Bill Cosby Show, was arraigned last month in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania after being charged with felony sexual…

In the midst of a nationwide discussion about excessive force and transparency relating to police officers, footage has been released showing two incidents of alleged improper force on the part of the police in Phoenix. We should state that the use of body cams by police officers has generally been opposed by police unions and…

Sure, everyone knows that our criminal justice system isn’t perfect. But we’re told it’s still the best in the world. On the other hand, “not perfect” is a far cry from gross incompetence. The following example shows just how incompetent the system can be. In September 2013, an argument over drugs took place outside a…

While the gun debate continues to rage across the country, the incidence of gun crimes continues to soar. Although the Second Amendment often seems to take center stage in the argument, we thought it would be interesting – and perhaps educational – to take a look at the question of how so many guns find…

A couple of weeks ago the red face belonged to FBI Director James B. Comey. He made some remarks in a couple of speeches that raised the ire of many folks, including the President of the United States. Comey, speaking at the University of Chicago, addressed the issue of a recent spike in violent crime,…

Another campus shooting took place earlier this month, this one right in our own back yard. It began calmly enough, at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. It’s not a place known for violence. The town sits at the base of a mountain, and it is surrounded by a forest of Ponderosa pines covering close to…

Four men have been sentenced to federal prison on sex trafficking charges after a two-year FBI sting operation.  The sentences for the men, all of whom pleaded guilty to either conspiracy or attempting to engage in trafficking, will be between five and 12 years. In what appears to be a truly bizarre set of circumstances,…

Leading up to the Labor Day weekend, there were numerous reports of the activities of the DUI task forces, including setting up checkpoints all over the Phoenix area. They included checkpoints not only in Phoenix, but also in Tempe, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and throughout the valley. When it was put into practice, this amounted to more…

The United States Constitution guarantees that we may not be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures.  But when the right is asserted by a defendant in criminal case, the stock response of most law enforcement personnel is, at best, grudging acceptance of that right.  When the challenge to a search and seizure is successful, those…

A shooting in Phoenix over the weekend has all the earmarks of what most of us would consider a hate crime.  The incident began in Julioberto’s restaurant at about 3:00 a.m.  There were apparently two groups of people inside who began to exchange words.  Eventually, the dispute moved outside, and at that point one man…

If you have been charged with a DUI you need to contact a defense attorney immediately. There are many ways an experienced lawyer  can get your DUI case dismissed. In this blog post we illustrate some of the more common ways to get the case dropped. 

Arizona is one of a number of states that have recently passed what are commonly known as “revenge porn” laws. The laws criminalize the display of nude or sexually explicit photos of a person without that person’s consent. Their aim, generally, is to penalize the posting of, for example, nude photos of a former lover…

There was a time when we heard about a threat of violence involving a school – usually a phony bomb threat – once in very long while. For some reason, these threats have become a regular part of life for students and their parents. Recent examples in Arizona are not hard to come by: Last…

Facts, once again, appear to be stranger than fiction. You might remember, or you might have heard about, the 1969 movie entitled “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” It was a pretty big hit, starring Jane Fonda and a number of additional Hollywood notables, including Michael Sarrazin, Gig Young, and others. It produced nine Academy Award…

A police officer from Goodyear, AZ (a suburb of Phoenix) is facing multiple felony charges after he allegedly videotaped women in various stages of undress at a local tanning salon. A spokesman for the Avondale, Arizona police department says that a female patron of the tanning salon said she noticed a small square object on…

Last week the United States Supreme Court refused to issue a stay of a lower court ruling that struck down a 2006 Arizona law denying bail to undocumented immigrants charged with a variety of felonies. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is livid over this turn of events, as is County Attorney Bill Montgomery. They can’t…

They tell us that sometimes we “can’t see the forest for the trees.” We’ve heard the expression hundreds of times. What it means, simply, is that when you examine things one at a time, you often miss the big picture. But what does that have to do with police misconduct? Here’s the point we’re trying…

The prison population in the United States is not simply enormous, it’s part of a huge business enterprise. There are well over two million people in the country who are incarcerated, and the rate of incarceration – about 750 people for every 100,000 people – is the highest in the world. Strange? Maybe, but only…

If you’re a sports fan in the Phoenix area, the news brought more than games and scores in September. In fact, three current and former Phoenix professionals were arrested on a variety of charges over the past several weeks. Here are some of the details: Jonathan Dwyer, backup running back for the Arizona Cardinals, was…

We tend to write mostly about people. Specifically, our blog discusses the law, and how it affects you and me. But our attention does get diverted at times, and this week’s diversion comes courtesy of a couple of recent news reports out of the Phoenix area. The first article concerns a man who police say…

We understand that accidents do happen. We also understand that that are legitimate reasons why some people own guns. After all, not every gun owner is a gang-banger, home invader or hit man. And maybe there is a legitimate reason for a young child to be practicing with and learning to fire an Uzi. We…

Math is, for many students, a very difficult subject. Imagine compounding that difficulty by being taught by a teacher who is not only drunk, but completely wasted! If you think the story is fiction, think again. At least that’s what police in San Tan Valley are saying. They claim that a math teacher at Poston…

Public sexual indecency charges have been filed against two women and a man after they reportedly engaged in sexual activity in a hot tub at a Peoria (AZ) apartment complex. Police say they were called to the scene by someone who heard a child of one of the women crying, having allegedly been left alone…

An Arizona bar owner has been charged with sexual abuse and unlawfully taking pictures of a partially nude job applicant. The story, if true, may appear to be rather strange, although the circumstances surrounding the allegations may be more common than most people might think. Here’s what happened, according to the police: A woman applied…

Stalking comes in all forms. When we think about it in the legal context, one of the pictures that may come to mind is a jilted lover, intent on seeking revenge, retaliation, reconciliation, or maybe just acknowledgement of his or her place in the victim’s life. Notes, phone calls, surreptitiously following the other person; all…

For Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, it’s been a tough month . . . er, we mean year . . . er, better make that years. The essence of the problem seems to be that whenever anyone has the temerity to criticize hizoner, immediate action by Joe tends to make things worse. Harassment and frivolous…

This is a story that shows the ripple effects of actions people take. The starting point, according to the police, was the theft of several rifles from the Walmart near the intersection of Bell Road and 19th Avenue in Phoenix. The alleged theft took place on a Friday in late April, when a suspect put…

It’s beginning to look as if guns might be a slight problem in the Phoenix area. We’ve taken a look at the news over the past few weeks, and it seems as if firearms are everywhere. And they are not only being used by people attempting to commit crimes or for target practice. In Arizona,…

A man has been arrested in Phoenix and charged with sexual abuse and kidnapping. Police say that the suspect grabbed the breasts of a woman and placed her in a bear hug before fleeing the scene. It is not clear whether the touching of the woman’s breast occurred before, during or after the bear hug,…

When we read accounts of people being accused of and charged with criminal offenses, we often see the word “alleged” used throughout an article. The reason, of course, is that in our country, guilt, at least theoretically, is something that is determined by a jury verdict, or by a guilty plea. You won’t see the…

A Rodney King case in Arizona? Hard for some to believe, we suppose, but for those of us familiar with such things, really not all that unusual. The setting this past Friday was near the corner of 44th Street and Broadway in Phoenix. A video taken by a bystander shows three or four Mesa police…

Back in 1990, Debra Milke was convicted of killing her son and sentenced to death. After languishing in prison for over two decades, an appeals court reversed her conviction. Some will read about cases such as this one, where an appeals court reverses a conviction, and suggest that the result was based upon a “technicality.”…

According to a news report, a Pinal County woman is now facing a charge of negligent homicide in connection with the death of another woman this past weekend. A number of articles have surfaced attempting to detail the event, and here is what we’ve been able to piece together so far. Police say that on…

When we report on arrests and ongoing cases in the criminal justice system, we often are left with an incomplete picture of what actually happened. But occasionally there are situations in which we can safely assume we know what happened – and why it happened – after reading an article on a particular case. The…

Are we the only ones who have seen the news over the first week of the year and are astounded at the number of shootings in and around Phoenix and throughout Arizona? We suspect that a visitor from another area of the world, or even most areas of the United States, would conclude that the…

Nogales is only 180 miles south of Phoenix, but there is a world of difference between the two cities. Nogales shares with other border towns in Arizona, and in other states, including Texas and California, the distinction of having people killed with apparent impunity by United States Border Patrol agents. Is it police brutality or…

All of us have been presented at one time or another with a bill – for services or for materials – that we considered outrageous. And after receiving a bill that knocks you over, people sometimes act on their anger. Perhaps they get on the phone and tell the vendor what they think of his…

We’ve all watched scenes on TV showing someone trying to flush drugs – usually a small bag of pot or other drugs, or maybe some pills – down the toilet. The scene often involves the occupant of the house or apartment being surprised at the presence at his or her home of a representative of…

A recent report from the Associated Press says that a former prison guard in Arizona is facing charges of extortion. According to the police, the guard, along with an inmate, hatched a scheme in which the inmate would threaten another member of the prison population, then the guard would offer protection from the inmate for…

A Craigslist ad marked the beginning of yet another saga involving illegal behavior. Ads appeared last year indicating various employment possibilities, including baby-sitting and photography. But two women, once of them a minor, who responded to the ads say that after they appeared at the man’s house in search of jobs, they were raped. Charges…

A crash that took place last month in Phoenix has resulted in second degree murder and other charges against a man who police say was driving drunk. According to reports, the driver was heading the wrong way on State Route 51 when his Toyota struck an SUV. The driver of the SUV was seriously injured,…

We read on a regular basis about alleged carjacking in Phoenix and surrounding areas in Arizona. The term is used to describe numerous actions, usually involving commandeering a vehicle being driven by another person. A recent example is the headline in a Fox article entitled “Woman carjacked, police chase suspect for miles.” What allegedly took…

A single-vehicle crash on Interstate 10 last week has resulted in numerous charges against the driver of the vehicle, 34-year old Edwin Hurt. Police say Hurt was driving with two passengers when his Jaguar sedan overturned near 91st Avenue. Although no other vehicles were involved, the consequences of the crash were significant. One passenger, who…

The abuse of prescription drugs has been described as an epidemic by both the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But when most people think about the problem, not many picture young teenagers casually sharing drugs prescribed for their friends. That is exactly what apparently transpired last week at Ray Borane…

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is taking a lot of heat for a recent opinion by his office that says two recently-passed Tucson ordinances are unenforceable. We have watched with some amusement as both the nature of the ordinances, as well as the rationale of the Attorney General’s opinion, become clouded by gross inaccuracies in…

Trial lawyers understand that adjournments and re-scheduling of motions, trials and the like are part of everyday life in the courthouse. And we’ve heard of people going to great lengths to put off their hearings and court appearances to another day. But a couple from Yuma allegedly went just a bit overboard in their quest…

If you drink and drive, you subject yourself to some harsh penalties, even if your actions do not result in a collision. Your chances of being charged in the area of the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe have increased as the result of recent actions of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, as well…

In October of last year, a fatal hit and run accident occurred in Fountain Hills. The victim was Dr. Marwan Maalouf, a Scottsdale neurologist who worked at Barrow Neurological Institute (St. Joseph’s Hospital). Dr. Maalouf was out riding his bicycle when he was struck from behind and killed by a Chevrolet pickup truck. The driver…

Drinking thirty beers during the course of an evening would cause many of us to become quite ill, to pass out, or at least to become incapable of walking, let alone driving a car. But police say that 25-year old Guadalupe Castaneda did a lot more than sleep it off or stumble around after he…

Criminal cases often take years to come to a complete resolution. The Debra Milke case is an example. MIlke was arrested in 1989, charged with the murder of her 4-year old son. She was convicted, sentenced to death, and has remained in jail, and on death row, for the past 23 years. The conviction and…

Intelligence sources say that a secret unit of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration has been utilizing wiretaps of Americans across the nation to assist in commencing investigations against citizens. The unit, known as the Special Operations Division (SOD), is apparently a joint effort involving not only the DEA, but also the FBI, the NSA,…

Creating a false impression doesn’t sound much like a criminal act. But when the impression created involves terrorism, you might be looking at a class 4 felony. An example came to a conclusion last week when Michael Turley was convicted by a jury of the crime, along with reckless endangerment, and sentenced to two weeks…

By all accounts, July was just an average month for crime in Phoenix, Arizona. Nothing spectacular if you simply look at the various headlines. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find some of the strangest behavior you can imagine among the residents of our fair city. While we understand that many crimes include aspects…

Three men are under arrest for what police say was the operation of a fake medical marijuana dispensary in Phoenix. According to reports, the men were selling marijuana, as well as foods such as brownies, muffins and candy, all of which allegedly contained pot. But the authorities add that the men did not have a…

A man crossing the border at the Port of San Luis has been arrested for attempting to smuggle 38 pounds of methamphetamine into the United States. According to a news report, the meth is valued at close to $600,000. The method allegedly used by the man to bring the drug into the country may sound…

Disorderly conduct means different things in different jurisdictions. In some states, the term is used to describe actions which, although unlawful, do not even reach the level of being called a crime. In New York, for example, disorderly conduct is a “violation.” As such, receiving a citation for it has about the same impact as…

Arizona law includes a number of crimes under the general heading of assault. The basic offense consists of intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing, or placing another person in fear of, physical injury. It also includes touching another person with intent to injure, or even to insult or to provoke, that person. Each of those offenses,…

Star tight-end Aaron Hernandez, formerly of the New England Patriots, has been released from the team this week, following an investigation into the now-deemed homicide of a friend. Authorities report Hernandez, 23, has been charged with murder and five gun-related offenses in his home state of Massachusetts, according to reports. We will follow up with this…

In an attempt to counter the effects of the Arizona law (SB 1070) known as “show me your papers”, the American Civil Liberties Union has announced that it is unveiling a smartphone app that will permit users to review the legal aspects of the immigration laws and policies in Arizona and report abuses, such as…

When you hear about retail store theft, you might immediately think about shoplifting – generally stealing clothing, food, or other items of relatively small value. But a recent report out of Chandler goes way beyond simple store theft. Police say that two brothers are now under arrest after being accused of stealing between $100,000 and…

In separate incidents in Phoenix last week, drug busts focused on both methamphetamine and a marijuana growing operation. The first bust resulted from an operation in west Phoenix by the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force. When all was said and done, while the bust led to only one arrest, the charges included…

Alcohol loomed large in the arrest of well over 500 people in Arizona suspected of driving under the influence and other offenses over the Memorial Day weekend. The arrests were made by a task force on the lookout for drunk drivers between May 23 and the morning of Tuesday, May 28. The task force was…

In a stunning defeat for the self-styled “toughest sheriff in America,” a federal judge issued a ruling last week that Joe Arpaio and his office engaged in conduct that constituted a violation of the constitutional rights of Latino drivers in their attempt to crack down on illegal immigration. The decision came eight months after a…

The federal National Transportation Safety Board issued a report last week urging states to adopt new laws that would lower the permissible blood alcohol concentration for drunk driving cases to 0.05. In Arizona, the law currently provides that you are guilty of driving under the influence if your BAC is 0.08. You can still be…

Drunk and drugged driving is never far from the front page of the news, but this weekend saw a number of suspected DUI cases, each involving some alleged bizarre driving and other behavior. On Sunday, a man was driving his vehicle near Camelback in Phoenix, striking a mother and her two children at a crosswalk….

It was December of last year, just a few days before Christmas. The players were a number of patrons of a Whiskey Row bar in Prescott. Some of those players looked like they were members of an outlaw biker gang – leather jackets with skull and crossbones patches, along with iron crosses. And add one…

Armed robbery is serious business, and a conviction will lead to serious prison time. So you might expect that those contemplating committing this felony would do a little planning beforehand, just to increase the odds of coming away with some loot, and to decrease the odds of getting caught. Based on a recent report on…

If you hire someone to do work around your house, what’s the worst that could happen? There might be a monetary dispute, the work might not be done to your satisfaction, or perhaps the contractor could cause some minor damage. Well, if you think that’s the extent of it, you might be interested in a…

For those of our readers who aren’t familiar with her life, Alice B. Toklas was a literary and artistic figure during the first half of the twentieth century. Born in the United States, she moved to France in 1907 and took up residence as the companion, secretary and editor of Gertrude Stein, the American-born author…

An appeal has been filed asking the Arizona Supreme Court to rule on an issue that has implications for anyone who smokes marijuana, including medical marijuana users. The defendant in the case, a medical marijuana user, was charged under the DUI statute with driving with a drug in his body. The issue is whether he…

A bizarre set of circumstances has led to charges of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident in connection with a collision that took place in Phoenix this past weekend. Police say that a naked woman was sitting in the middle of the street near the intersection of Thomas Road and…

The ingenuity of scam artists is on the increase. It is matched only by the gullibility of many of the people who are targeted. Here are some of the top internet scams that have been making their way around the country: Nigerian Scam. An email says that the individual is trying desperately to get a…

In November 2011, James Ray, a motivational speaker and author, was found guilty by a jury of negligent homicide in the deaths of several people who participated in a “sweat lodge” ceremony he led two years earlier. Ray was fined, ordered to pay restitution, and sentenced to two years in prison. The case is now…

We reported in our blog in July of last year (Naked Carjacking in Phoenix) on the rather bizarre case of a John Brigham, who allegedly caused at least two collisions, resulting injuries to a number of people in Scottsdale, as well as a carjacking. Not all that crazy, unless you consider that during at least…

A report last week recounts an alleged shoplifting incident in Chandler. According to police, an 18-year old man was arrested after he llegedly shoplifted a pair of headphones from a Best Buy store. They add that the act was caught on a video surveillance camera, and that the suspect was followed out of the store…

When you think about cohorts in crime, various images may come to mind. A recent report on activities in Chandler has resulted in a finger being pointed in the direction of an unusual pair of alleged thieves – a mother and her 25-year old son. The two have been charged with theft, burglary and, in…

If you are arrested for drunk driving, some charges are more serious than others. As we reported in our blog of January 17, 2013 (Drug Use Charged in Collision with Motorcycle) an aggravated DUI charge can result if you are driving under the influence with a minor passenger. Arizona law specifically provides for enhanced penalties…

Hey, this is David Black under the law offices of David A. Black. Today we’re going to talk about MVD ramifications for your DUI. Question, I got a DUI, haven’t been convicted yet, what’s going to happen? The short answer is that the MVD is going to try to suspend your license regardless. The way…

This is David Black. Today we’re going to talk about drug cases. Drug cases can be divided into two main classifications: • Drug possession cases or • Drug selling cases This discussion is specifically geared towards drug possession cases. You can think of the analysis as follows: There are several different classes under the law….

A major checkpoint established in Peoria AZ last week has angered motorists and civil rights leaders. They contend that the checkpoint, which followed on the heels of President Obama’s address in Las Vegas on immigration, was racially motivated. Numerous drivers returning from seeing the address were apparently caught in the web. Officials deny the charge,…

You reached David Black here. You’re watching our website, some of our videos. Today we’re going to talk about the city of Tempe municipal court, what happens when you’re charged with a crime in Tempe municipal court, what types of crimes might be in Tempe municipal court, how to handle, etcetera. The municipal court is…

This past Friday, Maricopa County filed a petition with the Arizona Supreme Court to bypass the Court of Appeals and have its appeal of the recent medical marijuana decision go directly to the high court. The petition is the latest response of the government to the decision, reported in our blog of December 14, 2012,…

This is David Black today.  We’re talking generally about probable cause and more specifically reasonable suspicion when it comes to traffic stops and likely in your case the traffic stop which eventually led to a DUI.  Before we get to the over-all question that everybody’s concerned with, am I going to be convicted of a…

A crash in Pinal County, AZ has led to a charge of driving under the influence for a Mesa woman. The report on the incident contained only a small number of details about the accident that led to her arrest. Police say that the woman was driving in Sun Tan Valley last week when her…

A woman riding a motorcycle was struck and critically injured in Phoenix Friday morning when she was struck by an SUV. The injured woman was taken to a local hospital, and as of this writing, she was not expected to survive. According to police, the SUV hit the motorcycle while making a turn, and the…

There is no telling what can happen when you mix illegal drugs and guns. An example occurred in Phoenix recently in which a drug deal gone bad led to a shootout resulting in the death of one of the participants, according to police records. They say that three men were attempting to buy marijuana late…

As we come to the end of the year, marijuana continues to occupy a prominent place in the news. From smuggling to legislation, here are a few of the stories that have been headlined in and around Phoenix during the last two weeks of 2012: Police arrested a man on marijuana and gun possession charges…

For the baby-boomers among us, corporal punishment, whether in the home or the school, was both a common and accepted form of punishment decades ago. Things have changed, particularly with respect to the legal ramifications of striking children. According to police reports, a Flagstaff teacher was allegedly observed slapping a kindergarten student. The witness, another…

We’ve reported in the past about the apparent conflict between federal law, under which possession of marijuana is a crime, and Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act, which permits the use of the drug for certain medical conditions. The issue was brought to the forefront last week in a ruling last week that emanated from a lawsuit…

With the passage in 2010 of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, the use of marijuana for certain medical conditions, as prescribed by a physician, became legal. But there are a host of restrictions on the use of the drug, and the law in Arizona is a far cry from the recently enacted statutes in Washington…

If you are under the impression that a domestic violence charge in Arizona is limited to violence against spouses, children or those in romantic relationships, your definition of the term is too limited. A case in point occurred last week. A Tucson couple allegedly forced three “vulnerable adults” who resided with them to remain outdoors…

An alleged DUI occurred last week in Phoenix with a few interesting twists. A young mother with her newborn baby in the back seat was somehow able to breach security at Sky Harbor International Airport, and ended up driving on the runway. The breach was not the first at Sky Harbor. In 2003, teenagers driving…

Domestic violence in Arizona is not a distinct crime. Rather, it involves the commission of one or more of a laundry list of offenses (for example, assault, homicide, trespass, disorderly conduct, harassment, stalking, and others) which are committed against those with whom a defendant has (or had) a particular relationship with the alleged victim. It…

A 49-year old Chandler man was arrested earlier this week and charged with stalking and ten counts of aggravated domestic violence. According to police, the man allegedly stalked his former girlfriend in violation of an order of protection restricting contact with the ex-girlfriend. They say the events leading up to the arrest also included leaving…

In this clip, Criminal Defense Attorney David Black discusses in general terms what a Tempe Criminal Lawyer does, what types of crimes are handled in Tempe municipal Court, and what the procedure is for handling matters in Tempe. From DUI to Domestic Violence Misdemeanors, Tempe City Court is a lower court of limited jurisdiction, which…

An article appeared last week on Fox 10 News that seemed at the outset fairly typical of drug crimes in the area. It stated that police arrested a suspect “who admitted to stealing to support his meth habit.” But if you read the entire piece, the extent of the problems caused by methamphetamine addiction become…

In this clip, Phoenix Criminal Drug Defense Attorney David A. Black discusses how the dangerous drug meth is treated differently than other drugs in Arizona. Specifically, the lawyer explains that probation is either not mandatory (for possession) or not available (for possession for sale) when other drugs – even heroin and crack cocaine – are…

Border Patrol agents say they have seized 66 pounds of marijuana and arrested two Mexican nationals in connection with the haul. The men were allegedly discovered walking in the desert with backpacks filled with pot. The marijuana is valued at $33,000. Possession, use, possession for sale, production, sale and transportation of marijuana are crimes under…

Phoenix Defense Attorney David Black discusses drug charges and outcomes in this brief, informal video. For more information visit his website at http://www.dbphoenixcriminallawyer.com, or call his office at (480) 280-8028, or go to 40 North Central Ave., Suite 1400, Phoenix, AZ, 85004. Thank you.

In our blog of July 9, 2012 entitled Underage Drinking in Arizona 2012, we pointed out the various charges that may result from alcohol being consumed by minors. We also noted that law enforcement had resorted to using undercover teens to discover and prosecute violations. The undercover practice has apparently expanded. Wittmann is the home…

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