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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.

An Arizona Drug Lawyer Can Gain an Argumentative Advantage with Drug Penalty Discrepancies

If you are in need of an Arizona drug lawyer, you’ll be happy to know that some sense is coming to this nation’s current mindset when it comes to drug laws, but realize that this is a slow dawning realization. In 2007, the US Sentencing Commission lowered the crack cocaine penalty that many argued was racist and draconian in nature. Previously, one gram of crack cocaine received the same penalty as 100 grams of powder cocaine, so that even a small amount meant serious prison time. It’s these sorts of discrepancies that can be used in arguments that may prove useful to your client.

Many critics argued that these were racist guidelines, as crack, being a more affordable drug, was predominantly used by a poorer, African American community, where as cocaine cost a fortune and was limited to the white suburbs. Essentially, both drugs are the same substance, though cocaine users typically can afford a better drug lawyer than their crack smoking counterparts.

While the new laws ease the penalties, they don’t erase the disparity that exists in penalties associated with these drugs. Instead, those convicted of crack possession receive a lower base offense level for each quantity range to the next lowest base offense level. The commission also adjusted the ratio to determine the “marijuana equivalency” for crack cocaine, consulted in any case involving crack and at least another type of drug. Unfortunately, simply lowering this base level created varying ratios between crack and powder cocaine, and crack and marijuana; a challenging dilemma for any drug lawyer.

The wide ranging ratios used by the commission create anomalies that negatively impact the clients of a drug lawyer, often those whose offenses involve a lesser amount of drugs. These anomalies have so far been reviewed and rejected by at least 3 courts. Judges have argued that no rational basis exists for treating similarly guilty individuals so widely different, simply based on the substance for which they were found in possession.

Let’s start with an example. Suppose you are an Arizona drug lawyer, and your client is accountable for 75 grams of crack and 10 grams of powder cocaine. Under the existing conversion guidelines your client would be found under a base offense level for 75 grams of crack, which is level 30. The guidelines than require the court to multiply each gram of crack by 14 grams of marijuana. That adds up to 1,050 kilograms of pot your client is held accountable for. Even before considering the 10 grams of power cocaine, your client has moved up from base offense level 30 to level 32. If your client had only been found guilty of the crack alone, it would take an additional 75 grams of crack to reach level 32.

The client of a drug lawyer is therefore penalized at a higher rate for a lesser amount of crack, simply because the conversion tables apply such an inconsistent ratio between crack and marijuana. This opens up a number of different arguments that can be made.

An Arizona drug lawyer could argue that the guidelines are only advisory. A point could be made that the guidelines are irrelevant because they were designed for cases far more serious. The court should not follow such guidelines without the basis of a full study, backed by empirical data. The court should also dismiss the guidelines based on the poor judgment of the US Sentencing Commission.

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 drug lawyer, visit our site.

Arizona Drug Possession Lawyer and the Legal Classification System for Methamphetamines

If you need a drug possession lawyer in Arizona for a methamphetamine legal complication, it’s a good idea to understand some sentencing statistics and ethics. You should also be aware of the different forms and effects different varieties of street meth have. It’s the specific type methamphetamine in question that can lead to someone seeking the services of a drug possession lawyer to wind up with a much stiffer penalty than they actually deserved.

A look at the Statistics
The US Sentencing Commission reported more than 72,000 guideline offenses in 2006. About a third of those involved drug trafficking, and meth was the primary substance in more than 5,000 cases. It can safely be said that methamphetamine was also a factor in over 1,300 cases involving multiple types of drugs. Do the math, and you’ll find that methamphetamine were the subject of least 21% of all drug trafficking offenses, and 8% all guideline cases in 2006.  Methamphetamine users often find themselves in need of a drug possession lawyer in Arizona.

How does Methamphetamine affect the User?
Methamphetamine is a synthetic controlled substance, a white, odorless, crystalline powder primarily consumed by snorting, smoking or injected intravenously. It goes by the names of crank, speed, chicken feed, crystal, glass ice, and strawberry quick. It’s a highly addictive substance that affects the central nervous system. It affects the neurotransmission release of dopamine, and also prevents the reuptake of excessive dopamine. Combined with a string of adverse psychological and physical effects, meth deforms and kills brain cells. Besides the related issues that could involve a drug possession lawyer, methamphetamine poses serious risks to your health.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Ask any drug possession lawyer. When it comes to methamphetamines, the prosecutor need only prove the existence of methamphetamine. She doesn’t need to prove what type was used. However, the type of methamphetamine can have drastic effects on the sentencing imposed. Federal guidelines classify methamphetamines into 3 types: ice, which has 80% purity; actual methamphetamine, which refers to the weight of the meth itself, contained in the mixture or substance or methamphetamine, which is a substance that contains methamphetamines.

The government bears the burden of proving what type of methamphetamine was found on a client of a drug possession lawyer. It must be more than just a descriptive effort, but a quantified, lab-performed test that justifies the stiffer penalties of higher classified substances.

Type Ratios
What does it mean when the government imposes sentencing according to type? If meth is determined to be ice, the entire weight of the meth and remaining substances are used to determine the offense level, therefore punishing at a 10 to 1 rate in relation to a simple mixture containing methamphetamine. If the meth is treated simply as part of the mixture, it’s the entire weight that is used to classify the severity of the offense.

A drug possession lawyer can advise you on your rights when it comes to the determination of what type you were caught with. Though the categorization falls on seemingly minute factors, the type of meth found will have a very significant impact on your sentencing. The classification process may provide legal leverage of your attorney can argue that the sentencing overwhelms the nature of the offense.

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 drug possession lawyer, call our offices at (602) 307-0808 to schedule a free consultation with a drug defense lawyer.

Arizona Drug Attorney: Wanted for Chocolate Possession? The Real Deal on False Positives

It’s a strange world where even those caught possessing chocolate can wind up needing the services of a drug attorney in Arizona. Yes, this has actually happened. Recently, Ron Obadia and his partner Nadine Artemis, who owned an organic products business, found themselves arrested, handcuffed, and interrogated for hours at a Toronto Airport by officials who suspected they had smuggled hashish inside their organic chocolate. A brick size sample of organic chocolate tested positive with THC for the most widely used color reagent test. Suddenly, the business owners were consulting with a drug attorney, all over a brick of chocolate!

Granted, the chocolate did resemble hashish. While that might make for creative package advertising, it is not against the law. The business owners were locked in separate rooms, and their one year old baby was taken away from them. Each person was told they faced life in prison and that the other confessed. Both individuals adamantly denied the chocolate contained nothing but chocolaty goodness and no marijuana. Eventually, the couple was released and had their child returned to them. As they explained, they were not the type of people to have a drug attorney on speed dial, and it was just chocolate.

Still eager to market organic chocolate in New York, the couple tried 3 weeks later to again enter the United States, this time by car near Buffalo. Knowing they were already suspected drug smugglers, they hired an immigration lawyer (rather than a drug attorney) to drive ahead of them to let US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement know they were entering the country on legitimate business interests.

Agents were waiting with drug dogs, which seemed to like the couple’s tea tree oil, an organic plant product from Australia. The oil tested “positive” for THC. Knowing that the couple had already been suspected of smuggling “hashish” chocolate, officials assumed the body product was hashish oil. Again, they had more chocolate on them that also tested “positive.”

Subsequent tests found that none of the products contained marijuana. Yes, the couple protested, this was good chocolate, but not “good” in the illegal way. Nevertheless, the couple found themselves facing $20,000 in drug attorney legal fees, all over chocolate and body products.

What in the world?
Many argue that the widely marketed field test kits are next to worthless. Worse, even when they are properly used, they can cause irreparable harm to innocent individuals. These people face a damaged reputation as well as expensive drug attorney fees just because they get caught with items as harmless as chocolate, laundry soap or even perfume.

According to recent reports, there are thousands of products, ranging from food to beauty to household items, falsely test positive for the drug test kits used by many police forces. This opens up a Pandora’s Box of legal questions and issues that is sure to eventually find its way before the Supreme Court.

The likelihood of false positives seriously compromises America’s legal ethic of “innocent until proven guilty.” Using today’s field tests, many innocent Americans are found guilty of chocolate and beauty products, losing careers, racking up drug attorney in Arizona fees, all because the police didn’t take the time to make sure they had it right.

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 drug attorney, visit our site.

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