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When Should You Contact an Attorney?
Interviewer: At what point during this process should someone contact you?
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: As soon as someone is under suspicion for a DUI, you can always ask for counsel. So, once you’re stopped, you can always say I would like to speak to an attorney. Most times in the cases I have come across, the officers are saying, “okay, when you get to the station we’ll allow you to make a call.” The police officers leave the individual in a room with the phone book. You always can ask for an attorney at any point in an investigation.
The Attorney Will Investigate If the Officers Had Reasonable Suspicion to for the Stop
When a client first meets with me I ask to see their paperwork. I always ask why they were stopped in the first place to see whether there was reasonable suspicion to pull that person over. Then I sit down and I go over the case with them and if there are MVD issues we go through those.
If it’s a drug case, my first questions are generally related to the the quantity. I go over all of the thresholds. If it’s DUI with drugs and if it’s marijuana-related I ask whether they had a marijuana card. If its prescription drugs, then I see if that person had a prescription for those drugs.
Interviewer: Then from my understanding there’s like an initial trial arrangement. What happens there?
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: The first initial appearance is where release conditions are set by the judge such as setting a bond or releasing the person on their own recognizance or to pre-trial services. Then the next court date is set and given to that person.
Arizona’s Diversion Program
Interviewer: Does Arizona allow people to enter any special programs for drug-related offenses?
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: TASC is a drug diversion program available to first time offenders who had a certain quantity of drugs for personal use. They can enter the diversion program and delete the crime from their record. As long as you don’t inject drugs or have any violent crimes on your record, or drugs for sale, you can be eligible for this program. TASC is a program that usually last six month, twelve months, maybe longer, where you have to call in from time to time, submit to drug tests and complete classes and education. The amount of time in TASC depends on the drugs you are caught with. Marijuana is generally a shorter amount of time whereas heroine or cocaine are longer programs. If you complete the program, TASC then sends a letter to the prosecutor and the case gets dismissed.
In Most Drug-Related Cases, It Is Advisable to Retain an Attorney to Examine the Case for Legal Issues that Can Promote a More Favorable Outcome than Pleading Guilty and Offering No Defense
Interviewer: Is it ever advisable to plead guilty and expect to receive mercy from the court?
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: The average person can’t be expected to look at a police report and spot legal issues. It is always advisable to consult with an attorney.