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Phoenix Arizona Criminal Law Blog

How can parents help prevent underage DUI?

When a young person is charged with driving under the influence, the ordeal can be incredibly stressful for their whole family. Teenagers may worry that their dreams and opportunities will be negatively affected, while parents may be upset with their child's behavior or worry about how others will judge the situation. There are some steps that parents can take, however, to reduce the likelihood that their teenager will get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that parental involvement is an important tool to curb underage drunk driving. Parents should recognize the dangers of this behavior and help their children understand the consequences of drunk driving as well. For example, zero tolerance laws can result in drunk driving charges if a person who has not reached the age of 21 is pulled over with any amount of alcohol in their system. Moreover, peer pressure can play a major role in a young person's decision to drive even though they have consumed alcohol before getting in their vehicle.

What effects can heroin have on you?

As you likely know, federal and state governments make illegal the possession and distribution of certain substances. These laws typically work toward keeping individuals safe from the dangerous effects that certain drugs can cause. When controlled substances are distributed through unlicensed individuals, the drugs could hold a greater potential for danger because they may have hazardous additives.

Heroin in particular can pose serious issues to users. Because taking this drug can lead individuals to feel euphoric, many people enjoy the use even though they could face negative effects. If you use heroin, you face the risk of experiencing immediate and long-term negative impacts on your mind and body. Additionally, if authorities believe you possess or intend to distribute the drug, you could face criminal charges.

What are the penalties for embezzlement?

Residents in Arizona should have a good understanding of what constitutes embezzlement in the state because it extends to more than just stealing money from a corporation. There are different tiers of the crime, depending on the amount of money or type of property taken, and each one comes with its own consequences. 

According to FindLaw, in Arizona embezzlement occurs when someone steals goods or money from a property to which they have legal access but not official ownership. Charges for this type of theft range from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 2 felony. The lowest penalty refers to the embezzlement of an amount of less than $1,000 and includes three years of probation, a maximum jail time of six months and a maximum fine of $2,500. A class 2 felony is charged when more than $25,000 is embezzled, and it comes with jail time ranging from 4 to 12.5 years and a maximum fine of $1,000. For some of the other classes of felonies, embezzlement charges can occur for the stealing of a vehicle transmission or engine, an animal for animal-fighting purposes or a firearm.

You could be driving illegally and not even know it

Most drivers in Arizona are aware that driving under the influence of a certain amount of alcohol is illegal. However, the effects of alcohol are different for each individual, and some can handle a lot more drinks and not feel or act intoxicated. This becomes a problem when one gets behind the wheel, because it only takes a couple drinks until most drivers are considered to be over the legal limit but they may feel they are ok to drive.

According to Business Insider, one drink is considered to be:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 1.5 ounces of liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine

How do drugs affect driving?

Most drivers in Arizona understand that driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal but are unsure of how drugs come into play. Some may think that prescription and/or legal drugs have no affect on driving, but this is not true. Medications impair driving in different ways, and people found with drugs in their system can be charged with drugged driving, which comes with similar penalties as a DUI.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there has been a large increase in the use of prescription drugs, marijuana and other illegal drugs by drivers. This has affected safety on the roads, and these users are more likely to be involved in vehicle crashes.

When your teen is charged with DUI

Parents often have many different stressors that arise during their child's teenage years, from problems in the classroom to relationship issues and other challenges. However, drunk driving charges can be particularly difficult for an entire family to work through and teens may find themselves in this position for different reasons. With peer pressure and even a lack of awareness about how strict the law is when it comes to underage alcohol consumption and driving, many teens have found themselves accused of drunk driving in Phoenix and other parts of Arizona.

For teenagers, an active social life is often important and many like to attend celebrations and gatherings with their friends outside of school. However, some of these events may present opportunities for some teens to drink and some might worry that turning down alcohol will have negative social repercussions. Later on, they might forget they drank or feel as if they have no choice but to drive, which can be problematic. Moreover, some teens are not aware of zero tolerance laws which make it illegal for someone who is underage to drive with any level of alcohol in their system. Some teens might have thought that they were under the legal limit and it would not be against the law for them to drive.

You have the right to remain silent, but speak up to invoke it

Anyone in Arizona who has ever watched a crime television show or movie has heard the phrase, "You have the right to remain silent" when someone is arrested. You may already know that this is part of the Miranda warning given to people after police officers place them under arrest and before an interrogation begins.

If you are like most people, you probably think that simply staying quiet means that you want to exercise your right to remain silent. Unfortunately, that may not be the case. In fact, in accordance with a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, not saying anything could waive your right to remain silent.

Penalties for refusing field tests

Drivers in Arizona who are suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be asked to take part in a series of roadside tests. While the driver can refuse these tests, they need to be aware there are consequences and penalties involved that may be harsher than those for DUI conviction.

According to the Arizona State Legislature, motor vehicle operators give implied consent when they get behind the wheel. This means they consent to tests of the blood, breath or urine that measure alcohol levels in the body. A law enforcement officer must have reasonable grounds for asking for these tests, and if the driver refuses them their driver's license is immediately surrendered. For first-time offenders, their license is automatically suspended for twelve months. For repeat offenders, there is an automatic suspension of two years. Some argue it is better to refuse the test because they would not have proof of intoxication. However, the refusal is often used against the driver during trial.

The holidays and DUI charges

Drunk driving charges can bring holiday celebrations to an abrupt end. Whether someone drives home after opening presents with loved ones or ringing in the new year, DUI charges can be devastating for someone accused of this offense and those they love. During the holidays, there is an increase in the number of people accused of DUI. Not only do more people tend to drive while intoxicated, but certain areas have additional law enforcement officials on the lookout for drunk drivers. We are all too familiar with the hardships that entire families often go through when DUI charges upset their holiday celebrations.

Sometimes, people might even forget that they have alcohol in their system. For example, someone might enjoy a mixed drink at a family party, not knowing how much alcohol was in the drink. Later on, they could be above the legal limit even though they do not feel intoxicated. Moreover, a lot of people have been charged with DUI after driving home from a bar or firework display on New Year's Eve. It is important to be mindful of the potential consequences that come with DUI charges regardless of the time of year. For example, the revocation of a driver's license, steep fines, and even time in prison can all make life tough.

Why would someone falsely accuse another of domestic violence?

Domestic violence charges are not to be taken lightly, since they can shatter someone's life in many different ways. Losing access to a child, being fired, having a hard time lining up a new job, and sustaining irreparable damage to one's reputation are just some of the consequences that may come with these allegations. Unfortunately, some people are falsely accused of this offense in Phoenix and all across the state of Arizona. Sometimes, people wonder what would motivate someone to wrongly accuse another of domestic violence and it may be helpful to go over some of the potential reasons why this occurs.

False domestic violence accusations may surface for various reasons, from jealousy and anger to custody disputes and even mental health problems. For example, someone's former partner may be bitter about the termination of their relationship and decide to upend their life by falsely accusing them of domestic violence. Or, perhaps someone wants to gain an upper hand in court during a dispute involving the custody of a child and accuses the child's other parent of domestic violence in order to influence the outcome of the case. Moreover, an incident that occurred may be greatly exaggerated, with details being blown out of proportion or even made up.

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