Consenting to Blood Draws

Consenting to Blood Draws: When the police tell you the consequences of refusal, they don’t automatically make your consent “involuntary,” says the Arizona Supreme Court. In virtually every DUI case, the police request that the driver voluntarily submit to a post-arrest breath or blood test. These requests occur in coercive circumstances, e.g., the driver may be handcuffed and in the back of a police vehicle. But Arizona law also incentivizes blood draws by penalizing drivers who refuse testing with a one-year license suspension and requiring the police to explain these consequences in real time before requesting consent.

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Arizona sentencing reforms: Long overdue but finally on the way?

Arizona has one of the highest incarceration rates in the United States and remains out of step with sentencing reform trends across the country despite some baby steps this summer.

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Federal Employees and the “Following Orders” Defense

Federal employees are not shielded from criminal prosecution just because they were “following orders.” In recent news, several diplomats testifying before Congress reported that they were ordered by the President or his representatives to engage in activities that the diplomats believed were in violation of federal regulations and potentially illegal.

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Breath Test Reliability Challenged

The New York Times recently published an article challenging the reliability of breath tests used in DUI prosecutions nationwide. While the reporter appeared to conclude that breath tests could be reliable, the article also found that they often could not be counted upon in practice. Problems occurred in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington and numerous other states, and affected breath test equipment manufactured by almost every leading company. In some states, fundamental flaws in breath testing have led to the dismissal of thousands of convictions.

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University Student Discipline: Fair or Unfair?

The Courts continue to grapple with the difficult question of fairness in university and college student discipline cases, especially when students are accused of serious misconduct (such as nonconsensual sexual conduct) and face expulsion or long-term suspension. On the one hand, all students and other members of an academic community are entitled to a safe campus environment. On the other, accusations of serious misconduct can badly damage a student’s reputation and result in the loss of educational and career opportunities. In short, the stakes are inevitably high.

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When Does Offensive Conduct Cross the Line to Disorderly Conduct?

Almost any kind of intentionally loud and disruptive behavior could be construed as criminal disorderly conduct, and a disorderly conduct charge can happen to anyone who gets a bit rowdy, especially when alcohol is involved.

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Can I Get a DUI in Arizona for Driving After Using Kratom?

There are several new “kratom” cafes and shops in Tucson. Before you try out one of these new places, you should know that if you are under the influence of kratom and your driving is impaired, it is possible to get a DUI or reckless driving charge in Arizona.

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Trump Justice Dep’t to Immigration Judges: Pick up the Pace or We’ll Decide Your Cases

Did you know that the judges deciding most immigration cases – including serious asylum matters – are employees of the Justice Department and not independent judges like the ones who handle criminal or civil cases? Most people don’t. Even the judges hearing initial immigration appeals are Justice Department employees. Under a new streamlining rule, however, even these judges may not have the final say in the life-and-death decisions affecting people in the immigration system.

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Is Cyber Stalking Against the Law in Arizona?

Electronic communication plays some role in almost all modern accusations of stalking or harassment. In Arizona, a person could be convicted of harassment or stalking solely based on electronic communications. Unlike verbal harassment, victims of cyber harassment often keep the electronic records of communication that definitively identify the perpetrator and preserve his or her every word.

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Charged With Drug Possession Just For Riding In the Car?

It is possible to be charged with a possession crime if you are riding in a vehicle where any type of contraband is found. When contraband, such as a firearm or drugs, is not actually found on a person’s body or in a person’s hand, the elements of “constructive possession” must be met in order for the person to be convicted of a possession crime.

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