Covid Assault: Is it a Real Thing?

Yes! Jurisdictions all over the country are faced with cases of individuals using or threatening to use Covid-19 as a “weapon” to harm others. You may have seen the now viral video of a woman who was seen coughing on produce in a grocery store, but that is only the tip of the iceberg and different jurisdictions are handling these situations in different ways.

Read: Covid Assault: Is it a Real Thing?

No reforms for Arizona asset forfeiture this year

Proposed reforms to Arizona’s asset forfeiture rules failed this year, despite strong support. Analysis of
state data shows that forfeitures fall heaviest on people who cannot afford an attorney, most cases
involves small amounts of money, and crime victims receive little compensation.

Read: No reforms for Arizona asset forfeiture this year

No COVID-19 business loans for owners with recent felony convictions

The Paycheck Protection Program is supposed to protect small businesses that otherwise might not weather the COVID-19 economic storm by providing low-interest forgivable loans primarily intended to preserve employment. The very smallest businesses – self-employed people and independent contractors – are also eligible. Unless, that is, the person has a felony conviction, even though it is precisely these people who have the greatest difficulty finding employment after serving their sentence.

Read: No COVID-19 business loans for owners with recent felony convictions

Are Courts in Arizona Closed Due to Coronavirus?

We hope you are all well. We’ve had a lot of questions lately about court appearances in Tucson on criminal matters in light of the National and State Emergencies. For the most part, other initial appearances after custodial arrest, and certain in-custody matters and orders of protection, most criminal matters in Tucson are temporarily continued, at least for the next few weeks, as we explain below. A couple things to keep in mind:

Read: Are Courts in Arizona Closed Due to Coronavirus?

Does Arizona Law Enforcement Use the New Clearview AI Facial Recognition App?

It is unknown whether any Arizona law enforcement agencies are using the new facial recognition technology sold by a company called Clearview AI, but since over 2200 entities are using this technology, it is highly likely it is being used here in Arizona.

Read: Does Arizona Law Enforcement Use the New Clearview AI Facial Recognition App?

Arizona Courts Signaling Greater Scrutiny of College Sexual Assault Discipline Cases?

The Arizona state courts may have signaled a new willingness to intervene in campus sexual misconduct cases this past week in a case called Doe v. Arizona Board of Regents. Campus sex cases are fraught with controversy. On the one hand, Universities should provide a safe school environment and equal access to education. On the other hand, many worry that due process has been swept aside in a rush to condemn individual students and assure the public that something is being done.

Read: Arizona Courts Signaling Greater Scrutiny of College Sexual Assault Discipline Cases?

If I am not a U.S. Citizen and I am Charged with a Crime, Do I Also Need an Immigration Attorney?

If you are not a U.S. citizen and you are charged with a crime, you might eventually need an immigration attorney. But, your criminal defense attorney is legally obligated to advise you of the “clear consequences” of any plea deal.

Read: If I am not a U.S. Citizen and I am Charged with a Crime, Do I Also Need an Immigration Attorney?

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.

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

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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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.

Read: University Student Discipline: Fair or Unfair?