Former Maricopa County prosecutors and current Arizona defense attorneys Christopher Corso discuss every American’s fundamental right in criminal cases – the right to be represented by an attorney.
Arizona criminal attorney and former Maricopa County prosecutor Christopher Corso discusses the misconceptions and lessons to learn from police interrogations.
Arizona criminal lawyers Christopher Corso discuss the case that ultimately led to the election of Joe Arpaio as Maricopa County sheriff.
Arizona criminal defense attorneys Christopher Corso discuss how false confessions can be coerced by investigators.
Christopher Corso of the Arizona law firm Corso Law Group discuss police interrogations and their effect on defendants.
Arizona Medical Marijuana Lawyers Corso Law Group Know The Only Way to Handle a Marijuana Possession Charge is with an Experienced Attorney
Scottsdale, Ariz. – In Arizona, there are many different ways to defend possession of marijuana. The experienced Arizona marijuana lawyers at Corso Law Group will handle any case professionally from start to finish.
“An experienced drug defense lawyer improves the chances of your drug charge being reduced or dismissed,” said Christopher P. Corso, Esq. “We are Arizona marijuana lawyers who will evaluate any and all weaknesses in the state’s case against you. We understand the position you are in, and we want to do whatever we can to help.”
Arizona Marijuana Lawyers
The Arizona marijuana lawyers at Corso Law Group understand that possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia are very serious drug charges that require experienced drug defense lawyers and marijuana defense attorneys. The Phoenix drug defense lawyers at Corso Law Group are just such drug defense attorneys.
Corso Law Group has handled thousands of cases pertaining to the sale of marijuana and prescription drugs. Hiring experienced drug defense attorneys to represent cases is extremely important, as the penalties under Arizona law can be severe and usually require jail time.
What about Marijuana Possession?
Most marijuana possession (13-3405) cases are charged as felonies, but hiring an experienced drug defense lawyer can make a difference. The Arizona attorneys at Corso Law Group have experience both prosecuting and defending drug crime cases, and know the importance of being aggressive when defending cases.
Depending upon whether or not the offense is a felony or misdemeanor, an individual could be facing a lengthy prison term, supervised probation with jail time, substantial drug treatment and drug counseling.
The medical marijuana lawyers at Corso Law Group will aggressively challenge the legality of the search conducted on both a client and their property. Their Arizona marijuana lawyers will also work to suppress the evidence or any statements made to police officers by their clients.
Compassionate Arizona Marijuana Lawyers
Corso Law Group understands the toll a marijuana possession charge takes not only on the person arrested, but also their immediate family and friends. Their Arizona marijuana lawyers have been involved with thousands of these cases and will not only fight on a client’s behalf, they will counsel the client’s family on the best course of action and can even suggest drug treatment facilities for consideration.
“We understand the emotional impact a drug arrest has on your families and loved ones, as well as the long term repercussions associated with a criminal record,” said John M. Rhude, Esq. “Not only will we focus on handling your case, but we’ll help you to regain your peace of mind in what normally is a very stressful situation.”
Being arrested does not necessarily lead to a conviction. Corso Law Group wants to make sure clients are aware of what lies ahead so they can tackle it head on together.
Please contact Corso Law Group today for a free consultation. Our Arizona marijuana lawyers will meet with you to discuss your unique situation and help you determine the best means of action.
The experienced attorneys at Corso Law Group are experts in criminal law, handling all criminal defense cases, including DUI defense, domestic violence defense, possession of drugs, felony drug charges, photo radar, criminal speeding, disorderly conduct and marijuana possession.
The experienced attorneys at Corso Law Group serve clients throughout Arizona, including the cities of Ahwatukee, Avondale, Buckeye, Chandler, El Mirage, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sun City, Surprise, Tempe, Tolleson and Youngtown.
To schedule a free consultation, please call (480) 471-4616. Corso Law Group is located at 14500 N. Northsight Blvd., Suite 116 in Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260.
Imagine you’re driving home when you’re pulled over for a routine traffic stop. Your headlight is out. A broken headlight isn’t a big deal, right? In a case that’s quickly gaining attention throughout the country, that broken headlight could land one Florida law official in the spotlight.
According to the Huffington Post, Zoe Brugger, a 28-year-old mother, was ordered to lift up her shirt and shake out her bra after she was pulled over for the broken headlight. Officer Dustin Fetz claimed Brugger was acting “suspicious” and he wanted confirmation that she was not carrying narcotics.
Was Brugger acting suspicious? Is looking “suspicious” a valid excuse to order a woman to lift up her shirt and shake out her bra?
According to Terry v. Ohio, police officers are allowed to conduct searches if they feel a threat is being posed to their safety. The concept of a pat down is so officers can complete an over-the-clothes search of a person, including squeezing anything found in pockets. To complete a more detailed search, an officer must have probable cause to support his belief that the person holds something illegal.
So why did the search continue? Simple. Brugger consented to the search – the one exception to the rules of performing a search.
The officer did not stop at a bra search either. Fetz also requested to search Brugger’s vehicle. When Brugger responded no, Fetz conducted the search anyway.
“I felt humiliated,” Brugger told CNN. “I wish I had known my rights.”
Know Your Rights and Stand Up for Them
Learning your rights and having a basic understanding of the law is the greatest tool people can equip themselves with. Most people do not feel comfortable telling an officer “no” and they mistakenly believe that if they cooperate, the officer will go easy on them.
But police officers do not always administer the law in a way that aligns with policies, procedures and the law. Knowing and protecting your rights is a burden that ultimately falls on YOU.
But that’s still only half the battle. You must also have the courage to stand up for your rights. If you don’t feel comfortable asserting yourself, it’s perfectly acceptable to immediately request an attorney and to refuse anything they ask you to do – especially if something doesn’t feel right or it feels excessive. Remember – the police officer is not there to protect you during these stops.
In Brugger’s case, The New York Daily News wrote that Florida State Attorney Jerry Hill sent a letter to the Lakeland Police Department ordering an investigation and a review of how officers are trained. The police department said in a statement that it didn’t condone the officer’s conduct, and Chief Lisa Womack was looking into the incident.
What Should You Do?
So what is the underlying message from Zoe Brugger’s incident? How should you respond when confronted with a similar incident?
As criminal defense attorneys, we deal with illegal search issues all the time. In the case of Zoe Brugger, it’s clear to see that the original intent of the traffic stop is not what the case became about. So what can you do?
First, asking to speak to a supervisor can help. In Brugger’s cases (and while remaining respectful) she should have repeatedly stated to the officer “I was pulled over for a broken headlight. I would like to talk more about the headlight issue.”
When the officer continued to ask about other issues, announcing that he wanted to search her car, Brugger had every right to say “I would prefer that you did not search my car.”
It’s important to remember, if the reason you’re pulled over is a civil charge like an equipment violation or speeding ticket, you cannot be arrested for a civil infraction. So staying firm and asking to be released is perfectly acceptable. It’s okay to ask, “Am I under arrest?” If the answer is no, you should ask to leave.
Again, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, then request a lawyer right away and refuse to answer any additional questions until you can speak with an attorney.
The more informed you are about your legal rights, the easier it is to avoid mistreatment. And when you’re not sure about your rights or unable to stand up for them, consulting a criminal defense lawyer is always your best option.
Racial profiling and wrongful arrests are issues facing Arizona due to procedures surrounding immigration laws, but U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow is imposing stricter rulings in order to clean up Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s controversial conduct and keep law enforcement accountable, according to a report from the Arizona Republic.
Cases involving racial profiling sparked the need for Snow’s stricter impositions. Examples from the Arizona Republic include Manuel de Jesus Ortega Malendres, who was legally visiting Cave Creek when he claimed to have been unlawfully detained for nine hours outside of a church in an area where people are known to seek day labor.
After the Melendres case, two Hispanic siblings from Chicago complained of racial profiling from deputies, and the Hispanic husband to an assistant of former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon claimed that nearby white motorists were ignored while he was cited for traffic violations and detained unlawfully.
Four months ago, Snow ruled that Arpaio’s immigration enforcement tactics were a violation of the constitutional rights of thousands of Latinos. On Wednesday, Snow issued a follow-up ruling with the proper operations that should be a part of the daily routine at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
The plaintiffs in these cases did not focus on monetary damages in court, but rather wanted to enforce elements that the sheriff and deputies have long resisted, including, “a declaration that spells out what deputies may or may not do when stopping potential suspects, and a court-appointed monitor to make sure the agency lives by those rules,” the Arizona Republic reported.
Snow, recognizing the demand for the requests made by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona lead by the group’s legal director Dan Pochoda, aims to include cameras in every deputy’s car, increase data collection and reporting, implement a community-advisory board and a court-appointed monitor. These rulings demonstrate steps toward preventing future discrimination, however, compliance from Arpaio and the deputies is needed to do so successfully.
MCSO plans to appeal the ruling but continue to try to comply with the court order while the appeal is pending, according to Arpaio’s attorney. If the agency refuses to comply, a court-ordered oversight will be issued or MCSO officials could be found in contempt of federal court. Read more here on an example of failure to comply in which a lawsuit and oversight brought to Sheriff Arpaio in 1977 took 30 years to be lifted.
Besides compliance from officials, budget is another leading constraint facing these rulings. Snow plans to use all possible funding from MCSO to pay for necessary resources before cutting into the funding of other agencies.
“I am not going to be involved in relieving you from the requirements of that order because you can’t afford it,” Snow said in the article regarding the cost of these rulings. “Be sure you understand that.”
Arpaio’s office has practiced his controversial style of immigration enforcement for many years, so it is uncertain exactly how he and his deputies will work with the new rulings.
“He came to this reform, if you want to call it that, as a very unwilling party. It’s a very big problem,” University of Pittsburgh professor and national expert on racial profiling David Harris said in the Arizona Republic article. “Will he drag his heels? Will he be a willing participant? Has he seen the light? Those questions, I think, remain to be answered. He has made mistakes that have put him where he is now. The question is whether he wants to correct them.”
A Virginia appellate court recently ruled that “Liking” on Facebook is protected as free speech under the first amendment.
The new ruling stems from a lower court case in which Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Ray Carter was fired for “Liking” the campaign page of his employer’s opponent in a race for re-election as sheriff.
Brian Fung of the Washington Post reported that the issue in question was whether or not Carter’s action in “Liking” a post on Facebook could be construed as speech and therefore protected under the first amendment.
The case caused national attention and controversy worldwide. The court viewed the “Like” button on Facebook as positive speech, hence the symbolic agreement. Some Facebook users would disagree, recognizing that “Liking” something on Facebook does not necessarily mean supporting a page or post, but simply engaging in the conversation or choosing to follow future commentary on the post.
Regardless, the case revolved around the question of whether Sheriff B.J. Roberts of Hampton Va. violated his employee’s right to free speech when he fired Carter.
In deciding that Carter’s right to free speech was violated, the court ruled that using the “Like” button on Facebook is protected under the first amendment, citing the 1994 case City of Ladue v. Gilleo, in which a political campaign sign was ruled as free speech because it was a symbolic expression of opinion.
What are the consequences?
Now reporters and individuals are questioning what this means for other electronic forms of communication like the share button, retweets or pins. Are these forms of symbolic expression, too?
From a legal perspective, this ruling can impact the concept of hearsay in court cases. The language from the court seems to specifically address the concept of hearsay – that a statement can be a symbolic representation of an opinion (shaking your head no is still hearsay even without saying anything).
As criminal defense and family law lawyers, this case could have an interesting impact on Arizona cases, especially family cases where parties research Facebook pages and internet searches for anything and everything they can use against one another.
Could your liking of craft beers or medical marijuana Facebook pages end up being allowed in court?
As we see it, that depends. On one hand, the court is saying that liking those pages actually communicates something (making it relevant) but on the other hand, the fact that the statement was made out of court makes it hearsay.
In family court, hearsay doesn’t automatically apply unless one of the parties files a motion with the court to follow the strict rules of evidence – a decision that the family law attorneys at Corso Law Group can help you make based on this decision.