Arizona DUI Attorneys Corso Law Group Caution About Labor Day DUIs, Arizona DUI Checkpoints

Labor Day usually means backyard barbecues and pool parties. This year, it could mean a costly Arizona DUI charge, thanks to an increased police presence and DUI checkpoints throughout Phoenix.

Arizona law enforcement is planning to crack down on drunk drivers this Labor Day weekend. Last year, more than 2,000 officers made a total of more than 600 arrests at Arizona DUI checkpoints on Labor Day weekend.

Corso Law Group founding attorneys Christopher P. Corso and John M. Rhude know the dangers of DUIs. Both attorneys previously prosecuted DUIs, DWIs and OUIs for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Combined, they have handled more than 15,000 DUI cases as prosecutors and defense attorneys.Woman Pulled Over

“When you’re celebrating a holiday, you tend to relax your standards and don’t think twice about driving home or to the next party after having a couple of drinks,” Corso said. “That can prove to be a dangerous and costly miscalculation.”

The Arizona DUI lawyers at Corso Law Group have extensive experience handling cases that involve driving under the influence. Defense attorney Jeffrey Kegler brings an extensive knowledge of scientific research and evaluation to his cases.

Kegler applies this scientific knowledge and expertise to all traffic related and criminal cases to evaluate the breakdown and analysis of blood alcohol testing, speed measurement instruments and drug measurements.

That DUI experience proves to be invaluable after long weekend holidays like Labor Day, Corso said, when Arizona DUI arrests increase

In 2013, law enforcement made 656 DUI arrests from Thursday, August 29 to the early morning hours of Tuesday, September 3.

A police force of more than 2,000 officers and sheriff’s deputies from The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety led the 2013 Labor Day DUI campaign around the state, inundating roads with officers and DUI checkpoints.

Of the more than 600 arrests, 196 citations were for extreme DUI, meaning the blood-alcohol content was .15 or higher, and 126 citations were from drug DUIs. The legal limit is .08.

Arizona law enforcement doesn’t take driving under the influence lightly, and is prepared to ensure safety on the roads, Rhude said.

“A DUI in Arizona is a serious offense,” Rhude said. “The charges can severely impact your life in terms of your job and relationships, especially in Arizona where the law requires that any person found guilty of drinking and driving, even if it’s a first offense, serve jail time.

DUI convictions can also include extensive fines of up to $2,500, suspension of driving privileges and the installation of an ignition interlock device – even for first offenders.

The Arizona DUI defense attorneys at Corso Law Group do everything in their power to protect defendants’ families and advocate for their rights. They have the experience and expertise to deal with DUI charges in Arizona and will fight to get the charges dismissed and preserve their family.

Every DUI defense case in Arizona is different, however, and the outcome is dependent upon the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the DUI charges, which makes having an experienced Arizona DUI defense attorney even more important.

Corso Law Group has quickly built a reputation for its vigorous defense of clients, using its lawyers’ previous experience with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and other prosecutorial agencies to assist its clients with their criminal defense cases.

In addition to Arizona DUI issues, Corso Law Group handles a myriad of criminal cases, including civil speeding, criminal speeding in Arizona, domestic violence defense, possession of drugs, felony drug charges, photo radar, disorderly conduct and marijuana possession.

To schedule a free consultation, please visit www.corsolawgroup.com or call (480) 471-4616. Corso Law Group, PLLC is located at 14500 N. Northsight Blvd., Suite 116 in Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260.

Self Defense Argument Rejected in Fatal Porch Shooting Case

The Detroit man who argued self defense for shooting and killing an unarmed teen on his front porch was convicted of second-degree murder by a Wayne County jury Thursday, August 7.

Theodore Wafer, a 55-year-old airport worker, heard banging on his front door early in the morning on Nov. 2. He opened the front door of his home and shot Renisha McBride through the locked screen door, killing the 19-year-old student.

Wafer testified saying that he shot McBride in self defense because he feared a break in and was scared for his life, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why McBride ended up at Wafer’s home that night is still not clear, however prosecutors claim she walked a half mile to his home seeking help after a car accident.

Earlier that night, after consuming alcohol and using marijuana, McBride drove her car into a parked vehicle in Detroit. She was injured at the time, bleeding, disoriented and possibly suffering from concussions, but witnesses said she refused help after the incident, USA Today reports.

Initially, this case sparked racial concerns in Detroit communities where racial tension can be strong, and comparisons were drawn between the McBride and Trayvon Martin cases as both involved unarmed, black teens who were each killed by white men.

Unlike the Trayvon Martin case however, the charges were filed against the defendant within two weeks of McBride’s death and racial concerns were put to rest.

“That could have been anybody’s kid,” said Walter Simmons, McBride’s father, in response to race being a factor in his daughter’s death.

“I think he was ready for whoever came to his door,” Simmons said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Michigan’s gun laws, such as the Castle Doctrine Law states in short that the use of deadly force may be accepted as an act of self-defense as long as an honest and reasonable belief that death, great bodily harm that may lead to death or sexual assault may result to himself or herself or another individual during a break in, home or business invasion, an unlawful occupation or an attempt to remove individuals from their homes or vehicles, according to the state’s Public Act 311 of 2006.

In other words, residents have the right to protect their homes, businesses and vehicles using firearms, but the severity of the force used must match the potential threat.

A jury of five women and seven men did not believe that circumstances between McBride and Wafer granted Wafer the right to use deadly force against McBride, and they did not accept his self defense claims.

Wafer was convicted of second-degree murder, as well as separate charges of manslaughter and using a firearm to commit a felony, the Wall Street Journal said.

Monica McBride, Renisha’s mother, said that her daughter was not a violent person and that Wafer should have called 911 for assistance when he was awoken.

The sentencing will take place August 25. Wafer could face life in prison, according USA Today.

Make sure you know and understand Arizona’s self defense and violent crime rights. The expert criminal law attorneys at Corso Law Group can help.

Recreational Marijuana Tax Revenues Get Off to a Disappointing Start in Colorado

Colorado lawmakers are reviewing recreational marijuana taxes after sales from the past fiscal year did not meet early predictions.

The official estimated revenue that recreational marijuana was predicted to bring in $33.5 million through the fiscal year, which ended this summer.

Tax collections from Colorado reveal that the actual amount came in 60 percent lower than predicted, at a little over $12 million, according to The Denver Post.

Lawmakers, such as State Rep. Dan Pabon, the leader of a special legislative committee on marijuana revenue, say that existing medical marijuana tax laws, which are lower than that of recreational pot, may be a part of why recreational tax revenue didn’t meet expectations.

David Blake of the Colorado attorney general’s office suggests that medical marijuana’s continued success and recreational marijuana’s disappointing revenues are driven by the avoidance these higher taxes, The Denver Post said.Recreational Marijuana in Colorado

Despite the presence of recreational marijuana dispensaries, which are popping up all around the state, medical marijuana sales continue to hold a top place in the marijuana market.

It seems as though recreational marijuana hasn’t taken consumers away from medical marijuana businesses but instead has appealed to tourists and others who may have previously purchased pot illegally.

However, recreational tax revenues are projected to increase as the field grows and matures over time.

Some are especially optimistic, such as Dorinda Floyd from the Department of Revenue, who believes recreational pot will eventually surpass medical sales, The Denver Post reports.

In Arizona, medical marijuana is just getting settled in the market as Proposition 203, The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, was passed by voters in 2010.

Medical marijuana sales in Arizona are expected to have a significant place in the state’s economy as dispensaries continue to receive licenses and open.

A total of approximately 126 dispensaries are anticipated to exist in the state since 2012, give or take a few depending on the number of traditional pharmacies existing in Arizona at any given time.

For reference, one dispensary may open in accordance with every 10 pharmacies in the state the Arizona Department of Health Services explains explains.

A study published by Arizona State University Professor Timothy Hogan predicts that dispensaries will support 1,500 full-time jobs and pay out $74 million a year in wages in 2016.

After including additional businesses and spending as a result of direct wages, those numbers increase to 6,500 jobs for Arizona workers, $315 million in income payments and $990 million in overall economic activity, the Phoenix Business Journal reports.

Unanswered Questions Surrounding the Shooting of an Unarmed Teen by a Ferguson Police Officer Leads to Public Unrest

The fatal shooting of an unarmed African American teen in Ferguson, Mo. by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson Saturday, August 9, has given rise to an FBI civil rights investigation, protests and local rioting.

The cause of the altercation between Michael Brown, 18, and Wilson, whose identity wasn’t released for weeks after the incident, remains unclear as witnesses to the event tell one story and law enforcement another.

Dorian Johnson, 22, told CNN that he and Brown were walking to a family member’s home when police yelled at them to get out of the street. As the two explained that they were about to arrive at their destination, Wilson became angry, aggressively driving forward and hitting brown with the car door.

Then, Dorian said Wilson pulled Brown in by the neck toward the car and shot him.Ferguson and Mike Brown

Dorian and an injured Brown struggled to run away, but Brown was shot numerous times, forcing him to slow down as he held his hands above his head in surrender, begging Wilson to stop shooting.

Moments later, Dorian said Wilson fired another shot, killing Brown.

In contrast, Ferguson Police share a completely disparate report, claiming Brown attacked Wilson inside his vehicle, struggled for his weapon causing an initial shot to be fired inside the car.

Then, Ferguson police say Brown and Dorian ran from the scene, and Brown was shot and killed several feet away.

Wilson shot Brown a total of six times during the altercation. A privately conducted autopsy revealed that it was the sixth shot to the top of the head that killed Brown, and the St. Louis County medical examiner’s office confirmed that the cause of death was gunshot wounds to the head and chest, ABC News said.

Although the two stories remain divided, one factor that rings true among all accounts is that Brown was unarmed at the time of the incident. Belmar said that every bullet casing from the scene belonged to Wilson, CNN reports.

Since Brown’s death, tension has skyrocketed in the Ferguson area, a working class suburb of 21,000, where a history of distrust and conflict exists between residents who are predominantly black and a primarily white police force, CNN said.

The largest protests have been peaceful, according to the Los Angeles Times, where the slogan “Hands up, don’t shoot,” can be seen on posters and acted out by protesters, reminding those that Brown was unarmed and reportedly in a position of surrender when he was shot.

However, many protests have transformed into local riots throughout the weeks following Brown’s death.

Ferguson locals were upset that officials did not immediately reveal Wilson’s identity, the Alton Daily News reports. However, Wilson’s name was not disclosed at first because death threats were made to a misidentified officer from an incorrect rumor, the Los Angeles Times said.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said that details about the case would not be released to the public as the investigation is still underway and authorities need witnesses to stay credible, the Los Angeles Times said.

Frustration due to lack of information surrounding the case has lead to the vandalization of local businesses which police reportedly have controlled using tear gas and rubber bullets to control the uproar and close off areas, ABC news said.

Riots continued in Ferguson on Tuesday, August 19, when police fatally shot a man who had charged officers with a knife. Others have been wounded and numerous arrests have been made.

In response to violent outbreaks, local authorities are urging protesters to rally peacefully during the day to avoid causing any more harm to an already shaken community.

President Obama has weighed in as well saying in a statement earlier in the week that the FBI, civil rights attorneys from the Justice Department and the St. Louis County Police Department are each currently investigating the Ferguson shooting, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed.

“I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding,” Obama said according to The Wire.

The St. Louis County prosecutor said that results from the shooting and whether or not Wilson will be indicted may take until October to decide, as a grand jury must carefully examine evidence from the case.

Brown was a recent high school graduate scheduled to begin college courses the following Monday, two days after he was killed. Friends called him “Big Mike,” and his mother Lesley McSpadden referred to her son as a “Gentle Giant.”

Arizona Attorneys Corso Law Group Warn Incoming College Students of Back to School DUI Arrests

It’s back to school season which means thousands of students will return to college campuses over the next several weeks.

Students and parents should be aware that police are cracking down on DUIs and underage drinking near college campuses at this time of year.

With a high volume of students living on campus and in college towns, there are more opportunities for large parties and bar hopping which may lead to DUI incidents for drivers and alcohol-related charges for the underaged.Woman Pulled Over

Last fall at Arizona State University, the Tempe Police Department’s “Safe and Sober” task force, which focuses on crimes involving alcohol, reported 371 arrests in three days the weekend before classes started and 486 arrests in three days the weekend after classes started, the Phoenix New Times reports.

A total of 86 drunk driving arrests, 208 minors in possession of alcohol arrests and numerous others were made by Tempe PD over those two weekends in 2013, according to a report form Tempe PD in the Phoenix New Times.

Many students in Arizona universities are from different states and countries. In fact, 37 percent of the freshman class were not from Arizona in 2012, according to ASU.

These non-residents may not be familiar with their DUI rights and Arizona DUI laws.

For example, many new and returning students may not know that Arizona law requires any person found guilty of drinking and driving serve jail time. DUI convictions can also include extensive fines up to $2,500, suspension of driving privileges and the installation of an ignition interlock device – all of this even for first offenders.

“DUIs are very common during the summer months and can continue into the fall when universities fill up again,” Christopher P. Corso of Corso Law Group said.

Every DUI defense case in Arizona is different, however, and the outcome is dependent upon the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the DUI charges, which makes having an experienced Arizona DUI defense attorney even more important.

Corso and his fellow founding partner John M. Rhude know the dangers of DUIs from their own professional experience. Both attorneys previously prosecuted DUIs, DWIs and OUIs for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

The experienced Arizona traffic lawyers 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, visit www.corsolawgroup.com or call (480) 471-4616. Corso Law Group, PLLC is located at 14500 N. Northsight Blvd., Suite 116 in Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260.