What Should You Do If You’re Pulled Over For Drunk Driving in Arizona?

Arizona has the strictest DUI laws in the country. Make sure you know your rights in case you’re ever pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving in the Grand Canyon State.

Corso Law Group has handled thousands of DUI cases in Arizona. Founder Christopher Corso has previous experience as a prosecutor for Maricopa County, so he and his team of legal professionals know what it’s like on both sides of a DUI case.

This step-by-step guide by Corso Law Group explains how to react if you’re pulled over, how to behave in the presence of an officer and important DUI rights every Arizonan needs to know.

What to do when you see flashing lights:

  • Once you realize you’re getting pulled over, slow down.
  • Pull over to the right and park as far into the shoulder of the road as possible to keep both you and the officer safe from oncoming traffic.
  • Use your blinker. This may seem obvious, but it’s an easy step to avoid any further traffic violations.
  • Turn off the car.

How to interact with an officer:

  • Keep both hands on the wheel so the officer is at ease.
  • Keep your window rolled up until the officer addresses you. You don’t have to go to the extreme and try the Fair DUI Flyer method, but you should only roll it down enough so that you can hear each other and pass your information along. Keeping a barrier is an important step to prevent incriminating yourself. An officer can charge you because he says he smells drugs or alcohol in the car or on your breath.
  • Keep talking to a minimum. You should narrate your actions and let the officer know where your license, registration and insurance are and when you’re reaching for them. Answer basic questions like your name and address. However, do not answer any other questions about how much you’ve had to drink or how fast you were going. It’s your right to remain silent.
  • Ask to speak to your attorney in private.
  • Be polite. Be cooperative. Know your rights. Try to remain calm and avoid rude or aggressive behaviour.

What are your Arizona DUI rights:

  • Do not agree to participate in any field sobriety tests. This includes walking in a straight line, reciting the ABCs, touching your finger to your nose, standing on one leg and more. These types of test aren’t required and may be subjective depending on environmental factors and the officer’s depiction of your results. You do not want your performance during these tests to be used as evidence against you.
  • Do agree to a blood, breath or urine test. These tests are required by the Implied Consent Law, which means that anyone with an Arizona driver’s license has agreed to consent to this type of test if lawfully arrested for DUI. If you refuse, your license will automatically be suspended for at least 12 months, even if your blood alcohol level was under the legal limit, and you weren’t drunk driving.  
  • Do not allow an officer to search your car without a warrant. Don’t be fooled by questions like, “You don’t mind if I have a look in your car, right?” You don’t have to agree to a search, unless the officer has probable cause to search your car or obtain a warrant.

Once you’ve been released, contact a criminal defense attorney at Corso Law Group at (480) 471-4616. We’ll fight to protect your rights.

How Online Dating Can Get You Arrested

Although online dating has come a long way and has lost much of its stigma, with 1 in 5 adults using the popular dating services, there are still many unaddressed vulnerabilities that could lead to serious legal problems.

One concern stems from users hiding behind the online barrier, making it difficult to really know if what you see is what you will truly get when dating online.

For example, a 19-year-old teen spent nearly 80 days in jail and is on the Michigan and Indiana sex-offender registries due to a misdemeanor charge of criminal sexual conduct after meeting with a 14-year-old girl who lied about her age on a dating app called Hot Or Not.

Zach Anderson, who believed the underaged girl he met was 17, spent 73 days in jail despite the fact that the girl’s parents never wanted to press charges and requested leniency for Anderson. The girl and her parents appeared in court where she admitted to lying about her age and wrote an apology letter to the Anderson family for her actions.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you my age. It kills me every day, knowing you are going through hell and I’m not. I want to be in trouble and not you,” she said.

Anderson’s attorney argued that Anderson was a victim of today’s online dating culture, which he characterized as a deceitful place that makes it nearly impossible to know someone’s true age. However, Berrien County District Judge Dennis Wiley disagreed.

“You went online, to use a fisherman’s expression, trolling for women to meet and have sex with,” he told Anderson. “That seems to be part of our culture now — meet, hook up, have sex, sayonara. Totally inappropriate behavior. There is no excuse for this whatsoever.”

Given a 90-day jail sentence, five years probation and 25 years on both Michigan and Indiana’s sex offender registries, Anderson will have to adjust to life avoiding schools, malls and other public places as well as learning to cope with the fact that landlords and employers may not accept him because of his conviction.

Online Dating Rights

If you were in the same situation as Anderson, what are your rights when it comes to online dating?

Even if the girl in Anderson’s case admitted to lying about her age and insisted the incident was consensual, current sex offender laws do not consider this an accepted defense.

Current laws allow Anderson’s name, home and work addresses to be made public, but his charges will not be specified. So, when a future employer looks at the registry, he or she will not see a difference between Anderson and someone with more severe convictions.

What to Do

The best way to avoid getting arrested because of an online dating scandal is to:

  1. Choose a legitimate online dating site. There are certain sites that perform background checks to limit who gets to join their service.
  1. Familiarize yourself with the terms of service. Make sure you know what information about yourself is being shared online and what specific policies the site has. Chances are, the online dating service will state that you are responsible for your actions and will not take the blame for your arrest.
  1. Exercise caution. If you have doubts about a person you met online, trust your instinct and avoid what could be a bad situation.

How to Keep Latchkey Kids Safe During Burglary Season

It’s every parent’s nightmare to have something out of the ordinary, like a burglary, occur while their kids are at home by themselves. Unfortunately, a majority of break-ins occur during the summer months when kids are likely to be home alone while parents are at work or running errands.

At Corso Law Group, we’re parents and we’re lawyers, so we understand the dangers and the worry that goes along with being a parent. To help everyone worry a little less, we put together these valuable tips for parents to share with kids when they’re home alone – whether it’s summer break, after school, during school holidays or any time parents or guardians are not there to protect them.

Create a Plan and Practice

Some states require by law that kids not be left home alone for extended periods of time until they reach a certain age. In Arizona, there is no age requirement, so this means it’s up to parents to decide when their children are mature enough to be home by themselves.

If they’re truly ready for this next step toward maturity, then create a plan together to help keep them safe. Go over the basics, like memorizing their address, how to lock the doors and windows and how to dial 911. Decide as a family whether they’re allowed to answer the phone, and when it’s okay to open the front door.

Remember, knocking on the door is a common tactic used by intruders to see if a home is empty. Just this summer, two teens in Kentucky ignored a knock on the door while home alone. Intruders took it as a sign the home was empty and began burglarizing the home.

While kids home alone shouldn’t answer the door, they should make it appear the home is occupied by turning lights, a TV or radio on while they’re in the home.

Once a plan has been put in place, practice it together to make sure kids can execute the plan with confidence.

Become Invisible

If a stranger enters the home, teach children to never interact with the intruders. Instead, teach them to quickly and calmly move in the opposite direction, creating a barrier between themselves and the intruder.

Recently, a 12-year-old Scottsdale boy was home alone when two men broke in and attempted to burglarize the home. The burglars knocked on the front door, and when no one answered, broke in through the backyard. When the boy saw them in the yard, he quickly hid in a closet, called 911 and stayed there until authorities arrived and took the intruders into custody.

Prepare Communication

Communication is important. Kids of all ages need to have access to a phone while home alone. Whether it’s a landline with multiple receivers or a cell phone, make sure they have a way to call for help in case of an emergency.

Conclusion

While no one can guarantee anyone’s security completely, understanding the dangers of leaving a child home alone and then working to mitigate those dangers can go a long way to increasing the safety of the situation and the safety of your child.

The Legal Challenges of “Freedom of Speech” on Social Media

In the United States, we have the right to speak freely about our religious, political, economic or any other “controversial” viewpoints. We are also avid social media users, which makes for an interesting mix of people: having the right to say what they want, and being provided with outlets to let them do so on a national and global level.

Recently, a young student was suspended from Texas Christian University by school officials after posting on Facebook and tweeting questionable responses to the Baltimore riots. After the University responded by stating they didn’t approve of the comments, the student had even more to say.

Is this fair for a university to inflict sanctions on a student who has the right to say whatever he or she desires? It depends. In today’s world, while freedom of speech is a right, it doesn’t necessarily mean immunity from punishment.

Another local incident occurred when a woman tweeted a negative comment about having to start her new job the following day, and then was terminated after her future boss saw the tweet.

The outcomes of these situations are realistic, yet the public still questions the legality. From an employee or student point of view, many feel that whatever they say outside of work or school can’t affect them. Employers or school officials on the other hand, have the ability to make certain decisions, especially when the entity is privately owned.

These situations also become challenging when it comes to public employees such as law enforcement officers and agencies. While public employees maintain equal rights in regards to the First Amendment compared to those who aren’t public employees, “the courts have recognized that the government has considerably more ability as an employer to regulate its employees’ speech than it would simply as a sovereign,” according to Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Ultimately, freedom of speech is complex and social media allows for the perfect medium in which users don’t necessarily fear or understand the legal sanctions of their words.

Three Things to Know If You’re Pulled Over by the Police

The recent news concerning Sandra Bland, who died while in police custody in Texas, and other police altercations has led many Americans to wonder what legal rights they possess when being stopped by an officer.

Was Ms. Bland obeying the law or breaking the law? Were the officer’s actions legal or was he using unnecessary force?

As we await the final outcome of this case, it’s critical that Americans are properly informed about their rights when being stopped by an officer.

You’re protected by the Fifth Amendment: Legally, you can’t be punished for refusing to answer a question.

While most of us understand the general meaning of the Fifth Amendment (the right to remain silent), this still remains a question on many civilians’ minds. Typically, the appropriate and safest thing to do is to respond politely to an officer’s questions without excessive description.

However, if you feel uncomfortable revealing specific information, know that you’re legally protected by the Constitution.

After given your ticket or warning, you’re free to leave.

After you’re given your ticket or warning and if the situation has not resulted in a more severe consequence, you are technically and constitutionally allowed to leave. If the conversation or investigation (which is lawful on the officer’s part) begins afterward, the situation has now progressed into a separate occurrence.

You can video record police (sometimes)

Depending upon the state and situation, this is completely legal. Some states have laws that prevent people from recording others without their consent and if your video is obstructing an investigation, you can be arrested. Otherwise, the ability to record police officers has led to some of the most widespread cases across the country including video of a North Charleston, S.C. shooting and police officers responding to a pool party in Texas.

What to Ask a Prospective Criminal Defense Attorney

The right criminal defense attorney can make all the difference when it comes to your pending criminal case. There are several helpful questions to ask a criminal defense attorney and ways to prepare for a beneficial consultation.

At Corso Law Group, our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys works tirelessly to get to know every client. It helps us prepare the best possible defense for cases such as DUI, criminal speeding, drug possession, weapons possession, assault, felony offenses, violent crimes and more.

Along with a strategic legal plan that’s tailored to your needs, Corso Law Group treats you and your family with the respect you deserve during all aspects of the legal process.

Here are a few questions to ask your prospective attorney and tips to help you prepare for a preliminary consultation:

Two Important Questions for your Attorney

  1. Have you handled other cases like mine?

It’s crucial to connect with an attorney who’s experienced in the field of law that your case falls under. For example, if you’re arrested for DUI, you need a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in the procedures, case law and successful outcomes of a DUI case.

  1. What are the possible outcomes of my case?

Once you explain your situation, your future lawyer should be open to discussing the potential approaches that could be taken with your case and the different results that could occur.

In general, you should have open lines of communication with your attorney so that he or she can keep you up-to-date on what’s going on through the duration of your case.

How to Prepare for the First Meeting

– Read over all legal documents and paperwork that you have regarding your case and bring them to the meeting. Going over your documents ahead of time will help you feel more prepared when you meet with your prospective attorney.

– Create a list of any questions you might have about your case. This is your chance to get answers and clear up any confusion you may have about certain laws or aspects of your case.

– Prepare to discuss costs associated with your case. Before meeting with an attorney, it’s a good idea to think about what you can afford for your defense. Remember – a cheaper attorney isn’t necessarily a better option for you or your case.

– Be able to provide a detailed, chronological summary of what happened including dates, names of people involved, locations, etc. Knowing your case inside and out, and being able to share that information with your attorney will help create the best possible legal plan for you. The more information, the better, so make sure you have as many details and specifics as possible. Remember, there are confidentiality laws attorneys are required to follow, so don’t be afraid to share any necessary information.