Scottsdale DUI Attorneys at Corso Law Group Expect a DUI Crackdown for the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open

Golf fans at the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open will be under intense police scrutiny with strict DUI enforcement, Valley-wide DUI task forces and a special DUI campaign all creating the potential for increased arrests, according to Scottsdale DUI attorney Christopher Corso.

Corso, founder of Corso Law Group, says police activity and DUI checkpoints will saturate TPC Scottsdale and the surrounding area. In recent years, officers have been positioned at points of entry to the Phoenix Open to intercept visibly intoxicated guests, offer Breathalyzer tests as part of the “Know Your Limit Campaign” and look out for any additional violations.

“Law enforcement is well aware that crowds of people will be drinking all day and are prepared to act on any criminal activity they come across, especially drunk driving,” Corso said. “As criminal defense lawyers, we’re here to defend your rights and to make sure the police don’t violate your civil liberties.”

Golf fans will be dealing with more than just Scottsdale police officers during the tournament.

The tournament draws thousands of attendees every year – in 2015, a record-breaking 564,368 people attended the open – leading police departments from Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert and Tempe to work together to crack down on drunk driving throughout the state.

A majority of arrests at the Phoenix Open are typically alcohol related, and 646 of 1,856 people who participated in breath tests during one day of the event in 2015 blew over the legal limit,  ABC15 reports.

“This is an event people look forward to all year, and it definitely draws a lively crowd,” Corso said. “If things get out of hand, we’re here to defend the rights of anyone who ends up in a tough legal position.”

Corso Law Group is an experienced team of legal professionals who have handled thousands of Arizona DUI cases. Founder Christopher Corso is a former Maricopa County prosecutor who can help with drunk driving cases as well as other criminal defense needs such as criminal speeding, CDL tickets, photo radar tickets, felony charges, drug possession, weapons possession, violent crimes and more.

Free consultations are available with Corso Law Group by calling (480) 471-4616.

Corso Law Group, PLLC is located at 14500 N. Northsight Blvd., Suite 116 in Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260.

Strict DUI Enforcement on Super Bowl Sunday May Lead to Increased Arrests on Phoenix Roads

Experienced Arizona DUI attorney Christopher Corso says Arizonans can expect zero leniency from police on Super Bowl Sunday this year – especially when it comes to drunk driving.

The Super Bowl is a big day for drinking, with an estimated 323.5 million gallons of beer consumed and 49.2 million cases sold on Super Bowl Sunday in the U.S.

The annual event brings with it plenty of parties and festivities, meaning saturation points and patrols will be out in full force to combat drunk driving accidents and DUIs, which can be up to twice as likely on Super Bowl Sunday than any other Sunday, The Los Angeles Times reports.

“Law enforcement knows the Super Bowl is one of the most dangerous days for drinking and driving, and they’re stepping up their presence by enforcing DUI laws and punishing violators to the highest degree,” Corso said. “Even if you’re under the legal limit, Arizona law states that you could still be apprehended.”

Arizona is the strictest state in the nation when it comes to DUI laws. It’s also a no-tolerance state, which means police can arrest anyone who they believe is showing signs of impairment, even if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is less than the legal limit of .08 percent.

For those who are arrested for DUI on Super Bowl Sunday, the consequences can be severe. Even a first-time DUI offense can mean up to 10 days in jail, a 90-day license suspension and the required installation of an ignition interlock device in Arizona.

Previous DUI offenses and high BACs could lead to even more intense penalties as multiple-offenses and extreme DUIs result in increased jail time, higher fines, counseling, community service and longer license suspensions.

“This isn’t a time to gamble with your freedom,” Corso said. “If’ you’re arrested for a possible DUI during Super Bowl weekend, having the experienced DUI attorneys at Corso Law Group onyour side can make a big difference.”

Corso Law Group has extensive experience with all types of Arizona DUIs, including misdemeanor and felony DUI charges.

“Our attorneys are well-versed in Arizona’s strict DUI laws, and we understand how challenging DUI defense,” Corso said. “We’re here to assist Arizonans who find themselves in a difficult legal situation on high-risk days, like Super Bowl Sunday, and on any other day of the year.”

Corso Law Group is an experienced team of legal professionals who have handled thousands of Arizona DUI cases. Founder Christopher Corso is a former Maricopa County prosecutor who can help with drunk driving cases as well as other criminal defense needs such as criminal speeding, CDL tickets, photo radar tickets, felony charges, drug possession, weapons possession, violent crimes and more.

Free consultations are available by visiting https://corsolawgroup.com or calling (480) 471-4616.

Corso Law Group, PLLC is located at 14500 N. Northsight Blvd., Suite 116 in Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260.

 

10 Steps to Choosing the Right Defense Attorney

To achieve the best possible outcome for a criminal case, hiring an experienced, aggressive defense attorney is essential.

No matter the offense, criminal law is complicated, and the appropriate lawyer is crucial for a successful case. The attorneys at Corso Law Group know this to be true, and offer this 10-step guide to choosing the right defense attorney.

1. Decide which type of attorney you need. This is important because attorneys work in a variety of fields and offer various levels of experience. If you need help with a DUI charge, for example, you need a skilled DUI lawyer, not a family or civil rights attorney, and especially not a public defender.

No matter the charge, the repercussions of a crime can impact your life and livelihood. Although you have the option to represent yourself or settle for a public defender, neither of those are good choices if you want to protect your rights and your future.

An aggressive criminal defense attorney with specialized experience can make a world of difference for your criminal case.

2. Understand what an attorney does. Once you decide which type of lawyer you need for your case, learn about what that specific type of attorney does, understand the services they provide and the areas of defense in which their practice focuses.  

For instance, some of the responsibilities of a DUI defense attorney include helping you decide how to plea, creating a strategic legal plan, gathering and sorting through evidence to help your case and representing you in court.

3. Know the possible outcomes of your criminal case and how an attorney can help. Criminal law covers a vast range of offenses, including misdemeanors, felonies, DUIs, traffic violations and domestic violence, to name a few. All of these charges involve different laws and can lead to different outcomes in court.

A good defense attorney should be able to go over possible outcome of your specific case with you, and discuss plea bargains, how trial works and what happens if you’re found guilty or not guilty.

At Corso Law Group, our attorneys offer guidance, expert advice and sound representation to our clients during every phase of a criminal case, keeping each person well informed and involved in their case.

4. Do your research. If you’re facing potential criminal charges, you need the best possible representation. Don’t settle for just any attorney, and research viable options for your case.

Look at professional accreditation sites, like the Better Business Bureau to review trusted firms in your area.

5. Read specific client reviews. If the firm has client testimonials on their website, these reviews can offer helpful insight into how the attorney you’re considering has interacted with other clients throughout the legal process.

Here is an example of a helpful review from Corso Law Group:

The Best Lawyer in Town. I used this law firm and had a great experience. Great guys, owner stayed late and met with me when I hired. Took the time to explain. A real motivating group, they work hard at what they do. My attorney sat with me for over an hour. No consultation fee at all. Definitely keeping this phone number on my favorites. Thanks for all the hard work. Case Dismissed.” – Sandra R., Peoria, Arizona

6. Stay local. Specific laws and regulations can vary throughout the state, so finding an attorney who works in the area where your case is pending can make a difference as they have experience with that court’s procedures and personnel.

Christopher Corso has previous experience with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and other prosecutorial agencies, giving him invaluable knowledge of all side of a criminal case and first-hand experience with multiple aspects of Arizona’s court systems. With this specific knowledge and experience regarding criminal law, he’s able to vigorously defend clients and the range of criminal cases that come his way.  

7. Look for relevant specialties. A criminal defense attorney may work with a variety of criminal charges and specialize in specific areas.

Attorneys at Corso Law Group handle all types of criminal cases, and specialize in Arizona DUIs, photo radar tickets and more.

8. Prioritize experience. Your attorney should have extensive experience representing others who were charged with the same or similar offense as you.

Potential Corso Law Group clients needing a DUI attorney, for example, can see how many Arizona DUI cases have been handled and their results on the firm’s website.

9. Set up a consultation. Meeting in person will allow you to discuss your situation, get to know the attorney, better understand their services, determine who would be involved in your case and find out about cost.

Attorneys at Corso Law Group know how important the initial consultation is, and use this time to hear each client’s side of the story.

10. Match your values. After the initial consultation, decide if you and the attorney are a good match. Your lawyer should do their best to make you feel comfortable, show a genuine interest in wanting to help with your case and keep you closely involved.

Something that sets Corso Law Group apart from other firms is that our attorneys value each client as a person, not just a case. We make an effort to give each client and their families the respect and professional representation they deserve.

The team of skilled criminal defense attorneys at Corso Law Group are experienced in handling everything from DUI defense to felony cases, and we work tirelessly to defend the rights of our clients. Call today to schedule a free consultation (480) 471-4616.

Arizona Senator Proposes Bill to Make Recording Police a Crime

A new Arizona bill introduced by Senator John Kavanagh will make recording a police officer a criminal act if passed.

The bill, SB 1054, which Senator Kavanagh says he proposed as a measure to ensure the safety of police officers and those videotaping, would prohibit video recording police officers from a distance of 20 feet or less.

Members of the American Civil Liberties Union have attacked the bill as unconstitutional, citing that it violates the First Amendment. Professor Paul Bender, the dean emeritus of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University was quoted in an article in the Guardian as saying the bill was “on the face of it unconstitutional” and problematic.

The bill supports a person’s right to videotape a police officer outside 20 feet and within that distance on private property, or in their own residence if the person records from an adjacent room.

However, the bill would also give police officers the right to end any video recording, regardless of distance, if the police officer deemed the recording an interference in law enforcement activity.

“The language in bill SB 1054 that’s most concerning for law analysts is the section that gives law enforcement officers the right to supercede the previous sections securing a citizen’s right to film law enforcement from more than 20 feet,” said Chris Corso of Corso Law Group.

“This bill would allow any police officer the right to stop citizens from recording arrests, no matter the circumstances,” said Corso, “and would subject those who refused to stop recording to legal prosecution.”

Under protection of the First Amendment, Americans have the right to film police officers while they are on duty. This right has been pivotal in recent, high-profile court cases that have been successfully defended based on video evidence taken at the scene and involving police officer misconduct.  

One such high-profile case involved the shooting of Walter Scott, a South Carolina man who was shot in the back by Officer Michael Slager as he ran away. Video coverage captured by a witness was used to strengthen the case.

In America, the right to film police has already been established and includes specific regulations. For example, although the right to photograph police is protected by the First Amendment, officials do have the power to stop anyone from filming who they believe is legitimately interfering with law enforcement, according to the ACLU.

“Photography is a form of power, and people are loath to give up power, including police officers,” Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the ACLU, said in The Atlantic. “It’s a power struggle where the citizen is protected by the law but, because it is a power struggle, sometimes that’s not enough.”

Although police may tell people to stop recording and ask that they turn over their footage, a guide for photographers by the ACLU, Know Your Rights, says it’s illegal for police to confiscate photos or videos without a warrant.

The First Amendment protects a citizen’s right to take pictures of anything in plain view in public space, including police officers.

Could Implied Consent Be a Thing of the Past?

If you’re pulled over, are you required to participate in sobriety testing like Breathalyzer and blood tests? For anyone with a driver’s license, the answer is yes.

Implied consent laws, which are in force in all 50 states, require anyone suspected of drunk driving to participate in tests that determine impairment, such as breath, blood and urine tests.

Drivers automatically give consent to this type of testing when applying for a license.

In general, the risk of getting charged with a DUI is magnified with the help of implied consent laws, as refusing tests automatically leads to license suspension and other penalties.

Several cases are challenging implied consent, some making it to the Supreme Court, which could lead to the elimination of these laws altogether.

Implied Consent

If a driver is pulled over on suspicion of DUI, they may be asked to perform a series of tests to determine impairment. These tests fall into two categories, field sobriety tests and chemical tests.

Field sobriety tests, such as walking in a straight line, reciting the ABCs, standing on one leg and more, are not required. Chemical tests such as Breathalyzer, blood alcohol content (BAC) and urine tests are required, and refusing any of these leads to automatic license suspension and other penalties depending on each state’s specific laws. 

Gaede v. Illinois

The trouble with implied consent was brought to light by Gaede v. Illinois, which has made its way to the Supreme Court and focusses on the Fourth Amendment.

In 2012, Christopher Gaede fled the scene of an accident after hitting a parked car with his motorcycle. He was intercepted by police and asked to perform several field sobriety tests, all of which he failed.

When asked to perform a breath test, Gaede refused. In addition to a 12-month license suspension, his refusal was also used against him at trial, which then resulted in a guilty verdict.

On appeal, Gaede’s attorneys argued that police should have to obtain a warrant in order to collect evidence, in this case biological evidence, instead of relying on the implied consent law.

Essentially, they argued that using implied consent instead of getting a warrant violates constitutional rights against unlawful searches and seizures.

The Supreme Court announced it will weigh a series of implied consent cases from Michigan, North Dakota and 11 other states to determine whether it’s illegal for police to require BAC tests without securing a warrant.

Depending on what the Supreme Court decides later this year, implied consent laws could be negated around the nation, allowing drivers to refuse a BAC or breath test without that decision having major consequences later on.

New Laws to Look Out for in 2016

Can’t pay your ticket? This year, Arizona is making it legal to work off what you owe with community service. This, and several other new laws to make note of are going into effect in 2016 in Arizona and around the country.

New Laws in Arizona 

Pay Your Ticket with Community Service

Senate Bill 1117 permits anyone who is unable or unwilling to pay the cost of court fees, fines, and tickets to work off what is owed by participating in community service. Each hour of community service pays for $10 of debt.

Expanded Protection Against Identity Theft

Arizona is one of the worst states for identity theft crimes, but expansions to existing laws are in place this year to help protect citizens by allowing people to place a credit freeze on themselves so that credit reports can’t be released without permission from the individual. This law is designed to prevent thieves from applying for credit cards or loans using someone else’s identity and credit history.

Vexatious Litigants Law Update

Judges can no longer waive court fees and costs for any person designated a “vexatious litigant,” or someone representing themselves, who files repeated court actions largely to harass others, unreasonably delay court proceedings or bring actions without “substantial justification.”

The only exception would be in family court cases involving divorce and child support.

Previously, judges could waive fees for those unable to afford the cost of filing a lawsuit so that financial standing couldn’t prevent someone from going to court.

New Laws Around the Nation

Minimum Wage Increases

Several states are increasing the minimum wage this year, including those known for a high cost of living like California, Hawaii and New York.

Fast-food workers in New York will receive the initial increase in pay now for an overall plan to bump minimum wage up to $15 by 2018 in New York City and by 2021 in the rest of the state.

Other states increasing minimum wage in 2016 include Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.

Gun Laws in Texas

Texas started off the New Year with a bang as new open carry laws went into effect on Jan. 1. Now, anyone who previously had a concealed carry license can openly carry a holstered handgun in designated areas.

Another new gun law coming to Texas in August will allow the carry of concealed handguns on university campuses.

Vaccinations Required in California

As a result of last year’s measles outbreak, which left 147 people in the U.S. sick, California will no longer accept personal and religious belief exemption waivers, requiring vaccinations for all children at public and private schools.

College Football National Championship Game Brings Crime to Phoenix According to Criminal Defense Attorneys at Corso Law Group

Thousands of football fans will flood the Valley for the College Football National Championship in Glendale, Ariz. on Jan. 11., leading to increased crime and police presence on game day, according to criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Christopher Corso, founder of Corso Law Group.

Approximately 72,000 fans are expected to attend the championship game in Glendale, and 20,000 more will be watching from surrounding bars and restaurants in Westgate, The Arizona Republic reports.

While this spike in visitors is great for the local economy and tourism, large crowds, parties and alcohol consumption bring crime to hosting cities. In some instances where games resulted in upset, crimes such as assault increased by 112 percent, according to a study examining the connection between college football games and crime.

“Large crowds can bring about security and safety issues. With so many people concentrated in one area, large-scale events like college football games become targets for accidents and criminal activity,” Corso said.

Police in Glendale, downtown Phoenix, where additional events will take place, and across the Valley know this to be true and aren’t taking any chances.

Officials in Glendale are planning to implement extensive security for the national championship game, which will take place at University of Phoenix Stadium. In Phoenix, the director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the city said thousands of law enforcement and fire officials will be working the event, including 300 to 400 at the command post, KTAR News reports.

“Police will be on high-alert for any violation of the law, whether it’s assault, drunk driving or theft,” Corso said. “Arizona is becoming a destination for national events, and officials are doing whatever it takes to keep it that way.”

Corso Law Group is an experienced team of legal professionals who have handled thousands of Arizona DUI cases. Founder Christopher Corso is a former Maricopa County prosecutor who can help with drunk driving cases as well as other criminal defense needs such as criminal speeding, CDL tickets, photo radar tickets, felony charges, drug possession, weapons possession, violent crimes and more.

Free consultations are available with Corso Law Group by visiting https://corsolawgroup.com or calling (480) 471-4616.

Corso Law Group, PLLC is located at 14500 N. Northsight Blvd., Suite 116 in Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260.

Corso Law Group Founder Offers Small Business Advice

I was recently interviewed by CBS Small Business Pulse, in which I discussed eight important things to know when owning a small business.

“Fraud can be difficult to navigate with small businesses since the owner cannot oversee every detail even though each piece of information is important and must be accounted. Background checks for employees, internal check systems and written training manuals can help secure that the businesses owners have enough implementations in place to keep themselves further away from these potential liabilities.”

“Identify when the small business needs legal help and seek guidance from a specialized professional. If an issue has already escalated, there is still time to work with an attorney to begin the reparative process step by step.”

“For small businesses that work with sensitive or confidential information, small business owners need to do everything in their power to keep that information protected. It is their responsibility to ensure clients and customers feel like they can trust the business.”

“When it comes to hiring for small businesses, owners should do everything to find employees that are the right fit. Conduct background checks and schedule multiple interviews to get a good understanding of character and work ethic.”

“A common instance of fraud that occurs within small businesses has to do with employees succumbing to outside influences or allowing their emotions to get the better of them. For example, if a business relies on just one person to manage credit cards, that person could easily have access to commit fraud.”

“Recognize activity or behavior that may appear illegal, and be proactive about meeting with an attorney before a minor issue becomes a devastating legal situation.”

“Cybersecurity is crucial, especially when it comes to passwords. Do a thorough inspection of where extensive security measures are necessary. Small businesses do not always possess an inside department or outside company that manages their online security, but that does not mean their content and data is any less important to the success of their business.”

“Trust is a key component for running any business successfully, but for a small business owner, being able to trust and oversee all employees just isn’t realistic. By hiring proactive and experienced management, small business owners will have less to oversee individually and more qualified professionals to help keep track of everyone’s actions.”

View the full article here: http://cbspulse.com/2016/01/07/8-legal-pitfalls-business-owners/

New Transportation Regulations Lead to Continued Changes in Trucking Industry

The trucking industry is changing how its drivers record their hours for the first time in a long time with a newly implemented government rule announced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, established to help truck drivers combat fatigue. In the past, truck drivers have been required to keep a paper log of their hours, but the new electronic logging device rule (ELD) is set to change everything.

The electronic logging device is designed to record the driver’s time on the road through monitoring miles driven, the movement of the vehicle, engine hours and the location of the driver more effectively.

Approximately three million commercial truck and bus drivers will be required to record their hours using the modern logging device, intended to also establish a safer environment over all for truck drivers.

The electronic logging device (ELD) will also allow companies in the trucking industry the opportunity to track their driver’s required mileage progression. Drivers feel that with this ability, companies will force their drivers to fulfill their mileage requirement even if they are too tired to drive.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association doesn’t agree with the new rule, suing the Safety Administration in hopes of banning it. The association believes the rule is no more effective than recording hours manually and the cost of the new technology to the trucking industry is not worth its service.

According to the Safety Administration however, the electronic recording device is set to save an estimated net savings of $1 billion a year, specifically through paperwork reductions. The Safety Administration additionally estimates that it will save 26 lives and prevent 526 injuries annually.

The rule will go into effect in early 2016, but will give companies two years after the effective start date for them to begin implemented the device. A new transportation law will also go into effect, allowing some 18 to 20 year-olds to be able to drive trucking vehicles across state lines.

This controversial law has caused concerned for some, but arrives as many current truck drivers are gearing towards retirement. According to industry leaders, they say they will hire 890,000 drivers over the next ten years to replace those leaving. Due to also a shortage, truck driver’s salaries will also continue to increase.

With all the changes occurring in the trucking industry, we understand that the law can be difficult to navigate if you find yourself in a challenging spot. At Corso Law Group, we understand that the last thing a truck driver needs is a CDL ticket or a complication with the law. To schedule a free consultation with one our experienced Houston criminal defense attorneys, please call (713) 231-0499.

Reducing Sentences Leads to Possible Criminal Defense Changes

Reducing sentences has been a common topic lately in the United States. Recently, a judge rethought a sentence that had a profound impact on an inmate named Francois Holloway.

Holloway was released from prison three years earlier than expected thanks to U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn, New York.

Although federal trial judges don’t commonly possess extraordinary power when it comes to sentencing decisions as prosecutors rely on set in stone minimum punishment laws, typically new evidence or excessive legal error are the only ways a reduction on their part is possible.

However, judges can create a sense of public or personal pressure that causes prosecutors to rethink their sentencing decisions. When these types of situations occur, such as Holloway’s sentence reduction, it reveals attitudes continue to change in these types of circumstances, looking at the criminal justice system and its policies in a new light.

Holloway was sentenced to 57 years in prison in 1996 for being a part of armed carjackings, but Judge Gleeson who had put Holloway away, attempted to work with prosecutors for years in order to reduce Holloway’s sentence, before he was released early.

Which kind of cases does this deal typically happen to though? Thus far, these types of reductions have occurred for those who fought against sentencing that seemed underserved compared to the crime they committed.

In most cases, the defendant at hand decided against a plea deal and then lost during their trial. As a result, they were given a much more extensive prison sentence than if they were to have pleaded guilty.

These types of cases and this shift in the criminal justice system might be more common as 2016 approaches. Instead of focusing on a prison sentence, one might look towards court ordered rehabilitation if the consequence seems fitting for the crime.

However, not everyone agrees on this. In the same article, “Don Mihalek, vice president of law enforcement relations at the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association said that after the-fact reductions send the wrong message,” according to Joe Palazzo, author of the article “Judges Rethink Sentences.”

Said Mihalek: “Every criminal has their day in court, and that’s the bottom line.”