news

Can You Get Arrested for Road Rage in Arizona?

Road rage is a relatively common issue among drivers in Arizona. It is not unusual for a driver to get upset, frustrated, or angry when another driver breaks a traffic law or almost causes an accident. Although road rage itself is not a crime in Arizona, various actions often connected to road rage could lead to an arrest.

Criminal Charges Often Associated With Road Rage 

Road rage is not technically illegal in Arizona. A driver will not get arrested simply for being angry at another driver or frustrated by traffic conditions. However, if a road rage episode escalates into aggressive, reckless or potentially dangerous behaviors on the road, this could result in an arrest and various criminal charges.

Potential charges include: 

  • Aggressive driving (Arizona Revised Statute [ARS] 28-695): to exceed a reasonable speed or drive at an excessive speed and commit a traffic offense, such as running a red light, passing illegally, making an unsafe lane change, tailgating or failing to yield.
  • Reckless driving (ARS 28-693): driving a motor vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of other persons or property. This may involve speeding, running a red light, passing illegally or following too closely. 
  • Disorderly conduct with a weapon (ARS 13-2904): engaging in violent or seriously disruptive behavior, fighting, making unreasonable noise, or using abusive or offensive language or gestures. When disorderly conduct involves recklessly handling a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument – including a motor vehicle – it is called endangerment.
  • Physical assault (ARS 13-1203): intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing physical injury to another person; placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or knowingly touching another person with intent to injure, insult or provoke the person.
  • Aggravated assault (ARS 13-1204): if the road rage driver does not get out of his or her vehicle before injuring another person, it is regarded as aggravated assault: causing physical injury to another person with the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

These criminal charges range from Class 2 misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the circumstances. The penalties for these crimes can include fines, jail or prison time, driver’s license suspension or revocation, community service, probation, and mandatory driver’s education courses. 

What to Do if You Are Arrested for a Road Rage Incident in Arizona

Criminal accusations and arrests can arise from episodes of road rage in Arizona. If you or a loved one has been arrested for any type of crime associated with road rage behaviors, contact the Arizona reckless driving lawyer for a free case evaluation. We can tell you what to do in this situation, such as:

  • Do not try to resist arrest.
  • Do not give your permission to search your person or vehicle.
  • Use your right to remain silent.
  • Do not answer any police questions until an attorney is present.
  • Contact a criminal defense lawyer without delay.

Our attorneys can craft a defense strategy suited to your specific charges and circumstances. This may include insufficient evidence, missing criminal elements or justification for your actions (e.g., self-defense or defense of others). Learn more about how our lawyers can help you with an arrest connected to a road rage incident during a free consultation. Call (480) 471-4616.

Can Police Officers Search Your Vehicle at a DUI Checkpoint in Arizona?

In Arizona, law enforcement agencies are permitted to set up driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoints to look for potentially impaired or intoxicated drivers. During a stop at a DUI checkpoint, knowing your rights can mean the difference between driving away and being arrested on suspicion of DUI. This includes your right to be free from unreasonable vehicle searches and seizures.

The Fourth Amendment Protects Against Unreasonable Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution gives the people the right to be secure in their “persons, houses, papers, and effects” against unreasonable searches and seizures. This right is not to be violated except with probable cause. The Fourth Amendment means that a police officer does not have an indefinite right to search your person or property, including your vehicle.  

A motor vehicle search can only be conducted under certain circumstances:

  • Consent: if you give your consent to a police officer to conduct the search, they are legally allowed to do so even without probable cause or a warrant.
  • Probable cause: reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has been committed and evidence of the crime is present in the vehicle. If the evidence in question is in plain view – including things the officer hears or smells – this can justify a vehicle search on probable cause.
  • Warrant: if a court order is issued to search a motor vehicle, it must be specific in describing the particular property or place to be searched, as well as the items to be seized. If it does not have these descriptions, the warrant may not be valid. 
  • Inventory search: if your vehicle gets impounded, the police have the right to conduct an inventory search. However, your vehicle must be impounded for other reasons; impoundment is not permitted for the sole purpose of searching the car.

The Fourth Amendment means that, in many cases, you do not have to allow the police to search your motor vehicle. You can politely decline a search request at a DUI checkpoint and remind the officer that you are not required to submit to a search. In most cases, this will be enough to prevent a vehicle search at a DUI checkpoint in Arizona.

Only Limited Searches Are Permitted at DUI Checkpoints

Note that the rules of a DUI checkpoint may give police officers the authority to conduct limited searches or inspections for specific purposes. However, this does not include a full search of your vehicle or the seizure of any property without probable cause or authority. Police officers only have the right to check for signs of drug or alcohol impairment, as well as ensure compliance with licensing and registration requirements.

What to Do if You Were Arrested at a DUI Checkpoint in Arizona

If the police conducted a full-scale vehicle search at a DUI checkpoint in Arizona and you were subsequently arrested, contact a Scottsdale DUI defense lawyer at Corso Law Group for assistance. Contact us before saying anything to the police. We can craft a legal strategy that aggressively defends your rights from the very beginning. 

If your attorney proves that a search of your vehicle was in violation of your constitutional rights, for instance, any evidence collected from your car at the checkpoint would be ruled inadmissible. This means the prosecution would be unable to use it as evidence against you. Learn more about unlawful vehicle searches and your rights after an arrest when you call us at (480) 471-4616 for a free consultation.

What Is Premeditation in a Criminal Defense Case?

Premeditation is a key concept in criminal law – particularly in homicide cases. Whether or not a crime was premeditated is a critical factor in determining the degree of the offense and the penalties imposed against the defendant upon conviction. Understanding the role of premeditation in your criminal defense case can help you learn what to expect from the process ahead.

What Is the Legal Definition of Premeditation?

According to Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-1101 – definitions for the state’s homicide law – premeditation means to “act with the intention or knowledge that the defendant will kill another human being, when such intention or knowledge precedes the killing by a length of time that permits reflection.”

If a defendant attempts to kill another person after taking enough time to reflect on the intent to kill or knowledge that his or her actions will result in someone’s death, it is premeditated. Proof that the defendant actually reflected on the intention or knowledge is not required; it is only necessary to show that the defendant had enough time to reflect prior to the killing.

Premeditation vs. Heat of Passion

The opposite of premeditation is killing someone in the heat of passion. This is a common defense used against allegations of premeditation. Arizona law states that “an act is not done with premeditation if it is the instant effect of a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.” These are sudden, unexpected triggers that result in a victim’s death, such as a man who catches his partner cheating and kills her without preplanning.

A premeditated murder may be plotted in advance, while killing someone in the heat of passion occurs on the spot, without prior deliberation or planning. However, both types of homicide involve a knowing intent to kill the victim. In an Arizona homicide case, whether or not the killing of an individual was premeditated can drastically affect the penalties imposed against the defendant. 

If premeditation is proven in a homicide case, the defendant could be convicted of a Class 1 felony for first-degree or second-degree murder. These crimes can be punishable by life imprisonment or death in Arizona. If it is shown that a homicide was not premeditated, however, the charges may be reduced to manslaughter or negligent homicide, which come with shorter prison terms. Speak to a Phoenix homicide defense attorney. 

Defenses Against Premeditation Charges

To prove premeditation in a criminal case, the prosecution must present various types of evidence showing that the defendant calculated his or her actions and had motive and planning. Evidence may include documents, statements or activities that show the defendant was conspiring to commit a crime. It is the defense’s job to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case and argue against an allegation of premeditation. 

Potential defenses to premeditation charges include: 

  • Heat of passion or sudden quarrel
  • Insufficient evidence (burden of proof not met)
  • Unreliable evidence or low-quality investigation
  • Issues within the chain of evidence
  • Lack of actual intent to commit the crime
  • Lack of planning, preparation or weapons
  • Wrong defendant or mistaken identity
  • Diminished capacity or impaired mental state
  • Duress or coercion

Premeditation can play a significant role in a criminal case. If premeditation is established, this can significantly increase the penalties and consequences faced. If you are being accused of a premeditated crime, it is critical to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your defense options right away. An attorney will craft a defense strategy that is suited to your unique circumstances.

The Difference Between Manslaughter and Negligent Homicide

If you are facing criminal charges for allegedly being responsible for the death of another person, it is critical to understand the nuances of Arizona’s homicide laws. The distinction between manslaughter and negligent homicide, for example, can make an enormous difference to the potential penalties and consequences associated with a conviction. 

What Is Manslaughter? 

Under Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) Section 13-1103, manslaughter means to recklessly cause the death of another person. Unlike a murder charge, manslaughter does not require proof of intent to kill or even injure a victim. Manslaughter does not have an element of premeditation or intent to take someone’s life. An individual can be charged with manslaughter for any reckless action or behavior that leads to someone else’s death.

Arizona’s definition of manslaughter also refers to committing second-degree murder in the heat of passion or due to a sudden quarrel provoked by the victim; committing second-degree murder while being coerced to do so by the use or threat of unlawful deadly physical force; knowingly and intentionally providing the physical means that another person uses to commit suicide; and knowingly or recklessly causing the death of an unborn child by injuring the mother.

Recklessness is defined as exhibiting a wanton disregard for the safety or health of others. It is a knowing and conscious decision to behave in a way that is likely to harm another person. If reckless behaviors result in the death of a human being, such as a drunk driver causing a fatal car accident, manslaughter charges can be filed. 

What Is Negligent Homicide? 

Negligent homicide is defined in ARS Section 13-1102 as causing the death of another person, including an unborn child, with criminal negligence. Criminal negligence means failing to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a certain result will occur or circumstance will exist (ARS 13-105d). The nature of the risk or circumstance must be such that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care.

Criminal negligence goes beyond ordinary negligence for which an individual could face civil liability. It demonstrates a conscious disregard for the safety of others; a substantial and irrational deviation from the degree of care that a normal and prudent person would have used in the same circumstances. While a suspect may not have intentionally meant to cause the victim’s death, he or she acted so carelessly that he or she failed to perceive an imminent risk that eventually took the victim’s life.

How Are These Two Crimes Different? 

Aside from the difference in definitions, manslaughter and negligent homicide have different criminal penalties in Arizona. In general, manslaughter is treated as a more serious crime than negligent homicide. Manslaughter is a Class 2 felony, while negligent homicide is a Class 4 felony.

The potential penalties for a manslaughter conviction include a mitigated prison sentence of 3 years, an aggravated sentence of 12.5 years and a presumptive sentence of 5 years. A negligent homicide conviction, on the other hand, is punishable with a mitigated sentence of 1 year, an aggravated sentence of 3.75 years and a presumptive sentence of 2.5 years.

Defending Against Manslaughter or Negligent Homicide Charges 

The types of defense strategies that may be available will also vary depending on whether a defendant is facing manslaughter or negligent homicide charges in Arizona. If you or a loved one has been arrested for either one of these crimes, do not hesitate to contact a Phoenix homicide defense lawyer at Corso Law Group for legal advice and representation. We will structure a defense strategy based on your unique needs and circumstances.

The Impact of a Criminal Traffic Ticket on Your Driving Record and Insurance Rates

given to drivers who commit serious moving violations, such as drunk or reckless driving. Getting a criminal traffic ticket can negatively affect your driving record by assessing points to your driver’s license. It may also result in higher insurance rates.

Arizona’s Points Assessment System 

Arizona uses a point system to encourage safe driving practices. Under this system, a driver can receive a certain number of points assessed against his or her permanent driving record upon being convicted of a traffic violation. If eight or more points are accumulated within a 12-month period, the driver may suffer license suspension or be required to attend traffic survival school.

The number of points assessed will depend on the infraction. A criminal traffic ticket for a DUI, reckless driving, or aggressive driving will assess eight points against the driver’s license. Fleeing the scene of an accident or causing death by failing to yield the right-of-way will assess six points. Other moving violations, including speeding, can lead to two to four points assessed. 

License Suspension or Revocation 

Points or demerits assessed against a driver’s driving record for a criminal traffic ticket in Arizona will remain there for at least one year. If eight or more points are added to a driver’s record in that year, he or she could face driver’s license suspension. In addition, if the criminal traffic ticket is processed as a misdemeanor or felony crime, this could lead to license suspension or revocation as ordered by the criminal courts. Serious traffic violations that endanger the lives of others could also lead to jail time.

Increased Insurance Costs

Insurance companies base a client’s rates on the amount of perceived risk involved in taking the driver as a client. If a driver has a history of criminal violations for dangerous driving, such as speeding or reckless driving, this can present the driver as more of a financial risk to the insurance provider. This will result in higher premiums being charged for auto insurance coverage.

Getting a criminal traffic ticket can impact your car insurance rates for three to five years, depending on your insurance provider and the severity of the offense. You may be able to reduce the cost of car insurance by switching companies. Compare insurance quotes from multiple carriers after getting your ticket to find out if another company offers a better rate. You should also look for available discounts, such as student discounts, to bring costs down.

How to Beat a Criminal Traffic Ticket in Arizona 

It is always better to avoid getting a criminal traffic ticket in Arizona than to try to recover from adverse effects and legal consequences afterward. The best way to fight or “beat” a criminal traffic ticket is by working with an Arizona traffic violations attorney. An experienced attorney can carefully review the circumstances surrounding your citation, traffic stop, or criminal conviction to look for potential defenses, such as lack of probable cause to stop you or evidence that you were not in violation of a law. 

An attorney can help you collect evidence to support your argument, such as witnesses who saw the event and traffic camera footage. Then, your lawyer can represent you in traffic court to fight a criminal traffic ticket. Your lawyer may be able to get the charges against you reduced to a standard moving violation or dismissed entirely. Your lawyer can also help you deal with the consequences of a criminal traffic violation, such as seeking a restricted driver’s license to allow you to drive to work or school.

For more information about fighting a criminal traffic violation, contact Corso Law Group for a free consultation.

The Consequences of a Reckless Driving Conviction: Fines, Points and License Suspension

Reckless driving is a dangerous driving behavior that lawmakers in Arizona wish to discourage by imposing harsh fines and penalties against perpetrators. If you are convicted of a reckless driving charge in Arizona, you could face consequences such as fines, points against your driving record and driver’s license suspension. You may also be at risk of insurance increases, a permanent criminal record and potential jail time, depending on the circumstances.

What Is Arizona’s Definition of Reckless Driving?

Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 28-693, reckless driving means to operate a vehicle with a reckless disregard for the safety of other persons or property. It can refer to traffic violations such as excessive speeding, tailgating, ignoring traffic signs, cutting off other drivers, and making unsafe lane changes. Reckless driving is a class 2 misdemeanor crime in Arizona. With a previous reckless driving conviction within 24 months, however, it is elevated to a class 1 misdemeanor.

Penalties for a Reckless Driving Conviction in Arizona 

A criminal traffic citation carries more serious consequences than a simple moving violation. Committing an offense such as reckless driving that is criminalized in Arizona can come with criminal consequences instead of only civil penalties. These can include:

  • A fine of $750 plus an 84 percent surcharge
  • Driver’s license suspension for 90 days up to one year
  • Up to four months of jail time
  • Up to two years of probation

The penalties will increase if the driver had a previous reckless driving conviction within the last two years. A repeat offender could face penalties such as a minimum of 20 days in jail (up to six months), up to $2,500 in fines, and up to two years of probation.

How Many Points Does Reckless Driving Assess Against a Driver’s Record?

In addition to criminal penalties and consequences, a driver who is convicted of reckless driving in Arizona will be assessed points against his or her license. Arizona’s points assessment system encourages safe driving practices by penalizing drivers who receive traffic tickets and citations. Certain moving traffic violations will assess points against a driver’s permanent driving record. 

Reckless driving assesses eight points against a driver’s license – the highest amount of any traffic violation. This means the driver could automatically lose his or her driving privilege for up to 12 months, as the point system states that this is the consequence of accumulating eight or more points in a 12-month period. However, it may be possible to avoid license suspension by attending traffic survival school.

How to Fight a Reckless Driving Charge 

A reckless driving conviction in Arizona can carry penalties that seriously affect your life, such as taking away your driving privileges or even going to jail. If you are being accused of reckless driving, it is crucial to contact an Arizona reckless driving defense attorney to help you combat the charges. Your lawyer can search for ways to prove that the charges are unfounded, such as demonstrating that the state’s evidence against you is insufficient. If there were no witnesses, for example, the state may not be able to prove you guilty of reckless driving beyond a reasonable doubt.

An attorney may be able to have reckless driving charges against you dismissed entirely by filing a motion to dismiss. If this is not an option, a lawyer can still fight for reduced charges or penalties on your behalf, such as reducing a criminal traffic citation to a moving violation. Your lawyer will do whatever is possible to challenge a reckless driving charge and achieve a positive resolution for your case.

To discuss a reckless driving case with an experienced defense attorney in Arizona, call Corso Law Group for a free consultation.

Understanding the Different Types of Criminal Traffic Offenses

As a driver in Arizona, you have a responsibility to obey all traffic laws and roadway rules that apply to you. While you may know that you can get pulled over and be written a ticket for a traffic offense, you may not realize that certain traffic violations can lead to arrests and criminal charges being brought against you. Understanding the different types of criminal traffic offenses in Arizona can help you stay on the right side of the law.

Noncriminal Traffic Offenses 

There are two main types of noncriminal traffic violations in Arizona: moving and parking. As the name implies, a moving violation is an offense committed by a driver operating a vehicle that is in motion. Examples include speeding, making an illegal lane change or running a red light. A parking traffic offense refers to an illegally parked car, such as parking in a disabled spot without a sticker or permit. In general, the penalty for a noncriminal traffic violation is a fine and possible license suspension.

Criminal Traffic Violations in Arizona 

Certain types of moving violations in Arizona are severe enough to meet the definition of a criminal traffic offense. Typically, these are serious violations of the law that threaten public safety and put people at risk of harm. Examples of criminal traffic offenses in Arizona include: 

  • Criminal speeding (ARS 28-701.02): excessively exceeding the speed limit, particularly in a school zone. Criminal speeding is a class 3 misdemeanor offense that can lead to up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, up to one year of probation and three points assessed against a driver’s license.
  • Driving on a suspended or revoked license (ARS 28-3473): operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license, such as while the driving privilege is suspended, revoked, canceled or refused. This is a class 1 misdemeanor that is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. 
  • Driving under the influence (ARS 28-1381): driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the intoxicating influence of any drug or liquor. A standard DUI is a misdemeanor, but an aggravated DUI is a felony. Penalties can include jail time, fines, a suspended or revoked license, and an ignition interlock device. 
  • Reckless endangerment (ARS 28-693): driving a vehicle with a reckless disregard for the safety of other persons or property. This is a class 2 misdemeanor that can result in up to four months in jail and $750 in fines, plus driver’s license suspension for up to 90 days.
  • Vehicular manslaughter (ARS 13-1103): recklessly causing the death of another person through the unsafe operation of a motor vehicle. This is a class 2 “dangerous” felony in Arizona that can come with jail or prison time. The maximum sentence is 21 years.

Other types of criminal traffic offenses in Arizona include driving without car insurance, racing on highways, aggressive driving, hit-and-run, unlawful flight from law enforcement, and aggravated assault with a vehicle (“deadly weapon”). If you have been arrested or accused of any kind of criminal traffic offense in Arizona, contact the Scottsdale traffic violations lawyers at Corso Law Group for legal advice and representation.

The Difference Between Criminal and Noncriminal Traffic Offenses

Traffic offenses in Arizona can be classified as criminal or noncriminal. The distinction will depend on the nature and severity of the offense, such as if it endangered lives. In Arizona, criminal traffic offenses are frequently penalized harshly to discourage repeat offenders. Whether you are facing criminal charges or a noncriminal traffic ticket for an offense in Arizona, the attorneys at Corso Law Group can help.

Criminal vs. Noncriminal Traffic Offenses in Arizona 

A driver could face a noncriminal moving violation in Arizona for breaking a traffic law, such as exceeding the posted speed limit, running a red light or failing to yield the right-of-way. In this situation, a law enforcement officer may conduct a traffic stop and issue a ticket or citation for the noncriminal offense. Typically, the penalties include paying a fine and receiving points against the driver’s license. If the driver accumulates too many points in a certain amount of time, his or her license could be suspended or revoked. 

A criminal traffic offense, on the other hand, crosses the line from a simple moving violation to reckless disregard for the safety of others or intent to commit a crime. A driver could be arrested and face criminal charges for this more serious type of traffic violation in Arizona. Criminal traffic offenses are punished much more harshly than common civil traffic violations, and can even reach the degree of felony crimes that come with prison time. A criminal traffic offense will permanently go on a driver’s criminal record.

Examples of Criminal Traffic Violations in Arizona

Criminal traffic violations in Arizona are prosecuted in the criminal courts rather than the civil or traffic courts. In general, criminal charges can be brought against a driver for a moving violation if it caused or threatened to cause serious harm to others. The criminal designation is reserved for severe traffic offenses, such as:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Criminal speeding
  • Speeding in a school zone
  • Reckless driving or reckless endangerment
  • Racing on highways
  • Driving without a valid license
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident without stopping (hit-and-run)
  • Law enforcement officer evasion
  • Aggravated assault using a deadly weapon
  • Vehicular manslaughter or homicide

Being convicted of a criminal traffic offense in Arizona requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was guilty of reckless or intentional behavior behind the wheel that posed a substantial risk to public safety. A driver can also be convicted of a criminal traffic offense if his or her behavior displayed a wanton disregard for the safety of others.

Navigating the Criminal Process

If you get arrested for an alleged criminal traffic offense in Arizona, it is crucial to contact a traffic violations attorney in Scottsdale right away. An attorney can craft a legal strategy in your defense to potentially protect you from a criminal conviction and severe penalties. Your lawyer can guide you through the criminal justice process from start to finish to ensure that you are treated fairly.

 

If you are ticketed for a noncriminal traffic violation in Arizona, an attorney can still help by representing you in traffic court. Your lawyer can attend hearings on your behalf and present evidence or witnesses to try to minimize the administrative penalties that you face, such as points on your driver’s license. For more information about how a criminal defense lawyer can help you with a traffic offense case, request a free consultation at Corso Law Group.

2018 Corso Law Group Reviews Spotlight Dedicated Arizona Attorneys Fighting for Their Clients

Scottsdale, Ariz. – Having a lawyer with experience is important. Having one that cares is invaluable. The experienced traffic ticket lawyers at Corso Law Group work hard every day to represent their clients in the courtroom.

“Corso Law Group were helpful and listened to my side of the story,” said Shannon from Scottsdale, Arizona. “If you are looking for a great lawyer, try this firm out. (They are) highly recommended by me.”

There are many Corso Law Group reviews that echo these statements. Founding partner Christopher Corso said his firm works hard to deliver the personal attention each client deserves and he attributes the many positive Corso Law Group reviews that the Arizona law firm receives each week as proof that Corso Law Group is looking out for its clients.

“We’re constantly receiving positive Corso Law Group reviews,” he said. “It makes us proud that we are able to help so many people on a daily basis, helping them put their life back on track and protecting their families.”

Another Corso Law Group review echoed this statement.

“I called Corso Law Group and explained my legal problem,” said Tim of Peoria, Arizona. “If I didn’t get help I was going to lose my job. They immediately took my case and were able to clear up my situation. They put my life back on track and I highly recommend them.”

The experienced attorneys at Corso Law Group handle all types of Arizona family law cases, including Arizona divorce issues such as child custody, child support, alimony disputes, divorce mediation, spousal support issues and visitation rights.

They also 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 criminal defense 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 visit www.corsolawgroup.com or call (480) 471-4616 to speak with our traffic ticket attorney. Corso Law Group, PLLC is located at 17470 N. Pacesetter Way Scottsdale, AZ 85255.

Avvo Interviews Corso Law Group Founder on Martin Shkreli Case

Martin Shkreli is one of the most talked about men in America right now. In his recent appearance before a congressional committee, Shrekli pleaded the fifth when asked questions about highly increased drug prices.

Christopher Corso, founder of Corso Law Group weighed in on the national controversy and if Martin Shkreli had the right to plead the Fifth in such a serious case.

Does the Fifth Amendment even apply in this situation?

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens from self-incrimination, stating that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” As Shrkeli’s hearing was not a matter of criminal inquiry, was his taking the Fifth an appropriate response?

“[The Fifth Amendment] covers any statement that would tend to give rise to criminal liability on the speaker’s part,” says criminal defense lawyer Christopher Corso, founder of Corso Law Group. “Mr. Shkreli fully had the right to plead the Fifth.” The hearing was more about the ethical than the criminal implications of Shkreli’s actions, but Corso says it comes down to who’s making the determination about what was and was not legal.

“Until you’re with attorneys, you may be [unwittingly] adding information,” cautions Corso, “Answers that may perhaps—even in a miniscule way—open yourself up to criminal liability is a problem. Therefore, he is able to plead the Fifth.”

Did Congress intentionally try to make Shkreli look bad?

Bottom line: No matter what you think of Shkreli, he was not improperly invoking his constitutional rights. “As somebody that advocates for the constitution,” says Corso, “I would say no, the 5th Amendment was not abused.”

Read the full article here: http://stories.avvo.com/rights/did-martin-shkreli-have-the-right-to-plead-the-fifth.html

Award Logo
Award Logo
Award Logo
Award Logo
Award Logo