Arizona Supreme Court Insists on New Change in Police DUI Process

Arizona is known for some of the strictest DUI (driving under the influence) laws in the country, with a zero-tolerance policy and tough, extensive penalties including hefty fines, jail-time, tent city sentencing and lifelong repercussions impacting one’s family, career, educational opportunities and much more.

The process of being pulled for an Arizona DUI is also demanding, but the current procedures used when officers pull over a driver have recently been deemed unfair.

The Arizona Supreme Court is now forcing police officers to alter the way they obtain evidence when pulling someone over for being under the influence, changing the script they recite.

Before, police were able to say that Arizona state law requires that the driver give a blood sample, telling the driver that if they disagree, they could lose their license for up to year.  Now, the court says police officers can only remind drivers of the law after they refuse to give a blood sample.

Will this change have an impact on past and future DUI cases?

Yes, this Arizona Supreme Court decision could have a significant impact on past and future Arizona DUI cases. It’s crucial for past DUI offenders to meet with a lawyer, to discuss their situation and what occurred during their case. Current cases should also be assessed and reviewed, in accordance with the new process.

It’s important for all Arizona drivers to understand their rights and to know law enforcement across the state of Arizona can and can’t say.

Can police still demand a blood sample?

Yes. If you refuse to give a blood sample, an officer can still get a search warrant for it which in Maricopa County, only takes 10 minutes. However, it’s crucial for Arizona drivers to fully understand their rights throughout this entire process.

Review these Arizona DUI FAQs today: http://bit.ly/23mEvqY.

This decision may have an affect on your current and past Arizona DUI case. For more information, contact the Arizona DUI lawyers at Corso Law Group – Arizona at (480) 471-4616.

The Tom Brady Ruling: Equal Protection and Due Process

Last September, Judge Berman eliminated Tom Brady’s four-game “Deflategate” suspension, a punishment given to him by the National Football League (NFL) for being apart of the scandal in which footballs were deflated in last year’s Super Bowl.

Among other reasons, Judge Berman said his decision to throw out the suspension was because of “inadequate notice of punishment and misplaced reliance on NFL’s ‘conduct detrimental’ policy,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Seven months later, Brady’s suspension has been reinstated. This past week, “a divided federal appeals court in Manhattan has upheld the National Football League’s four game suspension,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

It was a decision that reflected an investigation which revealed rule violations at a high level. The three judge panel agreed 2-1 with the original suspension placed on Tom Brady by the National Football League (NFL) and that the reinstatement of the Tom Brady’s punishment was fair and right.

For a legal debate that continues to gain press and break new grounds, this ruling revealed the Judges’ mindset of treating everyone equally and sticking to a ruling they believed was fair and just in the first place.

Judge Barrington Parker who wrote for the majority stated that while the suspension may seem “unorthodox”, it was a collective agreement and it shouldn’t serve as an exception to the rule.

This ruling surrounds equal protection and due process, important factors when it comes to high-profile cases. It also received an incredibly large and diverse reaction from Tom Brady fans, New England Patriot fans and a slew of football fans in general.

Judge Katzmann however, disagreed. In his dissent, he called the suspension “unprecedented” and went on to say that The Commissioner who implemented the punishment “failed to even consider a highly relevant alternative penalty.”

Corso Law Group deals with difficult cases everyday. As your voice in the courtroom, we are deeply dedicated to our clients and their families.

For a free consultation, please call Corso Law Group – Texas at (713) 231-0499.

Police Gain Greater Access to Phone Records with No Search Warrant Required

Should Federal agents be allowed to access a phone caller’s location without a warrant?

A Cincinnati-based federal appeals court recently said yes with their latest ruling on the topic of protecting the privacy of data which is transmitted by one’s personal device.Phone Records

The records in question, obtained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), were that of two men located near multiple robberies when they occurred.

Timothy Carpenter and Timothy Sanders were found guilty of being involved in nine armed robberies but argued that their phone records should have been dismissed as evidence.

Why did they argue this?

  • The phone records were obtained without a search warrant.
  • The Fourth Amendment should have protected the FBI’s access to their phone records.

Unfortunately, the court ruled against them.

In a 2-1 panel, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision stated that collecting this information did not require a search warrant and was not categorized as a “search”.

Judge Raymond Kethledge wrote, “Cell-site data—like mailing addresses, phone numbers, and IP addresses—are information that facilitate personal communications, rather than part of the content of those communications themselves.”

Carpenter’s lawyer continues to focuses on the next step. In these situations, it’s crucial to secure a criminal defense lawyer who is willing to fight till the end and be the client’s voice in the courtroom.

Carpenter’s lawyer will either ask the Sixth Court to rehear the case or head to the U.S. Supreme Court.

What’s the Supreme Court’s record when it comes to privacy?

Recently, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of privacy. However, Judge Kethledge wrote that his decision was based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Smith V. Maryland. The Smith V. Maryland ruling stated that when a person dials a number on their landline, they are willingly releasing that information to phone companies and therefore, it’s not protected by the Fourth Amendment.

While landlines and cellphones are different, Judge Kethledge saw this as a solid reference for his decision.

What’s next?

This controversy will continue to be disputed as similar cases appear and questions continue to be asked.

Is this fair? Should the FBI be able to access this information? If police have access to this type of data, especially this much, shouldn’t they have to have a search warrant?

In this case, police had extensive amounts of information. They had months of data from more than 1,000 different locations. Carpenter was sentenced to more than 116 years in prison and Sanders was sentenced to approximately 14 years in prison.

To schedule a free consultation, please call Corso Law Group at (480) 471- 4616.

Former NFL Player Accused of Operating International Drug Trafficking Ring

Former NFL player and current Scottsdale resident Derek Loville has been accused of operating in an international drug trafficking ring.

According to court documents, Lovelle was in a federal grand-jury indictment that includes charges of:

  • Racketeering conspiracy
  • Drug trafficking
  • Illegal gambling
  • Money laundering

Led by Owen Hanson, a former athlete from USC, the operation went by the name of “ODOG”, which made fake companies to cover up illegal gambling and drug trafficking.

Along with other crimes, Hanson and others threatened someone to pay them a $2.5 million debt, according to the indictment.

The threat included a delivered package containing photos of the customer’s spouse and family. Allegedly, they also sent an email titled “Operation Shovel”. In the email, it contained a photo of the customer’s gravestone, implying they would die soon.

Later, “ODOG” sent a DVD showing a masked person beheading two men with a chainsaw and a knife. The DVD had a message that said “If you don’t pay us our money, this will happen to you.”

According to authorities, Loville sold illegal narcotics to someone in Phoenix for “ODOG”. Then, two days later, Loville transferred $1,150 to Hanson.

On January 13 the U.S District of Southern California issued a warrant for Lovell’s arrest. Loville then made his appearance in court on January 27 and then was released.

With more court dates to come, we will soon find out if Loville was a part of “ODOG” and whether he distributed drugs for Hanson.

Scottsdale DUI Lawyers at Corso Law Group Warn of Increased DUI Patrols During Arizona Spring Training

During the first week of spring training in 2015, the Arizona Department of Safety reported 59 DUI arrests near the games. With millions of fans expected to turn out this season, baseball fans should be aware that increased DUI patrols are expected, according to Scottsdale DUI lawyer Christopher Corso.

As fans around the state prepare for the games, it’s important to note that after a game is over, the Center for Advancing Health estimates that 40 percent of fans will still have alcohol in their body.

“During spring training, law enforcement will not hesitate to arrest or give citations to those who who appear to be acting irresponsible while under the influence,” said Corso, founder of Corso Law Group. “If you or someone you know finds themselves in a difficult legal situation, it’s important to understand your rights and to stay silent until you have a DUI defense attorney present.”

Last year, law enforcement officials told 3TV, “more people were drinking and driving home from ball games than any other time in recent memory – with many offenders being from out of state,” an important wake up call to out-of-state residents who need to understand the seriousness of driving under the influence in Arizona.

“With so many out-of-state residents traveling to Arizona to follow their favorite baseball team, it’s important for them to know they’re not exempt from our tough DUI laws,” Corso said.

In Arizona, the penalties for drinking and driving are serious and can result in a mandatory jail sentence of 24 hours to 10 days. Along with jail time, offenders may be potentially required to undergo alcohol education, equip their vehicle with a certified ignition interlock device and be ordered to perform community service.

“During this fun time, we want to remind fans to stay safe and be responsible,” Corso said, “However, if for some reason you find yourself in legal trouble, remember that Corso Law Group is here to defend your rights and help to ensure your civil liberties aren’t violated.”

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://www.corsolawgroup.com or calling (480) 471-4616.

Corso Law Group, PLLC Arizona offices are located at 8655 E. Via De Ventura, Suite F-165 in Scottsdale, Arizona 85258. The firm’s Texas offices are located at 5177 Richmond Ave., Suite 1250 in Houston, Texas 77056.

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 17470 N. Pacesetter Way Scottsdale, AZ 85255.

Are Online Threats Equally as Punishable as Verbal Threats?

Lately, several incidents concerning people posting online threats have been in the news. From the controversy at University of Missouri to other violent online threats directed towards a Dallas high school, cyber threats are being taken much more seriously. Legally though, are online threats equally as punishable as in-person verbal threats?

The answer is dependent upon each case but in the situation that took place at the University of Missouri, the answer was yes. Two college students were arrested for making death threats against African American students over an online social media app called Yik Yak.

The University of Missouri first issued a security alert to all students and faculty, they were able to find those that made the threats and proceeded to arrest them. In this case, the threats were directed at a specific group of individuals and categorized as terrorist threats.

These death threats and other online threats are illegal in most cases, just as they would be in person. However, this past June, the Supreme Court specified the legal repercussions concerning online threats and arresting those involved.

The Supreme Court ruled that an online threat is not criminal unless the person writing the threat planned for it to be understand as legitimate and others believed this as well.

In discussing the decision of the Supreme Court, ACLU legal director Steven R. Shapiro said the “decision properly recognizes that the law has for centuries required the government to prove criminal intent before putting someone in jail.”

The decision comes at a time when these threats will have to be more deeply assessed. Another important factor when considering the prosecution of an online threat is determining the mental health of the person posting the threat.

In the decision, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: “Federal criminal liability generally does not turn solely on the results of an act without considering the defendant’s mental state.”

Overall while each case is determined separately, online threats are not taken lightly and can result in similar if not worse repercussions than in personal threats.

Why You Need a Defense Attorney Instead of a Public Defender

No matter the crime, representation is a vital aspect of a criminal proceeding. Whether the charges are mild or severe, the repercussions of committing a crime could result in a range of outcomes from community service to years in prison. With such high stakes involved, the right defense is invaluable when it comes to protecting your rights and your future.

While anyone who has committed a crime has the option to defend themselves or rely on a court-appointed, public defender to represent their case, that doesn’t mean either of those options are a good idea.

Although both private criminal defense attorneys and public defenders have undergone years of higher education and testing to understand the legal system and different defense options, the differentiating factors between the two are specialized experience and workload.

Special Skills and Experience

Hiring a criminal defense attorney means you’re in charge of selecting a professional with the right experience and a specific set of skills that are beneficial to your case instead of settling for a public defender who has been chosen for you.

A private criminal defense attorney can work from a background of prior legal experience to provide optimal, individualized defense for your case, whereas a public defender who works with the same prosecutors and judges everyday might not be as comfortable with trying different defense strategies.

Excessive Workload

Private criminal defense attorneys have a say in not only the types of cases they take on, but also the number of cases they work on, allowing them more time to dedicate to each client from start to finish.

A major problem many public defenders face are excessive workloads. Many have huge caseloads to manage that exceed national standards. For example, the standard number of felony cases per year for public defenders is limited to 150, but it is not uncommon for them to have anywhere from 500 to 800 felony cases annually, according to the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. This can make it difficult for them to prioritize your needs and provide the most effective representation.

For the most effective and highest quality representation, it’s important to do your research. Hire an attorney with experience handling the charges in your case, who will take the time to get to know you and produce a specialized defense strategy.

At Corso Law Group, you can rely on our skilled criminal defense attorneys to do everything in their power to protect your rights and fight to defend your voice in the courtroom.

Are No-Refusal Weekends Here to Stay?

Another No Refusal weekend was implemented recently over the Halloween holiday in Texas.  This follows No-Refusal weekends that took place this past Labor Day and Fourth of July.

These No-Refusal weekends are being put into place during holiday weekends that are celebrated heavily by drinking alcohol. During a No Refusal weekend, officers have the right to obtain a warrant allowing them to conduct blood alcohol tests on those they’ve pulled over for DWIs if they’ve refused to comply with a Breathalyzer test.

This initiative continues to be implemented at a time when Texas is experiencing some of the highest DWI rates in the country. The most recent study conducted by MADD revealed that over 15,680 people experienced injuries from alcohol-related accidents and 1,337 died from alcohol-related crashes in 2013.

It’s clear that law enforcement authorities have implemented this policy in order to reduce drunk drivers on the roads and to create a safer environment. Typically, several checkpoints are set up in various parts of the city to assure that drunk drivers are taken off the roads. However, it is crucial to fully understand your rights if you are pulled over for a DWI during a No Refusal period.

As a driver, if you arrive at a checkpoint and are suspected of being intoxicated, an officer might ask that you submit a blood or Breathalyzer test. You then have three options as a response.

  • Agree to a blood test
  • Agree to a Breathalyzer test
  • Reject any type of test

If you reject a test and are suspected of a DWI, it is legal for an officer to detain you until a warrant is obtained, allowing them to force you to provide a blood test.

It’s important to know that if you’re pulled over for a DWI, you should immediately call a criminal defense attorney to lead you through the entire process. At Corso Law Group, we always remind Texans that this contact should be the first step you take if you are ever in this situation.

Upcoming holidays, including New Year’s Eve, are expected to be accompanied by No Refusal initiatives, similar to last year where law enforcement agents administered 14 blood tests and arrested 26 people. With police officers stating that these initiatives are successful, No Refusal weekends are most likely here to stay.

If you are pulled over for a DWI or traffic citation, please contact Corso Law Group immediately at (713) 231-0499.

3 Reasons Criminal Defense Law Firm Reviews Matter

Our Houston defense attorneys work to provide a fair and aggressive defense for each client. We understand that every case is different and each client requires our undivided attention and skills in order to attain a favorable outcome. We’ve found that our client reviews have positively reflected this, showing potential clients that these reviews do indeed matter.

They reveal who the criminal defense attorneys are behind the firm

Brent A.  – Corso Law Group review: “I had a great experience with this law firm. I recommend them to everyone. My legal team was experienced and worked hard for me. If you need a lawyer, consider this firm. I liked the fact that they were dependable and always had the answers. I was living out of state at the time and it was important for me that I knew my lawyer and team had everything under control.”

We understand that it can be difficult to fully understand who your criminal defense attorney is solely from the firm’s website. Client reviews present personal attributes of the attorneys, revealing that they are dependable and trustworthy, or possess other desirable traits you seek when hiring a criminal defense attorney. 

They help you understand the firm’s process for their clients

Juan P. – Corso Law Group review: “The lawyers were able to assist me with questions I had regarding getting my old charges cleared. I got to go in for a personal consultation with the owner, and within a couple weeks they had taken care of my record for me. Every step of the way I was notified and if I had any questions, I could call at any time. Wonderful staff. I would recommend.”

One of the most important aspects about the criminal defense firm you decide to hire is understanding their process for assisting their clients. Are they quick to respond to you? Do they lead you through each and every step of your case? Their process should revolve around you and the situation you’re in, not them. Client reviews reveal how consistent, effective and motivated a firm is through the way they assess and then act on your case.

They provide proof of success

Paul B. – Corso Law Group review: “Because of their experience and professionalism, my charges were reduced to one from three and the one was reduced to a reasonable outcome. The circumstances of my mistake could have been much worse. I salute this firm. Thank you.”

No one wants to hire a law firm that isn’t good at what they do. Take the time to read each review and see if the outcomes are in line with what that client expected and received. Your criminal defense attorney should be experienced in the field your case is in and present proven successes to you up front.

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