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Category: Understanding Your Rights

Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Apartment Search

February 26th, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court, in Fernandez v. California, has upheld the warrantless search of an apartment when the suspect objected, but his girlfriend (and co-occupant) consented to the search after the suspect was arrested.

The court made an exception to its prior decision in Georgia v. Randolph, which held police cannot search a home when one person …

New Times: Bill Montgomery Opposes Ethics Rule Requiring Prosecutors to Reveal Evidence of Wrongful Convictions

August 8th, 2013

Stephen Lemons | New Times

As Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery fights to keep Debra Milke behind bars pending a retrial on her overturned murder conviction, he also is fighting a proposed rule to the State Bar of Arizona that would require prosecutors to act on new evidence of a wrongful conviction.

For the past two years, the Arizona …

The Milke Case Moves Forward

July 9th, 2013

Yesterday I included the Milke case as one of my favorite Brady decisions. For the non-lawyers, Brady refers to the U.S. Supreme Court case of Brady v. Maryland which held that when the government withholds exculpatory evidence it is a violation of due process “where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment.”

Think of it this …

Do We Really Care About Prosecutorial Misconduct?

October 18th, 2010

In my experience most prosecutors play by the rules.  They know their ethical duties and abide by them.  However, I, along with many of my colleagues, have observed a growing number of prosecutors that have no problem stepping over the ethics line.  The issue seems more to do with ignorance than intent.

For the most part, the public is …

Arizona Criminal Law: A Review Of What Happened To SB 1070

August 18th, 2010

On July 28, 2010 the federal district court issued an injunction to part of the highly publicized and talked about immigration bill in Arizona, known through-out the country as SB 1070.

Practically speaking, this means that part of the bill is not enforceable until the appellate courts determine its constitutionality. Judge Susan Bolton had to read the bill piece …

Arizona Drug Law: Cheat First And Search Later

June 23rd, 2010

Drug sniffing dogs – you see them at the airport, the bus station, and on television. They serve an important purpose for law enforcement and the public. That is, they smell drugs when humans cannot. Moreover, the dogs do it in a manner that is not invasive to the people being search. However, there are some rules, like the …

Is Reading And Writing A Requirement To Serve On A Jury?

November 23rd, 2009

We should all be able to agree if you are charged with a crime, you should get a fair trial. An obvious prerequisite to a fair trial is that the jurors at least understand everything going on in the courtroom. That is, a juror should, at a minimum, be able to comprehend all evidence presented and understand the rules …

7 Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Seizure and Asset Forfeiture

August 12th, 2009

Asset forfeiture occurs when the government claims someone has profited from criminal activity.  The government will then attempt to seize the proceeds of that criminal conduct.  However, law enforcement often seizes money and property well beyond what the law allows.  Common scenarios include a person who was not involved in a crime yet has their property taken; or when …

Can I Go To Work During My Jail Term?

July 21st, 2009

There are many crimes in Arizona that result in a person serving a term of jail.  A term of jail can devastate a person’s career.  However, there are two programs that will allow a person to continue working while a person is serving a term of jail.  Furthermore, these programs DO NOT extend the time a person spends in …

Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog

The Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog is published by Koplow Law Firm. Our criminal practice experience includes a wide variety of defense representation and cases; and is led by Lawrence Koplow, a former prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

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