The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C.

520-220-5047

1-877-MISS-DUI / 1-877-647-7384

Se Habla EspaƱol
945 N. Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705

Tucson Criminal Defense FAQs

Attorney Answers Common Questions About Criminal Charges and Trials in Pima County

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Arizona, the consequences can be extremely serious, and it is easy to make costly mistakes if you do not know what to expect. At The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C., we represent criminal defendants to ensure that they approach their cases with the best possible defense strategy under the specific circumstances. We have also compiled answers to these common questions about the Arizona criminal justice system as a resource for anyone who may find them beneficial.

What are my rights if I am arrested for a crime?

Criminal defendants in Arizona and throughout the U.S. have constitutional rights when they are charged with a crime. These include protection from unreasonable search and seizure of their property and protection from self-incrimination, otherwise known as the right to remain silent. You also have the right to a fair trial by jury and representation by a qualified attorney, including a lawyer of your choice if you wish to hire one.

How can an attorney help with my defense?

A defense attorney can provide valuable assistance in many different ways. You have the right to consult with your attorney before responding to police questioning, and your attorney can also be present for any interrogations. Your attorney can help you prepare evidence and testimony to present in court, as well as attend your trial and all court hearings to represent you and ensure your rights are protected. Your attorney can move to dismiss unlawfully obtained evidence, cross-examine witnesses for the prosecution, and present opening and closing arguments on your behalf. We can also help you negotiate a fair sentence in the event that you are convicted.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

Misdemeanors are less serious crimes that typically result in less severe sentences. In Arizona, the most serious misdemeanor convictions include a sentence of up to six months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Common misdemeanor offenses in Arizona include first-offense DUI, possession of small amounts of marijuana, theft of less than $1,000, and simple assault. Felonies are considered to be more serious offenses, and sentences can include imprisonment for up to 10 years or more, as well as up to $150,000 in fines. Arizona felony offenses include aggravated DUI, high-value theft, most drug charges, and violent crimes including sexual assault and aggravated assault.

Can I be released from jail before my trial in Arizona?

After your arrest and initial hearing, you may be released from jail on your own recognizance, meaning with the expectation that you will return for your trial and any other hearings, or you may be required to post bail to secure your release. We can represent you at your bail hearing to help you ensure that the conditions for your release are fair and appropriate.

Can the police seize my property in Arizona?

Under Arizona law, police can seize property from a criminal defendant or someone else associated with the charges at hand, but only if there is clear and convincing evidence that the property was involved in the crime. We can help you protect your rights and defend you against unlawful asset forfeiture.

What should I expect at my Arizona criminal trial?

In addition to the initial hearing when bail may be set, you may be required to make additional court appearances before the trial itself, including for a preliminary hearing or arraignment. There is also usually a discovery period before a trial, during which we can get information about the evidence that the prosecution intends to use so that we can better prepare for your defense. At the trial itself, you and the prosecution will both have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments before the judge and jury, and the jury will issue a verdict of either guilty or not guilty after all evidence has been presented.

Should I accept a plea deal?

This is highly dependent on the circumstances of the case, and we will give you our best advice when the time comes to make a decision. A plea of guilty or no contest typically means that a conviction will be entered on your criminal record, but in some cases, the sentence may be less severe when a defendant agrees to a plea bargain than it would be if the defendant maintains a plea of not guilty throughout the process.

Will I have to go to prison if I am convicted?

This also depends on many factors, including the severity of the charges you are facing, your past criminal record or lack thereof, and the possibility of a plea bargain. Most felony convictions will come with a prison sentence of some length. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, however, you may be eligible for alternative sentencing like court supervision, probation, or community service in place of all or part of an imprisonment sentence.

Will I lose my gun rights if I am convicted?

If you are convicted of a felony offense in Arizona or any other state, you can be classified as a "prohibited possessor," meaning that you will be unable to lawfully own a firearm in Arizona. We will do everything in our power to help you avoid a felony conviction and protect your gun rights, and we can also help you understand your possible options for having your rights restored.

What crimes are tried in federal court?

Some offenses are considered federal crimes, which means they are handled in U.S. federal court rather than Arizona state courts. Examples of federal offenses include drug trafficking or manufacturing, some white collar crimes including various forms of fraud, and other crimes that take place on federal property or across state lines. We have the experience to defend you against federal charges as well as state charges.

How do I appeal a criminal sentence?

If you believe that you were wrongfully convicted of a crime due to errors or misconduct in the circumstances surrounding your arrest or trial, you have the right to appeal your sentence in a higher-level Arizona court. The appeals court will review the record of your original trial and determine whether an adjustment or dismissal of your sentence is warranted. We can help you determine whether you have a case for an appeal and represent you in the appeal process.

Contact a Tucson Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have questions specific to your case, or if you need legal representation as soon as possible, contact us today at 520-220-5047 or 1-877-MISS-DUI to schedule a free consultation. We represent state and federal criminal defendants in Tucson and throughout Pima County and the surrounding areas, including Santa Cruz County, Graham County, Pinal County, and Cochise County.

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