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

520-220-5047

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

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945 N. Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705
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Pima County DUI defense lawyerIn a case that is sure to have a substantial impact on the way police handle misdemeanor encounters with individuals, in Lange v. California the Supreme Court rejected a categorical rule that enabled officers to enter a home without a warrant in “hot pursuit” of a fleeing misdemeanor suspect. In an opinion by Justice Kagan, the Court preserved the sanctity and privacy afforded to the home by ruling that the flight of a suspected misdemeanant itself does not justify warrantless entry into a home and that, barring exigent circumstances (i.e., imminent harms of violence, destruction of evidence, escape from the home), an officer must get a warrant.

The case started with Arthur Lange catching the attention of a California highway patrol officer by listening to loud music and repeatedly honking his horn as he drove his car. The officer tailed Lange and tried to conduct a traffic stop. Being just a few seconds away from home, Lange continued to his driveway and parked his car in the garage. The officer followed him in and prevented the garage door from closing by sticking his foot under it. Upon talking to Lange, the officer noticed signs of intoxication and put him through field sobriety tests, where he was eventually arrested for DUI.

Lange sought to have the evidence obtained from the unlawful entry thrown out, but the trial court rejected his argument, as did the California Court of Appeals, which held, “the warrantless entry did not violate the Constitution because the officer was in hot pursuit.” The US Supreme Court, which found warrantless entry into the home to be permissible under the Fourth Amendment for a fleeing felon, had not definitively answered if that applies to suspected misdemeanants as well.

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Arizona Marijuana DUI LawyerArizona voters made history this November when they approved legalizing recreational marijuana. Beginning November 30, 2020, adults 21 years or older can legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana, with no more than five grams in a concentrated form, and can grow up to six marijuana plants at home, as long as the plants are within a lockable enclosed area and out of public view.

This ballot initiative, called Proposition 207, will give the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) responsibility for regulating marijuana retail stores and cultivation facilities. According to Ballotpedia, the passage of Prop. 207 also allows Arizonans who have been convicted of certain marijuana-related crimes such as possession, consumption, cultivation, and transportation to petition for the expungement of their criminal record beginning July 12, 2021.

Although the law has officially been passed, the rules regarding marijuana DUI prosecution are still undecided. In other states that have legalized the plant, the legal limit for driving while high is 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.

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Posted on in Legal

Pima County criminal defense lawyerWhen accused of a crime, everyone deserves a fair trial in court. That truth is embedded in the Constitution under the Sixth Amendment. But the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened the integrity of those trials, leaving defendants at risk. With jury trials slowly beginning again in Pima County, it’s important to understand the ways COVID-19 can impact your right to due process.

The widespread use of face masks has emerged as one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of coronavirus, though it can have a troubling impact in trial proceedings. Each state has its own policy on wearing face masks in courthouses, and Arizona’s is relatively lenient. The Arizona Supreme Court mandated face masks for court employees, visitors and participants, but a judicial officer can let a testifying witness remove or pull down their mask while testifying—if it’s deemed necessary and appropriate physical distancing measures are followed.

When trial participants wear face masks, it can infringe on a defendant’s rights because obstructing someone’s face makes it impossible to assess their demeanor, which is one of the four key elements in the Confrontation Clause. The Confrontation Clause within the Sixth Amendment states that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him.”

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