Possible defenses against domestic violence charges

Being charged with a domestic violence crime can be a particularly difficult situation to endure.  In almost all cases, emotions run high, evidence can be conflicting and courts and sentences can be exceptionally harsh.

Domestic violence falls under the broad umbrella of stalking, threatening, abandonment, or damaging property in addition to the primary definition which deals with inflicting some kind of physical injury to a victim.  Domestic violence is also not limited to violence among spouses.  It can include children, parents, or any member of an extended family.  Depending on the circumstances and the severity of charges, a defendant may be facing a felony or a misdemeanor.  Both can have far reaching and serious consequences.

An experienced domestic violence abuse attorney is critical to mounting an appropriate defense against these types of charges.  And often times there’s more to a charge than meets the eye.  That’s because many men and women who are accused of domestic violence may themselves be a victim, actually acting in self-defense which resulted in a violent response.  A strong domestic violence abuse lawyer will not only be able to call out a situation like this, they will know how to put the facts in the best possible light so that you can avoid jail time.

An attorney can also help you mount one of several possible defenses.  In addition to claims of self-defense, an attorney may also be able to claim that false accusations are being made against you.  This is quite common and a trained attorney can spot contradictions that will help prove the allegations were false.  Another defense is that of lack of willful intent.  This means that an accidental shove resulting in an injury may not meet the test of domestic violence because you did not intend to harm your partner.

Cates & Garvey Law Group proudly serves clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities

Dealing with the proliferation of credit card fraud

With the proliferation of e-commerce and an Internet based economy, law enforcement has seen a significant jump in credit card, and related types of crimes in recent years.

In an economy where instant gratification can be the norm, if you’ve tempted fate and committed a crime using credit or debit cards, you will want to have the best possible credit card fraud attorney representing you as soon as you are charged.

Credit card fraud can take on many forms, but law enforcement treats all types with a high degree of seriousness, because every crime of this nature will damage a victim financially, whether it is an individual, a business, or a bank.

It’s important to note that depending on the nature of the crime and the amount of money involved, credit card fraud can either be considered a state level crime or a federal crime, on that could involve the FBI or the Secret Service in some large and extreme cases.

As these types of cases have become more prevalent, so to have the ways in which law enforcement has become more sophisticated in catching cases of credit card fraud.  But law enforcement faces a difficult task, because there are so many ways to commit this type of fraud.  Cards can be forged, lost or stolen.  They can be doctored or a skimming device can be used to steal credit card information.  Cloned merchant sites can be set up.  Data hacks and identity thefts can also lead to extensive cases of credit card fraud as well.

There are some types of defenses that can be employed in credit card fraud cases, but the best chance you have of keeping your freedom rests with doing your homework to find the best possible defense attorney to protect you.  The common goal is to get a dismissal or help you to negotiate a reduction in any charges from a felony to a misdemeanor as a way of avoiding jail time.

Cates & Garvey Law Group proudly serves clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities

What you need to know about drug trafficking charges

One of the most serious drug charges you can face is drug trafficking.  Federal laws provide extremely tough penalties for selling, transporting and importing a wide range of illegal substances including marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and other similar drugs.

You can also be charged with drug trafficking even if the drugs in your possession are legal in Arizona.  If you possess large quantities of prescription drugs such as sleeping pills, painkillers, hydrocodone drugs and opiates, you may be subject to arrest as well.

A much more serious charge than drug possession, drug trafficking charges can be applied even if law enforcement officials think that you intended to sell any drugs found in your possession.  Much of this will depend on the quantity of drugs and cash in your possession when you’re arrested.

Most drugs are defined as controlled substances, meaning that their use and distribution falls under the purveyance of state and federal laws.  Controlled substances are further defined by being placed in various levels or schedules.  For example, marijuana is often classified as a Schedule I controlled substance.  Cocaine is a Schedule II controlled substance and so forth.  These classifications are determined by the Controlled Substances Act.  The reason this is important is because penalties are often times determined not only by the quantity of a drug but by also what schedule it falls under.

For the most part, drug possession will be considered a state level crime, while trafficking and distribution charges are considered a federal level crime.  It’s important to note this because in most cases federal drug crimes will result in more harsh penalties, up to and including life in prison.  Depending on the crime, drug trafficking convictions can be governed by pre-determined and mandatory minimum sentences, leaving the courts little discretion in many cases.

Cates & Garvey Law Group proudly serves clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities

Drive-by shooting defenses and strategies

In Arizona, a drive-by shooting crime is considered a Class 2 felony and is considered a highly dangerous offense because of the use of a deadly weapon.  This type of crime is punishable by a minimum of 7 years in prison and up to 21 years in prison for a first offense.  If a person has a previous history of dangerous felony crime convictions, then prison sentences bump up to a minimum of 14 years in prison up to 28 years in prison.

Needless to say, being charged with a drive-by shooting crime is a serious offense.  Fortunately, a drive-by shooting lawyer does have several possible defense strategies they can use when defending a client.

The most common of these is the misidentification of a suspect.  In drive-by shootings there are often multiple occupants in a vehicle, and the police may not always be able to accurately identify who actually pulled the trigger.  Even when witnesses come forward, there are ways to challenge their stories in such a way as to raise reasonable doubt.  Many times, in a strong cross-examination during a trial, a witness may cave in or otherwise have doubts cast upon their ability to accurately identify a shooter.

Also, sometimes the police use gun residue found on a defendant’s hands as a way to help them make their case.  A defense attorney can always counter this possible evidence if they can show that the gun was handed off to an individual after a shooting incident.  Residue can be left behind on anyone’s hand who touches the gun.

At other times, as part of a plea bargaining negotiation, if may be possible to get prosecutors to agree to lesser charges such as Misconduct Involving a Weapon or the Unlawful Discharge of a Weapon which are less severe charges than can result in lesser punishments.

Cates & Garvey Law Group proudly serves clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities