Finding the right criminal defense lawyer to represent you.

You’ve been charged with a crime.  It may be something relatively minor, such as simple assault.  Or something much more serious, such as fraud, robbery, manslaughter or another crime that has the potential to be life changing.

You’re going to be in for the fight of your life, trying to do everything you can to protect your freedom.  But you can’t do it alone.  You know you’ll need the best possible criminal defense lawyer for your situation that you can afford.

So what do you do to find that person or that firm?

First, you got to determine what your legal needs will be.  A minor charge may only require a consultation from an attorney about how to best proceed.  But make no mistake, if you are facing a serious charge, you will want the full services and attention of top flight legal representation.

Then you’ve got to decide what type of defense attorney you’ll need.  It may seem obvious, but if you’re charged with a federal crime, then you’ll want an experienced federal defense attorney.  A state level charge means you will probably want to seek out someone with relevant experience in that type of court system.  This is important because when you’re prosecuted at the federal level, you’ll be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office, which has a lot more time and resources to put into your case.  It also pays to try and find a specialized attorney who has experience with exactly the type of charges you are facing.

You’ll need to figure out what your costs are going to be, which you can accomplish after an initial consultation with one or more attorneys who may represent you.  If you can’t afford the costs associated with a law firm, you may need to talk to a public defender, who are assigned by the courts to represent people with limited resources.

Finally, while there are many highly skilled attorneys out there, you need to make sure you find one with the qualities that are important to you as well.  Do you want someone who is compassionate?  A bull dog?  A strong negotiator?  What kind of reputation do they have?  What’s going to make you feel like you can trust this person to represent you the way you want to be represented as you face the tests you will encounter going forward?

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

Legal Defense and Title IX: What You Should Know

Though it may not sound as serious as criminal allegations, facing Title IX violation charges is no laughing matter. Especially in today’s times, any accusation of discrimination or harassment can be not only tough to deal with, but also extremely challenging to overcome. In many cases, it can damage a person’s, organization’s or school’s reputation long into the future if not for life. If you or your organization have been accused of a Title IX offense, it is imperative that you seek out experienced legal counsel as soon as possible.

Our offices are ready to help you deal with Title IX violations, so give us a call at your nearest convenience. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about Title IX complaints and the legal proceedings that surround them:

What is the Title IX Law?

At its core, Title IX is a civil rights law. Though it was passed back in 1972 as a portion of the Education Amendments Act, it has only been in more recent years that Title IX complaints have become more visible.

The law states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

More specifically, the Title IX law prohibits any school or organization that receives Federal funding from discriminating against anyone based on their gender. It’s also very important to note that this law goes further, prohibiting those who are accused from retaliating or taking any kind of responsive action against someone who may have filed the complaint. In other words, should an employee accuse you of gender discrimination, you may not terminate their employment as a result or take any other kind of negative action against them.

Sexual assault accusations may also be included under Title IX, specifically when it concerns students. This means that administrators and school staff can be accused of assault, as can students.

How Does Defense Against Title IX Complaints Work?

While the Title IX law is overall a good thing that has done a lot in the way of reducing discrimination and promoting gender equality, there is still a long way to go in order to ensure those who are accused have the means to defend themselves. The unfortunate truth is that many people and organizations are falsely accused, and their reputations start to take a dive almost immediately. Even if the accusations are eventually proven to be unfounded (which itself can be tough), there is often long-lasting damage.

Now, Title IX cases vary greatly in severity. While they are settled in court in a lot of situations, they may also be settled “in house” in a school setting. In these cases, proceedings will (that is, should) start as soon as the school receives word of a complaint. In the case of lawsuits, the case may also be able to stay out of court if an agreement is reached.

However, it depends on the severity of the allegations. While opting for an out-of-court setting may be desirable in many cases, it is important to realize that the accused may not receive the due process found in the court setting.

Again, this is why it is so important to get experienced legal counsel on your side, even if your case is not (yet) set to go to court. Your attorney can review all the facts of the case and do what they can to get any criminal charges dropped.

Potential Case Outcomes

Because the details of each case will vary greatly, it is important to realize that potential outcomes are also numerous. In the event of criminal allegations, the main goal will be getting the criminal charges dropped or reduced, as well as avoiding a prison sentence. In other cases, the goal will be focused on saving the accused’s reputation and character by gathering as many facts as possible (including potential witnesses).

If you or a loved one is facing a Title IX complaint, don’t wait to seek out help. The sooner you get legal assistance, the more likely you are to get the best possible outcome.

DUI Checkpoint Locations for Cinco de Mayo Weekend in Arizona

Cinco de Mayo weekend in Arizona can result in more DUI’s than St. Patrick’s Day, & police will be on high alert for people driving under the influence. People will be celebrating all weekend and DUI incidents will be on the rise. Dwane Cates Law Group wants everyone to stay safe this Cinco de Mayo weekend. Call an Uber, Lyft, or a taxi if you are celebrating with family and friends. If you or anyone you know is in need of a free consultation for a pending DUI matter please call us at your convenience.

 

Click the link to stay up-to-date with the newest checkpoints, updated in real time:

http://bit.ly/checkpointaz

Recent Arizona Checkpoints - DUI Location Alerts

Arizona DUI Checkpoints
Recent Alerts

 

County City Location Time
Maricopa Buckeye Undisclosed Location – West Valley Weekend – Mar 16 – 17, 2019
Maricopa Phoenix Baseline Rd and 24th St Area Sat Mar 16, 2019
Maricopa Phoenix N 27th Ave and W Devonshire Ave Area Thu Dec 27, 2018
Maricopa Mesa W Rio Salado Pkwy and N Evergreen Rd 6pm To 4am – Wed Dec 26, 2018
Pinal Apache Junction Ironwood Dr and W Southern Ave Area Fri Dec 21, 2018
Maricopa Chandler W Hunt Hwy and N Gary Rd – San Tan Valley Sat Dec 15, 2018
Graham Pima N Pima Rd and Roadrunner Rd Sat Dec 8, 2018
Coconino Sedona Undisclosed Location Sat Dec 8, 2018
Maricopa Tempe E University Dr and S Mcclintock Dr Area Fri Dec 7, 2018

 

Bank Fraud Crimes Can Take Many Forms

As thieves become more sophisticated than ever when it comes to cheating individuals and banking institutions out of money, law enforcement has applied more and more resources and activated complex operations to catch would-be thieves.  This aggressive stance also applies to the court system, where it is not uncommon to see lengthy prison sentences be handed down upon conviction.

Although more and more criminals are attempting to circumvent the system, just because you are charged with a banks fraud charge, does not mean that you are automatically guilty.  However, banks fraud cases can be extremely complicated and require a lot of financial forensic work, so if you are facing any kind of fraud charge, it is important to seek help from an experienced banks fraud attorney.

Banks fraud can take on many forms, including:

  • Embezzlement
  • Stolen checks
  • Counterfeiting
  • Credit card fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Mortgage fraud
  • ATM thefts
  • Accounting irregularities
  • Forgery

Because the nation’s banking system is highly complex and interconnected, there are many other types of fraud that are attempted on a regular basis as well.  For example, a person may not only attempt to acquire money from a bank illegally, in some instances, they may also pose as a bank in an attempt to prey on unsuspecting customers.

It’s important to note that banks fraud can be considered a state level crime or a federal crime, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accusations.  However, because banks are protected by federal statutes, most times a bank fraud charge will be considered a federal criminal offense.  That means penalties can be particularly harsh with less wiggle room to plea down a charge in an effort to gain a reduced sentence.  However, a defendant may be able to craft a defense strategy that involves helping the bank recover as much of their assets as possible, leaving open the possibility of an agreement that benefits both parties.

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

DUI Checkpoint Locations for New Years Weekend in Arizona

Much like Thanksgiving and Christmas, Arizona police are on high alert for people driving under the influence on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. With New Year’s Day falling on a Monday, people will be celebrating all weekend and DUI incidents will be on the rise. Dwane Cates Law Group wants everyone to stay safe this New Years weekend. Call an Uber, Lyft, or a taxi if you are deciding to have fun with family and friends. If you or anyone you know is in need of a free consultation for a pending DUI matter please call us at your convenience.

 

Click the link to stay up-to-date with the newest checkpoints, updated in real time:

http://bit.ly/checkpointaz

Recent Arizona Checkpoints - DUI Location Alerts

Arizona DUI Checkpoints
Recent Alerts

County City Location Time
Pinal Apache Junction Ironwood Dr and W Southern Ave Area Fri Dec 21, 2018
Maricopa Chandler W Hunt Hwy and N Gary Rd – San Tan Valley Sat Dec 15, 2018
Graham Pima N Pima Rd and Roadrunner Rd Sat Dec 8, 2018
Coconino Sedona Undisclosed Location Sat Dec 8, 2018
Maricopa Tempe E University Dr and S Mcclintock Dr Area Fri Dec 7, 2018
Mohave Lake Havasu City Az-95 and S Smoketree Ave Sat Nov 17, 2018
Pima Tucson E Speedway Blvd and N Wilmot Rd Sat Oct 27, 2018

 

 

 

DUI Checkpoint Locations for this Labor Day Weekend in Arizona

Law enforcement agencies in Arizona take holiday weekends seriously due to the increase of people driving while intoxicated. Dwane Cates Law Group wants everyone to stay safe this Labor Day weekend. Call an Uber, Lyft, or a taxi if you are deciding to have fun with family and friends. If you or anyone you know is in need of a free consultation for a pending DUI matter please call us at your convenience.


Click the link to stay up-to-date with the newest checkpoints, updated in real time:
http://bit.ly/checkpointaz

Recent Arizona Checkpoints - DUI Location Alerts

Arizona DUI Checkpoints
Recent Alerts

County City Location Time
Pima Tucson N Romero Rd and W Wetmore Rd – Flowing Wells Sat Aug 18, 2018
Coconino Mormon Lake Forest Service Rd 240 West Of Mormon Lake Sat Jul 14, 2018
Maricopa Mesa Undisclosed Location – From Salt River. Mon May 28, 2018
Maricopa Mesa Az-202 and N Power Rd Area Sun May 27, 2018
Pima Tucson N Sabino Canyon Rd and E Cloud Rd Area Sat May 26, 2018
Maricopa Phoenix N 24th St and E Highland Ave Sat May 19, 2018
Pima Tucson E Golf Links Rd and Houghton Rd Sat May 19, 2018

DUI Checkpoint Locations for this 4th of July Week in Arizona


Law enforcement agencies take these days serious because of issues with people driving while intoxicated in the past. We want everyone to stay safe, call Uber, Lyft, or a taxi if you are deciding to have fun with family and friends. If you or anyone you know is in need of a free consultation for a pending DUI matter please call us at your convenience.

Click here to stay up-to-date with the newest checkpoints, updated in real time: http://bit.ly/2rpdziv

Recent Arizona Checkpoints - DUI Location Alerts

Arizona DUI Checkpoints
Recent Alerts

 

County City Location Time
Maricopa Mesa Undisclosed Location – From Salt River. Mon May 28, 2018
Maricopa Mesa Az-202 and N Power Rd Area Sun May 27, 2018
Pima Tucson N Sabino Canyon Rd and E Cloud Rd Area Sat May 26, 2018
Maricopa Phoenix N 24th St and E Highland Ave Sat May 19, 2018
Pima Tucson E Golf Links Rd and Houghton Rd Sat May 19, 2018
Maricopa Gilbert Undisclosed – City Limits Sat May 5, 2018
Pima Tucson Undisclosed Location – Pima County Sat May 5, 2018
Maricopa Phoenix Lake Rd Sat Apr 14, 2018
Pima Tucson South Country Club Rd North Of E Drexel Rd Sat Mar 31, 2018
Pima Tucson Undisclosed Location – Pima County Sat Mar 24, 2018
Pima Tucson W Orange Grove Rd and N La Cholla Blvd Sat Mar 17, 2018
Maricopa Mesa E Baseline Rd and N Gilbert Rd Sat Mar 17, 2018
Pima Tucson W Prince Rd and I-10 Area Sat Mar 17, 2018
Pima Ajo Rt-85 – Mile Marker 55 Sat Mar 3, 2018
Pima Tucson Undisclosed Location – Pima County Sat Mar 3, 2018
Pima Tucson E Aviation Hwy – Towards End Under The Bridge Sat Feb 24, 2018
Maricopa Fountain Hills Tonto National Forest North Of Fountain Hills Sat Feb 17, 2018

A close look at possible kidnapping defense strategies

If you’ve been charged with kidnapping, you’re facing a large legal battle, and you need to retain a top flight kidnapping attorney as soon as possible. Your future freedom for many years to come will rest heavily on how well they can defend you.

The good news is that despite being charged with kidnapping, there are many possible defense strategies that can be employed. Much of how a defense is crafted will depend on the evidence, facts and witness statements as part of the case.

One of the most common defenses centers around the fact that the victim may have consented to go with the defendant. Absent other supporting facts, this claim may have enough weight in the courtroom to raise enough reasonable doubt in the eyes of the jury.

Another possible defense is that a defendant may claim ignorance if they do not believe they are committing an act of kidnapping. For example, in child custody cases, if one parent removes a child from the other parent’s care and they believed they were doing so within the boundaries of the law, this may be enough to get charges dropped or may lead to an acquittal in a trial. A careful presentation of the facts may help draw jurors to the conclusion that a person was justified instead of the fact that they committed a kidnapping.

Sometimes, a defendant may be able to claim that they were coerced or forced under duress to commit a kidnapping. If a person is threatened with violence if they don’t commit a kidnapping, they may be able to show that imminent danger pushed them to commit a kidnapping.

While it is a lot less prevalent and much more of a long shot, a defense attorney may be able to make the claim of insanity. Without rational thought being present, kidnapping charges may be reduced to a lesser charge, although the defendant may wind up paying a price through mental health confinement as a result.

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

Common defenses against aggravated assault charges

As opposed to simple assault, aggravated assault occurs when the amount of violence in an assault reaches a certain level of injury or the threat of injury could be significant.

For example, slapping a person across the face could be a simple assault, but using a gun, or threatening to use a gun could be construed as an aggravated assault. Aggravated assaults occur when the assault takes place against a member in a protected class, such as a fire fighter, police officer, paramedic, social services worker or an elderly person.

A skilled lawyer who has experience in aggravated assault cases may be able to craft several possible defenses in this type of case.

Self defense is the most common of these. You can claim self defense if you can show that you reasonably believed that you or someone else was in immediate danger and feared suffering death or a serious injury. You must also be able to show that the use of force was necessary and that you only used as much force as was necessary to repel the immediate danger.

Another defense is that you did not willfully commit an aggravated assault. In other words, you may have been coerced by someone else to commit the act, perhaps because you or a loved one was threatened if you did not act the way that you did.

In addition, innocent people are accused of crimes they did not commit all the time. A witness may make a mistake under the pressure and in the heat of the moment of a crime being committed. Being falsely accused may also stem from the fact that someone is angry at you and they are seeking a form of revenge. This can happen when an angry ex-spouse or lover is involved, or may involve custody battle or disputes between business partners.

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

The difference between being charged with a Federal crime and a State crime

When you are charged with a crime, one of the keys to finding the right lawyer is understanding how your case will be charged, so that you can find the right attorney based on their appropriate experience.

Basically, you will either be charged with a state level crime or a federal level crime, meaning that you’ll want an attorney who either specializes as state criminal attorney or as a federal criminal attorney.

But how do you know which level of crime you’ll be charged with, and what are the implications of each?

Typically, if a crime is committed in only a single state, it will be considered a state crime, unless federal law specifically supercedes it. This means, murder, robbery, assaults, traffic violations and the like will be considered state level crimes. Any crime that takes place in more than one state or takes place on federal property will generally be considered a federal level crime. This may include crimes such as drug trafficking, IRS violations, mail fraud, kidnapping, immigration offenses or counterfeiting, among many others.

In some cases, a crime may either be charged as a state or a federal crime. In those instances the US Constitution has a “Supremacy Clause” which means that a federal law will take precedence over state law.

One of the most important distinctions between state and federal crimes involves sentencing after a conviction. While state courts are often guided by state legislation, judges do often times have discretion on minimum and maximum penalties. Federal courts rely on Federal Sentencing Guidelines which are applied in calculating penalties for convicted felons. Federal courts also use a point system when considering enhancements to sentences, based on various factors such as a person’s background, criminal history, and facts of the case.

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