By Ryan J. Stevens Esq. on 06.25.11
Prescott, AZ - Recently, in Yavapai County, at the Superior Court in Camp Verde, the so-called "sweat lodge trial" came to an end. The government had charged James Arthur Ray, a self-help guru, with manslaughter. After a lengthy jury trial, Ray was convicted of negligent homicide. I'm not here to discuss the fairness of the verdict because only the jurors know how they arrived at their verdict. But I am going to discuss the differences between manslaughter and negligent… Read More →
By Ryan J. Stevens Esq. on 06.16.11
There's a big issue looming on traffic stops in Arizona, including in the Flagstaff area, relating to GPS devices. Many rental cars, and tourists in general, place GPS devices on their windshields to provide directions on how to get to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Flagstaff, Lake Powell, and other destinations.
And they get pulled over by the police.
The Arizona statute at issue is going to be this one:
Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person shall not operate a motor… Read More →
By Ryan J. Stevens Esq. on 06.13.11
As you've probably figured out by now, the law is never simple and easy. Robbery laws are no exception.
There are three types of Robbery under Arizona criminal law: (1) robbery; (2) aggravated robbery; and (3) armed robbery. See A.R.S. sections 13-1902 et seq.
First, a basic robbery occurs where a person threatens or uses force against another person to take their property. Robbery is a class 4 felony, quite serious.
Second, an aggravated robbery is where a person commits a basic… Read More →
By Ryan J. Stevens Esq. on 06.10.11
Flagstaff, AZ - DUI checkpoints are, in some ways, a suspension of your Fourth Amendment rights. The reason I say that is because at a DUI checkpoint, even sober people will be stopped and questioned by police. This is not a "consensual encounter" when the sober, non-criminal person is forced to pull over and speak with a police offcer. Yet, it's not illegal. So what's going on with DUI checkpoints?
DUI checkpoints are considered a low- or non-intrusive suspension of your Fourth… Read More →
By Ryan J. Stevens Esq. on 06.08.11
Criminal defendants are often held in custody, in jail, while their cases are pending. But they're innocent until proven guilty. So, why are they in jail? The basis of the pre-judgment incarceration is whether or not the person will appear for their court hearings if they are out of custody.
Rule 7.2(a) of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure mandates as follows:
“Any person charged with an offense bailable as a matter of right shall be released pending or during… Read More →
By Ryan J. Stevens Esq. on 06.05.11
Flagstaff, AZ - Stealing a car in Arizona often results in the charge of Theft of a Means of Transportation, a class 3 felony crime.
There are a few different ways to be accused of theft of a means of transportation. The key words in Arizona criminal law relating to stealing cars are "permanently deprive." See A.R.S. section 13-1814. If a person controls another person's vehicle with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle, that's a class 3 felony charge. Other ways… Read More →
By Ryan J. Stevens Esq. on 06.04.11
Flagstaff, AZ - Let's use a recent event in Flagstaff as a lesson on Aggravated Assault and how serious it is. In a recent Police Log article in the Arizona Daily Sun, the crime was explained as follows:
A man was threatened with a knife while walking in the area of Beaver Street and West Route 66 at around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. According to police reports, the 36-year-old Flagstaff man said he was walking down the street when another man brushed up against him. He confronted the… Read More →
By Ryan J. Stevens Esq. on 06.01.11
Flagstaff, AZ - Being qualified to practice law on the Navajo Nation and in the Hopi Tribal Courts is a privilege I do not take lightly. Indian sovereignty results in unique laws, enforcement, processes, and other cultural phenomenae within the Courts of Indian Country.
Indian sovereignty is, at its most basic level, inherent. Granted, the Treaty of 1868 established the Navajo Indian Reservation, with the approval of both the Navajo signatories and the U.S. government. However, it is… Read More →