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What Should You Do (or Not Do)?

October 20, 2017

Getting arrested is a scary experience, and the anxiety of the arrest could cause you to do something that worsens your situation, especially if you know that you’re innocent. Therefore, it’s helpful to know what you should do, and—perhaps more importantly—what not to do when you are being confronted by law enforcement. The following guide will provide you with some helpful tips to get through your arrest, so you can build the strongest defense possible when you appear in court.

Know the Role of the Police

Though law enforcement does exist to protect people, you should not assume that the police are on your side when you’ve been arrested. Police officers are trained to use a wide variety of communication and intimidation tactics to get suspected criminals to confess or unwittingly provide information and evidence of the crime. When you talk to the police, only provide your most basic identifying information. You are not obligated to say anything else, and you should avoid doing so until you have a lawyer present.

Know What Not to Do

It can feel tempting to try and convince the police of your innocence or even run from an approaching officer. However, these actions can cause serious ramifications later and make it more difficult to present a convincing case in the courtroom.

  • Don’t Resist – Under no circumstances should you physically attempt to resist arrest. Do not touch or threaten an officer in any way, because this is itself a crime. Regardless of your innocence in other charges, you may face criminal charges if you attempt to resist arrest. Both passive obstruction and violent behavior toward a police officer can be considered resisting lawful arrest.
  • Don’t Run – You should never underestimate the resources of law enforcement and assume that you can run. It is likely that you will get caught in an attempt to flee from arrest, whether you are being arrested at the scene of a crime, your home, or your workplace. If you do get caught attempting to run from the police, you will not come off well in court, since fleeing is not often the action of innocent individuals.
  • Don’t Let the Police into Your Home – The police may arrive at your home if there is a warrant for your arrest, but it’s important to recognize how warrants may work. It may be that an arrest warrant is needed to arrest you in your home, but you may be arrested if you step outside. Therefore, you should not allow the police to come in, and you should not step out of your home. If police arrive at your home in response to a report of a crime like domestic violence, you should not let them inside. Simply cooperate with officers to avoid an unwanted search of your property that could be used to gather evidence against you.
  • Don’t Talk – In nearly every movie and television show featuring an arrest on screen, you will hear the line “Anything you say can and will be used against you.” This line holds truth, because police will be listening to everything you say during your arrest very carefully, and they may try to lead you to say certain things. Utilize your right to stay silent, and never do any of the following:

Try to convince the police that you are innocent – Whether you are guilty or not, your arrest is not the time to defend your innocence. You will be considered innocent until proven guilty in court, so don’t try to persuade police officers at the time of your arrest. 

Threaten or insult police officers – Though it is incredibly stressful to be arrested, you should not take out your stress on law enforcement. Do not talk smack or utter insults, and never say anything that could be considered a threat, such as “You’ll be sorry.” In some cases, police officers may try to provoke suspects into speaking out, but remaining silent will give them nothing to work with.

Answer non-essential questions – The police may ask you many leading questions to try and get the information they are looking for, and even if you answer a question non-truthfully, the answer can be used against you in court. Your best bet is to stay quiet or respond to questioning with a request for a lawyer.

  • Don’t Allow Permission to Search – Typically, a search warrant must be obtained through court to allow police to search your property. If, however, you provide verbal permission to search your car or home, they may immediately begin a search. This type of search could add to your charges if police uncover illegal firearms or drugs. You may not even realize that these items are in your home or vehicle if they were left behind by a friend or family member, but you can still be charged with drug possession for drugs that are not yours that are found on your property.

Know Who to Call

It may take some time before you are allowed to contact anyone after you have been arrested and booked. Still, you should know who to call once you are able to use the phone. Your first call may be to a criminal defense lawyer, and this is a smart strategy. Your lawyer can help you understand the gravity of your charges and the steps needed to release you from custody. If you can make multiple phone calls, it is also advisable to contact an immediate family member, such as a spouse, parent, or sibling. This individual may need to post bail or otherwise assist in your release. You might also provide the contact information of this individual to your lawyer to ensure that he or she is kept up to date on your situation.

If you have been arrested in Tucson or the surrounding areas, make your first call to Janet Altschuler at (520) 247-1789. Ms. Altschuler is a leading criminal defense attorney in Southern Arizona, and she specializes exclusively in criminal law with 20 years of experience serving clients from all walks of life.

Defending Yourself Against Sex Charges

October 27, 2017

Sex crimes not only result in serious legal consequences, but they can have a lifelong impact on your reputation and personal relationships. A wrongful conviction of a sex crime can be devastating, so it is important to know how to defend yourself against these charges. Whether you were at the wrong place at the wrong time or you are suffering with the retaliation of a disgruntled former employee, being wrongly accused of a sex crime is incredibly stressful. Knowing what to do in this time of distress can make a big difference in the outcome of your case, so be sure to follow these guidelines:

Hire an Attorney

All sex crimes, including indecent exposure, prostitution, statutory rape, and sexual assault are major charges that should be discussed with an attorney. Even if you know you are innocent, you need to be able to prove it in a court of law, and a skilled defense attorney will understand how to achieve this task and navigate the legal system.

Speak with Your Loved Ones

Accusations of sex crimes, especially those that gain media attention, can be a source of contention for you and your loved ones. However, it’s important to have the support of your friends and family as you fight your charges, so be sure to have an honest, candid conversation about your situation and your side of the story.

Organize the Facts of the Case

The specifics of your defense will depend on the circumstances of your case, but there may be witnesses, camera footage, or other evidence that contradicts details of the accuser’s story. Think about the incident in question with a clear head, and discuss any potential evidence or witnesses with your attorney as you build your case.

For an aggressive, professional defense in Tucson, AZ, contact the law offices of Janet Altschuler. Ms. Altschuler will offer more than 20 years of experience to your case, and she can help you defend your rights when facing any type of sex crime charges. To learn more, call (520) 247-1789.

When Does a Car Accident Become a Crime Scene?

October 13, 2017

Car accidents happen all the time, and the majority are minor collisions that can be resolved with simple insurance claims and car repairs. Sometimes, however, car accidents can lead to serious injuries and court cases where criminal charges are involved. So when does a typical car accident become the scene of a crime? Let’s take a closer look at some circumstances where charges may arise after a car accident.

When Injuries Occur

Injuries can quickly complicate the process of determining who is at fault for an accident, and they often lead to more contentious court cases, because injured parties are likely seeking compensation to cover their medical bills. If it is shown that injuries were caused by aggressive or reckless driving, the responsible party may not only have to pay for the costs incurred by the injuries, but also face criminal charges.

When a Driver Flees

Even in a minor collision, a driver who flees the scene of the accident before providing personal information can be charged with a hit-and-run. If you are involved in an accident where the driver flees the scene, record any information you can about the vehicle and the driver and call the police right away.

When Alcohol Is Involved

The moment someone operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, he or she is committing a crime. If an accident results, the individual under the influence will likely be found at fault, facing a minimum sentence of license suspension, jail time, and hefty fines.

If you have been involved in a car accident that has become wrapped up with criminal charges, find the defense you need with Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law. To schedule an appointment where you can discuss your case with Ms. Altschuler, call (520) 247-1789 today. For a closer look at Ms. Altschuler’s practice areas and experience, visit her website.

What Happens When You Commit a Crime Without Knowing It?

September 29, 2017

The justice system can be tricky sometimes, and there are some areas that are open to interpretation. If you unknowingly commit a crime, you should know that you could still be arrested, so you should work with a lawyer. Here’s a quick look at what happens when you commit a crime without knowing it.

Being Arrested

A crime is a crime, and you can face the consequences whether you realize that you’ve committed it or not. People are often confused as to what kind of role state of mind plays in the commission and fault of a crime. You may think that certain states of mind excuse the perpetrator of committing the crime, and there are situations where this is the case. However, it is our duty as citizens to understand and uphold the law, and we can be charged with a crime whether we know that we committed it or not.

Mistake of Fact Vs. Mistake of Law

Arguing that the law doesn’t make sense typically won’t make for a very good defense. Whether you agree with the law or not, you’re still required to follow it, and to pay the consequences if you don’t. Mistake of fact, on the other hand, seeks to prove that you didn’t know you were in violation of the law and that you wouldn’t have taken a certain action if you understood that it was illegal.

Hiring a Lawyer

Whether you committed a crime with or without knowing it, you can always hire a lawyer to help you plead your case. Lawyers know the ins and outs of the law, and they can help you create your defense.

If you’re arrested for a crime that you committed, whether knowingly or unknowingly, call Janet Altschuler at (520) 247-1789. Ms. Altschuler is a competent attorney who specializes in drug crime, embezzlement, and drug possession cases. Feel free to visit her website for more information.

How Do Gun Laws Vary by State?

September 15, 2017

Although federal laws apply to every state in the country, other laws are up to the individual states themselves. One example of an area that states regulate on their own is gun control. Gun control laws may differ from state to state or region to region, but it’s your responsibility to know the laws in your area. Keep reading to see how gun laws vary by state.

North

Guns are regulated in many ways, but some states have much tighter and more specific regulations than others. The states in the Northeast tend to have the most regulations when it comes to gun control. Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C. all require missing firearms to be reported. Most states in the Northeast also require locking devices, and some require permits for long guns, rifles, and handguns.

South

There is minimal gun regulation in the southern states. In states like Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma, there are very few rules governing the carrying of any kind of gun, whether it is concealed or not. California and Florida are the only two states in the South that prohibit people from openly carrying handguns, but people can obtain permits to carry concealed weapons in both states.

Midwest

As is the case in the South, the Midwest doesn’t claim much control over the right to bear arms. Michigan and Ohio require that missing firearms be reported stolen, and they also require locking devices. However, Kansas, Wisconsin, Montana, and the Dakotas have no rules governing these facets of gun control. Illinois is also the only state that prohibits open and concealed carrying in the Midwest.

You’ll need a good lawyer if you’re arrested for a gun crime, which is why you should contact Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law. It is Ms. Altschuler’s mission to protect your rights and reduce your punishment, whether you’re involved in a gun crime or caught possessing drugs. Give her office a call at (520) 247-1789 to learn more today.

Stay Legal by Knowing These Wacky New Mexico Laws

August 25, 2017

If you are a law-abiding citizen, chances are that you are able to go about your day without worrying about an encounter with a law enforcement agent. In the state of New Mexico, however, there are certain laws that may surprise even the most upstanding of residents. To help you stay legal and avoid trouble with the police, let’s review some of the wackiest New Mexico laws.

Indecent Exposure Law

New Mexico has some strange laws regarding nudity and indecent exposure. In fact, in New Mexico, it is perfectly legal for a man to be nude in public, as long as his private parts are covered properly. If you happen to see a nudist in New Mexico, you will need to think twice before you contact local law enforcement.

Voting Law

The voting laws in New Mexico include the controversial wording that idiots are not permitted to vote. The legal definition of an idiot describes the term as a person who is without understanding. Even though the wording of the law remains in place to this day, it remains hotly contested by voting rights activists and other organizations. Along with making it illegal for idiots to vote, New Mexico has a minimum voting age of 21 years, rather than the standard of 18 years of age.

Spitting on Sidewalks Law

In legal language, the act of spitting is actually referred to as expectorating. In New Mexico’s law books, it is against the law to expectorate on the steps of an opera house, church, schoolhouse, or other building where citizens are assembled. The origin of this unusual law against expectoration remains unknown.

Ohio Did You Know These Crazy Laws?

August 11, 2017

Our country’s laws were developed to protect our rights and ensure that all citizens are treated fairly. While laws help to maintain order in society, some laws may seem more outlandish than others. If you live in Ohio, you may be surprised to learn about some of the strange and wacky laws in your state. Here is an overview of some of Ohio’s craziest laws.

It’s Illegal for More Than Five Women to Live in a Single House

Women in Ohio should take note that, according to state law, it is illegal for more than five women to live in the same house. This law can be traced back to the old days of brothels, when houses of ill repute were home to multiple women. Today, however, this law is not typically enforced or regulated.

It’s Illegal to Get a Fish Drunk

One of the strangest laws on the books in Ohio is that it is illegal to get a fish drunk. While there is little record of how this law came to be passed, it remains as a part of Ohio’s legal code. It is speculated that this strange law may have been passed to protect fish and other aquatic species against the dangers of fermented agricultural runoff.

It’s Illegal to Honk the Horn Excessively

In certain Ohio cities, it is prohibited by law to honk one’s horn excessively. The city of Oxford even stipulates that excessive horn honking is illegal because it may frighten horses that are travelling down the road. If you happen to be driving in Ohio, you may want to take your hand off of your car’s horn.

 

A Look at Tucson’s Crime Statistics

August 18, 2017

Whenever you plan on spending some time in a new location, you should have some idea of what the crime rate is like in that area. This goes for crimes involving traffic, theft, and even homicide. Read ahead for a quick look at some of Tucson’s crime statistics.

Traffic

People of different ages tend to be pulled over for different reasons, as well as in very different amounts. In the first quarter of 2017, there was one age group that vastly stood out from the rest. According to the Tucson Police Department, the age group accounting for people between the ages of 21 and 30 received more than 30% of traffic citations despite making up less than 20% of Tucson’s population. The second most cited age group was the 31 to 40 range, who make up less than 15% of the population but garnered more than 20% of the citations.

Automobile Theft

In terms of automobile theft in Tucson, Honda owners tend to be the unlucky ones. The Honda Accord and Civic take the top two spots for most stolen vehicles in Tucson in June of 2012, and the Honda motorcycle is on the list as well. The Ford 350 and 150 came in just behind the Honda motorcycle.

Homicide

Homicide is one of the worst crimes by any measure, but the good news is that it has been dropping in the city of Tucson. From 2000 to 2016, the homicide rate has been cut in half, which is great news for the locale. Although it has been up and down over that time, recent years have seen the lowest homicide rate per 100,000 persons in over a decade.

If you ever find yourself in trouble with the law in Tucson, don’t wait to call Janet Altschuler at (520) 247-1789. Ms. Altschuler focuses on robbery, domestic violence, and car accidents, and she can lend her expertise to your case.

Understanding Check Fraud

August 4, 2017

A check is essentially a guarantee that you will pay a certain amount of money to a specific individual, but checks can be vulnerable to fraud. Then it becomes a matter of who is responsible, how you can avoid the problem, and what to do if you’re faced with it. Keep reading if you’re interested in understanding check fraud.

Breakdown of Responsibility

Dealing with a fake check can leave you frustrated and even overwhelmed, and you might wonder who is responsible for the damages. Receiving money for a deposited check isn’t the same as that check clearing. The bank is responsible for making funds from official bank checks and government and treasury checks available to you the next day, but it could take weeks to discover a fake. If you use the money in the meantime, you are still financially responsible.

How to Protect Yourself

Knowing how to protect yourself from check fraud can save you a great deal of trouble and in some cases, a great deal of money. Don’t do business with people who don’t seem trustworthy, especially if you don’t know them well. You should also be wary if a giveaway campaign claims you’ve won but asks you to pay for the prize. It’s also a good idea to only accept checks that come from banks in your local area, or at least a bank that has a branch in your area.

What to Do If You’re a Victim

If you fall victim to check fraud, you don’t have to stay silent and take the loss. Instead, contact the Federal Trade Commission or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. You can also talk to consumer protection agencies local to your state or county.

For more information about Arizona law, you can always talk to Janet Altschuler or visit her website. She is an experienced lawyer who specializes in gun crime, embezzlement, and drug possession. Feel free to call the offices at (520) 247-1789 to schedule a consultation.

Learn the Craziest Laws in Kentucky

June 30, 2017

As time changes, we expect the law to change accordingly. However, there are still a handful of exceptionally strange laws that remain on the books to this day. Fortunately you can’t be punished with a year in prison for throwing eggs at speakers anymore, but that makes you wonder why selling a few—as opposed to more than six—blue ducklings is still technically considered illegal. Feel free to read on if you would like to learn about some of the craziest laws that Kentucky has on the books.

Prison Time for Throwing Eggs at Speakers

Once upon a time, throwing eggs at public speakers could land you a year in prison. Although this Kentucky law was eventually repealed, it’s still worth noting that there was such a specific punishment for such a specific crime. At least if you go to see a public speaker in Kentucky and you’re less than thrilled with the performance, you won’t necessarily be guaranteed a year in prison if you decide to throw an egg.

No Selling Fewer Than Half a Dozen Blue Ducks

Selling ducklings for a profit doesn’t seem like a go-to business venture for most people. If you do decide to get into the business and you want to sell your ducks in Kentucky, you will have to be sure to sell more than 6 at a time. This law actually applies to rabbits and chicks as well, so you should expect to sell your obscure livestock products in bulk.

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