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Crazy Laws: Weirdly Illegal Acts in Arizona

August 13, 2015

Like many strange laws still on the books in Arizona, you can face criminal charges for cutting down a cactus. Arizona’s history dates back hundreds of years to the days of cowboys, and some of the laws have remained through the years. For example, it’s still illegal for cowboys to wear spurs inside a hotel lobby.

Refuse a glass of water

Perhaps one of Arizona’s most popular urban legends is that it is illegal to refuse someone a glass of water. Though everyone who grows up in Arizona considers this rumor to be true, no one can point to the governing statute. Indeed, there are plenty of Arizona laws regulating water. However, no laws referencing providing someone a class of water.

Protect yourself with the same weapon

If a criminal or burglar attacks you in Arizona, you may only protect yourself with the same weapon that he or she possesses—or so the legend goes. In reality, it’s difficult for Arizonans to believe this legend, as there are frequently stories of residents shooting home intruders. In fact, there are many situations in which you can shoot a burglar armed with nothing. This legendary law is a poor interpretation of the use-of-force continuum, which isn’t really a law in Arizona.

Six girls in a house

Another misconception of Arizona laws is that Maricopa County residents can’t have more than six girls live in a single house. This would make sorority houses around the county unlawful. If you familiarize yourself with Maricopa County zoning ordinances, you will find they don’t make any such claim.

Hunt camel

Though there is a story involving the law prohibiting camel hunting, there really isn’t such a law. However, any camel you do find in Arizona likely belongs to a circus or zoo. As a result, you should think twice before hunting said camel, even if it’s not technically illegal.

Attorney Janet Altschuler handles all types of criminal cases, including domestic violence, drunk driving and drug charges. Whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor in Tucson, Attorney Altschuler can help. You can reach us by calling (520) 829-1741.

This article is part of a collection of The Most Ridiculous Laws in the United States! Some of these laws are downright hard to believe. Do you know what might be illegal in your state?


Looking at Common Drug Charges

August 7, 2015

Arizona law treats drug charges very seriously, as they can lead to prison time, permanent criminal record and tarnished reputation. When Arizona odds are stacked against you, it’s important to contact a Tucson defense lawyer who is familiar with the local system. Your Arizona drug attorney can also help you understand consequences you face under particular circumstances.

Arizona drug classifications

Charges and potential penalties for Arizona drug possession depend on the type of drug in question. In fact, the state has a very clear method of designating different drugs and prescribing specific penalties for those designations. For example, under Arizona law, controlled substances include dangerous drugs, narcotics and marijuana.

Possession of dangerous drugs

Dangerous drugs include methamphetamines, LSD, steroids, psilocybic mushrooms, mescalin, and ecstasy. If you are charged with possession of dangerous drugs, then you face Class One Misdemeanor charges. This results in up to six months in jail time and fines reaching $2,500. Possession of cocaine, heroin and oxycodone are considered Class Five Felony charges, which carry a potential 18-month prison sentence. Arizona marijuana laws are almost more complex than laws governing drugs considered more addictive and dangerous. For example, possession of less than two pounds is considered a Class Six Felony, which carries a potential year in prison.

Sentencing and penalties

If you’re charged with possession of a controlled substance, you may qualify for deferred prosecution. This allows the state to keep you out of jail while giving you a second chance. However, it isn’t available under all circumstances, so you should consult with a Tucson criminal lawyer about this option in your case. If deferred prosecution applies, the state will hold off prosecution you while you participate in a probationary term. If successful in deferred prosecution, then your original charges will be dropped. However, if you don’t complete probation, you will face prosecution for your drug charges.

Even drug crimes that seem minor can carry very serious consequences. If you’re facing drug charges in Arizona, defense lawyer Janet Altschuler can help. Call (520) 829-1741 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation.

A Look at Crazy Laws in Idaho

August 5, 2015

Every state has its quirks, and Idaho is no exception. Over the years, Idaho legislators have passed a number of odd laws that are still on the books today. Here’s a closer look at some strange Idaho laws governing hunting, fishing, and even gifting chocolate to a sweetheart.

Fishing laws

With thousands of square miles of rivers and lakes, it’s no surprise that fishing is a famous Idahoan sport. However, the popularity of the sport has led to several laws ensuring Idaho residents exercise their fishing licenses correctly. For example, residents are not allowed to introduce foreign fish into the state’s waters, or fish with a net, electrical current, or dynamite. For local fishers, it is also illegal to fish off the back of a camel across the state. In Boise, it’s illegal to fish from the back of a giraffe.

Hunting laws

Hunting is another popular Idahoan sport, and like fishing, there are several laws governing hunters’ conduct. In particular, the state has passed a number of laws to ensure the sport is fairer for wildlife. For example, Idahoan hunters cannot hunt with a remote control over the Internet. However, the law does not address hunting with a remote control not over the Internet. It is also illegal to hunt from a helicopter, even if the helicopter isn’t flying.

Miscellaneous laws

Perhaps the most unusual Idaho law, the state makes it illegal for a man to give a woman a box of candy weighing more than fifty pounds. The state also passed two laws governing Election Day ballots. For example, someone who bets on the outcome of an election faces misdemeanor charges. It’s also illegal for someone to sell hard liquor on an election—though it’s unclear how often this law has been enforced.

Even a minor criminal charge can dramatically impact your life. Your criminal record is public information, which any future lenders and employers can access. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Arizona, schedule a free consultation with Janet Altschuler Criminal Defense Attorney by calling (520) 829-1741.

This article is part of a collection of The Most Ridiculous Laws in the United States! Some of these laws are downright hard to believe. Do you know what might be illegal in your state?


Repealing Colorado’s Ban on Sunday Liquor Sales

July 26, 2015

Effective July 1, 2008, Colorado’s Senate Bill 82 officially lifted the ban on liquor sales on Sundays. This ended a sales ban that had been in effect since Prohibition days, which banned liquor stores from selling wine, beer, and other spirits on Sundays. In lifting the ban, Colorado became the 35th state to pass a law allowing Sunday spirit sales.

Bill history

Colorado’s lift on the ban of Sunday liquor sales represents the latest movement in a growing trend toward modernizing archaic alcohol laws across the United States. Since 2002, Colorado, along with 12 other states, has passed legislation to allow for Sunday liquor sales. When Governor Bill Ritter signed the bill on April 14, 2008, it effectively ended a 75-year prohibition against Sunday liquor sales in the state. However, legislators made it clear that the repeal of the Sunday liquor sale ban does not mean the state will be any less vigilant in fighting against underage drinking, alcohol abuse, and drunk driving.

Consumer benefit

When the bill passed, Colorado was one of 16 states still prohibiting Sunday alcohol sales. This restriction was imposed after the national repeal of Prohibition in the 1930s. Local retailers who favored staying open on Sundays petitioned Colorado legislators to make this change. In repealing the ban, Colorado joined its neighboring states of Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming—all of which now allow for Sunday spirits sales.

Bill opposition

Though lifting the ban has been fairly well received, some local retailers fought against the bill. Opponents cited the need of a day of rest for their employees. However, consumers widely favored the law and pushed for its passage, as it provides customers will greater convenience to shop on their own schedule.
With more than 17 years of experience in criminal law, Janet Altschuler Criminal Defense Attorney is committed to helping clients achieve the best results in their cases. To schedule a free consultation with a Tucson criminal defense attorney, please call (520) 829-1741. Attorney Altschuler will handle your Arizona criminal defense case from start to finish, never passing it on to a paralegal or assistant.

Pleas and Defenses for Embezzlement

July 20, 2015

In an embezzlement case, the accused has limited pleas and defenses available from the prosecution. However, the available defenses and pleas include: entrapment, good faith belief, lack of intent, nolo contendere, and expiration of the limitation period. For someone accused of the crime of embezzlement, meeting with a Tucson criminal defense attorney can help him or her understand which plea is most available.

Nolo contendere

When a defendant pleads nolo contendere to an embezzlement case, he or she is pleading neither guilt nor innocence. Instead, the defendant contests the case through his or her plea. It is then the court’s duty to assess the truth from the evidence the prosecution brings forward. However, nolo contendere is only pleadable with the court’s permission.

Expiration of statute of limitations

If the prosecution fails to initiate embezzlement proceedings within the statutory time period, then the accused has the available defense of limitation. However, certain states don’t consider the period of concealment of embezzlement when calculating the limitations period. It’s still important for the accused to remember that mere silence does not amount to concealment. Instead, concealment requires positive acts from the accused, which are meant to prevent discovery of his or her embezzlement. If the accused has partially paid for the embezzlement amount, then the statute of limitations begins to run from the date of the last payment.


The accused may only plead entrapment if he or she did not design the plan of committing embezzlement. As a result, someone accused of embezzlement must show that the owner actively urged the accused to embezzle the asset in order to accept the plea. Additionally, the accused is unable to plead absence of loss in an embezzlement case. This means the defendant cannot show that the victim could have avoided the loss through diligence.
Call (520) 829-1741 to schedule a free consultation with Janet Altschuler Criminal Defense Attorney. Attorney Altschuler has experience achieving success in criminal cases in front of judges and juries. Having practiced in Pima County Superior Court, Juvenile Court, Tucson City Court and Pima County Justice Court, she knows and understands the legal system throughout Southern Arizona.

What to Expect if You Violate Your Probation

July 15, 2015

Usually when a judge orders probation, he or she will provide a brief overview of the rules you must follow. This normally includes meeting with your probation officer on a regular basis, following all laws, and abstaining from drugs and alcohol. If you violate these rules, the consequences you face depend on many factors, including the severity of your violation and your probation violation history.


Your first probation violation usually results in a warning from your probation officer, as he or she may want to minimize the judge’s caseload, especially if your violation was not very serious. However, your probation officer will probably warn you of the consequences you face if you continue to violate probation. If you continue to follow the rules after this warning, then you shouldn’t have any further issues.

Community service

If your probation officer orders you to perform community service, it is meant to rehabilitate you or correct your behavior. Your probation officer might also order you to rehab if your probation violation involved drugs or alcohol. Examples of drug and alcohol-related offenses include failing a drug test or being found in possession of drugs. If your probation officer feels that an underlying mental or emotional reason led to the violation, then he or she may order you to counseling instead.


You may have to pay additional fines to the victim of the original crime or the crime that caused you to violate your probation. If your violation did not involve a victim, you may have to pay fines to the court itself. Additionally, you may face a brief period of jail time as punishment. Depending on the circumstances of your violation, the judge may revoke your probation and require you to serve your remaining sentence in jail.

Janet Altschuler Criminal Defense Attorney served as a prosecutor before shifting her focus to defense, so she understands how prosecutors operate. Ms. Altschuler has dedicated her practice to the spirit of justice, working hard, and aggressively fighting for her clients’ rights. To schedule a free consultation with a Tucson criminal defense attorney, please call (520) 829-1741.

Fact or Fiction? A Look at Utah’s Crazy Laws

July 6, 2015 Criminal Defense Lawyer in Tucson, AZ

From laws holding husbands accountable for their wives’ criminal acts to laws making it illegal to sell alcohol in emergencies, Utah is rumored to have some pretty absurd laws still on the books. On various Internet sites, including Twitter and, these rumored Utah laws are reported to be truth. But, even if the Internet proclaims a crazy Utah law exists, readers should hesitate before accepting the rumors at truth.

Illegal whale hunting

Even though Utah is rumored for barring whale hunting, the term “whale” doesn’t actually appear anywhere in the Utah code. However, the federal government’s Marine Mammal Protection Act does make it unlawful for any person or vessel to capture a species of whale in the course of commercial whaling. This federal regulation applies to any jurisdiction of the United States. Though a whale is unlikely to be found habituating the Great Salt Lake, it’s equally illegal to capture a whale in Utah as it is to capture a whale in any United States jurisdiction.

Fishing from horseback

Many Utah fishermen get ready to drop their lines once the ice melts from the state’s lakes. But, there’s a rumor that fishing from horseback is against Utah law. In reality, the 2014 Utah Fishing Guidebook has no mention of fishing from horseback. It does, however, address fishing with a crossbow. Additionally, the Utah Water Quality Act frowns upon anyone discharging harmful pollutants into the lakes.

Milk intake requirements

Getting plenty of calcium each day may be doctor recommended, but failing to do so is not actually against Utah law. However, the Utah Criminal Code does prohibit milk buyers from unfairly discriminating against specific communities, localities, or cities throughout the state. Doing so constitutes an offense against public health, safety, welfare, and morals.

Even if your criminal charges seem minor, a conviction can dramatically impact your quality of life. Your criminal record is public information, so any future lenders and employers will have access to this information. Call (520) 829-1741 to learn how Janet Altschuler Criminal Defense Attorney can help you protect your reputation when facing a felony charge.

This article is part of a collection of The Most Ridiculous Laws in the United States! Some of these laws are downright hard to believe. Do you know what might be illegal in your state?


How Common Are Gun Violence Crimes in Arizona?

June 30, 2015

Especially in election seasons, gun violence is a hotly debated topic among competing politicians. As a result, some Arizona politicians make claims regarding the prevalence and severity of gun crimes in Arizona. For example, following the shooting in Fort Hood Texas, Congressional candidate Ruben Gallego advocated for stricter gun laws in a speech claiming nearly almost every day in Arizona, someone is killed by a gun.

Gun-related statistics in Arizona

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arizona experienced 933 firearm deaths in 2010, as reported by The Arizona Republic. This equals roughly 2.56 gun-related deaths per day over a calendar year. In analyzing these statistics, it’s important to note that they include all manner of gun deaths, including suicides, accidental shootings and fatal shootings involving law enforcement members. Gallego spokesman Andy Barr claims that his speech was referring to a report by the Center for American Progress released in April 2013.

Classifications of gun crimes

The Center for American Progress separates firearm deaths in the CDC data into three categories—suicide, homicide and accidental. Through this separation, the analysis revealed that Arizona experienced 271 firearm homicides in 2010. This equates to 0.74 firearm homicides per day. This roughly corresponds to Gallego’s claim that a person is killed in a gun-related death each day in Arizona.

Relationship to nationwide statistics

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit focused on national health issues complied state-by-state reports via CDC statistics. The non-profit found that the Arizona gun-death rate per 100,000 individuals was 14.6 in 2010. As a result, these statistics made Arizona the eighth-worst state in the country for gun violence. However, if the statistics were analyzed to only indicate gun homicides and not overall gun deaths, then Arizona would’ve ranked number eleven in the country.

Janet Altschuler Criminal Defense Attorney is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our Tucson criminal defense firm also offers in-jail and in-custody appointments. Call (520) 829-1741 to schedule a free initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney today.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence in Arizona?

June 23, 2015

Domestic violence is an assault crime between people of a close or intimate relationship, such as a husband and wife, girlfriend and boyfriend, relatives, or roommates. In order for assault to constitute domestic violence, the victim and perpetrator usually need to be living in the same household. In Arizona, domestic violence is usually a class one misdemeanor, but it may be elevated to a felony if there are serious weapons or injuries involved.

Additional charges

While a domestic violence charge can be elevated to a felony, it may also include the additional charge of disorderly conduct. This usually occurs when the incident resulted in a disturbance to the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. In many of these types of domestic violence cases, one of the parties calls 911. When the police arrive, they usually obtain recorded statements from both parties and witnesses. The police will also take photographs of any injuries. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, the police may or may not take one or both parties into custody.


A first offense class one misdemeanor for domestic violence can carry up to a six-month jail sentence. However, if there are no serious injuries and it is a first time offense, the charge usually doesn’t result in jail time. If the domestic violence charge is a felony, it may result in substantial prison time if weapons were involved or the injuries are very serious.


Depending on the circumstances of the case, someone charged with assault or domestic violence may be able to claim self-defense. A person charged with misdemeanor domestic violence is not entitled to a trial by jury. However, felony defendants do receive a jury trial. Either way, a domestic violence charge will show up on someone’s record in background checks for employment purposes.

If you are facing domestic violence charges, Tucson defense attorney Janet Altschuler Criminal Defense Attorney knows and understands the criminal justice system throughout Arizona. Before shifting her focus to criminal defense, Ms. Altschuler served as a prosecutor, so she understands how criminal prosecutors handle cases. To schedule a free consultation, please call (520) 829-1741.

Colorado Legalizes Rain Drop Catching

June 16, 2015

In 2009, rainwater collection became legal in Colorado for the first time since territorial days. From the moment it fell in many Western states, each droplet of water received ownership assignment. While Coloradans raced to scoop rainfall right out of their gutters, water rights were actually assigned more than a century ago.

Laws legalizing rainwater collection

In the midst of population growth and widespread drought, a number of Western states have started encouraging residents to actively collect rainwater. Now, Colorado has passed two new laws to legalize rainwater collection. Some Colorado residents have already been illegally collecting rainwater to water their plants and vegetable gardens. For these bloodthirsty hydration pirates, the new laws mean no longer facing criminal charges for catching water on their roofs and watering around their homes.

Ownership in the sky

The concept of owning the rain falling from the sky is as much a philosophy debate as it is a legal one. In Western states, lawyers take the issue quite seriously. In fact, in the Four Corners area, which includes Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, a number of rules and regulations dictate rainwater collection and use. Meanwhile, each of these states has a subculture of residents illegally using the rain freely provided by nature, but forbidden by state laws. In Colorado, the two new laws allow up to a quarter-million residents with private wells to begin harvesting their own rainwater.

Enforcement of regulations

While Colorado rainwater collection may have previously been illegal, the laws weren’t stringently enforced. Retailers could sell rain equipment, but admitted to knowing better than to ask what the buyer’s intent was with the equipment. State water officials also acknowledged that they rarely enforced the old law. These new laws allow state officials to create a system of fines for rain catchers who don’t obtain a permit first.

Call (520) 829-1741 to schedule a free consultation with Janet Altschuler Criminal Defense Attorney. When you work with Attorney Altschuler, you aren’t hiring a paralegal or associate. You will work directly with her, benefiting from her considerable skill and knowledge in Tucson criminal defense.