Arizona Armed Robbery Not a Violent Felony Under Armed Career Criminal Act

Arizona armed robbery held not a violent felony for purposes of the Armed Career Criminal Act, a federal statute imposing minimum mandatory sentencing for repeat offenders with three qualifying violent felony priors. US v. Rick Allen Jones (9th Cir. Dec. 15, 2017) A criminal appeal from the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, […]

Solicitation to Sell Drugs Not a Strike Against Mandatory Probation

Mandatory probation in Arizona sentencing is for people convicted of non-violent drug crimes, so long as they do not have three prior narcotics convictions for personal possession. If three strikes, then no probation. Prior conviction for solicitation to sell narcotics did not disqualify defendant for mandatory probation. Nor was it a personal possession conviction under […]

Police Must Obtain a Warrant to GPS Track a Vehicle Surreptitiously

For police to surreptitiously track a motor vehicle using GPS technology requires a warrant; and a passenger traveling with the vehicle-owner has a reasonable expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Arizona v. Emilio Jean The defendant, Emilio Jean, was a passenger in the tractor-trailer stopped by police. Defendant was convicted […]

Unlawfully Obtained DUI Blood Sample Admissible as Evidence When Police Acted in Good Faith

Defendant appealed her aggravated DUI convictions arguing the trial court erred in not suppressing blood-alcohol test results because police obtained the blood sample without valid consent or warrant. Affirmed. Although the blood sample was unlawfully obtained, the BAC test evidence was admissible proof of guilt under the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule of evidence. […]

Knowingly Possessing Cellphone Was Arizona Felony Promoting Prison Contraband

In this appeal from two felony convictions of promoting prison contraband, defendant knowingly possessed a cellphone in the jail or prison facility, but claimed he did not know it was contraband. After harmonizing five statutes, the Arizona Supreme Court held the State must only prove the defendant “knowingly” possessed a cellphone. The prosecution need not […]

Felony Fraudulent Schemes and Arson of Defendant’s Arizona Home

In Arson case, evidence of a previous fire was admitted to show a common plan or scheme in the burning of an occupied structure which was defendant’s house. Evidence from an anonymous informant was also admitted. Defendant was convicted of arson, a class 2 dangerous felony, and attempted fraudulent schemes and artifices, a class 3 […]

Public Colleges and Universities Can Prohibit Medical Marijuana But Statute Modifying AMMA Unconstitutional

ASU student with medical marijuana card convicted of drug possession on campus despite having amount allowed by Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). Reversed on appeal. AMMA amendment was unconstitutional to extent it violated the Voter Protection Act. Arizona v. Andre Lee Juwaun Maestas Arizona Legislation Prohibited Medical Marijuana on Public College and University Campuses The […]

Prior Convictions Are an Element of Felony Shoplifting in Arizona Law

Prior convictions are an element of the crime of felony shoplifting in Arizona law; shoplifting priors are not sentencing enhancements therefore bifurcating the trial was not required. Arizona v. Lara Bifurcated Trials and Prejudicial Impact of Prior Convictions on Juries Lara was convicted of felony shoplifting after stealing merchandise from a Walmart store. Because she […]