March 28, 2017

Although an appeal is, technically, post-conviction relief, I am focusing on what rights a defendant has after a conviction outside of an appeal.  Even if an appeal is “affirmed”, there is another method to review what happened in court and it is known by different names but generally, “Post-Conviction Relief”.  Criminal Rules are found in every state and in Arizona the post-conviction relief is known more commonly by its rule name - Rule 32.  This blog only refers to state post-conviction proceedings, the federal proceedings will be covered in a different summary.

If you are convicted it will be by a plea agreement or at the end of a trial up...

March 21, 2017

Even some lawyers mess up the distinction between an opening statement and a closing argument.  If you look closely at the phrasing, it's easy to see that a statement is different than an argument.  In an opening statement, the attorney or self-represented party will make an offer of proof to the judge or jury about what the evidence is going to be.  Good trial attorneys typically tell a story about what happened and what will be supported by the evidence to be presented.  Argument about that evidence, however, is for closing.  

In a closing argument, all the evidence will have been presented to the judge or jury and the attorney or...

March 15, 2017

A new case came down from the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division II, in November of 2016.  The case is Sherman v. Sherman, CA-CV 15-0201 FC (App. 2016), and creates a line of precedent unlike anything seen before in Arizona.  In the Sherman case, the court ordered that a “revolving credit line” between the father and his cousin and her husband be attributed to his income for purposes of child support. It was a $100,000 line of credit and the father had utilized $35,000 of it in approximately six months.  The Court based this ruling on two items: first, that father had not shown any significant changes to his lifestyle or expenditures, and second, that...

March 9, 2017

In criminal cases, it's common for cases to take longer than expected for various reasons.  Any misdemeanor or felony case in Arizona, and in Pima County specifically, has "case management conferences" or "status conferences" that are held about once every month or so.  They are the courts method to make sure the case is moving along.  The parties will verify or deny that disclosure (police reports, witness statements, lab reports, etc.) are disclosed, whether or not the parties are moving towards trial or attempting to resolve the case in a plea agreement, or any other issue that may have arisen.    

What about my speedy trial right...

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