Case Success: Aggravated DUI AZ

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I’m Burges McCowan, criminal defense attorney here in the Phoenix area. I’m going to talk to you about a recent case I had, an aggravated DUI. That’s ARS 28-1383.

Ben was an old client of mine who we went to trial on a DUI and won. Unfortunately, he got another DUI. This time they were charging it as a felony because they were saying that his license was suspended when he got the DUI. Ben and his mom gave me a call to see what I could do. Unfortunately, the case was a lot stronger this time against him. Going to trial was probably not going to work for us. I went through the case word by word and looked for everything I can to help Ben out. I realized that he wasn’t really driving on a suspended license. The government had just charged the case incorrectly.

Surprisingly, this wasn’t caught by the prosecutor and we went way into the case before I finally was able to convince the prosecutor they just didn’t have the evidence to charge this as a felony. Unfortunately, he did still have a prior, which meant that he was looking at six months jail. Ben’s a PhD student. He couldn’t really afford to miss that much time from his studies. It was really going to set him back. I was able to convince this prosecutor that because Ben had done everything he could with rehab and was really a good student who just made a really bad mistake, that he could give him a break and gave him only 30 days jail.

He was able to knock out that jail this summer, and he’ll be right back at school in the fall. If you or a family member you know have ever been faced with something like this, give me a call. I do free consultations and I can help.

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Case Success: Forgery

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I’m Burges McCowan, criminal defense attorney here in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Today, I’m going to talk about forgery case ARS13-2002.

My client, Melinda, had an old forgery case that she was on probation for. Unfortunately a few years later the police charged her with yet another forgery but this forgery actually occurred back in her past, it wasn’t new. It was just government bureaucracy that resulted in it finally getting charged years later.

The government actually has up to seven years to charge you with cases. Like anything with the government sometimes it takes them a while. She was on probation and doing well. She got her GED, she’d cleaned up, taking care of her daughters but now she all of sudden had this new case charged even though it was really new.

Now the prosecutor that got this case, she was new and she didn’t quite understand that this was an old case that they just finally got around to charging. She wanted to put Melinda in prison. She wanted to really make a name for herself so it took quite a bit of conjouling with her to get her to realize this is not a new case. Technically under the Arizona law, she could still use it against Melinda to send her to prison even though it was an old case but I was able to finally convince this prosecutor that that wouldn’t be the just thing to do here and put Melinda back on probation.

It took a lot of fighting with this prosecutor but eventually we got that done and now Melinda’s back on probation and is back with her daughters and able to watch them go off to first grade. If you or family member that you know has ever been faced with something like this, give me a call, I do free consultations and I can help.

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Case Success: Kidnapping and Drugs

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I’m Burges McCowan, criminal defense attorney here in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. I want to talk to you about a recent case I had involving kidnapping. ARS 13-1304.
Steven was my client. He was charged with kidnapping and possible drug sales. This case involved the SWAT team in fact. They really came after Steven hard. It’s because they thought he was a gang member, and probably because it was on September 11th that the call came in. But he wasn’t a gang member. It was really just a dispute with his roommate where Steven used some intimidating language.
The prosecutor still had a case where they charged him with kidnapping and being a gang member. They were considering drug charges as well. When they first got this case, Steven was looking at three to five years prison. The prosecutor was really serious about this case. He wanted him to go to prison, even though he had never had an criminal history at all.
Steven and his parents came to me. I went to work seeing what I could do. I talked to the prosecutor about the case. I explained to him that he wasn’t a gang member, and that they really didn’t have any evidence for that. He gave in on the drug charge, and that was never brought against Steve. He did still go forward with the kidnapping charge, but I was able to get him to go down to probation with no jail. Steven was able to go on with his life without any prison or jail time.
This case was really just a dispute between roommates. His roommate owed him money and called the police and claimed he was being kidnapped. Unfortunately, under Arizona law it doesn’t take a lot to prove kidnapping. In this case I was able to show the prosecutor what really happened. He eventually agreed that he didn’t have the evidence to prove that Steven was some sort of notorious gang member and gave him probation without jail. Now Steven is back to work moving on with his life.
If you or someone you love have ever been faced with something like this, give me a call. I give free consultations and I can help.
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Case Success: Marijuana DUI

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I’m Burges McCowan, criminal defense attorney in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. Today I’m going to talk about a DUI with drugs case that I recently handled.

The client, Amy, was pulled over because she had a marijuana bumper sticker on her vehicle. The officer, knowing that she probably smoked marijuana, went ahead and charged her with DUI. Until recently, here in Arizona, if you had marijuana in your system, they could charge you with a DUI. Didn’t matter if you were actually high or not. That’s what happened to Amy.

Unfortunately, until recently, that was happening to a lot of people, but fortunately for Amy, when she gave me a call, I knew about the recent Arizona Supreme Court case that changed all of that. Now they have to prove that it’s active THC. That only stays in your system for a number of hours instead of weeks.

After reviewing her case and making sure that it applied to her, I took that to the prosecutor and got her case dismissed. I also told her to stop driving around with bumper sticker of marijuana on her car if she doesn’t want to get pulled over again.

If you or someone you know have had this problem before, give me a call. I do free consultations, and I can help.
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Case Success: Posession of Narcotic Drugs for Sale

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This is Burges McCowan, criminal defense attorney here in the Phoenix, Arizona area. I want to talk to you about a case I recently had involving possession of narcotic drugs for sale, ARS13-3408. George is a client of mine that has this case. Unfortunately for him, he was on probation at the time this occurred. He had recently started selling cocaine to try and make extra money, not a very good decision that was about to put him in prison for three to five years. Fortunately, he had been pretty good on probation and it was almost over for him.
When I got the case, I looked through it and realized that if he had successfully completed his probation, it would be turned into a misdemeanor, which means the government wouldn’t have that prior to use against him and they wouldn’t be able to force prison in this case. Usually once a case is already started, it’s pretty hard to get this accomplished, but in this case, I was able to get this probation officer to successfully finish his probation and then got the court to designate it a misdemeanor so that now the government didn’t have any leverage against him.
After all this was done, I called up the prosecutor on the case who just happened to be a former supervisor of mine and let her know that she no longer had this prior available to her. She laughed and said she’d get me next time and gave my client probation. Now he’s back on his way and he knows now that selling cocaine is not a good way to make extra money. If you or a family member you know has had any kind of situation like this, give me a call. I do free consultations and I can help.
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Reduced ARS 13-2307 Trafficking in Stolen Property

Michael was addicted to Meth.  To support his habit he would traffic in stolen property.  He had numerous prior felonies and was on probation when he was caught with stolen property yet again. He was looking at up to 35 years in prison.  Burges took the case and got him evaluated for his addiction and encouraged him to get treatment. Michael excelled in treatment and became a mentor and inspiration to others in treatment. Burges convinced the prosecutor to cut his prison sentence down to a maximum of 9 years for all his cases combined.  Then at sentencing, Burges presented the judge the findings of the evaluation and the progress Michael made with treatment and got his sentence reduced to 7 years.

Reduced ARS 13-1406 Sexual Assault & ARS 13-1904 Armed Robbery

Drew had two cases and was facing up to 35 years in prison.  He was only 19 years old at the time.  He was no saint, but the charges against him were exaggerated. The sexual assault happened after a night of drinking with his friend. He crashed on his friend’s couch where his friend’s female roommate also passed out from a long night of drinking. He approached the woman and started making out with her. Eventually it progressed to sex.  She never said a word to him and he thought it was consensual. After he left in the morning she told her roommate he raped her.  Burges took on the case and got Drew evaluated by a doctor.  He pressed the prosecutor to reduce his sentence and got it all the way down to 6.5 years.

ARS 13-2002 Forgery – Dismissed

Melissa and her boyfriend were at a rocky point in their relationship. Melissa’s boyfriend usually provided financial support for her and her 2-year old daughter but he was withholding money. Melissa found her boyfriend’s checkbook and in a moment of desperation forged a check to herself so she could get some cash for her and her daughter. It didn’t work. The check cashing store suspected the forgery and called the police. Melissa had prior felonies and the prosecutor wanted to send her prison for over 6 years. Terrified that her daughter would become an orphan she turned to Burges for help. He investigated the case and found some evidence that helped convince the prosecutor to dismiss the case. Melissa and her boyfriend reconciled and got married.

ARS 4-244 – Minor Consumption of Alcohol – Not Guilty

Sarah was 20 years old, only a couple months from turning 21, and visiting the Valley with her family for the Fiesta Bowl. She was drinking alcohol with her parents’ permission outside the stadium. Officers didn’t care about her parents’ permission and arrested her for Minor in Consumption. The police had Sarah blow into a portable breath device which proved she had consumed alcohol. Burges couldn’t convince the prosecutor to drop the case so he took it to trial and convinced the judge not to rely on the device and acquit Sarah, keeping her record clean.

ARS 13-2310 Fraud Scheme, ARS 13-2002 – Forgery – Dismissed

John had a criminal history but had put his past behind him and was living a law abiding life. Then he ran into some unscrupulous men who almost had John sent to prison. John was selling his old phone online and met with guys who didn’t buy his phone but instead tried to sell him their phone. He didn’t buy it but later that day he was confronted with those same men and a cop. They were accusing him of using counterfeit money to buy their phone. The cop didn’t believe John because of his criminal history and he was charged and looking at mandatory prison if he was convicted. Burges investigated the case, found several weaknesses, and convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the case. John continued on his law abiding path.