Chandler, Arizona, Criminal Defense Lawyers
Have you been charged with a crime in Chandler, Arizona? If so, hiring an experienced lawyer is the best thing you can do to protect your rights and your freedom. Former Deputy County Attorney Ryan McPhie brings a unique insight into how criminal prosecution works in Arizona, as well as extensive knowledge of Maricopa County and Arizona courts. Call us at (480) 771-7977 for a free consultation.
Criminal Sentencing in Maricopa County
According to a report from the Arizona Judicial Branch, nearly 25,000 defendants were sentenced in the Maricopa County in 2017. Of those, 5,550 were committed to the Arizona Department of Corrections or Juvenile Corrections, and 18,528 received some type of probation, including both supervised and unsupervised probation.
The Arizona Judicial Branch also reported more than 220,000 criminal traffic cases on file in Maricopa County in 2017, including 94,692 DUI cases alone. A total of 765 criminal traffic cases went to trial during the year, as well as 1,407 misdemeanor cases. Bench trials constituted the vast majority of these trials, with jury trials being much less common.
Why You Need an Attorney
Criminal defendants sometime choose to represent themselves in court rather than to hire an attorney. However, there are numerous reasons why it is in your best interest to hire an attorney with experience representing criminal defendants; below we discuss some of the most significant reasons.
- An attorney has the education and training to understand the complex legal process and to defend your rights, from the time that you are arrested until the case is concluded.
- An attorney is experienced in negotiating with the prosecution, which may mean getting charges dismissed or reduced, resulting in less jail time, reduced fines, and less potential damage to your reputation.
- Even simple charges that seem like they can be successfully handled without an attorney may have a serious impact on your life if things go awry.
- If you represent yourself at trial, you will be held to the same standard as a licensed attorney. Don’t expect the judge or jury to help you present your case, and don’t expect the prosecution to go easy on you simply because you are unrepresented.
While we cannot guarantee any particular outcome in your case, McPhie Law has a successful track record in its criminal defense cases, and we focus on providing our clients with the best possible outcome in terms of their freedom and their future, as well as helping reduce the stress of the situation by providing explanations and options throughout the case.
What Types of Cases Do We Handle?
McPhie Law represents clients who have been charged with both misdemeanors and felonies. Below we provide a brief description of these two classifications:
- Misdemeanors are considered “lesser” crimes than felonies. You generally won’t be sentenced to prison time if convicted of a misdemeanor, but you may be sentenced to serve time in jail, as well as forced to complete probation and pay hefty fines. There are three classes of misdemeanors, with Class 1 being the most serious.
- Felonies are considered more serious crimes, and often involve the potential of a prison sentence, even for a first-time offender or a non-violent offense. Felonies include dangerous crimes, which cause or could potentially cause injury or death to another person, as well as many non-dangerous crimes. As with misdemeanors, felonies are classified according to seriousness, with Class 1 being the most serious; there are six classes of felony crimes.
We represent clients who have been accused of many different offenses, including:
- Criminal assault—294 instances of which took place in Chandler in 2014
- Criminal traffic violations, including reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, excessive speeding, an accident resulting in death, and driving without a license
- Domestic violence
- DUI, involving both alcohol and drugs, caused 141 crashes in 2017, injuring 79 and killing three—and drivers in those cases especially need legal help
- Drug crimes, including the possession, sale, growing, and transportation of drugs
- Sex crimes
- Theft crimes, including shoplifting, is common in Chandler, with 5,643 instances in 2014
- White collar crimes, including forgery, money laundering, and telemarketing fraud
We also help our clients restore their civil rights once they complete probation, including the right to vote, to serve on a jury, to run for public office, and to possess firearms. Additionally, we help eligible clients have past convictions set aside, which is the closest thing to expungement that Arizona offers, to restore civil rights, make it easier to get a job, and make it more likely to qualify for public housing.
What Is the Legal Process for a Criminal Trial?
As stated, the legal process is complex and can vary based on individual circumstances. However, below we provide a brief description of the steps involved in most Arizona criminal proceedings.
- Initial appearance. Following your arrest, you will appear in court, where the judge will set the conditions of your release and schedule your arraignment.
- Arraignment. The judge will read the crimes that you have been charged with and ensure that you understand the charges. You will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty at this time. Usually, defendants enter a not guilty plea, so that their attorney can start the process of discovery and begin negotiations with the prosecution.
- Pre-trial conference. This is another opportunity for your lawyer to negotiate with the prosecution and work toward a resolution, which may include a change of plea, motion hearing, or trial. The court generally expects an update on the progress of the case during this hearing.
- Trial. Most criminal cases are resolved before ever going to trial. However, if your case is one of the few that goes to trial, then this is the chance for your attorney to make your case before a judge or a jury of your peers.
- Post-trial proceedings. If you’re convicted following a trial, you should discuss the option of appeal with your attorney. Otherwise, you will await sentencing and being completing the conditions of that sentence, which may include a combination of incarceration, fines, probation, and more.
Call Our Chandler Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
If you are charged with a crime in the Chandler, Arizona, area, McPhie Law will provide you with a free consultation and case review to review the details of your case and discuss your options. If we agree to represent you, you may be eligible for a payment plan. We are committed to providing our clients with aggressive and compassionate representation and strive to take all necessary steps to assist them, even if that means meeting with them at home or another location. We understand how the prosecution works, and that provides us with a unique advantage. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result, we strive to protect our clients’ freedoms to the best of our ability. To schedule your free, initial consultation, call McPhie Law today at (480) 771-7977, or contact us online, to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.