Mesa, Arizona, is a thriving suburb of Phoenix located in Maricopa County. But Mesa is more than just a surburbanite’s dream, it is a thriving city of its own and the third-largest in Arizona. Despite its growth, Mesa still retains its agricultural roots, providing residents and visitors alike with a constant supply of fresh produce. In addition to offering an arts and food scene on par with any large metropolitan area, Mesa’s proximity to the Tonto National Forest offers respite from the arid Arizona landscape. The third-largest national forest in the country, Tonto features three lakes and two rivers that provide opportunities for boating, fishing, and paddling. Whether you prefer big city adventure or relaxed outdoor recreation, Mesa offers it all.
Despite consistently ranking as one of the country’s top 10 safest cities, Mesa faces the challenges of crime and violence that occur in any city with a population of over 500,000. If you have been accused of a crime such as driving under the influence, assault, battery, domestic violence, or drug offenses, you need the guidance of a Mesa criminal defense attorney at Arizona Lawyers. Experienced in representing those accused of crimes in federal and state courts, you can count on Blischak law to assist you in your time of need.
Located in Phoenix, our criminal defense lawyers represent clients throughout Maricopa County and often make appointments in the surrounding area. If you have been arrested or are otherwise in need of criminal representation, your first call should be to the experienced defense attorneys at Arizona Lawyers. When you become our client, our number one goal is to protect your rights.
Mesa, Arizona Criminal Defense Law Firm
At Arizona Lawyers, we are experienced in representing defendants in both federal and state courts for every type of criminal charge, including:
- Drug offenses
- Property crimes
- Sex crimes
- Violent crimes
- White-collar crimes
- Federal crimes
The Mesa Criminal Defense Process
Being charged with a crime in Arizona is an overwhelming experience, especially if you have no prior knowledge of the criminal justice system. While it may seem confusing, the Arizona criminal justice system has a set of rules and procedures that law enforcement and prosecutors must follow when investigating and bringing criminal charges. The stages of a criminal case generally include an investigation, arrest, arraignment, a preliminary hearing, plea bargaining or trial and sentencing.
At the investigation stage, law enforcement receives a notice of a crime, obtains facts and interviews witnesses, collects evidence, and attempts to target a suspect. Once there is sufficient evidence, law enforcement will often seek an arrest warrant from a judge and take a suspect into custody. If law enforcement asks you to voluntarily submit to questioning, you should speak with an attorney before giving a statement, as the information you provide may be used to charge you with a crime.
When law enforcement places a suspect under arrest, the suspect is transferred into police custody and can not leave. Anyone arrested must appear before a judge to be considered for bail. Bail is an amount of money put up as security for returning to court at a future time. If the suspect, now a defendant once formally charged, returns to court as required, the bail money will be returned. Otherwise, the bail money is forfeited and a warrant will be issued for the defendant’s arrest. If the court denies bail, the defendant must remain in custody until bail is reconsidered or until his or her trial date.
The first court appearance is known as the arraignment. At the arraignment, the judge informs the defendant of the charges filed against him or her, determines whether the defendant has an attorney or would like a court-appointed attorney, takes a plea of either guilty or not guilty, considers whether the initially ordered bail is proper, and sets any future court dates. The arraignment is the first opportunity to meet a judge and, like all first meetings, the initial impression is an important one. An experienced attorney can state your case and preserve any defenses that may be lost if not raised at the arraignment.
In felony cases, the court will hold a preliminary hearing where the prosecutor will put on evidence to suggest there is probable cause that the defendant committed the crime. The defense may cross examine any witnesses the prosecution puts on the witness stand. This is an opportunity to have charges dropped should the prosecution fail to set out sufficient evidence to support the charges. At Arizona Lawyers, our attorneys are skilled in the art of cross-examination and questioning the evidence and in many cases have success in getting charges dropped at this stage.
At the plea bargaining stage, the prosecution and defense confer and attempt to negotiate an agreement to avoid taking the case to trial. The prosecution will rely on evidence suggesting the defendant is guilty while the defense will point out weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. For the defense, the goal is to seek a reduction in charges, while the prosecution may seek to avoid having to test the case by going to trial before a jury. Having an attorney with superior negotiating skills gives a defendant an advantage at the plea bargaining stage.
Mesa Criminal Defense Trial and Sentencing
This is the final and most rigorous stage of the criminal process. Unless the charges have been dropped or a defendant accepts a plea deal, the case will go to trial before the judge or jury. The prosecution bears the burden of proving its charges and technically the defense has to show nothing. However, a solid defense will discredit the prosecution’s case by cross-examining witnesses, offering alternative-fact scenarios, or offering an alibi for the defendant. At this stage, it is critical to have an experienced attorney who is trial-tested. Failing to have skilled representation places the defendant at the mercy of the judge and jury.
Contact a Mesa Criminal Defense Attorney
Although Arizona Lawyers cannot guarantee an acquittal, it is almost certain that you will obtain far better results if you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Our attorneys have experience both as prosecutors and defense attorneys and know the Arizona justice system inside and out. If you are under investigation for or are charged with, a crime in Mesa or Phoenix, Arizona Lawyers will protect your rights throughout the entire criminal process. Contact us today for a consultation regarding your case.