Yuma Legal Blog

Field sobriety tests not 100 percent accurate

If you are like a lot of people in Arizona, you are no doubt aware of the stereotype surrounding alleged drunk drivers. Even the term alone is likely to conjure up a certain image in your mind of a person who is not very responsible and who is so intoxicated that they can barely speak or stand properly. However, the truth of the matter is that many very responsible people who do not readily appear to be intoxicated can and do find themselves charged with driving under the influence offenses.

When questioned by a law enforcement officer for suspected impaired driving, a person may be asked to take some field sobriety tests before a breath or another chemical test is ever administered. These field tests are used to provide support for the allegation that you might be intoxicated so that the officer has legal cause to place you under arrest and charge you with a DUI. As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, none of these three field tests are fully accurate.

Tags: Criminal Defense

Government shutdown impact immigration courts

Because Arizona is one of the states that shares a border with Mexico, residents in Arizona often feel directly impacted by any government decision or action that impacts immigrants, especially those who come into the United States from Mexico or other Central American countries.

The ongoing partial shutdown of the federal government is the latest action to have a direct impact on people as all immigration courts are closed until the government shutdown ends or some other resolution is achieved. One exception to this is the processing of visas. This will still be allowed as this is a process which generates income and, therefore, it is allowed to continue.

Tags: Immigration

Noncompliance with a rental agreement can be cause for eviction

The eviction process may be one of the most difficult duties you have as a landlord. It can feel harsh if, for the most part, you have had a positive relationship with your tenant. However, a rental agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your tenant. When a tenant does not uphold his or her end of the agreement, it is good business to begin the eviction process before the lease has ended.

There are many ways a tenant can be out of compliance with his or her rental agreement, including:

  • Damaging the unit to the point that it affects health or safety
  • Keeping pets in the apartment when they are not allowed
  • Allowing people not on the lease to live in the apartment
  • Failing to pay rent
  • Engaging in illegal activities, such as prostitution, assault or drug use

Tips for international students seeking jobs on OPT status

It is no secret that the current political climate in the United States may make it seem more difficult than ever before to find employment as a non-citizen. If you are an international student graduating from a U.S. college or university and are seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) status, you may be anxiously searching for companies that would be open to interviewing you. Although it may feel like all hope is lost, applying a good strategy can help maximize the effectiveness of your job search. Consider the following suggestions:

If you have not created your will yet, now is the time

This time of year, you can be easily reminded just how much you love your family and friends. One way you can show each of them just how much you care for them is by ensuring you have your estate planning in order with a last will and testament.

You may not think that planning for a time when you are no longer around is really showing your family love, but what happens if you have an untimely demise and you do not have any of your wishes documented? Preparing your family for a time when you are no longer around is one of the most responsible acts you can do.

Tags: Blog

Defining a "refugee"

Many in Yuma may hear the word "refugee" and immediately envision hordes of impoverished people crowded into planes or on boats rapidly embarking on precarious journeys away from their countries of origin. While many in this scenario may fit the definition of a refugee, the definition itself is not limited to one's socioeconomic status. In reality, people from all walks of life can become refugees, and their status in the United States in protected by the principle of asylum.

How does one qualify to be classified as a refugee? According to the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, a refugee is one who is outside of their country of origin and is unwilling to return to (or avail themselves of the protection of) said country for fear of persecution due to any of the following:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Political opinion
  • Association with any particular social group

Eyewitness identification may be unreliable

Not everyone currently sitting behind bars is guilty of committing a crime. Flaws in the eyewitness identification process may end in an innocent people being convicted of crimes they did not commit. According to the Innocence Project, 362 people have been exonerated of their prison sentences after DNA evidence proved they were innocent. Of these cases, 70 percent involved incidents of eyewitness misidentification, where the wrong person was chosen out of an eyewitness lineup. How does this injustice occur and what can be done to stop it?

Flaws in the eyewitness lineup process include inadvertent leading of the witness to choose a certain person from the lineup. Generally, the lineup administrator has full knowledge of the case. The lineup should be administered by a person who has no knowledge of the case in order to avoid leading the witness. Furthermore, the witness should be given proper instructions. This includes being told that the suspect may or may not be present in the lineup, so they do not feel obligated to make a choice.

Tags: Criminal Defense

5 arrested on drug charges at checkpoint near Yuma

Obtaining permanent residency in the U.S. can be a long, drawn-out process, yet one that many in Yuma may be willing to undertake in order to protect their immigration status. Compliance to immigration rules and regulations during this process may be vital to ensuring its success, as any infractions (no matter how major or minor they may be perceived to be) can place the outcome in doubt. Once one does have negative elements on their record, they may be closer to being deported than they are securing legal resident status. 

Being accused of criminal activity might easily derail one's attempt to remain in the U.S. Indeed, several men were cited for immigration violations in conjunction with a drug arrest that took place near Yuma. The incident began when border patrol agents ordered the inspection of a car stopped at an immigration checkpoint that they suspected was carrying drugs. Their suspicions were verified when over 30 pounds of crystal meth was found in the vehicle. The five men in the car were arrested and now face drug charges. Of the five, only one (a man from Mesa) was reported to be in the U.S. legally. 

Tags: Criminal Defense

DUI charges can be beaten

Driving while under the influence of alcohol can lead to very serious charges being brought against you. If you have been accused of a DUI, one of the best things you can do is contact an attorney right away. The case against you starts being built the moment the police pull you over; building your defense as soon as possible is vital.

Too often individuals accept the charges brought against them without a second thought. They may do this because they want to put the experience behind them quickly, or because they think the evidence against them "looks bad". No matter how bad the situation may appear, it is always worth it to defend your rights.

How to get started with your estate planning

Many people believe that planning for their end of life only requires a will. However, a will is only part of what goes into an estate plan.

Here is an overview of all the components your plan will need to address. 

Even A Minor Violation Can Threaten Your Immigration Status. We Can Help Protect Your Future.

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