PRE-FILING INVESTIGATION & DEFENSE
If you have been contacted by a law enforcement agency and are being investigated - or think you are being investigated - for a crime, I can help you NOW, BEFORE criminal charges are filed! A pre-file investigation is a situation where a person is contacted by law enforcement officers and investigated for a crime, although no formal charges have been filed. At this point it is vital that you hire a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to begin an investigation on your behalf. It is our goal to conduct an independent investigation in search for favorable evidence to prevent criminal charges from being filed against you.
Information is power. When we investigate a case, we interview all key witnesses (both friendly and hostile), find other witnesses not named in the police reports, visit the scene of the crime, seek out documentary evidence, and consult with our expert witnesses. We employ extremely talented investigators with a wide range of experience. The more thorough the investigation and the more that I know about your case the better off I am to defend you.
“Sex Crimes” is a general term that includes criminal sexual behaviors, ranging from indecent exposure to rape. If you or someone you know has been charged with committing a sex offense, it is very important that you contact us to obtain the legal representation of a skilled criminal defense attorney. The penalties for a sex offense conviction can be severe; however there are many defenses available. Contacting the Law office of Michael Eskander as soon as possible allows the evidence to be assessed and the witnesses to be questioned soon after the event, providing the best opportunity for a successful defense. Sex Crimes pose a unique challenge to a criminal defense attorney. Most of the public find sex crimes so appalling that they do not keep an open mind and they believe anyone accused of a sex offense is guilty. I know that being charged with a sex offense is different than being guilty. I will not pre-judge you and I will fight to protect your rights and your reputation. I have successfully handled the defense of clients charged with various types of sex crimes in Arizona. Some examples of crimes that are considered criminal sexual behavior in Arizona are:
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Abuse
- Statutory Rape
- Criminal Sexual Contact with a minor
- Unlawful Sodomy
- Indecent Exposure
- Lewd Acts
The laws regarding Sex Crimes are complex and cannot be fully described here. All of the above crimes, whether charged as felonies or misdemeanors, are very serious charges and can carry life changing consequences.STATUTORY RAPE
Statutory rape is defined as sexual intercourse with a female below the legal age of consent but above the age of a child. In Arizona the age of consent is 18 and you are no longer considered a child when you reach the age of 14. Even if the person under the age of consent has knowingly, willingly, and with mutual consent, participated in sexual intercourse with an adult, and refuses to cooperate with the state, charges can still be filed against the adult perpetrating the act. There are additional laws and penalties imposed when a person of authority such as a teacher, priest, or member of the community held in high esteem engages in sexual relations with a person (male or female) under the age of majority.SEXUAL ASSAULT
Sexual assault includes any type of unwanted physical contact with any sexual organ. Sexual abuse and/or sexual assault crimes are felonies in Arizona. Physical contact is "unwanted" if the victim did not legally consent to such contact. Examples of non-consent are, saying “no”, physically objecting, being intoxicated or incapacitated to the point of not being able to give consent. Sexual contact with an intoxicated person can be considered sexual assault, "date-rape" or statutory rape.PROSTITUTION AND PIMPING
Prostitution is defined as any person who receives payment for sexual intercourse or any other sexual acts. Pimping is defined as any person soliciting acts of prostitution or pandering on behalf of another. Lewd Acts, Lascivious Conduct And Indecent Exposure are usually charged as misdemeanor crimes in the State of Arizona. These crimes involve public sexual acts or the exposing of the genitals in a public place.
Domestic violence is any kind of abuse or violence which takes place within a family structure, meaning that the abuser and abused person are in some way related. Some people who may be involved in domestic violence, as abuser or victim, may include parents, children, spouses, grandparents, ex-spouses, and same sex partners. All accusations of domestic violence and abuse, even false accusations, must be taken very seriously, as the legal repercussions are very serious. Many innocent people have been arrested on domestic violence and domestic abuse charges when an argument is misinterpreted by neighbors or other people who are unaware of the situation at hand. The alleged victim no longer needs to press charges for the accused to be arrested. The police now have the right to press charges against the alleged abuser even if the alleged victim does not want to.
Some examples of domestic abuse include:
- Assault and battery
- Criminal Damage
- Disorderly Conduct
- Forced physical restraint
- Not allowing an individual to see family or friends
- Sexual abuse
- Threatening to hurt your children or pets
- Threatening violence with a weapon
- Using suicide threats to force an individual to do something
Throughout Arizona and the United States, domestic abuse laws are very harsh and anyone convicted of this type of crime will be severely punished. Some penalties may include life time prohibition from owning a weapon, fofeiture of all your firearms and weapons, deportation of legal aliens, mandatory imprisonment, restraining orders, 26 to 52 week of domestic violence classes, alcohol classes and/or other monetary fines. If you or someone you know has been arrested or accused of any domestic violence crime, contact me immediately to set up a free consultation.
CRIMES OF VIOLENCE
Some factors to consider when charged with a violent crime include whether the act was done in self-defense, whether the act was intentional, whether you were justifiably provoked, and whether the accuser actually sustained injuries that can be proved or whether their injuries are as severe as charged.
Violent crimes are harshly punished in Arizona. If you have been arrested for committing a violent crime, you may be facing a prison term of 25 years to life or the death penalty, depending upon the individual circumstances of your case. A conviction of any of the following crimes will result in extremely serious penalties:
- Child abuse
- Domestic violence
- Gang crimes
- Hate crimes
- Murder and homicide
- Strike crimes
- Terrorism and terrorist threats
- Vehicular manslaughter
Drug cases cover a broad range of offenses, from the less severe, such as simple possession of a small amount of certain drugs, to the more serious, such as possession with the intent to sell, sales or manufacturing and distributing drugs. In Arizona even possessing minor amounts of methamphetamine or cocaine can, and almost always are, charged as felonies. A skilled criminal defense attorney can take some of the panic out of being accused of a drug crime by answering questions and guiding you through the complex legal maze that awaits. Here are some of the issues relating to Drug Offenses:
I believe in a proactive approach to defending drug use cases. I do not believe that you should wait around until you are ordered by the Judge to get help. I know that if I can help you to get the help that you need without the court ordering you to do it, then the Judge will take it easier on you once we do get to court. I am familiar with several local rehabs and programs that the courts and the County Attorney’s office will accept in lieu of serving jail time.
Many laws have been enacted to try and help drug addicts recover and to keep them out of jail or prison. There are programs such as diversion-TASC, drug court, and private rehabilitation centers that are available to help people with drug addictions.
Sadly, many police officers and County attorneys do not believe in these programs and would rather see people incarcerated. This is why many people who are possessing drugs for personal use and should get programs are charged with a crime that involves sales or distribution in order to make them ineligible for any of the programs.
I have been successful in reducing sales charges to straight possession. This means that clients are then eligible for either diversion or treatment. It is important to have a lawyer who knows what to look for in a drug case.
Many drug cases involve search and seizure issues. Often when the police find drugs on somebody they do not have the legal right to search the person, their house, automobile, or their belongings.
In defending your case the first thing that I will look at is to see whether it would be prudent to bring a motion to dismiss your case on the ground that the evidence was illegally seized. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual against unreasonable searches and seizures of his or her person or property.
In many drug cases, the arrest and evidence used to support the conviction generally result from a search and seizure. If the government's conduct violated constitutional limits, however, the evidence may be deemed inadmissible and the charges may be dismissed. A skilled criminal defense attorney can advise his clients on whether the evidence leading to a drug charge may have resulted from an improper search or seizure. Set up an appointment with me if you would like to discuss whether there are any problems with the search in your case.
The police may legitimately search persons and property, and seize both persons and property, either with or without a warrant if the circumstances justify their actions. If they act without probable cause, however, or exceed constitutional limitations on their actions, both searches and seizures may be deemed invalid and any resulting evidence may be tainted and thus inadmissible.
If you have been charged with a drug-related crime and have questions about whether the police may have violated your search and seizure rights, contact me now.
Many drug cases involve search warrants and confidential informants. I have a lot of experience dealing with these issues and there are often problems with the government’s case when it relies on a search warrant or on information provided by a confidential informant. If your case involves a search warrant or a confidential informant you can trust that I will thoroughly research and investigate these issues and exploit any possible weaknesses in the case.
Drug crimes carry harsh penalties. You could be facing jail, fines, programs, or even prison. Because Drug Cases can contain complex issues of illegal searches and seizures, search warrants, confidential informants, illegal wire taps or other illegal police surveillance, it is important to your freedom that you hire an attorney with the skill and the knowledge of how to defend your case properly. Contact my office to set up a free consultation.
When an Arizona defendant is serving probation, there are rules that must be followed. If any of these rules are broken during the probationary period, a probation violation occurs, which could result in Revocation of Probation and/or Jail time
Probation can be violated in many ways. The most commons types of probation violations include:
- Failure to Pay Probation Fees: When the defendant fails to pay required fines or restitution to the victim, a probation violation may occur.
- Failure to Comply: Part of a defendant’s probation may include rehabilitation or community service. When the defendant fails to complete these required programs, a probation violation may occur.
- Failure to Appear: Many probation requirements include a scheduled court appearance for a progress report. When the defendant fails to appear for the required court appearance, a probation violation may occur.
- Violation of Rules: Part of probation may include rules that prohibit the defendant from visiting certain persons or locations. When the defendant fails to adhere to these rules, a probation violation may occur.
- Failure to Report: Probation may require the defendant to report to a probation officer at scheduled times. Failure to appear when expected may result in a probation violation.
- Possession of Illegal Substances: When the defendant possesses illegal weapons or drugs, a probation violation may occur.
- Committing Crimes: Staying out of trouble is mandatory during probation. When the defendant commits new crimes during the probationary period, a probation violation may occur.
- Being Arrested: Regardless of whether criminal charges are present, when the defendant is arrested during the probationary period, a probation violation may occur.
In Maricopa County Probation violations are treated very seriously with bail often being denied and severe penalties. For example, currently the Maricopa County bench is in the practice of trying to give every single person who is found to be in violation of their felony probation considerable jail time up to one year or may be prison for first time violators.
If you need help with probation violation, contact me immediately to get the best possible help.
If your child has been arrested and this is your first experience with the criminal justice system you’re probably full of questions. What are the potential consequences for your child? Will this affect their ability to get a job and to lead a productive life? Will this be on their record forever? Will your child have to spend time in juvenile detention? Please contact me and I would be happy to answer all of your questions at no charge.
If your child is under the age of 18, they will most likely be tried as a minor. However, serious crimes such as drive by shooting, gang affiliation, rape, murder or kidnapping may result in an adult charge. The Arizona juvenile system, while similar in some respects to the adult justice system, is complex and has its own rules, regulations and customs.
If your child is arrested, they should behave as an adult would, refusing to answer questions without legal representation present, not volunteering any information to the police, and not giving consent to any searches without a proper warrant. Juveniles who have been arrested should insist on having their parents and an attorney present before answering any questions or speaking about the accusation.
BAIL & RELEASE
When police book somebody into jail, he must be seen by the initial appearance judge within 24 hours. Court is held every 3 hours/7 days a week. The judge can hold you non-bondable, or impose an inflated bond for your release. If I represent you during the early stages of prosecution or as a pre-filing client, I will argue for a reasonable or no bond for your release.
Once Bail is set, if a defendant wants to be released before the first court date, he or she must post bail either through a bail bondsman or directly with the jail. If the defendant uses a bail bondsman, the bondsman typically charges 10% of the total amount of the bail as the bail bondsman's fee for undertaking the risk that defendant will not make his required appearances in court.
Another alternative (if you have the money) is that you can post the entire bail directly with the jail. The upside to this is that you would not have to spend the 10% on the bail bondsman. The downside is that if the defendant does not show up to court, then you risk losing your money.
If the bail is initially set too high for what defendant is accused of, I can persuade the court to substantially lower the bail, or, grant OR release (own recognizance), thus saving you and your family a lot of money on bail.
IF SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN ARRESTED AND BOOKED INTO JAIL, CONTACT MY OFFICE FOR A FREE CONSULTATION AND I WILL MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THEIR RELEASE FROM JAIL AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE TIME.