Unless you were charged with criminal speeding and are facing serious penalties like jail time, it is often less expensive to simply pay the fines associated with minor traffic violations than it is to hire a criminal defense attorney to defend you. However, there is a third option: you can defend yourself in court if you believe that the traffic ticket was given improperly.

Fighting a Traffic Ticket in Arizona

If you wish to fight the violation in court, you should be prepared with a defense. The best resource you can obtain for fighting a traffic violation in Arizona is the officer’s notes.

Most officers are trained to take notes when citing someone for a traffic violation. Typically, these notes are taken on the back of your ticket and detail the reasons for why you were stopped, as well as the conditions and other variables.

If an officer knows their notes are inaccurate, and thinks you may be fighting the violation, they may decide not to show up to the hearing. In most cases, an officer’s failure to show up results in an automatic dismissal of charges.

Obtaining a Copy of the Officer’s Notes in Arizona

You have the right to obtain a copy of the notes through the discovery process, which allows for the exchange of important information prior to a trial. In addition to the notes, you can also request copies of police procedure manuals and instruction manuals for speed recording devices.

It is not common for people to make discovery requests for information related to traffic violations, so it’s possible that your request will be denied. If this happens, try reiterating in writing that you requested the information because it is crucial to your case.

Why would the notes be helpful?

By reviewing the officer’s notes, you will get a good idea of how they will testify in trial, as well as how best to prepare your defense. An officer won’t want to get into trouble over a traffic violation, so they will rarely, if ever, deviate from their notes.

What should I look for when reviewing the notes?

  • Amount of detail. If the notes are highly detailed, you should be able to identify areas for questioning. On the other hand, if the notes lack detail, you can question the officer on specifics they failed to record. The more times an officer says “I don’t remember,” the better your defense.
  • Look for missing details. The notes should include exactly how the officer recorded your speed or other violation, the exact location of the violation, road conditions, which lane you were in, and nearby vehicles.
  • Diagrams. Some officers will draw simple diagrams in their notes to show an intersection or other important factors. If a diagram is missing, or the existing one is poor, you can use that to your advantage during trial.
  • Statements. Officers usually record any statements you made during the stop. You should check whether the statement is recorded as a quote or approximation.

The criminal defense attorneys at JacksonWhite wish you all the best in fighting your traffic violation in court. If we can be of service for other charges like DUI, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, domestic violence, or other serious criminal charges in Arizona, dial (480) 467-4370 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a dedicated JacksonWhite criminal lawyer today.

Click here to see how we’ve helped others dealing with criminal charges in AZ.

Shoplifting is considered a theft crime in Arizona and comes with serious penalties. The consequences for shoplifting and other theft crimes depend largely on the monetary value of the items stolen. However, that is not the case when it comes to shoplifting firearms in AZ.

Shoplifting Firearms in AZ

Regardless of the value of the property stolen, a person found guilty of shoplifting firearms in Arizona is guilty of a class 6 felony. This charge carries severe penalties, including up to one year in prison.

Penalties for Shoplifting Firearms in Arizona

The potential sentences for a class 6 felony in AZ can be found below:

Felony Mitigated Minimum Presumptive Maximum Aggravated
Class 6 .33 year .5 year 1 year 1.5 years 2 years

In addition to incarceration, a shoplifting charge may also result in large fines, a suspension of your gun rights, and a criminal record, among others.

Charged with shoplifting firearms in AZ?

Are you facing charges for shoplifting firearms in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Phoenix, or another AZ city? If so, the criminal defense lawyers at JacksonWhite can help. Call us today at (480) 467-4370 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a dedicated JacksonWhite theft defense attorney.

Click here to see how we’ve helped others facing shoplifting charges in Arizona.

Yes, failure to pay the fines and court fees associated with being in the criminal justice system can lead to jail time.

However, the courts do offer defendants an option to pay the fees in increments, but missed payments will lead to penalties and added interest, which could make the fees unaffordable.

Common Court Fees during Pre-Conviction and Sentencing in AZ

  • Application fee to obtain public defender
  • Jail fee for pre-trial incarceration
  • Jury fees
  • Rental fee for electronic monitoring devices
  • Sentencing
  • Fines with accompanying surcharges
  • Restitution
  • Fees for court administrative costs
  • Fees for designated funds (e.g. libraries, prison construction, etc.)
  • Public defender reimbursement fees
  • Prosecution reimbursement fees

Consequences for Nonpayment of Fines

According to A.R.S. 13-810:

  1. If the court finds that the defendant has willfully failed to pay a fine.
    1. Order the defendant incarcerated in the county jail until the fine, fee, restitution, or incarceration costs are paid.
    2. Revoke the defendant’s probation, parole, or community supervision and sentence the defendant to prison pursuant to law.
  2. If the court finds that the defendant cannot pay despite sufficient good faith efforts.
    1. Modify the manner in which the restitution, fine, fee, or incarceration costs are to be paid.
    2. Enter any reasonable order that would assure compliance with the order to pay.

Pay or Stay

Court fees can quickly add up to hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. In most states, defendants can even be billed after their sentencing for ‘room and board’ costs while they were in jail. There are also fees associated with probation and electronic monitoring devices.

Individuals on probation have to pay for their court-mandated drug and alcohol screenings. Essentially, the fees for committing a crime keep coming until the very end of the process. However, there are usually alternatives like community service for some of these fines. If you’re looking to avoid some of the fees that occur when you’re being charged with a crime, the criminal lawyers at JacksonWhite may be able to help.

Are you facing criminal charges in Arizona?

If you’re facing criminal charges in Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix, Peoria, or any other AZ city, the criminal attorneys at JacksonWhite can help. Our criminal defense lawyers will work with you to have the charges against you and their associated fines reduced or possibly dismissed. Call (480) 467-4370 to schedule a free and private consultation with dedicated JacksonWhite criminal defense attorneys

Check out the JW criminal defense results page to see how we’ve helped past clients deal with their criminal charges in Arizona.

Finding the attorney fit for you.


The court proceedings involving Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio may be old news, but the fact that his attorney has recently withdrawn himself from the case is not. On Friday, the attorney representing Arpaio in his contempt trial, Tim Casey, submitted a motion to Judge Murray Snow asking for approval to withdraw from the case, stating he is “ethically required” to do so.

Karen Clark, legal counsel for Casey, says that the withdraw request comes in response to a testimony given by the Sheriff last week. In the testimony, Arpaio reportedly disclosed that Casey had hired a private investigator to confirm statements allegedly made by Judge Snow’s wife, who is accused of saying that her husband “wanted to do everything to make sure [Arpaio] is not elected.”

To further complicate the matter, Arpaio’s Chief Deputy, Jerry Sheridan, apparently made a separate testimony in which he stated that there was no private investigation into Judge Snow or any members of his family.

Attorneys can fire their clients?!

As a client, you have the luxury of firing your attorney at any time for any reason under the sun. Attorneys, however, are not offered the same privilege. If an attorney wants to withdraw from a case, they must have a valid reason to do so.

There are some circumstances in which an attorney is ethically required to withdraw from a case and other situations when an attorney may apply to do so with a valid reason.

Under what circumstances is an attorney ethically required to withdraw from a case?

A lawyer may be legally required to withdraw from a case if the following applies:

  • The attorney is violating a law or the rules of professional conduct.
  • The attorney has been suspended from practicing law by a disciplinary committee.
  • The client wishes to terminate their relationship with the attorney.
  • The attorney is physically or mentally incapable of representing their client.
  • The attorney or their firm is representing an adversary party in the case. This is also known as a conflict of interest.

Under what circumstances may an attorney apply to withdraw from a case?

An attorney may submit a motion to withdraw from a case if they have a valid reason to do so. Commonly accepted reasons include:

  • Failure to pay attorneys’ fees. Regardless of whether a client signed a contract with their attorney prior to representation, the client has the obligation to pay their attorney for any services performed.
  • Conflicting case strategies. When a client and their attorney cannot reach an agreement regarding case strategy, it is often in the client’s best interest for the attorney to withdraw.
  • Criminal, unethical, or fraudulent activity by the client. An attorney cannot help you commit activities which may be deemed criminal, unethical, or fraudulent.
  • Client’s failure to fulfill obligations. A successful attorney-client relationship involves a good deal of communication on behalf of both parties. If the client is failing to provide their attorney with requested information or documents, the attorney may seek to withdraw from the case.
  • Client consent. If the attorney receives permission from their client to withdraw from the case, they may do so.
  • Personality conflicts. When attorneys and clients are unable to get along amicably, the likeliness of a successful case outcome diminishes dramatically, and it is often in the best interests of both parties for the attorney to withdraw from the case.

Please keep in mind: it is extremely rare for an attorney to submit a motion to withdraw from a case.

Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a crime in Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, Chandler, or another Arizona city, the criminal lawyers at JacksonWhite will work with you to devise the best defense for your case. Call us today at (480) 467-4370 to schedule a free and private consultation with our dedicated JacksonWhite criminal defense team.

Click here to see how we’ve helped others facing criminal charges in Arizona.

Before answering that question, the process of setting aside a criminal conviction in Arizona should first be explained. A.R.S. 13-907 states that an individual convicted of a criminal offense, who has fulfilled the conditions of their probation or sentence and has been discharged by the court, may apply to a judge, justice of the peace, or magistrate to have their judgment set aside. The offender shall be informed of this right at the time of their discharge.

Can anyone apply on my behalf?

Yes, Arizona law allows the offender’s attorney or probation officer to apply to set aside the judgment.

What happens to my criminal record after my conviction is set aside in AZ?

If your application is granted, your judgment of guilt shall be set aside, accusations against you will be dismissed, and you will be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction.

If any of your civil liberties were revoked as a result of your conviction, such as your rights to vote or carry a concealed weapon, those rights will be restored after your conviction is set aside.

Can a sex crime conviction be set aside in AZ?

Back to the initial question: can sex crime convictions be set aside in Arizona? The answer is no, they cannot. A.R.S. 13-907 also states that people convicted of criminal offenses involving the following situations may not apply to have their conviction set aside:

-A crime involving a dangerous weapon.

-A crime which requires the offender to register as a sex offender under A.R.S. 13-3821.

-A crime involving sexual motivation.

-A crime involving a victim under the age of 15.

Charged with a sex crime in Arizona?

Have you been accused of a sex crime in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Mesa, or another AZ city? The criminal defense lawyers at JacksonWhite can help. While we can’t apply to have your conviction set aside, our sex crime attorneys will work to have your penalties decreased. Call us today at (480) 467-4370 to schedule a FREE and confidential consultation with JacksonWhite criminal attorney, Jeremy Geigle.

Click here to see how we’ve helped others charged with sex crimes in Arizona.