Arizona Court of Appeals

Seized Currency Ordered Returned

    In In re $15,379 IN U.S. Currency, No. 2 CA-CV 2015-0166 (12/22/16), the Arizona Court of Appeals held that a trial court erred when it refused to order a County Attorney to return currency which had been seized from an appellant after the civil forfeiture proceeding in which the County Attorney sought to… Read more

Defendant Must Know Prison Contraband Is Illegal

The Arizona Court of Appeals in State v. Francis, No. 1 CA-CR 16-0051 (1/3/17), held that the crime of promoting prison contraband requires proof the defendant knew the item of property was in fact prison contraband.   In the case, the defendant was detained at a Jail Annex on unrelated charges. Officers took the defendant’s… Read more

Shoplifting & Double Jeopardy

  In State v. Cope, No. 1 CA-CR 14-0596, (12/30/16), the Court of Appeals held that the offense of Shoplifting under 13A.R.S. § 1805.A.1, is a lesser included offense of Organized Retail Theft, 13 A.R.S. § 1819.A.1 and therefore the defendant could not be convicted of and punished for both offenses.  The court went on… Read more

Expert Not Required for AMMA Affirmative Defense

  On December 22, 2016, in a divided 2-1 decision, in Ishak v. McClennen, No. 1 CA-SA 16-0134 (12/22/16) Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals held that for Medical Marijuana DUI cases in which the defendant wishes to have the jury instructed on the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) Cardholder affirmative defense, the… Read more

Search of Suspected Shoplifter Held Illegal Absent Arrest

Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals recently held that the trial court erred when it refused to suppress the use at trial of drugs and illegal weapons found in a search of an alleged shoplifter’s backpack.   In the case, State v. Synder, No. 2 CA-CR 2015-0077, 10/7/16, the defendant was detained and… Read more

Defendant whose attorney was assisted by law student was not denied effective assistance of counsel.

In Arizona, some law students can appear in court and participant actively in the proceedings pursuant to Arizona Supreme Court Rule 38.  To be eligible to appear, the law student must file a certification with the court stating they meet certain requirements.  In cases representing felony defendants a supervising attorney must be present at all… Read more

Elements of Felony Shoplifting include Two Prior Convictions, and Defendant Not Entitled to a Bifurcated Trial on the Prior Convictions

In Arizona felony shoplifting includes two prior convictions within the past five years as elements of the offense.  As is relevant, 13 A.R.S. § 1805(I)  provides: “A person who . . . commits shoplifting and who has previously committed or been convicted within the past five years of two or more offenses involving burglary, shoplifting,… Read more

Statements made by defendant to participate in TASC used against him at trial

6/30/16 Arizona Rules of Evidence Rule 410(a)(4) provides, “a statement made during plea discussions with an attorney for the prosecuting authority if the discussions did not result in a guilty plea or they resulted in a later-withdrawn guilty plea.” is not admissible as evidence against the defendant.   In State v. Gill, Court of Appeals… Read more

Defendant denied peremptory change of judge after arraignment on second indictment.

6/29/16  In Arizona both the defendant and the State have the right to a peremptory change of judge, meaning a change with very few limitations.  The notice of change of judge may be filed within ten days after Arraignment.  Only one peremptory change of judge is allowed per party.   In Woodington v. Browning and… Read more