Sentencing Defense Attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona
Next to trial, the sentencing hearing is one of the most crucial phases of a case. Since it is the last opportunity to communicate with the judge, what the accused says can affect their sentencing. This is the time when prosecutors will quote the law and argue for how much prison time they want the accused to serve. In order to have a chance at convincing the judge to impose a lower or no prison term, the accused must acquire an attorney with an expert mastery of Arizona's criminal sentencing laws.
The law of sentencing in Arizona is confusing. There are several classes of felonies and misdemeanors. Since each misdemeanor and felony has its own set of special rules for repeat offenders, "dangerous" offenses, and minimum jail terms, there has been a dramatic increase in Arizona's prison population. In fact, Arizona's prison population is increasing at over twice the rate of its general population.
Punitive Sentencing Laws
This steep rise in imprisoned people in Arizona is not due to expert police investigations that have captured hundreds of violent offenders. To the contrary, nonviolent offenders make up the majority of state prisoners. Arizona's sentencing laws are so punitive that repeat non-violent offenders actually receive, on average, sentences that are greater than some sentences for violent offenders.
Finally, Arizona is also notorious for disproportionately incarcerating Latinos and other people of color in unequal numbers from the general population. Consider the fact that Maricopa County has a Sheriff who was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union for racial profiling as he does not permit "illegal" immigrants to visit inmates in his jails and has called it an "honor" to be compared to the KKK.
Life after Sentencing
The only winner in this process seem to be the Department of Corrections, which in 2009 was approved for a budget of nearly one billion dollars at $999,701,500. This is a $142 million increase from 2007. Although the DOC may have a financial interest in imprisoning more people every year, the accommodations are far from nice. For example, Maricopa County proudly houses many of its inmates in "tents." It may be for this reason that Maricopa County will not permit the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to inspect their jails for human rights violations.
At the Law Offices of Michael Cordova, we know the sentencing laws of Arizona and will fight for your rights at your sentencing hearing even if we did not represent you for pre-trial or trial. If you have a sentence hearing and are in need of an attorney, please contact our Sentencing Defense Attorneys for a free, personal, and confidential consultation. You can contact the Law Offices of Michael Cordova at 602-265-6700.
Our attorneys not only work on sentencing cases but in other criminal defense and DUI areas, as well as personal injury, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, dog bites, motorcycle accidents, and product and premises liability, so please contact your local Phoenix attorneys for a free consultation.
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