Our Chandler criminal defense attorneys have handled every type of misdemeanor offense in Chandler Municipal Court. The team at our firm includes former prosecutors. We also have an investigator who was formerly a Mesa Police Officer. Over the years, we have learned some valuable tips that we would like to share with you. Please know that every case is different and court policies and procedures may change. As such, please do not hesitate to call us to get direct answers from our criminal defense attorneys about your Chandler Municipal Court case.
Due to Covid-19, the Chandler City Court’s policies and procedures have changed somewhat. In particular, judges are allowing for more appearances to be conducted by telephone. It is vital, however, that you call well in advance to make sure that the court is allowing such appearances and the phone number to call.
Chandler Municipal Court handles misdemeanor matters arising from arrests within the Chandler city limits. Class one misdemeanors carry with them a maximum sentence of six months. The vast majority of misdemeanor matters do not result in length jail sentences, however. The typical criminal case in Chandler can last from 3 to 9 months.
The first court appearance is an opportunity to enter a plea of not guilty. The next settings are pretrial conferences that will allow you to obtain evidence against you and negotiate with the prosecutor.
Here are some tips to consider before you attend your first court date. Confirm your court date. There are two ways to do this in Chandler City Court. You can call the main phone number at 480-782-4700 Monday – Friday 8-4:30. If it is after hours, scroll down to click on the “Check your court date” link. That website will show if your date has been moved.
First, make sure that you arrive early. Second, dress appropriately. You should not wear a hat or any distracting clothing. During the Covid-19 outbreak you are required to wear a mask at all times within the Chandler City Court complex. Third, make sure your cell phone is off when you enter court. Finally, it’s always a good idea to get daycare for your children. The Chandler court is not a good environment for children. Any disruption could result in your removal from court.
Keep in mind that if the prosecution is not asking for jail time, you may not be able to get a public defender assigned to your case. If you are not “indigent” you will not get a public defender assigned. Public defenders are only appointed if you do not have the means to hire your own attorney.
In both instances, you can represent yourself and speak with the prosecutor about your options. Exercise care and caution, however. Prosecutors do not work for you. The prosecutor’s job is to convict people who are charged with crimes. Anything that you say can be used against you. Exercise caution! Avoid emotional appeals and do what you can to stay organized and focused.
Speak with an attorney before speaking with any judge or prosecutor about your case. Many criminal defense attorneys, including our firm, offer a free consultation.
At some point during the Chandler City Court criminal process, you may be offered a plea. A plea is a way to end your case by accepting guilt or by pleading “no-contest.” Pleading guilty or no contest has the same effect. You will have a conviction on your record and the judge will sentence you.
Towards the end of your case, the plea offer will expire. Because of this, if you do not accept the plea your case will be set to trial. At trial you have the right to call your own witnesses and question those witnesses who are called to testify against you. Keep in mind, however, that you usually can’t have it both ways. You cannot set your case to trial and then expect that the prosecutor will give you your plea agreement back at the last minute. Usually, prosecutors will give someone a chance to take a plea, but then if they want to go to trial, the plea is taken off the table.
In some cases, the sentence you receive is standardized by law. For example, first offense DUI cases that have relatively low alcohol concentrations usually result in a sentence of a day in jail. However, assault, domestic violence and other serious misdemeanors leave the door open for the judge to sentence a defendant to what they think is appropriate.
The maximum sentence for a Class one misdemeanor is 6 months in jail. This is the maximum. Most people do not receive anywhere near so much jail time.
If you are found guilty of an offense it is very unlikely that you will be taken to jail immediately. Instead, a judge will usually set up a “self-surrender” date. This means that you will be given time to get your affairs in order before you start your sentence. As a result, do not violate your release conditions or fail to appear in court. If so, you can usually rest easy knowing that there will be no surprises.
Of course, if you hire our firm, our goal is to keep you from going to jail. Our firm has successfully handled thousands of cases over 20+ years. We aggressively fight to win all of our cases in Chandler. When you call our office, you will feel that we are serious about getting the best results for you.
Click on our victories to see how many cases we have recently won. We are committed to our clients and we will do everything we can to get you the result you want. Call our attorneys today at 602-989-5000.
Here at Alcock and Associates our team and staff are dedicated to helping and representing YOU. The first step is to understand your case. We will take the time to get to know you and your legal situation so that we are best able to answer all of your questions. After your initial consultation with our attorneys, you will know what you are facing and what can happen to your case.
EVERY CONSULTATION IS COMPLETELY FREE AND COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL.