Criminal Defense

Tempe Attorney Vigorously Protecting Your Rights against the Prosecution

James Novak is a Tempe criminal defense lawyer who has been representing Arizona residents charged with a wide range of offenses for nearly two decades. Mr. Novak is a former district attorney who uses his knowledge of prosecution strategies to help give people throughout the Phoenix area the strongest possible defense under the law. He has dedicated his career to helping neighbors in their times of need, and he has a proven track record of obtaining results for the people whom he represents. Mr. Novak can assist people who need a DUI attorney or assistance fighting charges of drug crimes, white-collar offenses, domestic violence, theft offenses, sex crimes, probation violations, and other misdemeanors and felonies.

Fighting Criminal Charges in Arizona

If you are suspected of or charged with a crime, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Timing is of the essence. The earlier in the process that you get legal representation, the stronger your defense is likely to be. This means asking for a lawyer as soon as the police start asking questions and declining to answer those questions until an attorney gets there.

A person charged with a crime in Arizona has a number of legal protections and defenses at his or her disposal. For example, protections under the state and federal constitutions limit the circumstances in which police officers can stop you or search you, your home, or your car, and the circumstances in which they can arrest you.

For police to stop you on the street, they must have a reasonable suspicion to believe that you may have committed a crime. This is a somewhat vague standard, but courts have found that a reasonable suspicion exists when the person stopped matches the description of a suspect, runs away from police officers, is loitering in a high-crime area, or is present at a crime scene. Officers also must have a reasonable suspicion to believe that you are carrying a weapon or other contraband to frisk you or pat you down.

Law enforcement is generally required to get a warrant from a judge before searching a person’s car or home. They may be able to conduct a search without a warrant, however, in situations in which waiting for a warrant could hinder the investigation. The police must have probable cause to believe that a vehicle contains contraband in order to search it without a warrant. Courts have found that people have a higher expectation of privacy in their homes, however, and further limit the circumstances in which police can search a residence without a warrant. If contraband is in “plain view,” police are in “hot pursuit” of a suspect, or certain limited emergency situations exist, officers can enter a home. The extent to which they can search that home depends on the justification for entering it.

Arrests also require probable cause to believe that the person being arrested has committed a crime. Once the arrest is made, the officers can search the person being arrested and the area within his or her immediate control.

However, none of these rules applies in situations in which a person consents to being searched or to having officers rummage through their car or home. It is therefore vital that a person who is suspected of or charged with a crime not consent to any searches without first obtaining the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. You should also take full advantage of your right to remain silent under questioning by the police, as provided by the Miranda warnings.

Enlist a Criminal Defense Lawyer in the Tempe Area

Felony lawyer James Novak helps clients throughout the Phoenix area protect their constitutional rights. Mr. Novak has 17 years of experience fighting aggressively for people in a broad span of criminal cases. As a knowledgeable Tempe criminal defense attorney, he knows how to protect a defendant’s rights at each stage of the process. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Arizona, contact our firm online or at (480) 413-1499 to schedule a free consultation. From our Tempe offices, we represent people in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and other cities in Maricopa County.