This is the next post in my series on the handling of Phoenix, Arizona criminal charges which relate to unlicensed contracting. My last article discussed our state’s fines for contracting without a license. It is important to understand that our state imposes both criminal and civil penalties for such conduct. These penalties can impact one’s ability to earn a living as well as future career prospects. In this article I will address another important issue – defending against the criminal charges which stem from such matters. If you find yourself facing misdemeanor allegations then it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Misdemeanor charges begin with an arraignment at which the defendant will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. The Court will set a trial date. As a practical matter, most unlicensed contracting cases result in a plea negotiation between the defendant’s attorney and the prosecutor. Depending on the severity of the offense it may be possible to reach an agreement in which the defendant will not serve jail time and the charge will be dismissed after all fines have been paid to the state and restitution has been paid to the victim. This type of an arrangement would, assuming the defendant completes all of the requirements, result in one not having a criminal conviction on their record. This can go a long way towards protecting future career prospects.
It is important to understand that matters involving criminal charges should not be seen as a “do it yourself project.” Retaining counsel can ensure that your side of the story is fully presented to prosecutors during plea negotiations and that any mitigating factors are also presented. How the matter is handled by your counsel can have an impact on the eventual resolution of the case. Also, retaining an experienced lawyer can help you understand what it is you should expect from the process so that you are not surprised at each step of the way.
I base my practice on the idea that everyone is entitled to the highest level of respect. I also stress the need for regular attorney client communication and work diligently to keep my clients informed as to the status of their case. Contact my office today to speak with a lawyer. In addition to to Phoenix, I service Maricopa County areas such as Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert as well as Pima County residents in Tucson.