Category Archives: carlaw

Knowingly

The case of Trevor Clarke, an Ottawa Canada driver who was involved in a serious 2012 collision with a bicyclist while drunk, and then fled the scene raised quite a stir. According to news reports, the driver was convicted (by a judge, meaning this was for unstated reasons not a jury trial) in 2015 of “impaired driving causing bodily harm”, but was found not guilty of leaving the scene because the judge said. “I am left in a reasonable doubt about whether Mr. Clarke knew or was wilfully blind to having collided with a person, precisely because he was so drunk. He cannot, therefore, be convicted of this offence”. Continue reading Knowingly

Celebrity DUIs and other car criminals

There are tens of thousands of DUI arrests per year in AZ (39,746 in 2013 to be more precise). And that’s not counting the many of the over ten thousand hit-and-run drivers reported each year in AZ (11,402 in 2010 to be more precise), all of whom are criminals, thousands of them serious felons, few of whom are ever caught or charged. (hit-and-run from a collision with any injury is a felony, if the injury is serious or fatal the felony is likewise serious). Continue reading Celebrity DUIs and other car criminals

The REAL ID kerfluffle

In 2007 (or was it 2008; it was the 48th 2nd regular session) the state of Arizona inserted a new law into the transportation code that specifcally prevents ADOT (“the department”) from issuing DLs or IDs (i.e. motor vehicle drivers licenses, or in the case of non-drivers, state issued identification cards) that complied with federal REAL ID requirements. HB2677

The bill created statute 28-336. Continue reading The REAL ID kerfluffle

Man Pleads Guilty in Street Racing Fatality

Flowers adorn the central Phoenix wall on April 8 that a car rammed through following a wreck involving teen drivers in late March. The victim, Octavio Grijalva Herrera, died from his injuries.(Photo: Randsom Rockliffe / The Republic)
Flowers adorn the central Phoenix wall on April 8 that a car rammed through following a wreck involving teen drivers in late March. The victim, Octavio Grijalva Herrera, died from his injuries.(Photo: Randsom Rockliffe / The Republic)

See man-killed-while-mowing-the-grass for background on the March 26, 2014 incident.

Correction (earlier rant removed): The hit and run involved the other alleged racing driver (Chavez),   Gonzalez did not hit and run… Continue reading Man Pleads Guilty in Street Racing Fatality

Vehicular Assault

Arizona has no such crime, nor do we have a vehicular homicide statue. You’ve either assaulted someone or not; if you use a vehicle in an assault, you will be charged with aggravated assault, a serious felony. These cases far more commonly involve impaired drivers — an impaired driver who causes a crash w/injury are routinely charged with aggravated assault; e.g. the driver in the pedicab incident (sentenced to 4 years in prison). However from time to time, there are drivers who are just plain angry over something or other.

There’s a mis-conception that assault, §13-1203 requires causing actual physical  injury; but that is not the case, merely “Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury” creates the crime of assault. And aggravated assault  §13-1204 is just an assault committed with some listed factor; in cases involving a motor vehicle: “If the person uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument”, or if the victim is seriously injured regardless of how.

[ Also see  §13-1201, and  §13-1202 which are the crimes of “Endangerment”, and “Threatening or intimidating”, respectively. These all sort of play together, note the statute numbering: 1201,2,3,4 ]

Also, in case you were wondering:

28-3304. Mandatory revocation of license; definition
A. In addition to the grounds for mandatory revocation provided.. the department shall immediately revoke the license of a driver…
1. A homicide or aggravated assault resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle. [effectively this causes a 3 year revocation per 28-3315E1]

Harassment

Arizona has a criminal harassment law, it doesn’t appear to be particularly applicable to motorists who harass others on the road:

 §13-2921 Harassment; classification; definition

E.g. would or could unwanted and otherwise illegal repeated horn-blowing or screaming qualify as “with intent to harass (by) … causes(ing) a communication…”?

Some Arizona Cases of Drivers Charged Criminally in Arizona

Here are the curious cases of Theresa Depiero and Holly Solomon Continue reading Vehicular Assault

Today’s car-crime wrapup

remember, these are only the most-sensational ones; there were undoubtedly dozens of hit and runs, and various other assorted DUIs, serious injuries, and deaths.

In Avondale (Phoenix metro area, “west valley”)

Police: Meth fueled high-speed chase with children in car / A routine traffic stop in the West Valley took a violent turn on Wednesday night after police said a man shoved a woman out of a car and led officers on a high-speed chase down 75th Avenue with the woman’s children in the car, according to court records. Avondale police initially tried to stop the car 35-year-old Stewart Galligan…

Meanwhile in Scottsdale

Video shows suspect ramming Scottsdale police / The driver of an SUV whom police shot Thursday in a Safeway parking lot near Hayden and Chaparral roads twice tried to ram his way out of a trap, based on surveillance video released Friday by the Scottsdale Police Department…. The surveillance video shows at least a half-dozen police vehicles converging on the SUV. Officers exit their vehicles and quickly approach the SUV, which the driver puts in reverse and slams into a police vehicle. Several seconds pass before the SUV pulls forward slightly. The driver then puts the SUV in reverse, and again rams a police vehicle…

 

Road rage: on-duty Phx police officer arrested

[2/19/2015; Officer Sweet plead guilty to one count of disorderly conduct. Sentenced to probation Mar 26, the judge said “Probably the greatest loss for [Sweet] is the loss of being on the police department and that he’ll never be a police officer again in the state of Arizona” ]

Road rage really does make some people do wacky stuff.

Oiy: an older gentleman (age? maybe 60?) and his neighbor were on their way to Monday morning Mass when they got into a road rage incident with the driver of van. The driver of the van, as things turn out, is an on-duty Phoenix Police officer transporting some prisoners in an unmarked van. Anyway, the police officer ended up pulling his gun; and he, the police officer, has since been arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault. This is a huge charge so it will be interesting to see how that turns out.

A couple of interesting points; the case apparently involves surveillance video (it would make sense the van has that) — this will be interesting video to watch.

The police officer after the “stop” drove off. The occupants of the other vehicle immediately made a police report — this is key to not let road-bullies slide, whoever they are.

The arrested police officer was 51-year-old Jeremy Sweet. In the other car were former state legislator “Ruiz and his passenger, fellow churchgoer Monica Rivera”.

azcentral — Phoenix man: Officer made me fear for my life