Teen Sex and the Romeo and Juliet Defense

There are times when teenagers make decisions that could have an impact on the rest of their lives. In such instances, parents would want to make sure that their children are not unnecessarily and unreasonably sanctioned by law or by any other means. One particular area of concern is consensual sex by teens.

Sexual hormones are quite high and emotions are intense during the teenage years. When these are not kept in check, teens are bound to find themselves crossing the lines and, perhaps unknowingly, getting in trouble. The poor judgment could also be a result of the fact that the teenage brain is not yet fully developed. As a parent, you might then ask “Will my teenage child get arrested for having consensual sex in Arizona? How can the Romeo & Juliet Defense help?”

In Arizona, the law is clear on age of consent. Failure to follow the provisions stated in the law will lead to unfortunate consequences. If your child is convicted, he will:

  • Have a tarnished reputation,
  • Have difficulty in finding employment in the future, and
  • Risk imprisonment

Anybody who has sex with a minor faces the risk both of getting convicted of a sexual offense and having to register as a sex offender for all the rest of one’s life.


Age of Consent

In various US states, the law specifically states the age of consent. The term refers to the minimum age one must reach before he can legally consent to a romantic activity, such as sexual intercourse, oral sex, etc. In Arizona, that minimum age is 18.

It is not entirely hopeless if you find that your child who is below the age of consent has had consensual sex with a partner who is likewise still a teenager. You can ask your lawyer if you can invoke the Romeo and Juliet defense.


Arizona’s Romeo and Juliet Defense

Each state that implements the Romeo and Juliet defense has different legal provisions for the law. Arizona’s version states that the defense can be applied to a charge of sexual conduct with a minor if the victim is between 15 to 17 years old. The following additional requirements should be met:

  • The commission of the sexual act is consensual.
  • The defendant is below 19 years of age or is currently attending high school.
  • and the age gap between the defendant and the victim is less than 24 months.

If your child is 18 years old and the other party is 15 years old, more than 24 months apart, the Arizona Romeo and Juliet defense does not apply.

The Romeo and Juliet provision is usually the first recourse for those who find themselves in this predicament. Those who cannot be helped by this defense can make use of the Mistaken Identity Strategy.

Depending on the circumstances of your teenager’s case, your lawyer may be able to argue a Mistaken Identity defense. This defense strategy is used in cases when it can be shown that the victim lied about his or her age.

The defense can be strengthened further by showing the court that the defendant made attempts to know the true age of the accuser.

If the defendant can show that he/she checked the victim’s social media or some identification, or even contacted the victim’s friends to verify the victim’s age


Legal Assistance for Your Romeo and Juliet

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law, can help you protect your teen’s rights. Robert A. Dodell is a veteran lawyer who has handles both juvenile and adult criminal cases in Arizona. You can check out the reviews to see how satisfied his clients are with the legal services that they received.

When your teenage child is facing any kind of legal trouble, you can expect that it is going to be a really difficult time for your child and the entire family. What you need is a legal professional who can assist your child. To learn more about sex crimes visit Robert A. Dodell Attorney At Law, for a free initial consultation.

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10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321



Adoption Attorney Vs An Adoption Agency

Do You Need The Assistance Of An Adoption Attorney Or An Adoption Agency?

Choosing between an agency and a private entity is a hard decision to make if you are thinking of adopting a child. A wise decision can only be made when you have enough information to make a proper analysis.

Adopting a child is a life-changing experience for any family. Apart from ensuring that the adopted child feels comfortable and happy with his or her new family, there is also the matter of the legal paperwork to deal with. It is important to remember that adoption is a legal process. Without legal documentation, the adopted child cannot be considered by law as part of the adoptive family. There are prescribed steps when it comes to filing the necessary documents and going through court proceedings.

It is easy for people to confuse an adoption attorney with an adoption agency. But, there are clear differences that you should know before you make the choice. They are not one and the same and one certainly has an advantage over the other.


Adoption Agencies

These agencies provide services that match parents who want to adopt with children who need homes and families. If the adoptive parents are not adopting a child through State foster care or adopting an identified child, such as a relation or one born to a friend or acquaintance, then an adoption agency is likely the route to take. The range of services is extensive – from pre-counseling an expectant mother who wishes to give up her baby after childbirth to helping adopted children connect with their biological parents should they wish to do so when they reach adulthood.

Here’s what you can expect when you select an adoption agency:

  • Counseling Support throughout the adoption process – adoption agencies are staffed with family counselors, psychologists, and social workers who can counsel birth parents, adoptive couples and their immediate family members, and children under their care. Counseling support services are often available right before matching a child to a family and extend to after the child has settled in with his adoptive parents and siblings.
  • Biological Information about the child – the adoption agency keeps records of all biological information about the child, including his birth parents and his medical records. This information is often essential when it comes to serious illnesses and injuries. In some instances, the adopted child would also want to trace his roots and find out who his real parents are.
  • Administrative Support in compiling and filing all necessary documents to make the adoption legal – parents who want to adopt their own child will have to be ready with a number of documents that indicate their capacity to raise a child. These include identification certifications, financial records, and other legal documents that pertain to previous changes in marital and family status.


While it would seem like adoption agencies provide all the services that you could possibly need to adopt a child, the adoption agency process is extremely expensive and is best if the adoptive parents do not have a particular child in mind to adopt or do not go through the State foster care system. Those adoptions are not suited for an adoption agency.


Strong, Seasoned Adoption Attorney

An experienced adoption attorney will do a variety of types of adoptions, including adoptions of children in foster care and independent adoptions, step-parent adoptions, and grandparent or relative adoptions. Adoption agencies have their place, but not when it comes to these adoptions.

Here’s what you can expect from an adoption attorney:

  • Expert Legal Advice from start to finish – you do not have to ‘grope in the dark’ or scrounge around for answers to your questions when you already have an adoption attorney to consult with. You are less likely to be misinformed and consequently make the wrong decisions. These mistakes can set you back in terms of time and money.
  • Timely Processing – there are legal steps that need to be taken in the right order. For instance, there needs to be a court ruling on the Termination of Parental Rights to emancipate the child so you can adopt him. There are also prescription periods that will have to be observed, such as the time period within which a child should be adopted from foster care, the grace period allowed for birth parents to appeal their case, the deadline for birth parents to revoke their consent to adopt.
  • Better Understanding and Application of state adoption and child welfare laws – there are variations in adoption laws from one state to another. When you have an adoption attorney like Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law, you can be sure that every step that you take towards legally adopting a child will be the right one.


In order to ensure that every step of the process is done properly and in a timely manner. Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law, is a skilled and seasoned adoption attorney. He can help you every step of the way and make the entire adoption process as smooth as possible despite the complications and challenges.

Hiring an adoption lawyer can be an advantage to you in many ways. It is also the more cost-effective option. Since you are getting advice from a legal standpoint, you have a better chance of getting a favorable response from the court as well. You avoid the unnecessary stress of having to rectify mistakes or having to go through the entire process all over again because of a misstep.

To find out more about how an adoption attorney can help you understand the legal procedure of adoption, connect with Robert A. Dodell, by sending him an email message or by calling him up at 480-860-4321 now for a free initial consultation.

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law
10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 860-4321

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DUI Attorney Scottsdale – Criminal Lawyer – Serving Tempe & Mesa, AZ | Robert Dodell Law Offices

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


What To Do When Charged With A Medical Marijuana Or Alcohol Related DUI

A DUI defense is not something you should work on by yourself. Many people are not sure about how they legally can take on a DUI charge whether it’s for medical marijuana or alcohol.

A DUI related to alcohol is something that can cause you serious issues. You can have your license suspended or revoked depending on how many times you’ve been convicted for this offense. There are fines and some people will even get jail time. It all depends on where you live and what kind of defense you build. If you are pulled over, always be respectful but find out what the best response is depending on where you live. You may want to contact a lawyer soon so you can ask them what they recommend. Even if it costs you a little to consult with them, it’s worth it.

Marijuana has been classified as a Schedule 1 drug which makes it as bad to get caught with as heroin or Ecstasy. No matter how many states legalize it, the fact is that the DEA still has it listed as one of the most dangerous drugs without any benefit to those that use it. This may not seem fair, but the fact is that it can lead you to problems if you are caught driving while you’re high. Most drug prescriptions have warnings not to drive while taking the script because they can significantly impair your judgment and reaction time. Medical marijuana is of the same and can impact your ability to operate a motorized vehicle.

Alcohol driving offenses require a different form of proof than drug offenses.  Alcohol offenses have blood and breath tests to determine just how much someone has drunk. With illegal marijuana, however, the State just needs to be in ones system to be an offense.  There is no quantification.  But with medical marijuana, it is legal to drive, so long as the marijuana does not impair the ability to drive. So, if you’re in an accident and have to submit to a drug test, you can be charged with a DUI even if you have traces of marijuana in your system, even if you weren’t high when driving!

If you ever get charged with a DUI whether it’s for alcohol or marijuana, it is best to contact a DUI lawyer like Robert a. Dodell, Attorney At Law. We deal in cases involving DUIs and other traffic law offenses and we can help establish a strong defense for this type of situation. Whatever you do, don’t just go to court with a plan to tell them something you read online or that you think you know about the law. Chances are, you will incriminate yourself or run into other problems. Unless you deal with the law for a living, it makes little sense to risk your freedom just to save money!

Being charged with a DUI can significantly alter your life in a negative way. The good news is that there are options for you no matter what happened.

Charge Defense Services in Your Local Area:

Felony Defense in Scottsdale
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Felony Defense in Tempe
Misdemeanor Defense in Tempe

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DUI Attorney Scottsdale – Criminal Lawyer – Serving Tempe & Mesa, AZ | Robert Dodell Law Offices

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


Boating Accidents DUI Defense Lawyer: What You Should Know

Recreational boating has been a popular leisure activity in the U.S. for years. Whether with powerboats or sailboats, over 87 million people enjoy recreational boating and other water sports activities such as fishing and water skiing every year. Because of these leisure activities, boat Driving Under the Influence is a recurring problem.


Boating DUI

Unlike our highways, waterways do not have marked lanes, road signs and street lamps. Our boats do not use the same braking mechanism as cars do. Aside from the big difference in operating environment, like any motorized vehicle, the three main contributing factors of boating accident are the operator’s error, machine failure, and excessive speed. These factors, when combined with DUI, can lead to even worse accidents.

Arizona is now ranking fifth in boating accidents and seventh for the most number of injuries. The most common occurring accident is collision with other vessels and Influence of alcohol accounts for 1/3 of all recorded fatalities.


Arizona’s Action

During the summer, expect Arizona local officials and other law enforcement agencies to set up DUI checkpoints to make sure of the safety on waterways. Local officials are peace officers with licenses having the same authority as the police to stop, investigate, and arrest criminal acts. This is their way of keeping the boaters vigilant of the law and to protect others from unsafe boaters.


Arizona’s Boating DUI Laws- Overview

While it has similarities with DUI laws, Arizona has passed several revisions to the boating DUI bill. According to A.R.S. 5-395, it is illegal for anyone to use or be in control of a motorized vessel under any of these circumstances:

  1. The person is impaired to the slightest degree by the influence of alcohol, drug, or any substance.
  2. The person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more within 2 hours of operating a motorized vessel whether the alcohol is consumed before or while in the vessel.
  3. The person is under the influence of any drug provided in section 12-3401 of the law.
  4. The person’s alcohol concentration is 0.04 or more while operating a commercial motorized vessel.


Arizona’s Charges and Penalties – Overview

If arrested, the penalties and charges suspects might face in Arizona vary depending on the degree of the offense. According to A.R.S. 5-395.01:

First Offense

  1. The person is charged guilty of class 1 misdemeanor.
  2. The person serves at least 10 consecutive days in jail.
  3. The person pays fines totaling to at least $ 1250.
  4. The person may be subjected to community service by the judge’s decision.
  5. The person needs to attend the alcohol and drug screening and complete the treatment program.

It is possible for 9 days of the jail sentence to be suspended with the proper court order provided that the person completes the alcohol and drug screening and the treatment program, so long as the offense did not recklessly endangered another person with a substantial risk of physical injury.


Second Offense within 7 years

  1. The person is charged guilty of class 1 misdemeanor.
  2. The person serves at least 90 days in jail with 30 consecutive days out of these. Home Detention may be possible in lieu of some of the jail time.
  3. The person pays fines totaling to at least $ 3000.
  4. The person is subjected to 30 hours of community service.

It is possible for 30 days of jail sentence to be suspended with the proper court order provided that the person completes the alcohol and drug screening and the treatment program, so long as the offense did not recklessly endangered another person with a substantial risk of physical injury.

Also see managing multiple offenses


Boating DUI Defense

Boating DUI requires someone who has the expertise in defending this type of case. It is possible to drop all the charges right away given the right circumstances if the situation is dealt quickly. There are cases where suspects can appeal for an Illegal search that violates the Fourth Amendment. Declining Field sobriety tests is possible if the situation can clearly go against the suspects’ favor like performing in wet and unstable surfaces on the boat. An experienced lawyer can also help defendants when faced with outdated and not properly calibrated breath test devices. Lawyers can help the victims defend their rights relating to race, religion, gender, sexual preference or age when there is no reasonable suspicion present.


Consulting an experienced lawyer will help defendants deal with their case quickly and properly. The right lawyer can even make the charges and penalties lower or be dropped completely. Robert A. Dodell is an experienced criminal and DUI lawyer practicing law for over 30 years.


Boating Accidents DUI Defense Lawyer: What You Should Know was originally published on http://azcrimlaw.com/blog/

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DUI Attorney – Criminal Lawyer | Robert Dodell Law Offices

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


Arizona’s Mitigating Circumstances Law

A person who is convicted of a felony usually has mitigating circumstances that a court should consider when imposing a sentence. The mitigating circumstances are found at A.R.S. § 13-701(E)(1)-(6):

  1. The age of the defendant.

  2. The defendant’s capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of the defendant’s conduct or to conform the defendant’s conduct to the requirements of law was significantly impaired, but not so impaired as to constitute a defense to prosecution.

  3. The defendant was under unusual or substantial duress, although not to a degree that would constitute a defense to prosecution.

  4. The degree of the defendant’s participation in the crime was minor, although not so minor as to constitute a defense to prosecution.

  5. During or immediately following the commission of the offense, the defendant complied with all duties imposed under sections 28-661, 28-662 and 28-663.

  6. Any other factor that is relevant to the defendant’s character or background or to the nature or circumstances of the crime and that the court finds to be mitigating. Found on https://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/00701.htm

The Arizona Supreme Court defined ‘duress” in mitigating circumstance (3) as “any illegal imprisonment, or legal imprisonment used for an illegal purpose, or threats of bodily or other harm, or other means amounting to or tending to coerce the will of another, and actually inducing him to do an act contrary to his free will.” Originally found on AzCourts.gov See State v. Herrera, 174 Ariz. 387, 400 (1993). In Herrera, the Court found mitigating circumstance (6) when the defendant fatally shot the deputy because his father ordered him to do it.

Mltigating circumstance (6) is a catchall that a person can use when the previous 5 circumstances don’t apply. A person’s lack of a criminal record falls under this circumstance according to State v. Thurlow, 148 Ariz. 16, 20 (1986). Other potential mitigating circumstances are a person’s traumatic childhood, dysfunctional family, personality disorder, poor physical health, strong family support, employment, rehabilitation, cooperation, and/or remorse.

Mitigating circumstances are important because a court shall take into account the amount of aggravating circumstances and whether the amount of mitigating circumstances is sufficiently substantial to justify a sentence lower than the presumptive sentence according to A.R.S. § 13-701(F). A court shall impose an aggravated sentence (greater than the presumptive sentence) if the trier of fact finds aggravating circumstances and the court does not find any mitigating circumstances. In other words, the presence of mitigating circumstances allows the court to impose a lower-than-average sentence while their absence requires a higher-than-average sentence.

Arizona law on mitigating circumstances is complicated. You need an experienced defense attorney to fight for you. Attorney Robert Dodell, Attorney At Law has over three decades of experience. Call him today for a free initial consultation.

Arizona’s Mitigating Circumstances Law was first seen on http://azcrimlaw.com/blog/

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DUI Attorney – Criminal Lawyer | Robert Dodell Law Offices

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


Arizona DUI Checkpoints, What to Know and How to Be Prepared for Them

In the state of Arizona, DUI laws and the corresponding penalties for violation are among the strictest in the country. To help make sure that the laws are enforced, the state sets up sobriety checkpoints all over the state during various times of the year. The checkpoints are common during holidays like the 4th of July, Memorial Day, New Year’s Eve, and Labor Day. At the checkpoints, police officers are on the lookout for impaired drivers.


What to Expect at DUI Checkpoints

Police officers manning a sobriety checkpoint may either stop all passing vehicles or use a pre-determined pattern to stop particular cars. The goal is to determine if the drivers are impaired. Checkpoints are often set up early in the morning or late at night, when the percentage of impaired drivers on the road is at its peak.

When you are stopped at a checkpoint, officers may request to search your vehicle. Unless they have legal grounds to perform the search, you may refuse their request. If they order you to step out of your car, do so, but lock the door once you get out of the car, unless explicated instructed otherwise.

You have the right to refuse to take all field sobriety test. This includes the any of the tests which will ask you the track a pen with your eyes, walk in a straight line, touch your nose, or reciting the alphabet. Thus, even if you are eventually charged with a DUI, the officer cannot include how you did on those tests as a reasons to arrest you.

You may also be asked to undergo breath alcohol testing to determine the level of your blood alcohol content. While you can also refuse to take the test, the consequences of your refusal will result in the loss of your driving privileges. It is best to always ask to speak to an attorney prior to making the decision on whether you should refuse to take the chemical test.


Effectiveness of Sobriety Checkpoints

The police believe that DUI checkpoints are effective in reducing the number of impaired drivers on the road, even if many violators are able to get around them. What’s important is for the public to be aware that impaired driving is never tolerated. Based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studies, there are three DUI arrests done by roving patrols for every arrest made at a DUI checkpoint.


Preparing for Arizona DUI Checkpoints

Following are some tips on how you can prepare for DUI checkpoints:

  • If you can, determine where the checkpoints in your area will be set up prior to a holiday. Locations are usually posted on state and city government websites, and announced on local news, the radio, and in newspapers.
  • Make sure you have your registration and license within easy reach, in case an officer stops you. If that happens, immediately present the documents. You may arouse suspicion if you fumble in getting your license and registration.
  • Don’t offer more information than what the law requires you to supply. Even when an officer asks, you don’t have to tell him where you’re going or where you came from. Likewise, you don’t have to provide information about your past or recent drug or alcohol.
  • If there are other people riding with you, it is important that they are not seen with any drug paraphernalia or open alcohol containers.
  • While at a checkpoint, always be respectful and remain calm. Whether you are impaired or not, showing rudeness or nervousness will do you no good. You have to stay composed at all times. When asked, produce your registration and license right away. Never complain during the entire time.

If you or any of the passengers are charged with a DUI or possession of illegal drugs at a DUI checkpoint in Arizona, it is important that you immediately seek the help of an experienced DUI attorney like Robert A. Dodell.

Additional Related Items For DUI’s – These Are Different Circumstances:

DUI Interlock System

Repeat DUI Offenses and What to Do


Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law
10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 860-4321


Arizona DUI Checkpoints, What to Know and How to Be Prepared for Them was originally published to robert dodell owner of azcrimlaw

Arizona DUI Checkpoints, What to Know and How to Be Prepared for Them first appeared on:

DUI Attorney – Criminal Lawyer | Robert Dodell Law Offices

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321


Benefits of Hiring a Traffic Ticket Attorney

Even if you have been driving for a long time, you may commit some minor driving errors that can result to traffic violations. These include forgetting to use the proper signal when turning, going beyond the speed limit, and beating the red light.

These seemingly minor violations can quickly add up, and you may not have the time or the experience to deal with them on your own. Thus, hiring a traffic ticket attorney to contest your traffic tickets in court would be a great move. This way, aside from possibly having to pay lower fines, you may avoid higher insurance premiums and additional points in your driver’s license, as well.


The Traffic Ticket Lawyer

A traffic ticket attorney like Robert A. Dodell deals in traffic and driving laws. He has extensive experience in defending traffic court cases including routine moving offenses like beating the red light, and more serious violations like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

A competent and experienced lawyer will, regardless of the circumstances surrounding a violation, will work to lower your penalties, negotiate for alternative penalties, or have the traffic ticket dismissed altogether.

  • Lowering Ticket Penalties – In general, this involves convincing the State to dismiss or lower your fines and / or the assessment of driver’s license points. This will not only save you money in fines, but may also help you avoid higher insurance rates and driver’s license suspension.
  • Negotiating for Alternative Penalties – Attending traffic school is a common and popular alternative to a standard ticket penalty. Completing the course will help keep your driver’s license points from accumulating, and prevent your insurance premiums from escalating. Thus, when offered traffic school instead of something more serious, don’t hesitate to grab the opportunity.
  • Having the Ticket Dismissed – Competent traffic ticket lawyers are well-versed on traffic laws. Thus, they know the right ways to get the traffic ticket dismissed, including:
    • The issuing officer’s non-appearance in court
    • Your agreement to plea to a less serious violation


Weighing Lawyer’s Fees versus Ticket Costs

While working with a lawyer has definite advantages, you must first decide if the cost of hiring a lawyer would be worth the amount of penalties and other benefits you will gain. It is the fact that the services of an attorney are not cheap. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Does the traffic ticket fine cost less than the attorney’s fees?
  • Will the additional points assessed on my driver’s license be too much of a burden?
  • How much will my automobile insurance premiums increase?


Working with Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law may entail some costs. You may save a little money by dealing with your traffic tickets on your own – if you are successful in having them dismissed. However, if you are convicted, the penalties, the entry of points on your driving record, the higher insurance premiums you will most likely be assessed in the future, as well as the stress that comes with a conviction, may not be worth the savings in the long run.

Contact My Office Today For Help:

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law
10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 860-4321


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DUI Attorney – Criminal Lawyer | Robert Dodell Law Offices

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321