What Is the Difference Between an Attorney and a Lawyer In Arizona?

It is not uncommon to hear these two words used interchangeably in both everyday conversation and in the news. And most of the time, it doesn’t cause confusion. Most people understand the meaning behind the words without getting caught up in the technicalities. However, there are differences between the two, and it may help to understand the details of those who choose to study the law as their passion.

Training and Practicing

  • All attorneys are lawyers, as the word lawyer means someone who has received training regarding the letter of the law.
  • A lawyer doesn’t necessarily tell clients what to do, or guide them down a specific path when it comes to their case.
  • A lawyer does not necessarily refer to someone who has both taken and passed the bar either, meaning they may be forbidden to use many of their skills until they do.
  • Many lawyers attend law school, and then find other roles for themselves. For example, lawyers can be advisors in government or journalists who cover different types of law proceedings. In this way, they’re able to use their knowledge without actually representing someone in court.

What Attorneys Do

  • Attorneys are those who have decided to turn the practice of law into their career. In order to be called an attorney, they must have passed the bar and been admitted by their jurisdiction. This means that if a person has passed the bar in Arizona they would be considered an attorney there, but if they moved to Ohio, they would be considered a lawyer. Not only will the attorney know and understand the facts, but they’ll be able to use those facts to build a strategy for each client they work with.
  • Attorneys are able to go into a court on behalf of their clients to present evidence and try cases. Another term you may be used to hearing is the word esquire, which the UK uses for anyone with a distinguished career or high position. In the US, it’s only attorneys who adopt this title, but it should be noted this is not necessarily a technical term. Meaning if someone uses the term esquire without actually having passed the bar and become a practicing lawyer, they are unlikely to be convicted for it. The conviction would stem from the actual practice of law if they were unauthorized to do so.

When it comes to idle conversation, you can always use the term lawyer and be correct. You’ll simply want to ensure that the person you hire to represent you in a case is a practicing attorney rather than just someone who was trained in the law.

What You Need to Know About the TASC Drug Diversion Program in Arizona

There has been a lot of discussion about the best way to deal with non-violent drug offenders, with most people on both sides of the political aisle preferring drug diversion programs that enable recovery rather than jail time. TASC stands for Treatment Assessment Screening Center, and it has a stunning 73% success rate in curtailing criminal relapses. With 34,000 people having taken the program, its benefits extend to families and society in tangible ways. Find out more about who it’s for and how it works.

Who Is Eligible
The program is meant for those who have pleaded guilty to felony drug possession, and are deemed good candidates for a treatment program. While everyone has certain milestones they’re expected to hit, TASC works with each person to determine the best ways to redirect their life. Once they’ve successfully completed the diversion program, their charges will be dropped.

Marijuana Charges
The Possession of Marijuana program lasts for a maximum length of 6 months. During this time, the participant will be screened, attend classes and may be given counseling. They’ll need to take one 3-hour seminar in order to understand more about the dangers of the drug. If they’re shown to reuse during this time period, they’ll need to comply with substance abuse counseling as well.

Narcotics Charges
If the offender is charged with a narcotic, they’ll need to enroll in the Possession of Narcotic or Dangerous Drugs Program. The program lasts at least a year, where the participant will get valuable tools for the long-term. They’ll need to take a 3-hour drug seminar, and clock at least 24 hours of counseling. Counselors will be referred out and may be one-on-one or in a group. Case managers will review and discuss progress on a monthly basis, which may or may not require meeting in person.

The participant will also attend 48 hours of self-help meetings. Meetings can be with groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or another approved organization. The participant is free to find the group that works best for them, even if it’s not a group devoted to their particular habit. These meetings are free, and also give the participant a chance to find a sponsor.

Misdemeanor Program
For those who have a misdemeanor charge that will likely result in a conviction, this alternative diversion program will allow participants to take a one-day seminar to learn more about the dangers of risky behavior. The charge cannot involve a physical injury of any kind, nor can it be a motor vehicle charge. Eligible candidates must not have had a prior conviction (either misdemeanor of felony) within the past 5 years.

If you have already been charged with a drug offence in Arizona, contact the Nolan Law Firm for a free consultation at (480) 568-6158.

What Exactly Is a White Collar Crime in Arizona?

Have you ever heard of a white collar crime? Perhaps you heard that one of your neighbors was arrested for insurance fraud, or saw the film The Big Short about the mortgage industry fraud that caused a brief depression in 2008.

Whether or not you’ve heard of it, white collar crime, both at the federal level and state level, is a serious offense and carries with it hefty penalties. It’s important to understand what white collar crime is and how Nolan Law Firm can get you out of an Arizona white collar criminal charge.

What is a white collar crime?
White collar crime” was originally coined in a 1939 address to the American Sociological Society. At the time, it was a term defining criminal activities performed by a person of high social status while employed in their career. Now, the definition has expanded to include fraud commonly committed by professionals in the business and government arenas.

White collar crimes are popular topics for movies and TV shows, but real-world fraud isn’t so entertaining. Perpetrators both at the federal level and in Arizona can go to jail, be levied hefty fines, or experience strict probation. That’s why it’s important to know what white collar crime looks like in Arizona. If you’ve committed one of the following crimes, you need to be aware so you can be protected.

What are white collar crimes in Arizona?
There are a few broad categories of white collar crimes, and mostly they center around one thing: money. White collar crimes can be defined under the following:
• Fraud at the corporate level, including lying on accounting documents, conspiracy, and embezzlement
• Laundering of money
• Fraud of commodities and securities, including investment fraud, mortgage fraud, and insurance fraud

There are many more examples out there (like cyber crime, mail fraud, or telemarketing fraud), but bottom line, white collar crimes are illegal in Arizona. Most white collar crimes that are illegal at the federal level are also illegal in Arizona at the state level.

What if I’ve committed a white collar crime in Arizona?
If you have committed one of the crimes on the list above, you are at risk of being charged with anything from lengthy jail time to fines soaring into the thousands of dollars. But not to worry. Nolan Law Firm is experienced with fraud charges and can assist you in either reducing your penalty or getting out of the charges altogether. Contact us at (480) 568-6158 for 24-hour legal advice, or find us online.


What Is The Difference Between Setting Aside A Case vs Dismissing A Case In Arizona?

The legal world is filled with nuances and seeming contradictions. Each state has its own set of laws, which may be the same as other states, similar, or different. Legal terms can also be even more baffling when used by the media or entertainment industry. In this article, we will compare the difference between setting aside a case and dismissing a case.

To set aside a case means that the original judgment is changed in some way. After a trial or other determination, a party can ask the court (called a “motion,” or “petition the court”) to change the result. Of course, there needs to be sufficient, and legal reason for this setting aside to happen. Each case is unique and is governed by the law. So the original decision can be completely cancelled, or it can be modified somehow. The decision and case still exists, it is just changed. What would prompt a motion to set aside? In a criminal case, perhaps the sentence was too harsh for the crime, like life imprisonment for stealing a loaf of bread. In a civil case, it could be claimed that the amount of damages awarded were excessive based on the injuries suffered.

When a case is dismissed, that means it is closed. It can be dismissed before a trial, during a trial, or at the conclusion. A case dismissed “without prejudice” means that the case can be re-filed at a later date. A case dismissed “with prejudice” means the specific claim cannot be re-filed or re-charged to the defendant. A dismissal must be approved by a judge because it means the case is over.

In criminal cases, a dismissal is not the same as an acquittal. Being acquitted means that the person could not be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

When something is expunged, it is completely wiped out. It offers a fresh start for perhaps a petty crime, or mistaken identity. Laws vary greatly about which arrests and convictions can and cannot be expunged or sealed.

For instance in Arizona, “set aside” and “expungement” mean the same thing. So, in that State, the case is not erased, but still visible and is still available during criminal record checks for employment or other purposes.

A case can be dropped at any stage of the process. Whoever instigated the case, civil or criminal, perhaps feels that the evidence available would not support their position.

All of this may seem confusing, and it is. If there is any question, seek legal representation from a qualified attorney.

What Should I Know About Current Sheriff Paul Penzone and Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio

County Sheriffs have the opportunity to interpret the law, which means that different situations are subject to their opinion and they can choose what issues get priority in the area. That’s why it’s so important to understand the people who are at the forefront when making these decisions, and how they approach their jobs. Learning more about the differences between current Sheriff Paul Penzone and former Sheriff Joe Arpaio can give you a better idea of what you can expect in Maricopa Country.

How It Was

Arpaio served for more than 20 years as Maricopa County Sheriff, and he proudly did so with an iron fist. His name recognition was undeniable, and people appreciated his no-nonsense style for many years. Arpaio is a Republican, and a staunch supporter of Trump. He famously created Tent City, which essentially kept Arizona criminals outside in tents to save taxpayers and (hopefully) discourage criminal behavior. He didn’t approve of the tracking devices that were being used on certain criminals, nor did he approve of spending money to house them. When it comes to his name recognition on a national level, he is likely most well known for his criminal charges. Federal prosecutors announced that they would be formally serving him for violating civil immigration laws prior to the 2016 election.

A New Sheriff in Town

Penzone represented the county headed in another direction for many people. Some voiced their concerns about local interests getting lost in favor of federal issues like immigration. The county has 1,700 rape kits that have yet gone un-investigated by policy, which suggests that it wasn’t a priority for Arpaio. Penzone has two decades of experience as an officer, and and was recognized both in the country and internationally for defeating traffickers and violent criminals of all kinds. Despite one domestic dispute in 2002, he seems genuinely dedicated to peace and order. He wants to increase the amount of communication with the community and law professionals, whereas Arpaio seemed more focused on instilling fear and a Wild West atmosphere. He wants people to feel comfortable reporting crimes with the promise that they will be heard. He especially believes in the rights of children, and encourages the community to take a larger interest in everyone’s well being — including seniors and the poor.

Regardless of which style of law you support, the two men certainly have very different ideas of what it takes to build a strong community. As Penzone becomes more comfortable with this role, the county will learn more about his long-term solutions when it comes to law enforcement.