Friday, November 11, 2011

American Legion Riders Award

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

To have freedom, 'let people be free'

Marc J. Victor, Phoenix Criminal Attorney
To have freedom, 'let people be free'
an article by Dary Matera

News item: A judge pro tem was fired Thursday, his first day on the
job, for refusing to hear drug cases.

The late March story went on to say that the Mesa criminal defense
attorney, a marijuana legalization activist and member of NORML
(National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), felt he
couldn't honestly dole out the required mandated punishment for drug

No kidding.

Intrigued, I gave the guy, Marc Victor, a call to set up a bong
session . . . I mean an interview.
Driving to his, I had visions of Jerry Garcia in pinstripes, hanging
out in a psychedelic office with black light posters of Kurt Cobain
on the wall. Ten to one, a refurbished VW van with shag carpet would
be parked outside.

No such luck. Victor, 34, turned out to be a teetotaling, ex-Marine
sergeant who operates out of a glass and concrete business complex he
shares with mortgage brokers, life insurance companies, PR firms, and
someone who does "endodontics," a dental procedure that requires that
you get really high first.

Inside this sea of conservatism lurks a squeaky clean Desert Storm
vet with the look of a Republican but the soul of a rebel.

"It's not about drugs or legalization. It's about the violation of
the right of self-ownership," the married father of three young
children said. "I'm fighting for the right of the individual against
government intrusion. If you want freedom, then damn it, you have to
let people be free - even if you don't agree with it."

In other words, Victor is not a big fan of victimless crimes or
legislating what adults can do with their bodies.

Granted, Victor's career sacrifice wasn't derailing. Judge pro terms
are unpaid attorneys who fill in for full-timers.

Still, the legal dodge is a vengeful, good-ol'-boy network, and
Victor's stance took no small amount of courage, especially for a man
with aspirations of becoming an appellate judge.
If that's now the impossible dream, Victor can live with it. In fact,
as much as his refusal to handle drug cases was blown up in the
press, it could have been a lot worse. Victor said he also would have
refused to handle gun possession, gambling, zoning or prostitution

"If adults want to rent their bodies to other adults, they should
have the right to do so," he said.
Strong words from a bull-doggish Marine who hits the gym at 4:30 a.m.
six days a week to pump iron. A man who wouldn't think to poison his
compact, 5-foot-5 body with drugs or alcohol, but refuses to judge
those who do.

Warming up, Victor said the American judicial system is collapsing
under the weight of unnecessary drug cases. In Arizona, he said he
believes it's verging on an implosion.

He's considering running for county attorney on a platform of doing
away with drug laws and other victimless crimes, and re-emphasizing
the prosecution of quaint, old school criminals such as murderers,
thieves and rapists.

Right on! He'd get my vote.

Dary Matera, a new community columnist, is an author who lives in
Chandler. The views expressed are those of the author. He may be
reached at

DUI - Driving Under the Influence

The best advice I can offer regarding a DUI is not to drink alcohol and then drive a motor vehicle.  Besides risking being prosecuted for a criminal offense, driving while impaired can easily result in a serious accident or death of a person.  Such a situation will likely result in a prosecution for either an Aggravated Assault or a Manslaughter.  Prosecutors generally seek prison sentences for such crimes.  Few circumstances can change a person's life faster than causing the death of another person by driving while impaired.  Many people are unaware that driving with an alcohol level below the legal limit can also result in a prosecution for a DUI.  Even over the counter medications or prescription medications can be the basis for a DUI charge if those medications result in the slightest impairment to a driver.  If you plan to drink alcohol, take a taxi or use a designated driver.  It is better than ruining your life or some else's life in an instant.

      If you are pulled over by an officer who suspects you may be impaired, you should not answer any questions.  You are not ever required to answer questions posed by a police officer.  You are required to present your driver's license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.  Generally speaking, refusing all tests at the roadside is the better choice.  Even completely sober drivers can fail many of those tests.  In any event, it is the officer who decides how you performed on those tests.  You may not agree with the officer's conclusion.  You may be required to exit your vehicle whether you are the driver or the passenger.  You should always request to speak to an attorney immediately. 

      Punishments for DUI offenses include mandatory jail, mandatory fines, counseling, license suspensions, ignition interlock devices and generally cause insurance rates to increase.  Punishments are severely increased for multiple DUI convictions.  Committing a DUI while your driver's license is suspended or revoked for any reason can result in prosecution for a felony offense.  A felony conviction can haunt you for the rest of your life.  DUI is an easy crime to avoid.  Adults of legal age should feel free to drink alcohol, but are required to do so responsibly.  Driving after drinking alcohol is not responsible, and can easily result in dramatically changing your life for the worse in an instant.   In short, don't do it.