Thursday, December 29, 2011

Marc Victor at Libertopia, Legalize Meth!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Judge dismisses lawsuit on Arizona Day of Prayer

There is a disturbing trend developing in First Amendment jurisprudence; especially in the area of church and state separation.  Notwithstanding the fact that many state sponsored or endorsed religious actions appear to clearly violate the well established parameters of the First Amendment, courts are now routinely dismissing lawsuits for lack of standing.  To be clear, these dismissals do not involve a rejection of the constitutional challenge on the merits of the claim.  To the contrary, they are simply evasions of the issue altogether.  They are technical dismissals resulting in the untenable position that these First Amendment violations are simply unchallengeable by any person.  Rather than hear these challenges on the merits and reach the inescapable conclusion that such actions are indeed unconstitutional, many courts have agreed to side step the issue by construing the doctrine of standing so such unconstitutional acts remain safe from constitutional challenge. Courts should be bold enough to hear and decide these challenges on constitutional grounds.  Constitutional protections are meaningless if courts construe the law such that no person can invoke those protections. 

In an effort to attempt to have these matters heard on the merits and to validate the notion that constitutional violations can be challenged, our clients have decided to appeal the district court’s dismissal of the Day of Prayer lawsuit.  We expect to file an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal very soon.  Additionally, another lawsuit will be filed in the state court alleging violations of the state constitution. 

This lawsuit is about the role of government.  Our clients remain committed to the notion that prayer is either a private matter or one that can be openly and loudly promoted by any private individual or private company on any private property for any length of time.  Any effort by government to inhibit any private person’s right to pray on any non-governmental property would be opposed by all plaintiffs to this lawsuit.  However, our clients, those religious and non-religious, remain equally committed to the well established notion that government should neither promote, inhibit nor endorse any religious view.  Simply put, government should stay out of religious matters altogether; our constitution forbids it and it is both consistent and indispensible to notions of a free and open society. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Crossroads of the West Gun Show

Marc Victor gave a speech on gun laws at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show on Saturday. He gave his number one piece of advice to a large crowd "Just Shut Up". The advice is what to do if you are questioned by law enforcement...just shut up! Any statements you make WILL be used against YOU so the best thing you can do is to JUST SHUT UP!

For more advice on what to do when confronted by law enforcement be sure to look at the videos and articles on the Attorney For Freedom website.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Leisure World Gun Club

Attorney Marc J. Victor speaks to the Leisure World Gun Club about gun laws. He delivered his speech to a packed room and gave long standing advice like "Just Shut Up", his advice of how to deal with law enforcement if you are involved in a gun related incident.

East Valley DUI Task Force kicks off Friday, December 4th : Press Releases - Arizona Department of Public Safety

East Valley DUI Task Force kicks off Friday, December 4th : Press Releases - Arizona Department of Public Safety

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.

Beware of the Dragon Slayer

I should have known better. Having previously defended a woman whose dog barked at a cow; a man who, without a permit, built a shed in his backyard; a woman whose dog stepped on the grass of a no-dog park; a girl who entered a state park without paying the three dollar entrance fee - despite the broken fee collection machine; and a man who hung a sign over his business in violation of the city zoning ordinance, I should have expected a struggle. Sadly, I had been told so many times, "The law is the law."

My client was a wife and middle-aged mother of two young children who she drove to school Monday through Friday. She also worked a full time job located a substantial distance from her home. She had no prior contacts with the law; until now.

She called me about a month ago and told me of her past evil doings. When she was a teenager living in another state, she accidentally caused an automobile accident. As a result, that state required her to purchase the expensive SR-22 insurance. She did. Many years later, she moved to Arizona where she was informed she was not required to purchase the SR-22 insurance. She didn't.

The first state then suspended her privilege to drive and promptly notified Arizona. Because she was suspended in the other state, Arizona suspended her license as well. After being notified of the suspensions, my client immediately paid a small fee to the other state and was reinstated. At my client's request, the other state sent a clearance letter to Arizona. Arizona informed her that they received the clearance letter and everything was fine. Arizona didn't inform her that she needed to pay a reinstatement fee. As a result, my client drove for years without knowing her Arizona license remained suspended.

One day, my client was the unfortunate victim of a small automobile accident. After the police officer arrived to "help," it was discovered that my client's license was suspended. Despite immediately paying the previously unknown but all important reinstatement fee, my client was nonetheless charged with the crime of driving on a suspended license.

She reasonably thought she could easily resolve the matter in court. However, after being told by the judge that jail was an option and a six-month license suspension was mandatory, I'm sure I was the first phone call. I wasn't optimistic. It was an easy slam-dunk for the prosecutor. I accepted her case and agreed to try and make a deal to resolve it quickly. I thought maybe the prospect of my client losing her job and her kids not being able to go to school would resuscitate some long lost spark of compassion buried deep in the spot where the prosecutor's heart used to reside. Yeah right!

My client's case was assigned to Ms. Hitler for prosecution. My sentimental requests for leniency were immediately smashed with an iron fist. Ms. Hitler responded with the novel argument, "The law is the law." Ms. Hitler was angered when I was not persuaded by her favorite argument and indeed wanted to joust with her supervisor instead. Not surprisingly, Ms. Hitler's supervisor Mr. Stalin was equally unimpressed with my arguments. We were forced into a trial. What fun!

As the trial began, I couldn't wait to discover what defense I would argue to the judge. Incidentally, this is not my favorite way to try a case. Ms. Hitler called the "helpful" police officer to the stand who testified that she arrived at the accident scene, obtained my client's driver's license and discovered it was suspended. No cross-examination.

Ms. Hitler then moved to admit a certified copy of my client's driving record indicating it was suspended. I objected based on every reason I could argue with a straight face. The driving record was admitted and Ms. Hitler rested the state's case.

I don't think Ms. Hitler enjoyed it when I then requested that the court enter a judgment of acquittal for my client because the helpful officer friendly didn't actually see my client driving. Just for fun, I added that I wasn't calling any witnesses so there could be no rebuttal testimony for the state. Because the judge wasn't laughing and Ms. Hitler was getting even madder, I added that the helpful officer was guessing about who was driving the cars. We won.

After the judge left the bench and my elated client departed, Ms. Hitler felt obligated to enlighten me to the fact that, "Sometimes the dragon wins." Upon further inquiry, I learned Ms. Hitler wasn't initially certain whether my client or I was the dragon she was referring to. Apparently, she was absent during "think before you speak" class at prosecutor's school. Eventually, she decided my client was the dragon.

The twenty-five minutes of Ms. Hitler bashing that followed was worth the price of admission for me. The slaying of the dragon slayer was a quiet victory that day. One nice family was rescued from a jungle of craziness inhabited by a helpful police officer and a prosecutor who treats everyone equally.

Attorney Marc J. Victor