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Questions Answered by Mike Branum
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: I was stopped, got charged with narcotic sales and, they Took ma car in as evidence, When do I get it back? In Arizona
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 13, 2019

Maybe never. If you plead guilty to or are convicted of trafficking and the vehicle was used in the process; the state could take the vehicle under asset forfeiture. You might have to buy it back at auction. Regardless, you should arrange for another means of transportation to make your court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I’m a minor who married in California. Does me being married make me emancipated? Is my marriage valid in Arizona?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 3, 2019

The answer to both your questions is most likely yes. I would advise you to speak with a local family law attorney knowledgeable in emancipation to clarify the specifics of your situation, but, generally minors are considered emancipated once they marry and Arizona law requires recognition of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Can my ex deny visitation with no court orders for visitation?

I pay child support and we have never gone to court for custody or any visitation orders. No restraining orders or anything. We were never married. She even changed my son’s last name without my consent, even though I am on the birth certificate. I haven’t seen my son in 3 years. Can’t... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 8, 2019

Unfortunately, you have little recourse without an order from the Court. I presume the child lives in Utah with the other parent. If you truly cannot afford the court fees, you can request a waiver. I would refer you to utcourts.gov and look at the self-help section for family law.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: Double jeopardy question - simple assault and disorderly conduct, Arizona

Hello was charged with disorderly conduct and (later) assault arising out of a traffic collision in Arizona. At first, I was charged with the disorderly then about a week later, the simple assault charge was added to the same case against me. As both or these charges arose out of the same conflict... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 8, 2019

Jeopardy does not "attach" until a case has been adjudicated. In plain English: until you plead guilty or are found guilty or not guilty in a court of law, you may be subject to additional prosecution. These are also different charges, so, unless the statute of limitations has run (the prosecutor... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Native American Law for Arizona on
Q: What do I put on a motion for a telephonic hearing in the navajo nation court on November 15? Do I have time?

The court hearing is up in window rock, and I live in Phoenix. I need to get my kids to school that day, and there isnt enough time for me to get there in time at 10 am, on top of the fact that I dont have a way to get there. I just found out a telephonic hearing was possible, but now there is... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 3, 2019

The Clerk of Court cannot provide legal advice, but yours is more of a logistical question. They may be able to assist you without filing any paperwork. That is where I would start. Hopefully another attorney with experience with the tribal court will see your question and provide a more informed... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: I would like to withdraw a plea of guilty before sentencing to unemployment fraud.

If I plea guilty to a felony it may result in an automatic retake from my sending state. I am currently being supervised by the state of AZ.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 2, 2019

My answer to your previous question stands. Failure to diligently research potential consequences is not likely to be a convincing argument before the Court. You really should be discussing this with your attorney / public defender who knows all of the specific details of your case. If you attempt... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: Do you know of any unemployment fraud cases that were dropped from a felony to misdemeanor with a prior felony

Originally agreed to a plea but would now like to withdraw guilty plea before sentencing

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 2, 2019

It is exceedingly difficult to withdraw a plea. I would highly discourage you from doing so without being advised by a competent criminal defense attorney that in your specific case that is wise. If you are already a felon and you felt like you could live with the terms of the agreement at the time... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Is a guardian ad litem legally required to provide both parties in a custody case a report on his findings

The GAL assigned to my case refused to see me until I paid him in full which I could not do. He did not investigate claims made by other party to see if they were accurate did not ask me my side or allow me to present my evidence to him that claims made were a lie. At our temporary custody hearing... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 2, 2019

You really, REALLY need an attorney on your side. If you have not contacted Utah Legal Services to see if you can get pro bono assistance, you truly should . . . Monday. A guardian ad litem SHOULDN'T favor a party who pays over one who does not, but that doesn't mean it might not happen. If you say... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Utah on
Q: I have never been to jail till Halloween , I was intoxicated in the home I reside, how much trouble am I looking at?

I don’t make this a habit, I’m not a drinker yet I drank to much and blacked out so to speak

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 2, 2019

Based on the extremely limited information at hand, I will presume you were charged with public intoxication; you have mentioned no other potential crimes. In order to be found guilty of the charges, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was likely that you would have injured... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I missed family court Friday, thought it was this Monday

Going in first thing Monday morning to get this handle. Frist time missing a court date, notice on line where is isurrance of warrant issued, what should i do and not sure if i am going to jail.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 2, 2019

If you show up first thing Monday morning and tell them you are there to quash a warrant they should be able to assist you with getting that handled. Dress your best, be respectful and apologetic. Going to jail is a very remote possibility if you appear to be a responsible person who just missed a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: What type of lawyer do i need?

Im payee on my moms social security and i used her benefits for myself. Social security was notified ans wants to talk to me. Im scared to talk alone. What should I do?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 2, 2019

I would suggest a criminal defense attorney. If you have committed Social Security fraud (which it sounds like you may have), you may be facing criminal charges in federal court.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I missed my family court date friday which i thought was this monday. I'm going in to the court first thing monday

Not sure what to do, i just know i need to do something

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 2, 2019

First stop: the Clerk of Court. Tell them what happened and ask them how you can petition the Court for another date. If this is the first time you have missed a court date and the judge did not enter a default judgment against you, it should not be a huge deal. I would make sure to apologize to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: I am 15 and my step-dad is emotionally abusive towards me he wont buy me my needs, Can I go live with a friend?

I live in too small of a house with way to many people, Its a 4 bedroom house with 10 people. My friends family are willing to take me in, my biological dad is going to jail and there is no one I can go to he has denied me from seeing a therapist or anything like that. Can my friends family get... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 25, 2019

Contact UtahLegalServices.org and see if they can refer you to a pro bono (no fee) attorney in or near Tooele. Alternatively, could you convince your mom (unless step dad has adopted you, he really doesn't LEGALLY get a say in the matter) to sign over temporary guardianship? If you cannot get pro... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Military Law for Arizona on
Q: What rights do I have to keep and maintain my children's military dependent ID cards?

My ex is no longer active duty due to medical issue & works on base as a civilian maintaining his military benefits & ID for both of our children age 14 & 15. Through him, our children have TriCare Insurance & their doctor is on base. I have court orders granting me full primary physical custody... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 24, 2019

Is there any reason you could not get duplicate identification cards? I would go to where the ID cards are issued, explain that your ex-husband is infantile, and request they make duplicates to eliminate one source of your ex's tantrums.

If option A is not possible, you might ask the...
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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for Utah on
Q: I got pulled.over a week ago or so for no registration. And I had a weed pipe on me and a bag of weed.

Utah state. I got possession of controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia. Just weed, first charge ever in my 28 years. Also Failure to register registration. Warning. Is what the ticket says.

the officer gave me a break for just making it easy for him when he asked if I had... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 18, 2019

An attorney would have to inspect your documents to give you a good answer but my suspicion is that there was a communication breakdown between you and the officer. Failure to register is a non-moving violation and is generally dismissed if you produce evidence that you have corrected the problem.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: How long is normal to wait for information regarding your case from an attorney hired for prefile representation in AZ?

It has been 17 days since I hired an attorney to represent my adult son who is on the Autism Spectrum; in a pre file case regarding false allegations of sexual misconduct toward a child that were filed against him in a police report. We have provided documentation regarding my son's medical... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 16, 2019

A lot depends on the status of the case and whether there are any deadlines. Many, if not most, attorneys have a large number of active cases and must prioritize. If charges have not been filed yet, the attorney cannot even request discovery from the prosecutor. Until your attorney knows what... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice, Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Arizona on
Q: Is there a perceived or actual conflict of interest resulting from a former prosecutor turned legal defender?

Recently a case was assigned to a public defender (former prosecutor) to defend a man whos father had been prosecuted successfully by the same attorney many years prior. The son's case is not of the same charges as his father's prior case, however, the attorney remains in the same jurisdiction,... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 11, 2019

If he SUCCESSFULLY prosecuted the father, he sounds like he's qualified. If there isn't another reason to all for another attorney, you may want to leave or alone. You have to be careful what you wish for. Your "new" attorney might be less to your liking than the one who or the father in jail.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: I'm an unmarried father in Utah of 3 boys. Have lived as a family since the begining to present. Can I get 50/50 custod

Ages 7, 5 and 3. I am on birth certificates. Really have been living as a normal family with mother for 7 years till present. Just have never been married. Our neighbors are even shocked at times to hear we were never legitimately married. We're ending on good terms for the most part but the one... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 1, 2019

You will likely be hard-pressed to find an attorney willing to give you your chances. I will tell you that the request, based on the extremely limited amount of information in this Ask-a-Lawyer post, is reasonable. If you are willing to actually be responsible for taking care of the children 50% of... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: 2018 my wife was charged with Felony Fleeing it has been over 1/1/2 yrs ago now she is charged Help ??

Feb 2018 my wife was arrested for felony fleeing.The police arrested her from our home.The police refused to allow her to make arrangements for our 3 minor children who were left in the home alone overnight leaving her open to child neglect charges on top of felony fleeing. I was deployed in... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Sep 26, 2019

It is difficult to determine whether you are indicating that you are in transit or you are supposed to be getting ready to return to the sandbox. If you have not left yet, you need to change your orders. If you are outside CONUS, you need to request emergency leave and COME HOME. Your children... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and DUI / DWI for Utah on
Q: Expired BAC test tube validity?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Sep 26, 2019

Results should be suppressed. You have won the lottery! Has to prosecutor offered a plea deal yet? Don't expect your case to be dismissed, mind you, but the state now has a much harder than ahead of them.

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