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Wrongful Arrest & Incarceration

Phoenix Wrongful Arrest & Incarceration Lawyer

Protecting the Rights of Criminal Suspect & Defendants in Arizona

The U.S. criminal justice system uses the highest burden of proof in U.S. law – beyond a reasonable doubt – as a means to ensure innocent individuals are protected against wrongful imprisonment. In the collective opinion of our society, adoption of such a standard means we believe it is better to let a guilty person go free, than to incarcerate someone who is innocent. Unfortunately, as statistics make clear, false arrests and wrongful incarcerations still happen frequently in America.

At MayesTelles PLLC, our Phoenix attorneys represent clients in a range of civil rights cases, including those which claim the government made wrongful arrests or convictions. If you have a potential case to discuss – involving either yourself or a loved one – our legal team is available to evaluate whether you might have a civil rights claim, and what our award-winning lawyers can do to help.

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Wrongful Arrest & Incarceration Claims in Arizona

Wrongful arrests and convictions may arise from a number of failures and civil rights violations. Although the unique facts vary from case to case, common factors behind a wrongful arrest or incarceration include:

  • Suspect Misidentification: According to the Innocence Project, misidentification is the leading cause of erroneous arrests and convictions. Often, wrongful arrests involving identification errors stem from mistaken accounts of eyewitnesses, whose testimony or ability to identify alleged suspects can degrade over time, or be influenced by police and prosecutors who are overly focused on securing convictions.
  • Unreliable Forensics: Estimates from the Innocence Project suggest nearly 45% of DNA exoneration cases involved misapplied or invalid forensic science. This includes forensics based on insufficiently validated methods, as well as misleading forensic testimony, forensic testing errors, and various forms of misconduct.
  • False / Coerced Confessions: Researchers suggest as many as 1 in 4 wrongfully imprisoned individuals in the U.S. made false confessions, or were coerced into making incriminating statements, admissions of guilt, and confessions by law enforcement. Such issues commonly stem from unlawful interrogation tactics (such as torture, exhaustion, and intimidation of suspects), as well as law enforcement taking advantage of vulnerable individuals (such as minors, persons with physical or mental disabilities, and individuals with limited education or understanding of their legal rights).
  • Incentivized Informants: Informants who have an incentive to testify against criminal defendants are responsible for as much as 15% of all overturned convictions in the United States. Be they jailhouse informants, co-conspirators, or other witnesses or informants, these parties are often incentivized to provide testimony against an individual in exchange for leniency in their own criminal matters. However, the validity and reliability of their testimony is highly questionable.
  • Police and Prosecutor Misconduct: Law enforcement and prosecutors are human, and are not exempt from committing mistakes when detaining, investigating, arresting, or prosecuting suspects and defendants. In some cases, however, their conduct may rise beyond reasonable errors to the level of misconduct – a common cause for wrongful arrest and imprisonment. That’s especially true when cases concern willful witness or evidence tampering, misleading arguments, coercing suspects or co-defendants, false statements, and various violations of procedural rules and defendants’ due process rights, among other missteps.

In Arizona, civil rights claims filed over wrongful arrests and incarceration are different than criminal charges alleging false or unlawful imprisonment. Per A.R.S. § 13-1303, unlawful imprisonment is a crime which involves a person knowingly retraining another against their will.

Wrongful arrest or incarceration, on the other hand, are claims brought by Plaintiffs in civil lawsuits. These claims may stem from any of the factors above, and generally allege that plaintiffs suffered losses – including emotional pain and suffering, anxiety, reputational harm, lost wages, and other damages – as a result of police or prosecutorial misconduct which led to a wrongful arrest, or wrongful incarceration in a jail or prison.

Compassionate Advocates. Proven Civil Rights Attorneys.

While innocent persons should not have to face the devastating consequences of a wrongful arrest or incarceration, and though they should be exonerated in a timely fashion, the current state of the criminal justice system means claimants with such civil rights claims often face complex and contentious legal battles. In an overburdened system where too many turn a blind eye to misconduct and systemic failures, having a compassionate, experienced advocate by your side can make all the difference.

Our Phoenix-based attorneys at MayesTelles are available to speak personally with individuals and families who would like more information about pursuing civil claims over a wrongful arrest or incarceration. Call (602) 428-7104 or contact us online to request your free consultation.

We've Won Thousands of Cases

  • Charges Reduced to Reckless Driving

    Client R.C. was stopped by Mesa Police for a civil traffic violation and later charged with DUI, Extreme DUI, and Super Extreme DUI in a justice court. During the course of their representation, MayesTelles attorneys discovered important inconsistencies in the police reports. When we presented these issues to the State, the prosecutor’s office agreed to drop all DUI charges.

  • Fatal Commercial Vehicle Accident

    MayesTelles Client A.F. and her husband tragically lost their unborn child as a result of the negligence of an individual operating a commercial vehicle in Yuma, Arizona. After substantial investigation including accident reconstruction and filing a lawsuit, the insurance company paid out the policy limits of $1,000,000.00.

  • 4 Counts of Aggravated DUI Dismissed

    Client M.W. was charged with 4 counts of Aggravated DUI in the Maricopa County Superior Court in July 2016 for allegedly riding a motorized bicycle under the influence. The attorneys at MayesTelles demanded that the State include certain materials in their presentation to the grand jury, resulting in the grand jury refusing to indict and the case being dismissed.

  • Client Charged with DUI

    Client, GS, charged with DUI - sentence was reduced to reckless driving.

  • Client Facing Assault Felony

    M.L. was charged with 1 count of Aggravated Assault, a class 3 dangerous felony. She plead guilty to Aggravated Assault, a class 6 undesignated felony, with a stipulation to 3 months of initial jail. She received credit for 32 days and the rest of the jail time was deferred. She was placed on 3 years of supervised probation. She has the opportunity to designate the offense a misdemeanor after successfully completing probation. Location: Maricopa County Superior Court

  • Client Charged with DUI

    Our client, A.R, was charged with 1 count of DUI and 1 count of Failure to Control Speed to Avoid a Collision. During extensive pre-trial investigation, it was discovered that the police made many errors in how they handled the case. We were able to get the client's charges reduced to reckless driving. Location: Glendale City Court

  • Client Charged with Four Felony Counts

    Our client, Ms. D., was charged with two counts of forgery - a class 4 Felony as well as theft - a class 2 Felony and also fraudulent schemes and artifices - a class 2 Felony. We were able to get her conviction reduced to a class 6 undesignated felony with the opportunity to reduce further to a misdemeanor. Location: Maricopa County Superior Court

  • Client Charged with Trespass & Assault

    Our client, T.C., was charged in Maricopa County Superior Court on July 8, 2015 with 1 count of Criminal Trespass, a class 6 felony, and 1 count Assault, a class 2 Misdemeanor. On September 9, 2015, after an 8-day jury trial, our client was found not guilty on both charges. Location: Maricopa County Superior Court

  • Client Charged with Shoplifting

    Our client, Ms. H., was charged with shoplifting - a class 1 misdemeanor. We were able to get her conviction set aside. Location: Phoenix Municipal Court

  • Client Faced 5 Felony Sex Offenses

    Our client, Mr. C., was charged with five counts of felony sex offenses, including two counts of Sex Conduct with a Minor and three counts of Molestation of a Child. We were able to get the case dismissed upon a successful Motion to Dismiss. Location: Maricopa County Superior Court

  • Client Charged with Disorderly Conduct

    Our client, K.F., was charged with Disorderly Conduct, a class 1 misdemeanor. We were able to get this client's case dismissed. Location: Tempe Municipal Court

  • Client Facing Multiple Criminal Charges

    Our client, L.S., was charged on October 20, 2014 in Mesa for an assault, disorderly conduct, and criminal damage. MayesTelles PLLC was able to get those charges dismissed.

  • Client Facing Multiple Domestic Violence Offenses

    Our client, Ms. C., was facing charges of assault / domestic violence (class 1 misdemeanor), disorderly conduct / domestic violence (class 1 misdemeanor), and criminal damage / domestic violence (class 1 misdemeanor). We were able to get our client's case dismissed. Location: Mesa Municipal Court

  • Charged with Assault & Failure to Appear

    Our client, L.S., was charged in Phoenix on December 27, 2014 for assault and failure to appear. After completing diversion, our client's case was dismissed.

  • Multiple Felony Theft Offenses

    Our client, Mr. C., was charged with Theft of Means of Transportation (Class 3 Felony) and Trafficking in Stolen Property (Class 3 Felony). Both class 3 felonies have a possible sentencing range of 2 - 8.75 years in prison. We were able to get our client's charge reduced to a Class 1 Misdemeanor with no jail time. Location: Maricopa County Superior Court

Why Choose MayesTelles PLLC?

  • Nearly 200 Years of Combined Experience
  • Thousands of Cases Successfully Handled
  • Voted Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Available to Our Clients 24/7
  • Former Prosecutors & Law Enforcement
  • AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys

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Hear From Past Clients We've Helped
    "I would recommend them 1,000%"
    The entire staff was so kind and nobody treated me any different because of my past! There are no words I can give you to thank you for what your company has done for me!! Thank you so much!
    - K.H.
    "Only Pick MayesTelles"
    I sure hope to never get in trouble again but when I did I put my money and trust in MayesTelles. Not only do they listen, they CARE! As if it was them in my shoes! They don't judge you or make you feel uncomfortable and you can sit back and relax.
    - L. M.
    "Put My Mind at Ease"
    I never thought I would be someone needing a criminal lawyer. Choosing Mayes Telles was a great choice which has put my mind at ease. Melanie Laboy has been super responsive to my case and kept me informed during this entire process.
    - E.W.
    "I had a great experience and would definitely recommend David Lish."
    Got myself in some trouble and David Lish pulled me right out. He was really good at making me feel comfortable and helping me understand exactly what was going on with my case. David made my Felony go down to a misdemeanor and allowed me to come home to N
    - Elizabeth
    "Zach Thornley the greatest criminal lawyer at Mayes Telles"
    Zach turned hell to heaven (not guilty) for me and I will never say enough thank you for the fantastic job he did!!!!! Zach thank you
    - SG
    "The Best Lawyer in My Experience"
    David Telles is the best lawyer in my experience. It was a pretty big case, but he handled very professionally. My case was dismissed, I was very happy with the result and I am really thanks to David Telles.
    - Hanna
    "Professional, fair, and successful results for our clients."
    We are often asked what law firm do we see offers excellent advice and successful results for our clients and we tell them Mayes Telles. Blake Mayes, David Telles and Dean Turnbow have had fantastic communication with our office and our clients can't speak
    - Sanctuary Bail Bonds
    "Professional, fair, and successful results for our clients."
    We are often asked what law firm do we see offers excellent advice and successful results for our clients and we tell them Mayes Telles. Blake Mayes, David Telles and Dean Turnbow have had fantastic communication with our office...
    - Sanctuary Bail Bonds