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In 1912, Arizona was the last contiguous state to be admitted to the Union. Over the years, this Southwestern state has played a large part in criminal procedure as well as immigration reform; and it continues to assert its voice on issues affecting the gay community.
In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Miranda v. Arizona, a case which greatly impacted the rights of criminal suspects across the nation. In Miranda, the Court outlined certain rights for defendants who are in police custody. First, statements made by a defendant in response to an interrogation are admissible in court only if the prosecution shows that the defendant was informed of his right to confer with a lawyer before and during questioning.
Further, a criminal defendant must have understood his rights and voluntarily waived them; otherwise, his confession is inadmissible in court under the Fifth Amendment. Additionally, Miranda holds that a defendant’s confession is inadmissible if he was not informed of his right to representation under the Sixth Amendment, and he waived this right. Miranda is the reason why police departments nationwide must give people they arrest a “Miranda warning,” in which the rights outlined above are disclosed.
In 2008, Arizona adopted what many consider one of the strictest immigration laws in the nation. Under the Arizona law, a State Superior Court may suspend an employer’s business license if it intentionally or knowingly hires people who are unauthorized to work in the country, and the court may revoke such a license after a second violation. The law also specifies that Arizona employers must verify new hires’ eligibility to work by using the Basic Plot Program.
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Many business associations have challenged this immigration law; however, a U.S. District Court of Arizona found that the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) permits states to impose local licensing sanctions like the one at issue in Arizona, and the Arizona law affords employers sufficient procedural due process.
In 2006, Arizona was the first state in the U.S. to reject an amendment denying legal and financial benefits to unmarried homosexual or heterosexual couples. In 2008, however, Arizona amended the State Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman in an effort to prevent the Legislature or courts from changing it.
According to a recent poll conducted by the American Bar Association, there are 12,793 resident lawyers practicing in Arizona. These lawyers specialize in many areas of law, including family law, bankruptcy, and personal injury. No matter what type of legal issue you’re facing, LegalMatch can help. This free service provides clients with a list of pre-screened local lawyers who specialize in the appropriate area of law.
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Last Modified: 12-27-2013 02:06 PM PST