Should this deserve a jury trial?

Asked over 4 years ago - Tucson, AZ

Charged with M1 disorderly conduct, M1 assault, M3 trespassing, city court, bench trial. Defendant is a green card holder with restrictions (2 year temporary green card), in the process of removing the status and become 10 year green card holder. Judge made racist comments in the court against defendant. Convicted disorderly conduct and assault, dismissed trespassing. Just filed appeal paperwork. Questions:
1.Because of judge's racist comments, will that be one of the solid ground for appeal?will that be considered Unconstitutional?
2. Because of the immigration reason, will this deserve a jury trial although it is petty offense?
3. Individually, the sentences are max 6 months, 6 months and 30 days. Could all the sentences be added up as the worst 13 months then qualify jury trail?

Additional information

Because the conviction was completely rediculous, the defendant should be innocent. Thus why filed the appeal although the chance of an appeal is very small. But it might be a way to seek for justice.

There is a short time line for appeal, so have to file the paperwork before it is getting too late. Want to get some good advices before can get an attorney.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Eleanor L. Miller

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . None of the charges you mention are jury eligible in AZ. Did you (if you represented yourself) or your attorney make any kind of objection when the judge made the racist comments? It would have been a good time to ask for a mistrial and notice the judge for cause. However, even if you didn't, you might be able to convince the appellate court (which is superior court for your purposes) that it was "fundamental error," i.e., the kind of error which precluded you from having a fair trial.

    I truly hope that you had an attorney, and I would suggest that, whether you did or did not, you consult with an immigration attorney. Depending on the underlying facts of the offenses, you may still have deportable problems, especially with the assault.

    The sentences do not matter for purposes of a jury trial. The court doesn't have the authority to "stack" misdemeanor sentences to any sentence over 6 months. Neither do the
    immigration consequences. However, if you had an attorney who did not advise you of the immigration consequences for convictions on these charges, and you would have taken a plea agreement if you'd known those consequences, you may have a shot at a petition for post-conviction relief, based upon the attorney's failure to advise you when you were making that decision.

    I suggest you consult immediately with a good, competent defense attorney as well as an immigration attorney -- or have the defense attorney do that for you. Your stay in this country may count on it.

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