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National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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The National Trial Lawyers
Clients Choice Award 2018
State Bar of Arizona - Certified Specialist

What Makes a Great Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney?

When charged with a crime in Arizona you need the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer you can find. This is not always easy. Dwane Cates is one of the Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Arizona and has the Credentials to prove it. He is Board Certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a Specialist in Criminal Law. This means that he had to take an extra bar exam, he has to attend additional and more advanced training every year and he has verified trial experience. The State Bar of Arizona also awarded Dwane Cates with the Tom Karas Award for Criminal Justice. This is a very exclusive award and only twenty two Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyers have ever received this award.

Being a great attorney is more than just about knowledge and understanding the law. Managing large criminal cases requires a true captain who can navigate the case through all types of obstacles and aversion. He or she must be able to explore the case from both an offensive and defensive position. It is essential to explore any investigative issues to challenge the allegations and evidence wherever possible while simultaneously exploring mitigation to allow for more meaningful settlement potential should the facts of the case not be favorable to the accused.

Arizona Criminal Lawyer, Dwane Cates, understands how to navigate large complex criminal cases. Homicide cases require different components than Dangerous Crimes Against Children, which in turn require different components than Dangerous Drug Sales. He understands the timing and the steps needed and is never about just doing the minimum. He is an excellent captain who gathers the right resources in each case to reach the best possible outcome.

Finding and hiring the best forensic experts possible is a key part of managing large criminal cases. Finding needed areas for expert review and input is just the beginning. Vetting experts, strategically setting the scope of their work, and evolving opinions through the case evolution is complex and requires skill and communication. Dwane picks up the phone and calls various experts to discuss possibilities in a case and often is directed into more areas to explore. He knows how to best use the resources around him and the relationships he built over the past 25 years.

Case Investigation is particularly important. Mr. Cates thoroughly reviews the State’s evidence and investigation. He tries to challenge any physical evidence by bringing in forensic experts to challenge specific areas of DNA, ballistics, pathology, toxicology, pharmacology, and scene reconstruction. He tries to challenge any witness evidence by exploring witness backgrounds, credibility, eyewitness identification issues, interrogation issues, and finding and interviewing witnesses not appropriately identified or interviewed during the initial criminal investigation.

Case Mitigation can serve a critical role in preparing a defense to a charge in Arizona. Arizona Criminal lawyer, Dwane Cates, believes that understanding the person charged is just as important as understanding the charges alleged. Exploring all extenuating circumstances to a charged event and the person charged, could aid in the reduction of charges and/or the possible sentencing outcomes faced in a case. Arizona’s mandatory minimum sentencing statutes that also include many built-in enhancements requires mitigation exploration. Gathering mitigation and supporting records should be done by an experienced Mitigation Specialist. It is also important to find potential mental health issues and when present, have them substantiated by proper forensic evaluation. Psychosexual, psychological, and neuropsychological evaluations can be critical to confirming and proving genuine conditions that contributed to offense behavior.

Dwane Cates understands how to begin a case, evolve with the case through the defense investigation, and then how to navigate to the best possible outcome. He actively sends deviation requests, investigative and expert reports, and mitigation as needed to work the case to the best conclusion. Most importantly, Dwane is an excellent trial attorney and as the case is worked, he figures out if trial is proper and strategizes accordingly. Complex cases need to be managed by an experienced trial attorney with a reputation of winning trials. The prosecutions posture in complex criminal cases is dramatically affected by whether they are worried about facing an attorney in trial.

Client Reviews

I was busted @ the I8 checkpoint about 50 miles east of the AZ/CA border with a very small amount of pot, I called up Dwayne and his people took care of everything, thankfully I did not have to drive back to AZ...

- Don

Mr Cates is professional, helpful, explained the entire process and got me great results. I recommend him if you want someone knowledgeable fighting for you.

- Daniel

At the first point from when I retained Mr. Cates, he was nothing but professional, and I felt that he really cared about my case. I could tell that after negotiating with the other attorney, delivering the...

- Tyson

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