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Attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado Selected as America’s Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys

Attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado has been selected among America’s Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys for Arizona by America’s Top 100.  Well known in Arizona for his aggressive criminal defense, Ybarra Maldonado has attained not guilty verdicts following felony jury trials in both Federal and State courts.  He has also attained remands in criminal cases from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that have led to complete dismissals.

Phoenix Criminal Attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado has gained national notoriety for his focus on criminal and immigration cases, or as some say “Crimmigration.”  He was the only attorney in Arizona named as a Top Latino Lawyer of 2017. Ybarra Maldonado is frequently asked to provide trainings and continuing legal education courses to criminal attorneys about the immigration consequences of a defendant’s criminal case. He has litigated and won Rule 32 hearings, arguing that the original criminal defense attorney gave ineffective assistance of counsel around the issue of immigration consequences.  “The immigration and criminal systems are completely different. I am proud to be able to use my experience in both areas of the law to better serve my community. Every person charged with a crime deserves to know the consequences the case will have on their immigration status,” said Ybarra Maldonado.  “This award is a reflection of the hard work our entire offices puts in when we welcome someone into our family and defend their criminal case.”  Ybarra Maldonado has represented individuals charged with murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, possession of drugs for sale, possession of narcotic drugs for sale, Aggravated DUI, DUI, Illegal Re-entry (1326s), Unlawful Transportation of Individuals, Money Smuggling, Robbery, and many other alleged crimes.

America’s Top 100 selected Ybarra Maldonado through an exhaustive selection process involving third-party research and ranking based on proprietary algorithms and Qualitative Comparative Analysis, which assess a broad array of criteria and data, including criminal defense verdicts, exceptional legal achievements, professional experience, significant case results, peer reputation, client satisfaction, other notable honors, media notoriety, and community impact. Ultimately, less than one-half percent of attorneys in the United States will ever be named an awardee, making it one of the premier achievements for Criminal Defense Attorneys throughout the nation.

You can reach the Ybarra Maldonado Law Group for a free evaluation of your criminal case by calling 602-910-4040.

Important Take Away from Federal Judge Agreeing with Trump on DACA Termination

Immigration and Criminal Attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado explains the Maryland DACA decision. The Federal Judge in the Maryland case comes to the opposite conclusion that the Judges in the Northern California and New York cases came to.

The Maryland Federal Judge Roger W. Titus goes as far as to state that “[t]his Court does not like the outcome of this case, but is constrained by its constitutionally limited role to the result that it has reached.” The Judge also wrote that he would have chosen a different outcome if he were a different branch of our government. Essentially, Judge Titus is expressing that he is personally in favor of DACA recipients remaining in the Country, yet he believes the arguments in the federal lawsuits are not strong enough to result in a legal victory.

Practically, this has no immediate impact for DACA recipients. Thanks to the injunction issued by the Judge in the Northern District of California USCIS began accepting applications for anyone who had ever been in the DACA program. This decision was supported with a similar order from the New York Judge. The Maryland decision does not immediately result in USCIS stopping to consider these applications. USCIS issued a statement, which was updated on February 14, 2018, stating they they will accept DACA renewals for anyone who has previously had DACA. The U.S. Supreme Court also refused to allow the Trump Administration to appeal directly to them and instead ordered the case be considered by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals first.

The important take away from the Maryland decision is that it is a good prediction of how the Supreme Court will likely rule once the case is in their hands. Now that a dispute between the lower courts exists it is even more certain that the Supreme Court will accept Cert and issue a ruling on DACA. Unfortunately, there is a strong chance that the decision we see from the Supreme Court will be similar to the one issued by the Federal Judge in Maryland. For this reason, it is imperative that the community continues to demand a clean Dream Act prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Anything You say Will Be Used Against You in a Court of Law

Anything You say Will Be Used Against You in a Court of Law: When Does the Criminal Investigation Against You Really Start?

By: Brenda G. Aguirre, Esq.

You see it on TV often on shows like COPS or The First 48. People talking to police officers attempting to clear their names. What really ends up happening is that the person is providing the police officer or detective with information that will be used against them.

When a police officer or detective makes contact with you the investigation against you has already started. Talking to them will not help you. The detective might say they want to help you: they are there to investigate a crime and most importantly they are there to investigate you.

The following are some tips to keep in mind when you have an encounter with law enforcement

1. You must give law enforcement your full name. Do not give a false name. That is a crime.

2. If you are driving, you must provide a driver’s license.

3. Their questions are not random. They are there to investigate a possible crime, and if they are talking to you, they are investigating you.

4. Ask if you are being investigated. If the answer is no, then ask if you are free to leave.

5. Ask to speak to an attorney before making any statements that will incriminate you.

6. Beware of the good cop/bad cop routine. Often times law enforcement will use this tactic to trick people into talking.

7. STOP talking and reach out to a criminal defense attorney.

Use these tips and call a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. That call can very well save you years of undue agony. If you have questions, call 602-910-4040 and one of our experienced attorney’s will provide you a free initial case evaluation!


Father of 12 Gets to Stay With Family

Keeping Families Together

By: Brenda G. Aguirre, Esq.

For many immigrant families fear of deportation is a daily painful reality. For those currently in deportation proceedings, the fear is even greater, because the U.S. government is actively pursuing deportation.

For one YMLG family the outcome was the right one: a father of 12 was recently granted administrative closure allowing him to stay with his wife and children.

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This was a tremendous victory.  We were able to persuade the immigration judge to side with our client.  The immigration judge granted our client a reprieve from being ripped away from his children and wife when he granted him administrative closure.  His victory was hard-fought, and the outcome was worth it!

**Administrative closure is when the immigration court decides to set the person’s case to one side while it processes the thousands of other cases on the docket.

Administrative closure stops the deportation process and allows the individual to stay in the United States as long as their case is administratively closed, and as long as the person stays out of trouble.  Immigration judges don’t just close anyone’s case administratively.  One must demonstrate to the court several factors including ties to the community, potential immigration relief, and whether or not the court should expend its resources pursuing the deportation of that particular individual.  Administrative closure has become very difficult to win, because of the current political climate.

Fixed Fortifications Are Monuments to Man’s Stupidity

“Fixed fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity. If mountain ranges and oceans can be overcome, anything made by man can be overcome.” –George S. Patton

The White House’s latest talking points calls for a $25 billion trust fund for the wall system.

25 billion dollars for an object which will really only serve as a symbol to President Trump’s far right rhetoric on immigration. According to the New York Times, from October 2000 through September of 2016, the Border Patrol documented 6,023 deaths of border crossers in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. If inhospitable terrain such as the Sonoran Desert cannot stop people from migrating, a man made wall will have no deterrent factor whatsoever. A twenty foot wall will result in an increase in sales and production of twenty-five foot ladders. We will see more welding tools taken to the wall, tunnels dug beneath, and creative ways other than ladders to get over the wall.

This is not to imply that we should simply acquiesce to the building of a border wall. Economics aside, the symbolism attached to the border wall is reason enough to object to it. What message are we sending about the people on the “other side” of the wall. That they are dangerous, bad, something needed to be kept out. In an age of instant communication across the globe, a border wall is a symbol that we see our neighbors as inferior. It is clear that President Trump wants the border wall to appease his base. He has rallied the far right and sees this as his opportunity to give back to those who put him in office. The border wall will clearly be seen through the eyes of history as the Monument to Trump’s Stupidity.

Time’s Up Movement: Workplace sexual assault and resources for help

In the past couple of months, we have opened our social media accounts and have witnessed so many women and people coming out of the shadows and speaking up about their sexual assault encounters. We’ve read what these women have gone through and how hard it was for them to speak up, and often, we as a public, sit back and unknowingly start judging the person. You may ask, why wait until now to speak up? Why did they place themselves in that situation in the first place? Could they have fought back? Maybe they’re doing it for the attention? You then read the comments below the articles and see the social media users arguing back and forth about the situation. You read negative comments, then you read positive comments and you think to yourself, “should I comment below, or do I keep on scrolling past the post?”

I believe we should share resources through our social media accounts and help the Time’s Up movement. What is Time’s Up you may ask? Time’s Up is an organization that has been funded by a legal defense to help less privileged women and to provide support to those who have experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault or abuse in the workplace such as janitors, nurses, blue collar workers, farmers, factories, restaurants and hotels in assisting them to protect themselves from sexual misconduct and the fallout from reporting it.

sexualt assault in the workplace
Time’s Up Now

Sexual assault in the workplace has always been around, but was never talked about; it was such a taboo topic until now. We have celebrities speaking up about harassment and how they’ve tried to take legal action but were often shot down by non-disclosure agreements and settlements. A lot of these stories never made it to the news because of these settlement agreements. It’s infuriating to think that middle class women didn’t have the knowledge and the support to report the abuse. If they did, often, they never received their due justice. As a society, I believe we must help others. We must not be intimidated, we must rise up together and fight back against workplace sexual assault and harassment!

If you or someone you know is in need of an attorney to help with your workplace sexual assault case, we recommend contacting Isaac Hernandez, Esq.; a great labor and employment law attorney that serves the community here in Arizona.

Oprah Winfrey

“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up.” -Oprah Winfrey

By Liliana Figueroa

Hiring a criminal defense lawyer

How to hire a criminal defense lawyer

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Hi everybody! Ray Ybarra Maldonado here, I want to give you a little bit of advice on how to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix.  The reason I want to do this is because I’ve seen so many people here in my office in tears because the criminal lawyer they gave money to didn’t do anything for them, or worse, did something that made their lives miserable and possibly resulted in a longer prison sentence or even in deportation in some cases.

There are three key areas that I want you to focus on when you’re going to look into hiring a criminal lawyer.

The first one is experience (Criminal lawyer)

What kind of experience does this criminal attorney have? Is this person someone who has won jury trials in superior court? Has this criminal lawyer won jury trials in federal courts? Have they submitted motions to dismiss that have resulted in the case being completely thrown out? There are two ways a criminal defense lawyer can win, one is a non-guilty verdict after trial and two are good motions that result in throwing out the evidence or the government or the judge dismissing the case completely.

You want to be sure that when hiring a criminal lawyer that they have the necessary experiences to defend you in your court case.

What kind of cases have they worked before?

Along with the trial experience,  you want a criminal lawyer that has worked your kind of case before.  The area of criminal law is very broad. You can have a misdemeanor case, DUI, domestic violence in a municipal court. You can have a serious felony drug case, aggravated assault case in superior court, you can have an illegal reentry, drug case, smuggling case in federal court.  It might not necessarily be that the criminal lawyer your working with feels comfortable in federal court but they might feel really comfortable in superior court and vice versa.  Maybe that lawyer only does DUI and misdemeanor court and that’s the person you need because you don’t need a criminal attorney that’s done jury trials in federal court if you’re just charged with misdemeanor or DUI in municipal court. Here you have somebody that has done thirty of these trials; that would be more of an attorney you would need to hire.

Will the criminal lawyer be there with you in the courtroom?

You want to be sure you have an attorney with experience and you also want to be sure that the person that you’re hiring is going to be there in the courtroom.  You want to ask the question “Who is going to be the attorney representing me?” Is it going to be the attorney that’s talking to you and with a lot of experience? “Are you going to be the one that’s going to my court hearings?”

In addition to this, if you are not a U.S. citizen or if your family member is not a citizen, if they are a legal permanent resident, if they don’t have any immigration status, it is very important to ask your criminal lawyer;  do you know the consequences of criminal conviction? Specifically, the charge that’s being levied against me?  If you are a U.S. citizen, you don’t have to worry about that, but for anybody else, that’s very important.

You can have a very aggressive, very good criminal attorney that thinks they can beat this case and knows how to get a great plea that avoids jail or prison time, but at the end of the day, that conviction is going to result in automatic deportation.  Someone who is an amazing criminal lawyer might not necessarily know the immigration consequences.  However, this is not the end of the road, all you have to do if your criminal lawyer doesn’t know what the immigration consequences can be is to hire an immigration attorney to review and [have them] talk to your criminal attorney about your immigration consequences so you know before you plead guilty what those [potential] consequences will be.

You want to know who will be handling your criminal case. Is it going to be the criminal attorney with all the experience or is it going to be the junior associate that just graduated from law school and may not really know what they are doing.  Be clear about that before you sign a contract.

[Also], I often tell people, “Why don’t you meet your public defender first?” Because often times, they are a very good [legal defense].  Public defenders get a very bad reputation, people think they work for the government,  get paid by the government and won’t fight for me at all!  That’s not necessarily always going to be the case, you might be able to save yourself  thousands of dollars and get better representation if you work with a public defender versus hiring a private criminal lawyer.

The reason I say that is because, before having my own law firm, I was a public defender in Cochise County. I was an assistant federal public defender in federal court in Tucson.  I know that if I had gotten your case back then, I would’ve worked just as hard as I work the cases today.  There’s a lot of great people in both of those offices and here in Maricopa county as well! So give your public defender a chance and if you are not getting along, if they are not returning your calls, if they are not reviewing disclosures with you, then [their defense] is not what you need and it makes sense, perhaps this is the most important decision of your life, and need someone that’s going to take the case very seriously.  Then you can hire a private criminal lawyer.

Always talk to three attorneys before you sign a contract. Ask them these same questions to make sure you are getting an experienced criminal lawyer, a confident attorney, who’s going to be handling your case.


¿Cómo escoger un abogado criminalista?

Que tal comunidad! Aquí habla Ray Ybarra Maldonado, lo que vamos hablar hoy es como escoger un abogado criminalista. Le voy a decir las preguntas claras y específicas para un abogado criminalista para defender a usted y a su familia.

Lo que yo he visto aqui en Phoenix, AZ es un problema muy grande. Tenemos lo que yo digo “robo de comunidad”, robo de comunidad no es un delito, un penal en el código del estado de Arizona o penal federal.  Pero yo estoy hablando de abogados aquí en Arizona que están tomando casos sin la experiencia y cobrando a la comunidad mucho dinero ó que esta cobrando dinero para hacer un caso cuando ellos no tienen el tiempo para trabajar en el caso porque tienen demasiado casos.

A Veces y con mucha frequencia e visto que una persona iba estar mejor con un defensor público en vez de contratar con un abogado que no tiene experiencia o tiene demasiados casos que no tienen el tiempo para trabajar en su caso.

Hemos visto frecualmente personas deportados de resultas que el abogado no dio aviso bueno en su caso criminal o no peleó muy duro para caso. Por eso quiero hacer este video porque ya estoy cansado de tener personas en mi oficina diciendo que ellos fueron víctimas de robo de comunidad por parte de un abogado aqui en Arizona.

Como usted le puede hacer para que no sea una víctima de un abogado que no va pelear muy duro para usted?

Cuánta experiencia tiene?

La primer cosa que tienes que preguntar a un abogado cuando lo está entrevistando, a ver si ellos tienen la experiencia y el corazon para trabajar en su caso; es cuánta experiencia tiene?

Una persona que se graduó de escuela de leyes y pasó el examen de la barra de abogados ya puede poner su propio despacho y decir… “soy abogado de inmigracion, soy abogado criminal, hago los dos, ven a mi!”  Y aceptar su dinero y firmar un contrato para que lo pueda representar a usted. Pero, qué experiencia tiene esa persona?

Yo tambien era un abogado joven una vez y yo no estoy intentando de ablar mal de abogados jóvenes, absolutamente no.  Nada más que usted quiere saber antes de dar dinero a una persona, cuanta experiencia tienen ellos.  Cuando estamos hablando de experiencias, específicamente estamos hablando de casos criminales, si a ganado un juicio en frente de un jurado. Es la primer pregunta, a ganado un juicio en frente de un jurado?

Quiere saber esto porque casos criminales son muy complicados cuando tiene que ir a un juicio, hay muchas reglas que usted tiene que saber que el abogado tiene que saber, muchas mociones que el abogado tiene que saber y como preparar y presentar un caso al jurado es algo muy importante que puede cambiar la vida de usted o de sus parientes. Eso es la primera cosa, cuanta experiencia tiene?

Más específicas preguntas ayi son; cuántos juicios han ganado? Cuantas mociones a puesto y a ganado el caso, el caso basado en los mociones, porque ay dos maneras a ganar un caso criminal. Uno es juicio con declaración no culpable por el jurado o por el juez, el segundo es poniendo mociones que va a resultar antes del juicio y tirando el caso completamente.  Necesita saber cuantos juicios a ganado, si a ganado en corte federal si tienen caso federal criminal ó si a ganado en corte estatal, ó los juicios que han ganado fueron nomas cortes delitos municipios ó cargos menos graves en frente de solo un juez.

Y si tambien han ganado cargos similar a los de usted.  Un abogado que dice yo soy un abogado de criminal puede ser un abogado que se enfoque específicamente en DUI, puede ser un abogado que se enfoco en felonias de corte superior, puede ser un abogado que se enfoque en delitos federales en corte federal.   Quiere también saber usted que el abogado tenga experiencia en la area que usted necesita.

Cuánta experiencia tiene en la consequencias de inmigración de mi cargo federal?

Si usted es ciudadano Americano no tiene que pensar en eso pero si eres residente permanente, que mucha gente no sabe y dicen “soy residente, no me pueden deportar”.  No es cierto! Un cierto crimen que usted declaro culpable puede resultar en su deportación.  Si su abogado sabe todo de criminal es un abogado defensor que a ganado juicios en corte estatal en corte federal, eso es muy bueno.  Pero si ellos no tienen idea que va pasar en el lado de inmigración, tiene que tambien buscar un abogado de inmigracion para que usted esté seguro que no le va afectar.

Por ejemplo, una persona que tiene un convenio a algo que no es muy grave en un caso criminal como “shoplifting” (robo menor ó hurto).  Yo como abogado criminalista si tengo un caso con un ciudadano Americano de “shoplifting”… es una multa chiquita, no hay tiempo en la cárcel y no va a causar daños graves en la vida de esa persona por que es delito menor.  Pero, en el lado de inmigración eso es un delito gravísimo! Se llama un crimen de depravación moral, que puede tener consecuencias muy grave en el caso de inmigración. Necesita estar seguro que su abogado también sabe de los ciertos cargos que usted declaró culpable y las consecuencias que va tener en su caso de inmigración.

Ya hablamos de experiencias y esté seguro de que su abogado sabe manejar y pelear un caso criminal y las consecuencias de inmigración es algo muy importante.

Quien va a manejar mi caso?

La tercer pregunta que es quien va a manejar mi caso?  Por que puede ser que la persona quien está haciendo la consulta ni es abogado ó es un abogado que nomas va a firmar el contrato con usted pero va a mandar su caso a otra persona que no tiene la misma experiencia. Antes de firmar quiere estar claro; okay, usted abogado tiene experiencia, usted sabe las consecuencias de inmigración, pero es usted quien me va representar en corte? o un socio? o alguien que apenas se graduó de escuela de leyes?  Estas son las tres preguntas principales que quiere hacer al principio.

Y tambien yo siempre les digo a las personas, debes consultar con mínimo tres abogados.  En el lado criminal muchas veces les digo tambien que esperen a ver que defensor público les toca a usted o su familia.  Por que? Por que es posible que ese defensor público que va a trabajar gratis o con muy poco costo a usted y es un abogado que tiene mucha experiencia quien a ganado juicios, que sabe las consecuencias de inmigración y usted no tiene que pagar nada!  En muchos de los casos que yo e visto, yo he preferido tener a un abogado de defensor público en vez de unos de los despachos grandes aquí que toman su dinero y no hacen nada.  Puedes esperar y conocer su defensor público, si ellos no estan contestando sus llamadas, no están regresando sus llamadas, no están investigando bien pues despues puedes ir y hablar con un abogado criminalista.  Pero es importante para mi para no gastar dinero y no tiene que gastar y si tiene un defensor publico bueno, usted puede estar bien en las manos de ellos.

Yo también digo esto personalmente porque yo fui [defensor público] después de la escuela de leyes yo dije… “Quiero abrir mi propio despacho, [pero] yo no se como ser abogado, y yo fui defensor público en el condado de Cochise, tambien yo fui defensor público en las cortes federales en Tucson.  Por que yo queria platicar muy bien, yo queria juicios yo queria poner mociones y queria otros abogados que me apoyaran para enseñarme como pelear en corte, antes que yo abriera mi propio despacho y cobrar dinero de mi comunidad.

Estas son las áreas principales, quiero que ustedes hablen con un abogado criminalista antes de firmar un contrato. Recuerda es su dinero y puede ser que sea el caso más importante de su vida, que va a resultar posiblemente usted quedandose en el país ó que usted va a tener una deportación y eso le va afectar a usted y a sus hijos, sus papás, sus hermanos, toda la familia. Es muy importante cuando estás entrevistando abogados y no correr y darle dinero al primer abogado que usted conoce, tome su tiempo, haga su investigación bien y al final del dia va a tener buenos resultados.


Children of Immigrant Deported to Mexico Speak Out: ‘She Belongs With Us’

Guadalupe García de Rayos’ children spoke out in Phoenix on Thursday about watching their mother’s sudden deportation, while immigrants’ rights advocates warned that similar cases are likely to follow across the country. “No one should ever go through the pain of having their mom taken away from them,” García de Rayos’ 14-year-old daughter, Jacqueline, said at a press conference.