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Stewart Salwin

Stewart Salwin

Get the Peace of Mind that Comes with an Aggressive Defense
  • Criminal Law, DUI & DWI, Employment Law
  • Arizona
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Rating: 10 Justia Lawyer Rating - 10 out of 10
Stewart does quality work and does a great job of explaining the law to clients. He is very knowledgeable and provides effective legal representation.
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Salwin Law Group focuses its practice on criminal defense and employment law. If you find yourself facing criminal charges or discrimination from an employer, this can be the most stressful experience of your life. Salwin Law Group understands, and their mission is to help you navigate this stressful situation to get you the very best result.

Stewart Salwin is a Harvard-educated, former prosecutor who has handled thousands of DUIs throughout his career. He understands how the prosecution thinks, and he will put this knowledge and experience to work for you, making him the ideal partner to help you resolve your legal issues.

Stewart has successfully represented employees in administrative agency proceedings, and is experienced in all aspects of civil litigation, including mediation, trial, and appeal. If you have faced discrimination at work, he will listen to your concerns and work tirelessly to get a favorable outcome for you.

Practice Areas
  • Criminal Law
  • DUI & DWI
  • Employment Law
Video Chat and Conferencing
  • FaceTime
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  • Skype
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  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
State Bar of Arizona
ID Number: 027406
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  • English
Professional Experience
Deputy County Attorney
Maricopa County Attorney's Office
Harvard Law School
J.D. (2009) | Law
Honors: Cum Laude
Activities: Federalist Society Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy Harvard Housing Law Clinic
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Georgetown University
B.S. (2006) | Government, History
Honors: Summa Cum Laude
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Cum Laude
Harvard Law School
Professional Associations
State Bar of Arizona # 027406
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Articles & Publications
How to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney in Arizona
Salwin Law Group Blog
Speaking Engagements
Ethical Issues in Multi-Client Representation, Carpenter Hazlewood CLE Symposium, Seattle, Washington
Carpenter Hazlewood Delgado & Bolen
Top 40 Under 40
National Trial Lawyers
Websites & Blogs
Salwin Law Group Website
How to Dress for Court and Common Mistakes to Avoid
Legal Answers
12 Questions Answered

Q. I was released from jail on my own recogn. But the judge wanted me to go check in with probation / pretrial but I couldn
A: If the judge tells you to do anything at all, you need to do it. In your case, yes, you could definitely get in trouble for not checking in with pretrial services.
Q. I live in Arizona. I have 2 non violent felonies(20 years ago). Can I purchase, own or possess a black powder pistol?
A: When you are convicted of a felony in Arizona, some of your civil liberties will be suspended. You will lose your right to vote, the right to hold public office, the right to serve as a juror, and, yes, the right to possess a gun. A felony conviction may also prevent a person from obtaining business and professional licenses. However, your civil liberties can be restored. If you have only one Arizona felony conviction that resulted in a loss of civil rights, you will have most of your rights automatically restored upon completion of a term of probation, or receipt of an absolute discharge from imprisonment if you paid all the imposed fines and restitution. But this does NOT apply to the right to possess a gun. To restore this right, you will need to file an application with the court. So to answer your question, given the length of time that it appears to have been since your felonies, you probably qualify to file an application to restore your right to possess a weapon. But make sure that you have completed this process, because it is not automatic. Until you restore your civil right to have a gun, you will be classified under the law as "prohibited possessor" and if you possess a weapon while so classified you can be charged with the crime of Misconduct Involving Weapons, which would be a class 4 felony in this case.
Q. In a plea deal it says if you don't except the plea you can face more time to sentence isn't that considered threat
A: As a question of criminal justice philosophy, your point is well taken. Many legal scholars argue that the massive disparities between what a criminal defendant would be sentenced to if he pled guilty to an offense versus if he went to trial create a constitutional problem. My former criminal law professor Alan Dershowitz wrote an Op-Ed piece for the Wall Street Journal last November where he argued just that. In his Op-Ed, Dershowitz argued that the effective punishment that a criminal defendant receives for exercising his right to trial is a violation of the 6th Amendment. However, the courts have roundly rejected this view. Instead of viewing trial as a penalty, they say that the penalty a defendant receives at trial is fair and that the plea offer that he receives prior to trial is a "reward" for pleading guility and saving the state the time and expense of going to trial. So they flip the script. Instead of calling the sentence at trial a "penalty" they call the plea offer a "benefit." What it actually is all depends on the perspective that you view it from and what you take as the baseline "appropriate" punishment. As a practical matter, the obvious policy reason for why the courts take this view is to encourage plea deals. Over 90% of cases are resolved through plea deals, and as a practical matter, there are simply not enough judges and prosecutors for all cases to go to trial. If every defendant exercised his right to trial, the justice system would literally grind to a halt. Also, the vast majority of criminal trials result in convictions, and most defendants who plea bargained their case would probably lose if they took their case to trial. When it all comes down to it though, as a practical matter and to answer your question directly: No, the legal system does not view the sentence you may receive at trial as unconstitutional. And yes, as a practical matter, the state can use a favorable plea deal as a tactic to secure a conviction, and in fact, they do it all the time. Whether that is fair is a matter of opinion where reasonable minds can differ. But it is the reality we live in.
Q. I live in Arizona and I got charged with poss of marijuana and paraphernalia and it's my first offense
A: The Arizona law that criminalizes possession of marijuana in Arizona is A.R.S. 13-3405. If you are charged with simple possession of marijuana it can be either a class 6 or up to a class 4 felony depending on the amount of marijuana that you possessed. For example, anything less than 2 pounds is classified as a class 6 felony, anything more than four pounds is a class 4, and anything in between is a class 5. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a class 6 felony. In Arizona, a class 6 felony can be charged as a misdemeanor. If this is your first offense and you possessed a small amount of marijuana, it is not uncommon for the prosecutor to charge your case as a misdemeanor, which is what I would expect to happen (but keep in mind they could technically charge it as a felony). Even if the did charge it as a felony and you went to trial and were convicted, the judge could decide to designate it as a misdemeanor during sentencing anyway. What the outcome of the case would be depends on the prosecuting agency that is charging you. A class 1 misdemeanor conviction carries a maximum of jail time of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $2500. That is the worst-case scenario. However, judges and prosecutors are usually much more lenient on marijuana possession. And I have personally never seen anybody get jail time for a first-time marijuana possession offense--but it's not theoretically off the table. A lot of prosecuting agencies in Arizona will other some diversion programs for a first-time marijuana offense. This is known as TASC and it involves you having to take some drug counselling classes and then the case will be dismissed. If you possess a valid medical marijuana card, you can usually get the case dismissed outright because the possession of such a card is a defense.
Q. I asked the owner where I work for a raise he said I will never get a raise because I'm a dishwasher is this discriminat
A: An employer can set the wages for an employee at any point that they like provided two things are true: 1) The wage is at least the minimum wage set by law. In Arizona in 2020 this is $12 an hour. 2) The employer is not giving you a lower wage because you belong to a protected class (e.g., because of your race, color, religion, sex, or national origin). If the employer has a maximum wage cap for dishwashers, this in itself is not discriminatory.
Q. Hello. I am a teacher at a charter school. I think I am suffering hostile work harassment. Please advise me
A: I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Arizona and Federal employment discrimination laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of certain protected classes, such as age, sex, race, and national origin. If an employer discriminates against you because of your membership in one of these protected classes (i.e., because of your race or sex, etc.) that is unlawful. However, if your employer doesn't like you for a personal reason unrelated to any protected status and gives you a low performance score, that is not necessarily unlawful. If you have an employment contract, that provides you with some protection as well because the employer must abide by the terms of the employment contract. If you are undergoing a disciplinary process, an employment attorney can counsel you and determine if there is any discriminatory motive and can advise you on how to proceed with the employer's investigation.
Q. I was stopped, waiting to turn left out of a small mall plaza in SE Arizona.
A: There is no legal mechanism for an individual to initiate criminal charges. In this sense, there is no such thing as "pressing charges." A victim may only agree to cooperate with the law enforcement agency. For charges to be initiated you would have to convince the police to file a report and then the prosecuting agency would make the decision as to whether to file charges. If you think you have a personal injury case against somebody, you would need to consult with a personal injury lawyer who could then bring a private lawsuit on your behalf.
Q. can a lawyer not offer a diversion program if the person qualifies for one being it's first offence and felony changes
A: It is ultimately up to the prosecuting agency to determine what type of plea offer to grant to a defendant. This is a matter of policy by the prosecutor's office. Arizona courts have long held that "[c]riminal defendants have no constitutional right to a plea agreement and the State is not required to offer one." State v. Jackson, 209 Ariz. 13, 15, ¶ 6 (App. 2004). So technically, if the prosecutor wanted to, he or she could refuse to offer any plea at all and take the case to trial. A criminal defendant would have no recourse against this sort of action. The same holds true for a diversion program. As a matter of fact, until relatively recently, prosecuting agencies such as the Maricopa County Attorney's Office did not usually offer diversion except for very minor, first-time drug offenses. That being said, a defense attorney can try to negotiate with the prosecutor to attempt to get a better deal, including diversion. But it will be the prosecutor who makes the ultimate determination as to what plea to offer.
Q. I need some questions answered from a criminal defense attorney for a school assignment? Please and thank you
A: • What is your day to day as a criminal defense attorney? A defense attorney's day includes going to court (usually in mornings, unless there is a hearing or trial scheduled for the afternoon), talking with clients, conducting research on a case, and writing motions. • What is your expertise of practice? Criminal Defense • Do attorneys only come in after an arrest has been made? No, a client might suspect that he is under investigation by the police prior to the police actually making an arrest. In these situations, an attorney can assist a client in preparing for his or her defense and gathering evidence on behalf of the client. The attorney can use this exculpatory (meaning, tending to prove innocence) evidence to try to negotiate with the state so that no charges are ever brought against a client to begin with. • What is the role of an attorney from arrest to sentencing? A client's role is always to provide for the interests of his client and provide competent representation in his or her defense. This includes such things as consulting with the client about the legal matter he or she is facing, meeting with prosecutors to negotiate a plea agreement or dismissal, arguing pretrial motions (for example to suppress evidence that was obtained unlawfully), representing the client at trial, and arguing on the client's behalf for as least severe a sentence as possible if the client is found guilty. • How often do attorneys interact with prosecutors and judges during this process? Very frequently. At least every court hearing. The attorney cannot interact with the judge outside of the prosecutor's presence because ethical rules forbid what is called ex parte communication. However, a defense attorney can speak with the prosecutor anytime that he wants if the prosecutor is willing to discuss the case with him. • How do you know that you have a firm understanding of your client’s case? A defense attorney gets information about a client's case from multiple sources. The client is one source, but a defense attorney will also sometimes rely on independent investigators who gather evidence on the client's behalf, expert witnesses who can interpret more complex evidence (such as lab results), the police report, interviews with witnesses and the police officers, and any other source of evidence in a particular case. The state also has a duty to disclose all the evidence that they intend to use against the defendant as well as evidence that tends to be exculpatory. • Who is most influential during a trial: attorneys, prosecutors, or judges? Everybody has a unique role to play in the justice system. The defense attorney advocates for his client. The prosecutor represents the state, but he or she also has a duty to ensure that the law is being followed and the rights of the defendant are upheld. The judge makes the rulings when there is a dispute between the defense and the prosecution and also gives the sentence if the defendant is guilty. In the sense that the judge is the umpire in the case, you might say he or she is the most influential. However, you can also say the prosecutor is the most influential because he or she determines whether the state will bring charges and can decide to dismiss the charges against the defendant. Finally, the defense attorney can the most influential if he persuasively argues for his client and this results in a not guilty verdict. • Should you care about being more appealing to the jury or judge? Both have an important role. However, in a jury trial, it is the jury that decides whether a defendant is guilty or innocent. Because the jury decides who wins, a defense attorney always wants to appeal to the jury. Good luck on your assignment!
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Salwin Law Group PLLC
7702 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd.
Suite 300
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Telephone: (480) 463-4200