Guilty of criminal contempt of court for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio

by Aaron Black • August 17, 2017
In a long awaited trial, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been found guilty of criminal contempt of court. According to the ruling “Credible testimony shows that the Defendant knew of the order and what the order meant in regards to the MCSO’s policy of detaining persons who did not have state charges for turnover to ICE for civil immigration violations”.

In the late 2000 and early 2010’s, Sheriff Arpaio enforced hard-line immigration efforts which included “pretextual” traffic stops to catch those who were in the country illegally, in addition, they were accused of focusing exclusively on Hispanic neighborhoods. Many were taken into custody for living in the country illegally rather than violating a state crime. In 2011 a preliminary injunction was filed, and it barred migrants who have not been suspected of a crime from being detained.

In 2013 U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow presided over a civil case which ruled that Arpaio had racially profiled. Again in 2015 Snow ordered a civil trial to determine if Arpaio's office had violated three separate orders. Two of the orders centered on whether the department failed to turn over evidence and a third on whether Arpaio had violated the 2011 preliminary injunction which barred deputies from detaining migrants when they had not been suspected of a crime.

In the end, it was Arpaio’s own words that were the key to his conviction as he was quoted more than 20 times in a federal judge’s ruling of saying that he would continue to enforce state and federal immigration law.

Former Sheriff Arpaio faces sentencing in October which could include up to six months in jail which is the equivalent to a misdemeanor. According to former U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona. Paul Charlton “I’d say the likelihood of Sheriff Arpaio spending six months in jail are slim to none.”

To learn more contact the Law Office of Aaron Black or call 480-729-1683 to set up a free consultation today.