Is your inspirational fiction novel set in Arizona? Then, your blessing is on the way. The search for the best Web-based U.S. legal resources for writers of legal thrillers and romantic suspense takes us next to the land otherwise known as “The Grand Canyon State.” If you’ve never lived in or passed through Arizona, you don’t know what you’re missing. The last of the forty-eight (48) contiguous states admitted into the Union, Arizona is among the most picturesque places in the country. If you ever make the trip, you’ll discover sun-drenched mountains and breathtaking plateaus and will marvel at the state’s consummate beauty. Now on to the task at hand…
(1) Look for statutory law at the Arizona Revised Statutes website. The Criminal Code rests at Title 13.
(2) Research case (or common) law materials at the Arizona Cases and Court Rules page for Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College Law. It’s an excellent case law hub resource.
(3) If you find the “legalese terminology” challenging at the above-referenced ASU website, visit the FindLaw Legal Dictionary, and simply enter your search term. You’ll discover definitions for terms like “slip opinion”, “advance sheet”, “reporter” and “digest” right at your fingertips. If you can’t locate a term at FindLaw, there’s always Wikipedia. Maybe you’re interested to know what purpose resources such as “Shephard’s”, “LexisNexis”, and “Westlaw” serve.
(4) Is a key character in your Arizona-based novel a criminal defense or prosecuting attorney? To locate basic criminal procedure information, pop over to the Arizona Judicial Branch’s Criminal Law page. The Arizona Judicial Branch also offers basic information about a range of other practice areas, including the following: family law; traffic law; civil law; seniors/probate law; domestic violence law; juvenile law; tax law; and victims’ rights.
(5) Has your main character encountered legal trouble? Explore the free legal resources available through the Arizona Public Defenders Association website. To get a handle on the Arizona prosecutor’s perspective, visit the Internet home of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Word to the wise: Keep in mind that those whom many states call “district” attorneys are “county” attorneys in Arizona.
(6) Perhaps you’re curious to know which authors, if any, reside in and/or write about the territory sometimes referred to as “The Copper State.” Never fear: You’re in excellent company. Multi-published Christian author Carol Cox resides in Arizona and writes numerous historical novels set in the Great Southwest. Writer Georgiana Daniels makes her home in Arizona and is the author of “Table for One” and “A Daughter’s Redemption”. And inspirational fiction author Mona Hodgson, who also dwells in Arizona, has written the wildly popular “Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series”.
Okay, everyone. I’m all tapped out for the week: It’s your turn. Are you an Arizona resident or past resident of the state? Have you written or are you crafting a novel based in Arizona? Have you particularly enjoyed a book set in the state? I’d love to hear from you. Blessings!
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