Tom Larson Law

If you have a divorce/family law, personal injury or criminal matter and need a lawyer, I’m it.  I’ve been practicing law and fighting for my clients’ rights in all of Pinal County’s Justice Courts, Superior Courts, the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona Supreme Court for 25 years.  I’ve represented thousands of individuals from Pinal County and throughout the United States since 1985.  I have a small office with one employee, so my fees are very reasonable.

Contact Us

  • Aggressive and local fighting for our clients for over 20 years!
  • 520-421-2550

  • 442 W. Kortsen Rd. Suite 202 Casa Grande, AZ 85122
Home FAQ's What is the process?
What is the process and how long will it take?

A.    Family Law:

Arizona requires that you have been a resident of Arizona for at least 90 days prior to filing for a divorce and, if there are children involved, you may not have jurisdiction for a custody case until the kids have been here for six months.  A divorce action has a 60-day “cooling off” period.  This means that, even if everything is uncontested, you have to wait at least 60 days from service of the documents on your spouse.  Also, in Arizona, your community estate ends upon service on your spouse.  This means that your income and debts incurred after service are now sole and separate, as long as a decree is eventually entered.

A family law case is commenced by a petitioner filing a petition.  Whether for divorce, custody or child support in Arizona, it is spelled out by statute who can file and for what.   Thus, parents can file for divorce if married, or custody if not married.  Grandparents can file a petition under the circumstances set forth in the grandparents’ rights statute.  Other non-parents who have taken care of children as parents can file under the in loco parentis statute. 

Once a petition is filed, service (giving notice to the other side) is required and then a response is filed.  Thereafter, temporary hearings can be set (usually within 30 days) to determine custody, visitation, child support, spousal support and exclusive use of the family home on a temporary basis.

Thereafter, there are mandatory parenting classes and mediation to help resolve custody disputes.  Sometimes custody evaluations are done with private or public entities.  Discovery (the exchange of financial documents and other information) is then engaged in and the case prepared for trial.  We also often engage in informal and formal settlement conferences.  All these matters are an attempt to resolve your case satisfactorily prior to trial to save you time, fees and the uncertainty of trial.

In Pinal County, a full-blown custody or contentious divorce takes about 9 months to a year to go through these proceedings and get a trial.  I’ve tried hundreds of these cases.  Call me at 520-421-2550.

B.    Criminal Law:

The criminal process starts with an investigation and arrest on the spot or by being summoned into court at a later date.  It is very important to attend the first hearing.  If you don’t, a warrant will probably issue for your arrest.  If you are taken into custody, you have the right to reasonable bond being set in your case.  You will see a judge and bond will be set within 24 hours.  At that hearing, a not-guilty plea will be entered and another hearing will be set.

Usually after your initial appearance, a pretrial conference is set.  At a pretrial conference, you’ll be provided with the police reports and a plea agreement.  Thereafter, a trial will be set or another pretrial conference on the plea agreement can be entered.  All felony cases and several misdemeanors afford you the right to a jury trial.  My experience will help you decide whether to accept a plea or go to trial.  I will explain our rights and options, and help you decide what’s best for you.  I will fight for your rights and interests and give you the information you need to make your decision.

After a trial, a sentencing hearing will be set and arrangements made to carry out punishment if you are convicted or take a plea.  If we prevail at trial, the case is dismissed and jeopardy prohibits you being tried again.

It is very important to remember your Constitutional rights, including your right not to incriminate yourself.  You have speedy-trial rights, the right to confront witnesses and to do your own investigation.  I’ve been doing these types of cases for 25 years.  My experience provides you with several options not usually performed by most criminal lawyers.  These options include doing your own investigations, gathering statements and evidence to put you on the offense, rather than the defense.  It is very important that you talk to me as soon as you can to determine if you should talk to law enforcement or what other steps you need to take to defend yourself and save money on both bond and fees.  Call me right away at 520-421-2550 if you have a criminal case.

C.    Personal Injury and Wrongful Death:

A personal injury case starts with an injury.  An investigation or police report usually accompanies the injury.  Thereafter, a personal injury case is initiated by making a claim and demand, usually to an insurance company, for compensation for the injury you’ve received.  It is important that you contact an attorney soon in a serious injury or wrongful death case.  An Independent investigator may need to be hired.  An accident reconstructionist may need to view to scene and the vehicles to determine fault.  If we wait too long, this evidence can disappear or degenerate.

If you have a serious injury, you should call me right away at 520-421-2550.


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