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Arizona DUI Law

DUI Vehicular Crimes in the Summer Time

DUI vehicular crimes are considered quite serious and are classified as felonies. Some states have a Vehicular Crimes Unit that is responsible for prosecuting all felony vehicular crimes. Their goal is to effectively prosecute those charged with a DUI vehicular crime so they can reduce the number of vehicular crime incidents.

What is a DUI Vehicular crime?

An auto accident that results in injury or death of another person and involves the use of alcohol or drugs, causing impairment, is considered a serious criminal offense. Aggravating factors like having a minor in the vehicle, or leaving the scene of the accident will carry additional charges. Vehicular crimes, including assaults and manslaughter, are viewed and prosecuted seriously. In fact, they are considered as serious as shooting or killing someone with a handgun.

Although most states will view vehicular crimes as accidents, states like Arizona prosecute cases of reckless driving very aggressively. This means that the negligent driver will be convicted and face serious consequences. Some of the possible penalties include loss of driving privileges, heavy fines and fees, community service, counseling, as well as imprisonment.

What constitutes a vehicular crime?

Some of the possible vehicular crimes someone can be charged with include endangerment, unlawful flight, negligent homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, vehicular aggravated assault, as well as leaving the scene of an accident.

Once convicted for a vehicular crime, it will have an impact on your personal and well as work life. No matter the type of vehicular crime you’re facing, it is important to get in touch with an experienced and qualified attorney, who is able to handle a wide range of vehicular crimes, from misdemeanors to felonies.

Vehicular crimes in Arizona

Vehicular crimes are defined as follows under the Arizona Revised Statutes:

  • A.R.S. § 13-1102 (Negligent Homicide) – When a driver fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk, which a reasonable person clearly would have, then the driver is charged with negligent homicide.
  • A.R.S. § 13-1204 (Aggravated Assault) – When a driver causes recklessly serious physical injury to another person, then they may be charged with aggravated assault.
  • A.R.S. § 13-1201 (Endangerment) – When a driver recklessly endangers another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or personal injury, they will face an additional felony charge of endangerment.
  • A.R.S. § 28-661 (Leaving the Scene of an Accident) – If the driver has been part of an auto accident causing injury or death and knowingly fails to stop to give assistance, they will face a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident.

Anyone involved in an auto accident in Arizona can face criminal charges. Vehicular crimes in Arizona are taken very seriously and lead to harsh penalties. Once convicted, the driver faces lengthy prison sentence. When facing a vehicular crime in Arizona, you will need the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can evaluate your case and fight the charges. Contact the law offices of David Michael Cantor at (602) 307-0808 to discuss your case and get honest advice on the options available.

What to do when Arrested for DUI with a CDL (Arizona Commercial Drivers License)

If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and are arrested for a DUI in your personal vehicle, it’s going to have an impact on your license. Today I’m going to walk you through potential outcomes of a Phoenix DUI and discuss your options for dealing with a DUI with a CDL.

If you’re stopped while driving and willingly provide a blood, breath or urine test above .08 percent Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), your license will be suspended for 90 days. Instead, if you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible for a 30/60 day permit. A 30/60 day permit means 30 days of no driving and 60 days of driving restricted to going to and from work, school or a doctor’s office. This is preferable to a 90-day suspension. This suspension is called an “Administrative Per Se” suspension, or “admin per se” for short. In order to qualify for the restricted driving permit after the first 30 days, you’ll have to go through alcohol screening. As part of this process, they’ll tell you that you need to take a certain amount of classes, but completing these classes isn’t required to get the 30/60 permit.

Law enforcement officers may obtain a warrant to compel you to provide a test sample if you aren’t willing to volunteer one. The default suspension for forcing them to get a warrant, called a refusal, is much longer than if you comply. Under implied consent laws (laws that state you agree to BAC testing by driving), your license will be suspended for a full year. This is called an implied consent suspension, and like the admin per se suspension, it can be commuted to a three-month/nine-month permit. Like the 30/60 permit, this allows driving to work, school or a doctor for the last nine months and requires an alcohol screening. You’ll also need an SR-22. An SR-22 will increase your insurance rates and allow your insurance company to “rat you out” if your insurance ever expires.

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As an additional requirement, you’ll have to put an interlock device or breath-testing device on your car’s steering wheel. In order to start your car or continue driving it, you’ll have to blow into this device every 15 minutes. If you fail to blow into it every 15 minutes, your engine will turn off. Every 90 days, you’ll have to take the car in to have the chip in the interlock or breath-testing reviewed to make sure you never blew above a .020 BAC. This BAC requirement has built-in leeway to account for alcohol that may be contained in medicines or absorbed through methods other than drinking. It’s below the BAC most people blow after a single drink, so if you have any drinks and drive, you’ll fail the review.

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Fourth of July 2014 DUI Patrols

** If you are looking for DUI Checkpoint Do’s and Don’ts, Click Here.

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Summertime is one of the best times to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. and more specifically, the Fourth of July is a time when people in Arizona head to the lake for some fun in the sun! With that comes increased risk of drinking and driving (or boating). Local law enforcement in Arizona is out looking to arrest people for DUI if they have consumed too much alcohol and think they are OK to drive a car or boat. Our suggestion is if you’ve had any alcohol, please get a ride. If you are out on the lake boating, make sure you have a designated driver because law enforcement may be conducting sobriety checkpoints (and looking for life jackets for every passenger!!) on the lakes in Arizona (Bartlett Lake, Lake Pleasant, Roosevelt Lake, Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, Lake Havasu, Colorado River, and Saguaro Lake).

If you find yourself at one of these sobriety checkpoints and are not sure what your BAC level is, read our DUI do’s and don’ts HERE.  That page will provide you with all the knowledge necessary about what to do if stopped by law enforcement after you have been drinking. For example, don’t take the eye test or any coordination tests.  You are not required to do these and if the officer is asking you to do any test, chances are he/she is going to arrest you anyway.  The test results just help the prosecutors case.

If you found this page after being suspected or arrested for DUI on the Fourth of July 2014 weekend, we have a number of resources relating to DUI and OUI (Boating DUI) in Arizona.

The most important thing you MUST do is ask to speak with an attorney BEFORE agreeing to any test (breath, blood, etc.).   Put our phone number (602-307-0808) in your cell phone now and call us before speaking to police.

Denial of Right to Counsel – Arizona DUI Defenses

Denial of right to counsel is an important defense for DUI cases. When being arrested, you always have a right to legal counsel, but it is particularly vital in the case of a DUI arrest. If you are prohibited from talking to an attorney which prevents you from obtaining his advice, your body will naturally eliminate the evidence of blood alcohol content that can be used for or against you. The police may tell you that your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit, but it may not be; in the meantime, your body is burning off the alcohol, making the determination more difficult.

David Cantor explains the DUI Defense of Denial of right to counsel:

The key cases on this issue are Holland v. State of Arizona, Juarez v. State of Arizona, McNut v. State of Arizona, Edwards v. State of Arizona and the latest one, Penney v. State of Arizona. In Edwards v. State of Arizona, which went up to the United States Supreme Court, Mr. Edwards said, “I think I should talk to a lawyer.” The Court said that was equivocal, or ambiguous, and Mr. Edwards needed to be unequivocal when requesting a lawyer. Instead, Edwards should have said “I want to talk to a lawyer” or “I need to talk to a lawyer.” The minute you say this, the police have to get you to a phone and a phonebook in a private area so you can talk to a lawyer.

The Holland v. State of Arizona case deals with eleven specific questions a lawyer will ask you. These include, “what did you drink?”; “when did you start drinking?”; “when did you stop drinking?”; “when was the last time you ate?” Certain information needs to be known so the lawyer can approximate what your blood alcohol content will be so you can decide whether to submit to a blood or breath alcohol test. The attorney will also be able to tell you to request to be released in order to get an independent chemical test at a hospital.

The additional guidance a lawyer can provide is important. A lawyer can tell you not to answer any further questions, not to do any further physical tests, and probably get a blood or breath test because the police will likely get a warrant for it and get a test by force. But if you’re stopped for a DUI and you request a lawyer but were not given a lawyer or the police were not quick to respond, contact our firm. You can set up an appointment at www.DMCantor.com or call 602-307-0808 at any time to get a Free Case Review. An initial consultation is free and takes just 30 minutes.

Be sure to visit our DUI case victories for a sampling of DUI cases we’ve won in Arizona.

Arizona DUI Defense: No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop

Law enforcement personnel must have “reasonable suspicionto stop and/or detain a motorist. Absent this, any resulting arrest is “pretextual” and any charge(s) are subject to summary dismissal. Moreover, any evidence obtained is inadmissible in a court of law.

“Lack of reasonable suspicion to stop” is a valid legal defense to a DUI charge. As the label implies, “reasonable suspicion” requires a rational basis. Race, physical appearance, dress, or mere presence in a particular area is insufficient legal grounds for reasonable suspicion or detention. Rather, police must have some specific objective factual basis to suspect criminal activity. Thus, the fact that you were driving in an area where there are many bars during the wee morning hours does not, by itself, constitute reasonable suspicion to stop.

David Cantor explains the DUI Defense, No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop:

 

Arizona’s controlling legal precedent on reasonable suspicion to stop is a case called Livingston v. State of Arizona. In that case, officers from a specialized drug task force claimed to have seen the defendant weave six inches across the yellow line three times. At the time, the motorist was driving through a large curved area of highway near Globe, Arizona at about 50 miles per hour. During the subsequent vehicle stop and search, officers found several hundred pounds of marijuana.

The court later rejected the officers’ “hunch” based on the motorist’s alleged erratic driving and race as insufficient legal justification to reasonably suspect illegal activity. Consequently, it ruled the initial stop “pretextual” and dismissed the entire case.

We frequently see similar scenarios in DUI cases. For instance, a common situation involves an officer staked out near a local bar who claims that our client weaved in the road, made a California stop, or improper turn. We are able to get many of those DUI charges dismissed due to lack of reasonable suspicion to stop. See the “Victory” section for details about specific cases we have won in such instances.

Contact us today via email or phone for a free initial consultation and expert case evaluation. The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor is available 24 hours a day by calling (602) 307-0808 or via our secure and confidential web form.

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