What are possible defenses for an Aggravated DUI in Arizona?
18 Dec, 2012
There are many defenses to an Aggravated DUI, depending on your situation. Some of these include “no reasonable suspicion to stop,”“no actual physical control,”“no probable cause for arrest,”“denial of right to counsel,” and “inaccuracy in the blood or breath reading.” These are explained in more detail below. In addition to these, if you are charged with an Aggravated DUI for not having a valid driver’s license and you did not know that your license was suspended, this can be a great defense to an Aggravated DUI.
In this short video David Cantor explains What an Aggravated DUI charge is in Arizona:
Possible Defenses to an Aggravated DUI charge in Arizona:
“No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop” Officers are not permitted to stop or detain someone based on pretexts regarding race, religion, gender, age, sexual preference on a host of other possible, unjustifiable reasons.
“No Actual Physical Control” If a person has had too much to drink, pulls off the roadway, leaves the engine running with the A/C or heater on, and attempts to “sleep it off,” then they could be considered to not be in “actual physical control” of their vehicle and be found not guilty of DUI or DWI.
“No Probable Cause for Arrest” If an officer did not have probable cause that a person was actually under the influence of alcohol, then the arrest will be invalidated to believe i.e. if the Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) were improperly administered. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has set forth guidelines regarding FSTs. The tests should not be given if the suspect: – is 50 pounds or more overweight – is 65 years of age or older – has any back, hip, leg, knee, or ankle injuries – has any disability affecting balance – is wearing shoes with heels two (2) inches or higher
Remember, you always have the right to refuse Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs the “physical” tests). Do not believe the Officer if he tells you otherwise!
Note: if the only basis for arrest is refusing to perform FSTs, then the arrest will be invalidated.
“Denial of Right to Counsel” When arrested for DUI or DWI, upon requesting a DUI/DWI Lawyer in Arizona, the police must get you to a phone as soon as reasonably possible. If they ignore your request, or wait too long, this could be grounds for dismissal.
Inaccuracy of the Breath or Blood Testing Device” The AZ Department of Health Services (DHS) has set forth rules for the proper maintenance of breath testing devices. They must be calibrated to within a 10% accuracy range every thirty-one (31) days. In addition, the machine goes through a seven (7) test Standard Quality Assurance Procedure (SQAP) every ninety (90) days. If any of the maintenance checks are “out of tolerance,” then all breath tests given during the time interval between the two maintenance checks will be inadmissible. There are also a number of ways to challenge the blood testing device.
(001013312CR): Mr. H. was stopped for a Felony DUI. The police claimed he had a suspended license due to a prior DUI stop for which he had not been convicted. Because of problems with the calibration records, his .145 breath alcohol concentration would not come into evidence. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office dismissed all charges.