Whether in the Phoenix area, or anywhere in Arizona, per A.R.S. §13-1201 “Endangerment” occurs when a person recklessly endangers another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.
This is usually charged in cases where the prosecutor alleges that the defendant has exhibited an “extreme indifference” to human life while driving. This charge is often used by a prosecutor as a bargaining tool to convince a defendant to plead guilty to Endangerment rather than go to trial on an Aggravated DUI charge. Since Aggravated DUI is a class four (4) felony, and Endangerment is a class six (6) felony (i.e., a lower felony), it can transform mandatory prison time into jail time. The difference between jail and prison is that in prison a person must be behind bars 24 hours per day; however with jail time, a person only needs to be behind bars 12 hours per day and is allowed to go to work for the other 12 hours.
If you have been charged with Vehicular Endangerment in Phoenix or Arizona you may need expert legal representation. The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor are available 24/7 to review your case. Call 602-307-0808 or click here to fill out our contact form for a Free Consultation.
Possible Punishment for Endangerment
Endangerment is one of the most over charged crimes in Arizona. Many times officers are upset when they witness what is really Reckless Driving, a misdemeanor, and they try to turn it into felony Endangerment. In order to convict you, the prosecutor must show that you were recklessly endangering the lives of others by your driving. The standard of “recklessness” in Arizona is that the defendant was aware of, and consciously disregarded, a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result would occur or that a dangerous circumstance existed. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that disregard of such risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. In plain language, this means that the prosecutor will try to put forth various reasons why the defendant acted or drove unreasonably dangerously, most often focusing on any speeding, alcohol intake, or any drug use by the defendant, and arguing that it endangered the lives of other persons. Using forensic investigative techniques, it is our job to refute the state’s evidence that any of those factors occurred the way the prosecution has described. We accomplish this goal by highlighting the unreliability of the state’s forensic procedures regarding speed calculations, and blood, breath, and urine testing. Additionally, if it can be shown that there were no other vehicles within striking distance, and there were no people walking along the sidewalks or near the vicinity of the traveled roadway, then the Endangerment charge should be dismissed. It will be important to find and interview all potential witnesses who were in the nearby area or seek out any independent evidence including any videotapes obtained from nearby establishments which maintain video security or parking lot surveillance. Lastly, it is possible to obtain the statistical and diagnostic module (i.e., the “Black Box”) from newer model cars which could demonstrate the speed and RPMs which occurred prior to being stopped. If it can be shown that there was no rapid acceleration or high speeds of travel, this can be used to refute the officers’ claims that the defendant was endangering the lives of others by their driving.
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In order to fight this Vehicular Endangerment charge, and any other criminal charges that you might face, as your attorneys we would assert a number of various other defenses designed to protect your constitutional rights. One of those we frequently assert is a “Miranda rights violation.” In Arizona, the standard of whether any inculpatory statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible in to evidence is based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements. In addition, the “denial of right to Counsel” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but is denied and questioning continues. Lastly, one of the most common defense tools is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled Vehicular Endangerment Lawyer to defend you who has knowledge of all the possible defenses to assert in your case.
It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is a Vehicular Endangerment Attorney in Arizona, and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. At the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, P.C., the majority of our Attorneys are ex-Prosecutors, and all of our Vehicular Endangerment Attorneys in Arizona know the system well. For a Free Initial Consultation, call us at 602-307-0808, or click here to contact us now.
Contact The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor and speak to a Vehicular Endangerment Attorneys in Arizona. We will assist you with your Endangerment case.