Whether in the Phoenix area, or anywhere in Arizona, if you are arrested, questioned and released without a citation (or if the police are attempting to contact you regarding criminal allegations from another person) then you are currently in the “Precharge/ Investigation Stage” of a criminal case. This is the most important time to hire a Drunk Driving Attorney in Arizona. It is better to never be charged than to be charged and have the charges dismissed five (5) minutes later. Once you have been charged, this information will always be logged online, and you will always have to explain yourself when filling out job applications.
In addition, on certain types of cases, once charged you will sit in custody and be designated as “non-bondable” until the case resolves. This means that if you have a million dollars in your pocket, you may still sit in custody (potentially) for up to one (1) year or more.
In regard to certain DUI cases the Officer will merely get a blood or breath test, and then he will release you without handing you any type of citation or paperwork. The reason that the Police do this is that they are waiting to either get a blood result, or they wish to do a “Long Form Complaint” and route your police report to the Prosecutor’s Office in order for them to make a charging decision. If it is a misdemeanor, they have one (1) year in which to file charges before the Statute of Limitations runs out. If it is a standard felony, they have seven (7) years to file charges before the Statute of Limitations runs out.
Beware: there is no Statute of Limitations for Vehicular First Degree Murder. It is important to fight all DUI allegations while they are in the “Precharge phase” in order to try and convince the Prosecutor to either not file charges, or to file a lesser charge (such as a lesser DUI, Reckless Driving, a Speeding or Weaving ticket, or things of this nature).
If you were served with an “Administrative Per Se, Implied Consent” DMV affidavit on the date of your arrest (i.e., a pink and yellow piece of paper), we will file a Request for Hearing with the DMV. If your case involves the taking of blood during your DUI arrest, you will need to wait and see whether your results come back above or below a .08. If they are above a .08, the Officer will forward a request for suspension to the DMV office. The DMV office will then notify you with a Notice of Suspension. The moment you receive this from the DMV, contact us immediately, so we can request a hearing on your behalf.
It usually takes the DMV approximately two months to send out a hearing date notice after we send in a Request for Hearing. The hearing is then usually held one month after the notice is received. During this two to three month time span, your license is valid and you are allowed to drive. You will either have the yellow copy in your possession (if your case was a “breath” case), or it will be entered in the computer that you are okay to drive if you are a “blood” case. If you are stopped by an Officer during that period of time and he informs you that your license is suspended, simply tell him that we are your Drunk Driving Attorneys in Arizona and we requested a hearing on your behalf. If he cites you for driving on a suspended license, don’t panic; simply bring in the ticket and we will take care of it.
What is the Process after a DUI Charge?
Prior to the DMV hearing, we will have you meet with us in our office in order to have a “pre-DMV consultation.” At this time, we will go over the police report with you, and discuss whether it is necessary for you to be present at the hearing to testify.
In regards to additional criminal charges beyond the potential DUI, the first thing that we will do after we are retained as your dui law firm is attempt to contact the Officers or Detectives involved in your case. We will do this in order to open up dialog in order to prevent any filing of charges, or reduce the charges they may request when they submit your case to the Prosecutor. Secondly, we will contact the Prosecutor’s office and discuss your case with the Charging Prosecutor. Naturally, we will attempt to either assure that your case is not charged, or have them charge it to the lowest possible offense. In addition, we will ask the Prosecutor to serve us with the Summons directly.
Beware: the Prosecutor does not have to honor our request and can either mail the Summons to your address obtained on the date of the alleged violation, or issue a direct “Bench Warrant” for your arrest. We will check periodically with the Court to see if the Prosecutor filed charges without notifying us. If a Bench Warrant is discovered, we will call you immediately and file a Motion to Quash Bench Warrant with the Court. We will then accompany you to Court, quash the Bench Warrant and enter a plea of “Not Guilty”.
We also will be attempting to obtain the police report involved in your case. Normally we are not allowed to have access to it while the investigation is still pending. However, mistakes are sometimes made in the Records Department and they will accidentally furnish us with the police report. When and if we receive the report, we will review it with you in our office. We will attempt to interview any known civilian witnesses during this pre-charge stage. Normally the Officers or Detectives will not grant us an interview while the investigation is pending.
If your case involves specific false allegations of conduct, your Drunk Driving Attorney in Arizona may suggest that you have a Poligrapher conduct a polygraph examination (i.e., a “lie detector test”). In addition, it may benefit you to have a Private Investigator do some research into your case. This will only occur after we have sat down with you and discussed these options in the privacy of our offices. Normally polygraphs and Private Investigators are only necessary in very specific instances. If your case involves the taking of blood, we may want to do an independent test of the blood sample that the police are holding.
If there is a specific alleged victim involved in your case, your Drunk Driving Attorney in Arizona may attempt to contact them in order to work out a “civil settlement”. This is normally involved in cases where there is a loss of money or damage to property. If we are able to work out a resolution, we will have the alleged victim sign a release document which states that they do not wish to seek criminal prosecution, and that they have been fully satisfied for any and all claims. This document can go a long way to dissuading a Detective or Prosecutor from pursuing charges any further. Even though they cannot actually ban the Prosecutor from bringing charges, it does have a dissuading effect on the alleged victim from pressing forward with the State in their case against you.
If your case is a potential felony, your Drunk Driving Attorney in Arizona will send a letter to the Charging Prosecutor (including all of the information we have obtained regarding your case) indicating why you should not be charged. In addition, we will request that you be allowed to be present if any Grand Jury proceeding is to take place. Normally, we do not actually anticipate having you appear at a Grand Jury proceeding, however, this does tend to dissuade a Prosecutor from bringing charges. Further, if a Grand Jury proceeding is held without notification to us (in order to allow you to make a statement), then we can have the entire case thrown out due to a faulty Grand Jury proceeding if you are eventually charged.
If the felony Prosecutor decides not to proceed by way of Grand Jury, and instead issues a Direct Complaint, we will indicate in our letter to him that we will accept Service of Summons. This will allow the Prosecutor the opportunity to serve us directly rather than having you either served a Summons at work, or arrested on some later date. Although the Prosecutor does not have to honor our request for acceptance of Service, they almost always do, thereby preventing any type of potential embarrassment. Be sure to review our Precharge DUI Misdemeanor and DUI Felony case victories and compare them with other lawyers in Phoenix.
For a free initial consultation, call us at 602-307-0808, or click here to contact us now and speak to a Drunk Driving Attorney in Arizona about your case. We handle DUI/ DWI cases, vehicular crimes, homicide, drug and sex offenses, white collar crimes, property crimes and other violent crimes. David Michael Cantor is 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®.