Category Archives: DUI

Is a DUI a Felony in Arizona?

  If caught driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit, you will likely be arrested. Arizona DUI laws also cover driving under the influence of illegal drugs. Blood-Alcohol Content Limits The standard DUI limit in Arizona is a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent. As to how many bottles or how many shots of alcoholic drinks it takes to reach this level, it varies from person to person. Blood-alcohol content is affected not only by the type and amount of alcoholic beverage consumed, but also by gender, weight, and the amount of time that you’ve been drinking. Nonetheless, the bottom line is, a blood-alcohol content above the statutory limit would make you too drunk to drive. Possible Penalties Arizona DUI Law takes into account different blood-alcohol content levels along with other factors. These factors include previous arrests and/or conviction, and whether or not there were minor passengers at the time of the arrest. Standard DUI First offense: The first time you are arrested with a standard DUI of 0.08+, you can receive 10 days of jail time. Along with this, you may be fined up to $1,500, plus jail costs and an $80 monitoring fee. You will be required to undergo screening and counseling. You could also get a 90-day suspension or one-year revocation of your driver’s license. Standard DUI Second Offense: The second time you’re caught driving while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol content over 0.08, you will be made to serve 9 days in jail. The fine is about $3,500 with jail/home detention costs and an $80 monitoring fee. You will also be required to undergo screening and counseling. Your license will be revoked for one year and you’ll have to serve 30 hours of community service. First offense for extreme DUI: An extreme DUI of 0.15+ could lead to 30 days jail time. Along with this, you will also be fined about $2,780, plus jail/home detention costs, and an $80 monitoring fee. Screening and counseling are required and you will also receive a 90-day MVD suspension. Second offense for extreme DUI: The second time you are arrested with severely high alcohol content levels, you have to serve 120 days in jail. Fines would run to about $3,740, plus jail/home detention costs and an $80 monitoring fee. You will be required to undergo screening and counseling and receive a 1-year revocation of your MVD. You will also be required to serve 30 hours of community service. First offense for super extreme DUI: The first time you are arrested with a super extreme DUI of 0.20+, the possible jail time is set at 45 days. You will also have to pay fines averaging at $3,240, along with jail/home detention costs and an $80 monitoring fee. You will have to undergo screening and counseling, along with a 90-day MVD suspension. Second offense for super extreme DUI: The second time you’re caught at this level of intoxication, jail time is raised to 180 days and the … Continue reading

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How Do You Know If You Are Under Criminal Investigation?

Have You Committed a Crime? Signs You May Be Under Investigation You will likely be investigated if you’ve done something that may be considered a crime. Be on the alert because the police might be wiretapping you or observing your actions. If you associate with people who have been arrested, it’s possible that you may be, too. This is why you should be updated about what’s happening in your circle. Always Be on the Lookout Pay closer attention to your surroundings. You may notice people following you. Have your telephone box checked. Consider using counter-surveillance devices—these can detect spying equipment. If you don’t have dogs, think about getting some. They will alert you if someone’s lurking around your premises. They will also prevent them from breaking into your home and installing bugs. Ask around. People around you may have heard about an investigation or noticed strange individuals. You can ask some of your friends to stay on the lookout. Avoid giving out incriminating information online or over the phone. Police may have access to your devices. Be careful of throwing away evidence as well, because they might check your trash. Tendencies of Authorities Generally, you will not be told that you are under investigation unless they want to talk to you and ask specific questions. When they do call you, they have probably already gathered data, and they only want to confirm their conclusions. Police might show up at your home, or you may be invited to talk with a detective. When they’ve managed to corner you, avoid lying. It’s a crime to do so. Just keep quiet and say that you need to consult your lawyer first. When the police come, they might show a search warrant. Do not let them search if they don’t. You can refuse if they didn’t give a good enough reason for a search. If you’re a government employee, you may be requested to go to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), or an OIG agent may talk to you. This may mean you’re being investigated for something. Learn about some ways to deal with the stress if you are under investigation. Of Letters and Records You may receive a subpoena or a target letter. This is evidence that you’re under criminal investigation. If no one has contacted you yet, you could ask a private investigator to check criminal databases. Investigators would have clearances that help them access records not available to the public. Visit the district attorney’s office to know if you have a pending court case. However, you shouldn’t normally have to do this because they will send you a notice to appear in court. Call your local police department and ask if someone has filed charges against you. Again, they don’t have to inform you if you are currently being investigated. If there’s a police report, you may request a copy. This document will tell you details such as what the nature of the case is, when and where it … Continue reading

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Obtaining Affirmative Defenses for DUI Charges in Arizona

DUI (Driving under the Influence) is a serious offense in Arizona. DUI offenses can lead to disastrous and life-threatening situations. Offenders can get into road accidents, which may cause property damages and bodily injuries, or worse death. Not all DUI cases are severe, and not all drivers experience mental and physical impairment while driving. There are special DUI cases where certain affirmative defenses may apply. The goal of an affirmative defense is to plead for a certain degree of leniency. The aim is to get the offender (defendant) sentenced to the minimum possible penalty. Though going for an affirmative defense might give some people hope, the result will always depend on how the defense is executed. Also, not all DUI cases can win with an affirmative defense. Cases Where Affirmative Defenses May Apply Not all DUI or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) cases may work with an affirmative defense. Cases that can use an affirmative defense meet the following criteria: DUI – Alcohol ADAMS Issue and other cases that challenge the accuracy of breath testing devices used to measure BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) This is a case where the breath testing device used is proven to be “not working” accurately at the time the offender was tested and arrested. The ground for this circumstance is that the breath testing device, commonly the Intoxilyzer 5000, should be testing within the acceptable range of accuracy at the time the offender was tested. Also, some hand-held breath testing devices are considered unreliable sources of evidence. These portable devices are only used for preliminary breath testing at the scene so law enforcers will know when to take someone in for a breath test using something more reliable. Other factors that may be used to challenge the accuracy of breath testing devices are the inherent margins of error; radio frequency errors, mouth alcohol errors, operator errors, and the Average Person Problem argument. When the breath testing devices used during the arrest are proven to be inaccurate, an affirmative defense may be rightfully applied. Improper administration of field sobriety tests This is a case in which the field sobriety tests performed don’t apply to the offender. The ground for this circumstance is that law enforcers sometimes don’t follow the proper guidelines for giving these tests. A field sobriety test should not be given to someone who is: Overweight (weighs 50 pounds more than the average) 60 years or older With any back, hip or leg injuries With balance-impairing disabilities Wearing high-heeled footwear (more than two inches high) Other factors that may be used to challenge the administration of the tests are unfavorable conditions, poor instructions, the nervousness of the accused, and non-objectivity of the officers who gave the tests. These tests are more common to be found at an Arizona DUI checkpoint. Lack of evidence to prove the offender was physically impaired during the arrest This is a case where the state cannot provide more evidence other than the offender’s BAC. Aside from BAC, there should also … Continue reading

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Tips about Going through an Arizona DUI Checkpoint

Before you go through a DUI checkpoint, you should be aware of your responsibilities and rights. This is especially true if you are in the state of Arizona, because they take DUI cases very seriously.   Are DUI Checkpoints Legal and Constitutional? Yes, they are. They let police officers lawfully stop drivers even if they do not seem suspicious. This is to prevent the occurrence of accidents or other negative consequences of DUI’s. DUI checkpoints are different from routine stops. With a routine stop, the police officer needs to have reasonable doubt that a violation has been committed. With a DUI checkpoint, such reasonable doubt is not required. This can make it truly intimidating. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not aware of their rights. So, when they get stopped at a DUI checkpoint, they panic and get confused. To help you avoid getting in trouble, you need to know and protect your rights without incriminating yourself. Here are some helpful tips: Know your constitutional rights. If you get stopped at a DUI checkpoint, you will be asked to show your documents. You will be asked to show your ID and driver’s license. You will also be asked certain questions. Make sure that you present these things and be honest with your answers. Know your right to remain silent. You should not feel obliged to answer unnecessary questions, such as where you are heading to or where you have been. Do not provide more information than you have to. Otherwise, you may end up incriminating yourself. Call your lawyer as soon as possible. Only speak if your lawyer tells you that it is okay to do so. Comply with the police officers. In addition, you may be asked to step out of your vehicle. Just comply without complaining or displaying any aggressive behavior. Otherwise, you could be brought up on charges. Always be polite and civil. Refrain from even seeming to assault the police officer. Getting stopped at a checkpoint can be a real hassle. It can put you in a foul mood, but you should always stay calm and reasonable. Speak calmly and carefully. Do not physically attack or curse at the police officer. Use your common sense. Yes, there are times when you are not required to do what a police officer tells you. For example, if a police officer stops you at a DUI checkpoint and says that he wants to conduct a search of your vehicle, you can refuse. You do not have to agree to this search. However, it may be a better idea to agree than to disagree, especially if you aren’t hiding anything. Just cooperate with the authorities so that the process can be over as soon as possible. Likewise, you are not obliged by the law to take a sobriety or blood alcohol content test. If a police officer stops you at a DUI checkpoint and asks you to perform a Breathalyzer test, you have the right to refuse. Then again, refusing … Continue reading

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Can You Avoid the Ignition Interlock Device after an Arizona DUI?

Individuals who are arrested for a DUI in the state of Arizona are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. This device requires regular maintenance and it can be quite costly. Hence, a lot of drivers want to know if they can avoid its installation after they are convicted for a DUI. Are Ignition Interlock Devices Really Required? Yes, they are really required. At present, drivers who are found guilty of a DUI are required to install the device in their vehicle. There are no exceptions for this. Anyone who is arrested and convicted of a DUI needs to do this, including those who were arrested because of taking medications or drugs. A lot of people think that such provision is not necessary. Nevertheless, it must be adhered to, even if you were only arrested because you had to take prescription medications. A DUI is considered a very big deal in Arizona. If you ever get arrested, you would be required to have the device installed in your vehicle for a year. Depending on your situation, you may request for a revision and/or removal of the device after six months. So, if you are hoping that you can avoid installing the device after a court has ordered you to do it, you’ll be disappointed. Arizona is strict when it comes to performing regular compliance checks. The authorities may carry out inspections without warning to find out if the drivers are indeed following the rules. If you are caught disobeying a court order to have the device installed, or even tampering with it, you could face serious consequences. Is It Ever Possible to Avoid Getting an Ignition Interlock Device? Not following court orders is never an option. However, is it ever legally possible to avoid installing the device? What if you promise the judge that you won’t drive your car for a year? According to the law, you need to have the device installed in your vehicle even if you promise not to use it for that year. In fact, you need to have the device installed in any vehicle that you drive, including rent-a-car-services. Simply making this kind of promise is not enough for you to avoid installing the device. After all, nobody can really guarantee the future. So, there is no way for you to tell that you will be able to refrain from driving for a year. Nevertheless, there is a single exception. You can drive a vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device during an emergency situation, such as needing to go to the hospital. So, the answer to this question is also ‘yes’. It is possible to use a vehicle without an ignition interlock device if there is an emergency. Otherwise, you would get arrested if you operate any vehicle that does not have the device. You could even be banned from driving. Also, you may avoid installing the device if you are charged with a DUI after using drugs. According … Continue reading

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