Recently in Phoenix AZ DUI Category

October 31, 2012

Dring & Keys.JPGThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently conducted an evaluation of the Maricopa County DUI Court program. The purpose was to review the effectiveness of the program aimed at reducing Aggravated DUI (Felony) and repeat impaired driving offenses.

The conclusions were that the program was effective in reducing recidivism and had successfully helped reduce repeat offenses. It also concluded that Maricopa County's program was more effective than other County DUI Probation Programs.


DUI Court Program

DUI Court is a speciality court , similar to drug court. It is designed to improve public safety and reduce repeat and future felony DUI offenses, by promoting changes in destructive and illegal behaviors. This is accomplished through team efforts of the prosection, judge, probational officers, criminal defense attorney, and the drug/alcohol treatment professional, and the probation department.

As part of sentencing, the court includes substance abuse screening and treatment as well as probation. This treatment is a primary component of the program. Those eligible to participate in the program must demonstrate a voluntary willingness to stop drinking or stop substance abuse behaviors in an effort to rehabilitate them. Not everyone will qualify for the program which usually involves a reduction of other harsh sentencing including jail and prison terms.


Requirements of the DUI Court Program

Participants are required to sign a contract with the court that outlines the details their obligations. These may include the following:

• Abstinence from drugs and alcohol;
• Substance abuse screening, counseling or treatment with a qualified treatment program;
• AA meetings;
• Monitoring, supervision and reporting of defendant to their probation officer;
• Attendance to DUI Victim Impact meetings;
• Random drug and alcohol testing;
• Attend court hearings and meet with the presiding judge to discuss progress and issues of concern.

A variety of incentives are used by the court to encourage successful completion of the programs. These may include deferred or reduced jail or prison time; public recognition; set aside of criminal charges; or reduced penalties.


Penalties or sanctions for non-completion of the program

The participating defendant is held accountable for completing or not completing the program. A person may be exposed to the following penalties for non-compliance, or breach of contract in the program:

• Additional jail or prison terms;
• Community service;
• Curfews;
• Electronic monitoring;
• Probation violation hearings and consequences;
• Abolishment from the program;
• Revocation of probation;
• Reinstatement of original sentencing
.

Successful completion of the program

In order to graduate from the program with successful completion, the person must to the following:

• Remained sober or abstained from drugs for six months;
• Attend school or be employed;
• Complied with all court orders;
• Attended all treatments and counseling and provide proof of completion;
• Fulfilled all other probation or court ordered requirement.


Criminal Defense Attorney for DUI charges Tempe AZ

You should always retain qualified legal representation if you face any type of DUI charges. Your attorney will defend your charges, and make sure your rights are protected. They will also work to help you to get qualified for a treatment program, that may reduce or mitigate sentencing, if the case can not be dismissed.


Additional Rescouces:


National Highway Safety Administration - Evaluation of DUI Court Conclusions

Maricopa County - DUI Specialty Court Program

Arizona State Legilslture - Revised Statutes for Felony DUI '

Arizona MADD website - Victim Panel


Continue reading "DUI Court Program in Maricopa County Gets High Marks by NHTSA " »

August 31, 2012

"Don't be drinking and driving 'cause we'll catch you", DPS warns.

Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) is geared up for its' statewide DUI task forces. They will be in place for their annual Labor Day crackdown, Friday August 31, 2012 through Tuesday September 4, 2012.
Police Car.JPG
They will be looking for drunk drivers; impaired motorist under the influence of alcohol or drugs, along with other traffic stops and motorist/vehicle safety checks. Arizona DPS offers this advice to motorists:

• Don't drink and drive or you will be arrested;
• Don't drive if you are under the influence of any medication with potential to impair driving;
• Assign a designated driver or plan for alternative transportation;
• Buckle up or citations will be issued;
• Don't speed or you will be cited;
• Be aware of increased traffic throughout the Labor Day Weekend;
• Expect closures and delays due to auto accidents or construction;
• Take along plenty of drinking water and supplies in the case of an unscheduled closure;
• Do not drive without valid driver's; registration; auto insurance, and valid plates;
• Be prepared for changing weather conditions to and from your destination;
• Get a good night's rest before you leave for your destination if you'll be driving;
• Be prepared and use caution in reduced speed limit zones;
• Use caution in merging traffic lanes;
• Drive defensively; don't assume all other drivers will obey traffic and safety laws, and stop at red lights;
• Expect the unexpected;

These are just the fundamental laws of driving. But lack of adherence to these laws and tips, can result in serious automobile accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

DUI Charges in Phoenix AZ

Drunk Driving, DUI - DWI or Drug DUI charges are serious criminal offenses under A.R.S. § 28 - 1381 in Arizona. If charged you will face both civil penalties that include suspension of driver's license, in addition to any other traffic citations if they apply. Driving impaired to the slightest degree due to alcohol or drugs will result in criminal charges. Penalties for convictions include 10 days jail; ignition interlock device on your vehicle; mandatory drug or alcohol screening and counseling; probation; fines; fees; and suspension or loss of driving privileges. You should always consult an experienced criminal defense attorney if you face active charges to discuss you matter and defense options. If retained, they will defend your charges, protect your rights; make sure you are treated fairly; and work to protect your future and freedom. Often there are defenses that can be used that may lead to a dismissal of charges, or other favorable outcome in your case.

Additional Resources:

Arizona Department of Transportation;
Arizona Department of Public Safety;
Governor's Office of Highway Safety;
Arizona Legislature

Continue reading "Labor Day DUI Task Forces: Warnings and Safety Tips for Motorists " »

February 10, 2012

15 Traits of criminal Lawyers who get Maricopa County Defense AZ charges for DUI Dismissed!

"Your chances of getting charges dismissed increase with an attorney who can present "a compelling argument", over an attorney who has a stronger argument, but presents it less persuasively."

- James Novak, AZ DUI & Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer and Author of "Arizona Winning DUI & Criminal Defense Strategies" Book Series

1. Experience; Criminal & DUI defense experience in Maricopa County;
2. Communication: The best trial lawyers listen, as well as they speak; they know that winning cases are often the result of "details"; and they don't miss any; attorneys too preoccupied with their next argument risk missing details that could lead to a dismissal;
3. Compelling: the best defense lawyers are persuasive, articulate and compelling; They can present highly effective arguments;
4. Thousands of Hours of litigation: Be aware of attorneys who have not spent much time in the court room or trial. The truth is that there are attorneys who have not seen much of the "inside of a court room": either because they are new, or because they simply don't challenge the evidence or prosecution on the issues. In those cases, the attorney may simply agrees with whatever the prosecution throws at their clients for conviction and sentencing; You don't need to pay someone to help you lose;
5. Former Prosecutors: They get a vast amount of trial experience in many types of criminal cases. In Maricopa County particularly, it is not unusually for prosecutors to be in hearings or trial 4 to 5 days a week, every week;

6. Scholars in Arizona DUI & Criminal Defense Law: They know the Arizona criminal law; they are familiar with existing and new laws, changing legislation, and court cases which have outcomes that may impact DUI & Criminal cases in Maricopa County. They recognize that what "laws" make good "defenses". They know how to use laws in favor of the defendants when appropriate and justified;
7. They Don't Use "Cookie Cutter" defenses: They understand that "one size does not fit all". DUI and criminal defense cases are all unique in that each one holds its own set of circumstances; Defense strategies must carefully be tailored or customized to fit the facts surrounding the charges. A particular defense in one case, may lead to a dismissal; but when used in another may result in an unwarranted conviction;
8. They Don't File Frivolous Motions: An attorney who has a reputation for filing frivolous or unjustified motions loses credibility with judges and the prosecution in courts where they regularly appear;
9. Never Underestimates the Power of Filing EARLY Justified Motions: These often involve motions related to procedural or constitutional rights violations such as 1). Charges being brought in the wrong jurisdiction; or 2). Time limit to prosecutor has expired for that crime under Arizona Constitution. .
10. Home Court Advantage: They defend charges exclusively within Maricopa County. They have built a report and are well respected by law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, court procedures and protocol throughout courts for which they defend clients; Familiarity with opposition provides great advantages;
11. Simplify Complex Issues: Not only are the best attorneys able to interpret the law, but they have the ability to simplify them in the best light for their client's defense;
12. Passion and Dedication: They are dedicated to their client's defense and obtaining the most favorable outcome on their behalf; they have a passion for defense; they recognize that the accused has a fundamental right by law to defend their charges in due process as afforded under the United States Constitution and Arizona Law; they make sure defendants are treated fairly, and their constitutional rights are protected, under Federal and Arizona laws;
13. Work Ethic: They make the time needed to tailor, build, and present a compelling defense case which includes gathering, retesting, examining, and challenging evidence for suppression (not to be used), and obtaining exculpatory (evidence in the client's favor); In other words, they conduct their own defense investigations, concurrently as the prosecution is building their case;
14. Exhaust all means to obtaining the best outcome for their clients: Including case dismissals (partial or complete); negotiating for a better outcome, including leniency in penalties; or alternatives to harsh and unwarranted sentencing such as incarceration.
15. Getting the Case Dismissed is #1 priority: If a client does not wish to challenge their charges; have someone fight for them; or attempt to get their charges dismissed; then they do not need to hire one of the "Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Maricopa County". In fact, they would not need to hire any criminal defense attorney, in that the case.

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January 26, 2012

What Makes a Good Phoenix AZ Criminal Defense Lawyer the Best

The Best DUI Lawyers Choose the Right Defense Strategies
For starters, the Best DUI defense lawyers in Phoenix AZ, chooses the right defenses and Defense strategies. Effective defenses must be carefully selected and tailored to fit each defendant's set of circumstances. A good criminal defense lawyer understands that certain defenses used in one case, may not apply in another. Any attorney who says most DUI cases are "standard" or "cookie cutter", most likely does not defend DUI cases on a regular basis or every client is unique, as is the circumstances, evidence and facts surrounding the case. Thus, their defense case must be unique as well in order to be successful. A defense strategy for one client to get a case dismissed may result in a poor outcome for another.

DUI Lawyers in Phoenix - What to Look for to Find the Best Criminal Defense Attorney

Good criminal defense attorneys must possess many important traits. Here will we look at just a few of those traits that make good DUI attorneys the best, as they relate to the matter of Arizona criminal laws and defenses:

• The ability to correctly interpret the law and defenses;
• Can identify those which will serve their clients defense the most effectively, under the proper circumstances;
• Has the ability to translate the issues of law into simple terms for the client;
• Is passionate about their clients being treated fairly and with respect under the law;
• Will make the time needed to tailor, build, and present a compelling defense case; every DUI or criminal charge is unique and carries its own individual set of circumstances and evidence (or lack thereof).
• A good DUI or criminal defense lawyer will exhaust all means possible to get the best outcome in their client's case such as partial or complete dismissal of charges; negotiating lesser charges; or obtaining leniency in sentencing and penalties by the court if convicted.

What You Can do to Find the Best DUI lawyer in Phoenix AZ

As you may already have learned there are so many criminal and DUI lawyers in Phoenix Metro and surrounding cities in Maricopa County that it is tough to choose from them all. And how do you know if there as good as they or their websites say they are? Here are some things to consider doing once you have narrowed your search geographically, and verified credentials and license to practice in your jurisdiction:

1) Read reviews from prior clients on the web, search engines, review sites and such;
2) Select two or three of your top picks, or more if you feel it necessary;
3) Contact at least two or three and meet with them by phone or in person;
4) Ask questions; Most DUI & Criminal defense attorneys in Phoenix AZ provide free consultations;
5) Don't be afraid to ask them about their education, defense and trial experience, credentials, and anything else that will make you feel you have found the most qualified person for the job.

Wouldn't you do these things if you were looking for a good doctor, dentist, or building contractor? Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer for your DUI or criminal charges is one of the most important decisions you make in your life. It can mean the difference between losing your freedom and getting a dismissal in your case. Take as much time as you need to feel comfortable with your choice, while keeping in mind that early retention of a criminal defense lawyer is key to a successful outcome.

Continue reading "DUI defenses: DUI defenses must carefully be selected by your attorney. The best defense strategies are those that will prove to be the most effective given the unique facts of your case." »

October 27, 2011

Phoenix Criminal Attorney | DUI DWI Criminal Defense Lawyers

Why You Should Exercise Your Right to 'Remain Silent" following an Arrest for Phoenix DUI or Criminal Charges

1) You do not want to "convict" yourself by verbally accepting guilt of a crime. Do not assume that because you were arrested for a crime, you will be found guilty.
An arrest is not a conviction. Any DUI, DWI, Drunk Driving or criminal charges can be challenged by a qualified private practice criminal defense lawyer. There may be defenses, that you are not aware of, that if used, can lead to a dismissal of your charges. But the police or prosecution will not provide you with this information even if they are aware of it. The prosecutor's job is to convict you not to defend you or give you any reason to challenge your criminal charges. There are far more arrests in Phoenix than convictions. Often criminal charges get dismissed with good legal representation by a proven criminal lawyer who defends criminal charges in Phoenix AZ on a regular basis.

2) Following a Phoenix arrest for DUI DWI, or other criminal charges, you can count on the police to continue to "take notes" what you say and do. Your words and actions will be documents. They can and will be used against you by the Arizona Prosecution. In most cases, defendants do not realize that what they are saying or doing will incriminate them further and harm their defense. If you find yourself being questioned or interrogated, you must let police know verbally that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent, and to have an attorney present during any questioning related to the charges. Note: If remain silent without verbally acknowledging that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent, then you will appear uncooperative to the court which will further harm your defense case.

3) If you allow yourself to be questioned or interrogated by police regarding your guilt or innocence of the Phoenix DUI DWI or Criminal Charges following your arrest, after being read your Miranda Rights, you voluntarily waive your rights. ("right to an attorney" and "right to remain silent"). Admitting to a crime is one of the fastest ways to get a conviction. The penalties for Phoenix drunk driving, DUI DWI, or many other criminal charges in Arizona are severe. When you are later sentenced and learn the severity of the punishment, you can't turn back. You can not reclaim your right to remain silent later, if you were properly read your Miranda Warning.

4) Until your Phoenix criminal or DUI case has run its course through the criminal justice system, the prosecution will egregiously look for inconsistencies or statements in "your story". You may be surprised to find out that the inconsistent statement does not have to be material to the criminal charge itself. Regardless of the subject matter of the statement, or what forum the statement was made, if it is different, it will harm your defense credibility. Without a doubt, he prosecution can make strengthen their case by accusing you of "changing your story", and make an issue of your credibility or trustworthiness in the eyes of the court, judge or jury.

5) Admitting to guilt of a crime will generally only makes things worse for you. You will just be convicted swiftly and sentenced by the judge to penalties under Arizona law for that crime. Some defendants think that if they admit to committing a crime or drunk driving in Arizona, that their punishments or sentencing will somehow be reduced. That is not the case. In Arizona, mandatory sentencing guidelines exist for DUI DWI and most criminal charges. You will face the same penalties in most cases for the DUI or crime than a defendant to plead "not guilty" and was later convicted of the criminal charge.

Continue reading "5 Things Prosecutors Don't Want You to Know about your criminal rights and charges!" »

October 17, 2011

An AZ DUI with no aggravating factors is a Class 1 Misdemeanor; but don't let anyone mislead you into thinking that a "Misdemeanor DUI" in Arizona is not serious. AZ penalties for Misdemeanor DUI are more serious than penalties for a felony in many states. Do not plead guilty of any Arizona DUI charge, before consulting an experienced Phoenix DUI Attorney.

Misdemeanor DUI charges may be lenient in some states, but Arizona is not one of them. Phoenix DUI charges are very serious and you will be subject to mandatory punishments in place under Arizona State Law. Even a first time Phoenix Misdemeanor DUI can subject you to mandatory jail; hefty fines; fees, and court costs; loss or suspension of your driver license; ignition interlock device on your vehicle and more.

Arizona Misdemeanor DUI Laws:
Generally an Arizona DUI with no "aggravating factors" is a Class 1 Misdemeanor as cited in part under A.R.S. 28-1381. The majority of DUI DWI charges in Arizona are classified as Misdemeanors. A Phoenix "Misdemeanor DUI DWI charge" will be raised to a "Felony DUI" only when certain "aggravating" factors exist. To read more about the specific factors that will elevate a Misdemeanor DUI DWI to a Felony DUI DWI visit www.arizonacriminaldefenselawyer.com/lawyer-attorney-1629205.html.

A Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona can be charged if a person is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substance and:

1. The driver of the vehicle in Arizona is impaired to the slightest degree (A.R.S. §28-1381(A) (1) or "impaired to the slightest degree"; and/or...

2. The driver of a vehicle in Arizona if the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol were consumed before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle. (A.R.S. §28-1381(A) (2)) or "DUI".

If the police have evidence that a driver is "impaired to the slightest degree" and had Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) lever of 0.08% or greater within two hours of driving or being in "actual physical control" of a vehicle, they will usually charge the driver with not only one, but two DUI charges in that one stop.

ARIZONA MISDEMEANOR DUI: It is illegal to DRIVE or be in ACTUAL PHYSICAL CONTROL of a motor vehicle in Arizona under the following circumstances:

PER SE DUI - Adult "Impaired to the Slightest Degree" by Alcohol
DUI Minor - Minor with or without impairment, "Zero Tolerance" for person under 21 years of age. BAC level of 0.08 is not required.
CDL DUI - Blood Alcohol BAC 0.04% or greater for adult Commercial Driver
DUI - Blood Alcohol Content BAC 0.08% or greater for adult Driver within two hours of driving
Extreme DUI - Blood Alcohol Content BAC 0.15% or greater adult within 2 hours of driving
Super Extreme DUI - BAC 0.20% or greater adult - within 2 hours of driving
Drug DUI - Impaired by any Drug whether lawfully prescribed drugs, over-the-counter drugs, legal or illegal drugs, dangerous or drugs not classified as dangerous.

Note: The Arizona DUI charges listed above are all considered to be separate and distinct charges. So a driver stopped under suspicion of DUI can actually be charged with one or more of these charges in one stop. The number of violations you may be charged with during one DUI stop is determined by the police DUI investigation, and DUI test results such as DUI breath test, DUI blood tests, or other chemical testing.

Misdemeanor DUI Defense - Arizona DUI - DWI Lawyers
Arizona misdemeanor DUI charges are heard in Arizona justice, city or municipal courts. Be sure that you are being defended by a private practice Phoenix or Arizona DUI lawyer with trial and defense experience; and one who is very familiar with the protocol, procedures and laws, judges and prosecutors in he court in the county, city or jurisdiction in Arizona for which you are required to appear for your court date. This will provide you with a definite advantage in your defense and increase your chances of a successful outcome. A good Arizona DUI attorney will tailor and build a defense case based on the facts of your DUI charges. They will know how to build a winning defense strategy in an effort to get your charges dismissed, reduced or the otherwise best outcome in your case.

Continue reading "Misdemeanor DUI charges: Why you will need good legal representation to defend the charges." »

September 8, 2011

How AZ DUI Laws will affect your Phoenix DUI

DUI charges in Phoenix, AZ are serious and described as some of the harshest in the country. You should consult an experienced AZ DUI Lawyer or Arizona criminal defense attorney who defends cases frequently in Phoenix Court as soon as possible

It makes no difference if your charges were for Tempe DUI, Phoenix DUI, Gilbert DUI, Mesa DUI, Scottsdale DUI, Chandler DUI, or Maricopa County, or any city in Arizona, the DUI laws, classifications, and penalties fall under the rule and jurisdiction
of the laws of the State of Arizona.

In Arizona it is unlawful operate a motor vehicle of any kind while driving under the influence of intoxicating or impairing drug, vapor releasing substances containing a toxic chemical or any combination of alcohol, drugs and or vapor releasing substances if the person is "impaired to the slightest degree" (A.R.S. §28-1381(A)(1). This includes driving a vehicle if the person has an alcohol concentration level 0.08 or greater, more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle. (A.R.S. §28-1381(A) (2))

It is unlawful in Phoenix Arizona for a anyone to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle if the that person alcohol concentration of the following: Within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle: 0.15 or more but less than 0.20. (A.R.S. §28-1382(A)(1) or "Extreme DUI" and within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle: 0.20 or more. (A.R.S. §28-1382(A) (2)) or "Super Extreme DUI". The higher the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), the harsher the sentencing and penalties.

The consequences and penalties for Phoenix DUI are serious. Penalties range from minimal of 30 days in jail to extended prison sentencing, along with other penalties, fines, and fees. The Phoenix Court must abide by the minimum and maximum sentencing of the State. However, the Phoenix Judge may have some minor discretion over giving out further penalties if they believe they are necessary, reasonable and appropriate.

You should consult an experienced private practice AZ DUI Attorney or AZ criminal defense attorney who defends DUI charges Phoenix Courts frequently. They will be your voice and barrier between you and the prosecution, to make sure your rights are protected; you do not incriminate yourself further; and will utilize all defenses available based on your DUI circumstances to get your case dismissed, charges reduced, evidence

If you have been arrested for any Phoenix, AZ DUI other criminal charge contact the Law Office of James Novak, for your Free Consultation at 480) 413-1499. Speak directly with experienced Arizona criminal Defense and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor).

The Law Office of James Novak is devoted to handling 100% DUI, Drug & criminal cases in Phoenix and Maricopa County valley-wide.

Continue reading "DUI laws differ by state. Arizona has some of the toughest laws and penalties in the county. Find out about Arizona DUI laws and penalties, before you drink and drive." »

July 13, 2011

If you have been arrested for felony DUI in Arizona, you will need to consult a Phoenix DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your charges and defense. A felony DUI in Phoenix exposes you to severe penalties and sentencing if convicted including prison time. You will need an experienced Arizona DUI lawyer who defends felony DUI charges in Phoenix on a regular basis.

Arizona Felony DUI Laws:
There are three aggravating factors that will escalate a Phoenix Misdemeanor DUI charge to a Felony DUI charge in Phoenix AZ.
A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (1): (Paraphrased for Legal Ease) You were arrested for AZ DUI while your license was suspended, restricted or revoked (Class 3 Felony).

A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (2): (Paraphrased for Legal Ease) This is your third DUI charge and you have at least two prior DUI convictions within the last 7 years. (Class 3 felony).

A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (3): (Paraphrased for Legal Ease) You were arrested for DUI and there was a child under 15 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle. You were driving. (Class 6 Felony).

DUI Penalties - Felony DUI in Arizona
A Phoenix Felony DUI conviction exposes you to mandatory sentencing guidelines. Each case has its own unique circumstances that may affect the DUI penalties ordered by the judge in the event of a DUI conviction. The mandatory DUI penalties under Arizona Law, may include, but are not limited to the following:

• Long Term Felony criminal record;
• Jail time that ranges from one day to one year;
• Prison time from 4 months to 2 ½ years of incarceration;
• Revoking of your drivers license for 3 years;
• Lengthy supervised probation;
• Use of Ignition Interlock Device at your expense;
• Fines of Up to $150,000 plus 80% surcharge;
• $1500 prison assessment;
• $250 abatement fee;
• Probation fees;
• Costs for Drug or Alcohol Treatment Screening;
• Costs for Drug or Alcohol Counseling or Treatment Program;

The above penalties are subject to change based on circumstances surrounding your Felony DUI charges and frequent changes to Arizona Law.

DUI Penalties for a Phoenix DUI conviction may be "aggravated" or
"mitigated". Aggravated punishments are factors surrounding your Phoenix DUI that support the prosecution's case against you and warrant more serious and additional DUI penalties. Mitigating factors are circumstances or evidence that supports your DUI defense and warrant less serious punishments.

Defense Lawyers for Felony DUI in Phoenix
The judge or prosecution will not generally offer mitigated sentencing without compelling arguments presented or motions filed by your Phoenix DUI Defense Lawyer on your behalf. A good Phoenix DUI defense attorney will examine the evidence and facts of your case to find mitigating factors that will lead to a reduction of your penalties in the event of a felony DUI partial or complete conviction.

The felony DUI penalties are so severe, and disruptive on a person's life, that they sometimes become overwhelmed and feel that the situation is too hopeless to hire a defense attorney. However, a qualified Phoenix DUI lawyer or AZ criminal defense lawyer can defend any Phoenix Felony DUI charges regardless of the severity or classification of the charges or the amount of your Blood Alcohol Content or BAC levels. In many cases they can get evidence dismissed; charges reduced to a Misdemeanor DUI or other reduced charge; or get the felony DUI charges completely dismissed. Early retention of an experienced private Phoenix DUI attorney drastically increases your chance of getting a good outcome in your Felony DUI case. To the contrary going without representation of a good private DUI or criminal defense lawyer, is the quickest path to a Felony DUI conviction in Phoenix with harsh and mitigated penalties.

Continue reading "Felony DUI Charges: Find out why you were charged with a Felony DUI instead of a Misdemeanor DUI, and how to defend your charges." »

April 29, 2011

If you were arrested for an AZ DUI arrest based on your BAC results, does not automatically mean you will be convicted. Good Phoenix DUI attorneys may be able to use the blood test evidence to defend you, and get your charges dismissed.

DUI charges in Phoenix based on Blood Test Results
If you were charged with an AZ DUI in Phoenix based upon your BAC levels from blood test results, you should contact a DUI lawyer or criminal defense attorney who defends DUI charges in Phoenix AZ as soon as possible. The best DUI lawyers in Arizona may be able to find good reasons to challenge the same blood test results to defend your DUI charges. This is done when your DUI defense attorney finds violations and errors in conducting the blood test; processing the results; failure of police to follow prescribed rules of testing, analysis, preservation, or transport. Often your criminal defense attorney can educate the prosecution on the facts, and challenge the blood evidence. This often leads to suppression of that evidence and total dismissal of your DUI charges.

Blood Testing for a DUI Stop
A driver who is stopped in Phoenix AZ for suspicion of drunk driving does not get a choice as to what test the police will conduct. The officer has discretion of using any of three options: Blood, Breath, or Urine testing. Below are some reasons why the police officer may use a blood test as the preferred method of choice:

1) The driver refused to take a breath test. In this event the officer can obtain a court order from an on-duty judge to draw the driver's blood samples.
2) Some circumstances, if they exist, may cause the driver an unfavorable candidate for a breathalyzer test. For example, if the driver had been vomiting, or belching, it could adversely affect the accuracy of breathalyzer test results.
3) The breathalyzer test was conducted first, and the results were negative for alcohol. However, the police had reason to suspect you were driving impaired. Therefore, they decide to conduct a blood test to determine if there are drugs, chemicals or other toxins that caused the impaired driving.
4) An auto accident was involved; and the suspected drunk driver was either unconscious or otherwise incapable of participating in a breathalyzer test due to severity of their injuries.

AZ DUI Laws - DUI Blood Tests
It is common in Phoenix AZ for the police officer to personally draw the blood sample. However, they must be properly trained phlebotomy to conduct the DUI blood test. Many police departments send officers to get certified.

When the blood is drawn the police should draw a second sample for you to give to your DUI defense Attorney. They then send the sample to their crime lab for processing using a gas chromatograph. The turnaround time is on average 2 to 8 weeks for the crime lab to return the results. The criminal defense attorney has the opportunity to have the blood retested at an independent lab. The defense attorney then examines the processes that took place and compares results against the prosecutions.

The Arizona courts have upheld the legality of a police officer drawing the blood sample as long as they have been properly trained and certified as phlebotomists for this purpose. Strict guidelines apply to conducting, storage, and transport of the blood sample, the blood kits storage; blood kit expiration dates; avoidance of exposure to extreme heat or cold temperatures of their blood kits; chemicals used to clean the driver's arm before the blood is taken. All of these factors are critical to making sure the blood results are accurate.

DUI Lawyers for Phoenix DUI - Using Blood Results for AZ DUI Defense
During your initial consultation with a Phoenix DUI Attorney, ask if they intend to retest the blood. If so, ask who will be responsible for paying the fee to retest the blood sample. Blood testing in Arizona from an independent lab costs on average $250.00. Many AZ DUI lawyers will take care of that fee as a courtesy to the client. Many blood retests can lead to dismissal of your DUI charges. So even if the Phoenix DUI defense attorney you select does not pay the fee for you, it is well worth the cost to pay for the blood retest. It is very unwise to forfeit the opportunity to have your attorney get the blood retested; examine the process that took place, and compare results. Too many DUI charges have been dismissed due to the challenging of blood results, for it to be ignored. Top criminal defense attorneys in Arizona often find flaws and errors in blood testing and processing; present compelling arguments and challenge the blood test result violations that can lead to a total case dismissal.

Continue reading "DUI Blood Tests: Reasons why police decide to get DUI blood test evidence" »

March 15, 2011

How to find the best Phoenix DUI Lawyer in Arizona

If you face Phoenix DUI charges or any Criminal in Arizona, you will need to consult the best Phoenix AZ Criminal defense lawyer or DUI defense Attorney you can find. This is because the State of Arizona has some of the harshest laws and penalties for DUI and criminal conviction in the USA. After being charged with a DUI or crime, most people do not know where to start to find a good criminal defense or DUI lawyer. There are so many. Here are some basic sources to start with:

1) Search the internet you can do searches on the internet and easily get information from attorneys' websites. Read reviews, compare services, and listings.
2) Get a referral from a trusted family member, friend or neighbor
3) Check on line directory listings for Attorneys
4) Contact the Maricopa County Bar Association
5) Look for Attorneys who are licensed to practice in the State of Arizona and who defends Phoenix DUI charges in the jurisdiction or municipality you where you were charged. Note, it does not matter where you reside, you need a defense attorney in the city, jurisdiction, county or state in which you were charged.

After selecting a few Criminal or DUI defense Attorneys who practice in Phoenix contact them for a free consultation either by phone or in person. You can discuss your charges and defense options. But just as important, is that you find out about them. Here is a short list of some things you want to know about them:

• How familiar are they with the changing Arizona Laws and penalties?
• How often to they defend cases often in Phoenix AZ Court and Arizona criminal justice system?
• How familiar are they with the Judge, prosecution, and court procedures?
• Are they licensed to practice criminal defense in Arizona?
• How long have they defended criminal and DUI charges in Arizona?
• Are they well versed and successful have they been at utilizing DUI and criminal defense strategies
• How long they have they been in practice?
• Are they experienced in trail and litigation in Phoenix?
• Is their Law practice devoted 100% to DUI and criminal defense?
• What are their pre-trial and trial fees?
• How do they expect payment and are they willing to work with you on a payment plan if needed?
• Have they ever been Maricopa County Prosecutors?
• Will they take the time needed to examine the evidence to build and mount a strong DUI or Criminal Defense case challenging the Phoenix prosecution?
• Who will actually be handling the day to day activities, court appearances, investigation and all the services needed for your defense?
• If different than to whom you are speaking, will you get a chance to meet them and ask them these important questions as well?
• Who can you go to for questions throughout your defense process?

Do not be afraid to ask any of these questions. In this case you will be the employer, and the Phoenix DUI lawyer or criminal defense attorney will be working for you. It is a big decision, not to be taken lightly. If you choose wisely, it may mean the difference between a criminal conviction and a dismissal of your charges.

Continue reading "How to find a lawyer to defend your DUI or criminal charges" »

March 14, 2011

7 common areas top Phoenix drunk driving attorneys target to challenge DUI blood test results that can lead to dismissal of your AZ DUI Charges
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Phoenix DUI Blood Test Results
If you face drunk driving charges in Phoenix Arizona due to blood test results, you should consult an AZ DUI lawyer who is experienced at challenging blood test results for to discuss your DUI charges and defense options. The best AZ DUI defense lawyers often challenge the blood test results that the prosecution plans to use against you. But sometimes this very same evidence can be used to defend you and even get your AZ DUI charges dismissed.

AZ DUI Laws - 7 Areas to Challenge in AZ DUI Blood Test Evidence

The Phoenix police generally take the blood test and have it processed by their crime lab. In some cases a good DUI defense Attorney can detect violations, errors and defense issues surrounding the blood test evidence, hat can lead to the dismissal of your Phoenix DUI charges. Common errors include, but are not limited to violations concerning the following:

1. The police or personnel taking the test was not properly trained and certified in phlebotomy for DUI and Drug blood drawing; Many Police Department send their officers or other staff for training and certification. The results of a properly trained and certified police officer or other personnel have been upheld for admittance of evidence in court.

2. Temperature, storage, and expiration date guidelines for blood kits were not followed; (Example: Kits were outdated and exposed to extreme Arizona heat of summer in the trunk of a police car);

3. Errors in preservation, storage, and labeling of the blood vial containers; these errors can lead to tainting of the blood and raise questions as to whether or not it is the defendant's blood sample or was taken from a different defendant. (Yes, it happens);

4. Errors in Arizona criminal law blood taking guidelines;

5. Chemicals used to clean the arm before the blood draw were not proper leading to the tainting of the blood sample;

6. Violations in storage, transport, or processing of the blood by the police and crime lab.

7. The Phoenix Police failed to give you a sample of the blood for your defense, even after you asked for a sample. This is a violation of your rights.

If one or more of these violations or errors exist, your AZ DUI lawyer will recognize it, educate the prosecution and court; present compelling arguments; and file motions in your defense and weaknesses in the State's case against you. Top AZ DUI lawyers recognize what circumstances present the need to challenge blood results. In many cases this leads to suppression of the evidence on your behalf or a total dismissal of your AZ drunk driving charges.

Continue reading "DUI Blood Test Results: How to challenge Blood Test evidence for DUI defense" »

February 3, 2011

How an experienced Criminal Attorney Builds a Defense Case

Phoenix AZ a DUI or other criminal charge it is important that you consult a private criminal defense attorney who defends criminal charges in Phoenix Court. You will easily be able to find a good criminal or DUI defense Attorney who provides a Free Consultation. Most of them do.

You may wonder what can an Attorney do that you can not do yourself. A good Phoenix Criminal Attorney or Phoenix DUI lawyer is highly educated, trained and experienced in defending and litigating criminal and DUI charges. They are familiar with the criminal laws of the state of Arizona, as well as case law. Qualified DUI or Criminal Attorneys who defend cases on a regular basis know how to use the authority of law, defenses that can be used, and exercise your constitutional rights to defend you.

Phoenix AZ DUI & Criminal Attorney - How they build your Defense Case
What you may not realize is that behind the scenes a good DUI or Criminal defense lawyer who defends cases in Phoenix criminal court is involved in many activities on your behalf. Once retained, your Phoenix DUI or criminal defense attorney will guide you through every phase of the Arizona criminal justice system, keep you informed and answer all of your questions. Here are some things a good Phoenix AZ DUI defense or Criminal defense attorney will be doing with you as a team, or behind the scenes:

1. Gathering and evaluating all evidence, or lack thereof;
2. Looking for exculpatory evidence (evidence in your favor);
3. Determining what defense strategies and tactics will best serve your defense to get the best outcome in your case;
4. If one is necessary, securing and reviewing independent opinions and reports from experts;
5. Reviewing all documents including but not limited to police reports, your citation, sobriety, breath test, or chemical test results, photographs, and #911 call transcripts;
6. Interviewing, deposing, or questioning arresting police officers; investigative officers.
7. Containing or interviewing other witnesses if available.
8. Creating and mounting a compelling defense case against the prosecution's evidence and case. Note: This is not something that just happens at trial. An experienced attorney will take every legal opportunity in the criminal justice system phases to utilize defense tactics to get evidence suppressed, reduction in charges, or a dismissal of your case. A good criminal defense or DUI lawyer will waste no time and recognize the opportunities;
9. Participating in court proceedings, other hearings, status conferences, and pre-trial conferences, which focus on legal issues such as admissibility or suppression of evidence; modifying pre-trial release conditions, and plea negotiations; other legal matters regarding your charges and defense.
10. Preparation for trial;
11. Your Phoenix DUI or criminal defense attorney will be working with you and the prosecution to work out a mutually agreeable resolution. This is generally known as "plea agreement". It would avoid the expense, adverse impacts and uncertainties of trial results. The resolution must be approved by the court as well. Plea negotiations can include but are not limited to more satisfactory resolutions such as modification of the charges to lesser charges and sentencing, an agreement not to file new charges, sentencing of probation instead of jail time, reducing jail or prison sentences, dismissing a portion of the charges or a total dismissal of charges.

A word of caution about choosing a DUI or criminal defense attorney: Take some time to make sure that the DUI and criminal defense attorney you select to defend you in Phoenix AZ court, has the time to devote, knowledge, qualifications necessary, litigation experience, and is committed to doing everything possible to defend you. If you are represented by such an attorney your chances of getting your DUI or criminal charges reduced or dismissed significantly increase.

Continue reading ""What will a DUI lawyer do to defend my charges?" " »

January 18, 2011

ONE DEFENSE STRATEGY TOP PHOENIX AZ DUI LAWYERS USE - BUT PROSECUTORS DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW

Phoenix DUI Charges
If you were charged or arrested Phoenix Arizona for DUI it is important that you consult a Phoenix criminal attorney or Phoenix DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your charges and defense options. Arizona is known for having some of the toughest DUI laws and punishments in the county. However, a charge is not a conviction. Your best chances of getting a good outcome or even a DUI dismissal is to retain a good DUI lawyer in Arizona. They will be review the evidence and facts of your case and determine what defense strategies may be used to fight your Phoenix DUI.

One Phoenix AZ DUI Defense Tactic - Breath Test Inaccurate

"THE 20 MINUTE DUI OBSERVATION PERIOD"
Was the arresting officer writing a report, completing paperwork, conversing with other officers, looking for or preparing equipment, or performing some other activity that diverted their attention from observing you during the required 20 minutes observation period?

In Arizona, the police must carefully and continuously observe an impaired or drunk driving suspect for a minimum 20 uninterrupted minutes prior to administering a breath alcohol test. The reason for this is for the officer to ensure the suspect does not burp, belch, hiccup, regurgitate, eat or drink anything during this period so as not to affect an accurate breath alcohol reading.

Phoenix AZ DUI Defenses
There are many DUI defense strategies that can be used to argue your AZ DUI case against the State and prosecution. A good Phoenix DUI lawyer will know when and how to exercise a DUI defense strategy on your behalf. The above defense is just one of many involves breath testing. Below is an excerpt from the book "101 DUI Defenses 101 DEFENSES TO BEAT YOUR ARIZONA DUI ©" written by James Novak, Arizona DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney. For more DUI defenses, the abridged version of this E-book can be downloaded free by visiting www.arizonacriminaldefenseattorney.com.

Continue reading "How to Challenge DUI Breath Test Results" »

January 11, 2011

Field Sobriety Tests - What Police Don't Want You to Know

How the best Phoenix AZ DUI Attorneys may get your Phoenix DUI Charges dismissed by challenging Field Sobriety Tests

AZ Field Sobriety Tests
Field Sobriety Tests (FST) is a standardized battery of tests recognized by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and adopted by the states. However, many good AZ DUI attorneys don't consider them real or accurate tests at all, due to their nature and subjectivity. And because of this, many AZ DUI charges are dismissed, or evidence suppressed, because they can be so easily challenged by an experienced DUI Attorney who practices frequently in Phoenix AZ Courts.

Field Sobriety Tests: What Phoenix Police Don't Tell You
One thing Phoenix Police usually won't tell you is that these tests are not mandatory. You are by law, not required to take them. Some of the best Phoenix DUI attorneys disagree on whether or not you should participate in them. The reason for this is that if you refuse, the police may arrest you on the spot. The choice is yours. Some DUI Attorneys will advise you to take them and challenge them and have your DUI Attorney challenge them through the proper legal channels. The choice, however is yours.

FST for performance results are judged by the Phoenix police, and are the least reliable form of DUI evidence that can be used against you. Unfortunately, the Phoenix Police Phoenix police will also make it sound like you did poorly on the tests. But the fact is that even persons unimpaired by drugs or alcohol may perform "poorly" depending on many factors. This is another reason why they are often challenged by good Phoenix DUI Layers. But the police will use them against you. The purpose is for them to be used a preliminary tool to determine if you show signs of impairment in order for them to decide if further breath, blood, or urine tests are needed.

Below are just a sample of a few arguments for Field Sobriety Test defenses taken from "101 DUI Defense Strategies" © Winning Arizona DUI Defense Strategies © Book to give you an idea of a few defense strategies a good Arizona DUI defense Attorney may use to defend your case by active winning defense Attorney and author James Novak:

• YOU WERE AT A DISADVANTAGE ON YOUR FST DUE TO ADVERSE CONDITIONS AT ROADSIDE SUCH AS CLIMATE, ENVORNMENTAL OR LANDSCAPING.

• THE HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS (HGN) IS NOT A SCIENTIFICALLY VALID TEST UNDER ROADSIDE CONDITIONS.
• FAILURE TO DETERMINE IF YOU WERE A APPROPRIATE CANDIDATE FOR THESE ROADSIDE EXERCISES DUE TO WEIGHT STANDARDS, MEDICAL IMPAIRMENTS, AGE, OR OTHER FACTORS THAT WOULD ADVERSE CONTRIBUTE TO POOR RESULTS.
• NON-STANDARDIZED FIELD TESTS ARE INVALID AND NOT RECOGNIZED BY NHTSA.

• FAILURE TO POINT OUT THE LOCATION AND ROADSIDE CONDITIONSWHERE THE EXERCISES WERE GIVEN.

• YOU REFUSED TO SUBMIT TO THE FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS AND AS A RESULT THE POLICE OFFICER REPORTED THAT YOU REFUSED BECAUSE YOU WERE DRUNK DRIVING AND YOU WERE AFRAID YOU WOULD NOT PASS.

These are just a small sample of all the arguments that can be made against Field Sobriety Test results if you have received Arizona DUI charges. It is important that you consult a good Arizona DUI attorney who defends cases regularly in Phoenix Arizona where you were charged with your Phoenix DUI. It takes experience, training, knowledge and a great amount of defense litigation experience by an AZ DUI Lawyer who defends cases often in Phoenix to challenge these issues properly, and take action to attempt to get your case dismissed, charges reduced, evidence suppressed or the otherwise best possible outcome in your case.

Continue reading "Field Sobriety Tests: Common Defenses for Field Sobriety Test Result Evidence" »

December 18, 2010

How to Hire a Good Phoenix DUI Lawyer

"Hiring a good Phoenix DUI Attorney can mean the difference between a conviction or total dismissal, or reduction in your charges."

Phoenix Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the Country, which carry some of the most severe penalties in the country. If you have been arrested in Phoenix AZ for a DUI, you will need a good and experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney to fight for you. It is important that you find a DUI Attorney who defends DUI charges on a regular basis, and exclusively practices criminal defense. You also want to make sure they defend cases frequently in the court for which you must appear. Your challenge will be to find a good DUI Attorney, or one of the best Criminal Defense Attorneys to defend you. Choosing a DUI Lawyer to defend your DUI charges may be one of the most important decisions you will ever face. Below are just a few facts you want to know before making the decision to hire a DUI Attorney. These excerpts have been cited from Winning Defense Strategies Book Series #1 Phoenix DUI Defense, written by DUI Defense Attorney and prolific Author James Novak:

• Who will actually be my DUI Attorney?
• Will I meet with my Attorney before my court date?
• How much work will my Attorney be putting into my case before my court date?
• Does my DUI attorney defend DUI and Criminal cases exclusively?
• Will you be the lawyer who is actually handling my case?
• Who is doing all the investigation on my case? Will you be the lawyer who shows up to court with me?
• Will you be switching lawyers on me?
• Can I meet my assigned lawyer before I agree to hire your firm?
• Will I be able to speak to you if I have a question or concern?
• What is it going to Cost?
• Does the Attorney charge by the hour or is it a flat affordable fee?
• Is the fee competitive as compared to what similar DUI Attorneys are hiring?
• How much experience do you have in defending DUI and Criminal Cases?
• What background do you have that qualifies you to handle my case?
• Have you ever been a prosecutor? If so, where, and for how long?
• What training do you have with the issues involved in my case?
• How many cases like mine have you handled?
• How often do you handle this specific type of case?
• How often do you deal with this particular prosecutor?
• How often do you appear in this court?
• How often do you appear before this particular Judge?
• What is your current caseload?
• How long should I expect to wait to hear back from you if I have to leave a message for you?

Remember a DUI or other Criminal Charge you are innocent until and only if you are proven guilty. Everyone makes mistakes. It's how you recover from that mistake that counts more. You can take control of your criminal or DUI charges now, by hiring a strong, experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney to fight your charges. Everyone makes mistakes. It's how we recover from those mistakes that matter most. If you do nothing, you can count on facing the maximum penalties allowed by Phoenix law which will have a devastating impact on your life, family, and future. But a good Phoenix DUI Attorney can mean the difference between a conviction or total dismissal, or reduction in your charges.

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