Recently in Tempe AZ DUI Category

October 28, 2013

all-you-can-drink-860700-m.jpgDrug, and Liquor Law Violations Top the List

Arizona State University recently released its crime statistics for 2012.

The university has four campuses: Tempe, West campus, Polytechnic Campus, downtown Phoenix and ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu City. The report shows crime statistics for 2010, 2011, and 2012. According to the ASU report, the Tempe campus has experienced the most crime over the past year.

The most commonly committed types of crimes were liquor law violations referred for disciplinary action. The 2012 numbers were down from 2011 and 2010, but they were still high. On the Tempe campus, there were 884 liquor law violations on campus property and 863 liquor law violations on residential facilities in 2012. On West Campus there were 39 liquor law violations on campus and 39 at residential facilities in 2012. On Polytechnic Campus, there were 29 such violations on campus properties and 29 at residential facilities in 2012. On the downtown Phoenix campus, there were 62 liquor law violations on campus and 62 at the residential facilities in 2012. The ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu City just opened in 2012 and there were no violations reported. In total there were 2007 liquor law violations at all the campuses. This is lower than the national average for drinking in college.

Although you might think that the most common liquor law violation is driving under the influence, DUIs are expressly not included in the category in the report. The report specifies that instead this category encompasses violations (or attempted violations) of laws prohibiting: the manufacture, sale, transportation, and possessing of intoxicating liquor, as well as maintaining unlawful drinking places, bootlegging, operating a still, furnishing liquor to an underage person, using a vehicle to illegally transport liquor, drinking on a public conveyance.

Continue reading "Recent ASU Crime Statistics Released " »

September 12, 2013

High profile recruits brought in from MCSO. Sheriff vows to stay "as long as it takes."

police-car-126271-m.jpgTempe Police resources are stretched past their limits. Residents and students are fed up with living under the threat of increasing violence, and crime. Over the past year, there have been a number of startling and significant acts of violence, including aggravated assault and similar crimes in Tempe, at Arizona State University and areas nearby. Some of these crimes have been associated with excessive alcohol intake by students, including both perpetrators of violence and their victims.


Crime Suppression Operation Details

Alcohol related crimes including DUI, underage drinking, drug crimes disorderly conduct, Aggravated Assaults, and other criminal offenses have plagued ASU, and Tempe. Among them, the most serious crimes have ended in death. These crimes, especially violent and dangerous crimes have become so problematic that the Police Chief, Tom Ryff has requested assistance and resources from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) Sheriff Joe Arpaio has agreed to provide resources and to team up with Tempe Police to combat the out-of-control crime in Tempe AZ. Beginning this evening The Maricopa County Sheriff's Department will begin a "Crime Suppression Operation" But this time with the help of Deputies and Officers from MCSO. There is even talk that the campaign will last the remainder of the fall 2013 semester.

If you thought you saw a lot of police officers in the area, during last months "Safe and Sober" campaign which was said to include an historical number of officers, prepare to see a lot more than that in this sting. One can expect to see Tempe Police Officers and MCSO Deputies on many streets, sidewalks, horseback, bicycles, motorcycles, squad cars, vans, in and around bars, and parties. They will be looking to prevent violence, disorderly conduct, alcohol related offenses and to make as many arrests as possible.

The command post for the operation will be set up at the Tempe Fire Station Training Facility near the cross streets of University and Dorsey, beginning Thursday September 12, 2013. Sheriff Joe Arpaio vows to continue the sting "as long as it takes to get campus partying under control".


Law Enforcement Focus: Underage Drinking, Disorderly Conduct, and Violent Crimes


Aggravated Assault is a Felony and considered a violent crime against a victim. All victim crimes call are serious and call for harsh punishments if convicted in Arizona. Violent Crimes have become rampant in Tempe AZ. Assault and Aggravated Assaults involving students and Tempe residents have been alarming and on the rise. Last week, for example, a 19-year-old male student was assaulted near Apache Boulevard and Rural Road, in Tempe AZ.

A surveillance video shows that several young men encountered the student in a lobby and then three of them forced him to get into an elevator. Two of them stepped inside the elevator. The student tried to fight back, but he was brutalized. When the door opened a few floors up, a witness saw two young men standing over the victim with blood on their hands. The victim was left unconscious and ultimately needed to have his broken jaw wired shut.

The victim, believed to be a member of a fraternity on probation, was also very drunk when the police contacted him at the hospital. He couldn't remember much about what had happened nor who had beaten him. The Tempe police department has made statements suggesting that the rise in violent activity on the ASU campus is linked to alcohol use. The fraternity to which the victim belonged was on probation because officials believe a fraternity member threw a bottle of liquor into a fire and burned two girls. One of the perpetrators in this case is also believed to be a member of a different fraternity.


The Link between Alcohol and Violence


The link between alcohol and violence is not entirely clear. However, a number of separate findings suggest that young people especially should be very conscious of how much alcohol they consume. For certain personality types at least, there is a risk of more severe violence as a result of drinking.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there is a greater risk for violence among young adults ages 18-30 than in any other age group. Lab research dating back 15 years shows that intoxicated persons are more aggressive than sober people. While alcohol was not found to be an instigator of violence, the more drinks a male consumed in the study, the more severe the injury to himself and to others. Alcohol may be a facilitator of particularly aggressive behavior though it may not cause it.


Aggravated Assault Laws and Criminal Penalties in Arizona


The beating such as the one described in this article would likely to be charged as felony aggravated assault. While many assaults are misdemeanors, under Arizona law, a person can be charged with aggravated assault if someone "knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally" causes a serious physical injury to someone. There are a number of other specific circumstances that elevate an assault to aggravated assault, including use of a deadly weapon, causing disfigurement or impairment or a bodily organ, or committing assault while a victim is bound.

Criminal Charges of Aggravated Assault in violation of A.R.S. 13-1204 can range of charges from Class 6 felony (least severe) to Class 2 felony (most severe). A Class 6 aggravated assault conviction can lead to prison terms from 18 months to 3 years. A Class 2 aggravated assault conviction, however, can lead to a prison term of 7 to 21 years. Class, 5, 4, and 3 aggravated assault offenses are punished with terms of imprisonment between these two poles. Aside from imprisonment, a perpetrator of aggravated assault can be fined up to $150,000 and, depending on the severity of the injuries caused, victim restitution.


Other Consequences of violent crime convictions


Legal battles are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to consequences of a conviction. The severity of the punishments in an aggravated assault conviction can affect you if you are a college student or any other person. A felony conviction can affect your ability to finish college and go to graduate school, reduce your employment opportunities, particularly in professions where background checks are conducted such as law and teaching, impact your ability to possess a gun, and result in significant social stigma. Felony criminal records follow a person for many years into the future. They also result in loss of some civil rights that person who otherwise enjoy such as loss of the right to vote, and the right to possess or carry a firearm. A person convicted of an aggravated assault many also be ordered by the court to pay restitution to the victim in the form of medical bills, or property damage. The defendant may also be sued in civil court by the victim for damages or by the victim's family in the event the incident leads to death of the victim.

Continue reading "Tempe Police Begin Aggravated Assault, Alcohol Related Crime Sting Tonight" »

September 4, 2013

Stakes are high for DUI, and Underage Drinking; Consequences extend beyond criminal charges.


disco-658252-m.jpgStarting August 15, 2013 nine agencies joined to form a "Safe and sober" campaign task force. The Campaign began at the beginning of the ASU fall semester, and lasted three weeks to end on September 1, 2013, of Labor Day Weekend.

The Law Enforcement Agencies that joined together and included efforts of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Governor's Office of Highway Safety, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, and Scottsdale Police Departments. The campaign included enforcement of liquor laws as well as educating the community about traffic, bicycle and pedestrian safety and the dangers of youth alcohol consumption, and enforcing nuisance/party ordinances.

Within the first three days, there were 867 citations, 371 arrests, 1421 stops, and 91 total DUI arrests in violation of A.R.S. 28-1381. Of these there were a disturbing number of minor in possession of alcohol arrests (111 such arrests) in violation of A.R.S. 4-244 of Arizona criminal code. The second weekend saw 486 arrests. Over the first two weekends, there were 857 arrests, with 319 for minors in possession of alcohol. Over Labor Day weekend alone, there were 656 DUI arrests; 126 of the Labor Day arrests were for Drug DUI in violation of A.R.S. 28-1381 A (1) & (3).


Arizona Misdemeanor DUI Laws and Penalties - First Offenses

All impaired driving arrests in Arizona are serious. The average Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) for those charged with DUI during the campaign exceeded 0.15 percent, which means makes it even more serious. Extreme DUI charges in violation of the Arizona Extreme DUI Laws A.R.S. 28-1382 (.15 percent or greater) carries harsher penalties. Some of those arrests fell under the Arizona Super Extreme DUI laws (.20 percent or greater), and carry the most severe Misdemeanor DUI penalties. Generally DUI charges that involve higher BAC levels call for longer the incarceration terms. First Office Minimum Misdemeanor DUI penalties call for 10 consecutive day jail terms; first offense Extreme DUI sentences call for 30 consecutive day jail terms; and first time Super Extreme DUI convictions call for 45 consecutive day jail terms. Other penalties for first time DUI convictions include fines, fees, and assessments that range from $1750.00; Suspension of driver's license for a minimum of 90 days; use of Ignition Interlock Device on the Defendant's Vehicle 6 to 18 months once driving privileges are reinstated; participation in mandatory alcohol/substance abuse screening, counseling, or treatment, probation, or community services.

Arizona is a "Zero Tolerance" state, meaning it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to be found with any spirituous liquor in their system. Convictions for Underage 21 consumption of alcohol also results is usually a misdemeanor punished with a criminal record, a $500 fine and court costs, community service plus 2 years suspension of your driver's license. Possession of alcohol by a minor is another charge with similar penalties. It permits a minor to be charged for being close to alcohol and having it accessible.

Underage 21 DUI penalties are particularly harsh. Unlike adult DUI charges, which are usually brought for actually being impaired to the slightest degree, or having BAC of .08 while driving, a minor may be charged for driving with just one drop of alcohol in his or her system. A Class 1 misdemeanor, under age DUIs are punishable with $1500 in fines and costs, up to 10 days in jail, loss of driver's license for up to 2 years, and community service. Nine of the 10 days in jail can be suspended if a defendant agrees to complete an alcohol treatment program.


Collateral Consequences of DUI or Alcohol Related Convictions

Adult DUI Convictions - Consequences of any DUI convictions for adults often reach far beyond criminal sentencing and have adverse impacts on many areas of a person's life and family. Some consequences can include loss of residency; loss of income; loss of job or ability to get a job; inability to obtain auto or health insurance; high surcharges or premiums and even non-renewal of insurance; and a criminal record that will follow them for years into the future.

Minor Consumption and Under Age 21 DUI Convictions- The consequences of a DUI or Minor Consumption conviction can reach far beyond even the devastating criminal penalties. Other consequences are social stigma, expulsion from school, and a criminal record. The last is especially serious because it means every time a minor is asked about his or her criminal record when applying for college, graduate school or a job, he or she will have to disclose the information and explain what led to the conviction for a DUI. Consequences of a conviction can also result in an athlete being suspended from athletics; loss or denial of scholarships; or financial assistance programs.

Continue reading "East Valley "Safe and Sober" Campaign Nets 1,513 DUI Arrests " »

June 19, 2013

Assault and related victim crimes carry the most severe penalties of all crimes in Arizona

1108004_hand_srb_1.jpg
Violent crimes continue to plague Tempe AZ, especially on, and near Arizona State University (ASU). Tempe Police reported #911 and other calls for help had increased by 97 percent in 2012 over 2011, and arrests in criminal incidents continue to rise in 2013.
Incident reports and service calls for criminal violations in and around ASU are taxing Tempe and ASU Police resources.

Police report that the type of crimes that have increased include violent crimes, assaults, binge drinking, underage drinking, disorderly conduct, and criminal property damage. At least two deaths this year were reportedly linked to violence between fraternity rivals, while many others were seriously injured. Many of these are crimes against victims and carry the harshest sentencing of any crimes in Arizona.

Tempe officials are proposing ordinance changes making it easier to crack down on off-campus parties, while local police agencies seek out and making arrests for underage drinking laws, assaults, and other violent crimes.

Assault Crimes may be charged as Misdemeanors under A.R.S. 13-1203 or Aggravated Felonies A.R.S. 13-1204, depending on circumstances and nature of the offenses.

A person may be found guilty of misdemeanor assault in Arizona if they do one of the following:

(1) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly injure someone else's body;
(2) Intentionally give someone else a reason to fear they will be harmed;
(3) Knowingly touch another person in order to provoke, injure or insult the person.

Misdemeanor assault may be punished with up to one year in prison and maximum fines of $2,500. You may also have to pay restitution to the victim.

A prosecutor may elevate a misdemeanor assault to an aggravated (felony) assault charge in eleven different circumstances. Felony aggravated assault carries significantly greater penalties than misdemeanor assault. For example, felony aggravated assault may be punished with 15 years of imprisonment, as well as the stigma of a felony conviction, loss of a professional license, ineligibility to own or possess a firearm and many other harsh consequences.

A few of the eleven circumstances in which a defendant who is 18 years old or older may be charged with aggravated assault include those where he: causes "serious bodily harm", uses a weapon or dangerous instrument, enters a private home with the intent of committing the assault, assaults someone who is 15 years old or younger, or assaults people of certain professions while they are working (including teachers, nurses, prison officials, fire department members, and paramedics).

Felony aggravated assault may also be charged if someone commits one of the forms of simple assault described above and also intentionally or knowingly prevents "the normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck or by obstructing the nose and mouth either manually or through the use of an instrument", and a domestic relationship exists. In other words, this special type of aggravated assault can be charged against someone who attempts to strangle a domestic partner.

A few weeks ago, the Court of Appeals ruled on a case involving both simple assault and aggravated assault. In the case, a couple was arguing via text messages. When the male partner came home, he grabbed the woman, knocked her head, and squeezed her neck. Later he pressed his arm against her throat and told her to leave.

The male partner was charged with aggravated assault for strangling her, simple assault for knocking her head, and also for trying to stop her breathing a second time. The jury convicted him of the first and last charge. He was sentenced to eight years in state prison.

The defendant appealed on the grounds that the charge of aggravated assault related to strangulation was unconstitutionally vague (among other reasons). He claimed that nobody in Arizona could know what the statute meant by "normal" breathing or circulation and he referred to the state's own expert who testified that it was difficult to say what "normal" breathing was, even in medicine.

The defendant also argued that his due process rights were violated because all three forms of simple assault were included within the aggravated assault charge. He further argued that the jury should have been instructed as to which type of assault he had committed.

The appellate court explained that even though "normal" is a relative term, it is not unconstitutionally vague. Plainly read, the statute prohibits stopping another person's normal or typical breathing. The court also explained that this type of aggravated assault is a unique offense, not just another variation on the eleven circumstances that turn simple assault into felony aggravated assault. Ultimately the court affirmed the defendant's sentence.

In many cases, these crimes have been serious and resulted in felony charges. Penalties are severe if convicted. Criminal penalties can include jail or long term prison sentencing; large fines, fees, assessments; restitution; counseling, probation, or community services, victim restitution, and other court ordered penalties. But the consequences are much broader than criminal penalties. A student may be suspended or expelled from school or athletic teams, lose scholarships, residency status as a US Citizen, termination from their job or lose opportunities for future employment, become ineligible for school loans, and have a criminal record, lose driving privileges, and lose other rights that they currently enjoy.

Continue reading "Tempe, AZ a City under Assault with Crime " »

March 15, 2013

DUI lawyer Tempe AZ.jpgTempe Police warn drivers to plan ahead.

Tempe Police Department announced this week that it will be working in cooperation with Scottsdale Police, Maricopa County Sheriff's Department, and the AZ Governor's Office of Highway Safety in a joint DUI Task Enforcement. It is scheduled to take place surrounding the 2013 St. Patrick's Day festivities, beginning Sunday March 17, 2013.

A command post will be set up at the Tempe Fire Training Facility located 1340 E. University Drive in Tempe AZ. The major cross streets are University Drive and Dorsey Lane, between Rural Road and McClintock Drive. Mobile Patrol units will increase presence throughout Scottsdale, and Tempe neighborhoods and city streets.

The increased enforcement is being funded as part of generous $7.5 million grant to police agencies throughout Arizona, by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. The Governor announced last month that she is focusing on joint efforts to enforce, educate, and engineer safer roads throughout the state, and reduce fatal and serious accidents caused by impaired driving.

A majority of the funds are being allocated for DUI enforcement, patrols and checkpoints which include specialized detection equipment and vehicles. The remaining amounts will be allocated towards education and media efforts.


DUI Trends in Tempe AZ

Tempe Police reports both drunk driving and drug DUI arrests near ASU spiked upwards to 44 percent over the last two years. They reported 1,695 DUI arrests in 2011 and 2,439 coming from 2012. A large number of these arrests were made for youth or underage 21 drinking.

Another upward crime trend along with Tempe DUI charges has been the number of fake IDs confiscated by police. In 2012 approximately 1,800 fake IDs were seized from persons at local Tempe Businesses. The police expect this to decrease the number of DUI arrests in 2013.

ASU Police will be working closely with Student Judicial Affairs Office, ASU Off-Campus Student Services, and Tempe Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking and Drug Use to combat the problems.


Criminal Defense for Underage DUI or Underage 21 Drinking

Underage 21 drinking or Underage DUI charges are classified as criminal offenses. They can expose a person to jail terms; suspension or denial of driver's licenses for up to two years; probation; fines, fees, substance abuse screening, education or counseling, use of Ignition Interlock Device on the vehicle you drive, and other penalties. Other consequences may result from a conviction including loss of job, suspension from organized sports, school, or adverse impacts in US residency. If you are charged with any type of DUI or criminal violation you should always consult a qualified criminal defense attorney before pleading guilty. They will discuss you matter with you and provide you with defense options. If retained, they will provide a defense, and protect your rights throughout the criminal justice process.


Additional Resources:

Tempe DUI Task Force Command Post Location for St. Patrick's Day Enforcement


Tempe AZ Criminal Court


Tempe Police Department Announcement


Arizona DUI Laws


Arizona Underage 21 Drinking and DUI Laws


Continue reading "Tempe Police Announce DUI Task Force for St. Patrick's Day Festivities " »

June 27, 2012

"Aggravated DUI" charges are Felony DUI offenses. Misdemeanor DUI charges are elevated to Felonies when specified 'aggravating" factors under law surround it. One of the most reasons a Misdemeanor DUI is charged as felony is due to repeat DUI offenses. A third DUI charge, with two existing DUI convictions in 84 months or 7 years, will result in Aggravated DUI charges.

Aggravating Factors

Aggravated Factors" are those circumstances that elevate a Misdemeanor DUI to a Felony DUI under ARS § 28-1383 and include:

• Two prior DUI Conviction from any state in any state within in 7 years;
• DUI while driving with a suspended or revoked license;
• Drunk driving or driving impaired due to alcohol or drugs, with a minor, age 15 or under, in the vehicle;.
• DUI with accident that causes serious bodily harm to another person;
• DUI manslaughter - When the DUI and Auto accident results in a fatality of another


Felony DUI Penalties for 3rd DUI charge with two conviction in 7 years

Felony DUI charges are a class 4 felony. These convictions call for the following penalties under ARS 28 § 1383:

• 4 months in prison for 3rd DUI conviction/ months in prison for subsequent;
• Fine at least $750
• Assessment fees $3250.00
• Abatement fees
• Evaluation Costs
• Drug or Alcohol Treatment & Counseling Costs
• Probation and associated fees
• Driving Privileges may be revoked for up to 3 years
• Mandatory Court ordered Ignition Interlock Device (IID) 3 added to your vehicle at your expense, following reinstatement of license
• Court ordered drug or alcohol rehab or counseling treatment, and their costs
• Mandatory Community Service
• Criminal Record to include a Felony
• Restitution if an accident or injury was involved
• Other penalties may be apply if the Court deems necessary and appropriate


DUI defense attorney Tempe AZ

If you face Tempe DUI charges, you should consult a qualified criminal defense attorney regarding your matter. They will provide you with information concerning your charges, as well as your defense options. Arizona has harsh penalties for DUI charges. It is important that you understand the consequences before "pleading guilty" without proper legal representation. If you wish to invoke your right to retain an attorney on your behalf, you should "Plead Not Guilty" at your Arraignment. If you are not being represented, you must appear for your Arraignment. Failure to appear will result in a bench warrant for Arrest. If you hire legal counsel, they will advise you further regarding the proceedings. If retained your attorney will protect your rights, defend your charges, and work to get the best possible outcome in your case.

Continue reading "Aggravated DUI - DWI: Factors that raise a Misdemeanor DUI to a Felony" »

May 24, 2012

According to a 2012 report by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Binge drinking was responsible for 80,000 annual deaths. CDC reported that 1 in 6 adults in the USA engaged in it. Other studies reported that 1 in 4 of those were Underage 21 drinkers. Binge drinking is also the number one cause of DUI -DWI. But drunk driving is not the only adverse consequence of it. Binge drinking can result in serious medical consequences and result in death.

Binge Drinking Defined:

The Medical community defines "Binge drinking" as consuming 4 to 5 alcoholic beverages in a very short period of time. It is usually the result of a person drinking "shots" in a row of alcohol. This includes 12 ounce bottle or can of beer; 3 to 5 ounces of wine; 1 to 1.5 oz. of 80-86 proof distilled liquor. It results when any or any combination of these are consumed within a short time span, such as within an hour or even a few hours.

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is the result of the body's inability to metabolize a large quantity of liquor. Alcohol is processed by the body's liver. It takes about one hour for the body to process it, and in some cases, two hours. So the body is still trying to metabolize liquor well after a person has their last drink. Other factors that contribute to metabolic speed include food consumed; a person's height and weight; age; tolerance level; medical conditions, and drugs. It may cause seizures, hypothermia; vomiting; unconsciousness; dizziness and confusion; and even death. It can happen to someone drinking for the first time; occasionally; or frequently. Long term binge drinking may cause liver damage, kidney failure, harm memory, and cause other chronic and severe illnesses.

DUI - DWI Laws and Binge Drinking: Quick Facts

Binge drinking is highly prevalent among under Underage 21 drinkers. However, adults often engage in it as well, particularly around holidays, weekends, and other celebrations where liquor is served. If you plan to drive after drinking, in the least you should be aware of the following:

1) It is against the law to drive if you are "impaired to the slightest degree" due to drugs or alcohol (A.R.S. § 28-1381 A. (1);

2) It is against the law to drive with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or greater(A.R.S. § 28-1381 A. (2);

3) Alcohol levels continue to rise as well after a person has their last drink and may peak when you get behind the wheel of a car, or while driving;

4) Drinking 4 to 5 shots in a row could result in life threatening alcohol poisoning as well as DUI
.
5) Drinking one alcoholic beverage per hour, will reduce your chance of getting alcohol poisoning. However, it may not avoid your chances of being arrested for DUI.

DUI lawyer Tempe AZ

If you are arrested for DUI you should contact a DUI attorney to discuss your matter and defense options. Arizona penalties for DUI convictions are harsh. There may be defenses you are not aware of to help you get a favorable outcome in your case.

Continue reading "DUI and Binge Drinking: The number one cause of alcohol poisoning and drunk driving. " »

May 9, 2012

"Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle" Tempe AZ

In Arizona, under A.R.S. § 28-1381 and A.R.S. § 28-1382 a person a person may be charged with a DUI if they are impaired due to alcohol or drugs, and in "Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle (APC)". A Supreme Court decision Arizona v. Zaragoza actually made it easier to charged persons who are not actually driving with a DUI. It held that in determining if a person is in APC, a totality of circumstance supported by evidence of whether a person is currently or imminently in control of a vehicle; and whether or not that control presented a real danger to themselves or others. The Supreme Court stated that although the State of Arizona did not define APC, it could be considered on a case's own merits based on the totality of certain factors.


AZ DUI Laws: Determining Factors for Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle

Under A.R.S. § 28-1381 and A.R.S. § 28-1382: It is a violation of the law for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired, due intoxicating alcohol or drugs. Since AZ DUI Laws do not define this standard, alternative jury instructions were provided by the court in Arizona v. Zaragoza. The jury used these guidelines to conclude their verdict. These guidelines are currently being used. (List not all inclusive):

• Whether or not the vehicle was running;
• Whether or not the key was in the ignition;
• Whether or not the ignition was turned on;
• Where the key to the ignition was located;
• Where the driver was found in the vehicle by police;
• What position the driver was found in;
• Conscious state of the person, awake or sleeping;
• Whether or not the vehicle's headlights were on;
• Where the vehicle was found or stopped;
• Location of the vehicle;
• Whether it appeared that the driver pulled over voluntarily or not;
• Day or night, and time the person was found;
• Climate and Weather conditions;
• Whether the vehicle's heat or air conditioner was running; Windows down or up;
• Any other reasonable explanation that can be supported by the evidence for a reason the driver was found under the circumstances.


DUI Lawyer Tempe AZ

The penalties in Arizona are a harsh as the DUI laws are strict. All DUI convictions currently result in jail terms, ignition interlock devices on vehicles, alcohol/drug counseling and treatment. If you or someone you know were arrested for DUI charges, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case, and options for defense. There may be defenses you are not aware of that if used, may help you get a favorable outcome in your case; avoid jail time; and help you get your driving privileges reinstated.

Continue reading "DUI Charges: The effects of the Supreme Court's decision in "Arizona v. Zaragoza" made it easier for persons to be found guilty of DUI even if they were not driving." »

March 2, 2012

"Under Arizona Drug DUI Laws, a person may be charged with DUI even if they did not consume any alcohol or illegal drugs. Find out how experienced DUI lawyers challenge Drug DUI charges that may lead to dismissal."

Arizona Drug DUI - Medication DUI Charges
In Arizona, you may be charged with Drug DUI under A.R.S. § 28-1381. If convicted, they will be exposed to the same penalties as those that apply to alcohol DUI charges. The simple presence of a drug in your system is enough for the Phoenix Police to charge you. They must have probable cause to believe you were driving "impaired to the slightest degree. Offenses for Drug DUI are charged as Class 1 Misdemeanors, which carry harsh penalties including 10 days in jail; suspension of driver's license for 90 days; probation; drug and alcohol counseling and education program participation; and fines, fees, costs and assessments that exceed $1,200.00.

Drug DUI Defenses Arizona
Defenses strategies used to challenge DUI charges should be uniquely tailored to the specific facts surrounding your charges. Some arguments may surround the following issues:

 No "Reasonable Suspicion" for Drug DUI Stop: The United States Supreme Court held that the standard for stopping a person to investigate for DUI requires "reasonable suspicion" that an offense occurred or is in progress (excluding DUI Task Force Stops).

 No "Probable Cause" for Arrest: To make an arrest, the standard is elevated from "Reasonable Suspicion" to "Probable Cause" that you were driving impaired due to alcohol or drugs. This means substantive evidence is needed.

 Violations in DUI blood, urine or chemical testing: Includes administration;, collection; transport; labeling; supplies; equipment; blood or urine sample storage; preservation; chemicals used with processing; and reporting;

 The drug found in the driver's system did not cause the driver to be impaired to the slightest degree; and were legal, and harmless;

 Independent lab results requested by the defense contradicted crime lab results from the police/prosecution. This may include differences in amounts, or actual drugs found;

 Defense expert testimony raised "Reasonable Doubt" that the drug or medication found in the driver's system caused impairment to the slightest degree;
 The driver was denied a second sample of the DUI chemical or blood test, for the purpose of obtaining exculpatory (evidence in their favor) evidence by defense for retest;

 Constitutional Rights

Criminal Defense Lawyer for Drug DUI Charges in Phoenix AZ
Challenging DUI with Drugs or Medication DUI charges requires special skill, training and experience by a good criminal defense lawyer. It is necessary for them to be well versed on not only the law but S criminal defense; forensics; psychology and pharmaceuticals. They will know which areas of the prosecution's case to target in your defense, based on your unique set of facts, and the laws in place. They will tailor a defense to you circumstances and present compelling arguments on your behalf. They will defend your rights; and attempt to get the best possible outcome in your case. Your chances of getting a good resolution to your case will significantly increase when you retain a private practice criminal lawyer, to defend your case. They may be able to help get your charges dismissed; or help you to avoid harsh penalties such as incarceration.

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Law Office of James Novak
4500 S. Lakeshore Drive
Tempe AZ 85282
(480) 413-1499

www.Arizonacriminaldefenselawyer.com
www.novakazlaw.com

Arizona DUI & Criminal Defense
Serving Tempe, Phoenix,Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, AZ
Free Consultation! Call (480) 413-1499

December 20, 2011
How to find the "Best" DUI Lawyers in Tempe AZ
How Good Criminal Lawyers turn into the "Best" Tempe Criminal Defense Attorneys There are many good DUI & Criminal Defense Attorneys lawyer in Tempe. But this article will reveal some factors that make a good DUI and criminal lawyers, the best DUI & Criminal defense lawyers in Tempe AZ. Below is a list of some of many traits turn the good into the best. But to pick the one most important, my opinion is that it is the DUI or Criminal lawyer who can identify and utilize the best defense strategy for the DUI or criminal case they are defending Many criminal and DUI cases have been won, dismissed or acquitted due to details or procedural errors. Every DUI or Criminal case has its own unique defendant, evidence, and facts. Criminal defense attorneys must tailor and customize the defense strategy based on those factors. One size does not fit all, when it comes to a defense strategy for Tempe DUI and Criminal Cases.. The good thing about Former Prosecutors is that they know both sides Prosecution and Defense rules very well - what can and can't be done for the defendant to get the best outcome in their case.

DUI Lawyers in Tempe - 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:

• Experience, Experience, Experience;
• Trial Defense - hundreds, or thousands of hours in past litigation;
• Former Prosecutors -They get both of the above quickly and are in court almost daily.
• 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;
• They never file frivolous motions which results in loss of credibility and respect of the judges and prosecutors in the courts they defend clients in frequently.
• At the same time, they never under estimate a power and effectiveness of filing early motions in defense, if they are justified. These sometimes involve procedural issues such as 1). Prosecution taking place in an incorrect jurisdiction; or 2). The time limit to prosecute and formally charge someone with a certain crime is outside the constitutional time limitations.
• They defend cases in Tempe Criminal and Tempe Dui courts frequently; they know the prosecutors, judges, procedures and protocol- it does make a difference.
• They have the ability to explain complex issues of AZ criminal law into simple terms for the client and the jury if needed;
• They are dedicated, and passionate about defending their clients and getting them the best possible outcome;
• They make sure defendants are treated fairly and with respect under Arizona laws;
• They will make the time needed to tailor, build, and present compelling arguments in the client's defense based on the evidence and facts of the case;
• They will conduct their own investigation, concurrently with the prosecution building theirs;
• They will exhaust all avenues available to get the best outcome in their clients including dismissals (partial or complete); negotiating for a better outcome, including leniency in penalties; or alternatives to harsh and unwarranted sentencing such as incarceration.

There are many other factors to consider outside of the realm of this article which highlights defense strategy. On this blog site we cover this issue continually. So if you would like more information on this topic, you can check the archives, and subscribe to new posts with always current content. Let us know if you "Like" this post and we welcome you to "Share"!

Continue reading "Find out why former prosecutors have proved to be good DUI defense lawyers." »

September 22, 2011

Find out why the Tempe Criminal Court, for which you have been haled, can reveal a lot about the nature and seriousness of your Tempe DUI or Criminal Charges.

If you were arrested or charged with a crime or DUI in Tempe Arizona, you will most likely need to appear in a Tempe Criminal Court. When choosing a DUI or Criminal Lawyer, be sure to retain a Good Tempe DUI or Criminal Attorney who defends clients regularly in the court for which you have been instructed to appear. During your consultation with the Tempe DUI or criminal attorney, they will almost always ask you what court you are required to appear. They will ask you this for one or more of the following reasons:

1. To confirm that you need representation in a court for which they regularly defend DUI or criminal charges;
2. To confirm they are licensed and qualify to defend you in that court;
3. To get an idea of the nature, and seriousness of your charges;
4. To access if you were charged with a Tempe felony or misdemeanor;
5. To determine if the court you are required to appear is a "Limited Jurisdiction or "General Jurisdiction" court.

Tempe Criminal Courts

"General Jurisdiction" verses "Limited Jurisdiction" Courts in Tempe AZ: Their Differences and why it Matters

Tempe Municipal Court ∙ Tempe Justice Court ∙ Tempe Superior Court

The main difference between Municipal, Justice and Superior Courts involves the types of cases that can be heard in them. Arizona courts have been granted authority by Arizona Constitution to handle certain types of cases. For example, some of the lower courts are limited in what types of criminal cases they have authority to hear. This difference is described as "Limited Jurisdiction" verses "General Jurisdiction" as it relates to Arizona Criminal Courts:

A) Municipal or City Courts are Limited Jurisdiction Courts. This is considered a lower court. The City courts have limited jurisdiction and have authority to hear only limited types of criminal cases. The majority of the cases heard in Tempe City Court are Misdemeanor charges. Under certain circumstances, preliminary hearings for felonies can be heard in Tempe City Court.

B) Justice Courts are Limited Jurisdiction Courts. Similar to City Courts, the Justice Courts have limited jurisdiction over what types of cases can be tried or heard in them. The Justice courts in Arizona, usually hear Tempe Misdemeanor cases. However, some preliminary hearings for felonies can be heard in Tempe Justice Court.

C) Superior Courts are General Jurisdiction Courts. Arizona Superior Courts are considered state wide trial courts. They have authority to hear wide variety of criminal cases. The types of criminal cases tried in this court, however, are primarily Felony cases. Although the Arizona Superior Court is a single entity, it has multiple locations in each county within the state of Arizona. And each county, in Arizona, including Maricopa County, has at least one Superior Court Judge.

Types of Criminal & DUI Cases heard in Arizona Municipal/City Courts, and Arizona Justice Courts

1. Tempe Municipal & City Courts: Municipal courts & City Courts, in Arizona hear the following types of criminal cases:
• Misdemeanors;
• Misdemeanor DUI (Driving under the influence of alcohol); without an auto accident with injuries involved;
• Misdemeanor hit-and-run; without injuries;
• Misdemeanor reckless driving without injuries;
• Petty offenses; committed within that city, (Tempe AZ).
• Municipal or City courts also share jurisdiction with justice courts over certain types of violations relating to Arizona law, if the crime was committed in that city (Tempe AZ).

2. Justice Courts - AZ Justice Courts hear the following types of criminal cases:
• Misdemeanors;
• Some felony preliminary hearings; and
• Misdemeanors criminal offenses punishable by a fine of less than $2,500 or less than six months in county jail.

3. Superior Courts - The Arizona Constitution provides the Arizona Superior Court jurisdiction over the following types of criminal cases:
• Superior Courts in Arizona have exclusive jurisdiction over Felony cases;
• Superior Courts share jurisdiction with Justice Courts over misdemeanors when the potential penalty does not exceed $2,500 or imprisonment for six months;
• If no other court has jurisdiction or authority to handle a particular case, Superior Courts may have jurisdiction over that case.
You should always consult a criminal defense attorney or DUI lawyer who defends charges in the court jurisdiction you are required to appear. Your freedom and future may be great risk. Your chances of getting your DUI or criminal charges dismissed or any other good outcome in your case increase by retaining a good Tempe DUI or Tempe criminal defense attorney.

Continue reading "Differences between General Jurisdiction and Limited Jurisdiction" »

August 1, 2011

If you have been charged with a felony DUI in Arizona, you should consult a Tempe DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and defense options. A felony DUI in Tempe exposes you to severe penalties if convicted. You will need an experienced Private practice Tempe DUI defense attorney to defend your felony DUI charges.

Arizona Felony DUI Laws:
Below are three factors that will aggravate a Tempe Misdemeanor DUI and elevate it to a "Felony DUI" or "Aggravated DUI" charge in Tempe AZ:
A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (1): (Paraphrased) The AZ DUI arrest occurred while your drivers license was suspended, restricted or revoked - Class 3 Felony

A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (2): (Paraphrased) Your current Tempe DUI charge is the third DUI in 7 years and at least two prior DUI were convictions within the last 7 years. - Class 3 felony

A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (3): (Paraphrased) Your current Tempe DUI charge was aggravated by the fact that a child under 15 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle while you were driving impaired, DUI, DWI, or Drunk Driving. - Class 6 Felony

DUI Penalties - Felony DUI Sentencing in Arizona
A Tempe Felony DUI conviction exposes you to mandatory sentencing guidelines. Each case has its own unique circumstances. Various facts surrounding your DUI dmay affect the Felony DUI penalties ordered by the judge if you are convicted. The mandatory DUI penalties under Arizona Law you may be exposed to 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.

Felony DUI Penalties for a Tempe DUI conviction may be "aggravated" or
"mitigated". Aggravated penalties are the result of those factors that surround your Tempe DUI that support the prosecution's case against you. These are factors that will warrant more serious DUI punishments. Mitigating factors are circumstances or evidence that supports your DUI defense and warrant less serious penalties, particularly, those that are discretionary by the judge.

Tempe DUI Defense - Felony DUI Charges in Tempe AZ
Do not expect the judge or prosecution to offer you more mitigated sentencing out of compassion due to the fact that you do not have a private practice Tempe DUI defense attorney.

Without compelling arguments presented or motions filed by your Tempe DUI Defense Lawyer on your behalf, the judge or prosecution will not generally offer mitigated sentencing. Good DUI defense lawyers will examine the evidence and facts of your case to find mitigating factors that will lead to a reduction of your penalties if your are convicted of a felony DUI charge.

The felony DUI penalties are so severe, and intrusive on a person's life, that they may feel that the situation is hopeless and do not think a Tempe DUI Attorney can help them. However, to the contrary, Felony DUI charges are often dismissed or reduced by good Tempe DUI defense attorneys. A qualified Tempe DUI lawyer or AZ criminal defense lawyer can defend any Tempe Felony DUI charge regardless of the severity or classification, or the amount of your Blood Alcohol Content or BAC levels (extreme or non-extreme). In many cases a Tempe DUI lawyer is able to get evidence dismissed; charges reduced to a Misdemeanor DUI, civil citation, or ultimately get the felony DUI charges dismissed completely.

Early retention of a good private practice Tempe DUI attorney will drastically increase your chances of a dismissal or other good outcome in your Felony DUI case. However, choosing to go without a qualified Tempe DUI defense attorney is a dangerous path towards a swift Felony DUI conviction in Arizona.

Continue reading "Felony DUI: Due to Arizona's severe mandatory penalties for Aggravated DUI, you should never plead guilty before consulting a criminal defense attorney." »

July 26, 2011

Tempe DUI Lawyer | Felony DUI | AZ DUI Defense | AZ DUI Laws

Q. Is a Tempe AZ DUI charge a Felony or Misdemeanor?
A. Tempe AZ DUI charges can be classified as either a Felony or Misdemeanor. A majority of Arizona DUI charges are classified as Misdemeanors. Examples of misdemeanor DUI include the following:
• Impaired driving to the Slightest Degree
• Impaired driving with Blood Alcohol Content -BAC Over 0.08%
• Impaired driving with a BAC Over 0.15%
• Impaired driving due to drugs - "Drugs" can include legal or illegal drugs; prescription or non-prescription drugs; dangerous or non-dangerous drugs; or drugs combined With alcohol
• DUI, DWI, Drunk Driving while driving a Commercial Vehicle
• Underage 21 drinking - With or without driving
• First Time DUI & Second DUI non-extreme Blood Alcohol Content Level - BAC
• First Time Extreme DUI & Second Extreme DUI

Q. What is the difference Between a Felony DUI and Misdemeanor DUI in Tempe AZ?
A. The main differences between a Felony DUI verses Misdemeanor DUI are primarily "aggravating" factors that surround an Arizona DUI charge, and the severity of the penalties. A "Felony DUI" is also known as an "Aggravated DUI". "Aggravating factors" are those things that cause a DUI to be more serious or dangerous. By Law, Arizona imposes more serious sentencing and penalties on Felony DUI charges.

Q. What are some "aggravating factors" that turn a Tempe Misdemeanor DUI into a Felony DUI in Tempe AZ?
A. According to Arizona Law "Aggravating factors" can cause a Misdemeanor DUI to be elevated to a Felony DUI Charge in Arizona. Below are examples of five aggravating factors. The top three are the most common:
1) DUI with at least 2 prior DUI convictions on record within the last 7 years;
2) DUI while driving on a suspended or revoked driver's license;
3) DUI with a child under age 15 as a passenger in the vehicle you were driving;
4) DUI with injury and drunk driver causes an auto accident which results in bodily injury or substantial bodily harm to another person;
5) DUI manslaughter - causing a fatal auto accident while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Q. What type of the penalties will I face for a Misdemeanor DUI in Tempe AZ?
A. Different minimum and maximum penalties, plus mandatory sentencing guidelines apply to various types of Tempe misdemeanor DUI charges. Generally, jail time for a Tempe Misdemeanor is no less than 1 day, and no more than one year. Other penalties apply as well depending on the facts and classification of the DUI. In general misdemeanor DUI convictions can expose you to a range of sentencing including but not limited to the following depending on the facts of the Tempe AZ DUI:

1) 1 day in jail to 120 or 360 days in jail;
2) $250.00 + 80% surcharge;
3) $500.00 to $1250.00 incarceration assessment;
4) $500.00 DPS to $1250.00 DPS;
5) $250.00 Abatement Fee;
6) Incarceration expenses and cost (jail or prison);
7) Court Ordered Alcohol or Drug Screening and Treatment Expenses;
8) Probation & Fees;
9) Driver's license suspension up to 90 days; that range to revocation of driver's license for 1 year;
10) Mandatory Vehicle Ignition Interlock Device at Defendant's expense;
11) Mandated Ignition Interlock Device at Defendant's expense for specified time under law based on misdemeanor DUI classification.

Q. How are Tempe Felony DUI Charges classified?
A. The Felony Classifications are categorized into 6 levels: Class 1 through Class 6. The Class 1 DUI felonies are the most serious charges and carry the highest severity of penalties. The severity of sentencing and penalties increases incrementally in accordance with the severity of DUI. But even the lesser of punishments can be adversely life altering for a Class 6 felony.

Q. What are some of the penalties that apply to a Tempe Felony DUI conviction:
A. Felony DUI charges in Tempe AZ or any other jurisdiction in Arizona are very serious and this is reflected in the Penalties that can be imposed. Among other penalties a felony DUI conviction will expose you to the following:
1) Lengthy prison sentences verse jail time for a misdemeanor DUI charge; An Arizona aggravated DUI or felony DUI conviction will leave you with a felony on your criminal record; Jail from 1 day to 1 year; prison form 4 months to 2 ½ years;
2) Revocation of drivers' license privileges for 3 years and other harsh penalties at the discretion of the Judge; 4) Felony DUI Fines, Fees, court costs are significantly higher;
3) Length of time for which the ignition interlock device will need to remain on your vehicle will be longer and exceeding a year for a Felony DUI conviction.
4) Fines, fees, & costs will be significantly higher for a felony DUI. Arizona Felony DUI convictions for which you may expose: This is just an example of at least one Tempe Felony DUI. All classes are subject to there own minimum and maximum penalties. Below is an idea of additional penalties that may apply:
5) Exorbitant Fines may be imposed up to $150,000.00 plus 80% surcharge;
$1500 prison assessment;
$250 abatement fee; Extended probation, Supervised Probation w/ Monitoring for drug and alcohol sobriety.
Psychological and chemical dependence Screening Costs;
Participation in Alcohol or Drug Treatment Program

Continue reading "Felony DUI: The difference between Misdemeanor DUI and Felony DUI charges" »

June 24, 2011

10 Ways AZ DUI Lawyers Defend Blood Alcohol Tests

In same DUI cases, blood alcohol test results can be challenged, and lead to a total dismissal of your Tempe DUI charges. If you were arrested for a Tempe DUI, based on your BAC results that factor alone does not mean you will be "convicted". In fact, some Tempe DUI attorneys may actually use the blood testing evidence to defend your DUI charges, and ultimately get your DUI charges dismissed, .

Arizona DUI | Defending Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Test Results
If you were charged with a DUI in Tempe AZ based upon your BAC levels from blood testing results, you should contact a Tempe DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your defense options. In many cases, your DUI defense attorney can challenge the prosecution's blood evidence. This may lead to suppression of that evidence and dismissal of your DUI charges.

Here are at least 10 ways your Tem0pe DUI lawyer might challenge your DUI blood test results:

1. Violations and errors in conducting of the blood test;
2. Police failed to follow required rules of DUI blood alcohol testing, analysis, preservation, or transport;
3. The police officer who drew the blood was not properly trained and certified in phlebotomy and DUI blood testing;
4. The sample of the blood you were given was tested by an independent lab, and largely differed from the blood test results taken by the police.
5. Improper labeling resulted in the blood sample resulted in someone else's blood evidence;
6. The blood vial was not properly sealed for transport for processing;
7. The blood kit used by the police had an expired date.
8. The blood testing kit used by police was stored in the police officer's vehicle and long term exposure to extreme heat temperatures in Arizona.
9. The police sent their blood sample somewhere else instead of the crime lab processing. Most busy hospitals and other medical treatment facilities are usually not required to follow strict protocol for the processing of criminal related evidence.
10. The arresting police officer refused or failed to give you a blood sample for your Tempe DUI defense attorney. This is a violation of your constitutional rights.

Criminal Defense - Tempe DUI
When you contact a prospective Tempe DUI attorney to defend DUI charges, ask the them, if they intend to retest the blood. Most of the best Tempe DUI lawyers do this on every defense case involving blood testing results. Also, ask the DUI attorney who will be responsible for the blood retesting fees at an independent crime testing lab. The charge for this service is currently between $250.00 and $350.00. A majority of AZ DUI attorneys will factor in this fee to your total defense cost. Some DUI attorneys in AZ will even pay this fee on our behalf as a courtesy. But if your DUI lawyer requires you to pay the fee in addition to their fees for legal defense, and you still wish to hire that Tempe DUI lawyer, it is well worth the cost to pay to have the DUI blood sample retested. Many cases get dismissed because the tests were challenged successfully by a DUI defense attorney. The best Tempe criminal defense attorneys understand the importance of examining all the aspects of the blood test results. If weaknesses exist in the prosecution's evidence, your DUI lawyer will educate the court and prosecution, present compelling arguments that just may lead to dismissal of your Tempe DUI charges.

Continue reading "DUI Blood Tests: How defend your DUI charges by challenging DUI blood test results" »

March 25, 2011

Even though your blood test results warranted an AZ DUI arrest, it does not warrant a DUI Conviction. In fact, top AZ DUI lawyers may use the blood test evidence to defend your case, no matter how high your BAC level.

AZ DUI charges based on Blood Test Results
If you were arrested for an Arizona DUI based on blood test results you should contact an AZ DUI lawyer or criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The best AZ DUI lawyers often find good reasons to challenge the DUI blood tests taken by the police. In many cases your AZ DUI Attorney will find violations and errors in the blood testing process, such as failure of police to follow prescribed rules of testing, analysis, preservation, and transport. Such violations often lead to suppression of the blood evidence, and total dismissal of your DUI charges.

Reasons for AZ Blood Testing for a DUI Stop
A person who is stopped for suspicion of drunk driving does not get a choice as to what test they will be given. The police officer will decide from three options: Blood, Breath, or Urine testing. Here are at least three reasons why the AZ police officer would decide a blood test was needed.
1) You refused to take a breath test, and the officer obtained a court order from the judge to draw a blood sample.
2) According to breath testing requirements and issues that can adversely affect breathalyzer test results, the police determined that a blood test would reap more accurate blood alcohol content (BAC) results.
3) The police suspected you were driving impaired due to drugs or alcohol and the breath test for drunk driving due to alcohol influence was negative. If they still suspect you are impaired by being under the influence of chemicals or substances, they will draw blood to test for a drug DUI or toxic substance DUI. .

AZ DUI Laws - DUI Blood Tests
It is common practice for the police officer to personally do the blood draw. Many police departments have sent their officers for training in phlebotomy. Be sure when the blood is drawn that the police give you a second sample for your defense Attorney. Their blood vial will be sent to their crime lab for testing using a gas chromatograph. Usually it takes 2-8 weeks for the crime lab results to come back. Your DUI Defense lawyer in the meantime may retest the blood at an independent lab and compare their results against the prosecutions.

The Arizona courts have upheld the legality of police officers acting as phlebotomists. However, they must be certified and trained to draw and handle the blood samples. Strict guidelines apply to the blood kits storage; blood kit expiration dates; avoidance of exposure to extreme temperatures of blood kits; chemicals used to clean your arm before the blood draw which can taint results; proper handling, transport and proper storage of the blood sample. All of these factors critical to obtaining an accurate result with gas chromatography.

AZ DUI Lawyers - DUI Blood Retest for AZ DUI Defense
Be sure to ask your AZ DUI defense attorney who will be responsible for the fee to retest the blood sample. Will you be required to pay for it? Or will your defense attorney absorb the fee on your behalf? Arizona blood retesting 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 lead to dismiss. In any event, blood retest and examination is worth the cost. If the results are found to be flawed your AZ criminal attorney will challenge the blood evidence, present compelling arguments challenging their test results due to violations of protocol or other processing errors. If successful the blood evidence may be suppressed, and your AZ drunk driving charges dismissed.

Continue reading "Why Police decided to do a DUI Blood Test" »