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Defending a DUI Charge

By | DUI

You should never take a DUI arrest lightly. Even a conviction on a misdemeanor DUI charge can result in you having to pay steep fines and spend time in jail.

What’s more, after you have been convicted on a first DUI charge, a second arrest might be charged as a felony and subject to a mandatory minimum prison sentence and thousands of dollars in fines.

Furthermore, if convicted of a felony DUI, you may lose your driver’s license, your right to vote, your ability to join the military and other civil rights. You will also be prohibited from working in certain industries and have trouble finding employment and housing.

Therefore, it is important that you fight to keep even a first DUI conviction off of your record. An experienced DUI attorney can assess the circumstances of your arrest to try and find violations in protocol that may give rise to the dismissal of the charges against you.

Ways to Handle a DUI Charge

There are essentially two general ways to handle a DUI charge:

  1. Pay an attorney to fight the charge and keep your record clean.
  2. Plead guilty, pay the fine, and have a DUI go on your record.

Just because you are charged with a DUI doesn’t mean that you will be convicted. Depending on your record and the circumstance of your arrest, an experienced attorney can help you successfully defend a DUI charge and ensure that your record remains clean, or at least, minimize the consequence of your conviction.

However, if you plead guilty, you are likely to receive even stiffer penalties, even for a first offense. Furthermore, you will have a DUI conviction on your record, which will put you at risk of receiving much harsher penalties should you unfortunately be charged with a subsequent DUI within a certain period of time.

Defending a DUI

It’s important to remember that if you do not plead guilty to the charge, the state must prove its case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If it is unable to prove any element required for a DUI conviction, you will be found not guilty.

The two most common ways to defend a DUI are:

  1. To challenge the arresting officer’s right to stop you; and
  2. To dispute the validity of the Breathalyzer or field sobriety test that was administered to you after you were stopped.

If the arresting officer violated any protocols in making the traffic stop or when carrying out the Breathalyzer or field sobriety test, the charge against you may be dismissed.

For example, if the arresting officer did not see you committing any traffic violation, the officer may not have had sufficient reason to stop you. Your attorney may then petition the court to dismiss the case for violation of your Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

Similarly, if the arresting officer forgot to carry out the Breathalyzer or the field sobriety test, or did not carry them out according to standard procedure, the results may be deemed inadmissible and your case may be dismissed.

At any rate, only an experienced DUI attorney will have the ability to notice these violations and employ them in your defense. Therefore, before you choose how you will handle a DUI charge, you should first speak with an experienced DUI attorney who can assess your case and help you decide which course of action to pursue to achieve the best outcome for your case.

What are the DUI penalties and license suspensions in Arizona?

By | DUI

When you are suspected of DUI in Arizona, you could end up spending up to 10 days in jail if you do not have the help of an experienced DUI attorney. It is important to get a skilled DUI criminal defense attorney’s guidance and support for your case from the very beginning, to avoid the worst of the DUI charges, penalties and process.

Throughout the United States, Arizona is known for having the toughest DUI penalties.

Why it Is Important to Have an Experienced DUI Attorney

When a police officer stops you for suspected impaired driving in Arizona, you may be administered one or more tests to determine whether you have been drinking or using drugs. One of these tests may be a breathalyzer. If your breath test registers alcohol concentration above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, you can be arrested and taken to jail. When you are charged with misdemeanor Standard DUI for a blood alcohol content of above 0.08 percent, you will be scheduled to appear before a judge in court. The same will be true for higher charges of Extreme DUI and Super Extreme DUI, although these cases may be felonies.

Before going to court, you will need the help of a criminal defense attorney. DUI is a very serious matter in Arizona and such a lawyer will guide you through the court process and what you can expect as part of sentencing, penalties and processes of the court.

By Arizona law, first time DUI offenders are required to serve jail time. The law also requires a 90-day suspension of a person’s driver’s license, as well as payment of $1,800 in fines. Jail costs are also the responsibility of the DUI offender. Beyond all of these penalties, Arizona law requires installation of an ignition interlock device on the defendant’s personal vehicle(s). This will remain on the vehicle for a year or more, depending upon the DUI classification. Community service, substance abuse counseling and driver education are other possible penalties.

With the help of a skilled DUI criminal defense attorney, you may be able to gain dismissed or reduced charges, or possibly reduced penalties.

Arizona DUI Penalties

Drivers convicted in Arizona for the first time will likely receive the following penalties for DUI:

Misdemeanor / Standard DUI
0.08 to 0.149 Blood Alcohol Content

  • 90 day suspension of your driver’s license
  • 10 days in city or county jail
  • Alcohol screening and classes
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device at your expense for one year
  • Over $1500 in fines

Extreme DUI
0.15 to 0.199 Blood Alcohol Content

  • 90 day suspension of your driver’s license
  • 30 days in city or county jail
  • Alcohol screening and classes
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device at your expense for one year
  • Over $2,700 in fines

Super Extreme DUI
0.20 Blood Alcohol Content or Higher

  • 90 day suspension of your driver’s license
  • 45 days in jail
  • Alcohol screening and classes
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device at your expense for 18 months
  • Over $3,200 in fines

First Offense Aggravated DUI
When drivers are convicted of their third DUI in seven years, or charged with DUI when their license was already suspended or charged with DUI while a child under 15 years old was a passenger in the car, an Aggravated DUI may be charged. These are very serious charges leading to more serious penalties than Standard, Extreme or Super Extreme DUI.

  • Driver’s license revocation
  • Felony conviction
  • Minimum four months in prison, for a third DUI in seven years or a DUI with a suspended license
  • Alcohol screening and classes
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

For aggravated DUI cases, you need to call a DUI defense lawyer right away. Your future relies upon having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.

Fight Your DUI Charges with the Help of a Skilled Arizona DUI Lawyer

DUI cases present high risk for your driving privileges, work, freedom and future. Because so much is at stake, it is very important that you hire an Arizona DUI lawyer who knows state laws inside and out. This lawyer will defend your rights in court, using the law to help you maintain control of your life. Each of the lawyers and other staff professionals of the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor have years of experience in Arizona DUI Court.

Drunk Driving in Florida – What does the law say?

By | DUI

If you are like most people, you enjoy having a drink or two when out with friends or relaxing on a sunny patio – but how do you know when it is still legal to get behind the wheel? It can be difficult to determine when this harmless fun transforms into a crime, but if you plan to consume any amount of alcohol and then drive a vehicle, you need to know what the Florida law says about drinking and driving.

Being pulled over – what can you expect? 

If you are pulled over under suspicion of drinking and driving, the law enforcement officer has a right to ask you to complete a field sobriety test. These tests can involve a variety of actions that are meant to give them an insight into any potential impairment. With that said, these tests are not foolproof, and there is a chance that an individual can fail them without having consumed any alcohol at all.

If you fail these tests for any reason, the officer might ask you a series of questions or ask you to complete a breath test or blood test. You may be required to accompany them to the station, and if they believe that you are severely impaired you may be arrested and your car impounded. If this happens, you will definitely need to seek an experienced DUI lawyer – do not attempt to navigate the criminal justice system on your own.

Florida Blood Alcohol Limits

If a law enforcement officer elects to test your breath or your blood in order to determine how much (if any) alcohol is in your system, you should be aware of the legal blood alcohol limits in Florida.

  • For drivers who are 21 years or over, the limit is .08 %
  • For drivers under the age of 21, the limit is .02 %
  • For commercial drivers, the limit is .04 %

Remember, no matter what anyone tells you, there is no foolproof way to estimate how different alcoholic beverages will affect you and your blood alcohol level. The way that your body metabolizes alcohol will depend on myriad factors, including hormones, the amount you have eaten that day, how you personally react to different spirits etc.

What should you do if you are accused of drunk driving

If you are accused of drunk driving, do not despair. Even if there seems to be insurmountable evidence against you, with the help of a skilled DUI lawyer you can certainly defend yourself against these charges and win your case. They can guide you through the legal system, help you understand the differences between a DUI and a DUI Felony and give you the support that you need. Most importantly, they can ensure that you do not lose your license or pay exorbitant fines. If you have been charged with drinking and driving in Florida, call or email Whitney S. Boan today and take control of your future.