Apache Junction DUI Lawyer

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APACHE JUNCTION DUI LAWYER

Facing arrest for any criminal offense can be a life-changing experience, and the average person may be unsure of what they should do in this difficult situation. It is vital to know your rights and the value of working with a seasoned Apache Junction DUI lawyer if you want to have the greatest chance of avoiding conviction or at least mitigating your penalties.

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a commonly prosecuted crime in Apache Junction and throughout Arizona, and if you have been charged with this offense, it is crucial that you contact our team right away so we can begin building your defense.

Without a proper legal defense, DUI charges have the potential to ruin your life. Beyond the jail time, fines, ignition interlock requirements, etc., penalties like the loss of a driver’s license can affect your ability to work and provide for your family, while certain felony charges could lead to significant prison sentences. In addition, the effect on your criminal record has obvious negative effects. When the stakes are this high, it is crucial to seek representation from a dedicated criminal defense attorney.

At Grand Canyon Law Group, an Apache Junction DUI lawyer can build a rigorous defense to fight the allegations against you and protect your way of life. Our law firm, founded and run by former DUI prosecutors, knows how to handle cases the right way to mitigate or avoid the consequences of a conviction.

DUI LAWS IN ARIZONA

State law sets forth harsh penalties for driving under the influence. Under Revised Statute 28-1381, a driver may face misdemeanor DUI charges for having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher within two hours of driving or being in physical control of a motor vehicle, or even if their blood alcohol level is under.08 and they are impaired “to the slightest degree.” However, DUI charges can be escalated for cases involving higher BACs or other aggravating factors.

Aggravating factors are any details of a criminal case that are likely to encourage the sentencing judge to issue a harsher sentence to the defendant. A lack of remorse, causing an accident while intoxicated, driving recklessly while intoxicated, or having a record of past DUI convictions are commonly cited aggravating factors that could lead to harsher penalties or even automatic prosecution for felony DUI.

EXTREME AND SUPER EXTREME DUI

If a driver has a BAC between 0.15 and 0.20 within two hours of driving, they may be charged with extreme DUI. Super extreme DUI charges are for BACs over 0.20. These offenses are misdemeanors but can carry severe penalties including significant jail time and fines, as a knowledgeable local attorney could further explain. In addition, if the offense is a second DUI in seven years, the jail and fines can skyrocket.

FELONY DUIS

Felony charges could be brought in various scenarios, such as driving under the influence with a suspended or revoked license due to a prior DUI conviction. Other aggravating factors may include:

  • Three or more DUIs in 84 months (seven years)
  • Driving under the influence with a person under the age of 15 in the vehicle
  • Driving under the influence in violation of a court-ordered ignition interlock device

These felony DUI charges could result in the long-term or permanent loss of a driver’s license. Additionally, an accused person faces prison sentences for aggravated DUI charges, not to mention the negative impact of a criminal record. Due to these risks, it is crucial for a person charged with DUI to work with our aggressive lawyers on a well-tailored defense strategy for their case.

HOW DO POLICE INVESTIGATE DUI CASES?

All DUI cases require proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was under the influence of some type of intoxicating substance when behind the wheel, or that their body contained a certain level of alcohol or contained drugs. Law enforcement may investigate these cases using various methods designed to test for driver intoxication.

FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS

These tests are designed to look for indicators of intoxication or impairment without any “chemical” testing, such a blood, urine, or breath test. The accepted field sobriety tests include the one leg stand test, the walk and turn test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. Law enforcement officers are trained to look for indicators of impairment or intoxication when performing these tests.

It is important to remember that unless a field sobriety test has been administered exactly correctly, it does not qualify as admissible evidence. In many cases, the claimed results of these tests are little more than attempts to stack evidence against defendants in the hopes of making stronger cases. However, your Apache Junction DUI lawyer can help you challenge the results of the test.

BREATH, URINE, AND BLOOD TESTS

Breath tests are commonly used to test for alcohol presence or level. The breath test may be conducted on the roadside or back at the police station. Different breath instruments are more or less reliable. Some are so unreliable that the results are not admissible in court. Others are considered more reliable but can be challenged.

Blood and urine tests are designed to test a person’s alcohol concentration or provide proof that the driver was under the influence of drugs or had them in their body. These chemical tests are primarily utilized for detecting the presence of intoxicating drugs.

It is vital to remember that a chemical test may report drugs in the subject’s system well after the intoxicating effects of the substance have faded. Your Apache Junction DUI lawyer may seek to challenge the manner in which a chemical test was administered, call the results into question, or address any potential chain of custody violations that may have occurred with your test sample.

Both types of tests are subject to strict procedures that law enforcement is required to follow. Failure to follow these procedures could result in the inadmissibility of the evidence or subject them to attack in front of a jury. Our seasoned lawyers are skilled at investigating the circumstances of a DUI charge and protecting a defendant’s rights against violations by law enforcement.

ADDITIONAL PENALTIES FOR DUI IN APACHE JUNCTION

It is important for anyone facing DUI charges to remember that the extent of the penalties they could face extend beyond what the court might assign to them. For example, if they caused an accident because they were intoxicated behind the wheel, they face increased penalties in criminal court along with a civil suit from the injured victim.

Arizona law allows injured drivers to seek compensation for their damages if another driver causes an accident. When a driver causes an accident through an illegal act like driving under the influence, the defendant could face increased financial liability for the victim’s damages in the form of punitive damages and/or court-ordered restitution.

The injured driver is likely to file an auto insurance claim against the DUI driver who caused the accident. If their insurance cannot fully cover their damages, a personal injury claim is likely to follow, and the defendant could face substantial economic liability for the harm they have done to the victim. If they caused a fatal accident, the family of the victim is likely to pursue a wrongful death claim against them.

Additionally, when a defendant has caused a DUI accident resulting in great bodily harm or death, they can automatically face harsher penalties in criminal court. Beyond these effects, a record of a DUI will interfere with their life in many ways, potentially leading to significantly increased insurance costs, limited job opportunities in the future, loss of professional licenses they previously held, and diminished standing in their community.

BUILDING YOUR DEFENSE AGAINST A DUI CHARGE

In every criminal case, the prosecution faces the burden of proof, meaning they must prove the defendant is guilty; the defendant is not required to prove they are innocent. While asserting an affirmative defense and proving innocence is an effective defensive strategy, it is not always possible for every defendant charged with DUI. An experienced defense attorney can analyze the situation and determine the most viable defenses available to their client.

Your Apache Junction DUI lawyer can help you determine the most viable defenses available to you in your case. These may include proving a mistake of fact, a mistake of law, or proving due process violations. A mistake of fact typically involves challenging a prosecution’s evidence, while proving a mistake of law generally means proving that procedural errors have compromised the integrity of the case at hand.

Your attorney may seek to prove due process violations, such as an arresting officer’s failure to establish probable cause for your traffic stop. They could also seek to prove that the evidence the prosecution has submitted against you is inadmissible or that the chain of custody has been broken, invalidating the evidence. They may also need to prove that your rights were violated in some way.

The prosecution must prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very high standard of proof that requires careful leveraging of available evidence and witness testimony. The prosecution must prove that there can be no room for any reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant committed the offense. It is the defense attorney’s job to prevent them from meeting their burden of proof.

PLEA BARGAINING IN A DUI CASE

If the prosecution has a strong enough case that they are sure to secure a conviction, they may wish to conserve court resources that would otherwise be spent on a lengthy trial and offer the defendant a plea deal. This typically includes offering a lighter sentence and/or reduced charges if the defendant enters an immediate guilty plea, streamlining court proceedings.

While prosecutors often offer these deals when they are convinced they can score convictions, they could also offer plea deals if they are uncertain about their chances of winning a trial, and they may offer a plea deal in the hope that the defendant simply accepts the deal without a fight. If you did break the law, a plea bargain with the prosecution could potentially offer your greatest hope of minimizing the penalties that might be assigned to you.

Your Apache Junction DUI lawyer can help you make a more informed decision about accepting or rejecting a plea deal. They can negotiate with the prosecution for you and assist you in alleviating your sentence as much as possible.

CALL AN APACHE JUNCTION DUI ATTORNEY RIGHT AWAY

All DUI allegations should be taken seriously and defended proactively with the help of an attorney. Regardless of your situation, there may be ways of reducing or eliminating or reducing the severe penalties that come with a criminal conviction. Speak with an Apache Junction DUI lawyer about your circumstances. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our legal team is made up of former DUI prosecutors who have successfully defended countless DUI cases. Contact us today to learn how we can fight on your behalf.

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