Avondale DUI Lawyer

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AVONDALE DUI ATTORNEY

Alcohol has a special place in society, with advertisements and celebrity endorsements promoting consumption. Consequently, it also commonly leads to incidents that require calling a respected criminal defense attorney. An Avondale DUI lawyer can be an invaluable asset to have on your side if you are charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Driving under the influence (DUI) refers to driving a car while intoxicated—a dangerous activity that can lead to accidents and to criminal penalties. When you drive under the influence and face a criminal investigation, an Avondale DUI lawyer can help you understand the charges and defend yourself. You should contact an Avondale DUI lawyer as quickly as possible after an arrest so they can begin building your defense.

Grand Canyon Law Group can provide the defense counsel you need when you have been charged with DUI in the Avondale area. Our team has experience as former prosecutors and knows how the local criminal justice system handles DUI cases. You can rely on our firm to provide comprehensive support through all phases of your impending case and help you reach the optimal outcome.

KNOW YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS DURING AN ARREST

When you are arrested for any crime in the United States, the Constitution ensures that you have the right to remain silent so you do not incriminate yourself and that you have the right to an attorney. When the police conduct an arrest, they read the suspect their Miranda rights, which is a concise explanation of these two important rights as they apply to this situation. It is vital to understand these rights and exercise them fully as your criminal case begins.

You are not obligated to answer any questions from the police once they place you under arrest. Do not attempt to explain your way out of an arrest, either, even if you know you are not intoxicated and have done nothing wrong. Comply with the arresting officer’s instructions so you are not also charged with resisting arrest. After the arrest and booking, you will be allowed to make phone calls, and you should reach out to a defense lawyer immediately.

If you believe your rights were violated during your arrest and booking, or the police never read you your Miranda rights, or you were mishandled or brutalized while in police custody, it is vital that you bring these issues to your attorney’s attention immediately. Once your defense team responds to your case, they will review the arrest report and begin helping you build your defense.

BASIC CONSEQUENCES FOR AVONDALE DUIS

Arizona Code § 28-1381 criminalizes DUI in a few different scenarios. A DUI conviction can lead to fines and even jail time, but a DUI lawyer can provide even more knowledge about these penalties. It is also important to remember that while the state code explains standardized penalties for various DUI offenses, a sentencing judge has broad discretionary power to adjust sentences as they see fit in many cases.

Section 28-1381 defines a DUI as driving or controlling a car while under the influence of liquor or drugs in a way that impairs a driver even slightly. It also defines a violation as driving with a blood alcohol concentration of greater than 0.08 and driving a commercial vehicle—one that requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL)—with an alcohol concentration greater than 0.04.

A violation that leads to a conviction will result in a Class 1 misdemeanor, which can saddle a driver with hundreds of dollars in fines and jail time. For a first violation, a driver will pay a minimum $250 fine and two $500 assessments for public funds, and a driver shall receive a jail sentence of at least 10 days. However, a judge can mandate an alcohol or other drug screening, education, or treatment program in place of the jail sentence (except for one day, which must be served).

AGGRAVATING FACTORS FOR DUI

Beyond the basic penalties for DUI, the state has higher tiers of penalties for more severe violations. Repeat violations can also result in higher penalties, such as more expensive fines and longer jail sentences. In any criminal case, aggravating factors are details of the incident that increase the severity of the defendant’s penalties if they are convicted. Committing multiple DUIs or causing an accident while intoxicated are common aggravating factors.

State law raises the penalties for violations with alcohol concentrations farther above the legal limit of 0.08, adding thousands of dollars of fines alongside longer minimum jail sentences. For a concentration between 0.15 and 0.20, the two assessments jump to $1,000 each instead of $500, and a concentration over 0.20 increases the base fine to $500 minimum from $250.

Repeat violations within 84 months also increases possible penalties. For a basic violation, a second occurrence leads to at least 90 days in jail and various penalties—a $500 fine, two $1,250 assessments, and a driver’s license revocation for a year. For repeat violations of the higher alcohol concentration tiers, jail time leaps to a minimum of 120 days (for 0.15 to 0.20) or 180 days (for above 0.20) and fines of $500 or $1,000.

Perhaps most importantly, DUI offenses and penalties can increase even more with certain aggravating factors. Arizona Code § 28-1383 establishes that a driver who violates either Section 1381 or 1382 in the following scenarios can lead to a felony conviction:

  • A violation with a revoked driver’s license
  • A violation with a passenger under 15 years old in the vehicle
  • A violation while using an ignition interlock device
  • A violation while driving the wrong way on a highway
  • A third violation within 84 months

With such a felony conviction, a driver can suffer hundreds and thousands of dollars in fines and several months in jail. They could also be prohibited from driving for multiple years, limiting their ability to work and earn an income. Their economic penalties will also exceed what the court assigns and may amount to thousands in increased costs for years to come. An Avondale DUI lawyer can explain these tiers of penalties based on a driver’s individual circumstances.

DEFENDING AGAINST DUI CHARGES IN AVONDALE

In every criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution, meaning the prosecutor bringing charges against a defendant must prove that the defendant is guilty. The defendant is not required to prove they are innocent; the criminal justice system requires the defendant to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The phrase beyond a reasonable doubt is crucial in criminal law. This is a very high standard of proof for a prosecutor to reach. They must obtain and leverage admissible evidence and witness testimony to prove that there can be no room for any reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant committed the offense. There are strict rules they must follow for securing evidence and admitting it into the court record.

Due process is also a cornerstone of the criminal justice system. Police who conduct arrests for suspected crimes and the prosecutors who handle these criminal cases must abide by a strict code of conduct, ethics, and procedures in handling these legal processes. Any failure of due process compromises the integrity of a criminal case and could lead to reduced and/or dropped charges or an acquittal for the defendant.

A successful defense in a DUI case may require proving a mistake of law, meaning that due process was not followed in some way that compromised the integrity of the case. Alternatively, it may require proving a mistake of fact, which entails calling the prosecution’s evidence into question. This may involve challenging the way in which a chemical test for DUI was administered or questioning the validity of the test result.

When it comes to BAC detection used to prove that a driver was intoxicated by alcohol while driving, alcohol metabolizes differently for every person, and BAC levels can continue to rise after some time has passed following the most recent drink. Therefore, it is possible that when a driver was pulled over, their BAC was below.08%, but due to the time that passed between the arrest and their chemical test, their BAC was recorded over .08%.

DUI for drugs can be even more complex to resolve. Different drugs metabolize at different rates, and it is possible for drugs to appear on a chemical test result long after their intoxicating effects have subsided. For example, marijuana only causes intoxication for a few hours but can be detected by a blood test for weeks or even more than a month.

If your defense rests on similar concepts, it can be very difficult for you to prove your case without an experienced attorney’s help. Your Avondale DUI lawyer can help you obtain any exculpatory evidence that might help you prove the truth of the situation. Remember that to succeed with a DUI conviction in Arizona, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant was in control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.

POTENTIAL CIVIL PENALTIES FOR DUI IN AVONDALE

If you caused an accident while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you not only face criminal prosecution for the DUI offense but also civil liability for the damages you caused to others. Arizona’s fault rule for vehicle accidents states that the driver at fault for causing an accident absorbs liability for the resulting damages. If you injured or killed anyone while under the influence, you should expect a personal injury suit or wrongful death claim.

The victim in a personal injury suit faces a lighter standard of proof than the prosecutor in your criminal case. While the prosecutor will need to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the plaintiff seeking compensation for their damages from you needs to prove your liability based on a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that you more likely than not caused their damages. Liability for a civil claim can dramatically increase the economic toll of your DUI.

Your Avondale DUI lawyer can provide valuable legal guidance in helping you navigate such a case from an injured plaintiff and prepare you for any civil court proceedings you are likely to face in the aftermath of your accident. It is important to remember that due to the lighter standard of proof in a civil case, it is possible to avoid conviction for DUI but still be found liable for damages in the victim’s civil suit against you.

BENEFITS OF DEFENSE COUNSEL YOU TRUST

Never underestimate the value of investing in defense representation from an experienced Avondale DUI lawyer if you are charged with intoxicated driving. Your attorney may be able to help you avoid a conviction or, at the very least, minimize any penalties assigned to you in sentencing. You can rely on your defense team to help you build a solid defense against the charges that have been filed against you.

If your attorney believes that you can avoid conviction, they may focus on proving a mistake of law, a mistake of fact, due process violations, or violations of your rights committed by the police and/or prosecutor. They may be able to find exculpatory evidence and form solid arguments that you would not have been able to devise on your own.

Alternatively, if you did commit the DUI, all hope is not lost, and your attorney can still help in various ways. They may be able to present mitigating factors and convincing arguments for leniency before a judge. For example, if you struggle with a substance abuse disorder, your attorney’s help could mean the difference between going to rehab or going to jail.

If you are offered a plea deal, your Avondale DUI lawyer can help you make an informed decision as to whether you should accept the prosecutor’s deal or if you should fight the case in court. If you know you broke the law, and the prosecution has all the evidence they need to score a conviction, a plea deal may be your optimal path through your case. However, you may have more room to fight the charge than you initially realize.

DISCUSS YOUR DUI CHARGE WITH AN AVONDALE ATTORNEY

The severity of a DUI charge, especially if an aggravated or repeat offense, should not be underestimated. Monetary fines add up, as do minimum jail sentences and the possibility of losing your driver’s license. In addition to the penalties assigned by the court, you face a host of financial and personal issues resulting from a DUI conviction that can interfere with your life in various ways, from increased insurance costs to limited job opportunities in the future.

The Grand Canyon Law Group is ready to work closely with you to build the most effective possible defense against the charges that have been filed against you in Avondale. Our goal is case dismissal if possible or mitigating your sentence if necessary. In the face of all these penalties, an Avondale DUI lawyer can support you and answer any questions you might have. Call Grand Canyon Law Group for a free consult.

Schedule A Consultation With The Grand Canyon Attorney Who Can Help