Gilbert DUI Lawyer

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GILBERT DUI ATTORNEY

Arizona in known to have some of the harshest laws in the nation against Driving under the Influence (DUI). The statutes/ laws can be confusing. The prosecutors are aggressive. But there are multiple defenses to DUI cases and they require a highly experienced attorney that focuses specifically on drunk driving and criminal defense charges. It is vital that you hire the right Gilbert DUI lawyer to defend your freedom and future. It can make all the difference.

Contact the Grand Canyon Law Group immediately after any arrest for DUI in the Gilbert area.

The founding partners at Grand Canyon Law Group, David Lish and Ryan McPhie, are both former DUI prosecutors with years of successful defense against DUI charges. David Lish has the ability to leverage his DUI training and Standardized Field Sobriety testing to identify any errors made during a DUI stop. We are in Gilbert Courts and Superior Court often defending against these charges. We know the judges and prosecutors on the other side and how they will attack your case. We can create a proactive defense to obtain the best outcome for you. En Español.

GCLG DIFFERENCE

Choosing the right Gilbert DUI lawyer can make a tremendous positive difference in the outcome of your impending case. When choosing your attorney, it is vital that you assess their overall experience level as well as the amount of experience they have in handling cases like yours. The Grand Canyon Law Group offers a higher level of defense counsel than you might expect from a Gilbert DUI lawyer:

  • Former DUI prosecutors: We have strong professional ties in the Gilbert criminal court system and know the prosecutors, court officials, and judges likely to participate in your case. We also know how the prosecution is likely to seek conviction in your upcoming DUI case and will leverage this experience to your benefit in building a solid defense.
  • Flat fee- NO TRIAL FEE: Know that our advice is based on what is best for your case, not your attorney trying to squeeze extra fees from you. We carefully explain all elements of our billing policy before any contracts are signed so you will know exactly what to expect when it comes to the cost of our representation.
  • Free consultation with an actual lawyer: Many firms use legal salespeople and offload as much of your case as they can to non-legal staff. We provide personal attention to your case beyond compare. During your initial consultation with our team, we can answer your most pressing legal questions and provide our initial impression of your legal options.
  • Full investigation as part of pre-trial fee, no additional fee: Witness/ officer interviews, review and analyze officer body cam footage, and pre-trial suppression motions if appropriate. Our goal with this process is to streamline your proceedings in whatever way possible. We may identify key evidence in this early review that could lead to case dismissal or help us build a more cohesive defense for you.
  • ADOT/ MVD hearing representation and advice: Minimize damage and know your options for your driver’s license. Our goal is to help you retain your driver’s license if at all possible or to help you qualify for a restricted license that would allow you to drive to and from work and for emergencies rather than losing your license entirely.
  • We appear for you in Court: Most of our clients only appear in Court only one time. You can rely on your Gilbert DUI lawyer as your advocate, eliminating much of the stress and anxiety that many defendants understandably experience when confronted with courtroom proceedings.

It is vital that you take full advantage of your right to legal representation when you have been charged with DUI in Gilbert so you can have the full range of benefits reliable legal counsel provides. Knowing the constitutional rights that come into play upon arrest for DUI is essential if you want to have the greatest chance of successfully avoiding conviction, if at all possible, in your case.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Every American citizen is protected by the Constitution, and each of the amendments outlines the rights that all citizens have in various situations. When it comes to an arrest for an alleged criminal offense, the Fifth Amendment protects the defendant from self-incrimination, while the Sixth Amendment ensures they can have legal counsel representing them.

When you are arrested for DUI or any other alleged criminal offense, the arresting officer is legally required to read you your Miranda rights. This is a concise explanation of your constitutional rights as they apply in this situation. Listen carefully and take the arresting officer’s instructions seriously. Do not resist arrest or try to explain your way out of the situation, even if you are certain that you have done nothing wrong.

Remain silent while you are in police custody. You are not required to answer any questions, provide any statements, or sign any statements provided by the police. Any such actions could severely impact your ability to defend yourself in your forthcoming proceedings and may preclude you from leveraging certain defensive options that could make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

Many people mistakenly assume that remaining silent makes them look guilty, but the reality is that it does not matter how the situation looks to the arresting officers; they are required to follow due process and record all details of an arrest. Remaining silent ensures that you do not accidentally say anything that will later be used against you. Once you are allowed to make your phone calls, exercise your right to legal counsel and contact a Gilbert DUI lawyer.

WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS DURING A DUI STOP?

The main rights that every driver should exercise during a DUI stop are the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Anyone pulled over for DUI should exercise their rights and politely decline to answer questions beyond basic identification.

However, many drivers misunderstand or do not know about their other rights when pulled over by the police. For instance, most drivers are unaware that they can refuse field sobriety tests without consequences. It is best to politely decline these tests, as the results are subjective and can hurt the person’s DUI case down the line.

DRIVERS’ RIGHTS DURING BLOOD AND BREATH TESTING

On the other hand, refusing a blood or breath test does have negative consequences due to implied consent in Arizona. Here, a refusal can come with a license suspension or revocation. If the officer requests blood or breath testing, the driver should consent but ask to speak with legal counsel first. Our Gilbert attorneys can help protect the driver’s rights throughout the DUI investigative process.

After taking the tests, the officer will release them within several hours. They will either give a court date or tell the driver to look for something in the mail.

VEHICLE SEARCHES FOR SUSPECTED DUI

Drivers are under no obligation to consent to vehicle searches during DUI stops. The officer may search the car anyway, but it is still best to say no. A skilled Gilbert lawyer could potentially use the refusal to argue that the DUI search was improper and violated the driver’s rights.

MIRANDA RIGHTS DURING A DUI STOP

Reading somebody their Miranda rights has nothing to do with the legality of a DUI stop. Many people think the officer must have violated some rule if they did not read their Miranda rights after a DUI arrest.

However, officers are only obligated to read Miranda rights once the driver is in custody and the officer is asking them questions. After a DUI arrest in Gilbert, the driver should contact a diligent lawyer immediately to discuss their rights and prevent crucial mistakes.

Getting an attorney onboard as soon as possible is crucial to securing the best possible outcome in your DUI case. Legal counsel can help with Motor Vehicle Department proceedings and driver’s license consequences while your criminal case is pending. They can also protect your rights against police investigative tactics and prevent you from accidental self-incrimination.

DEFINING DUI- DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

DUI statutes and charges can be a bit confusing. Your best option is to speak with an experienced Gilbert DUI lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group to discuss the charges, options, and process. But below we categorize and define the kinds of DUI to provide context.

MISDEMEANOR DUI

  • Impaired to the slightest degree
  • .08% or above blood alcohol concentration (B.A.C)
  • .15-.20% B.A.C., or “Extreme DUI”.
  • .20 or above B.A.C., or “Super-extreme DUI”
  • Drug DUI

FELONY DUI

If someone is charged with DUI as above, but one of the following circumstances exist, it will almost certainly be charged as a felony “Aggravated DUI.” Greatly increasing the potential penalty, including mandatory prison time.

  • License or driving privilege suspended at the time of the offense
  • Third DUI offense in 7 years
  • DUI with a child under 15 years of age as a passenger
  • DUI while driving in violation of the ignition interlock requirement from a prior DUI.

Arizona enforces some of the harshest DUI laws in the country, and jail time is mandatory for almost all types of DUI convictions. Penalties can also escalate due to aggravating factors and/or the defendant’s prior criminal history. Judges who handle DUI sentencing also have the discretionary authority to modify a defendant’s sentence as they deem appropriate. This could work out positively or negatively for a defendant, depending on the details of their case.

AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING FACTORS IN A DUI CASE

While Arizona’s mandatory minimum penalties for many DUI offenses may seem to be set in stone, the reality is that a sentencing judge often has the discretionary authority to adjust a defendant’s sentence as they deem appropriate. It is also possible for various factors to influence the outcome of the case, potentially leading to more serious or less serious penalties for the defendant.

Aggravating factors increase the severity of a defendant’s sentence and work against them when it comes to the penalties they could face. For example, a DUI with a minor child in the vehicle can not only escalate a DUI to felony status but also lead to an additional charge of child endangerment. A record of past DUIs, being combative with arresting officers, or causing an accident resulting in injury or death are all serious aggravating factors in a DUI case.

Mitigating factors work the opposite and can potentially lead to lighter penalties for the defendant. If the defendant did not cause an accident, was arrested for their first DUI, complied with arresting officers, and demonstrated genuine remorse for what they did, these mitigating factors may work in their favor and convince the sentencing judge to show leniency. For example, they may decide on conditional probation in lieu of jail time.

If you were arrested for DUI because you suffer from a substance abuse disorder, your Gilbert DUI lawyer can explain your situation to the sentencing judge, potentially convincing them that you need treatment rather than punishment. Ultimately, every DUI case will involve various aggravating and mitigating factors, and a defendant needs a reliable attorney who can help them reach optimal results in sentencing.

DEFENSES TO A DUI CHARGES

An attorney who has extensive knowledge of the local DUI laws can determine what defense or defenses may be used for a particular case. One possible defense may be if there was no just cause to stop the individual, but the police did so anyway. If the DUI stop is successfully challenged, a judge may kick out or “suppress” all evidence obtained after the illegal stop, including the blood result that is the basis for your charges. This often results in a full dismissal of the charges.

The accuracy of the “chemical tests” such as breath or blood tests are always subject to challenges, but almost always would be a question to be challenged to the jury at trial. Another common defense that can be persuasive for negotiation or trial, is if the accused was not actually operating their vehicle at the time police arrived on the scene. These are called “Actual Physical Control” cases. Because you can be found guilty of DUI if you are either driving a vehicle or if you are in “actual physical Control” of it. There are numerous other challenges that your experienced Gilbert DUI attorneys at GCLG can use in their experience as former DUI prosecutors to fight for the best outcome for you. Whether by plea, a challenge to evidence, or in a jury trial.

A successful defense against a DUI charge in Gilbert may require proving a mistake of fact, such as highlighting a compromised chemical test result or proving that the test was not administered correctly. It may also require proving a mistake of law, showing that evidence was not admitted correctly by the prosecution or that the police failed to establish probable cause before conducting a traffic stop for suspected DUI.

Some defendants experience violations of their civil and constitutional rights while in police custody. Any such incidents are likely to help a defendant dismantle the case made against them, and an experienced Gilbert DUI lawyer can help you understand your most viable options for leveraging any such details in crafting your defense.

POTENTIAL OUTCOMES OF A DUI CONVICTION

The outcome of a DUI case in terms of sentencing will depend on whether the person is charged with a regular DUI, extreme, or super extreme DUI, or Aggravated DUI. It will also depend on the circumstances, and can lead to serious felony charges if someone is injured in an accident in which the accused was guilty of DUI. It will also depend on whether the accused has any prior DUI convictions, especially within the previous 7 years. In a case where the accused has been convicted of a DUI before, the judge’s sentence may be considerably more severe, and the mandatory minimums under the law can skyrocket, especially for a 2nd time extreme or Aggravated DUI. Depending on the person’s blood alcohol content at the time of the alleged offense and whether this a first or subsequent DUI, a person faces a minimum of 10 days and up to 6 months in jail for a misdemeanor DUI and be ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines.

If charged with a first Aggravated DUI, the law requires 1 to 3.75 years in prison, with a minimum under the law of 4 months if the prosecutor and judge agree to probation. For a 2nd Aggravated DUI, the State is likely to seek many years in prison. Beyond custody and the hit to the criminal record, DUI charges result in MVD/ ADOT effects to a driving privilege. The individual could lose their driving privileges and almost all DUI convictions in Arizona result in a requirement to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle the person drives. Community service may also be required.

Ultimately, while Arizona enforces some mandatory minimum penalties for certain types of DUI offenses, the exact penalties a defendant will face vary from case to case. It is possible for a sentencing judge to stick closely to the mandatory sentence prescribed by state law, or they may adjust a defendant’s sentence as they deem appropriate to reflect the specific details of the case.

It is incredibly important to hire a highly experienced Gilbert DUI attorney with the knowledge and track record to fight the charges against you and keep you educated throughout the process. It is also vital to remember that the consequences of a DUI conviction can extend far beyond the penalties assigned by the court. The convicted defendant could face various personal and professional consequences that will interfere with their life in various ways.

ADDITIONAL PENALTIES FOR DUI OUTSIDE OF CRIMINAL COURT

If you are convicted of DUI in Gilbert, it is possible for the conviction to interfere with your employment opportunities. If you hold a professional license of any kind, your licensing board may revoke the license as a disciplinary measure. You could be forced to change careers and face a steep pay cut. You could also have limited job opportunities because of your inability to work if your driver’s license has been suspended as an element of your sentence.

In addition to these penalties, your DUI conviction is also likely to negatively impact your auto insurance coverage. If a DUI is a violation of your policy terms, your insurer could cancel your policy or increase your premium. This can result in significantly higher costs over time, or you may be forced to find a new policy that is more expensive to maintain.

If you caused an accident with another driver, they are likely to seek compensation for the damages you caused. This will likely begin with an auto insurance claim, but if your insurance can’t pay for all of their damages, then you will be personally responsible. They could file a personal injury claim against you, and if you killed someone in an accident, their surviving family is likely to file a wrongful death claim.

Facing civil liability for damages alongside the penalties assigned in criminal court can ultimately mean that the effects of your DUI are extremely expensive, cause problems in your life for many years to come, and may even force you to completely change your current lifestyle. You are also likely to face diminished standing in your community, personal relationships may be strained, and a DUI conviction could also mean losing child custody rights in some cases.

It is important to remember that you could face a criminal charge for DUI along with a civil claim for damages from the defendant. While the standard of proof in your criminal case will be guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, in your civil case, the plaintiff only needs to prove you are liable for their damages based on a preponderance of the evidence.

This is a lighter burden of proof, so it is possible for a defendant to avoid conviction in criminal court but still be found liable for damages in a civil case. If a defendant is found liable for damages in a personal injury or wrongful death suit, the fact that they caused the damages by breaking the law will work against them, potentially increasing their financial liability to the plaintiff. They could be ordered to pay punitive damages along with other damages.

THE DUI CASE PROCESS

DUI charges take you into an unfamiliar world. The attorneys at Grand Canyon Law group have been through this process thousands of times with our clients. We will guide you through every step of the way. From the beginning to help you understand what to expect. To explaining the strategies being employed to fight the case. To presenting the options and potential outcomes. To making sure you are clear on any requirements so that you do not put yourself at risk for future violations and so you can put the case behind you as quickly and painlessly as possible.

ADOT/ MVD CONSEQUENCES

While most people just consider the criminal case for their DUI and the consequences there, it is important to deal with the MVD consequences to your driver’s license at the same time. Maintaining employment and understanding how to navigate the license issues is a value that we provide to our clients. Our representation includes representation in front of the ADOT executive hearing office, a sort of its own court system, to minimize the damage to your driving privilege. As with the criminal case, we will provide you with options and keep you informed, but it is very rare for our clients to need to appear for these hearings.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR GILBERT DUI LAWYER

The right defense attorney can have a tremendous positive impact on the outcome of your case. The sooner you connect with a trustworthy lawyer after your arrest, the more time your defense team will have to compile the evidence you may need to avoid conviction. If you did break the law, you can still rely on your attorney to assist you in mitigating the penalties that might be assigned to you in sentencing.

The Grand Canyon Law Group can carefully review the police report of your arrest. We can ensure that the arresting officer appropriately established probable cause to conduct your traffic stop and met all legal requirements to conduct a lawful arrest for DUI. When it comes to the chemical test you took, we can verify that it was administered correctly and that a proper chain of custody was followed for your test sample.

If the arresting officer never read you your Miranda rights or if other rights violations occurred, we can help you understand how these issues could have a bearing on your impending case. If you believe you were wrongfully arrested and did not actually commit the DUI, we can review the details of the situation and help you determine your most viable defenses. A good attorney is often able to identify crucial evidence their client would overlook on their own.

When it comes to preparing for your courtroom proceedings, you can rely on our team to help you prepare for each phase of the process. During your initial appearance, we can help you enter the correct plea, and you may have the opportunity to negotiate pretrial with the prosecution. If a plea deal is offered, our team can examine the terms and conditions and weigh the plea deal against your potential outcome if you fight the case in court.

Ultimately, no criminal defense lawyer can ever promise their client a specific outcome to their case, nor can any defense lawyer guarantee that they can have their client’s case dismissed or otherwise avoid conviction. The Grand Canyon Law Group can, however, promise unwavering support and close attention to detail in all aspects of our handling of your DUI case. Our goal is case dismissal if possible or minimal sentencing if necessary.

WHAT DO OFFICERS LOOK FOR WHEN PULLING DRIVERS OVER FOR DUI?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) outlines various indicators of possible impairment, including driving too slowly, weaving in or out of the lane, or driving without headlights at night. Often, police officers out late at night will look for any traffic violation as a reason to pull someone over and investigate them for DUI.

When they make a DUI stop, the officer will first observe how the driver pulled over. They will then look for other signs of impairment from their first contact with the driver, including:

  • Bloodshot or watery eyes
  • The smell of drugs or alcohol
  • Slurred speech

However, there could be multiple explanations for these alleged signs of impairment. Our Gilbert attorneys can work to contest an officer’s initial reasoning for making a DUI stop.

POLICE QUESTIONING DURING A DUI STOP

The officer will ask questions after pulling a driver over and making initial observations. This is where being prepared and educated about one’s rights can make a huge difference in the outcome of a DUI case. The officer will likely ask questions about the driver’s night and whether they had anything to drink. The driver can say “no” or politely refuse to answer the questions, as they are under no legal obligation to provide that information.

The officer may ask the driver to get out of the car and identify themselves. A driver should comply with these requests and show their driver’s license if asked by a police officer. However, the smart thing to do early in the questioning process is to say, “I’m going to exercise my right to remain silent and my right to an attorney.” Our experienced lawyers know the process of DUI stops in Gilbert and can begin representing a driver from the moment they call us.

MISTAKES TO AVOID IN GILBERT DUI STOPS

The first mistake to avoid during a DUI stop is pulling over carelessly. Drivers should think about their behavior and drive as carefully as possible in front of officers. Another crucial mistake is to admit to having alcohol or drugs. Drivers should avoid saying they have been out at a bar or club, even if they had little or nothing to drink.

Agreeing to field sobriety, blood, or breath tests can also be a crucial error during a DUI stop. It is best to ask for a lawyer as soon as possible to provide counsel and advise the driver of their rights.

An officer can cite many reasons for suspecting you were impaired behind the wheel. They could allege that you were weaving in your lane or driving too slowly at night. When you get pulled over and accused of DUI, it can be a terrifying and stressful ordeal.

Dealing with the police can be scary, especially when they are accusing you of intoxicated driving. It is important to remain calm and exercise your rights to legal counsel. You can ask to speak with an attorney at any point during the interaction with law enforcement.

IMPLIED CONSENT IN GILBERT DUI CASES

Implied consent is the idea that when you get a driver’s license and drive on the roads of Arizona, you have implicitly consented to take a breath or blood test upon request from a police officer. They may request a sample if they suspect you of driving under the influence (DUI). Although you have the ability to refuse these tests, you face penalties.

Our legal team can further explain implied consent in Gilbert DUI cases and help you protect your rights. The dedicated attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group have represented many people accused of DUI and know how to pursue the best possible outcome in your case.

DO YOU HAVE TO CONSENT TO TESTING DURING A DUI STOP?

When an officer pulls over a driver for suspected DUI, they will make certain requests. First, they may ask the driver to get out of the car and identify themselves, which the driver must do. The officer may also ask if they can check the driver out to ensure they are okay to drive. Although most people consent to this without thinking, it is best to politely say, “No, thank you, I do not consent to that.” This prevents the officer from further observing or making the driver perform field sobriety tests. Even if the officer decides to arrest them anyway, their refusal could significantly help their case.

The officer will also ask for consent to get a breath sample during the arrest. A driver can refuse a handheld breath test, giving the prosecution less evidence for their case if the officer makes an arrest. However, the officer may take them in and ask for a breath or blood sample at the police station. If they refuse after being arrested at the station, they have violated their implied consent.

PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING IMPLIED CONSENT

Violating implied consent by refusing a breath or blood test after a DUI arrest will lead to a year-long driver’s license suspension. However, agreeing to and failing the test can also lead to a minimum 90-day suspension, although some of that time can be served with a restricted license.

After an officer requests a DUI test, the best response is to say, “I’d be happy to do anything, but I want to talk to a lawyer first.” The officer must let the driver talk to an attorney at that point—if they refuse, legal counsel can use that violation of their rights as a potential defense. A seasoned Gilbert lawyer who understands implied consent in DUI cases can advise the driver on consenting to a breath or blood test, depending on the circumstances and their criminal history.

Many drivers do not know their rights and are understandably terrified when pulled over for suspected drunk driving. They may believe they must follow everything the police officer says. Alternatively, they might think there are no consequences to refusing the officer’s requests for blood or breath testing.

An experienced attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group can clear up these and other common misunderstandings about DUI laws in Arizona. Our legal team can explain the role of implied consent in Gilbert DUI cases and begin representing you from the moment of your arrest. Give us a call as soon as possible to get started.

GET IN TOUCH WITH A GILBERT DUI ATTORNEY TODAY

When facing a DUI-related offense, you may feel worried or unsure about your future. It would be natural to feel that way. Fortunately, you can put those worries aside when you retain the services of our professional attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group, Ryan McPhie and David Lish. Both have years of experience working as DUI prosecutors and many more as DUI defense attorneys, focused on drunk driving and successfully fighting thousands of cases. With their skillset on your side, the likelihood of obtaining a positive result is greatly increased.

A Gilbert DUI lawyer at Grand Canyon law group will benefit you in multiple ways. By providing peace of mind in knowing what to expect, knowing we are fighting for the best outcome in your case, and keeping you informed throughout the process. To schedule a case consultation, get in touch with the office today. You will speak directly with a Gilbert DUI lawyer from the beginning, not a legal salesperson. We love what we do, and hope to have the opportunity to prove the GCLG difference.

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