Mesa DUI Lawyer

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MESA DUI ATTORNEY

Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs and/or alcohol is a crime and a leading cause of vehicle accidents throughout Arizona each year. If you are convicted of DUI, you face a wide range of penalties that will vary based on your criminal record and the severity of the offense. An experienced Mesa DUI lawyer can be an essential asset to have on your side if you are charged with DUI. Contact the Grand Canyon Law Group after your arrest so we can build your defense.

A DUI conviction in Mesa, AZ carries a number of devastating effects and legal penalties. Arizona is well-known for having some of the harshest penalties in the nation. Regardless of the level, DUIs in Arizona can result in jail or prison, high fines, required classes, license suspension, and in many cases the requirement to install an ignition interlock device for a year or more. If someone is a professional driver, or if driving is an aspect of their employment, a conviction could undermine their ability to earn a living. It could also harm a person’s reputation and subject them to a lawsuit.

Picking the right Mesa DUI Lawyer can have a major impact on the outcome of your case. Arranging a consultation to discuss your circumstances is a wise move. The sooner you begin investigating legal options with a defense attorney, the better your chances of reducing the burden of a DUI charge. Good advice increases your chances of a good outcome.

CHOOSE RELIABLE DUI DEFENSE COUNSEL

Choosing the right defense attorney is crucial, no matter what your case entails. The team at the Grand Canyon Law Group has focused experience we can place at your disposal. David Lish is certified in DUI testing and Standardized Field Sobriety testing. He can leverage his professional training to potentially challenge your drunk driving stop or field sobriety test. Please call us NOW to get started on your defense right away! En Español.

You have a very short time to start building your defense once you have been arrested for DUI in Mesa. The first steps you take following your arrest can influence sentencing in various ways, and you can make more informed decisions during this process if you have an attorney you trust defending you. Our firm has a long record of successful cases, and we are ready to leverage this experience for you.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED ‘DRIVING’ IN A DUI CHARGE?

While the law intends to stop drunk driving, it can also lead to unfair charges and a general misunderstanding of one’s legal rights. The truth is that even police officers misunderstand this law. Many inappropriate traffic stops are conducted in the Mesa area, and many of these incidents lead to wrongful charges against drivers who have not actually broken the law.

Driving while under the influence is not the only way that you can be charged with a DUI. If the state can prove that you were in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle, this is enough to warrant a DUI charge. An example of this could be sitting in your vehicle in a parking lot with the engine running while intoxicated or impaired. You could be charged with a DUI in this case, and the judge or jury would decide whether you were in control of the vehicle based on the totality of the circumstances.

There is a common misconception that one must be on a major roadway to be charged with a DUI, but this is not the case, either. Parking lots, driveways, and dirt roads are all places where you could be charged. The definition of “driving” in Mesa DUI law is nuanced, so it is critical to get in touch with a skilled attorney as soon as possible after being charged. This will ensure you have the best chance at the best outcome.

PASSENGERS CAN BE CHARGED WITH DUIS

It is possible for a passenger to be charged with a DUI in Mesa if an officer has reason to believe that they were in control of the vehicle. There are cases where individuals switch places in a car during a traffic stop, or everyone in a car gets out too quickly for an officer to determine who was behind the wheel. In these instances, it will be up to the jury to decide who was operating the vehicle using evidence and witness statements.

Witness statements are especially important in DUI cases, and officers will make a point to get information from bystanders about who was behind the wheel. Officers will usually try to get statements from everyone in the car, often trying to get the motorist to admit that they were driving the vehicle. If a crash involves injuries, police may gather DNA evidence from the steering wheel, dashboard, airbag, driver’s seat, or any other areas that could establish the identity of the driver. Anyone in the vehicle at the time of a DUI arrest should avoid speaking with law enforcement until they have obtained legal representation from a Mesa lawyer.

CONTESTING DUI CHARGES WHEN YOU WERE NOT DRIVING

If you were charged with DUI despite not driving your vehicle at the time of the charge, there are defenses available to you. For example, if it is hot outside and you decide to sit in your car to stay cool while you wait for a friend or cab to come and pick you up, this could be a defensible reason to be in your car while intoxicated. While an officer may think that you are in physical control of the vehicle, the car is only being used as a shelter from the heat.

Cases like this, where an officer might misconstrue someone’s intention for being in a vehicle, will often be heard in front of a judge or jury. Here, a skilled Mesa lawyer can help you demonstrate that you did not fall under the legal definition of driving or “actual physical control” at the time of your drunk driving charge.

SUSPENSION OF DRIVING PRIVILEGE AND SR-22

WARNING: You have 15 days from the date of your arrest to challenge your license suspension, or you may give up the chance to stop it.

Many people are surprised to hear that once someone is arrested for DUI, even if it is later determined that the blood alcohol level does not justify conviction, or if a non-DUI plea is reached, or a jury finds them “not guilty” at trial, they are still subjected to a suspension of their license. Unless they act quickly.

A defendant or their Mesa DUI attorney has a right to request a hearing prior to the suspension of their license goes into effect 15 days after their arrest. Once the hearing is requested, the suspension is “stayed”, and the accused will maintain the right to drive until a hearing is held. It is very important to exercise this right.

Another negative effect on your driver’s license, if the suspension is not handled correctly, is that you may end up with an “SR-22” restriction on your license. This would make it so that your driving privilege would be restricted so that you would not be allowed to drive a vehicle without “SR-22” insurance. This is high-risk insurance that can cost a great deal of money every month and can cause issues if driving is part of employment.

EFFECTS OF REFUSING A DUI TEST

If someone refuses to consent to a blood, breathalyzer or urine test when requested by law enforcement when suspected of DUI, their license will be suspended for 1 year. Under Chapter 28 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, anyone who operates a motor vehicle in Arizona consents to having their blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance tested if they are pulled over for driving under the influence. To administer a test, a police officer must have reasonable grounds to believe that a driver is intoxicated or, if the driver has not yet reached the age of 21, has liquor in their body. A driver who will not take a DUI test must be informed that refusing will cause a one-year suspension of their driver’s license or permit.

A DUI test that reveals a concentration of.08 percent or more alcohol in the driver’s body (or.04 percent or more if they drive a commercial vehicle) results in the suspension of their license for at least 90 days. A test revealing a prohibited drug in the body of a driver who has no valid prescription for the substance also leads to suspension. But in practice, if the officer files the suspension paperwork before any blood or breath has been proven, the suspension will occur before it can be avoided.

Someone charged with driving under intoxication can discuss strategies for avoiding or minimizing the effect of a suspension, avoiding the SR-22, and avoiding or minimizing the conviction by speaking with a DUI defense lawyer in the Mesa, AZ area.

It is also possible to challenge the results of a chemical test for DUI in Mesa. For example, if you tested positive for drugs, it is possible that the intoxicating effects wore off well before you started driving, but the drugs still appeared in your system. You will need a knowledgeable Mesa DUI lawyer in this situation to help you formulate an effective defense and challenge the results of the chemical test.

DUI PROCEDURES AND PENALTIES IN MESA

During the arraignment of someone charged with a DUI, the accused is informed of their right to a jury trial and may receive one if they choose. Someone convicted faces a maximum penalty of six months in jail, a $2,500 fine, and 5 years of probation. However, it is rare for these maximums to be imposed. The minimum penalties are that that a person convicted of this crime must be sentenced to at least ten days in jail with up to 9 of them suspended, must pay a fine of at least $250, $500 to the prison construction and operations fund, another $500 to the public safety equipment fund, and may be responsible for community restitution. Higher blood alcohol concentrations and prior DUI’s within seven years can greatly increase the minimum penalties.

But there may be a possibility to get an outcome of a lower offense of DUI than charged, or avoiding a DUI conviction altogether. Someone hoping to avoid such penalties could arrange a consultation with a local drunk driving defense attorney to discuss potential legal strategies for avoiding a conviction.

Even if conviction is unavoidable, an experienced attorney can help make a compelling case on their client’s behalf, arguing for lighter sentencing. For example, if the defendant did not injure anyone or cause an accident and suffers from a substance abuse disorder, their attorney may convince a judge that they need rehabilitation. This could potentially mean the difference between going to rehab or going to jail for some defendants.

YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS DURING AN ARREST

Every American citizen has constitutional rights that come into play when they are arrested for a crime. Under the Fifth Amendment, they have the right to remain silent so they do not self-incriminate. Under the Sixth Amendment, they have the right to legal counsel. It is crucial that you know, understand, and exercise these rights fully if you are arrested for DUI in Mesa.

As soon as a police officer places a suspect under arrest, they are required to read them their Miranda rights. This is a brief explanation of the suspect’s Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights as they apply to this situation. Do not try to talk your way out of the situation, even if you know you have done nothing wrong. If you attempt to plead your case, the police have no incentive to help you, and you could say something that will reflect badly upon you later.

Anything you say during arrest and booking will be included in the police report of your arrest. Some such statements can, taken out of context, cause you to appear to have admitted guilt. Ultimately, staying silent is the ideal strategy for anyone who has been arrested for DUI in Mesa, regardless of whether they committed the offense. Remain silent until you are able to make your phone calls and reach out to a Mesa DUI lawyer you trust at your first opportunity.

HOW YOUR MESA DUI LAWYER CAN HELP

The right defense counsel can make a tremendous positive impact on the outcome of your impending DUI case in Mesa. They can explain each step of your case so you can approach your proceedings with greater confidence and clarity, prepare you for each courtroom proceeding, and uncover all the various defenses you may be able to employ so you can hopefully avoid conviction.

In every criminal case, the prosecution faces the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high standard of proof that requires the prosecutor to prove that there is no room for any reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant committed the offense. They will attempt to accomplish this by leveraging various forms of evidence along with testimony from any available witnesses.

It is your Mesa DUI lawyer’s job to prevent the prosecution from meeting this burden of proof. A successful DUI defense in Mesa may hinge on proving a mistake of fact, such as contradicting the evidence presented by the prosecution and proving that you did not, in fact, break the law. While the defendant is innocent until proven guilty and they are not required to prove their innocence, proving so, if possible, is an effective means of quashing a prosecutor’s case.

It is also possible for your Mesa DUI lawyer to prove a mistake of law in defending you. This would entail proving some misstep occurred in the criminal justice system that compromised your case. Your attorney may seek to prove that the arresting officer did not conduct a lawful traffic stop and/or failed to properly establish probable cause before arresting you. They might also seek to prove that evidence admitted against you has been mishandled or compromised.

If your rights were violated, it could also help you form a more effective defense against your DUI charge. If the arresting officer never read your Miranda rights or you were mistreated in police custody, these issues work against the prosecution and may even lead to case dismissal.

PLEA BARGAINING FOR DUI IN MESA

If you have broken the law, your attorney can still be an invaluable asset when it comes to helping you mitigate the penalties you could face in sentencing. The plea bargaining option may not be available to every defendant in every case, but if it is, it could enable a defendant to accept reduced charges and/or a lighter sentence in exchange for entering an immediate guilty plea, conserving court resources.

A prosecutor may offer a plea deal if they are certain they can secure a conviction in order to speed the process along, but it is also possible for a prosecutor to offer a plea deal if they are not convinced that they can secure a conviction at trial. They may be hoping the defendant accepts the plea deal out of desperation. Regardless of what your unique situation entails, your Mesa DUI lawyer can help you make more informed decisions when it comes to plea bargaining.

MESA DUI CASES

Anyone who is accused of misdemeanor DUI in Arizona has the right to a jury trial. If an individual is arrested by Mesa police for a misdemeanor DUI, their case will be heard by the Mesa Municipal Court. If someone is arrested either by the Department of Public Safety or the sheriff’s office, their case will be heard in one of the Mesa justice courts.

It is important for anyone prepping for a DUI court date to understand Mesa DUI cases. A knowledgeable DUI attorney can ensure that you know what to expect after an arrest and work with you to prepare your case. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our legal team has extensive experience taking cases like these to trial and knows how to present your defense effectively. Call our office to discuss your case with a skilled professional.

PROSECUTING A MESA DUI CASE

Driving under the influence cases are prosecuted vigorously in Mesa. The city has a public interest in taking impaired drivers off the roads, and these cases also bring in money in terms of mandatory fines and fees. Because these cases are taken so seriously, it is crucial to work with an attorney who understands the complexities of local laws and is experienced in the courtroom.

In a DUI case, the prosecutor has the burden of proof. The prosecutor must first show that the defendant was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. The prosecutor will need to prove that the defendant was impaired by liquor, drugs, or a combination of the two substances. For drug DUIs, the prosecutor will aim to show that the defendant had an illegal drug in their system at the time they were driving. For alcohol DUIs, the prosecutor will try to prove the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was above the legal limit.

EVIDENCE USED BY THE PROSECUTION

To try and establish a defendant’s guilt, the prosecutor will often use evidence such as:

  • Proof of the person’s driving behavior that led to the stop
  • Proof of participation in field testing
  • Blood or breath test results that that show BAC
  • Any statements that the person may have made about consuming alcohol or drugs prior to driving

A Mesa attorney can challenge this evidence in court and build a defense that paints the defendant in a favorable light to the judge and jury.

SENTENCING FOR MESA DUI CASES

If a person pleads guilty to driving under the influence or is found guilty at trial, a judge will handle the sentencing. Typically, judges will give the minimum sentence unless there are aggravating factors involved. Some factors that could play into a sentencing determination include:

  • The circumstances of an arrest
  • An individual’s BAC and behavior on the side of the road
  • Whether there was an accident
  • Whether the individual caused some type of injury or public damage,
  • Prior DUIs or other arrests

If an individual goes to trial and is convicted, then they have the right to appeal their conviction to a higher court. Appeals of misdemeanor matters are appealed to the superior courts in Arizona. If an individual takes a plea or if they enter into a plea agreement, they give up their right to appeal, although they still have the avenue of post-conviction relief. A  can help an individual determine what their best option is for moving forward after a DUI conviction.

Although DUI cases may seem simple, these cases are actually quite complex. It is critical to obtain the counsel of a committed DUI attorney before trying to handle your court date on your own. Mesa DUI cases may seem cut and dry, but there are ways to change the outcome, reduce the sentence, or limit the consequences with the help of a dedicated lawyer.

DUI CLASSES IN MESA

Alcohol education courses are designed to teach people about the dangers of substance abuse and provide tools for overcoming their tendencies. These classes offer guidance on drinking appropriately and avoiding intoxicated driving. Those arrested for or convicted of DUI may be required to attend these courses.

To learn more about DUI classes in Mesa, speak with the legal team at Grand Canyon Law Group. Our knowledgeable DUI attorneys can explain your options following an arrest or conviction, such as diversion programs.

TYPES OF DUI PROGRAMS IN MESA

There are many alcohol education programs in Arizona run by various companies. Mesa uses its own company called Prodigy. The courses are standardized statewide and must meet the requirements set by Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Department (MVD). Several companies offer online courses, such as Stonewall Institute, which is exclusively online. Many companies provide in-person and online programs due to the COVID pandemic.

It is important to note that a DUI educational program differs from a traffic school. Although traffic school includes DUI education and awareness, it is designed for rules of the road and defensive driving, while alcohol education programs focus on substance abuse counseling and treatment. Our local attorneys can further explain the purpose of DUI classes and how it differs from traffic school.

WHEN ARE ALCOHOL EDUCATION CLASSES REQUIRED?

Substance abuse screening and education are mandatory for anyone convicted of any form of DUI. However, a person can also take a DUI course voluntarily by enrolling and paying for the class. A court order is not required to attend an alcohol education program.

Attending DUI classes can show that a person is taking the situation seriously. Sometimes, prosecutors or courts will be more lenient if the defendant has already completed the education or treatment program ahead of time. Our Mesa lawyers can advise on the potential benefits of attending DUI classes while a trial is pending.

OTHER DUI EDUCATION OPTIONS

Many agencies and companies offer DUI group therapy activities. Additionally, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) puts on victim impact panels to educate people on the dangers of drunk driving. These involve family members of DUI crash victims talking about their experiences to spread awareness about safe driving.

Many courts will require people convicted of DUI to participate in a MADD impact panel. These one-time seminars usually last a few hours, and a person required to attend will need to get a certificate from the panel to show proof of compliance to the court. Those facing court-ordered classes or panels after a DUI conviction should discuss the requirements with our attorneys in Mesa.

Substance abuse education and treatment programs are often requirements for those convicted on DUI charges. However, attending these courses voluntarily can also be beneficial in some instances. This may show the prosecutor that a defendant takes the situation seriously and is dedicated to making a change in their life.

MESA DUI ARRAIGNMENT

In a driving under the influence (DUI) case, an arraignment is usually your first hearing. During an arraignment, you will stand before the judge, enter a plea of not guilty, and set the case for a future court date. If you have an attorney to represent you in your DUI case, you will usually not appear at your arraignment because your attorney will handle it for you.

In the case that you do attend a Mesa DUI arraignment, your lawyer can advise you on what your charges are, help you enter a not guilty plea, and advise you of your constitutional rights. It is crucial to work with an attorney with ample experience in handling these cases, like our team at Grand Canyon Law Group.

HOW BAIL IS SET DURING AN ARRAIGNMENT

During an arraignment, a judge will usually address release conditions and bail. For a misdemeanor DUI, the court will usually not set any bail or bond and will release the defendant without requiring payment. However, for felony DUIs, such as those involving injuries or death, bail can be set as high as tens of thousands of dollars. A judge may also impose stringent conditions of release, such as a required curfew, during an arraignment.

POTENTIAL PLEAS AT AN ARRAIGNMENT

It is always advisable to plead not guilty at a DUI arraignment in Mesa. This is because at the arraignment stage, there has not yet been an opportunity to go through the discovery process, which is the evidence reviewing process. Any plea, other than a not guilty plea, could unjustly leave an individual without any defenses early on in their case.

CONSEQUENCES OF A GUILTY PLEA

If an individual pleads guilty at their arraignment, they will be obligated to face certain mandatory consequences. State legislature has established minimum mandatory consequences for driving under the influence. These include fines, jail time, license suspension, required counseling, community service, and more. Because the potential consequences of a DUI are so severe, it is highly advisable for a person to thoroughly assess their case and evidence against them, alongside their attorney, prior to considering a guilty plea.

HAVING A LAWYER VACATES THE NEED FOR AN ARRAIGNMENT

Usually, when someone hires an attorney for their Mesa DUI case, the arraignment is vacated, or in other words, canceled. This is because the hearing becomes unnecessary when a person has legal counsel as the attorney can enter a not guilty plea through a written motion with the court. This can save an accused the time and stress of having to go to court for this very limited hearing.

Attempting to handle an arraignment without the help of an attorney is not advisable as individuals are not always aware of their full range of options and defenses in a DUI case. Often, people will plead guilty simply to get the case over with and will be left to face severe consequences. Therefore, it is crucial to retain competent legal counsel, as soon as possible after a DUI arrest, to avoid an unfavorable outcome.

Upon being charged with a DUI, it is best to be aware of the steps ahead of you. In some cases, one of those steps may be an arraignment. While having a skilled DUI attorney in your corner often negates the need for arraignment, it is still advisable to ensure you understand how this process works and the consequences of pleading guilty or not guilty.

If you or someone you love has been charged with driving under the influence, do not wait to take legal action. An attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group can assist you in every step of your case, including a Mesa DUI arraignment.

IMPACT OF A DUI ON AUTO INSURANCE IN MESA

Generally, insurance companies will regularly look at driving records for their insured. If a person is convicted of DUI, their insurance company will discover it on their driving record after the case is over. They will adjust their rates based on their policies, practices, and procedures.

Beyond the potential criminal penalties, the impact of a DUI on auto insurance in Mesa can be significant. A strong defense against the charges is the best way of avoiding the financial and social consequences of these allegations.

CAN A DUI CHARGE AFFECT YOUR INSURANCE?

If a person is charged but not convicted of a DUI, the impact on their insurance will depend on the specific company. Without a conviction, most insurers will not raise rates or drop the person from coverage. It is crucial to fight the DUI charges from the get-go with a relentless Mesa attorney to prevent potential penalties from one’s insurance company.

AUTO INSURANCE POLICIES FOR DUI CONVICTIONS

After a DUI conviction, a driver may be dropped from coverage or see their rates increase. Depending on their internal policies, some companies will not insure drivers with DUIs on their records. These policies will be noted in their disclosure documents or agreements involved in signing up for coverage.

Certain insurance companies may allow their clients to get away with one DUI. However, a person with multiple convictions or other traffic tickets on their record may be labeled as a risky driver and have difficulty getting insurance coverage, as our DUI lawyers in Mesa can explain.

PROTECTING A DRIVER’S INSURANCE STATUS AND RATES

After a traffic stop or arrest for intoxicated driving, a driver should consult with a nearby attorney. At the initial consultation, they should discuss their current insurance coverage, including information about their company and its policies. A skilled Mesa attorney like those at Grand Canyon Law Group can help protect a person’s insurance status and rates by defending the DUI charge at the core of the case. If a driver is acquitted of DUI, they will not face problems with their insurance company.

Another way to prevent insurance penalties and consequences is to work for a lesser conviction, such as reckless driving or a lower form of DUI. Our lawyers understand how to minimize the impact of a DUI charge on a person’s auto insurance by fighting the prosecution, presenting mitigating factors, or working toward a fair plea deal.

The goal in any DUI case is to avoid a conviction, as a mark on your record can have far-reaching consequences. In addition to criminal sentencing, social stigma, and an impact on your employment, you may also face dropped coverage or raised rates from your insurance company.

PROTECTION FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCH AND SEIZURE

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable search and seizure. Fourth Amendment violations usually occur either when an officer pulls someone over or when they perform roadside testing.

REASONABLE SUSPICION FOR PULLING SOMEONE OVER

Generally, a constitutional search has to start with a valid search or seizure of a motor vehicle, which has to be based on reasonable suspicion. Officers have to have a valid basis or a belief that the person committed a crime or at least a traffic infraction in order to stop a vehicle. Pulling someone over without reasonable suspicion is a Fourth Amendment violation.

GETTING CONSENT FOR TESTING

Obtaining consent for testing also falls under the Fourth Amendment. Officers must ask an individual for consent before performing a DUI test. If an individual does not consent to testing, the officer must get a warrant. If Mesa law enforcement fails to get valid consent or a warrant but still carries out a breath or blood test, they violate an individual’s rights.

WHEN DOES A SEARCH BECOME UNREASONABLE?

In some cases, a search will start out reasonable but later become a violation of one’s constitutional rights. If an officer has a basis to suspect that someone is driving under the influence, they can legally move forward with a search. However, if they find no evidence of impairment (bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, alcohol odor, etc.) and still proceed to arrest the person or do roadside testing, the search then becomes unreasonable and a rights violation.

FIFTH AND SIXTH AMENDMENT VIOLATIONS

Fifth and Sixth Amendment issues usually arise during the questioning phase of a DUI arrest. While the Fifth Amendment refers to the right to remain silent, the Sixth Amendment gives individuals the right to legal counsel. Those taken in for DUI processing are not legally required to answer any questions from the police, and they also must be given the opportunity to call an attorney. If law enforcement infringes on these rights, the accused individual could use this violation to bolster their defense.

HOW DO CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS IMPACT MESA DUI CASES?

Constitutional violations by law enforcement can be instrumental in the outcome of a Mesa DUI case. One of the most important parts of DUI representation is getting a good understanding and analysis of the constitutional issues that are at play, which is why it is critical to work with an attorney who has a deep understanding of these cases. For example, if a person exercises their right to have an attorney present, and officers do not respect that right, their entire case could end up being dismissed with the help of an experienced lawyer.

Additionally, if the officer stops someone without reasonable suspicion, all of the evidence after that stop could be thrown out. This can completely change the landscape of a DUI case and lead to significantly improved outcomes for the accused party.

MESA DUI COURT DATES

After an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI), it is vital for you to understand the next steps in terms of your court date. Most courts will post their court dates online, so you can do a case search either on the Arizona Public Access site or the Mesa Municipal website to view your case details and court date.

PREPARING FOR A DUI COURT DATE

Before a court date, it is important to understand what the purpose of your hearing is and whether you need to attend. Not every hearing is a trial. Most hearings are pretrial conferences where the court is checking on the status of the case. Oftentimes, you are not required to attend these hearings in misdemeanor cases. Instead, your attorney will attend on your behalf.

If you are preparing for a hearing other than a pretrial conference, you will likely need to prepare with your attorney ahead of time. An example such hearing would be a change of plea. To prepare, you will need to review and sign your agreement with your attorney, prior to the court date, and prepare on what you will need to say in court.

For a sentencing hearing or trial, you will also want to know exactly what is going to happen and what you will need to say. A Mesa lawyer can explain the trial process in great detail and help you understand your role as a defendant.

CHANGING A DUI COURT DATE IN MESA

Situations may arise where you need to change your court date. If you need to move your court date to a different day, your attorney can file a Motion to Continue with the court. This motion will explain why the date needs to be moved and provide alternative dates for rescheduling.

In order for a judge to grant a Motion to Continue, you will need to provide an adequate reason as to why the scheduled date does not work. Circumstances that could demonstrate an adequate reason for moving a court date include unavailability of an essential witness, unavailability of a party because of death or illness, and other unexpected events that impede the case. A skilled lawyer can help you file a Motion to Continue in the event that something gets in the way of your initial court date.

MESA DUI DISCOVERY PROCESS

In any criminal case, the State is required to disclose to the defense all materials they intend to use in their case. The defense is also required to disclose all evidence they may use during trial. The process of exchanging this information is known as discovery.

TYPES OF EVIDENCE GATHERED DURING DISCOVERY

During discovery, the State must disclose any evidence they intend to use in a DUI case. This can include:

  • Reports from law enforcement
  • Body camera recordings
  • Witness interviews
  • Blood test results
  • Photographs

Once the State turns this information over to the defense, the defense can examine the relevant materials to prepare for trial. The State also has an absolute duty, under the law, to share all exculpatory evidence with the defense. This means that any evidence that is favorable to the defense must be disclosed regardless of whether it hurts the State’s case.

WHEN DOES THE DISCOVERY PROCESS BEGIN?

Discovery begins to accumulate as soon as an individual is arrested. Discovery is created throughout the investigation by law enforcement and continues to be created during the pre-trial phase of the case. Law enforcement has a direct role in creating and preserving evidence in a DUI case. Law enforcement has a duty to preserve everything that occurs during their investigation and thereafter that relates to the case. So as soon as an individual hires an attorney for their DUI case, they can begin to request this evidence from the State for use in building a defense.

A Mesa defense attorney will also begin gathering evidence for use in the case as soon as possible after a DUI arrest. The defense is obligated to share any of this information with the State upon request.

SUBPOENAS DURING MESA DUI DISCOVERY

A subpoena is a court order which has a lot of different purposes. A subpoena can be used to summon someone to appear in court or require the production of certain evidence or documents.

In a DUI case, the State will subpoena its witnesses to appear in court. For example, if a person was injured in a DUI crash, the prosecutor’s office can ask the court to issue a subpoena to obtain a person’s medical records if they believe these will help prove their case. The defense can also subpoena any witnesses or evidence that would be useful in building their defense.

MESA DUI STOPS

Mesa DUI stops are designed to create evidence to convict. Officers are looking for lane violations, wide turns, weaving within lanes, failure to signal, delayed reaction times, and other behaviors that signify intoxicated driving as per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

All of these actions, especially at night, can give officers reasonable suspicion to pull somebody over and conduct a traffic stop. Obviously, any or all of these observations are often the result of something other than impairment by drugs or alcohol, but that does not mean the police cannot arrest people, wrong or right.

TYPICAL DUI STOP PROCESS

After pulling you over, an officer will typically approach your vehicle, engage with you, and begin to gather facts about the situation. The officer will try to determine whether you have had anything to drink, look at your eyes, listen to your speech, and observe dexterity as you handle your license and registration.

If the officer suspects any form of impairment, they will ask you to step out of your car and proceed with the roadside phase of the investigation. Here, an officer will ask you to participate usually in a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test, which is where they observe the movement of your eyes. These tests supposedly indicate impairment or likely alcohol or drug presence based on eye movement. The officer will have you do the other standardized field sobriety tests such as the walk and turn and the one leg stand and possibly a couple of others that are less used. Lastly, an officer will likely have you do a portable breath test. Depending on the results, the officer may place you under arrest for DUI.

BEING ARRESTED FOR A DUI

If the officer suspects any form of impairment, they will put you in a police car, read you your Miranda rights, and ask you to consent to a blood or breath test. These tests will take place either at a DUI processing van or a local station.

These tests will be followed by post-arrest questions regarding impairment:

  • Where are you coming from?
  • How much have you had to drink?
  • How does alcohol affect you?
  • What did you feel at the time you were driving?

It is crucial to remember that you are not obligated to answer any questions. It is always best to wait to speak with an attorney before talking to law enforcement after a DUI stop in Mesa.

POST-ARREST PROCEEDINGS

The DUI stop and arrest process will usually take a few hours. Once everything is finished, you will be released, usually to a family member, friend, or taxi, and your car generally will be towed. In extreme cases, your car may be impounded for 30 days, and you could be booked into jail. However, most DUIs arrestees are cited and released, meaning you are given a citation with a court date and told to appear.

The steps after an arrest are important for the future of your case. It is crucial to consult with a skilled Mesa attorney for this process, because taking the right steps after a DUI stop can make or break the outcome of your case. The sooner a lawyer can get to work on your defense, the better.

It is easy to feel flustered after a DUI stop. You may feel as though you have no options, but this could not be further from the truth. If you have been stopped and arrested for a DUI, do not panic. You may feel you have ruined your case or there is nothing to argue in your case. None of those things are true. With the right lawyer in your corner, you can defend yourself against these charges and preserve your way of life.

The skilled team of former DUI prosecutors at Grand Canyon Law Group will take note of every detail of your case, building a strong defense that protects your rights and upholds your character.

STEPS AFTER A MESA DUI ARREST

It is normal to feel anxious and overwhelmed after being pulled over for a DUI. Understanding the steps after a Mesa DUI arrest can help make this process less stressful. A knowledgeable attorney can ensure that your rights are protected during this process and advise you on your next steps. Our team of DUI lawyers at Grand Canyon Law Group has extensive experience handling cases and knows how to present your defense in a favorable light.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER AN ARREST

Following a DUI stop, law enforcement usually transports an individual to a police facility or a jail. This is where the person will be processed for the DUI. Alternatively, depending on the night and how the police are operating, they may instead take the person to a mobile van for processing.

During processing, the police will read the person a form that deals with obtaining consent for a blood draw and explain the state mandates related to consenting or not consenting to a blood draw. If the person consents, the blood draw will then be performed.

WHAT IF SOMEONE DOES NOT CONSENT TO A BLOOD DRAW?

If a person does not consent to a blood draw, an officer will draft a search warrant for the blood and send that search warrant to a judge. A judge can sign off, giving the officer the authority to take the individual’s blood without their consent. At this point, the blood will be drawn and packaged in a kit that will later be impounded at the police department. The blood is then sent to a crime lab for processing and testing.

THE QUESTIONING PROCESS FOR A MESA DUI

After a person’s blood is drawn, the next step after a DUI arrest is usually for the officer to sit them down and interview them. The officer will ask them a series of questions about their night, including:

  • Where they were coming from
  • Where they were going
  • How much they had to drink
  • How much food they had consumed
  • Whether they feel impaired
  • Whether there’s any mechanical issues or difficulties with their car

Once questioning is over, an individual will typically be released if the case is a misdemeanor DUI. For a felony DUI, a person will usually be booked into the county jail, where they will be held overnight to see a judge.

REFUSING TESTING DURING A DUI STOP

Anyone can legally refuse testing after a DUI. If a consents to testing and their blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit of .08, their license will be suspended for 90 days. If a person refuses testing, their license will be suspended for one year.

The decision to refuse testing is one’s own to make. However, it is always best to contact an attorney before making this decision. Law enforcement must give a person the opportunity to retain legal counsel. If the police do not allow a person to consult with a lawyer, the state could be left unable to prove their case. A Mesa attorney can provide guidance and prevent an individual from providing incriminatory evidence after a DUI arrest.

TEN DAYS FOLLOWING A MESA DUI ARREST

The steps that you take during the ten days following a Mesa DUI arrest are critical. Your actions during this time can have a huge impact on the outcome of your case. First and foremost, it is essential to contact a DUI attorney who can help you through this process and get started on your defense. Reach out to a legal professional at Grand Canyon Law Group to learn more about what we can do for you after a DUI arrest.

DRIVING AFTER A DUI ARREST

Depending on the circumstances of a case, law enforcement might impound a person’s vehicle after a DUI arrest. This would mean that they do not have a car to drive.

Fortunately, an attorney can help an individual get their car back out of police impound in many situations. If a person is able to keep their car after an arrest, they may still face license suspension.

CHALLENGING A LICENSE SUSPENSION

Any license suspension, whether it is for 90 days or one year, will take place within 15 days of a DUI arrest. By hiring an attorney during this time, an individual can help ensure that the suspension does not go into effect. A lawyer can file a hearing request with the Motor Vehicle Division, which prevents a suspension from going into place. At a hearing, an attorney can cross-examine the officer who made the arrest to determine whether they fulfilled all of the legal requirements to be able to put a suspension in place.

If a person does not challenge the suspension of their license, they will never have that opportunity again. If the time between an arrest and a suspension lapses and an individual does not request a hearing, their license suspension will go into effect. It is crucial to consult with an experienced Mesa attorney as soon as possible in the ten days after a DUI arrest to ensure that the opportunity to challenge a license suspension is not missed.

PREPARING FOR A REVIEW HEARING

Another critical step to take in the days following a Mesa DUI arrest is preparing for a review hearing. An attorney can help a person prepare by gathering the police reports and other items of discovery. Facts that an attorney will focus on include:

  • How the stop and arrest occurred
  • The methods the officer used to determine probable cause for an arrest
  • Whether the person consented to a blood test

An attorney will consult with a client to make sure they have all the accurate information about how the DUI stop and arrest unfolded. If a lawyer does not prevail during a review hearing, a license suspension will go into effect.

OBTAINING A RESTRICTED LICENSE IN MESA

If a person’s license is suspended, Arizona Motor Vehicle Division allows for them to continue to drive on a restricted basis. For a 90-day suspension, the individual cannot drive for the first 30 days. After that time has lapsed, the person can drive on a restricted license provided they complete an alcohol abuse screening with an approved screening provider through the Motor Vehicle Division.

A restricted license allows a person to drive to school, work, and other similarly necessary places. A skilled attorney can help an individual obtain a restricted license in the days after their DUI arrest.

JAIL AFTER A MESA DUI ARREST

After a Mesa DUI arrest, the police will usually take you to the city jail facility where you will be processed. Sometimes, processing happens in a mobile DUI command center or a van. While people arrested for driving under the influence are often cited and released, there are certain situations where you may be booked and held to see a judge within 24 hours for a bond hearing.

CENTRAL BOOKING IN MESA

When someone is arrested for a misdemeanor DUI in Mesa or another municipality, they are not usually booked into jail. Officers usually cite and release these individuals rather than keeping them in custody at the county jail. For felony DUIs, however, individuals are usually taken to central booking.

One agency—the Department of Public Safety or the State Troopers—will commonly book people into the central booking area at the county’s sheriff’s office even on a misdemeanor DUI. Someone may also be booked into jail if they are not cooperating with law enforcement or refusing to provide a name or other necessary information to be cited and released.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SOMEONE IS BOOKED?

After someone is booked into the jail, they have to see a judge within 24 hours to determine their release conditions on their initial appearance. An individual will be held in custody until a judge can see them. Usually, for municipalities, if someone is arrested at night, they will see a judge first thing that next morning, even on weekends.

MEDICAL CARE

Anyone who is booked into jail will need to be medically cleared. Law enforcement does not want people who are in emergency situations or have life-threatening diseases or illnesses to be in the jail facility. People booked into jail for driving under the influence need to undergo a medical review to ensure they are in a position to be jailed. If someone needs to be moved to a hospital, they will be transported under the supervision of the police.

DUI TESTING

A person arrested for driving under the influence will undergo DUI testing. In Mesa, breath tests are not commonly used in DUI stops. Instead, blood draws are often performed by certified phlebotomists in the mobile van or at the jail. The county jail has an area designated specifically for DUI testing. An officer will inform an individual on state laws regarding consent for DUI testing and will then either draw the blood themselves or bring in a phlebotomist to perform the blood draw. The blood will then be sent to a crime lab for testing.

LICENSE ISSUES FOR MESA DUIS

It is common to have one’s license suspended or revoked following DUI charges. However, our attorneys have extensive experience handling these types of cases.

For example, driving without a license is an additional charge that could be added to an intoxicated driving allegation. However, drunk driving with a suspended license could have even more serious consequences.

DRUNK DRIVING WITHOUT A VALID LICENSE

If a person does not have their license when they are charged with DUI, they may face additional charges. Driving without a license is a traffic violation that will likely be heard at the same time as the DUI charge.

However, driving with a suspended or revoked license has much more severe implications. In this scenario, the driver faces class 4 felony DUI charges rather than a misdemeanor. As such, it is crucial for anyone facing aggravated DUI charges due to license issues to consult an experienced Mesa attorney right away.

MESA DUI CHARGES WITH AN OUT-OF-STATE LICENSE

If a person is convicted on DUI charges in Mesa and they have an out-of-state license, then any consequences that may come from the conviction may apply to their out-of-state license. This could include a period of suspension, requirement for ignition interlock, and completion of a traffic school course. These requirements still apply to someone convicted for intoxicated driving even if they are not licensed in the state of Arizona.

WHAT IF A PERSON IS LICENSED IN A STATE THAT USES DIFFERENT BAC STANDARDS?

If a person with an out-of-state license is convicted for impaired driving in Arizona, they still face the same consequences. They are still subject to the same BAC standards as Arizona residents while driving in the state. However, a DUI conviction may have a different impact on their license in their home state. This depends on the laws and procedures of their home state.

Those with questions about license issues for out-of-state DUIs should reach out to the lawyers at our Mesa office to discuss. We can provide advice on what may happen to their license in their home state. Our DUI attorneys can also handle the case and any licensing issues in Mesa while a person is at home. This includes representing them in court, which can be convenient for those facing DUI charges and license penalties outside of their home state.

If you are accused of driving under the influence and are wondering how this may affect your driver’s license, reach out to the knowledgeable attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group. We can explain the relevant laws, inform you of your rights, and represent you throughout your case.

COMMON TYPES OF MOTIONS THAT CAN BE FILED IN DUI CASES

There are different types of motions that may be filed in a DUI case. A skilled lawyer can help an individual understand what motions may be relevant in their case.

MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE

A motion to suppress asks the court to keep evidence from being presented at trial. This motion claims that the evidence in question was unlawfully obtained through a violation of a person’s constitutional rights.

An example of when a motion to suppress could be necessary is when police fail to obtain adequate consent or fail to get a warrant prior to taking a blood sample during a DUI arrest. An attorney could file a motion to suppress the blood sample. If the court determines that a violation occurred, then the court is obligated to suppress , or keep the evidence from being used at a trial. In a DUI case, if the State cannot present the blood evidence, the entire case will often fall apart since it is such a crucial piece of evidence.

MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY

When defense is asking for a particular piece of discovery, and the State either refuses to turn it over or claims they do not have it, defense could file a motion to compel. This motion is a request for a judge to force the State to turn something over. A motion to compel discovery can be used if the State is being uncooperative or unwilling to provide evidence that is necessary for the defense.

MOTION TO DISMISS

A motion to dismiss can be filed when the something illegal or unconstitutional has taken place throughout the proceedings. For example, if a person requests an attorney and police do not give them the opportunity to speak with one, this constitutes a violation of an individual’s constitutional rights and defense could file a motion to dismiss. If the court agrees that a constitutional violation or something illegal has occurred throughout the proceedings, they could be forced to throw the case out entirely.

WHAT HAPPENS ONCE A MOTION HEARING IS FILED IN MESA?

To allege a constitutional violation in a DUI case, a defense attorney will file a written motion asking the court to suppress evidence or dismiss charges based on a specific violation. The State will then file a response, and the defense will have the opportunity to file a reply.

Once all pleadings have been filed, the court will schedule a motion hearing or an evidentiary hearing to hear testimony from both sides. The court will then make a determination in regard to the motions filed. A knowledgeable attorney can walk a defendant through a motion hearing and ensure they understand all of their options in a DUI case.

PRETRIAL RELEASE AND BOND IN MESA DUI CASES

Police officers do not always take individuals to jail when they are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Mesa. For misdemeanor cases, the person is usually cited and released. In other scenarios, such as felony cases, law enforcement will take the person to jail and hold them on bond.

WHAT IS A BOND?

A bond is a quantity of money that a person has to pay or deposit with the court in order to be released from jail while a court case is pending. When a person is booked into jail and held, a judge looks at the facts of the case, including:

  • The person’s criminal history
  • The location where the offense happened
  • The seriousness of the offense

The court balances all these factors to determine what is an appropriate release condition for a person. Sometimes this can include a bond, meaning that the person is required to pay a certain sum of money in order to be released. A person can pay that amount to the court to have that money deposited, and then if they fulfill the requirements of the bond, they will be released with information about their next court date.

A MESA ATTORNEY CAN HELP AN INDIVIDUAL GET RELEASED FROM POLICE CUSTODY

When someone has a court case that is pending, they are often required to appear for court and follow certain guidelines or restrictions while their case is pending. Restricted activities could include leaving the county, possessing a firearm, returning to the scene of the alleged crime, and consuming drugs or alcohol. During an initial appearance hearing, which happens within 24 hours of a person’s arrest, a court will determine what that person’s release conditions are.

If the accused person has an attorney, that attorney will appear at the initial hearing and advocate for the person’s release. A lawyer can use an individual’s specific circumstances, such as their likelihood not to re-offend, to sway the judge towards releasing them rather than detaining them or imposing a bond. This is known as the pretrial release process.

NONCOMPLIANCE WITH A PRETRIAL RELEASE

If an individual violates their release conditions and the violation is proven, the court can take them into custody. The court may apply a bond or increase the bond that has been set, which can make it very difficult for that person to be released while the case is pending.

Additionally, if someone is on release for a felony offense and they commit a new felony offense, the court can hold that person indefinitely without bond, meaning they have no ability to get out of jail while the cases are pending. Noncompliance with pretrial release can have serious consequences, so it is essential to consult with a Mesa attorney who can make sure that you understand the conditions of your release.

If you or someone you love has been booked into jail for driving under the influence, it is crucial that you get in touch with a dedicated lawyer right away. An attorney can appear on your behalf in front of a judge and argue for your release. Our legal team at Grand Canyon Law Group is experienced in pretrial release and bond in Mesa DUI cases and will work hard to ensure that you have the best possible outcome. Contact us today to get started on your case.

SPEAK WITH A MESA DUI ATTORNEY TODAY

Most drivers (including those underage) find a DUI charge and other potential consequences of intoxicated driving scary and confusing. An ordinary traffic ticket for speeding or making an illegal turn, or a traffic accident that turns out to be a minor fender bender, while unpleasant, generally allow a driver to pick up the pieces, pay the costs, and get on with their life. A charge threatens longer-lasting consequences.

You may be able to pick up the pieces, however. Someone who understands your circumstances and knows how to protect your rights could steer you toward a favorable outcome. A consultation with a Mesa DUI lawyer could get you on your way. During your initial consultation with our team, we can answer your most pressing questions and help you understand the legal mechanisms that your case entails.

At Grand Canyon Law Group, you will work with an experienced DUI attorney. You will not be pushed off to an inexperienced or unknowledgeable lower-level associate. You will receive the absolute best in representation and the greatest opportunity to reduce or eliminate charges. And if your case is one that makes sense to take to trial, you will have one of the best trial attorneys in the State.

Schedule A Consultation With The Grand Canyon Attorney Who Can Help