Each case is different based on the individual circumstances. Below are answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about Arizona DUI & Criminal cases.
Each Arizona DUI case is different, based on the individual circumstances. Below, for your reference, are answers to frequently asked questions about Arizona DUI cases. Please contact Slade A. Lawson at the Lawson Law Office to discuss the specifics of your Arizona DUI case.
In Arizona, it is against the law to have a blood alcohol level of .08 or more within two hours of driving.
Yes. The Arizona DUI statutes are written to criminalize driving while under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance. DUI Drug charges have become more common in Arizona courts over the past several years. Most DUI Drug convictions carry longer driver license suspension periods than alcohol based DUI convictions.
You should politely tell the officer that you will not agree to take any field sobriety tests. You should refuse to take the HGN test (sometimes called the "eye test" - this is a test where the officer waves a pen in front of your face, asking you to follow the pen with your eyes while he or she tries to determine how smoothly your eyes are tracking). You should provide the officer with your driver's license, but refuse to answer any questions. You should ask to contact your attorney before agreeing to take a breath or blood test.Please note: Recent Arizona case decisions have held that if a defendant refuses to submit to field sobriety tests, the prosecution may be able to comment on that refusal at trial.
In Arizona, every DUI conviction carries with it a mandatory jail sentence. For a first offense misdemeanor DUI, the minimum sentence is ten days in jail. There are also mandatory minimum fines, mandatory alcohol or substance counseling, and a mandatory license suspension.
A first offense "Extreme" DUI conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of thirty days in jail. A first offense "Super Extreme" DUI conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 45 days in jail. Often, a portion of the jail sentence can be suspended upon completion of alcohol screening and counseling and installation of an Ignition Interlock Device.
It may also be possible to be released from jail for a portion of your sentence to go to work. Finally, some jurisdictions allow a portion (but not all) of the jail sentence to be served on Home Detention.
To be convicted of an Extreme DUI, the government must prove that your blood alcohol level was at or above .150 within two hours of driving. An Extreme DUI conviction carries a mandatory jail term of 30 days. It also carries higher mandatory fines, and other severe penalties. An Extreme DUI is a class one misdemeanor.
An Aggravated DUI (also known as a Felony DUI) is a class 4 or a class 6 felony. You can be charged with an Aggravated DUI if, at the time you were stopped by the police, your license was already under suspension. You can also be charged with Aggravated DUI if you had two or more previous DUI convictions within the past 5 years, or, if you commit a DUI while a child under the age of 15 is in the vehicle. Aggravated DUI usually carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 4 months in prison.
Yes. The Arizona DUI statutes are written so that the government has two different ways to convict you. The government can convict you by proving that you had a blood alcohol level of .08 or more within two hours of driving. They can also convict you by proving that, regardless of any blood alcohol level, your ability to drive was impaired in the slightest degree by alcohol or drugs. In other words, it is possible to be convicted of DUI even if you did not take a breath or blood test, or, if the results of the test were below .08.
Yes. Arizona's DUI statutes criminalize driving while you are under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance. Even if you had a valid prescription for the drugs in your system, and even if you were taking the medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor, you could still be convicted of DUI if the government can prove that the medication was impairing your ability to drive.Your lawyer will need to properly present proof of a valid prescription. If proof of a valid prescription is presented, the prosecution may still elect to proceed under the theory that, notwithstanding the fact that you had a legal right to have the drugs in your system, the drugs in your system impaired your ability to drive. DUI Prescription Drug charges have become much more prevalent in Arizona courts over the past several years.
If you refuse to take a breath or blood test your license will be suspended for a full year. This suspension will be effective regardless of whether you later win your DUI case. It is also important to note that in most cases, the police will be able to forcibly obtain a sample of your blood by obtaining a telephonic search warrant.
Generally, it is not a good idea to refuse to take the breath or blood test. However, if you have prior DUI convictions, or if your license is already under suspension, you should contact your attorney before agreeing to take the test.
Please note: It may be possible to obtain a Special Ignition Interlock Restricted License to be able to drive for a portion of the one year suspension.
To be convicted of a Super Extreme DUI, the government must prove that your blood alcohol level was at or above .200 within two hours of driving. A Super Extreme DUI conviction carries a mandatory 45 days in jail. It also carries higher mandatory fines and other severe penalties. A Super Extreme DUI is a class one misdemeanor.
Call Slade Lawson at 480-413-1300, or send a message via the Contact form. Mr. Lawson will be happy to answer all of your questions. He understands that this is an urgent matter for you, and will get back to you quickly. There's no obligation. Mr. Lawson just wants you to have all the information you need to make informed decisions.
Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors. The range of punishment for Arizona felony offenses can range from probation to time in prison. Many felony convictions carry mandatory prison sentences. In Arizona, a conviction for first degree murder (the most serious felony) can result in a death sentence. A felony conviction can also result in the loss of certain civil rights. For instance, convicted felons lose their rights to vote, to hold public office, to possess firearms, and to serve as jurors.
Misdemeanors, although not as serious as felonies, can also carry serious penalties. The maximum possible punishment for a class 1 misdemeanor conviction in Arizona is six months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Some Arizona misdemeanor offenses (DUI, for example) carry mandatory jail sentences. Mr. Lawson handles all types of misdemeanor and felony matters.
Yes. If you have been charged with a crime in Arizona, you have a constitutional right to demand a trial. In Arizona, a person charged with any felony has the right to a trial by jury.
Some misdemeanors (e.g., DUI, theft, resisting arrest) carry with them the right to a jury trial. Other misdemeanors only carry with them the right to a bench trial. In a bench trial, the judge, not a jury, listens to the evidence and renders the verdict. In all trials, the prosecution has the burden of proof. The prosecution has the burden of proving a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
You are never required to present any evidence, but should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney about whether it would be beneficial to do so. Mr. Lawson has extensive trial experience. He has tried well over 100 cases in courtrooms throughout the state of Arizona.
Many lawyers advertise themselves as criminal defense lawyers. The yellow pages are flooded with their advertisements. When you've been arrested, or are facing criminal charges, don't trust your freedom to a lawyer just because he a the big ad or a catchy slogan.
The State Bar of Arizona is the organization which governs all attorneys in Arizona. The State Bar certifies lawyers in several areas of law, including criminal defense. A State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law is a proven specialist in the field. These attorneys, because of experience, training, and examination are awarded certificates by the Board of Specialization. Certified Specialists have demonstrated integrity, professionalism and a high degree of competence in their specialty field.
There are certainly some good lawyers in Arizona who, for whatever reason, have chosen not to become Certified Criminal Law Specialists. The problem for most people is that they have no way of telling which non-certified lawyers know their stuff, and which ones don't. The State Bar of Arizona has taken the guess work out of the equation.
The State Bar of Arizona publishes a list of Certified Specialists. To obtain a list of Certified Criminal Law Specialists, contact the State Bar at 602-340-7300, or, visit their web site at http://www.azbar.org/. Mr. Lawson has been a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law since 1998. He has a proven record as a dedicated and effective lawyer for defendants in criminal cases.
Call Slade Lawson at 480-413-1300, or send a message via the Contact form. Mr. Lawson will be happy to answer all of your questions. He knows this is an urgent matter for you, and he will get back to you quickly. There's no obligation. Mr. Lawson just wants you to have all the information you need to make informed decisions.
You should remain silent except to request to call your lawyer. You can provide your identification to the police, but tell them that you will only answer further questions with your lawyer present. Although the police may seem like they are on your side or somehow sympathetic to your case, they have most likely already made up their mind to arrest you. Do not give the police additional ammunition by attempting to talk your way out of trouble. In the event you are arrested, you should immediately ask to call a lawyer. Mr. Lawson is available 24 hours a day.
No. The police are only required to read you your Miranda rights if you are taken into custody and interrogated. In other words, the police don't have to read you your rights if they don't plan on asking you questions. There are, however, circumstances where a confession or a statement to the police can be ruled inadmissible. Mr. Lawson will examine your case personally to determine whether any of your rights were violated.
It depends on the specific crime for which you are convicted. Arizona has some of the toughest sentencing laws in the country. Many Arizona crimes (e.g., DUI, some weapons charges, some sex offenses, crimes committed after a previous felony conviction) carry mandatory prison sentences. If you are convicted of a crime that carries mandatory incarceration, the judge will have no choice but to sentence you to jail or prison. That is why any arrest or criminal allegation is a very serious matter. Trust your freedom only to a Certified Criminal Law Specialist.
Ask the lawyer whether they are a certified as a specialist in criminal law by the State Bar of Arizona. Ask the lawyer what percentage of their practice is devoted to criminal defense. Ask the lawyer how long they've been practicing law in Arizona, and what percentage of their legal career has been devoted to Arizona criminal defense. Ask the lawyer what type of cases they have successfully handled. Ask the attorney if they will personally handle your case. Ask the attorney how accessible they will be, and whether they'll take your calls on evenings and weekends. Ask the attorney whether they are available to meet on evenings or weekends.
Mr. Lawson is a State Bar of Arizona Certified Criminal Law Specialist. Nearly 100 percent of his practice is devoted to criminal defense. He has been a lawyer for over 25 years. All of that time has been devoted to the defense of criminal cases in Arizona.
Mr. Lawson has successfully handled cases ranging from misdemeanor DUI to murder. He has appeared in numerous courts throughout the state of Arizona. Mr. Lawson will personally handle every aspect of your case and is available 24 hours a day. He is available for consultations on evenings and weekends. Mr. Lawson prides himself on the personal and specialized service he gives to each of his clients.
For answers to all of your criminal defense questions, please call Slade A. Lawson at (480) 413-1300 for an office appointment.