A moment’s miscalculation can lead anyone to cause an automobile crash. However, what begins as a typical car accident can end up being charged a crime in Arizona if the incident involved recklessness, alcohol or drugs, fleeing the scene, or a fatality.
If you were arrested after being involved in a traffic collision, contact the Grand Canyon Law Group immediately to speak with a Mesa vehicular crimes defense lawyer. Our committed legal advocates could be your best chance at defending against serious allegations and avoiding harsh consequences.
The most serious driving-related crime in Arizona is vehicular homicide, in which an illegal traffic offense leads to someone’s death (Arizona Criminal Code §13-1101). In this scenario, a driver can be charged with one of several degrees of the crime.
Often, the defendant’s state of mind is a factor in determining the severity of vehicular homicide charges. A persuasive Mesa defense attorney can help ensure that one’s intentions (or lack thereof) are accurately represented when refuting these serious allegations of vehicular crimes.
Under A.C.C.S. §13-1204, aggravated assault is when someone recklessly causes injury to another, including instances involving vehicular collisions. A conviction for this Class 3 felony is punishable by five to 15 years in prison, with no eligibility for probation if it is charged as a “dangerous offense”, which it almost certainly would be. The legal theory being that the defendant caused the injury using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, a car or vehicle. The charge is often exacerbated by the addition of a second, separate Class 6 felony charge of endangerment, which could include up to three additional years in prison.
According to the A.R.S. §28-661, motorists who leave the scene after being involved in an accident where someone is even slightly injured can be charged with a Class 5 felony punishable by up to 30 months in prison. If someone is seriously injured or killed, the charge is a Class 3 felony with a jail sentence that could exceed eight years. If the fleeing motorist caused the accident, they face Class 2 felony charges and over 12 years of incarceration. Even if no one is injured, leaving the scene of an accident would be charged as a misdemeanor and can lead to the loss of a driver’s license or privilege.
Arizona differentiates between misdemeanors and felonies for driving under the influence (DUI) charges. By A.R.S §28-1382, an extreme DUI can be charged if a motorist has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.15. BACs above. 0.15 but below 0.20 will result in at least thirty consecutive days in jail and over $3,000 in fines and fees. For BACs above 0.20, the accompanying penalties are a minimum of 45 days in jail and assorted fines and fees around $4,000. Additionally, those convicted of any DUI may be charged a $1,000 fee to have an interlock device installed in their vehicle for one year. However, much of this jail time can be “suspended” or done as home detention in some circumstances.
It is important to note that a misdemeanor or extreme DUI can escalate to an aggravated charge with more severe penalties under the following circumstances:
Anyone facing these charges in Mesa, whether misdemeanor or felony, should contact a local vehicular crimes lawyer immediately to build a credible rebuttal and help mitigate the risk of escalated penalties.
No one anticipates getting into a car accident, let alone being accused of a crime because of it. Unfortunately, small mistakes on the road can lead to huge consequences without the proper legal guidance following police charges.
If you were involved in a traffic collision where someone was hurt or killed, call a Mesa vehicular crimes defense lawyer immediately. Our attorneys have successfully defended hundreds of vehicular cases. We are former prosecutors who know how the State is attempting to prove your case and where to look for the holes and weaknesses. We have relationships that allow us to negotiate or push to trial and have the highest chances of success. The experienced legal team at Grand Canyon Law is here to consult with you on how we will vigorously defend your case.