Among the most common criminal cases in Tolleson courts are those that allege driving under the influence, or DUI. For many people, this is their first and only exposure to the criminal justice system. State law takes allegations of DUI seriously—a conviction comes with a mandatory jail sentence, heavy fines, and a loss of license.
A Tolleson DUI lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group is prepared to create a robust defense against these allegations. Our skilled attorneys can work with you to explain the state’s DUI laws and how they apply to your case. We are prepared to evaluate the facts that led to your traffic stop and examine the evidence to form a tailored defense strategy.
Arizona Revised Statute § 28-1381 describes the criminal act of driving under the influence and the available penalties for a conviction. According to this statute, a driver may face DUI charges under various circumstances.
The clearest example is driving a vehicle with a blood/alcohol level above .08 percent. A police officer who has reasonable suspicion of intoxication can require a driver to submit to a blood, breath, or alcohol test.
However, even if this test fails to hit the .08 percent threshold or a driver refuses to submit to a test, a case may still move forward under another theory. The statute states that it is illegal for any person to operate a vehicle while “under the influence” of intoxicating liquor. This relies on an arresting officer’s opinion of a driver’s physical and mental state.
The same DUI laws apply in cases alleging intoxication due to drugs or other substances. Regardless of the specific circumstances that led to an intoxicated driving arrest, a Tolleson attorney is ready to explain the laws and provide legal representation.
DUI cases are serious matters. Under the state’s DUI statute, a conviction is a class 1 misdemeanor. This means that a court may sentence a guilty party to serve up to six months in jail. However, the law also creates a mandatory minimum jail sentence of ten days, although successfully completing an alcohol education program may reduce this time.
DUI convictions also have serious financial ramifications. First offenses will result in a minimum fine of $1,250, require a driver to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle, and require a 90-day license suspension. It is important to note that these penalties are for a first offense without any aggravating circumstances—repeat offenses and aggravating factors may result in much harsher sentencing. A DUI lawyer at our firm can provide more information about the potential penalties and how to fight against them.
There are many potential defenses in DUI cases. It may be possible to show that a police officer did not have a legitimate reason to make a traffic stop. If this argument succeeds, a court must exclude that officer’s observations after the illegal stop.
A Tolleson DUI lawyer could also examine the methods that the police officer used to obtain a blood/alcohol content test. Many officers do not correctly calibrate breathalyzer machines, and a failure to do so may call that test result into question.
Finally, an attorney is ready to cross-examine a police officer at trial concerning their supposed observations of the driver. If an officer cannot remember exactly what happened during a stop, or if their observations do not match with typical signs of intoxication, this may raise reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors concerning the strength of the prosecution’s case. Our Tolleson drunk driving lawyers are skilled at presenting a variety of defenses and can help determine which strategy fits the specific facts of the case.
DUI charges are serious matters that can impact every part of your life. At a minimum, a conviction can force you to pay heavy fines, lose your license for at least 90 days, and spend time in jail. Clearly, it is vital to protect yourself against these severe penalties.
Give yourself the best chance of success by hiring a Tolleson DUI lawyer to handle your case. Reach out to the Grand Canyon Law Group now to discuss your situation and get the representation you deserve.