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Articles Tagged with 1st Time DUI

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flag-231x300Every year law enforcement agencies across the State of Arizona participate in special DUI task forces and checkpoints over Memorial Day weekend with their stated goal being to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities by enforcing DUI and traffic laws. Last year, according to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, more than 550 drivers throughout the state were arrested on suspicion of DUI, including arrests for extreme DUI (blood alcohol content of 0.15% or greater). Other citations and arrests included aggressive driving violations, Underage DUI violations (under the age of 21), and DUI drug violations.

What Should I do if I am stopped at a DUI Checkpoint?

  1. Slow down and safely enter the DUI checkpoint area.
  2. Stay in your car and follow the officer’s instructions.
  3. Do cooperate with the officer and provide your driver’s license, insurance and registration. However, once you have provided your identification, remember, you do have the right to remain silent and should let the officer know that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent. You also have the right to contact your lawyer – do let the officer know that you wish to contact an attorney.
  4. If you are asked to step out of your car to perform field sobriety tests (such as the finger-to-nose test or the walk-and-turn test), you are not required to participate in these field sobriety tests. These tests are subjective and can be used to build evidence which can be used against you.
  5. While you do have the right to refuse the field sobriety tests, that does not mean you should refuse all other tests. Under Arizona’s implied consent laws, a person who operates a motor vehicle gives consent to test(s) of the person’s blood, breath, or urine to determine alcohol concentration or blood content for any allegations of driving or actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. Failure to consent to a chemical test will result in a 12-month license suspension. Even if you refuse to submit to the test, the officer will likely end up obtaining a search warrant which will require you to allow the blood draw anyways and will still result in a 12-month license suspension.
  6. You have the right to consult with an attorney and it is advisable to do so as soon as possible after you become a target of any criminal investigation.

What happens if I am charged with a DUI?

If you have been arrested for DUI, you will likely be transported to the police station or a DUI Task Force van to have your blood alcohol levels tested either through a blood draw and/or a breathalyzer test (and in some cases a urine test). Usually you will then be released, and someone can come and pick you up. In some cases, if the charges are more serious you may be held and booked into jail where you will see a Judge within 24 hours for an initial appearance and to determine release conditions.

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Please celebrate responsibly and enjoy a safe and happy New Year's Eve! If you plan on drinking tonight, make transportation plans ahead of time for the safety of yourself and other drivers on the roadways. There are plenty of options to ensure a safe arrival home at the end of the night, including taxi or limo service, Uber or a designated driver. In addition, AAA Tipsy Tow service is once again offering a free (10-mile) tow and ride home – call 1-800-AAA-HELP between 6PM Dec. 31st and 6AM Jan. 1st https://www.az.aaa.com/news/automotive/tipsytow. Also, check out Valley Metro as they are teaming up with Coors Light to provide free rides on bus, light rail and ADA Dial-a-Ride services beginning at 7PM on New Year's Eve. See more at: http://www.valleymetro.org/landing_page/freerides/.

If you do find yourself being charged with a DUI, it is critical to seek the advice of competent legal counsel as soon as possible. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country and if convicted, the penalties include significant fees, fines, mandatory incarceration, alcohol counseling, potential for increased insurance premiums, ignition interlock requirements, probation, possible vehicle impoundment, license suspension, and other unanticipated consequences.

The penalties are typically harsher the higher your blood alcohol content (BAC) and can also be harsher when certain 'aggravating' factors are involved, such as having a minor child (under the age of 15) in the car, having a suspended/revoked driver's license, or having multiple DUI convictions at the time of the DUI stop. At a minimum, the penalties for a First Time DUI with a BAC of .08-.15% can include up to 6 months in jail, a $2,500 fine (with 84% surcharge) plus additional fees, a 90-day to 1 year driver's license suspension, ignition interlock requirement, mandatory alcohol screening and counseling, probation and potential for increased insurance, among other consequences. Extreme DUI (BAC of .15-.20%) and Super Extreme DUI (BAC > .20%) result in even harsher penalties including increased jail time, higher fees/fines, vehicle impoundment, license suspension, and other penalties. If there are 'aggravating' circumstances involved at the time you are stopped, you will likely be charged with a Class 4 or Class 6 Felony DUI. Aggravating circumstances, as previously mentioned, can include having a minor child in the car, having multiple prior DUI convictions or driving without a valid driver's license (i.e. suspended/revoked). As you can imagine, the more serious the circumstances and the higher your BAC, the harsher the penalties will be. The prison term for an Aggravated DUI conviction can be anywhere from 4-months up to several years. The fees and fines are substantially higher for felony DUI's, as are other penalties, including longer license suspension, increased insurance premiums, probation, classes and other unanticipated consequences.

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According to a media release by the Tempe Police Department, the agency will be out in force over Memorial Day Weekend and have established the following DUI Task Force locations:

Fri. May 24 5:00 p.m. Loop 202 & Dobson Rd. Tempe
Sat. May 25 6:00 p.m. Tempe Fire Training Facility, 1340 E. University Dr. Tempe
Sun. May 26 3:00 p.m. 7300 E. Shoeman Galleria Scottsdale

See Media Release here

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According to a recent news release by the Mesa Police Department, they will be participating in the annual East Valley Memorial Day DUI Task Force. These operations will consist of both sobriety checkpoints as well as DUI saturation patrols throughout the East Valley. The task force will be employing a zero-tolerance approach to any driver found to be impaired either by alcohol and/or drugs, and also any underage driver or passenger with alcohol in their system. Law enforcement is reminding people to enjoy the holiday, drink responsibility and either designate a sober driver, call a cab, or ride the light rail.

If you have been arrested for a DUI or any other criminal violation, it is important to understand your rights. Before police begin questioning a suspect, he/she is required to read you a Miranda warning, reminding you of your rights. Listed below is an example of typical language used in a Miranda warning:

  • You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish.
  • If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney

Whether you are in custody, or out of custody, it is important to understand that you should not speak with anyone about your case except your attorney. This is especially true if you are in custody, as all of your communications can be monitored, especially communications on jail telephones. Communications with your attorney are protected and privileged, including communications over the jail telephones. Therefore, do not communicate with anybody about your case other than your attorney. This applies to individuals who are in custody and out of custody.

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Queen Creek is a small town situated in southeast Maricopa County, with the southern part of town overlapping into Pinal County. The town is a unique mix of housing sub-divisions, homes on acreage, farmers and ranchers, and despite its growth, Queen Creek still has that rural feel about it. The San Tan Mountains lie to the south of Queen Creek and offer plenty of recreational activities including hiking, biking, camping and the like. Queen Creek is also home to the only working olive farm and mill in the State of Arizona – Queen Creek Olive Mill, where visitors can tour the olive mill, stroll through the olive groves, enjoy casual dining, and purchase a variety of olive oils and other unique gifts. Schnepf Farms is another longtime local fixture in the town of Queen Creek, where visitors can dine at the bakery, enjoy a hayride, tour the farm, go veggie picking, visit the museum, and much more. Given its small town feel, abundance of recreational activities, and easy commute to Phoenix and other valley cities, Queen Creek has become one of the "best kept secrets" in Arizona.

The Town of Queen Creek contracts with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) to provide law enforcement services to the town as well as the unincorporated areas surrounding the town. If you are cited with a DUI in the Town of Queen Creek or surrounding unincorporated county islands, your case will likely be handled in the San Tan Justice Court, if you are being charged with a misdemeanor DUI. Felony DUI charges are generally filed in the Maricopa County Superior Court. The southern portion of Queen Creek, which overlaps into Pinal County, is patrolled by Pinal County Sheriff's Office (PCSO). If you were cited for DUI by PCSO, your case will likely be under the jurisdiction of one of the Pinal County Justice Courts, if it is a misdemeanor DUI, or Pinal County Superior Court if it is a felony Aggravated DUI charge.

The Firm has represented countless individuals who have been charged with DUI in Queen Creek, either by MCSO or PCSO, ranging from simple misdemeanor 1st Time DUI charges to very serious felony Aggravated DUI cases. Mr. Buckallew is committed to the defense of individuals charged with a DUI, or any other criminal charge, and focuses his scope of representation on matters involving DUI and criminal litigation, including (but not limited to) allegations of 1st Time DUI, Extreme DUI, Drug-Related DUI, Aggravated DUI, Underage DUI, Minor in Possession, Minor in Consumption and DUI's involving serious injury or death. He has a proven track record of successfully resolving countless DUI cases over the course of his career. Mr. Buckallew has recently been elected as a National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Attorney for 2012.

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If you have been arrested by the Chandler Police Department and cited into the Chandler Municipal Court, contact a Chandler DUI Lawyer for a free evaluation of your case. The Firm handles ANY criminal or DUI charge in the Chandler Municipal Court and throughout the State of Arizona, including 1st Time DUI, Extreme DUI, Super Extreme DUI, Under 21 DUI, DUI-Drugs, and any other alcohol or drug related violations. Mr. Buckallew has a reputation for zealously defending his clients and has extensive experience from many years of practice as a DUI and criminal defense lawyer. He fights tirelessly on behalf of each individual client in order to achieve the best outcome possible in each and every case, as evidenced by the results he has achieved on behalf of his clients over the years.

The Chandler Municipal Court is located at 200 East Chicago Street, in downtown Chandler, just east of Chandler City Hall. The Court handles civil traffic and criminal misdemeanor violations, including DUI/DWI charges, city ordinance and code violations, petty offenses, probation violations, protective orders and search warrants.

How do I choose a good DUI Lawyer?

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The Scottsdale Police Department was recently awarded a $150,000 grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. They plan to use these funds to ramp up DUI enforcement operations such as DUI checkpoints, cracking down on drunk driving during local events, and costs incurred from Scottsdale's participation in the East Valley DUI Task Force. They also intend to train more officers to become "drug recognition experts" to better enable officers to identify the upward trend of drug-impaired drivers. Additionally, more officers will become certified phlebotomists so they can draw blood on scene instead of transporting suspects to local hospitals. With more funding and resources dedicated to DUI enforcement, and focusing on areas such as the downtown district in Scottsdale with nearly 50 bars within a few square miles, officers hope to increase awareness around "knowing your limits" and using designated drivers.

In the event you are charged with a DUI in Scottsdale, or any surrounding areas, this Firm can help. Mr. Buckallew has extensive experience in litigating DUI cases and has handled all types of DUI's ranging from misdemeanor 1st Time DUI charges to complex felony Aggravated DUI cases. He has successfully resolved countless DUI cases over the course of his career, including acquittals after trial, pre-trial dismissals and negotiating plea agreements resulting in a reduction of charges. Mr. Buckallew belongs to many professional criminal and DUI organizations, such as the National College for DUI Defense, in order to stay abreast of changes in DUI laws and to keep apprised of best practices within the legal community.

The penalties and long term consequences of a DUI conviction can be extremely burdensome and can include the possibility of jail time, probation, significant court fees and fines, ignition interlock requirements (plus the cost to rent the device), loss of driving privileges, possibility of increased insurance rates, criminal record, and in some cases a felony criminal record. Having a criminal record can jeopardize certain career aspirations, including various licensed professions and a felony record results in a loss of certain civil rights, such as the right to vote, right to hold public office, and the right to possess a firearm. If you have been charged with any type of alcohol or drug related DUI charge, this Firm can help. Given the significant consequences of a DUI conviction, it is critical to seek the advice of an experienced Scottsdale DUI Attorney before making any decisions in your case. There are many possible defenses for DUI cases, including Procedural Defenses such as illegal stop, illegal detention, illegal arrest, and/or illegal search; Factual Defensessuch as not under the influence, not operating vehicle, mistaken identity, blood alcohol level not greater than .08 within 2 hours of driving, necessity, mechanical defects of vehicle; and Forensic Defenses such as testing methodology failure, incompetent lab technicians, contaminated blood draw, breath machine failures and limitations, contamination issues.

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If you have been charged with a DUI in the Tempe, AZ or surrounding areas, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced Tempe DUI attorney as soon as possible after being stopped by law enforcement. By doing so, your attorney can guide you through the arrest process and help ensure your rights are protected, including your right to secure an independent alcohol test. As part of its DUI investigation, a police officer may conduct various tests to determine impairment, including field sobriety testing (FST) as well as utilizing a portable breath machine on scene to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). It is important to understand that if you are arrested for DUI/DWI, you have the right to secure your own independent alcohol test and the police must make reasonable efforts to facilitate this request. While the state has no obligation to gather evidence for a suspect, it must allow a fair opportunity for the suspect to gather potentially exculpatory evidence and to affirmatively advise the suspect of their right to do so in cases where the police are not obtaining a blood sample by way of implied consent. Keep in mind, if you are going to get an independent sample (at a nearby hospital or doctor's office), you will need to get this done as soon as possible after your arrest, and at your own expense. As with most decisions that will need to be made during the course of your DUI court proceedings, there are benefits and challenges to requesting an independent blood test and it is ideal to consult with an attorney prior to making this and other decisions regarding your DUI case.

A DUI conviction can result in significant consequences, including steep fees and fines, possible incarceration, probation, ignition interlock requirements, alcohol treatment classes and other long lasting consequences, including a criminal record and the potential for increased insurance rates. Other challenges an individual may face as a result of a DUI arrest may include loss of driving privileges for a certain amount of time which can cause significant hardship to those who rely on transportation for commuting to and from work, school or fulfilling other obligations in life. DUI litigation is a complex area of law and there are many different aspects an attorney will want to address when challenging state's evidence, which can include the police report, results from any field sobriety testing (FST) that may have been performed during the DUI investigation, and also the results of any bodily fluids (such as blood or urine) that may have been taken to determine blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. Attorney Trent Buckallew has significant experience in litigating DUI matters in the City Tempe and throughout the State of Arizona, from first time DUI's to very serious and complex Aggravated DUI cases. He has a proven track record of success and a reputation for vigorously defending each and every client in court. To keep well informed of the complex area of DUI law, Mr. Buckallew also belongs to many professional DUI organizations such as the National College for DUI Defense, and has also recently been elected as a National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Attorney for 2012.

Contact the firm today for a free case evaluation if you or a loved one has been charge with DUI in the City of Tempe, or surrounding areas, including Phoenix, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Queen Creek.

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Law enforcement agencies across the Valley and throughout the State of Arizona partnered up for their annual DUI Task Force operations and conducted saturation patrols and checkpoints, enforcing DUI and other traffic laws over this past Labor Day weekend. As in years past, officers made thousands of traffic stops – more than 11,000 – and nabbed several hundred driver's for DUI, although, the final numbers represent fewer arrests than in previous years.

According to reports from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, officers made a total of 564 DUI arrests – 60 of those arrests were for Aggravated DUI with 37 of those due to prior arrest records, and the remaining Aggravated DUI arrests resulted from either driving on a suspended/restricted/revoked driver's license or driving with a minor child (under the age of 15) in the car. An Aggravated DUI is classified as a felony, and can be charged as either a Class 4 Felony (if for example, this was a 3rd DUI or a license issue) or a Class 6 Felony (if for example, there was a minor child in the car).

The remaining 504 DUI arrests were cited as Misdemeanor DUI charges, with 170 arrests for Extreme DUI, meaning that the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.15 or higher. Another 41 arrests were for Under 21 DUI (Underage DUI), and 154 Under 21 Liquor Violations – likely Minor in Consumption, Minor in Possession or Underage Drinking violations. There were also 92 DUI Drug arrests, which involve having any narcotics drugs, illegally obtained prescription medications, marijuana, or any other prohibited substances or their metabolites in your system.

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Penalties – 1st Time Misdemeanor DUI in AZ

A first time misdemeanor DUI includes violations involving, impaired to the slightest degree, above a .08 (BAC), any drug, any drug metabolite, or vapor releasing substance (ARS 28-1381). If you have been charged with a 1st time misdemeanor DUI charge, the penalties can be significant and the consequences long lasting. The maximum jail time for a misdemeanor DUI is 6 months. The minimum jail time is 10 days (9 may be suspended upon successful completion of alcohol classes or Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Program). Financial penalties for a first time DUI are steep and can include fines, court assessments and surcharges of approximately $1500.00, plus additional costs for alcohol screening and classes, jail costs, MADD Victim Impact Panel, and interlock ignition device (approximately $800-$1,000 for 12 months). In addition to financial penalties, a 1st time DUI conviction may result in a 90-day license suspension (1 year revocation if convicted of drug related DUI). Other penalties following a DUI conviction can include, possibility of probation (up to 5 years), alcohol / drug screening and classes, community work service, possibility of SR22 insurance (increased insurance rates), and interlock ignition device requirements (for alcohol related DUI). The penalties become more harsh if a person has prior DUI's, higher BAC levels, was involved in a car accident at time of DUI, had minor children in the car at time of DUI, or were driving on a suspended driver's license at time of DUI.

When facing DUI charges and the significant consequences if convicted, it is critical to consult with an experienced attorney regarding your legal options before you make any decisions in your case. Mr. Buckallew is an experienced litigator with extensive trial experience in both DUI and criminal cases. In addition to his law degree, he also holds a Master's in Forensic Science (M.F.S.) degree, giving him unique insight and expertise in challenging the scientific evidence in your case. The Firm will vigorously advocate on your behalf, and has a proven track record in successfully resolving serious and complex criminal and DUI cases. Early involvement by the Firm is critical to ensure that your rights are protected throughout every stage of the case. A full investigation of the evidence against you will be undertaken as the first priority. Through the course of his investigation, the attorney will identify any potential legal, procedural, or factual weaknesses in the case and determine the best course of action in resolving the case under the most favorable terms possible.

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