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Articles Tagged with DUI Arrest

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First Time DUI Penalties in Mesa

If this is the first time you have ever been arrested for a DUI, you are probably wondering whether you will have to serve any time in jail, whether your driver's license will be suspended and what types of fines/fees and other costs you might be subject to if you are convicted.

The penalties for a 1st time DUI offense (within 84 months), a Class 1 Misdemeanor, will depend upon your blood alcohol content (BAC):

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Once again, Arizona has proven to be one of the harshest in the country when it comes to DUI punishment, including mandatory jail time, steep fines and other penalties such as loss of driving privileges, possibility of ignition interlock requirements, possibility of increased insurance rates, along with other potential consequences. A recent study by Wallet Hub ranked Arizona number 1 in penalties for drunk driving and number 2 in DUI prevention efforts (https://wallethub.com/edu/dui-penalties-by-state/13549/). Along with some of the harshest penalties in the country, Arizona has implemented significant prevention efforts across the state. Police agencies in Mesa, and all across Arizona, partner together during holiday and other high traffic weekends to set up DUI task force checkpoints as a preventative measure and also to raise awareness amongst drivers. According to a recent article on azcentral.com, (http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2016/08/12/arizona-toughest-nation-dui-study-says/88636358/), DUI's accounted for 33 percent of the 811 total fatalities in Arizona in 2015, according to data from the Arizona Department of Transportation. At any given time, due to DUI checkpoints and overall DUI enforcement in Maricopa County, the Maricopa County Prosecutor's Vehicular Crimes Unit has an average of 715 Aggravated (felony) DUI cases spread amongst its 13 Vehicular Crimes prosecutors at any given time throughout the year. These numbers do not include the thousands of misdemeanor DUI cases prosecuted in AZ every year. While a 1st Time DUI is usually charged as a misdemeanor, there are certain factors that can cause a DUI to get charged as a felony, including:

  • Driver's license is suspended/canceled/revoked at the time of the DUI
  • A minor child under the age of 15 was in the car at the time of driving
  • This is a 3rd DUI within 84 months
  • The DUI occurred while the driver was required to have an ignition interlock device in the vehicle

The penalties for felony DUI cases are considerably harsher than penalties for misdemeanor DUI cases. The maximum penalty for a first time Aggravated DUI can include: 3.75 years in prison, a 3-year license revocation and a maximum fine of $150,000.00 plus 84% surcharge. The minimum penalty in these cases often requires: a mandatory minimum of 4 months in prison, up to 10 years of probation, a 3 year license revocation, $750.00 fine plus surcharge, $250.00 DUI abatement fund, $1,500 prison construction fee, $1,500.00 state general fund, and an ignition interlock device. The prison term can be increased to 8 months minimum if the person has a total of 3 or more prior DUI convictions in an 84 month period. An individual charged with felony DUI involving a child under 15 in the car, while possessing a valid driver's license, can see the jail penalties reduced to levels within the misdemeanor offense category. Also, one can apply for and obtain a restricted license while on probation. The remaining felony terms would still apply. More serious felony DUI cases, such as DUI cases involving serious injury or homicide have considerably harsher penalties of up to 15 years in prison for multiple felony DUI charges and up to 21 years in prison in DUI homicide cases. Every case is different and the penalties in each case will depend upon a variety of factors so it is advisable to consult with an experienced DUI attorney regarding the specific penalties you may be facing in your DUI case.

Mr. Buckallew is a Board Certified DUI and Criminal Law Specialist,having been certified by the Arizona State Bar, Board of Legal Specialization. This means that he has significant experience in the practice of both DUI and Criminal Defense. Mr. Buckallew personally handles each and every case himself which means you are guaranteed the expertise of a highly experienced DUI attorney from start to finish on your case. Mr. Buckallew focuses his practice on criminal and DUI defense and belongs to many professional organizations, including theNational College for DUI Defense, The American Academy of Forensic Science, and Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice. He was also named a Top 100 Trial Attorney by the National Trial Lawyers – 2012 & 2013. He has handled all types of DUI cases, ranging from DUI Homicide cases, Aggravated DUI, Felony DUI with Multiple Priors, 1st Time DUI, Underage DUI, Extreme DUI, Super Extreme DUI, and many others. Please contact the Firm today to consult with a Mesa Board Certified DUI Attorney regarding your Aggravated DUI case and to discuss your legal options.

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Arizona Revised Statute 28-1321(A) defines Arizona's implied consent law. Just like in many other states, drivers in Arizona as obligated to provide a certain level of cooperation when they are arrested for suspected drunk driving. Statute 28-1321(A) outlines what this cooperation should be in regard to the blood alcohol content (BAC) tests.

If a law enforcement officer has arrested you for reasonable suspicion of drunk driving, then you are legally required to take a blood, urine, or breathalyzer test to determine your BAC. These tests have to be taken within two hours from when you were driving. Breathalyzer tests can usually be taken right on the side of the road, but blood and urine tests need to be administered by a medical professional at a nearby hospital.

If a driver refuses to take a BAC test, they will face penalties:

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With a vibrant night life, college town atmosphere and a variety of bars and restaurants – Tempe is a great town to enjoy an abundance of activities. With ASU at the heart of the city, and the party atmosphere along Mill Avenue, this also means law enforcement has a noticeable presence, particularly on weekends, holidays and during festival weekends and other high traffic times throughout the year. One of Tempe Police Department's annual campaigns is the "Safe and Sober Campaign" which typically begins at the start of the fall semester at ASU and runs for about 8 weeks. The primary focus is the enforcement of liquor laws such as Underage DUI and Felony DUI, but also includes educating folks about bicycle and pedestrian safety and enforcing party ordinances. If you are charged with an alcohol violation in Tempe, it is critical to consult with an experienced DUI attorney as Arizona is one of the toughest states as far as penalties are concerned.

While many DUI charges are classified as misdemeanors in the State of Arizona, there are some circumstances which can result in DUI charges being classified as a felony, or 'Aggravated DUI'. If you are charged with a felony DUI in Tempe, your case will be filed in Maricopa County Superior Court. Misdemeanor DUI cases in Tempe are generally filed in the Tempe Municipal Court (if Tempe Police Department was the arresting agency) or the University Lakes Justice Court (if ASU Police Department was the arresting agency). The primary factors in felony Aggravated DUI charges include:

Class 4 Felony:

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If an adult of legal drinking age permits children under the age of 21 to drink alcohol, this adult could be prosecuted under the 'social host laws', as outlined in the Arizona criminal code. This is a mandate which declares under A.R.S. § 4-241 (Q) that:

"A person who is of legal drinking age and who is an occupant of unlicensed premises is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor if both of the following apply: 1. Such person knowingly allows a gathering on such unlicensed premises of two or more persons who are under the legal drinking age and who are neither:

(a) Members of the immediate family of such person.

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Chandler DUI Drug Arrests

According to a recent article on AZCentral.com (by Jim Walsh), authorities claim more DUI arrests these days are attributed to drugs, not alcohol. As a result of this increase in drug related DUI cases, law enforcement agencies in Chandler and across the State of Arizona have increased the number of officers trained to recognize the symptoms of drug impairment over the last few decades, from just a few officers to the nearly 500 current DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) trained officers. According to statistics from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), a 13% decrease in total DUI arrests was reported from 2011 to 2012, however; the number of DUI drug arrests increased by 12% during this time. This trend in drug-related DUI arrests was highlighted over the recent holidays between Thanksgiving and the New Year, with Mesa officers participating in the East Valley DUI Task Force, making 540 DUI arrests, of which 344 (63%) were for drug-related DUIs. According to southeast valley law enforcement agencies – including Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office – officers are seeing a growing trend of drug-related DUI’s. These include cases involving prescription-drugs, like painkillers or muscle relaxers, sometimes mixed with alcohol, as well as synthetic drugs, such as spice and bath salts. Officers say they are trained to look for various symptoms of drug use, including bloodshot or watery eyes, odors of drugs (such as marijuana), slow or slurred speech, and they also consider other factors, such as driving behavior prior to the stop.

What is unclear in these statistics is whether the number of drug related DUI arrests is on the rise as a result of more drivers impaired by drugs or a reflection of the significant increase in the number of officers now trained to identify drug impairment. Regardless of what this increase is attributed to, criminal defense attorneys are likewise seeing more cases involving drug related DUIs, and need to be well versed in the unique differences between alcohol and drug related DUI cases when investigating and litigating these types of cases. While there can be any number of possible defenses in a DUI Drug impairment case, one of the more common defenses might include – the individual was NOT under the influence of drugs, among many other possible defenses. The penalties for a drug based DUI track the penalties of alcohol based DUI’s with one notable exception. If you are convicted for a drug based DUI, the minimum driver’s license revocation period is 1 full year for a misdemeanor offense and 3 years for a felony offense. A drug based DUI presents its own unique challenges and you should seek out a criminal defense attorney knowledgeable in this complex area of DUI litigation.

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"Get a DD…Not a DUI" is the message being touted by the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) as well as other AZ Law Enforcement agencies, to encourage people to use sober designated driver's when consuming alcohol. The holidays are a time for celebration and the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve is considered one of "the most intense weeks" of the year, according to law enforcement. Agencies increase their patrols considerably during the holidays and over 70 agencies participate, forming 12 organized DUI Task Forces across the state in an effort to reduce the number of DUI arrests. Arizona law enforcement agencies prefer employing saturated patrols in targeted areas rather then setting up the typical DUI checkpoints. According to Alberto Gutier, Director of GOHS, "The message that we're trying to get out there is that we're everywhere." According to AZ law enforcement DUI arrest data, DUI arrests are up between 2011 and 2012, with Extreme DUI arrests rising from 788 in 2011 to 888 in 2012. Individuals are charged with Extreme DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is measured at greater than .150 percent. Law enforcement officers are trying to get the message out there to either have a designated driver, call a cab, or ask a friend or family member to pick you up if you have consumed alcohol.

Check out our website for more information regarding DUI charges, Extreme DUI charges, Super Extreme DUI charges, Aggravated DUI charges, Underage DUI charges, and associated penalties if convicted of a DUI charge.

If you have been charged with a DUI, contact the Firm for a free consultation regarding your case. We handle all types of DUI and criminal charges throughout the Valley and Statewide. The Firm has a reputation for zealously representing each and every client and a proven track record of success.

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If you were arrested for allegations of driving under the influence (DUI) by the Gilbert Police Department, you were likely cited into the Gilbert Municipal Court, if you were charged with misdemeanor DUI violation(s). There are certain circumstances when a DUI can be charged as a felony, and if that is the case, you will most likely be appearing in the Maricopa County Superior Court. DUI charges are typically considered misdemeanor charges unless there are certain 'aggravating' factors being considered in your case, such as, driving on a suspended/restricted/revoked driver's license at the time of the DUI; driving with a minor child (under the age of 15) at the time of the DUI stop; or if this is your 3rd DUI within a period of 84 months. If you have been charged with any type of DUI violation by the Gilbert Police Department, contact a Gilbert DUI Lawyer for a free evaluation of your case. The Firm handles ANY criminal or DUI charge in the Gilbert Municipal Court, the Maricopa County Superior Court, or any other criminal court in the State of Arizona. Mr. Buckallew has a reputation for zealously defending his clients and has extensive experience from many years of practice as a 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 Gilbert Municipal Court is located at 55 East Civic Center Drive, just south of downtown Gilbert. The Court handles civil/criminal traffic (such as criminal speed, reckless driving and driving on a suspended license) and criminal misdemeanor violations (such DUI/DWI charges, disorderly conduct, assault, domestic violence and drug crimes), city ordinance and code violations, petty offenses, probation violations, protective orders and search warrants. The Firm frequently handles cases in the Gilbert Municipal Court and has had good success in resolving numerous cases in this Court.

Mr. Buckallew has extensive experience in resolving DUI cases, ranging from simple 1st Time Misdemeanor DUI cases to very serious and complex Felony Aggravated DUI cases. He dedicates his practice to the defense of Criminal and DUI cases and is committed to zealously representing each and every client to ensure cases are resolved under the best terms possible. Mr. Buckallew has had a wide range of victories in DUI cases, including trial acquittals, dismissals (on defense motions), reduction in charges, and other favorable outcomes. Mr. Buckallew was recently elected as a National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Attorney for 2012. He belongs to many professional DUI and Criminal Defense organizations, such at the National College for DUI Defense, in order to keep informed of changing laws and best practices in the industry. We encourage you to arrange a time to meet with the attorney to discuss your legal options and determine the best course of action in resolving your DUI case.

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While many DUI charges are classified as misdemeanors in the State of Arizona, there are some circumstances which can result in DUI charges being classified as a felony, or 'Aggravated DUI'. If your case was filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, or any other County Superior Court, then it is likely being charged as a felony. Misdemeanor DUI cases are generally filed in City/Municipal Courts or Justice Courts. The primary factors in felony Aggravated DUI charges include:

  • Driving on a restricted, suspended, or revoked license at the time of the DUI (Class 4 Felony)
  • Driving with a minor child (under the age of 15) in the car at the time of the DUI (Class 6 Felony)
  • Two prior DUI/DWI/OUI convictions (in any state) within the past 84 months (Class 4 Felony)
  • Driving under the influence while under court order to equip your vehicle with an ignition interlock device (Class 4 Felony)

While misdemeanor DUI charges are not taken lightly in Arizona, Aggravated DUI cases are considerably more serious and as such, result in much harsher penalties. The jail or prison terms follow the statutory requirements for Misdemeanor DUI charges – regular DUI, Extreme DUI and Super Extreme DUI, and with no prior felony convictions, the range for an Aggravated DUI (Class 6 Felony) with a minor child in the car is a minimum of 1 day in jail up to a maximum of 2 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC). Additionally, the court fees and fines are nearly $5,000, 1-year license revocation (with possibility for restricted driving), up to 10 years' probation (plus probation fees), alcohol/drug screening and classes (plus cost of screening/classes), community work service, possible SR22 insurance, 1-2 year ignition interlock – depending on BAC level (plus cost to rent device), Victim Impact Panel (MADD), and a felony record (which is forever allegeable). The jail or prison term for an Aggravated DUI (Class 4 Felony) with noprior felony convictions is a minimum of 4 months (which can be reduced to 24 days if eligible for Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Program) and up to a maximum of 3.75 years in DOC. Additional penalties include court fees and fines of nearly $5,000, a 1-year license revocation, probation up to 10-years (plus probation fees), alcohol/drug screening and classes (plus cost of screening/classes), community work service, possible SR22 insurance, 2-years ignition interlock device (plus cost to rent device), Victim Impact Panel (MADD), and a felony record (which is forever allegeable).

Given the serious, costly, and long-term impact of a felony Aggravated DUI conviction, it is critical to seek the advice of experienced DUI defense counsel before making any decisions in your case. Mr. Buckallew has extensive experience litigating DUI cases, including very serious and complex felony DUI charges, and has a proven track record of successfully resolving countless DUI cases over the course of his career. The Firm handles cases in Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, surrounding East Valley Cities, Phoenix, West Valley Cities, throughout Maricopa County and Statewide.

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If you have been charged with a DUI in the City of Scottsdale, or surrounding areas, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced Scottsdale 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 of Scottsdale 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 Scottsdale, or surrounding areas.

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