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Articles Tagged with Mesa DUI Attorney

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According to recent media reports, this year's DUI task force arrests exceeded last year's numbers both in the number of people arrested as well as in the average blood-alcohol levels (BAC) of those arrested, compared to previous years. There were 559 people arrested for DUIs over the Memorial Day weekend, up from 547 in 2012 and the average BAC level was .153 – almost twice the legal limit of .08. Of the 559 DUI arrests, 148 of those were charged with "Extreme DUI", meaning their BAC was believed to be at 0.15 or greater. The biggest difference between a regular (non-extreme) 1st Time DUI is the increased jail time (1 day for a Non-Extreme DUI or 30 days for an Extreme DUI) as well as the increased financial penalties for an Extreme DUI.

Other DUI arrests over the Memorial Day weekend included 103 drug-related DUI's, which exceeds the annual totals over the past five years. You can be charged with DUI-Drugs if any sign of a prohibited substance is detected by forensic testing in the crime lab. It is important to note that the crime lab may detect the substance even if the drugs were ingested over a week earlier. Because Arizona permits prosecution upon a finding of the metabolite of a prohibited substance, and because metabolites will remain in the system long after the active ingredient has dissipated, the time frame for acquiring necessary evidence for prosecution can be quite lengthy.

The number of Aggravated DUI arrests this Memorial Day weekend totaled 60 which was a slight decrease over the past few years. A person can be charged with Aggravated DUI under various circumstances, such as, your driver's license was suspended or revoked at the time of the DUI arrest, you had a minor child under the age of 15 in the car at the time of the DUI arrest, or this is your third DUI in a 7 year period. The minimum incarceration time if convicted of an Aggravated DUI is four months in the Arizona Department of Corrections (prison).

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If you are involved in a DUI collision which results in a fatality of another individual, there are a few different statutes that you may be charged under, depending on the severity and nature of the incident. Depending on how you are charged, you could be facing anywhere between 1 and 22 years in prison for a vehicular homicide related offense.

Under Arizona law, DUI fatalities can be charged as negligent homicide, which can result in a range of up to 8 years in prison. This type of fatality could also result in manslaughter charges, which are punishable by 7 to 21 years in prison. Finally, under extreme circumstances, a person could be charged with second degree murder, resulting in anywhere between 10-22 years in prison, if convicted.

Arizona and North Dakota are the only two states that do not have a specific vehicular homicide charge which can be applied to situations regarding DUI drivers and fatalities. If you are involved in a vehicular manslaughter-type incident, it is advisable to seek advice from an experience Mesa DUI lawyer as these are very serious allegations with exposure to significant prison time, if convicted.

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While many DUI charges are classified as misdemeanors in the State of Arizona, there are certain circumstances when DUI charges may be 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)
  • If you are required to equip your vehicle with an ignition interlock device at the time of the DUI (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 department of corrections (prison). Additionally, the court fees and fines are nearly $5,000, license is revoked for 1-year (with possibility for restricted driving), up to 10 years' probation (plus probation fees), alcohol 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 no prior 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 the department of corrections. 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 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 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 East Valley Cities, including Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley and Queen Creek, as well as Phoenix, West Valley Cities, throughout Maricopa County and Statewide.

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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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According to local news reports (azcentral.com), last week, Mesa police spotted a 22-year-old man driving 30 miles per hour over the speed limit. When officers attempted to pull him over, the driver allegedly ignored them and continued speeding. Eventually, he turned into a parking lot and began weaving in and out of parked cars. After allegedly losing control of his vehicle, the man skidded to a stop where police were able to apprehend him.

Police report multiple cans of unopened Bud Light beer in the car, and a DUI test showed the man's blood alcohol content (BAC) at 0.169%. Peace officers arrested the man after he allegedly admitted to drinking 22 beers before operating the vehicle. He was detained under suspicion of extreme DUI, excessive speeding, and unlawful flight.

This not the first DUI case reported in Mesa since the beginning of the month. In fact, a startling number of DUI arrests have been made, many of them related to methamphetamine or other drug use. On Sunday, a 39-year-old Mesa man was caught driving under the influence of Meth. Police also found 55 grams of the drug in the back seat of his car.

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A Mesa resident is facing DUI and drug possession allegations after police attempted to pull him over on Sunday. The 39-year-old motorist was driving 12 miles per hour over the speed limit when police spotted his car at about 10:45 p.m., according to police. After police spotted the car, the man began weaving in and out of traffic and driving in between lanes. Shortly thereafter, the man exited the highway and entered a residential area.

According to local news reports (azcentral.com), when police attempted to pull him over, the man allegedly jumped out of his car and left it running on the side of the road. Peace officers pushed him to the ground, where he allegedly resisted arrest. After police apprehended the suspect by tasing and handcuffing him, police discovered nearly 55 grams of methamphetamine in the backseat of his car. Police also found $1,970 in the car, as well as a series of text messages related to drug sales.

A K9 search unit found two bags of a white, powdered material in the back seat of the car – one bag holding 29.6 grams of meth and the other holding 26.9 grams of the drug. After police officers tested the powder and discovered that it was methamphetamine, the driver was arrested. He faces allegations of possessing dangerous drugs with the intent to sell, aggravated assault on a police officer, reckless driving, and DUI.

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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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According to recent reports by the AZ Republic, police made nearly 550 arrests of suspected drunken drivers over this past holiday weekend. The state's DUI Task Force had over 1,800 officers from many agencies working DUI checkpoints across the state, including the East Valley DUI Task Force and law enforcement officers from Mesa Police, Chandler Police, Gilbert Police, Phoenix Police, ASU Police, Department of Public Safety (DPS), and Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO). Of those arrested, 148 were charged with Extreme DUI (BAC of 0.15 or more) and 19 were charged with Underage Drinking. In addition to DUI enforcement, law enforcement agencies across the valley are also looking to raise awareness about seat belt use, and the "Buckle Up Arizona …. It's The Law" campaign includes police departments from Phoenix, Glendale, Goodyear, Peoria, Buckeye and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO). These efforts will run through June 3rd and authorities aim to increase awareness about seat belt use and not drinking and driving.

If you were charged with DUI, Extreme DUI, Super Extreme DUI, Aggravated DUI, Underage DUI, Minor in Consumption, Minor in Possession, or any other alcohol related violation, you may be able to defend these charges in court. The consequences can be significant and leave a permanent mark on your criminal record so it is critical to seek the advice of counsel to determine your legal options before you make any decisions regarding your case. Penalties associated with DUI related charges can include jail time, significant fees/fines, community work service, alcohol classes and treatment, license suspension, interlock ignition requirements and other long lasting consequences.

Mr. Buckallew is not only experienced in DUI and criminal defense, with extensive trial experience, he also holds a Master's in Forensic Science (M.F.S.) degree, giving him unique insight and expertise in challenging the scientific evidence inherent in DUI cases. 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. The attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the discovery in your case, including police reports, blood/breath/urine tests, field sobriety tests, witness statements, photographs, audio/video recordings, and any other evidence the state plans to present. Through the course of his investigation, the attorney will identify any potential legal, factual or procedural weaknesses or any constitutional violations in the case and determine the best course of action in resolving the case under the most favorable terms possible. Every case presents with a unique set of facts and you should consult with an experienced attorney to determine how best to proceed in your case.

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