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Articles Tagged with Phoenix DUI Defense Attorney

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When you have been arrested for a DUI, you need a reliable Mesa DUI lawyer on your side. From your arrest to your final hearing, you will want someone there to help you work through your charges and to defend you against the prosecution. Without a good lawyer there, you may be arrested and sentenced with penalties that accompany a DUI. These may include jail time, an ignition interlock device license suspension, fines, community service, or mandatory DUI school, just to name a few. Without an attorney that can help, you may end up in a grave situation.

With a DUI, there are actually two trials. You will need to attend a court hearing regarding your offense. If proven guilty, the judge has the right to sentence you to jail time, prison time, community service, probation, etc. You will then need to attend a MVD hearing regarding your crime. This hearing only concerns your ability to drive. You will need to give reasons why you have the right to keep your license, and then argue for this in the hearing. You can bring a lawyer with you to this appointment, if you have located an attorney that is willing to represent you. Mr. Buckallew is more than willing to help you with your cases and to attend all hearings regarding your crime and your license suspension.

With over 13 years of experience, Mr. Buckallew knows what he is doing. He is licensed to practice law all throughout the state of Arizona, which means that he can serve clients that are located just about anywhere within the state. He serves the residents of Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, and all of the East Valley on a regular basis when they are caught in a difficult DUI situation. Mr. Buckallew has a passion for knowledge, which is why he attended Arizona State University to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies. Immediately upon graduation, he sought higher education at the California Western School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor.

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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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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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