Getting a DUI in Arizona can be a very overwhelming experience. You could be facing significant fines, potential jail time, the loss or suspension of license and having a breathalyzer installed in your vehicle. If you have received a DUI, this does not mean your fight is over. Below are some ways your attorney can help you reduce or get your potential DUI charge dismissed.
- The Officer Had No Probable Cause For The DUI Stop: Police DUI stops must be supported by reasonable suspicion or probable cause. This is because traffic stops are temporary detention by Police and considered a "seizure" under the 4th Amendment. For DUI stops, the most common reasons Police provide are drivers exhibiting NHTSA driving impairment patterns, speeding or running stop lights, or other traffic violations. If the officer does not have a reasonable suspicion or probable cause for the stop, a defense lawyer can file a motion to suppress, which can have a big effect on the case. An experienced DUI lawyer will know if there are possible issues with the stop in your case.
- There Was An Illegal Search & Seizure: An officer must have probable cause or reasonable suspicion to search your vehicle, such as a visible open container or drug paraphernalia. You have the right to calmly refuse the search if you believe the officer does not have probable cause to search the vehicle. If the search proceeds, any evidence obtained may be inadmissible in trial, and could result in a case dismissal. An experienced DUI lawyer will know if there was an illegal search performed in your case.
- Rising Blood Alcohol Concentration: This type of defense can be suitable when your BAC level was within legal limits while driving, but then got above the .08 Arizona blood alcohol limit by the time Police performed a blood alcohol concentration test. Rising blood alcohol concentration levels occur because alcohol can take 45 minutes to 3 hours after drinking to become fully absorbed. The peak BAC time after drinking varies widely based on a large number of factors. Pursuing a rising blood alcohol defense requires utilizing a toxicology expert to examine the results of the BAC tests and evidence to do what is called a retrograde extrapolation analysis that shows the driver had rising BAC and was below the legal alcohol limit at the time of driving.
- Using The Videos In The Police Car & Station: These videos may show that the suspect is not staggering or experiencing issues with balance, and may also record clear, non-slurred speech. An experienced DUI lawyer will know how to obtain this often-crucial evidence. Obtaining the evidence is often more difficult than it sounds as sometimes the police do not want to hand it over.
- Inaccurate DUI Blood Test: Blood testing for alcohol must follow strict procedures, often called protocols to ensure accuracy and there are several ways blood tests can provide inaccurate results. One example is that it can be one day or even several days before the blood results are tested. Blood is an organic substance that decomposes due to enzymes and bacterial action. Decomposition can create alcohol in the blood. An experienced DUI lawyer can ask that your blood sample be retested. In Arizona, when your blood is drawn, two vials are taken, one to be tested by the police lab, and a second to be preserved. The second vial is the one that can be retested by the defense.
The most common factors to taint DUI blood testing results are:
- Improper storage of blood sample
- Problems with the testing solution
- Fermentation of the blood sample
- Testing protocols not being followed
- Contamination of blood samples
- An Inaccurate Field Sobriety Test: The so-called tests are not actual tests but more like an exercise. The police want you to think of them as super scientific. Despite what the police want you to think, Arizona Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (FST) are not accurate indicators of a driver's impairment. Part of the problem is that these tests were designed to be performed under ideal conditions. When the tests are actually given the conditions are actually far from ideal. Anyone who has ever tried to perform one of these tests sober knows how difficult they are to perform.
There are many reasons a person could do poorly on these tests:
- Shoes or clothing that interfere with testing
- Poor coordination or non-athleticism
- Vertigo or poor balance
- Leg or foot injuries
- Poor police training on how to give the test
- Nervousness from not having done the test before
- Bad lighting or uneven surface conditions
- DUI With No Proof Of Driving: In Arizona a person can be charged with a DUI even though they are not driving. Generally, when you think of a DUI arrest there is driving, but this is not always the case. In many cases a person may not be driving and just sitting or sleeping in their car. In cases like that The Arizona Supreme Court has said the trial court is to look at a number of factors to make a determination:
- Whether the vehicle was running or whether the ignition was on
- Where the driver was found, and in what position
- Where the keys were located
- The weather conditions and time of day
- Whether the driver voluntarily pulled over
- Whether the driver was awake or asleep
- Whether the windows were up or down
- If the heater or air conditioner was on
- Where the vehicle was stopped
- Whether the headlights were on
DUI Attorney In Phoenix, Arizona
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime then this is a very stressful time in your life. The most important step you can take right now is consulting with an experienced attorney that has extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system and how to handle misdemeanors. If you choose to work with our firm, you will always have direct access to your attorney and will be working with one of the most knowledgeable criminal attorneys in Arizona.
Our firm serves the areas of Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler and other areas around Arizona. If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI in Arizona, please contact us today to schedule your free consultation.