All states have unique laws when it comes to driving under the influence. There are certainly similarities in laws from state to state, however, the criminal and civil consequences of a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction are harsher in the state of Arizona than in some other states. As such, it is crucial that all Arizona drivers know what to expect if they are pulled over and subsequently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
While jail time is not likely to occur for some first-time offenders, the other consequences of fines, a blemished criminal record, and the suspension or revocation of your Arizona driver’s license can be long-lasting and stressful to deal with. If you are aware of how the DUI process works in Arizona, you will be better prepared of what to expect if you are pulled over.
Step # 1 – The Traffic Stop and Subsequent Arrest
If a police officer pulls you over for a traffic violation, such as speeding, running a red light, or failing to stop at a stop sign, and the police officer has reason to believe that you may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, that officer may decide to arrest you. One of the biggest issues with traffic stops is whether or not they are actually valid, and this is something that can significantly impact the outcome of a DUI case, and a reason why a DUI attorney is essential.
Step # 2 – Blood-Alcohol Content (BAC) Test
In Arizona, you impliedly consent to undergoing a blood, breath, or urine test to measure your BAC. This is also a crucial step in the DUI process because the timing and type of BAC test can have an enormous impact on your DUI case. For example, if you are not tested within two hours since the last time you were driving, the integrity of any positive result will certainly be challenged by your attorney.
Step # 3 – Preliminary Hearing/Arraignment
Your first appearance in court will likely be within 24 hours after your arrest if you are still in custody. At the time of the hearing, the issue of bail will be discussed. Further, the DUI incident itself is scrutinized to determine if probable cause does indeed exist to support a DUI charge.
Step # 4 – Pretrial Conference and Negotiation Period
Most individuals facing DUI charges do not decide to go to trial, but instead feel a negotiated outcome is in their best interest. This is the time period where your attorney can directly negotiate with the charging prosecutor to resolve the matter in the most reasonable way possible. If an individual does decide he or she wishes to go to trial, the pretrial conference will discuss when trial will be set, and confirm what the pending charges are. A trial will be before a jury, and the outcome may result in either acquittal, or a finding of guilt. Depending on the outcome, an individual may be sentenced, and/or he or she may appeal the decision.
The DUI process can be complicated and stressful, and this is precisely why having an attorney represent your rights and interests is crucial to your case.
Contact the Phoenix DUI Defense Attorneys of AZ Criminal Defense Group Today
Facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge in Arizona poses many potential unknowns that leave individuals feeling a little lost. It is no surprise that a DUI charge can have multiple negative consequences. However, it is also no secret that having a skilled attorney by your side can substantially help your chances of reaching an outcome that is fair for your unique situation. At AZ Criminal Defense Group, we understand that the DUI process can be confusing and challenging for anyone. As such, we take all steps possible to ensure our clients feel comfortable with the legal representation they are receiving. Our Phoenix DUI Defense Attorneys handle DUI charges on a regular basis, and have come to learn what can be expected from most DUI cases. AZ Criminal Defense Group has a reputation for providing clients with superior legal representation. To speak with one of our Phoenix DUI Defense Attorneys, contact us today by calling (602) 783-8819. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and alleviate your concerns.