Implied Consent Law and DUI in Arizona

implied consent lawIntoxicated persons may be coherent enough to refuse chemical testing when pulled over in Arizona, which triggers and automatic arrest if one is obviously intoxicated.

While refusal may seem sensible at the time, one should be aware of the ramifications of not submitting to chemical testing.

Implied Consent Laws

When Arizona residents receive their driver’s license, certain expectations come attached to that piece of plastic.  For example, when pulled over for traffic violations, it’s mandatory to give officers your driver’s license, proof of insurance and registration card.  Should individuals refuse, serious ramifications will come about, such as loss of driving privileges, potential arrest or hefty fines.

When DWI suspicion causes a police officer to pull you over, and individuals fail to abide by mandatory testing to determine intoxication, they’ve broken the laws of implied consent , or assumed liability, which means either you’ll find yourself getting blood drawn or put into handcuffs and detained until either motorist cooperation, or further investigation, uncovers current BAC.  Even then, you’ll potentially face resisting law enforcement charges.

Intimidation and Coercion

Although intimidation is often used to achieve motorist cooperation, many great defense lawyers have fought, and successfully won, cases where implied consent is misconstrued, performed incorrectly or not Mirandized – the latter thwarting a prosecutor’s case nearly every time.  While nobody intends for simple testing situations to go awry, they often do.  Keep in mind that the Standard Statement, read before taking your test or being Mirandized, must be up to date, accurate and legally state the purpose, instructions and ramifications motorists face for refusal.  Several cases have been thrown out because attorneys were able to fight an inaccurate Standard Statement which was read during the time of questioning.  Therefore, it’s important for everyone – should you find yourself in the DWI situation – to pay attention to every small detail because it just may save jail time, a slew of charges and ridiculous fines.

Note that, thanks to several Arizona court rulings, one doesn’t have to understand the Standard Statement being read to them; it’s only mandatory that it’s read.  Therefore, not understanding or speaking English, if risen as defense tactic by attorney, may weaken the case.

When facing license suspension and jail time for noncompliance with DWI implied consent laws, defense attorneys can fight the punishments since potential double jeopardy, or being charged with the same crime again with duplicated punishments, violates Constitutional rights. This reason, by and large, should be enough reason for hiring your own attorney since public defenders, again, may not catch intricate details due to heavier caseload.

Pleading Out

Once you, the DWI attorney and DA have formulated some sort of game plan, everyone signs and another court date will ensue.  Generally speaking, provided everyone agrees to the stipulations within any deals that were made, judges will immediately sentence based off guidelines.  Under some circumstances, however, judges have denied the preset deals when too light of sentences or fines are included, verbiage was wrong, or you’ve committed too many DWI violations to merit leniency.  In certain situations, cases end up at trial because the DA lacked evidence, arresting officers lacked jurisdiction, or your DWI attorney feels that graven injustices were done along the way.

If your sentence was ridiculous, wasn’t agreed upon or you simply believe many errors occurred during the trial process, your attorney will file an appeal on your behalf, which pushes the case into Arizona’s higher court system for review and either affirmation or reversal of decision. As the accused, your rights under U.S. Constitution, and Arizona law are protected. Finally, though, your courtroom theatrics are finally through, and it’s time for facing the aftermath.

Click here for additional information on Arizona DUI implied consent law.