March 2010 Archives

March 31, 2010

AZ Marijuana DUI charges are considered very serious offenses. . If you are charged you should retain legal representation from an experienced Arizona DUI Lawyer, or Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney.

There are two types of Arizona marijuana DUI offenses. First, a person can be charged with an AZ DUI if operating a motor vehicle while "impaired to the slightest degree" including impairment due to marijuana. Secondly, a person violates AZ DUI laws when operating a vehicle with any trace of marijuana in his or her system as detected by "THC" this includes medical marijuana metabolites in bodily fluids.

"THC" is the abbreviation for Tetrahydrocannabinol which is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. In the case of an AZ Marijuana DUI, the police are looking for how much THC is found in a suspects urine. "THC" is Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana. THC is fairly quickly converted by the body into inert metabolites, which can stay in the body for hours or even days.

Arizona has a "zero tolerance" law enacted. This means that you are forbidden from driving if you have any detectable level of marijuana in your body, as indicated by the presence of THC metabolites. It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that the presence of THC metabolites caused any impairment; just that it was present in your body.

You can be charged with an Arizona Marijuana DUI based just having the metabolite of a drug in your system, including pot. That means that if you smoked marijuana 12 days ago and stopped today, in Arizona, you can be charged with Marijuana DUI. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI Marijuana Laws in the country. For this reason,
You will need an experienced Arizona DUI Marijuana Attorney to defend your case.

Continue reading "Marijuana DUI - DUI Marijuana Arizona" »

March 30, 2010

If you get an Arizona DUI conviction of any kind, according to AZ DUI Law, you must provide verification of what is known as "SR22 insurance". This provides proof of financial responsibility. The SR22 is mandatory after your Arizona DUI conviction and following the court ordered Arizona license suspensions.

You must carry SR22 insurance for three years a minimum period of three years. If you cancel after getting the policy, the insurance company is required to notify the MVD upon cancellation of your SR22 insurance. This insurance is basically a high risk insurance policy where you are required to show proof of financial responsibility to the MVD in the form of an SR22 filing. An SR22 filing will be provided to the MVD by your SR22 insurance provider.

If a lapse occurs, the Arizona MVD will immediately suspend or revoke your driver's license again, and you will have to go through the process of having your insurance provider file another SR22 form with the MVD before they will reinstate your license.

An AZ drunk driving conviction will not automatically require the SR22 insurance. You should be exempt from SR22 insurance entirely, if:

1. Arizona MVD upholds the Administrative Per Se suspension of your driver's license prior to being convicted of the DUI; or

2. Arizona MVD voids the Administrative Per Se suspension and the DUI charges are dismissed or reduced to a non-DUI offense.

If the AZ MVD voids the Administrative Per Se suspension and subsequently suspends your drivers' license based upon an AZ DUI conviction, you must then carry the SR22 insurance as a condition of reinstating and maintaining a valid driver's license.

The cost of SR22 insurance can vary greatly from one insurance company to the next. So it is important that you get a variety of multiple quotes from different insurers so that you obtain the can obtain the lowest rates possible. Regarding obtaining these quotes, your Arizona DUI Defense Attorney will caution you to provide only general information to the Insurance Company needed for the quote, to protect your privacy. Once you select an Insurer, an experienced AZ DUI Lawyer will also suggest that you provide only information they specifically needed to issue the SR22.

Continue reading "Arizona DUI Conviction - SR22 Insurance " »

March 29, 2010

DUI Checkpoint stops are unique compared to an Arizona DUI stops made by individual police officers who observed you behind the wheel of a vehicle in absence of a DUI Roadblock. With regard to an AZ DUI checkpoint stop, your Arizona DUI Defense Attorney will argue that the Arizona Prosecution bears the burden to prove
the checkpoint itself and checkpoint protocol used complied with the federal and local laws and guidelines.

Thus the burden of proof weighs heavily on the police officer and law enforcement agency to prove compliance from beginning to end for checkpoint stops based on National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines and Local Procedures adapted by the State, City or other local area you were stopped.

In contrast, for an individual to be stopped by a police officer while they are driving or have the potential to drive being behind the wheel of an auto, there must be suspicion of DUI, for the stop to be valid. In absence of a DUI Checkpoint situation, prosecution need only to prove that the stop itself was valid, due to suspicion that the driver may be impaired due to alcohol or drugs.

In an AZ DUI Checkpoint stop, the Federal Guidelines require vehicles to be stopped based upon the selection of a mathematical formula of sorts such as stopping every second, or third vehicle. This is done to deter police misconduct such as racial profiling.

Checkpoints must minimize the average time each motorist is detained. This means the
officer can't just ask you to step out of your car without reason to suspect you are impaired by alcohol or drugs. In other words, there must be noticeable signs of impairment . If such signs do not exist, you must be allowed to drive on.

If the officer decides that you display signs of impairment, you will be redirected from the vehicles in line at the DUI roadblock to a separate area where they will continue further investigation of DUI. From this point, it is not much different than a regular Arizona DUI stop by a police officer.

If you were stopped at an Arizona DUI Checkpoint, and charged with DUI in Arizona, you should retain the services of an experienced Arizona DUI defense Attorney. After gathering and examining of all the evidence, they will determine if your constitutional rights were violated; make sure you were not unlawfully searched; and determine if the checkpoint complied with the Federal, state, and local laws and procedures relating to DUI Checkpoints. If violations exist, your Arizona DUI Lawyer may be able to suppress evidence, or even in some cases get a dismissal.

Continue reading "Arizona DUI charges: Defenses for AZ DUI Sobriety Checkpoint Stops" »

March 28, 2010

Thousands of Arizona DUI Arrests occur each year at Arizona DUI Sobriety Checkpoints,
(also known as AZ DUI Road blocks, and Roadside safety checks). Top Arizona DUI Defense Attorneys will tell you that the primary purpose for them is for law enforcement to catch drivers driving impaired under the influence of alcohol or drugs Arizona is one of 38 states who conduct these Sobriety Checkpoints as allowed by the Arizona Authority, Law, and Constitution. Each state is responsible for creating its own set of procedures.

However, 12 guidelines are offered by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA):

1) The public should be aggressively informed of sobriety checkpoints with ample warning so they can avoid them completely.

2) Police presence should be obvious when approaching a checkpoint.

3) Drivers should be sufficiently warned of an upcoming checkpoint.

4) The logistics of chemical testing must allow expeditious transport of suspects to a chemical testing site.

5) They must be part of an ongoing program to deter drunk driving.

6) They should have support of the judicial system, for example a District, County or State Prosecutors' Offices.

7) The selection of the checkpoints must be done in the interest of public safety and chosen for a specific objective (an unusual number of drunk driving accidents that area).

8) Any change in the original planning of a checkpoint must be well documented.

9) Detection and investigation techniques must be well-planned and standardized. These must be performed by qualified law enforcement. Investigation must take place without impeding the flow of traffic.

10) There must be established procedures for how to properly operate a checkpoint.

11) Feedback should be requested from citizens who are stopped to help determine if the program is effective.

12) Trained Police Officers must do all the DUI investigating.

The best way to avoid being stopped at an Arizona DUI checkpoint, is to find out in advance where the planned roadblocks will be. Some resources to obtain notice include your local newspaper, radio, TV and the internet. Many AZ DUI checkpoint announcements are posted on local state, county, city, and government websites. Posting on social networks such as Twitter.com has become increasingly popular.

Continue reading "AZ DUI Checkpoints: 12 Facts About AZ Sobriety Checkpoints! " »

March 27, 2010

1. DUI Portable Breath Test (PBT)
If stopped for suspicion of Arizona DUI, the police will ask you a series of questions. Possibly before or after requesting AZ DUI field sobriety tests (FST) the Arizona police will request to have you blow into a small hand held device on the side of the road, in an effort to continue building a case to charge you with a DUI in Arizona.

This small device is called a portable breath test (PBT). The purpose is to determine if you were drinking alcohol and supply an approximate reading of how much was in your system. This device can be used as evidence of probable cause to make an arrest for an Arizona DUI, or Arizona DWI. You can think of this one as a preliminary test. The reading on this machine cannot be used against you as evidence in court because it has not passed the necessary scientific tests to be considered an accurate alcohol concentration measuring device to meet proper AZ DUI Law testing standards. It has not been calibrated or maintained for reliability.

If the reading was 0.0 blood alcohol content (BAC) police may still suspect you of driving while drug impaired. In that event, they may continue their investigation with drug impairment testing for AZ DUI drug charges.

2. DUI Breath Test
In Arizona, the official breath test for Arizona DUI testing is done with the Intoxilyzer device. The machine analyzes the DUI suspect's breath sample without destroying it through a process of infrared spectroscopy, thereby determining the amount of ethyl alcohol present in the sample.

This machine is required to be calibrated and tested on a regular basis by the police agencies responsible for them. At times, like all machines, they have problems and may need to be taken out of service for repair or sent back to the manufacturer. It is imperative to inspect the machine records to determine if it was working properly. If a history of prior problems or defects exists with the machine, the machine and results may be invalid, and the evidence may be suppressed. In absence of machine defect or administration error, these machine results are valid and may be used as evidence against you in trial.

Top Arizona DUI defense Attorney will examine all of these elements. Your AZ DUI Lawyer should understand the factors that may affect the accuracy of the machine readings, including test protocol, temperature, and individual human body variances that may affect the outcome of your test results and your AZ DUI case. That is why it is important to select an experienced Arizona DUI lawyer who will have invalid evidence against you thrown out, and make efforts to help you avoid an Arizona DUI conviction.

Continue reading "Arizona DUI Tests-Two Breath Tests Given in AZ DUI Stop " »

March 26, 2010

AZ DUI blood testing is considered to be the most accurate form of testing for determining AZ DUI blood alcohol content (BAC). However, that does not change the fact that many errors can still occur in the Arizona DUI blood testing process. Arizona DUI laws require that specific protocol and procedures be followed for blood collection. If these protocols are not strictly followed, and standards met, it could cause blood test results to be inaccurate. In that event, the blood evidence may be thrown out, leading to a case dismissal of your Arizona DUI.

The following are some factors that could affect the accuracy of blood test results:

1. Use of Contaminated or faulty medical equipment

2. Improper method used to draw the blood

3. Improper storage or transportation of the blood sample

4. If a test subject has anticoagulants present in their blood, this can result in an inflated and inaccurate BAC test result

5. The drug testing or narcotic identification kit could be expired

6. Rubbing alcohol could contaminate the blood sample

7. Too much preservative in the vacuum tube could result in an inaccurate reading

8. Lab technicians could mix in too much salt which will artificially inflate results

9. Results could be inflated if only blood serum or plasma is tested instead of whole blood.

If you are stopped for suspicion of driving impaired and the police request and you agree to a blood test then only a person trained in blood withdrawal can take your blood sample. The person responsible should be careful not to allow alcohol from a swab to contaminate the blood drawn.

Arizona DUI prosecutors claim that blood testing machines are accurate to within 5%. But many Arizona DUI defense attorneys and experts will tell you that they are not nearly that accurate as they claim to be. Problems exist in operation error or sample collection procedures that can cause the results will be unreliable. Top Arizona DUI Attorneys recommend you request a second sample to be taken at the same time or as close as possible to the first, for your AZ DUI Lawyer to have retested independently for evidence in your Arizona DUI Defense.

Continue reading "Defense for DUI in Arizona: Inaccurate DUI Blood Tests" »

March 25, 2010

Arizona DUI police and prosecutors use breath, blood and urine to prove its case to the jury and seek an AZ drunk driving conviction. The breath test is usually given at the police station or in the AZ DUI van. This breath test is not without its faults and is highly susceptible to error. If the breath test is not given properly, then it will not accurately measure your blood alcohol concentration. A good Arizona DUI Lawyer may be able to file the appropriate motion to ask the judge to throw it out.

Below are some factors that can impact the accuracy and reliability of breath test results:

Temperature of Your Breath
The breath test works on the assumption that your breath is 34 degrees centigrade. Studies done with this equipment have shown that the real average breath temperature for people who have been arrested on a DUI/DWI is closer to 35.5, with some as high as 37. Thus, any error in quantification of the person breath temperature could provide incorrect blood alcohol content (BAC) results.

How Fast the Body Eliminates Alcohol
Another assumption on the part of the breath testing machine. Not all persons metabolism is the same, but the breath test machine assumes that everyone is the same. A person whose body gets rid of alcohol slower will have a higher BAC than someone with a faster metabolism. If you have a slow metabolism, you might still be absorbing alcohol by the time you take the test. If so, the machine will read your BAC higher than it actually is.

Belching, Hiccupping or Vomiting Prior to a Test

Part of the breath test mandates the officer to constantly observe you to verify that you have not belched, hiccupped or vomited within 15 minutes of taking the test. Constant observation is a rule that the officer must follow. If it is not followed, the results of the test may be called into question.

Inherent Margin of Error The breath machines have an acknowledged + 10% margin of error. Therefore, even when the device is calibrated and operating properly, it will still have a 20% range of error.

Mouth Alcohol
The breath testing machines are frequently having difficulties distinguishing between alcohol in a person's mouth and blood alcohol. Contaminants in a person's mouth, such as, smokeless tobacco, denture adhesives, mints, and lip balm may also result in erroneous BAC results.

Operator Error Arizona DUI police often lack proper training in the use of the DUI breath test machines. Officers generally receive minimal training in the use of the device for purposes of AZ DUI Testing, and are not provided adequate written materials.

Despite efforts by the breath test machine manufacturers to detect these problems, they continue to result in many unjust Arizona DUI convictions, despite the fact they were innocent of Arizona Drunk Driving. Thus, another reason, to retain AZ legal representation from an experienced Arizona DUI Attorney who can provide you with the best AZ DUI defense possible.

Continue reading "AZ DUI Defenses: Inaccuracy of the Breath Testing Device" »

March 24, 2010

Arizona DUI Prosecution may not unreasonably prohibit or interfere with your Arizona DUI Lawyer's reasonable efforts to gain evidence that may assist in defending your Arizona DUI charges. Under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the defendant has a due process right to collect independent scientific evidence of his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Independent chemical tests are exculpatory evidence, (new evidence presented to help clear guilt, dismiss evidence or challenge an AZ DUI in this case).

Under AZ DUI laws, you do not have a choice of which test to take. The selection of blood, breath, or urine is up to the police at the time of the arrest. If you do not take the test requested by the police you will be deemed to have refused the test. If you do take a test, it is important that you request to have a second sample be preserved and given to you for purposes of having your Arizona DUI Attorney's own independent testing of the sample be completed. You have the right to obtain this second test sample. It is in the interest of your best AZ DUI defense to insist that your request for a sample be granted. Note, today under the current testing methods an independent breath is nearly impossible. However, a second blood test or sufficient urine sample should always be requested and preserved for defense testing and verification.

An additional review of police equipment may prove the breath test machine to be broken, or a blood test result inaccurate. Some top criminal defense attorneys, may direct you as soon as possible after you are released to proceed immediately to a hospital emergency room or your doctor and request that your blood be drawn and tested for alcohol levels. Further, if you wait too long, this test may not help you. Your independent test must be conducted promptly if it is to be of any use in your defense.

Keep in mind, you will be responsible for the cost of this test; the doctor or ER Services could be costly: And the costs may not be covered under your medical insurance policy. Next, the Arizona DUI testing methods, chain of custody or timetable may prove more of a hindrance than a defense. Lastly, hospital emergency rooms are busy with other medical emergencies, and may not consider providing a test to help your AZ DUI defense a priority. It is up to you to make the decision for the independent test or not. Do not rely on after the fact opinions. Most likely, you are reading this after getting charged with an Arizona DUI offense and make this issue moot.

Continue reading "DUI in Arizona: Legal Representation, AZ DUI Defense - Denial of Independent Test " »

March 23, 2010

Arizona DUI laws now limit how an AZ DUI Retrograde extrapolation defense can be used. This drunk driving defense provides a mathematical process by which someone's blood alcohol concentration at the time of driving. A blood alcohol content (BAC) is projecting backwards from a later chemical test. This is a fancy way of presenting that you were not driving illegally at the time of driving.

This process involves estimating the absorption and elimination of alcohol between driving and testing. The rate of elimination in the average person is commonly estimated at .015 to .020 percent per hour. This number may be different for each person's individual characteristics.

Metabolism can be affected by numerous factors, including such things as body temperature, the type of alcoholic beverage consumed, and the amount and type of food consumed. As always, if your have an experienced Phoenix DUI Lawyer, these factors should be discussed and factored into your specific Arizona DUI or DWI case.

Although this defense of drunk driving may be limited, a top Arizona DUI Attorney may still present it to the prosecution. The Arizona DUI Lawyer may present it as estimation of your BAC when driving; or by contradicting the results of the state's toxicology report; or by challenging the results of your Field Sobriety Tests (FTS).

If you have been charged with an Arizona DUI or other Criminal offense, contact the Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor).

The Law Office of James Novak provides legal representation to persons facing DUI & criminal charges valley-wide including Phoenix AZ Tempe AZ, Scottsdale AZ, Chandler AZ, Gilbert, AZ, and Mesa Arizona.

This post was intended to provide general information only and is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone, but should consult legal counsel regarding the application of the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstance

March 22, 2010

A common Arizona DUI arrest question is whether your DUI in Arizona can be dismissed because the Arizona DUI police did not read your Miranda rights or delayed in the reading. When stopped for an AZ DUI the police officer is not required to read you your Miranda rights immediately after the stop or after you're arrested for Arizona drunk driving.

The beginning phrase of the Miranda warning is "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you...." Most people assume that officers are required to read Miranda whenever they make any criminal arrest including a DUI arrest. That's not actually true.

There are two conditions that must be met before the police are required to read you your Miranda rights. First, you are placed under arrest. Second, in the event the officer continues to interrogate you. Your Miranda rights are to inform you that you don't have to answer any questions the policed asks you that would solicit incrimination statements. The Miranda rights are required when:

1. You're placed under arrest for DUI and the police continue to interrogate you.
2. "Under arrest" means that the Arizona DUI officer places you in handcuffs and into custody.
3. "Interrogation" means the Arizona police continue to ask questions designed to seek incriminating responses. This includes: "How many drinks did you have? What were you drinking? Do you feel intoxicated?"

Thus, if you are arrested for an Arizona DUI and are not asked and any questions about what occurred that could be used against you then there's no need for you to be read your Miranda rights, by the police officer. Normally, if you are not yet "in custody", as Arizona DUI law defines "custody", the Miranda rights need not be read. Word of caution: Police officers get around the Miranda requirement with DUI cases by asking questions before they arrest you, then whatever you say can go in the police report and be presented at trial, your DMV hearing, and used against you.

However, if the police didn't read you your rights and you gave incriminating statements harmful to your Arizona DUI defense, be sure to have an experienced Arizona DUI attorney review the facts to determine if anything you said may be suppressed or excluded from evidence as allowed by AZ DUI Law.

This post was intended to provide general information only and is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone, but should consult legal counsel regarding the application of the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstance.

March 21, 2010

If you have been charged with a DUI in Arizona, you should consult an Arizona DUI lawyer. When hired, an experienced Arizona DUI Attorney will gather and evaluate all the evidence. Based on the facts, he or she will determine what defense can be used in your case. A common defense utilized is Improper Administration of a Field Sobriety Test (FST). It is not unusual for the police officer to administer it incorrectly. A variety of reasons may also exist causing a person to perform poorly in absence of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established standardization guidelines regarding the administration of an FST in order for the results to be valid. Any non-standardized field tests performed by the officer, are invalid Arizona, unreliable, and can be challenged as evidence. (Neither the Federal Government (NHTSA) nor medical science considers touching your finger to your nose, saying the alphabet, or counting backwards, as valid field sobriety tests.

Standardize testing may include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Walk and Turn, and the One Leg Stand. NHTSA has set forth guidelines regarding Field Sobriety Tests (FST). The tests should not be given if the suspect:

1) is 50 pounds or more overweight;
2) is 65 years of age or older;
3) has any back, hip, leg, knee, or ankle injuries o has any disability effecting balance (past head injuries); and/or;
4) is wearing shoes with heels two (2) inches or higher.

Your attempting to do the FST is voluntary and you can refuse to do any of the field sobriety exercises mentioned above. Police attribute poor performance to possible intoxication and few people can perform the tests perfectly. Police tend to score and report your performance on the FST toward you being DUI, without taking into account the interest of Officer, nervousness, unnatural tasks, poor instruction for field sobriety test, and unfavorable conditions of environment.

So if you should fail an FST, do not fear the worse, that you will be charged with an Arizona DUI. Instead, try to remain as calm and polite as possible (easier said than done). Remember, that is just the beginning. Only an experienced Arizona DUI Lawyer can tell you what defenses you may have, to get your case dismissed, and avoid an Arizona DUI conviction, penalties, fines, and incarceration.

Continue reading "Arizona DUI Defense: Improper Administration of Field Sobriety Tests (FTS)" »

March 20, 2010

Your Arizona DUI Attorney can have your DUI in Arizona dismissed if there is "No Probable Cause to Arrest". The police officer must have reliable information which would lead a reasonable person to conclude that criminal activity has been or is being committed prior to the arrest. Otherwise, the arrest is unconstitutional and invalid. Therefore, in this event, your Arizona DUI attorney can have your Arizona DUI case dismissed. This right comes from the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The amendment specifically requires among other things, that arrests and arrest warrants be supported by "Probable Cause".

"Probable cause to arrest" holds a higher standard than "reasonable suspicion to stop" or detain a driver for questioning. For example if you were stopped because the officer, with no other witnesses, saw you drinking out of what appeared to him or her to be an opened alcohol container, that would prompt justification for a "reasonable suspicion' to stop you, and merely to begin an AZ DUI investigation. It does not justify the "probable cause" standard needed to make an Arizona DUI Arrest. The police officer must still have "probable cause" to prove that the person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and as a result is impaired prior to making an arrest. The police officer needs more in the way of specific evidence and facts including but not limited to, field sobriety tests, breath tests, and/or chemical tests, "enough to cause a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been committed." The judge needs to hear this actual evidence and specifics, not just assumptions, conclusions made by a police offer or the prosecution.

It is your Arizona DUI attorney's job to make sure your rights are protected and have not been violated if you have been arrested for an Arizona DUI. You have the right to a defense. You should make sure that Arizona DUI Lawyer you choose to defend your Arizona DUI is experienced and knowledgeable about Arizona DUI laws, and drunk driving defenses, and your constitutional rights. That choice can make all the difference in the outcome of your AZ DUI case and your future.

Phoenix, DUI Lawyer - Arizona DUI Attorney

Continue reading "Beat Your DUI in Arizona: No Probable Cause to Arrest Defense" »

March 19, 2010

When charged with a DUI in Arizona, you have the right to request to speak with an Arizona Criminal Defense or Arizona DUI Attorney. The police must allow you the opportunity to speak with one, at least telephonically as soon as is reasonably possible. Such a denial of your access to speak with an Arizona Criminal attorney or AZ DUI Lawyer is a violation of your constitutional rights.

Your constitutional right to counsel is derived from multiple sources including both the United States Constitution, and the Arizona Constitution. Although your right to speak with or be represented by an attorney exists, the point at which you are allowed access to that attorney may be in question. Each case presents its' own set facts and circumstances, under which the person is able to have access to speak with an Attorney. That is why it is important that you retain legal representation immediately if you have been charged with an Arizona DUI.

It will take an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney well versed in Arizona criminal defense laws and AZ DUI laws to gather the evidence and determine if your constitutional rights were violated. So if the police unreasonably or unjustifiably deny or delay your request to speak with an attorney, regarding your Arizona DUI arrest or AZ DUI charges, be sure to relay this information to your lawyer accurately and completely. Consequently, your Arizona DUI Attorney, may later be able to request either dismissal or suppression of all the evidence in your AZ DUI case.

Continue reading "Arizona Criminal and DUI Defense: Denial of Right to Counsel " »

March 18, 2010

If you have been charged with a DUI in Arizona, another strategy used by Arizona DUI lawyers to pursue dismissal of a case is "No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop" or "No Reasonable Suspicion to Detain" a driver charged with an Arizona DUI. If you have been stopped with no reasonable suspicion to stop or be detained, all evidence may be suppressed and the case dismissed on those merits.

An investigatory stop is unconstitutional if the stop is not supported by reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot. Thus, if the officer lacked a constitutionally valid reason for making the traffic stop, all evidence of drunk driving obtained as a result of the unlawful stop must be suppressed.

Examples of no reasonable suspicion to stop could include but is not limited to a police officer stopping or detaining a driver simply due to race, religion, gender, age, or other such unjustifiable reasons.

A successful defense by an Arizona DUI Attorney against an AZ DUI charge depends on first recognizing that many cases can have potential defenses to the Arizona DUI arrest and charges It may be true that you were driving under the influence, or even drunk driving in Arizona at the time you were stopped; but that, in absence of suspicion to stop or be detained, does not give law enforcement officials "free reign" to violate the Arizona DUI Laws, and your constitutional rights under them.

Phoenix, DUI Lawyer - Arizona DUI Attorney

Continue reading "Arizona Drunk Driving Defenses - No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop " »

March 17, 2010

If you have been charged with a DUI in Arizona, one strategy used by drunk driving defense attorneys in your case in an effort to get it dismissed is called "Lack of Driving or Actual Physical Control" while under the influence. Arizona DUI Law requires that the State establish you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired. In some cases there are no witnesses to testify who was driving a vehicle and then the State may be unable to meet its burden of proving the accused was driving or was in actual physical control.

Recent case law by the Supreme Court of Arizona v. Zaragoza (Arizona, 6/3/2009) shows that the potential to drive while drunk is sufficient for an Arizona DUI conviction. In other words, the tough Arizona DUI laws just got tougher. Blow is the new Arizona Jury Instructions:

"...In determining whether the defendant was in actual physical control of the vehicle, you should consider the totality of the circumstances shown by the evidence and whether the defendant's current or imminent control of the vehicle presented a real danger to [himself] [herself] or others at the time alleged. Factors to be considered might include, but are not limited to:

1. Whether the vehicle was running;
2. Whether the ignition was on;
3. Where the ignition key was located;
4. Where and in what position the driver was found in the vehicle;
5. Whether the person was awake or asleep;
6. Whether the vehicle's headlights were on;
7. Where the vehicle was stopped;
8. Whether the driver had voluntarily pulled off the road;
9. Time of day;
10. Weather conditions;
11. Whether the heater or air conditioner was on;
12. Whether the windows were up or down;
13. Any explanation of the circumstances shown by the evidence.

This list is not meant to be all-inclusive. It is up to you to examine all the available evidence and weigh its credibility in determining whether the defendant actually posed a threat to the public by the exercise of present or imminent control of the vehicle while impaired..."

It has now become even more challenging to use this defense. You need an experienced Arizona DUI Attorney to fight the tough and changing AZ DUI laws you are up against in order to defend your Arizona DUI Charge. You need to feel confident your Arizona DUI Lawyer will use every possible defense to avoid an Arizona DUI Conviction.

Phoenix, AZ DUI Lawyer - Arizona DUI Attorney

Continue reading "Arizona DUI Laws - AZ DUI Defenses - Lack of Driving or Actual Physical Control " »

March 16, 2010

DUI Defenses exist that Good Arizona DUI Lawyer can use to challenge your Arizona DUI Charges, in an effort to get your case dismissed or brought down to less serious charges. In future blogs we will discuss each of these in greater detail. Here are 10 commonly used Arizona DUI Defenses:

1. Lack of Driving or Actual Physical Control.
The Prosecution must establish you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired. The state may be unable to meet this burden of proof, if there were no witnesses to testify.

2. No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop.
An investigatory stop is unconstitutional if the stop is not supported by reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot. Thus, if the officer lacked a constitutionally valid reason for the traffic stop, all evidence of drunk driving obtained as a result of the unlawful stop must be suppressed.

3. No Probable Cause to Arrest.
The Officer must have reliable information which would lead a reasonable person to conclude that criminal activity has been or is being committed at the time of the Arizona arrest, otherwise the arrest is unconstitutional and the case must be dismissed.

4. Improperly Administered Field Sobriety Tests (FST's).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established guidelines regarding the administration of the FST. If there was a violation of any of these guidelines the test results can be suppressed.

5. Denial of the Right to Counsel
When a DUI person requests a lawyer, the police must provide you with an opportunity to speak with a lawyer telephonically as soon as is reasonably possible.

6. Violation of Miranda Warnings
The timing of when or if "Miranda Rights" may be an issue, that could lead to suppression of evidence.

7. Inaccuracy of the Breath Testing Device
For the test evidenced to be allowed, proper protocol must be followed, factors to consider are type of device used, proper maintenance of the device, its accuracy, reliability, and even the credentials of the officer administering the test.

8. Retrograde
Subtractive retrograde is a method to compensate for any alcohol consumed shortly before driving that could show a higher reading at the time of the test than "at the time of driving." This is because usually a person requires between 30 minutes and hours to completely absorb alcohol.

9. Deficiencies in Blood Alcohol Testing & Issues in Blood Cases
Results of blood alcohol testing are admissible only if the State can establish the blood was drawn by qualified personnel, proper protocol and scientific analysis used.

10. Denial of Independent Test
A person has a due process right to collect independent scientific evidence of their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The State may not unreasonably interfere with this right.

Phoenix, DUI Defense Lawyer - Find Best Arizona DUI Attorneys

Continue reading "Arizona DUI Laws - 10 Arizona DUI Defenses...Case Dismissed! " »

March 15, 2010

A tough new Arizona DUI Law require that all drivers convicted of any Arizona DUI be are required to use an Ignition Interlock Device. You can talk to any Arizona DUI Attorney and you will get the same answer. Arizona DUI laws were passed on the principle that you cannot be trusted to operate a motor vehicle without some sort of assurance that you are not driving drunk.

The way it works is that the Ignition Interlock Device is attached to your automobile that tests you for alcohol before you can start your car. The car will not start if the device detects alcohol. Once your vehicle is running, you will be periodically prompted to give another sample. The certified ignition interlock device must be installed on any motor vehicle you operate for a minimum of 12 months. The time requirement is based on the circumstances surrounding your Arizona DUI conviction and your history of any prior DUI convictions. An authorized installer must install the interlock. To add insult to injury, you are required to pay the costs for the installation and maintenance of the ignition interlock device. You are also required to provide the Arizona of Department of Transportation proof from the installer of compliance and inspection of the device during the period that the device is required to be used.

An experienced and knowledgeable DUI lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona is your best defense against the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. While Arizona DUI Lawmakers see the Ignition Interlock Device as a necessity, Drunk Driving defense Attorneys see it as a means of causing further Arizona DUI penalties to already harsh Arizona DUI Laws. The device can interfere with your business, your job, your family, and your education. A top AZ Drunk Driving Defense and Criminal Defense Lawyer may be able to get your charges dismissed or reduced without the need of the Ignition Interlock Device. For more detailed information refer to Arizona's Ignition Interlock Device Laws: 28-3319.

Phoenix, DUI Lawyers - AZ DUI Laws

Continue reading "Arizona DUI Lawyers - AZ DUI Laws - The Ignition Interlock Device Requirement " »

March 14, 2010

If you have been charged with an Arizona DUI, you may hear some of these common
terms. Arizona criminal defense attorneys, Arizona DUI lawyers, law enforcement officials and the prosecution use these words often. So you may want to become familiar with just of few of these legal definitions:

Administrative License Suspension:
Suspension of the license of drivers charged DUI when a driver has a BAC above the prescribed limit, or sometimes if a driver refuses to take a roadside blood or breath test.

BAC:
Short for "blood alcohol concentration." BAC refers to the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream and is measured in percentages.

Blood Test:

A laboratory test that directly measures the percentage of alcohol content of the blood drawn from a DWI suspect.

Breath Test:

A test of blood alcohol level that is derived from measuring the alcohol level of the suspect's breath.

PBT (Preliminary Breath Test):
A portable, hand-held device used by law enforcement to measure the BAC of suspected drunk drivers.

Burn off Rate:

The rate at which alcohol in the body is metabolized, and the blood alcohol begins to
fall, decrease, or "burn off".

Chemical Test:

As it relates to DUI, a test of the alcohol or drug concentration in a person's body (Breath, Blood, Urine).

DUI:

Driving While Under the Influence.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated.

Felony:

A serious crime, in Arizona DUI/DWI can become a felony even without an injury or death, if the suspect has a given number of prior DWI convictions. A felony can result in a sentence to jail or state prison.

FST (Field Sobriety Test):

A series of physical and mental coordination tests designed to help an officer decide if a driver is DWI.

Intoxilyzer:

A brand name for a blood alcohol breath testing machine.


Miranda Rights:

The formal advisement that you have the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present before answering questions, which police must recite prior to questioning someone who is in custody.

Misdemeanor:

A crime less serious than a felony. Misdemeanors are sometimes categorized by classes or degrees.

Probation:

When all or part of the required jail time is suspended in exchange for good behavior, as determined by checking in with a probation officer.

Zero Tolerance BAC:

Allowable blood alcohol content for under age persons (under 21). In Arizona this percentage is 0% (meaning absolutely no alcohol content must be detected)

Phoenix DUI Attorney - Arizona DUI Lawyer

Continue reading "Arizona DUI Lawyer- AZ Drunk Driving Defense Laws Definitions" »

March 13, 2010

During an Arizona DUI stop, most police officers will use a set of five-to-six common tests called Field Sobriety Tests (FST). Even the Best Arizona DUI lawyers differ on opinions as to whether you should agree to take these tests when stopped by an Arizona DUI police officer for suspicion of drunk driving.

One thing that top Arizona Criminal Defense and DUI attorneys do agree on, is that you should in the least become familiar with FST and know the consequences of both submitting or refusal of the FST.

The Arizona FST is a battery of tests that include heel-to-toe, finger-to-nose, one-leg stand, eye test called "horizontal gaze nystagmus" test, alphabet recitation, modified position of attention (Rhomberg), fingers-to-thumb, hand pat and others.

Many Arizona DUI Attorneys will tell you that you should not agree do the Arizona DUI Field Sobriety Tests. Those attorneys recommend that you politely refuse to take them. It is true that Arizona DUI laws do not require you to take any of the Field Sobriety Tests (FST).

However, you should know that if you refuse, you may be arrested on the spot for DUI in Arizona. Your refusal to take the FST may be used against you as evidence by the Arizona DUI prosecution if you decide to challenge your Arizona DUI and go to trial. The tests and refusal are both used as additional evidence by the police to build its case against you. The prosecution will try to make the Jury believe that you didn't take the tests because you knew you were drunk and would fail them. That fact is that the FST usually only hurt your Arizona DUI defense. It is expected that you perform them perfectly. However, that is a feat many completely sober people can't even accomplish. It is difficult to provide contradictory evidence because many Arizona police do not videotape your performance of the Arizona DUI FST.

If you have consumed alcohol, the FST will serve only to build a case of Arizona drunk driving against you. But you decline to take the FST, then you most likely get an Arizona DUI arrest, get handcuffed, have your car impounded, be taken to the police station, have your blood drawn (required) and face a court date for your Arizona DUI. Bottom line, only you can make the decision based on your own set of circumstances.

Continue reading "Arizona DUI Laws Field Sobriety Tests - Not Mandatory -Truth and Consequences of Refusal" »

March 12, 2010

Phoenix DUI Lawyers - Arizona DUI Laws

In retrograde Arizona DUI defense that AZ DUI lawyers and defendants called the "chug-a-lug" defense has been outlawed. This Arizona DUI Defense Attorney would argue that their client with the Arizona DUI charge was not actually over the limit when stopped, but became over the limit by the time a chemical test was performed and evidence obtained. Thus, the argument previously made was that they were not illegally drunk driving in Arizona at the time of the stop, therefore, the case should be dismissed.

Evidence can no longer be introduced that Defendants BAC was below .08 at the time they were driving, even if it was. Heavy lobbying activity persuaded the Arizona legislature to remove this retrograde DUI defense. This change in Arizona DUI laws makes it easier to convict those charged with driving under the influence by reducing the ability to use what was known as a retrograde defense.

Under that DUI defense, defendants claim they drank some amount of alcohol just before being arrested, perhaps just before leaving the bar and driving, and that tests took some time after the stop to conduct and the post arrest BAC results do not accurately reflect the driver's state of intoxication at the instant of an alleged infraction.

The "chug-a-lug" defense relies on arguments that alcohol takes some time to be absorbed into the blood stream. However, just because this Arizona drunk driving defense was eliminated is no cause to give up hope, if you have been arrested and charged with an Arizona DUI. Many defenses still exist which can be investigated, examined, and explored by a good Arizona DUI Attorney. However, I would not recommend fighting your DUI alone without retaining the services of the best Criminal Defense Attorney you can find.

A strong Arizona DUI defense attorney can still use the Arizona DUI Laws and evidence in your favor to assist in either reducing or even getting your case dismissed. Remember when you get charged with an Arizona DUI, the most important decision you will need to make is not if you should hire an attorney---but which Arizona DUI lawyer should you hire?

Phoenix DUI Attorney - Arizona DUI Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been charged with an Arizona DUI or other Criminal offense contact the Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor).

The Law Office of James Novak represents clients facing DUI & criminal charges throughout Phoenix DUI, Tempe DUI, Scottsdale DUI, Chandler DUI, Gilbert DUI, Mesa DUI and the surrounding areas of Greater Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona.

March 11, 2010

Arizona DUI Laws - Phoenix DUI Lawyers

During an Arizona DUI stop, most police officers will use a set of five-to-six common tests called Field Sobriety Tests (FST). Even the Best Arizona DUI lawyers differ on opinions as to whether you should agree to take these tests when stopped by an Arizona DUI police officer for suspicion of drunk driving.

One thing that top Arizona Criminal Defense and DUI attorneys do agree on, is that you should in the least become familiar with FST and know the consequences of both submitting or refusal of the FST.

The Arizona FST is a battery of tests that include heel-to-toe, finger-to-nose, one-leg stand, eye test called "horizontal gaze nystagmus" test, alphabet recitation, modified position of attention (Rhomberg), fingers-to-thumb, hand pat and others.

Many Arizona DUI Attorneys will tell you that you should not agree do the Arizona DUI Field Sobriety Tests. Those attorneys recommend that you politely refuse to take them. It is true that Arizona DUI laws do not require you to take any of the Field Sobriety Tests (FST). However, you should know that if you refuse, you may be arrested on the spot for DUI in Arizona. Your refusal to take the FST may be used against you as evidence by the Arizona DUI prosecution if you decide to challenge your Arizona DUI and go to trial. The tests and refusal are both used as additional evidence by the police to build its case against you. The prosecution will try to make the Jury believe that you didn't take the tests because you knew you were drunk and would fail them.

That fact is that the FST usually only hurt your Arizona DUI defense. It is expected that you perform them perfectly. However, that is a feat many completely sober people can't even accomplish. It is difficult to provide contradictory evidence because many Arizona police do not videotape your performance of the Arizona DUI FST.

If you have consumed alcohol, the FST will serve only to build a case of Arizona drunk driving against you. But you decline to take the FST, then you most likely get an Arizona DUI arrest, get handcuffed, have your car impounded, be taken to the police station, have your blood drawn (required) and face a court date for your Arizona DUI. Bottom line, only you can make the decision based on your own set of circumstances.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI in Arizona or other Arizona
Criminal offense contact Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney James Novak.

The Law Office of James Novak represents clients facing DUI & criminal charges throughout Phoenix DUI, Tempe DUI, Scottsdale DUI, Chandler DUI, Gilbert DUI, Mesa DUI and the surrounding areas of Greater Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona.

March 10, 2010

Arizona DUI Laws - Phoenix Criminal Attorneys

Arizona DUI Implied Consent Law
Arizona DUI Implied consent law is designed to discourage suspected DUI drivers from refusing to submit to Arizona DUI testing. Tests includes BAC (blood alcohol content) chemical test (breath, blood, or urine testing). Top Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you to submit to the BAC and/or Chemical Test if requested by the Officer. This is because your refusal to submit to testing will result in harsh consequences including loss of your driver's license for one year. You see, police can get BAC and chemical tests they need whether you refuse or not. Upon refusal, the officer will contact the judge immediately, who will then issue a warrant to obtain your blood...the will still get your (BAC) anyway. The only thing you get for refusing is a penalty of one year loss of driver's license. Also, your refusal will be held against you at trial.

Arizona DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Defense Attorney
Even if your Arizona DUI is dismissed, you will still lose your right to drive for one year. You should immediately contact an experienced Arizona DUI lawyer. If you refused breath or chemical tests, your Arizona DUI attorney can request a hearing and possibly vacate the year long Arizona drivers' license suspension.

Additionally, a good Phoenix Arizona DUI defense lawyer may get the DUI charges against you reduced or even dropped. You'll want someone on your side because a DUI conviction and a violation of the Implied Consent Laws can result in heavy fines, insurance coverage problems and losing your driver's license and even jail for a criminal conviction.

Visit www.azleg.state.az.us/ars for more information regarding the Implied Consent Law: "28-1321. Implied consent; tests; refusal to submit to test; order of suspension; hearing; review; temporary permit; notification of suspension; special ignition interlock restricted driver license."

Phoenix DUI Lawyer - Phoenix DUI Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been charged with an Arizona DUI or other Criminal offense contact the Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor).

The Law Office of James Novak represents clients facing DUI & criminal charges throughout Phoenix DUI, Tempe DUI, Scottsdale DUI, Chandler DUI, Gilbert DUI, Mesa DUI and the surrounding areas of Greater Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona.

March 9, 2010

Phoenix Criminal Attorneys

Arizona DUI testing is the fourth of four major evidence categories that the state of Arizona can use against you for an Arizona DUI arrest under current Arizona DUI laws. DUI Testing includes a number of methods which will be expanded upon in greater detail in future articles:

Arizona DUI Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs)
A battery of field sobriety tests (FSTs) are given including heel-to-toe, finger-to-nose, one-leg stand, eye test called "horizontal gaze nystagmus" test, alphabet recitation, modified position of attention (Rhomberg), fingers-to-thumb, hand pat and others. In Arizona, most officers will use a set of six common tests. Arizona DUI law does not require you to take any of the Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs).

Arizona DUI Breath Test
Breath tests are used to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC) level of drivers suspected of driving drunk. Since alcohol is absorbed into the blood and blood flows through the lungs, alcohol is present in the lung's air sacs. A breathalyzer machine is used. Rather than ask drivers to submit to invasive, impractical blood or urine tests in the field, many law enforcement agency's use breath tests as a means for determining the blood alcohol level of drivers suspected of DUI in Arizona.

Arizona DUI Blood Test
Arizona DUI Blood tests are sometimes performed in order to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC) level in your system, if you are suspected of DUI. A blood test is more reliable than a breath test but may still be inaccurate due to a variety of issues. An experienced and knowledgeable Phoenix Arizona Defense Attorney will be able to investigate to determine if the blood is drawn incorrectly, if chemicals are present in the proper amount, and if the proper protocol was followed, and if not, can be challenged.

Arizona DUI Urine Test
Urine tests are typically given in DUI / DWI cases where Arizona police officers believe a driver may also be under the influence of drugs. Although urine tests are the least accurate means for measuring blood alcohol level, they are routinely used to detect the presence of illegal drugs in the body.

Again, questions arise pertaining to the accuracy of the tests, dependability of the results, and protocol that was followed. The results can then be challenged by an experienced Arizona DUI defense attorney.

Phoenix DUI Lawyer - Phoenix DUI Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been charged with an Arizona DUI or other Criminal offense contact the Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor).

The Law Office of James Novak represents clients facing DUI & criminal charges throughout Phoenix DUI Attorney, Tempe DUI Attorney, Scottsdale DUI Attorney, Chandler DUI Attorney, Gilbert DUI Attorney, Mesa DUI Attorney and the surrounding areas of Greater Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona.

March 8, 2010

Phoenix Criminal Attorneys - Arizona DUI Laws

Any Good Phoenix DUI Defense Attorney will tell you not to help the police and prosecution build their AZ DUI case against you. For example, do not to make any "verbal admissions" if you have been stopped for a DUI. This, "admissions" is the third of four major evidence categories that by Arizona can use as evidence against you for an Arizona DUI arrest.

Admissions are statements you make at that time of the Arizona DUI stop to the police officer, which raise suspicion that you have been drunk driving or are chemically impairment. Anything you say in the presence of the officer during the stop, can and will be used against you in court. If stopped, be polite, and respectful. Simply inform the officer that you will be happy to answer her or his questions, but in the presence of your attorney, about where you have been or what you have been doing. You are not required to tell the officer anything in that regard. However, keep in mind that if you are not cooperative at all, this may raise the officer's suspicion and you could risk being arrested on the spot.

Below are examples of types of "admissions" don't want to make:

  • I just had one drink on an empty stomach
  • I stopped drinking a few hours ago, I thought I would be OK go drive
  • I take anti-anxiety medications, but I don't drink
  • I just had one drink and my regular prescription medications
  • I just got off of work and stopped for one or two drinks.
  • The last time I smoked marijuana was last night.
  • Yes, I know why you stopped me.
  • I know better than to drink or drive
  • I took an over the counter pain reliever, but it was not a prescription drug.
  • I took some medicine last night, before bed to help me sleep
  • Yes, that is my opened beer container in the car
  • The soiled stain on my jacket is red wine.
  • Someone must have put something in my drink
  • I guess I had more to drink than I thought

Phoenix, DUI Lawyers - AZ DUI Laws

If you or someone you know has been charged with an Arizona DUI or other Criminal offense contact the Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor).

The Law Office of James Novak represents clients facing DUI & criminal charges throughout Phoenix DUI, Tempe DUI, Scottsdale DUI, Chandler DUI, Gilbert DUI, Mesa DUI and the surrounding areas of Greater Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona.

March 7, 2010

Phoenix Criminal Attorney

Any Phoenix, Arizona DUI Attorney will tell you that DUI physical signs of impairment also referred to as signs after a stop are another of four major evidence categories that Arizona can use as evidence for an Arizona DUI arrest. The first category covered previously was DUI driving impairments Signs after a stop are those red flags, if observed by an Arizona police officer, will result in them being suspicious of drunk driving or chemical impairment.

Below is a list of "signs after a stop" that have proven to be highly consistent with those who have been found to be drunk driving, or are impaired due to chemicals or alcohol:

*Not in any particular order of priority, or chronology of events.

  • Difficulty exiting the vehicle
  • Bloodshot, red, watery, and/or drowsy eyes
  • Red or flushed face
  • Clothing soiled or disheveled
  • Fumbling or inability to find driver's license or registration
  • Repeating questions or comments
  • Swaying, instability, or balance problems
  • Leaning on the vehicle, other object, or person, difficulty standing
  • Slurred or unusually slow speech
  • Inappropriate Laughter or behavior
  • Providing incomplete or irrational phrases and sentences
  • Slow or inability to answer officers questions
  • Provides incorrect information and or changing of answers
  • Officer required to repeat questions due to unresponsiveness
  • Unusually Nervous
  • Disoriented or Confused
  • Disrespectful, argumentative or combative
  • Odor of alcoholic beverage from the driver, or in vehicle
  • Staggering
  • Difficulty or poor navigation in operating the vehicle controls

Interestingly, some of these signs are also symptoms of fatigue, exhaustion from work, overdriving, lack of sleep or other similar reasons, in absence of alcohol or chemical use. That does not prevent the police officer from stopping or pursuing the testing of DUI. This is many times used as an Arizona DUI Defense, which will be discussed in a future blog in greater detail about Arizona DUI defenses. Stay with us as discuss Phoenix DUI laws, charges, arrests, penalties, fines and other Arizona DUI information.

Phoenix DUI Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been charged with an Arizona DUI or other Criminal offense contact Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney
James Novak. Valley-Wide Service.

The Law Office of James Novak represents clients facing DUI & criminal charges throughout Phoenix DUI, Tempe DUI, Scottsdale DUI, Chandler DUI, Gilbert DUI, Mesa DUI and the surrounding areas of Greater Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona.

March 6, 2010

Phoenix DUI Attorneys

A Phoenix, Arizona DUI Defense Attorney will tell you that "driving signs of impairment" is just one of four major categories of evidence that the state can use against you as evidence for an Arizona DUI arrest. The first category discussed below is DUI driving impairments. Here are 25 are red flags that if seen, will prompt an Arizona DUI law enforcement official, to suspect and stop you for Arizona drunk driving or being chemically "impaired to the slightest degree".

  • Drifting
  • Remaining stopped after the red light green
  • Hugging or crossing over the center lane marker
  • Braking off and on at inappropriate times
  • Turning with wide radius
  • Following the car in front two closely "tail gaiting"
  • Driving with the turn signal on continuously when there is intent to turn or turn ahead
  • Driving much slower than the speed limit, 10 mph or more
  • Weaving or swerving in and out of traffic
  • Signs of "road rage" or other aggressive driving such as screeching the tires
  • Appearing uncertain as to your driving such as unsafe, irrational lane changing
  • Driving with the headlights off at night
  • Bright or high beams on when not necessary
  • Driving in excess of speed limit
  • Failure to obey traffic signals and signs such as stop, yield, school or construction zones
  • Illegal U-Turns or other illegal turns
  • Stopping for no reason on a straight way
  • Driving down a one way street the wrong way
  • Nearly hitting an object such as a wall, another vehicle, or pedestrian
  • Leaving a bar parking lot, appearing to be drunk behind the wheel
  • Making an unsafe move in traffic
  • Making a lane change abruptly without proper signal time to other drivers
  • Appearance of not paying attention to the road or driving
  • Visible Drinking of an alcohol beverage or use of drug paraphernalia while driving
  • Random stops of vehicles at designated "DUI Checkpoints" by law enforcement officials
Phoenix, Arizona DUI Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been charged with an Arizona DUI or other Criminal offense contact the Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor). Valley-wide Service.

The Law Office of James Novak represents clients facing DUI & criminal charges throughout Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and the surrounding areas of Greater Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona.

March 5, 2010

Phoenix DUI Attorneys - Arizona DUI Laws

According to Arizona DUI Laws it is not illegal to drink and drive if you are 21 years of age or older. However, it is illegal to drink and drive and/or be chemically impaired to the slightest degree while driving. You don't need Top Criminal Defense Attorneys to tell you that the absolute best way to avoid an Arizona DUI is not to drink and drive at all. The second best way to avoid getting an Arizona DUI Charge is to be aware of how much alcohol you can drink before you may become impaired. So if you're concerned, that sometime you may be charged with an Arizona DUI, you will want to read on:

Arizona DUI BAC Drink chart.GIF
The drink chart displayed to the right can be found on many web sites on the internet. It provides a rough estimate of a person's blood alcohol level (BAC).The Arizona drunk driving chart is based on the number of drinks consumed and the person's weight. The problem with this information is people rely a bit to much on such charts in order to determine whether they may have been impaired after drinking a number of alcoholic drinks. A "one size fits all" chart does not work. You must take into account many other factors
and each and every person has a different set of circumstances.

Please do not consider this information as a license to drink irresponsibly. Keep in mind that everyone is different, and alcohol affects each person in many different ways. Only you know your limits. And while some people are sure they know their limits, they may still be driving under the influence according to Arizona Law which carry some of the toughest impairment thresholds, laws, rules, penalties, jail time and fees in the Country. So please drink responsibly.

The scientific and Arizona DUI legal issues associated with breath testing in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler, Maricopa County DUI cases are complex. An experienced Phoenix, Arizona DUI lawyer has the knowledge and skill to evaluate the importance of your Arizona DUI defense including the legality of the breath test DUI evidence.

Phoenix DUI Lawyer - Arizona DUI Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been charged with an Arizona DUI or other Criminal offense contact the Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor).

The Law Office of James Novak represents clients facing DUI & criminal charges throughout Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and the surrounding areas of Greater Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona.


March 4, 2010

Phoenix Arizona DUI Defense Attorney - AZ DUI Laws

Charged with an Arizona DUI? You will to need the Best DUI attorney you can find. This is because Arizona DUI Law requires mandatory jail time for a conviction of any Arizona DUI Charge. Arizona has some of the toughest laws DUI in the country. Just one such DUI penalty is the AZ DUI jail sentence. It is mandatory for any person in Arizona convicted of a DUI. This includes a conviction resulting from a trial, plea agreement, or plead guilty straight to the court. Fair, or not, Arizona law makers have written it into law and neither the judge, or prosecution has discretion with the mandate.

Arizona DUI laws specify that a person must serve at least 24 hours in jail if convicted of even the most basic or misdemeanor Arizona DUI charge. This will increase quickly to 30 days for an Arizona extreme DUI, then 45 days for an Arizona Super Extreme DUI. The maximum jail sentence for any single misdemeanor DUI charge in Arizona is 180 days.

You have probably heard about Arizona's "Sherriff Joe" and "Tent City". If you are in Maricopa County, Arizona and you have to serve jail time for a DUI conviction you will most likely go to Maricopa County Sheriff Office Joe Apraio's "Tent City". Your jail time s served outdoors. Yes, in the cold of winter, or the excessive Arizona heat of summer, known to have reached a sweltering 121 degrees or higher in some desert areas.

A common myth is that if you get stopped by the police and charged for an Arizona DUI will you automatically go to jail. However, that is not necessarily true. The key here is you must be convicted of an Arizona DUI, not just charged. That is why you need a good Arizona DUI lawyer who will fight for your rights and attempt to either get the DUI dismissed or get the charges reduced to a non-DUI conviction with no jail requirement and/or substantially reduced other penalties. There are some criminal charges that a top rated Phoenix DUI lawyer might recommend you fight on your own...But an Arizona DUI charge is not one of them.

Phoenix, DUI Attorney - AZ DUI Laws

If you or someone you know has been charged with an Arizona DUI or other Criminal offense contact the Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor). The Law Office of James Novak represents clients facing DUI & criminal charges throughout Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and the surrounding areas of Greater Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona.

March 3, 2010

Phoenix Criminal Attorneys

Arizona DUI Law gives Police authority to impound your vehicle if you are charged with an Arizona DUI in certain cases. The vehicle you were driving can be impounded as a result of your Arizona DUI charge even if you are not the owner.

Vehicle Impound Laws (Arizona Revised Statute 28-3511)

Your vehicle was impounded for one or more of the following reasons:
a. The person driving the vehicle has a revoked license for any reason, a suspended driver's license for a DUI conviction, a suspended driver's license for violation of §28-3306 (points), a suspended driver's license on a previous conviction, OR has never been issued a license in Arizona or any other jurisdiction.

b. The person driving the vehicle has a revoked, suspended or canceled driver's license or has never been issued a license in Arizona or any other jurisdiction AND there is no evidence of mandatory vehicle insurance and vehicle registration AND the driver of the vehicle was in an accident with property damage, injury or death of another person.

c. The person driving the vehicle was arrested for Underage DUI (§4-244), Extreme DUI (§28-1382) or Aggravated DUI (§28-1383).

In simple terms: Your vehicle may be impounded for 30 days if the driver at the time of the traffic stop or collision you did not possess a valid driver license or record of a driver license, had a revoked, suspended or canceled driver license, was under the age of twenty one years with alcohol in his/her body, arrested for Extreme or Aggravated driving under the influence.

This mandatory Arizona impound law applies to the vehicle the offender was driving, even if you are not the owner of the vehicle. This Arizona impound Law is separate from any Arizona DUI or other criminal charges.

You have 10 days to request a hearing to determine if the vehicle will be eligible for early release. However, check with the local authorities for specific procedures regarding the timetable, hearing and procedures.

28-3514. Hearings; notice of immobilization or storage

The owner, the owner's spouse, the lien holder or other interested party has the right to:
a. Request a Post Storage Hearing (§28-3514) within ten (10) days from the date of the enclosed Vehicle Impoundment Notice for the sole purpose of determining the validity of the impoundment or to determine whether the vehicle may be released before the end of the 30-day period.

Important Note: The city where your vehicle was impounded may have additional or different procedures that must be followed. Be certain to check your city procedures as well.

Phoenix DUI Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been charged with an Arizona DUI or other Criminal offense contact Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney
James Novak.
Valley-wide Service.

March 2, 2010

Phoenix DUI Defense Attorneys

  • Arizona DUI Defense Lawyers are Competitive - Shop Around! Some attorneys charge significantly higher or lower than others. Some have charged the same fees for years. Not because they are less competent or effective Arizona DUI lawyers, but because they wish to remain or become more competitive. Some of best Arizona Criminal Defense Attorneys lower their fees consistent with a struggling economy.
  • Negotiate! Most Arizona Criminal & DUI Defense Attorney's Fees are negotiable. But if you wish to be taken seriously, you must be fair and reasonable. The experienced Arizona Criminal & DUI attorneys know how much work and the estimated amount of hours it will take to defend your case. If the price is unaffordable, offer to pay a majority of the fee up front. A fair amount would be 85% to 90% of their quote. In return request they forgive the remaining amount. Many attorneys will consider this in good faith.
  • Ask Questions! Make sure you understand and agree to the terms of the fee agreement, including the cost of pre-trial and trial services if needed.
  • Keep your original Documents! Make sure you leave with the originals, and the attorney gets copies of the documents you brought to the consultation, unless there is good reason they need an original documents.
  • Get a Copy of the Fee Agreement! Make sure you take a copy of the Fee Agreement with you when you leave the Attorney's Office.
  • Understand the Payment Plan Terms! Most Arizona Criminal & DUI Attorneys charge a flat and allow you to make payment arrangements, and paid in full, prior to completion of your case. Make sure you understand and agree, and that it is included in the Fee Agreement.
  • Press for a Stop-Loss! If you choose an attorney who charges by the hour, ask the attorney if He or She can commit to a maximum ceiling amount. If agreed, make sure this is included in the written and signed fee agreement.
  • Price isn't everything! Remember, price is just one of many facts you should consider before making your choice of which Arizona DUI Attorney to hire. Other important factors include education, training, experience, and effectiveness in defense and experience in litigation, competence, communication, respect, referral by someone you trust. Most important is your comfort level. Decide who you feel will provide the best defense; work the hardest to get you the best outcome in your case.

Phoenix, Arizona DUI Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been charged with an Arizona DUI or other Criminal offense contact the Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor). Valley-wide Service.

March 1, 2010

Phoenix Arizona DUI Attorneys

You were charged with an Arizona DUI. Reality sets in. You need an Arizona DUI Lawyer. First question on your mind "How much is this going to cost me?". You get two quotes from Phoenix, Arizona Attorneys. One is for $1,500.00 and the other is for $15,000.00. Why is this? Here are seven facts you should know about the cost of Arizona DUI legal representation.

  • No Arizona Attorney governing entities dictate how much a Criminal and DUI Attorney can charge their clients for legal representation (Unless it is a participating attorney in a pre-paid group plan of some type through an employer or other organization for which you belong).
  • The more competition that exists in your geographical area, the more likely you will find an affordable Arizona DUI lawyer. In order to remain or become competitive, especially during times of a struggling economy, an attorney may significantly lower their prices. Like every other business, they need to find a way to gain the edge over competing law firms.
  • How much an attorney charges is not a reflection on their competence or effectiveness they can provide for your legal defense. This applies to both lower and higher fees. Larger Arizona DUI law Firms, tend to charge higher fees than sole practitioners or smaller Arizona DUI and Criminal law firms. This is mainly due to the fact that their cost to operate is much higher, for things like employees' salaries and benefits, advertising and overhead costs.
  • The Arizona State Bar prohibits Criminal & DUI attorneys from charging on a contingency basis (meaning the practice of charging pending the outcome of the case).
  • The client is usually responsible for any costs necessary to defend the case over and above the sole cost of attorney services such as independent expert fees including reconstruction engineers, psychological assessments, and polygraph (lie detector) tests.
  • Arizona Criminal & DUI attorneys must communicate the basis or rate of the fees to their clients in writing. This is called a "Fee Agreement", which you are required to sign upon retention. If you have signed one, make sure you retain a copy of it. This is all you have to support or prove what you and the attorney agreed upon concerning fees and payment arrangements for pre-trial and trial services.
  • Some attorneys charge what they call a "global fee" that covers everything associated in the case including trial. However, the in Arizona you should know that only a very small amount of criminal cases ever go to trial in Maricopa County Arizona. Somewhere between 2% to 4% meaning at least 96% do not. Paying globally, you usually are not entitled to a refund if your case is settled before a trial is needed. Be sure you understand what fee structure you enter into. Alternately, there are other Arizona DUI Attorneys who charge a two tier type Arizona DUI fees. This fee structure is commonly broken into stages that include a flat-fee before the matter is set for trial and another fee if the DUI case gets set for trial.
Phoenix DUI Lawyers

If you or someone you know has been charged with an Arizona DUI or other Criminal offense contact the Law Office of James Novak. Call now for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499, with experienced Phoenix Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor). *Valley-wide Service.