September 2012 Archives

September 18, 2012

In Carillo v. Houser Maricopa County, the Arizona Supreme Court held that the Implied Consent Law, A.R.S. § 28-1321 did not authorize police to conduct DUI blood testing without a warrant. The exception is if the suspect expressly gives their consent for officers to administer the chemical test.

It is not enough for a suspect to object to the blood or urine test. They must expressly refuse, or consent to it. Failure of a person to expressly agree, or to consent to completing the chemical test is considered a refusal.

If a driver refuses a DUI breath test the police may obtain a warrant to collect a blood or urine sample. In order to obtain a warrant the police must have "probable cause" to believe that a motorist was driving impaired under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If a driver refuses to participate in the chemical testing, there are civil and criminal consequences. A refusal of a DUI chemical testing with a valid warrant will result in a 12 month suspension of the motorist's driver's license. The police may proceed with a DUI arrest with probable cause for DUI charges.


Arizona Implied Consent Law

Under the Implied Consent Law A.R.S. § 28-1321 a motorist driving in Arizona inherently gives their consent to DUI breath, blood or urine test if requested by police to determine if they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The Police Officer who makes the DUI stop decides what type of test should be administered. The officer must have cause to believe that the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle either alcohol or drugs.


Implied Consent Law - Underage 21 Drinking

Arizona is a "Zero Tolerance" state with regard to underage 21 drinking. This means an underage drinker may be arrested for being under the influence of any alcohol in their blood stream. The Implied Consent Law A.R.S. § 28-1321 also gives authority to police in Arizona to administer chemical testing to a person under the age of 21 years of age. They police may administer the test to determine if the person under age 21 has in their body, whether or not they were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle.


DUI Lawyer Tempe AZ - Defense

If you were arrested for DUI based on breath or blood testing, there may defenses you are not aware of that can lead to suppression of evidence or even a dismissal of charges. An arrest is not a conviction. Anyone arrested has a constitutional right to defend their charges. In order to make sure your rights are protected, and to defend your charges, you should always retain the services of a qualified criminal defense attorney.


Additional Resources:

Arizona Legislature Implied Consent Law

Arizona Legislature DUI law

Arizona Supreme Court JOSE CARRILLO v. HON. ROBERT HOUSER Ref: CV-09-0285-PR

Arizona Department of Transportation

Continue reading "DUI Blood Test Laws: DUI chemical tests taken without consent not admissible in Court" »

September 13, 2012

The Meaning

The phrase "Super Extreme" relative to "DUI" refers to the level or amount of Alcohol Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) found in a person's system. "Felony" refers to the Classification of criminal charges as in the difference between Misdemeanor and Felony crimes.


Differences between Misdemeanor and Felony DUI charges

First we will discuss the main differences between Misdemeanor DUI and Felony DUI classifications. A majority of DUI charges are classified as Misdemeanors. A Misdemeanor DUI offense will be raised to Felony charges when certain aggravated factors are presents. For this reason, Felony DUI charges are also referred to as "Aggravated". The penalties for felony DUI charges are more severe than misdemeanor. Convictions will expose a person to prison term, larger fines, fees, and assessments; and driver's license will be indefinitely revoked.


Aggravated Factors - Felony DUI Charges

Under Arizona law A.R.S. §28-1383 (A) (1), (2), & (3) three aggravating factors that will cause an Arizona Misdemeanor DUI to be elevated to Felony DUI charges.

(1) DUI charge while driving on a suspended, restricted or revoked driver's license;

(2) Third DUI charge within 7 years and you have two prior DUI convictions that occurred during the last 7 years:

(3) DUI DWI and a child under 15 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle you were driving


Super Extreme DUI Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in Arizona:

The terms "Extreme" or "Super Extreme" refer to the motorist Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level found in a person's system.

The legal limit for alcohol in Arizona is 0.08%. If a person exceeds 0.15% they are considered to be Extreme DU; if a BAC exceeds 0.20% or greater they will be charged with Super Extreme DUI - DWI offense.

In Arizona a person can also be charged with DUI for being "Impaired to the Slightest Degree" even if their BAC is below 0.08%, or if they are impaired due to drugs and alcohol, or drugs alone.


Penalties for Felony DUI Super Extreme BAC Convictions:

• Mandatory Prison - 4 months minimum or more;
• 3 year Driver's License Revocation;
• Participation in Mandatory Alcohol counseling or treatment program;
• Minimum of 30 hours in Community Service;
• Ignition Interlock device on vehicle - current statutory requirements;
• Fines, court fees, prison assessments and fees exceeding $4,000.00.


Tempe AZ Super Extreme Aggravated DUI Lawyer for defense

Felony DUI charges with Super Extreme BAC are very serious. Your future and freedom are at stake. A Felony DUI conviction will leave you with a felon criminal record, prison terms, and have lasting adverse impacts on your life. You should always consult an experienced criminal defense attorney in the jurisdiction where you were arrested or received charges. They will discuss your matter and provide you options for defense. There may be defenses you are not aware of that may lead to a favorable resolution of your charges. If retained, a criminal defense attorney will protect your rights, defend your charges, and pursue the best possible outcome in your case.


Additional Resources:

Arizona State Legislature = Aggravated DUI Laws
Arizona State Legislature - Extreme DUI Laws.
Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety (azgohs.gov) Super Extreme DUI Sentencing
Arizona Department of Public Safety (azdps.gov)


Continue reading "Super Extreme Felony DUI Charges: Difference between a Misdemeanor and Felony DUI including meaning, laws, and penalties " »

September 4, 2012

Phoenix DUI Lawyer.jpgThe Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety released arrest statistics resulting from the DUI task forces staged throughout the Labor Day weekend. At least 564 persons were arrested for DUI as of Tuesday September 4, 2012.

Types of DUI arrests included:

• 472 Alcohol DUI charges;
• 92 Drug DUI charges;
• 154 Underage 21 DUI offense



Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Levels for Alcohol DUI:

• 30% Extreme DUI which is 0.15% or greater;
• 70% "Impaired to the Slightest Degree: or over 0.08% but not greater than 0.15%

Classifications of DUI - DWI Charges

• 449 were Misdemeanor DUI charges;
• 40 were Aggravated (Felony) DUI charges*

*In Arizona under ARS § 28-1383 an Aggravated DUI charges one that involves at least one of more of the following circumstances:

• DUI while the motorist is on driving on a suspended, cancelled, revoked or otherwise invalid driver's license;
• A repeat DUI offense with 2 prior DUI convictions within 84 months;
• A DUI offense while the motorist has a passenger under age 15 years old in the vehicle.
• DUI with auto accident causing serious bodily harm to another person;
• Manslaughter - DUI involving a fatal accident

DUI - DWI Penalties

Convictions for Misdemeanor DUI call for 10 days jail; suspension of driver's license for 90 days; Ignition interlock Device (IID) on vehicle; fines; fees; drug or alcohol education, screening and treatment; probation.

In addition, DUI convictions involving higher BAC levels call for longer jail terms; higher fines and fees; use of IID for longer length of time; suspension of licenses for longer term.

Aggravated DUI Sentencing may result in prison terms of 4 to 8 months; fines, fees and assessments of up to $4,000; revocation of license; IIG use for 1 to 2 years; as well as other penalties mentioned above.

DUI Defense Attorney Phoenix AZ

If you have been arrested for DUI, it is important that you consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. They will discuss your matter with you confidentially, and provide you with defense options. They will protect your rights; defend your charges; guide you through the criminal justice process; and work to get you the best possible resolution in your case. There may be defenses you are not aware of that may lead to a dismissal of charges; reduction of sentencing; avoidance of harsh prison sentencing and other favorable outcomes in you matter.


Additional Resources:

A.R.S. Misdemeanor DUI:

A.R.S. Aggravated DUI

Arizona Department of Public Safety

Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety

Continue reading "Phoenix AZ DUI Task Force: DUI Arrests Statistics Labor Day Weekend 2012 " »