November 2012 Archives

November 22, 2012

Criminal Arrest Phoenix AZ.jpgThe National CDC predicts 1,200 people will be killed; 25,000 injured due to impaired drivers this holiday season 2012.

The AZ Department of Public Safety issued a press release on November 21, 2012 announcing they will be focused on preventing auto accidents from Thanksgiving 2012 to New Year 2013. They are especially concerned with preventing auto accidents that result from impaired driving due to drugs or alcohol. The State of Arizona is asking the public to step up to help the cause.

Arizona Department of Public Service Tips

• Don't drive impaired due to alcohol or drugs;

• If you suspect someone is drunk driving or driving impaired due to drugs, call #911;

• Do an operation check on your vehicle before leaving for your destination. In particular, check inflation and tread on tires;

• Do not allow yourself to be distracted while driving. Remain focused on the road and other traffic;

• Never Read text, write text, or E-mail while driving. Always pull over or stop the vehicle in a safe place to text or E-mail;

• Wear your seat belt. Make sure all passengers have fastened theirs before you begin;

• Do not allow yourself to become impatient with other motorist. Risking a reckless driving charge, or auto collision is not worth it; before reacting to someone else's road rage, think about the consequences;

• Do not drive aggressive, or reckless. Steer away from drivers who are. Don't allow yourself to be their victim of their road rage or reckless driving.

DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney Mesa AZ

If you have been arrested with any DUI impaired driving with accident or other vehicular crime you should consult a criminal defense attorney to discuss your matters. These charges are all brought as criminal offenses. The offender will be exposed to harsh penalties including jail time, suspension of driver's license suspension or revocation, drug/alcohol counseling, fines, fees, and assessments, use of interlock devices on vehicles, and other harsh penalties. You should always retain a criminal defense attorney in the jurisdiction where you received the charges. They will protect your rights, defend your charges, and make every effort to secure a favorable resolution to your case.

Additional Resources:

AZ Department of Public Safety Press Release

National Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Arizona DUI Laws - State Legislature

Vehicular Crimes - Arizona State Legislature

Continue reading "Arizona DPS 2012 holiday safety tips for travelers " »

November 13, 2012

Criminal Rights and Exceptions of Right to Counsel

A person's rights to counsel can be found in the State's Rules of Criminal Procedures; The US Constitution 5th and 14th Amendment; the Arizona Constitution; and Under Arizona Criminal Code A.R.S. 13-114. This segment focuses on the Rules of Criminal Procedure in Maricopa County.

Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure - Right to Counsel

Rules 6.1 (a.) & (c.) entitle a defendant to be represented by counsel in DUI and criminal proceedings. However, they are not entitled to counsel if the offense has no possibility of resulting in jail or prison if they are found guilty.

A defendant may waive their right to counsel at any time.

Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure - Withdrawal of Waiver of Right to Counsel

Rule 6.1 (e.) allows for a person who previously waived their right to counsel, to also withdraw their waiver of right to counsel, at any time.

There is one exception to withdrawing a waiver of right to counsel at any time: A person is not entitled repeat a proceeding, they previously waived their right to an attorney, on the sole ground that they were unrepresented.

When Legal Counsel is Necessary

Defense services of qualified legal counsel are needed in all stages of criminal proceedings, that expose a person to jail or prison, if they are found guilty of the charges. These stages include:

• Pre-trial Services;
• Trial Representation;
• Sentencing

A person should also consider hiring a lawyer to represent them in pre-indictment cases, when a suspect is being investigated for serious charges, but has not yet formally been charged.

Legal Representation for DUI and Criminal Charges in Mesa AZ

It is unwise for a person to waive their right to legal counsel for DUI or criminal charges in which a person may be exposed to incarceration in jail or prison if found guilty. If a person moves forward with criminal proceedings unrepresented, irreversible harm can result in their case, and their defense may be compromised.

A defendant should always retain an attorney as early as possible in order to preserve all rights and defenses that may be used in the future to challenge or defend the charges.

If a defendant has jeopardized use of defenses, waived rights, or provided self-incriminating testimony, an attorney generally can't undo the damage that has been done. They can't go back and abolish the proceeding on the sole basis that the defense was compromised as a result of the defendant's waiver of right to representation by an attorney.

In general, defendants usually do not secure favorable resolutions to their charges when they go unrepresented. A person who represents themselves if expected to adhere to all Rules of Criminal Procedure; understand their rights and laws; and consequences of their decision in the event they are found guilty of the charges. Early retention of a criminal defense attorney is a key factor in obtaining any favorable outcome in criminal cases.

Additional Resources:

AZ Supreme Court - Rules of Criminal Procedure

Maricopa County Superior Court

Right to Counsel under Criminal Code

US Constitutional Amendments

Continue reading " Right to Legal Counsel in Criminal Proceedings " »

November 5, 2012

Tips for keeping your holidays safe and free from DUI arrests and hazards

Last week, the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety (AGOHS) announced it will be holding a Holiday 2012 DUI Enforcement "Kick-off" Conference at the Arizona State Capitol, Tuesday November 27, 2012. They will be discussing details for safety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and increased presence throughout the state to enforce DUI laws.

The AGOHS works with local city, and county officials to organize DUI Safety Checks that generally beginning around Thanksgiving and run through the New Year. During this time frame last year, DUI roadblocks resulted in over 4,170 Arizona DUI arrests for Drug DUI and Alcohol related DUI offenses.

7 Basic DUI Safety Tips

Here are some tips for planning Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holiday celebrations, to help avoid hazards and arrests resulting from impaired driving:

• Refrain from driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
• Appoint a trustworthy designated driver;
• Make arrangements in advance for a safe ride home including taxi, public transportation, or trustworthy family or friend;
• Know the Arizona DUI laws related to drug and alcohol DUI;
• Avoid binge drinking, and know your impairment threshold for drinking;
• Don't allow yourself to be a passenger in a vehicle driven by a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
• Talk to your teens about the dangers of drinking and driving and encourage them to follow these tips

Arizona DUI Laws and Facts

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration works with Arizona to provide support for their Holiday DUI Enforcement "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaigns. Here are some Arizona laws, and NHTSA facts to keep in mind:

• Of the 32,885 people who lost their lives in 2010 to motor vehicle accidents, 31% or 10,228 fatalities resulted from alcohol impaired driving;
• The age group subject to the greatest risk of impaired driving and fatal crashes were 21 to 34 years old, who were under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
• Nighttime driving 6:00 pm to 6:00 am was the most deadly time frame for fatal crashes, and 78% of fatal crashes within the study in December 2010 alone;
• Of those, 45% had a Blood Alcohol Content of .15 BAC or higher;
• Police have zero tolerance for DUI charges, and do not provide warnings. DUI arrests will be made;
• All DUI convictions call for jail time and suspension of driver's license;
• In Arizona Refusal to take alcohol breath tests will result in a suspension of a motorists driver's license, whether the motorist was found to be driving impaired or not;
• In Arizona the legal limit for alcohol is 0.08% BAC;
• A person may be arrested for DUI, if their BAC is below the 0.08% if they are driving "impaired to the slightest degree" under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
• The legal drinking age in Arizona is 21 years old. Zero tolerance applies to any one driving or found to have any amount of alcohol in their system.

Criminal Defense for DUI Charges Tempe AZ

If you were arrested for DUI charges in Arizona, you should always consult an experienced DUI defense lawyer regarding your charges. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws and penalties in the country, and prosecutors egregiously pursue convictions for all types of DUI - DWI charges. If retained, your attorney will make sure your rights are protected; that you are treated fairly; defend your charges; and attempt to get the most favorable resolution possible for your charges.

Additional Resources:

Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety - News Announcement

National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration

Arizona State Legislature - DUI laws

Arizona Mothers Against Drunk Driving - (MADD)

Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles

Continue reading "AGOHS Announces Holiday DUI Task Force Conference" »