DUI Lawyer in Mesa, AZ
Defending Against DUI Charges Throughout Maricopa County
DUI charges are a serious matter, especially if that offense is aggravated by additional charges, such as reckless driving or negligent homicide. If you are facing DUI-related charges in Arizona, you may be feeling overwhelmed. The prospects of a criminal record, losing one’s driver’s license, and even jail are real possibilities.
But amidst these potentially serious consequences, there is also hope. And an experienced Mesa DUI lawyer, one who understands the law, the system, and how to investigate these cases, may be able to make a big difference in the life of a defendant and their family. Naegle Law Firm, PLC brings over 16 years of experience to every DUI case. From our Mesa office, we also work with clients in Gilbert, Scottdale, and Tempe.
Arizona DUI Laws
In the state of Arizona, DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is a very serious offense that should not be taken lightly. DUI commonly refers to operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both. In Arizona, an individual could be faced with charges for a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) surpasses the legal limit of 0.08% for individuals aged 21 or older. For drivers under 21, Arizona has a zero-tolerance policy, meaning any traceable amount of alcohol in their system may result in a DUI charge. The punishments for a DUI conviction could vary depending based on several factors, such as the driver's BAC level, prior DUI convictions, and other circumstances. If you are facing charges for a DUI in Maricopa County, do not hesitate to reach out to our Mesa DUI lawyer.
Is a DUI Considered a Vehicular Crime in Arizona?
In Arizona, DUIs are just one of several offenses involving the operation of a motor vehicle. It is not unusual for someone who may be at fault for an accident to be charged with a vehicular crime, even if that person did not intend to cause harm to someone else.
The key factor prosecutors look at is whether the driver is alleged to have been acting in a reckless or negligent manner. Examples of reckless driving might include the following:
- Texting while driving
- Going well over the speed limit, particularly in a school zone
- Weaving in and out of traffic beyond what a normal person would consider reasonable
And, driving while intoxicated would most certainly be considered reckless and negligent behavior in the operation of a vehicle. Thus, while the exact circumstances of each case are always the deciding factor, the general answer to the question is yes, a DUI can be considered a vehicular crime in Arizona.
What Are the Penalties a DUI or Vehicular Crime in Arizona?
Convictions for vehicular crime have significant consequences, varying in severity. Penalties may include fines, jail time, and license suspension or revocation.
What’s more, the existence of a criminal record can have lasting repercussions. Someone planning to gain employment driving trucks or commercial vehicles may have a hard time finding an employer that would accept a prior conviction for a vehicular crime--even more so if the offense included a DUI. Finding employment, housing, and schooling opportunities can all be affected by having a conviction on a record.
All of which makes it that much more important to have a Mesa DUI attorney that knows how to fight these charges and work towards acquittal, or at least a reduction in charges and possible alternative sentencing.
Is a Vehicular Crime a Felony or a Misdemeanor in Arizona?
A vehicular crime can be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the accusation. A DUI can result in an endangerment charge. This means the defendant’s action placed another person in danger of injury or death, a circumstance that is not uncommon in DUI cases.
- Endangerment is a Class 1 Misdemeanor (the highest level of a misdemeanor) or a Class 6 Felony (the lowest level of a felony), depending on the circumstances. Either one holds out the possibility of jail time.
- All other DUI charges can vary from a Class 5 Felony to a Class 2 Felony. The penalties can include prison sentences of as long as 10 years.
DUI Defense Strategies
There are several viable ways for our experienced attorneys to work toward a defendant's acquittal. Defense strategies include:
- Finding out there was reasonable cause for the police officer to make the traffic stop to begin with. If the answer is no, any evidence gathered (i.e., the blood-alcohol content test) is inadmissible in court.
- Examining the accuracy of a breath test. Defendants may not realize that common, everyday food, medicine, and health conditions can create a blood alcohol content level that is deceptively high.
- Examining the accuracy of a blood test. There are more than a few ways for a blood test to be inaccurate, starting with the failure to maintain a proper chain of custody on the blood sample. Chain of custody is a significant issue in law, as it demonstrates that the item in question (in this case, the blood sample) was properly maintained and not tampered with, be it deliberate or not. If the chain of custody cannot be demonstrated, the evidence will have to be thrown out. And, likely, so will the DUI charges.
Contact Our Mesa DUI Lawyer Today
Every case is different, and outcomes may vary, but simply giving in to the prosecution and pleading guilty should never be the first choice. At Naegle Law Firm, PLC, we have helped many clients in similar situations. If you or someone you love is dealing with a DUI or vehicular crime charge in Arizona, reach out to us at our Mesa office to request a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case and see how we can help.
Contact Naegle Law Firm, PLC, today to get started on your defense with our DUI lawyer in Mesa, AZ.
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