What will lead to a successful outcome in an Arizona DUI case?
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Arizona, it’s likely you’re feeling nervous about what comes next. Contacting an experienced Arizona DUI lawyer will certainly give you the best chance for success, but why is that?
Do I need to hire a DUI lawyer? What factors will make my DUI case easier to fight? What’s the best outcome for a DUI in Arizona? What can I do to ensure I succeed in court?
These are all valid questions our Arizona DUI lawyers receive daily from people charged with a DUI in Arizona. Below, we’ve compiled EVERYTHING you need to know about reaching a successful outcome in an Arizona DUI case.
Pre-Arrest Investigation in an Arizona DUI Case
To start, it’s important to understand the timeline of an Arizona DUI case, and the first thing that takes place is the pre-arrest investigation.
What is a Pre-Arrest Investigation?
First, the Pre-Arrest investigation includes all the things an officer does from the time they first see your car, to the time they arrest you.
Make no mistake– even before the officer approaches your window, they have already begun their investigation! Undoubtedly, they’ve been observing your driving, looking into your car, if possible, to see what movements you’re making, etc. By the time you are pulled over, the officer has already been looking for evidence to prove that a crime is occurring.
There’s an old saying: “To they who work with hammers, everything looks like a nail.”
Well, police officers are trained crime-finders. They’re always looking for crime, often many times where none has even been committed. Every action you take, during an uninvited interaction with a police officer, is under tight scrutiny.
Is there anything I can do to help my DUI case during a Pre-Arrest Investigation?
Because officers are scrutinizing your every move, it’s always best to make a Pre-Arrest Investigation for an Arizona DUI as short as possible.
The best way to do that is to shut it down right at the beginning: ask for a lawyer. The longer you interact with a police officer, the more evidence they’ll have against you! Always ask for a lawyer and contact an experienced Arizona DUI lawyer to help you with the investigation.
How to Navigate an Arizona DUI After Your Arrest
After an arrest has been made, there are things you can do to help your DUI case. You MUST be proactive about your defense by finding a good Arizona DUI lawyer who is going to fight for you.
Hire an Arizona DUI Lawyer
A lot of people just want to go to court, plead their case to the judge, and think it’s just going to get dismissed at that first court hearing. But that is just not true!
People who choose not to seek out a good lawyer, and think they can handle it on their own, WILL lose out on the potential for a successful outcome in their Arizona DUI case.
A good Arizona DUI lawyer will help you fight for reduced charges or consequences, greatly increasing your chance of success. Additionally, there are also opportunities an Arizona DUI lawyer can take before charges are even issued. This makes it much easier to defend the case once it is charged.
Possible Outcomes in an Arizona DUI Case
When you get arrested for a DUI, there are typically two separate cases that come as a result.
First, a case gets filed by the officer with the Criminal Court. Secondly, a case will get filed with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Devision (“MVD”) through the admin per se affidavit process.
Any good Arizona DUI lawyer knows that BOTH of these cases are highly important for success in an Arizona DUI. There is a specific process that must be followed.
DUI Cases with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division
As such, within the scope of the case with the MVD, the Arizona DUI lawyer has two goals:
- Minimize the consequences on their client’s driver’s license; and
- Gather evidence through the MVD process to be used in the criminal case in the Criminal Court.
Oftentimes, there is a very limited timeframe for an Arizona DUI lawyer to accomplish these two goals.
What is an Admin Per Se Affidavit?
When an officer arrests someone for a DUI, they are supposed to serve them with an “Administrative Per Se Implied Consent Affidavit, or “Admin Per Se Affidavit.” This affidavit acknowledges to the driver that by accepting an Arizona driver’s license, you’ve agreed to submit to testing if you’re suspected of a DUI. As such, the officer is supposed to advise them that if they do not challenge their license in fifteen days, there will be an automatic suspension.
However, that is not true if you get a good DUI attorney involved!
Arizona DUI Cases and Going to Court
Should I admit guilt to the judge in a DUI case?
A common mistake that people make after they’ve been arrested for a DUI in Arizona is simply this: admitting their guilt. Although we do believe the common phrase– honesty is a good policy– when it comes to criminal or DUI charges, it is NOT a simple question of whether you should accept responsibility.
There is also the question of consequences: If you admit responsibility in a DUI case, are the consequences going to be fair?
Unfortunately, the reality is that while there is a time and a place to accept responsibility, it’s NEVER with the officer, and it’s RARELY with the judge at one of the first hearings.
Many people arrested for a DUI in Arizona think, “I shouldn’t get a defense attorney. I shouldn’t fight this because I’m guilty. I did it, I just need to accept responsibility, take my stripes and move on.”
Sadly, this mindset does not take into consideration the consequences of admitting guilt in an Arizona DUI case.
The Consequences for a DUI in Arizona
Unfortunately, the truth is that far too often, consequences for Arizona DUI charges may be unfair, and in many cases, too harsh. However, a good Arizona DUI lawyer will find a way for you to reduce the consequences at hand AND give you the opportunity to accept responsibility for what you did.
First, the fines facing those with a DUI conviction can be exorbitant, and those can likely be reduced with the help of an Arizona DUI lawyer.
Second, the loss of a person’s driving privileges can have HUGE economic consequences. There is jail time in Arizona.
Further, there is mandatory jail time for every Arizona DUI, unless you can negotiate with the prosecutor something different or beat the case outright. These negotiations are, by far, best done by an experienced Arizona DUI lawyer.
What if I’m NOT guilty for the DUI I’ve been charged with?
All this being said, in some cases it’s appropriate to go all the way to trial, fight DUI charges to the end, and never accept responsibility. This is particularly important if you did not do it!
However, there is more to consider than the simple question of: “Am I guilty, or not?”
Essentially, even if you are guilty, there are still many reasons why you should hire a good Arizona DUI lawyer. They will make sure that the consequences for your DUI are fair, and not unduly harsh.
You cannot rely on a judge to have mercy on you– even if you’re a good person.
Another common misconception of Arizona DUI cases is this: “I can just go to court and tell the judge that I’m a good person! The judge will see that I’m a good person, and the judge will have mercy on me!”
Unfortunately, this is just not going to happen.
The reality is that, without experience, you just do not know what a judge is going to do. Some judges are very hard on crime; some judges are a little bit more understanding and compassionate. Only experienced Arizona DUI lawyers will know how to interact with a judge and present evidence effectively in court.
Additionally, there is a lot of political pressure on judges to be tough on crime. Generally, voters want judges to be tough on crime, and judges want to be re-elected by their constituents.
It is interesting that voters in general will say we should be more tough on crime, but when they themselves are arrested, or they see a friend go through the criminal justice system, the story changes. Most people, when faced with the realities of our criminal justice system, are shocked at how merciless the system really is.
So what can I do to help my case if I’m arrested for a DUI in Arizona?
Hire an Arizona DUI Lawyer
Clearly, it’s very important that those arrested for DUI find an Arizona DUI lawyer that can give them the right advice and fight for them.
What if I can’t afford to hire an Arizona DUI lawyer?
People often make the mistake of thinking, “Well, I can’t afford an attorney.” The reality is that most Arizona DUI lawyers, including our team at Tait & Hall, give FREE consultations on DUI cases. There is no harm in at least speaking with a DUI lawyer, and at best, it might change the trajectory of your life.
Additionally, our Arizona DUI lawyers at Tait & Hall will allow you to create a payment plan, in order to make defending a DUI more attainable.
The long-term effects of a DUI are more serious than the price of a DUI lawyer.
Unfortunately, many people with DUI charges don’t understand that the serious consequences of a DUI far outweigh the cost of hiring a good Arizona DUI lawyer.
Hefty fines, the loss of one’s driving privileges, and mandatory jail time can all have severe economic consequences. These consequences can often be reduced or avoided entirely by investing in an experienced Arizona DUI lawyer.
Navigating the Arizona criminal justice system, negotiating with judges, and fighting for success in your DUI case are things an attorney is just going to be best suited for. In the long term, spending some money on an attorney on the front end can actually save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Your Arizona DUI lawyer will help avoid many of those extremely costly and expensive consequences that Arizona DUI laws build into DUI convictions.
How important is it to have an experienced Arizona DUI Lawyer?
When choosing an Arizona DUI lawyer, you really need somebody defending you who is specifically a DUI attorney. You cannot just get any criminal defense attorney, or a random lawyer friend with no DUI experience, to defend a DUI case!
First, there is a lot of science involved in DUI cases. If you hire a defense attorney who doesn’t understand the science behind a gas chromatography machine (used for testing blood) or an Intoxilyzer (used for testing breath), you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Right out of the gate, you’re missing a HUGE portion of the effective techniques that qualified DUI lawyers use to fight DUIs.
Further, there are also consequences for DUIs that are not common to other types of criminal cases. If your attorney doesn’t have a lot of education and experience with DUIs, chances are, they will miss some important items that could have helped your case tremendously.
Arizona DUI Lawyers that will Help You Succeed in Your DUI Case
Call the Law Office of Tait & Hall for a FREE Initial Consultation with an experienced, qualified Arizona DUI lawyer: (480) 405-6767