We know you have questions. We have your answers.
*These responses cover most but not every scenario. If you have additional questions or want to discuss your individual case, feel free to contact Curry, Pearson & Wooten P.L.C. We are here to help you.
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What happens if I plead guilty to an Arizona criminal traffic violation? Will I go to jail?
You could go to jail, depending on the type of infraction. While pleading guilty might seem like the easiest option when accused of a criminal traffic violation, it could lead to further problems.
According to the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County, some of the penalties you might face if you plead guilty include:
- Suspension of your driving privileges
- Traffic points on your record
- A fine
- Community service
- Jail time
Keep in mind that there could be further consequences of pleading guilty to a criminal traffic offense. For example, a violation could result in higher insurance rates and a criminal record.
If you have additional questions, feel free to contact the experienced Arizona criminal lawyers at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). We will review the details of your situation and explain your rights.
Be sure to order a free copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law - What You Must Know.
Will I go to jail for a first-time drug possession offense in Arizona?
It depends. First-time drug possession offenders may be eligible for alternative sentencing, which means you may be able to avoid jail time. You may be able to complete an alternative program, such as a TASC (treatment assessment screening center) program. However, there are many factors that must be considered, which should be discussed with an experienced Phoenix criminal lawyer.
Even if this is the first time you have been charged with drug possession for personal use, you need to make sure that you have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side, who understands the options available to you. The state of Arizona is tough on drug offenders and you need to ensure that your lawyer is equipped to properly handle your case.
For more information regarding your rights following a drug charge, contact one of our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys at the law firm of Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC by calling 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). We will review your case and explain your options under the law.
Be sure to order a free copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law - What You Must Know.
Are field sobriety tests mandatory when pulled over for DUI in Arizona?
The answer is “no.” Officers often use field sobriety testing to give them probable cause, or justification, to arrest someone for suspected drunk driving. These tests are not reliable and are based on the officer’s subjective opinion.
If you are pulled over for suspected driving under the influence (DUI), you may be asked to walk a straight line, then turn. You may be asked to stand on one leg or follow a moving pen or other object with your eyes. Failing one of these tests can lead to your arrest, which is unfortunate considering that many factors, other than alcohol, can influence the outcome of the testing.
You do have the right to refuse to participate in field sobriety tests. Simply decline the officer’s request.
To learn more about field sobriety testing and other issues relating to DUI, order a free copy of our informative book, Arizona DUI Law: What You Must Know.
For answers to your other DUI questions, give us a call at 602-258-1000 or toll free at 1-888-9AZLAWCOM (888-929-5292). An experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney at our firm will be more than happy to help you.
Do I Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Yes, in most instances if you are unfamiliar with the legal process, and/or you have no legal training. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights if you are arrested, reduce bail if you are eligible for bail, seek a bail reduction if you cannot afford bail, navigate the criminal process after an arrest and explain and preserve your constitutional rights. In some instances, certain results are fairly typical and representation may not be needed such as propostion 200 eligible cases.
Can I beRepresented prior to Criminal Charges being Filed?
Yes; we call such representation pre-charge representation. Here, we seek to investigate your case and provide representation if you have
been contacted by law enforcement. In addition, we make sure that you fully understand your rights if you are conerned about being
arrested. In some most cases, we contact law enforcement to make them aware of exculpatory facts or facts proving you did not commit
a crime. We seek to prevent criminal charges if possible. Our goal is to ease your concerns regarding the criminal case and to educate you concerning
your legal rights.
What are Miranda Warningsand Why are they Necessary ?
. Following an arrest, you will be handcuffed and read your "Miranda Rights", as follows: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present before and during any questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning. Do you understand these rights?
These rights are present to protect you from making statements that will later be used against you. Simply state that you wish to speak to your defense attorney. Note: If the questioning continues after you have requested to remain silent and consult with your lawyer, your case may be dismissed for violations of these rights. Additionally, motions can be filed to suppress all evidence obtained after the violation.
What happens after I am arrested, read my Miranda Rights and taken to jail?
Within the next 24 hours you will appear before the Judge or Judge Magistrate who may set a bond for appearance in court. If you cannot post bond, you may be incarcerated pending appearance in court. Depending on your charges, if you qualify for release with bond, and can post it, you will remain free pending your appearance at what is called an arraignment. The arraignment is held before a judge who formally tells you the offense for which you are being charged. The judge will then inform you of your constitutional rights and of the possible penalties involved. You will enter a plea of guilty or not-guilty at this time, the bond or bail may be reviewed, and a date for the next hearing is scheduled.
What is the difference between an Aggravated DUI and an Extreme DUI?
In Arizona, an "Aggravated" DUI is a felony. A DUI can be charged as an Aggravated DUI when the following situations apply:
- A child under 15 years old was in the car;
- A person's driver's license was suspended, revoked, or restricted at the time of the DUI;
- A person has two prior DUI convictions within the last 84 months (7 years).
An "Extreme" DUI is related to the blood/breath alcohol test results. If a person has a test result of a .15 BAC (blood alcohol concentration) or above, then the person can be charged with Extreme DUI. An Extreme DUI conviction comes with increased penalties but is still a misdemeanor. If a person has a test result of a .20 BAC or above, then the person can be charged with "Super Extreme DUI" and the penalties are further increased.
If I get a DUI conviction, how long will my driver's license be suspended?
Typically, the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) will suspend a person's driver's license for 90 days for a first offense misdemeanor DUI. A person may be eligible for a restricted license, which allows the person to drive to work, treatment, etc. for 60 of those days. Eligibility for the restricted license is usually based upon the person's prior driving record. A person should check with the MVD to see if they are eligible for this restrictive license. It is very important that a person reinstate their driving privilege after the suspension period. It doesn't just automatically get reinstated. Usually, that requires payment of a reinstatement fee and possibly other requirements required by MVD. If a person fails to reinstate their license, it continues to be suspended until they do so. A felony DUI conviction results in a revocation of the person's driver's license for up to 3 years. There is no allowance for a restricted license in this situation. If a person has an out-of-state driver's license, Arizona may report the conviction to the licensing state and that state may take action on the person's license as well.
Do I really need a lawyer to represent me in a DUI case when I know I drank too much and shouldn't have been driving?
Even if a person feels that they're actions may have been wrong, a DUI conviction in Arizona carries heavy consequences including incarceration, large fines, substance abuse counseling, suspension or revocation of driving privileges, and increased insurance rates. Each case is unique as to the facts and issues. A lawyer who is experienced in DUI defense knows what to look for in investigating a DUI case that could possibly lead to a dismissal or reduction of the charges. For example, there may be problems with the breath or blood test, or a lack of probable cause to arrest, or an invalid basis for the officer to stop the car. A good lawyer will be able to identify any issues and determine if any legal challenges are appropriate to the case. It's possible to get a good outcome to a bad situation.