Protecting yourself after a DUI arrest is all about making informed decisions. You need to know what to do, you need to know what not to do, and you need to be prepared to do everything necessary to minimize your risk of facing a harsh sentence at trial. You also need to understand what problems can arise.
By understanding what problems can arise during your DUI case, you can take steps to avoid them. You can also prepare yourself to overcome them if necessary. To illustrate, here are seven problems that can drastically increase the risks of facing a DUI charge in Arizona:
7 Common Problems During DUI Cases in Arizona
1. You Refused the Breath Test
If you refused the breath test during your DUI traffic stop, you could be facing serious problems already. Under Arizona’s “implied consent” law, drivers are required to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample in most cases. Violating Arizona’s “implied consent” law carries penalties of its own, and you can face these penalties even if you were not driving under the influence (or if you were driving drunk but have DUI defenses you can assert in court). In this scenario, you will need to defend against your “implied consent” violation in addition to defending against your DUI charge.
2. You Don’t Know What Evidence Prosecutors Have Against You
To build an effective defense strategy, you need to know what evidence prosecutors have against you. Do they have dash camera footage? What about body camera footage? Did you help the police catch you for DUI? As a defendant in Arizona’s criminal justice system, you have the right to know what evidence prosecutors intend to use in court—and you can (and should) hire an experienced DUI defense lawyer to find this out for you.
3. Prosecutors Have Strong Evidence of Your Guilt
Let’s say you find out what evidence prosecutors have against you, and let’s say this evidence is enough to support a “Guilty” verdict at trial. What should you do now? Is it time to plead guilty and accept the consequences?
In a word, “No.” While this situation is far from ideal, you may still have a variety of defense options available. For example, your lawyer may be able to file a motion to suppress the prosecution’s evidence. If the police obtained evidence in violation of your constitutional rights, then the prosecution should not be allowed to use this evidence against you. Likewise, if prosecutors have withheld exculpatory evidence in advance of trial, this could justify a motion to suppress as well.
4. You Can’t Keep Prosecutors’ Evidence Out of Court
But let’s say you can’t keep prosecutors’ evidence out of court. The police and the prosecution have both played by the book, and the prosecution is prepared to go forward with proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Even in this situation, you still have options. For example, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain that substantially mitigates the consequences of your DUI arrest. You may also have other options—but you won’t know what these options are until you consult a lawyer about your case.
5. You Are Being Charged with an Aggravated or Extreme DUI
While facing a DUI charge is a serious matter in Arizona, facing an aggravated or extreme DUI charge is even more serious. If prosecutors are charging you with either of these offenses, you could be facing fines and costs in excess of $5,000 (along with other steep penalties); and, if they are charging you with extreme DUI, you are facing a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 30 days.
6. You Made Mistakes During or After Your Arrest
When facing any DUI charge, there are several costly mistakes you need to avoid. While it will be possible to mitigate the consequences of these mistakes in some cases, other mistakes (such as pleading guilty in court) may be irreversible. If you hire a lawyer to represent you, your lawyer can explain the mistakes you need to avoid. If it is already too late to avoid them, your lawyer can help you make the best of your present circumstances.
7. You Failed To Take Your Arizona DUI Case Seriously
One of the most common problems we see in Arizona DUI cases is individuals failing to take these cases seriously. Facing any type of DUI charge in Arizona is an extremely high-risk scenario, and a conviction could negatively impact your life for years to come. If you aren’t taking your case seriously, you need to change your approach and start doing everything you can to protect your future.
3 Tips for Avoiding Unnecessary Problems During Your Arizona DUI Case
All of these problems (among others) can be avoided with the right approach. To give yourself the best chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in your Arizona DUI case, you should:
- Be Proactive – Too often, individuals who are facing DUI charges take a wait-and-see approach. This is not the best way to handle your DUI case. Instead, you need to be proactive. You need to make sure you have a clear understanding of your next steps, and you need to pursue these next steps diligently.
- Be Cautious – Along with being proactive, it is also important to be cautious. As we said above, there are some mistakes that cannot be corrected. If you have doubts about whether you are helping or hurting your defense, you should seek experienced legal advice.
- Get Help from an Experienced DUI Lawyer – The best way to handle your DUI case is to hire an experienced lawyer to represent you. From helping you avoid mistakes to evaluating potential defenses and representing you in court, an experienced DUI lawyer can help you in numerous ways.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation About Your DUI Defense
Are you facing a DUI charge in Arizona? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly to learn more about your case. To arrange a free initial consultation as soon as possible, call 480-405-7922 or tell us how we can reach you online now.