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Arizona DUI Law

What to Do if You’re Charged with DUI, DWI or Extreme DUI in Arizona

If you have been charged with a DUI, DWI or Extreme DUI in Arizona, you’re going to require a skilled DUI attorney. There are many defenses to DUI, DWI, & Extreme DUI charges. If Stopped for DUI, DWI or Extreme DUI in Arizona:

DO:

  • Do Ask to speak with a DUI Lawyer in Arizona immediately!
  • Do show your drivers’ license, registration and proof of insurance.
  • Do ask to be released to obtain an independent blood test from a hospital.
  • Do behave courteously.

 

DON’T:

  • Don’t agree to take a Breath, Blood or Urine test until calling and talking with a DUI Lawyer in Arizona!
  • Don’t answer questions or agree to be videotaped.
  • Don’t take the eye test.
  • Don’t admit anything or take coordination tests.
  • Don’t try to talk your way out or be rude.

*These do’s and don’ts apply to most, but not all situations.

Click here to learn more about possible defenses and/or punishment for a DUI, DWI or Extreme DUI in Arizona.


Possible Defenses for DUI, DWI, Extreme DUI in AZ

There are many defenses to DUI in AZ, DWI, & Extreme DUI charges. Don’t believe the prosecutor-there are very few hopeless cases. A DWI or DUI in AZ conviction has lifelong consequences, and-depending on the facts surrounding the individual case-Dismissal or Acquittal is Possible. This article will discuss possible defenses for DUI, DWI and Extreme DUI in AZ.

Below is a partial list of Possible Defenses for DUI, DWI, or Extreme DUI in AZ:
“No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop” Officers are not permitted to stop or detain someone based on pretexts regarding race, religion, gender, age, sexual preference nor on a host of other possible unjustifiable reasons.

“No Actual Physical Control” If a person has had too much to drink, pulls off the roadway, leaves the engine running with the A/C or heater on, and attempts to “sleep it off”, then they are not in “actual physical control” of their vehicle and are not guilty of DWI or DUI in AZ.

“No Probable Cause for Arrest” If an officer did not have probable cause that a person was actually under the influence of alcohol, then the arrest will be invalidated (i.e. if the Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) were improperly administered). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has set forth guidelines regarding FSTs. The tests should not be given if the suspect:

  • is 50 pounds or more overweight
  • is 65 years of age or older
  • has any back, hip, leg, knee, or ankle injuries
  • has any disability effecting balance
  • is wearing shoes with heels two (2) inches or higher

Remember, you always have the right to refuse Field Sobriety Tests (i.e., the “physical” tests). Do not believe the Officer if he tells you otherwise!

If the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) or “eye test” was given by an officer not yet certified to give that test, it will be inadmissible in a DUI in AZ case.

Note: if the only basis for arrest is refusing to perform FSTs, then the arrest will be invalidated.

“Denial of Right to Counsel” When arrested for DUI, DWI, or Extreme DUI in AZ, upon requesting a DUI in AZ Lawyer, the police must get you to a phone as soon as it is reasonably possible. If they ignore your request, or wait too long, this could be grounds for dismissal. (See also THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT-USE IT! Section).

“Inaccuracy of the Breath or Blood Testing Device” The AZ Department of Health Services (DHS) has set forth rules for the proper maintenance of breath testing devices. They must be calibrated to within a 10% accuracy range every thirty-one (31) days. In addition, the machine goes through a seven (7) test Standard Quality Assurance Procedure (SQAP) every ninety (90) days. If any of the maintenance checks are “out of tolerance”, then all breath tests given during the time interval between the two maintenance checks will be inadmissible. The prosecutor will not point this out for you.

“Retrograde Extrapolation below .08% BAC at Time of Driving” (Or below .15% If Extreme DUI in AZ). It can be shown through a math calculation that any alcohol drank in the last hour prior to being stopped would still be in your stomach and not in your blood system “at the time of driving”. For example, a one hundred and fifty (150) pound man who had a breath test of .15% an hour after he was stopped, yet he drank three beers in the last hour before leaving the bar, it can be shown that his BAC “at the time of driving” was as low as .075%. This number can go even lower due to other factors such as a ten percent variance and inaccurate blood to breath conversion ratios (i.e., “2100-1″) which are inherent to all breath testing devices. As of 7/17/00 the Legislature passed a law stating that this is only a defense to the DUI in AZ charge, not the DWI or the Extreme DWI charges. However, we will be challenging this change in the law as unconstitutional. This has already been successfully reversed in Delaware and Pennsylvania. We are currently challenging this law in the Appellate Courts. See us immediately to discuss the ongoing status of the “BAC at the time of driving” defense.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about a DUI in Arizona, visit our site.


DUI Attorney and Dealing with the DMV in DUI Cases

A DUI attorney can guide you through the complex process of dealing with the Department of Motor Vehicles in cases involving DUI, DWI and Extreme DUI charges. This article will discuss the process of dealing with the DMV in regards to DUI cases and how a DUI attorney can help you understand this difficult process and assist in guiding you through this process.

Blood and Urine Cases:
If your case involved the taking of blood or urine during your DUI arrest, you will need to wait and see if your results come back above or below a .08%. It usually takes anywhere between one (1) and six (6) months to get your results back. If your blood results are above a .08% the officer will forward a request for suspension to the DMV office.

The DMV office will then notify you with a “Corrective Action Notice” (i.e., notice of suspension). The moment you receive this from the DMV, contact a DUI attorney immediately so they can request a hearing on your behalf. This request needs to be done within fifteen (15) days of the date of that suspension notice. What can be confusing is that the Corrective Action Notice will state that the suspension will not go into effect until twenty (20) days after mailing of the notice. Do not let them fool you with this extra five (5) days; you must request a hearing within the fifteen (15) day period.

If you are pulled over by an officer after a DUI attorney has requested a hearing, you will not have a yellow copy of a temporary driver’s license in your possession. His computer should reveal that they have requested a hearing on your behalf. If he still writes you a ticket for driving on a suspended license, do not panic. Simply bring it to they DUI attorney and they will take care of it. If he arrests you for driving on a suspended license, you can sue the DMV for not imputing the hearing request into the computer (assuming you were not already suspended prior to your DUI, DWI, or Extreme DUI arrest).

Prior to the actual DMV hearing, if you have retained a DUI attorney, they will have you in for a “Pre-DMV consultation”. At this consultation, a DUI attorney will go over the police report with you in detail and discuss whether it will be necessary for you to appear at the hearing or not. The DUI attorney will also discuss various options regarding whether to “Void” the suspension, or whether to actually “Stipulate” to the suspension in order to receive a “Work Permit”. This will also have ramifications nullifying any potential future suspension with regards to the first offense situations which could result from the criminal case. All of this will have to be discussed one-on-one with a DUI attorney.

Insurance – Additional Punishment for DUI, DWI, Extreme DUI
Until DUI, DWI, or Extreme DUI guilt is established, an insurance company should not–although some do–cancel your insurance coverage. If convicted of a DUI, DWI, or Extreme DUI, you will either be unable to get insurance coverage or you will pay roughly $3,000 or more a year, for the next three (3) years, above your current rate.

Some Final Realities on DUI, DWI, Extreme DUI
DUI also includes driving under the influence of drugs. DUI, DWI, & Extreme DUI charges are filed thousands of times every year against people from all walks of life. These charges are serious, but defensible, with assistance from a DUI attorney experienced in DUI, DWI, & Extreme DUI law.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about a DUI Attorney, visit our site.


DUI Phoenix: HIPAA in a DUI Case

The goal of this article is to aid in determining whether a DUI Phoenix case contains HIPAA issues as well as address the difficulties of utilizing a HIPAA violation. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (see: what is HIPAA?) is the primary federal law providing privacy protection for a person’s medical information. While there are a couple of cases addressing the application of HIPAA regulations to issues arising in DUI Phoenix and criminal cases, interest has increased since the regulatory compliance date of April 14, 2003.

Hypothetical Case Scenario
Imagine that you have a client that has been charged with a DUI in Phoenix with injury after causing a collision that resulted in injuries to both drivers. While being cared for by an EMS your client made incriminating statements regarding the DUI Phoenix and tested positively for alcohol and high levels of benzodiazepines and this information was documented. You explain to your client that their case will be difficult to defend if the prosecutor obtains the report of the EMS or the results of the blood analysis.

Your client would most likely respond that their medical records are private and they would not have signed the release of information form to get treatment if they knew others could access that information freely. You may now decide that it is time to delve into the complex regulations constituting the HIPAA Privacy Rule. You have your client sign a HIPAA compliant release of information form for your information as well as letters revoking any prior authorized releases. You notify both the hospital and the EMS provider that your client explicitly forbids the release of any information.

Does HIPAA Apply?
The first thing that must be determined regarding this DUI Phoenix case is whether the person or institution in possession of the medical information is covered by HIPAA. The HIPAA only governs the activities of “covered entities.” The second threshold question regarding this DUI Phoenix case that must be covered is whether the information at issue constitutes protected health information (PHI) under the regulations of the HIPAA. Covered enteritis are only allowed to release PHI under certain exceptions provided in the HIPAA. PHI includes all individually identifiable health information transmitted or maintained in any form of media, electronic or otherwise including paper records that have never been transmitted electronically.

At this point in the DUI Phoenix scenario it appears as if the statements of the client as well as the diagnostic tests constitute PHI in the possession of covered entities. However, it is not clear whether the vial of sealed blood handed to the arresting officer securing evidence under the state’s implied consent law falls under the Act’s protections. Two recent state court decisions have held that samples of blood obtained solely for law enforcement purposes do not fall under the HIPAA because the samples were not taken for the purpose of obtaining diagnosis, health care or medical advice instead they were used to prosecute a DUI Phoenix.

The blood draws in these cases were not obtained for medical purposes, however, it should be argued that there is no limitation within the definition of “health information” relating to a health care provider’s purpose in obtaining information. Information is PHI as long as the information relates to the mental or physical health condition of the person and was created or received by the health care provider. The chances of establishing that a blood draw constitutes PHI is certainly greater when such samples are taking for medical purposes.

If you are successful in establishing and HIPAA violation in this case the standard response to such violations of the law would be a motion to quash the subpoena and to suppress the improperly obtained evidence in this DUI Phoenix case.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about a Phoenix DUI, visit our site.


DUI Defenses for a DUI arrest in Arizona

If you have been charged with a DUI in Phoenix, you’re going to need a skilled DUI Defense Lawyer.

There are many defenses to DUI, DWI, & Extreme DUI charges. Don’t believe the prosecutor – there are very few hopeless cases. A DUI or DWI conviction has lifelong consequences and, depending on the facts surrounding the individual case, Dismissal or Acquittal is possible. In fact, here is a list of possible defenses for DUI in Phoenix:

  1. No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop
  2. No Actual Physical Control
  3. No Probably Cause for Arrest
  4. Denial of Right to Counsel
  5. Inaccuracy of Breath or Blood Testing Device
  6. Retrograde Extrapolation below .08% BAC at Time of Driving

There are many ways in which a criminal defense lawyer can help with a DUI in Phoenix. One is to challenge the facts of the case and possibly have the charge thrown out or reduced. Are you ready to stand before a judge to conduct trial? When you hire a DUI Lawyer you get the power of a team of people, including a lawyer, paralegal, and other support staff.

Click here to see a list of our DUI case victories.

At DM Cantor, the majority of our Attorneys are ex-Prosecutors, and all of our DUI Lawyers in Phoenix know the system well. It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also, David Michael Cantor is a skilled DUI Lawyer in Phoenix, and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its DUI Lawyers in Phoenix are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. For a free initial consultation, call us at 602-307-0808, or contact DUI Lawyer David Michael Cantor.


DUI Attorney in Arizona: The Importance of Strict Scientific Testing

Any DUI attorney in Arizona can tell you about how much the standards for determining drunk driving have changed over the years. Back during the Carter administration, it was common for Georgia state troopers to have motorists blow into their Smokey the Bear hats to guesstimate the drunken intoxication of a driver. While this may sound like an episode of Yogi the Bear, it hardly qualifies as scientifically provable evidence. With such flimsy standards, a DUI attorney in Arizona would have many potential angles to introduce challenge and doubt into the evidence of the prosecution.

There were a wide variety of sobriety tests that existed in the 1970s, and not all of them involved a wide brim hat. Some involved drawing on a sheet of paper. Others involved doing a song and dance and grading for grammar and poise. Around 1975, however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began scientifically measuring the accuracy of various tests in order to prove which were the most sound at providing reliable evidence. Rather than create more accurate tests, they merely had to determine the accuracy of the tests that were already being used that a DUI attorney in Arizona might regularly run into.

The National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA) awarded a contract to the Southern California Research Institute (SCRI) to determine which field tests were most accurate. The studies were conducted by SCRI director Marcelline Burns, a research psychologist who participated in ride-alongs with police officers all over the United States. Burns compiled a list of 16 tests thought to be feasible as potentially reliable sobriety tests. SCRI selected pilot tests and then began testing their validity with control groups in 1977. Six tests were chosen for the study that would decide the rules for which a DUI attorney in Arizona must operate.

After concluding its study, the SCRI recommended the use of 3 of its 6 tests. These included the walk and turn , the one leg stand, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Other tests that had been studied included the finger to nose test, the finger count and the tracing test. The Romberg test, the alphabet test and subtraction tests were used interchangeably. These tests could be used to establish evidence at the scene to compile the freshest data related to the crime of the client of a DUI attorney in Arizona.

The testing was done in a laboratory setting over the course of a year. It involved 238 drinking subjects and 10 police officers. Individuals selected for the tests were all licensed drivers familiar with the effects of alcohol. They were instructed not to eat for 4 hours and then given measured doses of alcohol, but were never told how much alcohol they had been given. Their BAC levels were measured and then subjected to the 6 tests listed above. These are the same tests that might be given today to a client of a DUI attorney in Arizona.

Interestingly enough, the testing revealed that the error rate of the officers involved could have an impending significance. It was found that the officers had an error rate of over 47%. The officers made the decision to arrest 101 people, 47 of which had a BAC under .10 %. This leads to the suggestion that a DUI attorney in Arizona can insert a great amount of doubt into evidence based solely on an officer’s testimony. Without a definitive scientific test that measures the individual’s alcohol level, it is nearly impossible to say that the driver was in fact drunk.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona DUI Attorney, visit our site.


Tricks a DUI Lawyer in Arizona Can Use to Question a Blood Sample

Upon accepting a new client, a good DUI lawyer in Arizona already anticipates the challenges that can mount of the client subjected him or herself to a breathalyzer. These include mouth alcohol, radio frequency interference, and interfering substances, although the list can go on. If the client took a blood test, however, too many a DUI lawyer in Arizona will just give up hope and accept the test results. It doesn’t have to be that way, as creative approaches can instill doubt into any blood test. Let’s take a look at a few of the strategies.

Collection Materials
A DUI lawyer in Arizona who wishes to dispute such a test should first start by looking at the materials used to collect the blood specimen. In inappropriate materials were used, it can make a big difference that may result in the validation of your client.

Most agencies drawing for blood use some type of partially evacuated blood collection tube, such as the Vacutainer from Becton-Dickenson. These tubes are sold with a variety of additives inside, depending on the type of test for which the sample has been collected. The appropriate tube for such a test contains a mixture of sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate. Usually these tubes are intended for blood glucose approximations and typically have a gray stopper. Stoppers for other tubes have different colors.

If the blood alcohol result of the client of the DUI lawyer in Arizona is derived from a tube designed for a different type of analysis, the result may be inaccurate due to interference with the different chemicals within the tubes, or from the separation of the blood into plasma or serum. Remember, plasma is the blood minus the blood cells. Always check which type of tube is used for collection, as a mistake can be used as leverage by a meticulous DUI lawyer in Arizona.

Also realize that these tubes have a shelf life and an expiration date. After the date is expired, the vacuum depletes, which may result in contaminants from the surrounding air. This results in less than the full amount of blood necessary to conduct a conclusive test, called a “short draw.” This can also happen if the technician pulled the tube off of the needle before it had completely filled, introducing microbe contaminants into the tube. In blood cases, it is critical that a DUI lawyer in Arizona always check the expiration date as well as the appropriate amount of blood for the size of the tube. If it less, the accuracy of the blood ethanol result can be quite readily disputed in a court of law.

Skin Prep and Alcohol Swabs
Prior for drawing blood for alcohol tests, the skin must be wiped with a swab that does not contain alcohol, meaning not only ethanol, but other alcohols such as isopropanol or rubbing alcohol. The swab is important to kill any microbes that might contaminate the sample. It is important that the swab be done in an outward spiral to remove the microbes away from the punctured site. Ask the person who drew the blood sample to demonstrate their technique, as many do so incorrectly in a way that leads to contaminated and incorrect samples. If the swab contained alcohol, it can also contaminate the sample and can give a DUI lawyer in Arizona ample room to insert doubt into the prosecution’s case.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona DUI lawyer, visit our site.


DUI Attorney Arizona Gets DUI Case Dismissed Due to a Miranda Rights Violation

According to court records, DUI Attorney Arizona David Michael Cantor’s office was able to convince a Globe Regional Justice Court judge to dismiss a DUI case due to the officer’s improper reading of the clients Miranda rights.

In the case of State v. Gaona (Globe Regional Justice Court Case No. TR2008002096) Gaona was arrested for an alleged DUI violation. Gaona’s original stop was due to his license plate light being burned out. He participated in only one field sobriety test, on which he performed well, and the officer administered an eye test, which he was not certified to administer. Gaona was arrested and was not told that he had the Constitutional right to speak to an attorney, which is standard in all Miranda rights readings.

At the hearing the officer never identified Gaona in court as the person who he had stopped. When the State was finished presenting their evidence, an associate of DUI Attorney Arizona David Michael Cantor made a Motion to Dismiss the case based on lack of identification and improper administration of Miranda rights. The judge agreed and the entire case was dismissed.

“This is why it is important to make sure that the prosecutors and the police officers check every single box when dealing with a defendant’s rights,” said Arizona DUI Attorney David Cantor. “In this case they failed to do so and as a result we were able to get Mr. Gaona’s case dismissed.”

DM Cantor enjoy an excellent reputation as DUI Attorneys in Arizona, and throughout the Legal Community because of their aggressiveness, integrity, honesty, and professionalism. For more information about DM Cantor visit DUI Attorney Arizona.

About DM Cantor

DM Cantor feature criminal defense attorneys in Arizona who are ready to represent you. As Arizona’s premier defense lawyer, David Michael Cantor defends DUI/ DWI cases, vehicular crimes, homicide, drug and sex offenses, white collar and property crimes. David Michael Cantor is AV Rated – the highest rating possible – and was voted a Top 100 trial lawyer. David Michael Cantor has been interviewed and has appeared on Inside Edition, the CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, CNN Prime News, Hannitty and Combs, and every local news channel including Univision. In addition, his cases have been covered by CNN, MSNBC, and even Howard Stern.


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