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Arizona Vehicular Law

What are the Types of Arizona Felony Classes

Types of Arizona Felony Classes

Felony Class Types in Arizona

There are six levels of felony classes in Arizona. Each class has its own guidelines for punishment if convicted. When looking at sentencing, the law presumes that everyone will start at the presumptive sentence however, this sentence can be increased or decreased if mitigating or aggravating factors are found by the Judge or jury. The following sentencing ranges apply to a person with no prior felony convictions.

  • Class 1 – The only crime that falls under a Class 1 felony is murder. Murder charges are divided into two categories: First or Second Degree. First degree murder is punishable by the death penalty or by life in prison without parole. Second degree murder requires a minimum prison sentence of 10 years up to a maximum sentence of 25 years.
  • Class 2 – A Class 2 felony allows for a minimum sentence in the Department of Corrections of three years. This can be increased to up to 12.5 years for aggravated. Probation, with up to one year in jail, is also available.
  • Class 3 – Class 3 felonies allows for a minimum of two years in prison with an aggravated sentence of up to 8.75 years. Probation is also available.
  • Class 4– If sentenced to prison on a Class 4 felony, you face anywhere between 1 to 3.75 years. Again, probation is available.
  • Class 5 – A Class 5 felony provides for a minimum of six months in prison however, can be increased to up to 2.5 years. Probation is available.
  • Class 6 – Although a Class 6 felony, an example could be a DUI in Phoenix, also allows for a probation sentence, if sentenced to prison the range allows for anywhere between .33 – 2 years.

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What to do when Arrested for DUI with a CDL (Arizona Commercial Drivers License)

If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and are arrested for a DUI in your personal vehicle, it’s going to have an impact on your license. Today I’m going to walk you through potential outcomes of a Phoenix DUI and discuss your options for dealing with a DUI with a CDL.

If you’re stopped while driving and willingly provide a blood, breath or urine test above .08 percent Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), your license will be suspended for 90 days. Instead, if you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible for a 30/60 day permit. A 30/60 day permit means 30 days of no driving and 60 days of driving restricted to going to and from work, school or a doctor’s office. This is preferable to a 90-day suspension. This suspension is called an “Administrative Per Se” suspension, or “admin per se” for short. In order to qualify for the restricted driving permit after the first 30 days, you’ll have to go through alcohol screening. As part of this process, they’ll tell you that you need to take a certain amount of classes, but completing these classes isn’t required to get the 30/60 permit.

Law enforcement officers may obtain a warrant to compel you to provide a test sample if you aren’t willing to volunteer one. The default suspension for forcing them to get a warrant, called a refusal, is much longer than if you comply. Under implied consent laws (laws that state you agree to BAC testing by driving), your license will be suspended for a full year. This is called an implied consent suspension, and like the admin per se suspension, it can be commuted to a three-month/nine-month permit. Like the 30/60 permit, this allows driving to work, school or a doctor for the last nine months and requires an alcohol screening. You’ll also need an SR-22. An SR-22 will increase your insurance rates and allow your insurance company to “rat you out” if your insurance ever expires.

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As an additional requirement, you’ll have to put an interlock device or breath-testing device on your car’s steering wheel. In order to start your car or continue driving it, you’ll have to blow into this device every 15 minutes. If you fail to blow into it every 15 minutes, your engine will turn off. Every 90 days, you’ll have to take the car in to have the chip in the interlock or breath-testing reviewed to make sure you never blew above a .020 BAC. This BAC requirement has built-in leeway to account for alcohol that may be contained in medicines or absorbed through methods other than drinking. It’s below the BAC most people blow after a single drink, so if you have any drinks and drive, you’ll fail the review.

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Denial of Right to Counsel – Arizona DUI Defenses

Denial of right to counsel is an important defense for DUI cases. When being arrested, you always have a right to legal counsel, but it is particularly vital in the case of a DUI arrest. If you are prohibited from talking to an attorney which prevents you from obtaining his advice, your body will naturally eliminate the evidence of blood alcohol content that can be used for or against you. The police may tell you that your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit, but it may not be; in the meantime, your body is burning off the alcohol, making the determination more difficult.

David Cantor explains the DUI Defense of Denial of right to counsel:

The key cases on this issue are Holland v. State of Arizona, Juarez v. State of Arizona, McNut v. State of Arizona, Edwards v. State of Arizona and the latest one, Penney v. State of Arizona. In Edwards v. State of Arizona, which went up to the United States Supreme Court, Mr. Edwards said, “I think I should talk to a lawyer.” The Court said that was equivocal, or ambiguous, and Mr. Edwards needed to be unequivocal when requesting a lawyer. Instead, Edwards should have said “I want to talk to a lawyer” or “I need to talk to a lawyer.” The minute you say this, the police have to get you to a phone and a phonebook in a private area so you can talk to a lawyer.

The Holland v. State of Arizona case deals with eleven specific questions a lawyer will ask you. These include, “what did you drink?”; “when did you start drinking?”; “when did you stop drinking?”; “when was the last time you ate?” Certain information needs to be known so the lawyer can approximate what your blood alcohol content will be so you can decide whether to submit to a blood or breath alcohol test. The attorney will also be able to tell you to request to be released in order to get an independent chemical test at a hospital.

The additional guidance a lawyer can provide is important. A lawyer can tell you not to answer any further questions, not to do any further physical tests, and probably get a blood or breath test because the police will likely get a warrant for it and get a test by force. But if you’re stopped for a DUI and you request a lawyer but were not given a lawyer or the police were not quick to respond, contact our firm. You can set up an appointment at www.DMCantor.com or call 602-307-0808 at any time to get a Free Case Review. An initial consultation is free and takes just 30 minutes.

Be sure to visit our DUI case victories for a sampling of DUI cases we’ve won in Arizona.


Arizona DUI Defense: No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop

Law enforcement personnel must have “reasonable suspicionto stop and/or detain a motorist. Absent this, any resulting arrest is “pre-textual” and any charge(s) are subject to summary dismissal. Moreover, any evidence obtained is inadmissible in a court of law.

“Lack of reasonable suspicion to stop” is a valid legal defense to a DUI charge. As the label implies, “reasonable suspicion” requires a rational basis. Race, physical appearance, dress, or mere presence in a particular area is insufficient legal grounds for reasonable suspicion or detention. Rather, police must have some specific objective factual basis to suspect criminal activity. Thus, the fact that you were driving in an area where there are many bars during the wee morning hours does not, by itself, constitute reasonable suspicion to stop.

David Cantor explains the DUI Defense, No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop:

Arizona’s controlling legal precedent on reasonable suspicion to stop is a case called Livingston v. State of Arizona. In that case, officers from a specialized drug task force claimed to have seen the defendant weave six inches across the yellow line three times. At the time, the motorist was driving through a large curved area of highway near Globe, Arizona at about 50 miles per hour. During the subsequent vehicle stop and search, officers found several hundred pounds of marijuana.

The court later rejected the officers’ “hunch” based on the motorist’s alleged erratic driving and race as insufficient legal justification to reasonably suspect illegal activity. Consequently, it ruled the initial stop “pre-textual” and dismissed the entire case.

We frequently see similar scenarios in DUI cases. For instance, a common situation involves an officer staked out near a local bar who claims that our client weaved in the road, made a California stop, or improper turn. We are able to get many of those DUI charges dismissed due to lack of reasonable suspicion to stop. See the “Victory” section for details about specific cases we have won in such instances.

Contact us today via email or phone for a free initial consultation and expert case evaluation. DM Cantor is available 24 hours a day by calling (602) 307-0808 or via our secure and confidential web form.


Aggravated DUI with Child in Car – Arizona DUI

A DUI with a child in the car is referred to as “Aggravated DUI with Kid in Car”. This is a felony charge and carries more severe penalties than a typical misdemeanor DUI charge in Arizona.

In this short video, David Cantor explains what an Aggravated DUI with Kids in the Car means:

If you are stopped for a DUI with a child in the car under the age of 15, you will be charged with an Aggravated DUI and will usually be arrested on the scene. Your car will be impounded, and either a family member or Child Protective Services will be contacted to take the child home.

Depending on the results of the blood or breath test and if you do not have a prior DUI conviction, you can be sentenced to as little as 10 days in jail or as many as 45 days. Fines and jail costs range from $1,667 for a typical conviction to nearly $7,000 for a Super Extreme DUI with a blood or breath test blood alcohol content registering .20 or higher. The penalties are increased for a driver with prior DUI convictions, especially if the conviction occurred within the last seven years.

You will also lose your driver’s license for one year. If you choose to drive once your license has been reinstated then you will be required to have an Interlock Ignition Device installed on the car’s steering wheel at a cost of $1,200 per year ($2,400). This device requires a driver to blow into it in order to start the car and requires that the driver continue to blow into it every 15 minutes while the car is in operation. Every 90 days, you will be required to go to an interlock facility to have the device’s chip downloaded, in order to verify that you have not driven the vehicle with alcohol in their system.

Also, you will be required to have an SR-22. Under this high-risk auto insurance provision, the insurance companies report the driver to the DMV any time there is a lapse in coverage. The SR-22 policy is usually $500 per year and required for 3 years ($1,500). If you choose to continue to drive you can also expect an increase in your car insurance premiums. The average premium increase after a DUI conviction is $3,000 per year for 3 years ($9,000).

If convicted of any felony DUI, expect to lose any professional licenses, the right to vote, and any gun licenses. If you are engaged in a child custody dispute, you will be presumed unfit as a parent based on this conviction.

DM Cantor has been successful in many Aggravated DUI cases with children in the car. We can and will work to have the charges reduced to a regular misdemeanor DUI in order to avoid the more severe penalties that come with a felony conviction. Call (602) 307-0808 today to schedule a free initial consultation. The consultation will take about 30 minutes and will allow us time to review your case. Our offices can be reached 24 hours a day via email or by calling us at (602) 307-0808.


DUI Defense: No Actual Physical Control

The DUI law in Arizona used to read that any intoxicated person sitting in a car with the keys in the ignition is in “actual physical control” of their car. However, in 1995, David Michael Cantor took the case, State vs. Love, to the Arizona Supreme Court in order to change the law. He argued and won the case. Since 1995, the definition regarding whether a person has actual physical control of their vehicle while intoxicated depends on a totality of the circumstances. For example, if a person pulled over and stopped only to turn the air conditioner or heater on, then they cannot be charged with being in physical control of their vehicle. Other situations where a person would not be in “actual physical control” of a vehicle would be if a person is sitting in the car and waiting for a ride, or if an intoxicated driver is “sleeping it off”. David Michael Cantor has argued and won countless cases pertaining to individuals being charged with DUIs.

Watch this short video about the DUI Defense, No Actual Physical Control:

Each case is different, but our firm is very good at defending DUI cases. We defend individuals who may not have been in actual physical control of their vehicles during their brief intoxication. Some of the possible indications of the ‘No Actual Physical Control’ DUI defense are: if the engine or parking brake were on or off during the arrest; if the car was off the main travel road; if the car was in neutral; and if the car was in a bus pullout, parking lot or outside of a drive-thru. These are instances where attorneys can argue that the individual, though intoxicated, was not in actual physical control of their vehicle because the vehicle was not moving or putting anyone in harm’s way. However, it would be hard to argue if a person was passed out a green light, hit a pole or blew out their tires while intoxicated. This is evidence that the person was intoxicated and in actual physical control of their vehicle prior to passing out.

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If one of these situations applies to you, then contact our offices at 602-307-0808 or send us an email to get a Free Case Consultation. We are ready to discuss your case with you and find the best possible defense for your case.

 

 


Statute of Limitations for Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona

In Arizona, many DUI offenses are classified as misdemeanors. Although the jail time and fines associated with different types of DUIs can vary based on whether it is a first or second offense and depending upon how high the blood alcohol level was, the statute of limitations in Arizona for misdemeanor DUIs remains the same.

Are you looking for the Statute of Limitations for Felony DUI? Click here.

Watch this short video where David Cantor explains the Statute of Limitations for a Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona:

What is the Statute of Limitations for DUI in Arizona?

Under A.R.S. § 13 – 107, misdemeanors in the state of Arizona have a statute of limitations of one year. This statute of limitations requires the State to formally file charges against you within that time period. According to ARS § 13–107 (E), the time limitation does not include any time in which your identity is unknown. The statute of limitations also begins once the State actually becomes aware of the offense. Although this typically means a year from when you are arrested for committing the DUI, there may be exceptions to this.

For example, if you are commit a DUI in Arizona while you are visiting and then leave the state, the statute of limitations will not include the time that you are no longer in the state. According to ARS § 13–107 (D), if you are on the run or entirely absent from the state, the statute of limitations is “tolled.” This means that the time period that the State has to bring charges against you is suspended until you are found or return to Arizona.

Another exception may exist if previous charges against you are dismissed before the time limit has expired. According to ARS § 13–107 (G), a new prosecution against you can begin anytime within six months after the dismissal has been finalized, or at the original one year mark; whichever is longer.

Since the laws regarding the statute of limitations for misdemeanor DUIs in Arizona can be quite complex, if you have questions about impending charges, you should call DM Cantor for a Free Case Consultation. We can be reached by phone at (602) 307-0808 or click here to send us an email using our secure and confidential form.


Unlawful Means of Transportation/Theft of Means of Transportation

People contact my office and say, “what is the difference between unlawful use of means of transportation and theft of means of transportation?”  Theft of means of Transportation is when you are intentionally depriving someone of their car/stealing a car to sell or to keep.  Unlawful use of means is when you borrowed a car without permission.  For example, joy riding or borrowing a roommate’s car and going to Vegas with it for a week; something of that nature.  Unlawful use of means of transportation is far less serious than theft of means of transportation but if you have been charged with either of these, contact us immediately.  We have been very successful at getting a reduction of these charges or getting them dismissed all together.  Give us a call if this applies to you at (602) 307-0808 for a Free Initial Consultation.


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