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Arizona Vehicular Law

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.

Get a Free DUI Case Review, Click Here.

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.


Different Types of Homicides

In Arizona there are five levels of homicide.  The highest is First Degree Murder with the notice to seek the death penalty; which is called Capital Murder.  Capital Murder is when the prosecutor is not only looking to prove the standard first degree premeditated homicide elements but also has alleged  aggravating factors which are qualified as heinous, cruel and depraved.  For example, torture, mutilation of a body after its dead and fear of the victim before they died, just to name a few.  Typically, they are situations that people normally only see on grotesque TV shows and SAW movies.

However, sometimes the state prosecutors allege a Capital Murder charge that is simply absurd.  For example, we had a client who was charged with Capital Murder when an infant died in her care at a day care center.  Our client professed her innocence from the beginning but despite that, she was facing death.  Our work on the case ultimately showed that the infant died from medical implications and all charges were dismissed with prejudice.

Second Degree Murder is when somebody is reckless with their standard of conduct.  An example of this would be when somebody takes a gun and decides to shoot a paper target, ignores the fact that behind the target is a school yard.  This is an example of someone having a very reckless standard of care.  Typically, these types of charges stem from reckless handling of a weapon, however, the state will sometimes charge people with Second Degree Murder for deaths resulting from a DUI collision.

Although that happens, DUI vehicular homicides are more appropriately charged at the next level down called Manslaughter.  That is a negligent standard of care rather than a Second Degree Murder which is a reckless standard of conduct.  Most of the time we can get Manslaughter reduced to the lowest level of homicide which is Negligent Homicide.  Negligent Homicide is when someone caused the death of another.  This is the lowest level of homicide and the penalty can be as little as probation with no jail.

Although some of these offenses are more serious than others, they all carry significant penalties.  You need an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to successfully defend the charges.

There are many defenses to all of these levels of homicide.  If you need help with a homicide charge, visit the Homicide page and contact us immediately.


The Do’s and Don’ts If Stopped at a Sobriety Checkpoint

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This Fourth of July week will be one of the busiest for officers in Arizona and across the nation.  DUI and sobriety checkpoints will start on July 4th and extend to Saturday July 6th.  If you have been drinking and decide to drive, make sure that you have given yourself enough time after your last drink in order to not be impaired and to get your BAC level back under 0.08%.

 If you find yourself at one of these sobriety checkpoints and are not sure what your BAC level is, read our DUI do’s and don’ts HERE.  That page will provide you with all the knowledge necessary about what to do if stopped by law enforcement after you have been drinking. For example, don’t take the eye test or any coordination tests.  You are not required to do these and if the officer is asking you to do any test, chances are he/she is going to arrest you anyway.  The test results just help the prosecutors case.

The most important thing you MUST do is ask to speak with an attorney BEFORE agreeing to any test (breath, blood, etc.).   Put our phone number (602-307-0808) in your cell phone now and call us before speaking to police.


How Does a DUI Affect Your CDL in Arizona?

CDL is needed to drive a Semi-TruckReceiving a conviction for DUI (driving under the influence) in Arizona can present significant problems for the defendant with a CDL. It is not necessary to be operating a commercial vehicle for a conviction to impact the commercial license status because any general driving privilege suspension period will include a suspension for the commercial driver’s license as well. The damage done by an impaired driving charge depends on the particulars of the case and the possibility of aggravated or enhanced DUI charges, as Arizona has structured a unique comprehensive approach to combat driving under the influence.

All states have stricter standards for commercial drivers who are arrested and convicted for driving under the influence in a commercial vehicle. The universal blood alcohol content level of .08 that all states have adopted for general impaired driving charges does not apply. The standard for commercial drivers to be legally intoxicated in Arizona is .04 BAC level. Commercial drivers that receive a conviction for driving under the influence in Arizona will receive a one year commercial license suspension period regardless of the vehicle the defendant was driving. Two convictions for driving under the influence will result in a lifetime suspension of the commercial driver’s license.

Receiving an intoxicated driving conviction does not necessarily restrict an individual from receiving a commercial driver’s license. An applicant can receive a commercial driver’s license if the previous driver’s license suspension period is completed, but the CDL holder will lose that license if convicted again. The law also makes no distinction between classes of commercial licenses. The suspensions apply to smaller class commercial vehicle operators as well as tractor-trailers.

The impact that a conviction for DUI (driving under the influence) can have on a professional transporter can be immense. Many individuals have invested significantly in their profession and could sacrifice a high income and comfortable standard of living for a simple infraction. In addition to drivers license suspensions, the convicted commercial license holder will receive a much harsher fine than a typical convicted impaired driver.

Convictions for driving under the influence can be a basis for immediate discharge from employment by any transportation company. Many trucking and transportation companies maintain a zero-tolerance policy for impaired driving among employees because of the impact on commercial driving insurance rates and contracted bonding agreements.

Commercial license holders should be aware that states share information concerning DUI convictions. Any CDL applicant should always list a previous conviction that is still effective during their drivers license record period. Any application that does not contain a pertinent conviction will be automatically rejected by the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles.

If you have a CDL and have been arrested or are suspected of a DUI, give us a call. Our team of DUI defense lawyers will listen to the circumstances of your case and help to formulate defenses to the charge. Call us (or email us) today at (602) 307-0808 to schedule a free consultation.


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