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Arizona Vehicular Law

Texting While Driving: Distracting and Dangerous

This is a Guest Post from the law firm of Millar Mixon in Atlanta, GA.

 

We’ve all seen the ads directed at preventing accidents caused by distracted driving. We all know that texting is perhaps the most dangerous form of distracted driving. But, you don’t have to look far to find someone in traffic using a phone to tap out messages and send emails.

The risks associated with distracted driving, and texting while driving in particular, are real and involve more than just a potential fender bender.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, texting while driving increases your risk of having a car accident by 23 percent. The attention it requires to send a text message takes your eyes and your mind away from driving, as you careen down the road with a several-hundred pound weapon at your hands

For example, to combat these accidents and lessen the risks we all take when sharing the roads, lawmakers in Georgia have also made texting while driving punishable under criminal law.

If you are caught texting while driving, you can be hit with a $100 criminal fine. If your distracted driving is reckless enough to be called “reckless driving,” you could go to jail for the offense. A criminal charge like this can tarnish your record and increase insurance rates, not to mention be a point of embarrassment.

In 2010, an estimated 416,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. In many of these cases, the injured party was an innocent victim, someone who wasn’t texting, talking on the phone, or being otherwise distracted, but was hurt when someone else was being less than safe.

In these cases, the injured party — who may have spent time in the hospital, undergone surgery, or endured long-term physical therapy — is forced to live with the effects of someone else’s poor judgment.

Fortunately for such a car accident victim, there are legal options.

An injured car accident victim may be entitled to recovery through civil laws. This means the person who caused the accident, through their insurance company, can be held financially responsible for the consequences of the accident, including the cost of medical bills, surgeries and time missed from work as well as compensation for pain and suffering.

All in all, the potential criminal and civil penalties that go along with texting and driving, and distracted driving in general, aren’t worth sending off that one last message. And for those of us who do mind the laws of the state, practicing safe driving procedures every time we are behind the wheel, we can rest assured that the laws are designed to protect us and keep us safe.

The Atlanta area personal injury attorneys of Millar & Mixon, LLC. are dedicated to seeking justice for the victims of area motor vehicle accidents. If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact them to discuss your legal options today. 


Red Light Cameras- More Harm than Good?

Red Light Cameras- More Harm than Good?

Photo of a Stoplight

Image Credit James Bowe

If you have ever driven up and down North Scottsdale Road, you know how many red-light cameras there are. The obvious reason for them is to make the roads safer by discouraging drivers from running red-lights. However, recent studies have shown that these cameras may do more harm than good. The reason most of us would think of is that we are so frightened of getting a ticket that we slam on our brakes when we see a yellow instead of traveling through the intersection, and endangering the cars behind us.

However, one reason most people are not aware of is that the contracts between the city and private companies who operate these cameras actually encourage the city to maintain unsafe intersections. Many of these contracts grant the red-light camera provider with a percentage of the money paid on the ticket. Thus, these companies want more money so often times build into their contracts a provision requiring the city to write a minimum number of tickets each year to drivers, or else pay the company a fine. Thus, the cities have an incentive to create shorter yellow-lights, and a disincentive to change the intersection to prevent less red-light running. One can only wonder where the money from our red-light tickets is going…


AZ Legislature shows lack of Legal Knowledge: Return of the Birther Bill

Today David Michael Cantor, an Arizona DUI Lawyer, discusses the recent return of the “Birther Bill“ to the Arizona Legislature. As David points out a similar bill was introduced last year only to be defeated before reaching the floor. This time State Rep. Judy Burges has introduced a bill requiring the “long form birth certificate” be submitted in order for presidential candidates to be listed on the state ballot. This bill looks likely to pass and be signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer making Arizona the first state to require such documentation.

It is not a secret that this is part of a larger effort to deny President Obama the ability to even run for re-election in 2012. Part of the ‘birther’ movement bills like the one recently submitted to Arizona are also catching momentum in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Montana, Georgia and Texas. Supporters of the bill feel that President Obama should not be allowed the Presidential position because he was not born in the USA.

One problem with this law from a legal perspective is that it only applies to the state that passes it. Since the Presidential election is a federal election the state law will have no effect. David points this out and cites multiple sources agreeing that this is another form of political grandstanding and wasted effort.

Of course this is all David’s opinion, please be sure to let us know what you think.


Arizona DUI Defenses by Arizona DUI Lawyer David M Cantor

Arizona DUI Lawyer David M Cantor talks about various types of DUI Defenses that his Law Offices will use in various DUI cases. It is important to know that just because you have been arrested you still have legal options and rights to exercise as an American citizen.

Arizona DUI Lawyer Defenses based on type of offense:

The Cantor Defense Team is highly versed in all areas of vehicular criminal law, including felony and misdemeanor charges of:

  • DUI
  • DWI
  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Aggressive driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Unlawful flight from police
  • Hit and run
  • Other vehicular-related crimes

Almost every attorney on our DUI and Vehicular Crimes Defense Team is a former prosecutor. In fact, DM Cantor, P.C., have included former prosecutors from the following jurisdictions: the State of Arizona Attorney General’s office, the City of Phoenix prosecutor’s office, the City of Mesa prosecutor’s office, the City of Glendale prosecutor’s office, the City of Goodyear prosecutor’s office, the Maricopa County Attorney’s office, and the U.S. Attorney’s office.


What to Do if You’re Charged with First Degree Murder

If you have been charged with First Degree Murder, you’re going to require a skilled Phoenix Defense Lawyer.

The two (2) most often seen defenses to First Degree Murder are “Self-Defense” (i.e., Justification) and “Supervening Cause”. Self-Defense would involve the use of deadly force in order to protect oneself against a person who is threatening or using deadly force against them. In regards to a “Supervening Cause”, this would include an error by emergency treating personnel, or a hospital error which caused the person’s death. These cases are so complex that they require a litany of defense tools. For example, private investigators; gunshot residue experts; DNA experts; accident reconstruction experts; human factors experts, just to name of few. David Michael Cantor is “Death Penalty Qualified”. This means he has “first-chaired” and has been substantially involved in Capital Murder Trials in the past.

Click here to learn more about possible defenses and/or punishment for a First Degree Murder charge.


What to Do if You’re Charged with Reckless Driving

If you have been charged with Reckless Driving, you’re going to require a skilled Phoenix Criminal Defender.

With a Reckless Driving charge, it must be shown that a person drove with reckless disregard for the safety of “persons or property.” If other vehicles were no nearby (i.e., within “striking distance”), then it can be argued that nobody was put at risk. The same would apply for property. If it did not appear that a person was going to strike any other property (such as parked cars, buildings, fences, etc.), then this can serve as a defense. Merely driving fast and weaving in and out of traffic does not qualify as Reckless Driving. In fact, it might qualify as “Aggressive Driving” or “Drag Racing”, but not “Reckless Driving”.

It is important to try to argue for the lesser charge of “Aggressive Driving” because that is a civil violation (not a criminal violation), and therefore, no jail time can be imposed. In addition, the Judge cannot suspend your driver’s license for an Aggressive Driving, whereas they can suspend it for a Reckless Driving. It will be important to interview all potential witnesses who were nearby (or passengers in your car) in order to demonstrate that you were not driving recklessly.

 


What to Do if You’re Charged with Underage Drinking and Driving

If you have been charged with Underage Drinking and Driving and you’re a minor, you’re going to require a skilled Arizona Juvenile Attorney.

The main dui defenses for Underage Drinking and Driving are:

  • “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 DUI, DWI, or Underage Drink and Drive.
  • “No Probable Cause for Arrest” If an officer did not have probable cause that a person had consumed 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
    • has any back, hip, leg, knee, or ankle injuries
    • has any disability effecting balance
    • is wearing shoes with heels two (2) inches or higher

Click here to learn more about possible defenses and/or punishment for Underage Drinking and Driving.


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