By Kay Zeeh -
If you’ve been pulled over by the police for a DUI, you have a hard road ahead of you. Driving under the influence, or DUI, demands immediate action on your part to ensure that your license will not be suspended or revoked and you don’t end up spending a lot of time in jail.
Why hire a DUI criminal defense attorney? In a number of states, including Arizona, a DUI charge generates two individual cases. The primary case is filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles, while the other case filed in criminal court. Since criminal defense lawyers have sparred in court with the same prosecutors on many occasions, they are familiar with the strategy the opposing lawyers will be using and know how to defend you.
When a DUI lawyer takes on your case, you’ll be asked exactly what occurred from the moment you were pulled over. After you give your account of what happened, they’ll explain what’s going to happen, including what will take place if the case goes to trial. Your attorney will review the police report, interview witnesses and examine the evidence. Given that it is tough to manage and review the whole thing on their own, they often have their office paralegals assist them.
You will have to go to criminal court within ten days from the date of the arrest. You will be requested to enter a plea of ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’. Odds are, your criminal defense attorney will tell you to plead ‘not guilty’ to the charges. This will give him time to review the details of your case so your defense can be established.
You attorney has tactics that he’ll use to help you get out of a DUI. He may, for example, argue lack of probable cause for the initial stop. If this strategy works, your attorney will then submit a petition to suppress any evidence that the police officer obtained when you were pulled over.
Your lawyer may also dispute the BAC results and claim they are unreliable. BAC stands for the Blood Alcohol Content test that is used by police to see if an individual’s blood alcohol level has reached or passed the maximum limit. The results could be considered faulty if your attorney can prove that the equipment has not been appropriately maintained or the test wasn’t correctly administered. If you have a health condition that could affect the reliability of the BAC test, your lawyer will pursue that avenue.
Your attorney will also question the police officers and attempt to prove there are inconsistencies in their testimony compared with the police report they filed. If he can cast doubt on the credibility of the arresting officers, you could get a ‘not guilty’ decision.
If the arresting officers processed you properly, and things are not working in your favor, then your DUI lawyer may recommend that you accept a plea agreement. However, if you don’t want to negotiate, you can choose to go to court. If you’re defeated in court, you can attempt to appeal the verdict.
Keep in mind that if you’re convicted of a DUI, you can expect huge fines and jail time. All of that is in addition to a huge increase in your car insurance rates, limitations on future employment opportunities, and a permanent felony record. So using the services of a criminal defense attorney is really the only logical approach to defending yourself if you get arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
If you’ve been pulled over for a DUI charge in Arizona, call the Petersen Johnson Law Firm in Phoenix as soon as you can. Experienced Arizona DUI attorneys, they will defend your rights in court, and may be able to get the charges dropped. Visit the website at http://www.petersenjohnson.com