177 N. Church Ave
Suite 312
Tucson, AZ 85701
(480) 557-7800
(520) 624-7800

1839 S. Alma School Road
Suite 264
Mesa, Arizona 85210
(480) 557-7800
(520) 624-7800

Top Myths And Misconceptions Regarding DUI Charges

I Refused The Breathalyzer So There Will Be No Evidence Against Me.

Rectification: That’s a misconception.  When you get your license in Arizona, you have what’s called an Admin Per Se.  It’s a privilege to drive in Arizona rather than a right, so because you signed up for their license, they can take your breath or blood.  A lot of people don’t realize that they can strap you down and physically remove blood from you. The best thing always is to ask for your attorney to comply with their instructions regarding a blood test but you don’t want to do any field sobriety tests.

I Think I Performed Rather Well On The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests And Because Of That, I Think It’s Going To Be An Easy Case.

Rectification: Yes, that’s incorrect, that is a misconception.  You shouldn’t do any field sobriety tests; you should ask to talk to your attorney and if they arrest you and they ask for a blood, then it’s your decision what to do at that point. But in terms of the exercises that they have people go through, you don’t have to do those, it’s not the law and you can say that you do not want to do those.

I’ve Refused The Breathalyzer And I’ve Refused To Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, Now I Should Be Home Free, Right?

Rectification: No, that is also a myth.  What the officer is looking for is probable cause and reasonable suspicion that you’re under the influence.  So, it’s not so much if you refuse or if you don’t refuse. You can refuse to do any kind of exercises that they want to do, for instance, like Walk and Turn, Heel to Toe, touch your nose, lean back, balance on one foot, so those, you don’t have to do.  The one that you are required to do and that is still your decision is whether or not you want a blood or not.  So, you can refuse the blood, then your license is suspended automatically but then, the judge can order that your blood be drawn and they forcibly can hold you down in Arizona and forcibly take your blood but the best thing to do is always ask for your attorney.

The Police Officer Didn’t Read Me My Miranda Rights So The Case Will Be Dismissed.

Rectification: Yes, that is also a misconception.  It could be dismissed based on not reading your Miranda Rights but more than likely they don’t need admissions.  So, definitely, if they don’t read you your rights, there’s a distinct possibility that you can get all admissions thrown out and you can have a fair trial.

The Police Officer Was Very Rude To Me And I Felt Like I Was Forced To Say Or Do Things Because I Was Intimidated But That’s Always Caught On Camera And That’s Going To Help My Case, Right?

Rectification: First of all, always caught on camera, you never know.  The police department is in-charge of a lot of the video and sometimes they have it and sometimes they don’t. So, there is also other surveillance that’s available that could exonerate a person and video is not necessarily what the jury is going to decide.

I’m Not Too Worried Because The Police Officer Was Very Nice And Assured Me That I Would Not Have To Worry Even Though I Was Arrested And He Said It Was All Just Part Of The Procedure.

Rectification: Yes.  When you are talking with law enforcement, everything is on the record.  The best thing to do is ask that you want to speak to your attorney.  That is absolutely best.  When people try to talk themselves out of some sort of ticket or a situation, it never really works out to that person’s benefit. But the officer is gathering information before he gets there or before she gets there and then, as soon as she gets there and the whole time that she’s there and afterwards, so you got to understand that that’s what their job is and they’re gathering information.  And sometimes, they might seem innocent to you, they may think, “Oh, well, he did something”, or, “She did something”.  So, the best thing to do is to ask for your attorney, not say anything and then, let the professionals who understand the system work for you.

I’m Not An Alcoholic.  The Court Should Understand That, Correct?

Rectification: The only thing that they have is information regarding what charges are and the results of those charges.  So, they’re not really determining whether or not someone has an issue or problems. Sometimes when you deal with the probation department, they will be testing you or they may have you do classes and things like that, so that would be a determination but no one really considers that an issue, particularly if you only have one and it’s not like a recurring issue over and over again.

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My Tolerance Level For Alcohol Is Really High So It Takes A Lot To Get Me Intoxicated.  I Could Just Do The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests In Order To Prove That I’m Fine.

Rectification: First of all, I wouldn’t recommend doing any kind of exercises that police department wants you to do and you’re not required to do those.  But if you were to do those exercises, there really is kind of more of a balance test or a test of concentration, different things like that so they’re not really reliable and a lot of times, they’re not admissible in court.

I Literally Only Had Three Drinks And I Did Tell The Officer.  I Can Even Show The Receipt From The Place I Bought The Drinks At, Shouldn’t That Be Enough?

Rectification: Yes, that’s a myth.  What the officers would be thinking is that’s probably the minimum and there may be some other drinks in-between or earlier or something like that but anyway, the best thing to do is to ask that you want to speak to your attorney and do not answer any of their questions or do any of their exercises, that’s the best possible thing to do.  Showing receipts and things to officers, I’ve never seen that in my time of practicing in Arizona.

I’m A Professional In The Education Field Or I’m A Professional In The Healthcare Field, The Courts Will Go Easy On Me Because Of That, Right?

Rectification: That’s another myth.  If you’re going to go to trial on your case, you’re really talking to your peers and you’re talking to voters people who show up for jury selection, people who don’t have work conflicts so that’s your jury pool.  You would have to convince them of your situation and what happened on that particular time. That’s the way you got to think of it is if you’re sitting down with your neighbor or if you’re sitting down with your mother or father or you’re sitting down with maybe someone who’s a student, you got to think how do you explain what happened to them and if they believe you, then it’s not guilty and that’s a way the system is and that’s a way the system should be.

I’ve Been Arrested For A Drug DUI Charge, However They Are Prescription Medications.  So, Because They Are My Prescription, I Don’t Have To Worry.

Rectification: The thing that they’re looking is there are three types of DUIs, there’s A1 which is impaired, there’s A2 which is blood alcohol content above 0.08 and then it goes up from there, and then there’s an A3 which is drugs. So, with your A3 drug charge, they would have to prove impairment and a metabolite.  So, you’re looking at a metabolite of a drug in your system.  If you have a prescription for a particular drug and you are using that prescription properly and you’re operating a vehicle and there’s no impairment, then there’s no reason at all for a DUI and it should be dismissed.

I’m New To Arizona And The DUI Laws Are Pretty Much The Same From The State I Use To Live In, At Least That’s What I Think.  Now, If I Had A DWI From My Former State, It Shouldn’t Be A Problem In Arizona, Right?

Rectification: No, it would be a problem because the United States works off of the same system and there’s reciprocity between states. So, you get a DUI in North Dakota and then you come to Arizona and you apply for a license, they should be able to get your records from your home state or from another state and it would apply to Arizona.  So, a DUI in any other state would be considered a DUI in Arizona.

If I Was Convicted For A DUI In Arizona, I Can Just Get It Expunged Or Sealed Right Away.

Rectification: Yes, you can get it expunged right away, it depends on the jurisdiction.  Some jurisdictions treat DUI differently than other misdemeanors but generally speaking, if you can describe to the judge why you want it expunged and all the reasons, then a lot of times they do expunge DUI cases.

I Blew Under 0.08 So I Should Be Fine, Right?

Rectification: That is also a misconception.  Like I mentioned earlier, there’s an A1 and A2 and an A3, A3 is DUI drugs, so as the law stands right now, if there’s a metabolite of drug in your system, then that would go through the jury whether or not someone was guilty or not.  So, in terms of DUI drugs, that’s the A3 charge and you can get convicted of that.

This Is The Very First Time This Has Happened To Me And I Haven’t Been In Trouble With The Law Before So The Courts Will Go Very Easy On Me And Maybe Even Let It Slide.

Rectification: Yes, that is a misconception.  The way they look at a case like a DUI case, a misdemeanor DUI case, is that the officer thinks that you were driving while impaired and so, you have the option of going to trial and you can try it in front of the judge that will decide whether or not you were driving, whether or not you were impaired to the slightest degree and to do that in the proper jurisdiction.  So, you have a right to a jury trial in a DUI case even if it’s a misdemeanor because they could possibly be seeking jail time.

I Was Drinking And I Was Intoxicated So I Pulled Over To The Side Of The Road To Wait It Off But The Police Insisted On Arresting Me Even Though I Wasn’t Driving.  However, Since That’s The Case, It Should Be Easy And They Should Let Me Go.

Rectification: That is a misconception.  You can get a DUI in your car pulled off to the side of the road, it is a possibility. What the law states is that they look at the totality of the circumstances and they look at the variety of factors.  So it’s not just one or two, it’s not just were the keys in the ignition, was it clicked on to the ON part of the ignition, was the radio on, was the hood warm. There are a variety of reasons but basically, you can get a DUI if you’re impaired and you’re behind the wheel of an automobile even on the side of the road but there’s a variety of circumstances that you can point out to the police department, to the county attorney’s office, the prosecutor’s office and a lot of times, those don’t even go to trial where you just say that you were off to the side of the road to try to be safe or you were sleeping or you were just resting or you were doing whatever you were doing and that’s important because a lot of those cases get dismissed.  The ones that go to trial, they’ve got to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were behind the wheel intending to drive that vehicle at that moment.

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It Wouldn’t Do Any Harm If I Talk About My Case On Social Media Sites Like Facebook And Twitter, Right?

Rectification: That is a big mistake to write anything about any potential case or any current case because social media is part of the public record and it can be subpoenaed if you were to say, “I did this or that”, and the case later came to trial, there is a possibility that they could try to answer that into evidence. There are certain requirements that would have to come into the court in terms of relevancy and different avenues in terms of the evidence but it’s always best not to talk about your case, not to talk on social media, not to write about it, not to participate in anything that could later on be on the record.

I Should Just Come Clean To The Court And Tell Them About My Habits And They Will Understand My Honesty.

Rectification: Courts are similar to law enforcements where it would be like talking to law enforcement and making admissions. The best thing to do is to talk to your attorney, discuss your personal situation with them and be very truthful with them in all aspects of your life in your case and let them help you to decide what’s the best course of action.  If you’re in front of a judge and it’s for sentencing, you want to communicate to the judge exactly how you’re feeling and how are you going to improve yourself, what your future is and that’s basically what judges want to hear is about what you’re going to do in the future and how are you going to excel.  So, those are always the best ways to talk to the court is to be respectful and to tell them about your future and what you want to do to help yourself and other people.

A DUI Is An Impossible Battle That I Am Doomed To Lose.

Rectification: DUIs are the most charged crime in America, the most charged crime in Arizona, the most charged crime in whatever county that you live in, and the city that you might live in.  It accounts for more than 50 per cent of all cases that are brought to the judicial system. A lot of times, there are very good reasons for driving behavior, there are situations where people are not driving an automobile; there are situations where the officer assumes something that’s not true.  So, there’s a variety of reasons so you actually got to take each case case-by-case, analyze the case and decide how you want to proceed with the case.  And generally, in my experience, people who want to fight it, they are innocent.

I Will Be Facing A Great Deal Of Jail Time For My DUI.

Rectification: DUIs in Arizona, they are mostly based on blood alcohol content or some sort of impairment situation due to drugs or other issues. The prosecutors would really kind of say this is a range of particular cases, so there are a certain ranges for each particular DUI, a regular, an extreme, a super extreme, a drug case, there are different limits for each one, maximums and minimums based on what the legislator has said but a lot of them are negotiable. First of all, if you’re not a DUI, then you don’t have to do anything.  If you do decide to take a plea agreement, there are different levels based on alcohol, content and other factors.

If I Have Done A Lot Of Research On The Internet And I Have Some Friends’ Experiences That I’ve Heard About, I Can Probably Beat This Case On My Own.

Rectification: It is always important when you’re dealing an area that is highly sophisticated and complicated that you have a professional that knows the procedures. Experience is one of the main things that you need in any kind of complicated situation.  The judicial system, being charged with the crime, your liberty being at stake, your financial arrangements being at sake that it’s of the utmost importance to have professional people who are looking after your interest and are trying to help you out as much as possible.  So, there might be certain aspects to the legal system that might not necessarily need an attorney in the kind of family law, family relations, about 80 per cent of the people do not retain attorneys.

So, you can kind of handle those situations on your own if it’s not complicated, like with retirements and different things like that.  But a criminal matter, even if it’s a misdemeanor, it has to do with your ability to be out and about in the community, your liberty is at stake, and your reputation is at stake.  Even a class 2, class 3 misdemeanors, there can be all kinds of other things at stake and really, if you are accused of a crime and you didn’t do it, what would be worse than accepting a plea agreement and saying that you did it just because you are worried about trial. Here at our office, each one of our cases, we think we’re going to trial and we are going to try this case and we work backwards from the trial.  And so, if something happens in-between the time we’re hired and trial, then that’s possibly what might happen but we are just basically looking at trial.

My Friend Had A DUI And They Were Intoxicated But They Got Out And They Were Able To Have A Successful Case.  Now, If I Do And Say The Same Things, I Will Get The Same Result.

Rectification: Each case is individual and different and so, you never know about another person’s case but when I take a case on and when our law firm takes the case on, we’re thinking about trial and so, we’re thinking from the very first time that you call our office or you come in, we’re thinking about trial and we’re trying to think how do we convince a jury, how do we convince a judge, how do we get the best result possible from this situation.

I Have A Relative Or A Friend Who Has A Relative That Practices Law, I Think He Practices General Law; He Can Probably Help Me Out On This, Right?

Rectification: That’s a big myth.  What I tell people is that if you have foot problems, you don’t go a neurologist.  So, it’s kind of like medicine, people specialize in certain areas of medicine and you don’t want an oncologist to be performing a brain surgery. That’s similar with criminal defense work.  It is a specialty; really experience is one of the main things that are important, knowing the system, knowing the judges, knowing the prosecutors, knowing the system inside and out.  If someone is practicing real estate law and may have a relative who has a criminal matter, it’s not good for the real estate attorney to try to go into the realm of criminal defense. Part of the service that we provide is knowing the system, having that experience, knowing the judges, knowing the courts, knowing everything about the system, the probation department all the way down to the mitigation specialists, that’s where true experience pays off for you in terms of getting the absolute best result.

I Should Only Go With The Lawyer That Guarantees Me Success In My DUI Case.

Rectification: Criminal defense is a highly competitive industry and there are some attorneys I’ve heard of that will make promises regarding the outcome. Really, nobody knows what the outcomes of these particular cases, you have to have experience, you have to know how to negotiate, you have to know how to prepare for trial and you have to know how to excel a trial, so those are the things that are factors, not so much what happened so-called to a friend.

A Lawyer Is A Lawyer.  I Should Just Shop Around Find A Best Deal.

Rectification: The thing about finding an attorney is to find someone you’re comfortable with, who you’re believing and who believes in your case.  That’s the most important thing. Experience is the number one major factor in criminal law and in any kind of work.  If you can understand through your experience how to best present a case and how to be affective and to be victorious, that is a most important thing that you can do and that’s what we try to do.

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DUIs Happen To Alcoholics And Drunk People Only.

Rectification: That is a misconception.  It really depends on a lot of timing for DUIs because a lot of times, law enforcements are really looking for DUIs and sometimes they’re not, they’re just trying to enforce street laws or traffic laws. But when the police department is focused on DUI, they saturate areas and they are just basically looking for any kind of traffic violation, however minor to pull you over and to question you.  So, it’s not really about labeling people about what they’re doing but it’s more about the timing that law enforcement is looking and to that whole situation regarding that time.

I’ve Already Had A DUI Before, The Result Wasn’t What I Was Hoping For And It Wasn’t A Successful Case, So I Don’t Think Hiring An Attorney Would Be Beneficial And I Should Just Throw Myself At The Mercy Of The Court If It Were To Happen Again.

Rectification: That is a big misconception and it’s important to know that you can hire a professional that is going to look after all your rights and try to get the very best outcome that they can get. The prior DUIs don’t come into evidence in a current DUI and depending on the situation, they may or may not but the main thing is you have an attorney that’s looking after your interest, your rights and is going to represent you to the fullest.  Regardless of if you have a prior DUI or not, if you are driving an automobile and you’re not impaired, then there should be no DUI and that’s what we would do is to protect you from anything like that.

A DUI Condition Is Not Really A Big Deal And Future Employers Will Understand This.

Rectification: That is a myth.  Any kind of criminal type of citation on your record is a concern to employers and so, that’s why it’s important to try to keep everything off your record or to make sure that there’s nothing extra on your record.  So, that’s why it’s important to have a professional look after your interest.

I Received The DUI For A Prescription Medication For Sleeping, Like Ambien.  Now, Because Of This, I Won’t Be Subject To The Same Penalties As A Regular Drug DUI Or Alcohol DUI?

Rectification: DUI, the A3 charge of DUI is impairment due to drugs and so if you are impaired due to those drugs and you are not following all the prescription rules and regulations for a particular drug or an over-the-counter drug, you can be found to be impaired by over-the-counter by prescriptions if they’re not followed correctly and there what is determined to be an impairment.

There Were Certain Things That I Did Before I Got Pulled Over.  I Was Excessively Burping Or I Had A Penny In My Mouth For A While.  Now, That Should Help Me Out With My Case, Right, That Should Help My Breathalyzer And That Should Help Everything Else In General?

Rectification: No, that is a myth.  There are kind of three ways that law enforcement looks at impairment. They look at breathalyzers, urine samples and also blood samples.  So, things like a breathalyzer are not very accurate and they’ve been known to be inaccurate and that is trying to gather breath from a person’s lungs in order to try to determine an alcohol content unreliable.  And they also can do the urine and they can do blood and they try to guesstimate the alcohol content in their system at the time of the draw, which can be very different from the time of driving.  So, in terms of the evidence, we’d have to look at all aspects of it and then make a determination after that.

Anything Else That You Think That People May Have In Regards To Misconceptions For DUIs?

Rectification: Some people think that DUIs, you can’t try them and that you got pulled over or you’re in a checkpoint and they’re accusing you of something, the main thing to remember is you’re always innocent until proven guilty and there can be many explanations and reasons of particular driving behavior.  And so, it’s always best to talk to professional and to fight it if you think that you’re right.

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