There really is not a typical client when it comes to a DUI. Many people are cited for a DUI. It is a crime that cuts across social, ethnic, gender, and economic as well as age boundaries. The class of DUI offenders is not limited to “drunks” or “alcoholics.”
What Are The Top Misconceptions People Have About Being Arrested For A DUI?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that one cannot be charged with a DUI offense if one’s blood alcohol content is less than 0.08%. This is a serious misconception. A blood alcohol content of 0.08% simply means that one is guilty of per se DUI, but with impaired DUI, one can be charged with and convicted with the blood alcohol content of less than 0.08% as long as there is other evidence such as field sobriety tests and the officer’s observations of your driving skills. In an impaired DUI case, the State will rely upon the driver’s performance on the walk and turn, touch your nose test, and others, along with the officer’s observations of the odor of alcohol, bloodshot watery eyes, and slurred speech.
People often have the misconception that DUI offenses can only be committed with a motor vehicle. This is also inaccurate. DUIs can apply to any vehicle including boats, ATVs, and airplanes. DUI offenses are not limited to alcohol; DUI laws apply with equal force to prescription drugs and street drugs. As a side note, police departments are much more experienced in detecting and charging drivers under the influence of drugs. Most departments have a certified Drug Recognition Expert (“DRE expert”) on hand to process these cases.
A final misconception that we experience quite often is of self-representation at a DUI. Those who attempt to be their own lawyer are making a very serious error. DUI charges have severe consequences if an individual is convicted in terms of penalties, financial or otherwise. It also puts one’s driver’s license in jeopardy and, of course, one’s freedom is at stake. It is a common misconception that if an individual has been charged with a DUI that they should just represent themselves. Not so. It is in your best interest to obtain the best legal counsel that you can possibly retain.
How Do You Advise Clients That Want To Plead Guilty To A DUI Charge In Arizona?
Understandably, an accused might be motivated to get the pre-trial process over quickly. Individuals who have this as their sole motivation are only hurting themselves. It is important to understand up front that a conviction can mean mandatory jail time. A conviction can also mean thousands of dollars in fines, penalties and assessments. It can mean increased insurance rates and loss of your driver’s license.
Remember, a criminal conviction leaves a permanent criminal record which in Arizona can only be set aside, it cannot be expunged. A conviction will be on an individual’s record for the remainder of their life. Another problem with going through the process as quickly as possible and just pleading guilty is the fact that the penalties against you will only increase if you are arrested again. The penalties that I listed before such as mandatory jail time, thousands of dollars in fines and increased insurance rates and the loss of your driver’s license will be worse the second time around for a subsequent DUI.
It is important to aggressively defend yourself on the very first charge not only to protect yourself with regard to that initial charge, but also any potential problems with DUI charges in the future.
What Are The Driver’s License Consequences For A Breath Or A Blood Test Refusal?
If you refused a post-arrest breath or blood test, then your license will be suspended for one year. This suspension will have severe ramifications on employability and the ability to make a living.
For more information on Typical DUI Client In Arizona, a complimentary strategy session is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (602) 794-4480 today.