Accident DUI Based on Alcohol
If you are charged with accident DUI based on alcohol in Arizona, you face the possibility of very serious penalties, including incarceration and fines. When an accident results in injuries to someone else, the DUI is likely to be charged as a felony. When an accident results in someone else's death, you may also face vehicular manslaughter charges. James E. Novak is an experienced Phoenix accident DUI lawyer who may be able to use insights gleaned from his prior work as a prosecutor in order to mount a comprehensive defense on your behalf.Accident DUI Based on Alcohol
You can be charged with a DUI for driving while impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol, and you can also be charged with a DUI for driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08. Driving under the influence is usually charged as a misdemeanor when it is a first offense. A misdemeanor is less serious than a felony.
If you get into an accident that causes a bodily injury or substantial bodily injury while driving under the influence, however, you may face felony charges. Felony DUI would also likely be charged if the accident causes the death of someone else.
When an officer pulls you over and has probable cause to believe that your intoxication contributed to the accident, he is allowed to require you to submit to a chemical test. Arizona is a state with implied consent laws, which means that you can face penalties for refusing to submit to the blood or breath test.
Other charges that may be brought in connection with accident DUI based on alcohol can include driving under the extreme influence of intoxicating liquor, hit and run, aggravated assault, and vehicular manslaughter. Each of these may be charged under separate laws.
For example, aggravated assault in connection with accident DUI is charged under A.R.S. section 13-1204. The prosecutor will need to show that: (1) you used a dangerous instrument (2) to seriously injure another person, (3) and you did so knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally. The kinds of penalties that would be imposed for a conviction depend on the class of felony with which you are charged. For example, if you are charged with a class 2 felony aggravated assault, the presumptive term is 5 years for a first-time felony offender, and the maximum is 10 years.
In Arizona, you can be sentenced to consecutive or concurrent terms in connection with the charges arising out of accident DUI. When consecutive terms are imposed, the sentences are served one after the other. Accordingly, if you are convicted of two charges, and one results in a 2½-year sentence and the other results in a 5-year sentence, you may serve 7½ years when the sentences are to be served consecutively. Concurrent terms are those that are served at once, such that you may serve the length of the longest concurrent term. If you are convicted of three charges, and the longest is a 10½-year sentence, you may be imprisoned for 10½ years. Usually, separate imprisonment sentences run consecutively except when a judge directs concurrent sentencing.
You should not assume that you will be convicted simply because you were charged in connection with accident DUI. However, you should consult an experienced DUI defense attorney. As with other crimes, the charges arising out of accident DUI must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a tough standard for a prosecutor to meet. In some cases, there are procedural or constitutional violations that can give rise to a motion to suppress evidence. For example, the Arizona Supreme Court has held that the police cannot take blood samples from an unconscious DUI suspect without a search warrant except when there are urgent circumstances other than the alcohol in the blood dissipating over time.Retain a Phoenix Lawyer to Fight a Serious DUI Charge
You should take seriously any charges arising from accident DUI based on alcohol. It is critical to retain an experienced lawyer to mount the strongest available defense right from the start. James E. Novak represents defendants throughout the Phoenix area, including in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and other cities in Maricopa County. Contact James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.