Articles Posted in Dui Defense Attorney

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a common crime in Arizona. However, there is an often-held misunderstanding about the serious consequences an Arizona DUI conviction can carry. Contrary to popular belief, these are not minor traffic offenses. DUI cases are taken very seriously by Arizona law enforcement, prosecutors and judges, and a conviction for a DUI offense can have lifelong consequences.

The seriousness of a DUI arrest depends on a few things. Most notably, whether you have a prior conviction for a DUI. Generally speaking, first-offense DUIs are less serious than subsequent offenses. For example, the punishment for a first-offense DUI is ten consecutive days in jail, a fine of at least $250, and mandatory community service. In addition, you will need to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle before you can drive again. If you are convicted of a second DUI, then the punishment you face will increase significantly. For example, the jail time the comes along with a second offense increases to up to 90 days in jail. However, if you participate in drug or alcohol classes, you can have a portion of that sentence suspended.

In addition to the criminal penalties associated with a DUI conviction, you can also suffer a host of collateral consequences. Collateral consequences are the non-criminal aspects of a conviction that impact your life, often making it much more challenging to get a job, attend school, or obtain certain benefits. For example, if you are convicted of an Arizona DUI, employers can refuse to hire you, and you may not be eligible for certain professional licenses. Landlords may also ask you on a rental application if you have ever been convicted of a crime, which impacts their decision of who to rent to.

In Phoenix, AZ, attorney James Novak helps clients maintain driving privileges and minimize the damage done by a DUI (driving under the influence) arrest. A DUI defense attorney helps by doing more than just defending the criminal charges. There are also a host of administrative issues that need to be handled when a DU arrest is made. An often overlooked topic is what to do when relocating to a new state after DUI. In the moments immediately after a DUI arrest, moving out of state may be the last thing on your mind, but life has a way of changing and relocating can become a necessity for family or for a new job. If you have had a prior DUI and need to move to a new state, knowing what to expect when switching over your driver’s license or changing insurance providers is helpful.

Looking at the Status of Your DUI Case

Moving to a new state with a DUI brings up questions about how to complete your case or what to do about getting a driver’s license once you are settled. The answers to these questions can depend on the stage of your DUI case, and what steps are still left to be completed.

In Phoenix, AZ, attorney James Novak provides aggressive defense for DUI cases. A DUI can be defended on many fronts, many of which involve challenging the breath test results. A DUI breath test is designed to determine the level of alcohol in a driver’s system. When an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher is found, the legal standard for DUI has been met. This threshold is relatively low, making it easier for law enforcement to write more DUI tickets and requiring defendants to fight the charges in order to protect their driving privileges. It is not unheard of for the breath test to give off a false positive, and a false positive with unnatural breathing is one of the most common causes for this type of inaccurate result.

How Your Breathing Can Affect A Breath Test

A breath test machine is designed to measure the amount of alcohol in a persons’ system by measuring the amount of alcohol in the breath. When the machine is blown into, it will give off a reading that translates to a BAC (blood alcohol content) level, if that level is higher than what is allowed by law, the driver can be arrested and charged with DUI. Because the test requires a person to blow into the device, how that person is breathing plays a role in the result. Taking a deep breath allows the alcohol stored at the bottom of your lungs to make its way to the top, and thus be the first thing measured by the testing device. The end result is a higher BAC level, otherwise known as a false positive. A more natural breathing pattern will yield a more accurate result and drivers should not allow an officer to require a large inhale before taking a breath test.

In Phoenix, AZ, attorney James Novak knows that DUI and being impaired to the slightest degree are special types of cases. Most drivers think of a DUI as a case where the driver is arrested for driving while having a blood alcohol content over the legal limit of .08%. However, the truth is that another type of DUI is also commonly charged, and that is the charge of DUI and being impaired to the slightest degree. The State has the ability to make both charges, increasing the odds of getting a conviction. This is why it is so important to take an aggressive stand on every DUI case. Part of an effective DUI defense involves defending a charge of being slightly impaired. DUI and being impaired to the slightest degree are two different types of DUI charges, and both deserve your full attention.

What is Being “Impaired to the Slightest Degree”?

Being impaired to the slightest degree is another way for the officer to make a DUI arrest. If a driver is in actual control of a motor vehicle while under the influence, the arresting officer can write a ticket for DUI under the concept of being impaired to the “slightest degree”. This may not be impairment over the .08% legal limit, but is still a charge of DUI nonetheless. The standard used to make this determination is not what one might typically think; the breathalyzer test. And even though a breath test is subject to attack, there is slightly more scientific reliability to a breath test result than there is to the subjective opinion of an officer making a claim of slight impairment. Things like bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, walking unsteadily, and having an odor of alcohol about your person are all factors an officer will point to when making a slightly impaired DUI arrest. These subjective “facts” can be difficult to overcome, but not impossible. A qualified DUI defense attorney will know where to expose weaknesses in the case against you and minimize the chance of a conviction.

Contact Information