Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued an opinion in an Arizona DUI case, affirming the defendant’s conviction. The case illustrates the challenges of successfully litigating an appeal, as well as the importance of vigorously defending against all allegations at trial.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, a group of police officers was eating in a restaurant, when someone approached the officers, informing them that a motorist was committing traffic violations. One of the officers left the restaurant, got into his car, and witnessed the defendant run a red light.
The officer turned on his lights and sirens to conduct a traffic stop; however, the defendant did not stop. The defendant led the officer on a chase. According to the officer, the defendant committed “too many traffic violations to count.” When the defendant turned the wrong way down a one-way road, another officer put spike strips down in an attempt to disable the defendant’s vehicle. However, when the defendant saw the officer in the road, he swerved towards the officer. The officer jumped out of the way to avoid being hit.
Eventually, another officer stopped the defendant’s car. The defendant’s blood was taken, and the results came back showing that the defendant had methamphetamine in his system. The defendant was arrested and charged with DUI, aggravated assault, fleeing a police officer, and reckless driving.
The defendant was found guilty of DUI, reckless driving, and fleeing a police officer; however, the jury found him not guilty of aggravated assault. The defendant was sentenced to 2.25 years’ incarceration for fleeing a police officer, 10 days incarceration for DUI, and two years’ probation for reckless driving. The defendant appealed.
On appeal, the court reviewed the record below, finding no errors in the proceeding. Thus, the court affirmed the defendant’s conviction and sentences.
Strategic Decisions in DUI Cases Involving Multiple Serious Offenses
In this case, the defendant was charged with several serious crimes, other than DUI. This is often the case when a defendant’s arrest involves flight or an accident. In these cases, it is especially important to develop a strong defense, not just to the lead offense, but to every charge. In this case, the defendant beat what was arguably the most serious offense—aggravated assault against a police officer—however, he still ended up with a significant sentence of incarceration. Those facing serious DUI-related charges should be sure to work with a dedicated Arizona criminal defense attorney with experience handling multiple serious allegations within the same case.
Contact a Tempe DUI Lawyer Today for Immediate Assistance
If you have recently been arrested for an Arizona DUI offense, give Attorney James E. Novak a call. Attorney Novak is a respected criminal defense attorney with over two decades of experience handling all types of Arizona drunk driving offenses on behalf of his clients. With his aggressive style of representation, you can rest assured knowing that your future is in good hands. To learn more, call 480-413-1499, or reach out through our online form.