In Arizona, three types of warrants may be issued in connection with a drunk driving offense: search warrants, arrest warrants and bench warrants. Being arrested for drunk driving has serious consequences. To protect your legal rights, call Phoenix DUI attorney James E. Novak for a consultation to review the facts and possible DUI warrants in your case. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Novak uses his insights about how prosecutors think to build a strong defense for those accused of DUIs and other crimes.DUI Warrants
Warrants are court orders that allow police officers to take certain steps. Only the court that issues a warrant can quash, cancel or otherwise resolve the warrant. Warrants show up on background checks and can impact your ability to get a job.Search Warrants for Drunk Driving Charges
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. Warrantless searches are generally prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. However, limited exceptions exist, such as when exigent circumstances arise. For instance, a police officer can search your car without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe you have unlawful items in your car.
Search warrants are warrants permitting police offers to search a person or particular premises for proof of a specific crime, such as a DUI. Judges issue search warrants if they find probable cause to believe evidence exists based on the information the police present to the judge. The police must present a signed and sworn affidavit to obtain a search warrant.
Generally, blood draws are considered to be searches under the Fourth Amendment because they implicate an individual’s intimate expectation of privacy. With some exceptions, such as the narrow medical draw exception, an officer will need a probable cause warrant to conduct a nonconsensual blood draw. However, during a DUI detention it may be possible to secure a warrant to get evidence that’s needed such as a search warrant authorizing a blood draw for blood alcohol content testing. Law enforcement officers in Arizona can call judicial officers or submit online requests to judges for search warrants. Judge may approve or reject requests, even while on the bench during a judicial proceeding.
If a search warrant permitting a blood draw for blood alcohol content is issued, the police can either have the procedure conducted at a medical facility or have an officer, who is trained as a phlebotomist, administer it. If a search warrant was improperly issued, a lawyer may be able to challenge the warrant and suppress any evidence obtained from the illegal search.Arrest Warrants
Arrest warrants can be issued if the police believe they have enough proof to suspect that a crime was or is being perpetrated and the suspect was involved. The warrant authorizes the arrest and detention of the person named. Courts only issue arrest warrants if law enforcement can present evidence that the suspect is guilty of a crime. To support the request for an arrest warrant, a police officer must provide a signed and sworn affidavit showing that probable cause exists to believe that a specific crime, such as DUI, has been committed, and the named individual perpetrated the crime.
An arrest warrant may not be needed for drunk driving if the police have probable cause in the moment to believe that the driver was operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. In Maricopa County, for instance, an arrest warrant is not needed when a felony has been perpetrated and the officer has probable cause to believe that you perpetrated the felony. It also is not needed if a misdemeanor is perpetrated and there is probable cause to believe that you perpetrated it. It also is not needed if you were involved in a traffic accident and violated any criminal section of ARS Title 28 and the violation occurred before or immediately after the accident.Bench Warrants
The court can issue a bench warrant if you fail to appear for a scheduled hearing in your DUI case. The purpose of a bench warrant is to compel you to appear in court, and you can either attend the hearing voluntarily or face an arrest in which the police will bring you before the court. It is a crime to miss an appearance in a criminal case in Arizona. If you posted bail and then failed to show up for a court appearance, the court can keep the money you posted for bail.Consult With a Phoenix Attorney
If you are concerned about DUI warrants in your drunk driving case, you should discuss your situation with lawyer James E. Novak, who has years of experience representing people charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Phoenix along with Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.