Vehicle Searches in Arizona: Know Your Rights

Let’s say you are pulled over by a police officer on the roadside. The officer requests your driver’s license and asks whether you have anything illegal in your vehicle. Finally, the officer requests to search your car, and now you are left wondering what you should do and how you are supposed to respond to this.

It’s important to note that one has rights that protect them from police harassment and illegal searches despite all this. Sometimes, one forgets that some laws and rights protect drivers against traffic stops. It’s your right to have these legal protections asserted for them to have an effect. It is critical to understand that, when one finds themselves in such a situation as described above, they do not have to respond to every question posed by the law enforcement officer.

One is only required to submit to the traffic police officer their name and other essential information; you are not mandated to disclose any additional information or answer any further queries. Suppose, for instance, the law enforcement officer is asking questions that seem designed to incriminate you. In that case, you are allowed to refuse to answer any other question. You may also politely decline to respond to the police officer. For example, one does not have to tell the officer where they came from or where one is going.

You cannot lie to the police officer, but that does not mean you have to answer the officer either, as false information to an officer is a criminal offense and punishable under the law.

Once the issue that led to the traffic police officer pulling you aside has been effectively resolved, you should expect to be able to continue freely with your journey. Before leaving, the driver should ensure that they have collected their driver’s license and either received a ticket from the officer or obtained permission to leave the scene. The last thing you want to do is drive away if the officer still has questions or is planning to write you a ticket. However, the law prohibits officers from detaining any individual longer than what is necessary when they have committed a minor traffic offense. If there is no additional information linking the driver with criminal behavior, the officer must let the driver know that they are free to go. If the officer does not provide you with either a reason you are stopped or give you permission to leave, you should – politely – ask and be persistent until the officer gives you a credible answer. They cannot hold you indefinitely for no reason. Once the officer allows the driver to leave, they are not obligated to answer any other questions; they can leave as they wish.

Simply put, you do not have to consent or allow a traffic officer to search your car. If, however, the police officer has probable cause that you are committing a crime, the officer can conduct a warrantless search. Your refusal to consent to the search is not a reason for probable cause. Police officers violate your Constitutional Rights when they conduct a warrantless search without any probable cause.

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Examining the Costs of a DUI

If a driver receives a DUI charge, the total costs may exceed several thousand dollars. In Arizona, the legal system often requires those convicted of this to pay a large fine, a public fund safety fee, an ignition interlock device, and a license reinstatement fee. And there are fees if the police officer impounds your vehicle.

the additional cost of a dui

What are some of the Fines?

The base court fine and surcharges could be almost $2000 and a DUI assessment of another $250. The fees do not stop there. The court imposes other mandatory fees.  There is the Arizona Department of Public Safety Equipment fund assessment, which is up to $1250 and the Prison assessment which is also up to $1250.  These fees are allocated to multiple types of government projects meant to increase the safety of the roads, reduce potholes, improve the quality of traffic signs, and oversee construction projects.

What are Additional Costs to Consider?

A court is required to also charge for the cost of going to jail.  The city recuperates the cost of sending you to jail, since the city bears the ultimate cost of your imprisonment.  That is one cost, the court can waive, in whole or in part.

Towing the Vehicle

Once a police officer administers a sobriety test, they can utilize a breathalyzer, and this device will quickly evaluate the blood alcohol level of the motorist. If the motorist is intoxicated, the police officer may impound their vehicle. While the city imposes a standardized cost for the towing company and storage fees, one can be looking at least a few hundred dollars to get your vehicle out of impound. The impound lot charges per day for storage and, before the local company releases the vehicle, the driver must pay the total costs of these services.

Estimating the Costs of Necessary Classes

A DUI conviction will require mandatory alcohol or drug classes and the court will order you to pay for and attend them.  The idea is that the classes will teach you about the errors of drinking and driving.  You will be required to go for a screening and the screener will determine how many classes you must attend to satisfy the court. So when a motorist estimates the cost of a DUI in Arizona, they should need to consider the prices of the classes that may be required for them to recover their license. The screening, education and treatment can cost several hundred dollars, depending on the number of hours imposed.  The minimum number of hours for the education and treatment in Arizona starts at 16 hours and can go up to 36 hours, at a State certified facility.

Installing an Ignition Interlock Device

The Arizona Motor Vehicle Department will also require the motorist to have an ignition interlock device installed. The court may also order an ignition interlock device in order to allow you to reduce the jail time. This product contains an innovative breathalyzer that will quickly evaluate the blood alcohol level of the driver before they are able to start their vehicle and while they are driving the vehicle. If there is any alcohol detected, the product will temporarily deactivate ignition. Several reports have suggested that the products may reduce the risk of accidents by more than 23%.

The driver must pay for the ignition interlock device and, usually, the product will cost approximately $900 for the required year obligation.

Reinstating Your Driver’s License

The Motor Vehicle Department may suspend  or even revoke a driver’s license, depending on the DUI offense.  The motorist must pay a reinstatement before the license is returned.  If the license is revoked, the driver must complete an investigation packet and obtain proof of Future Financial Responsibility, also known as a SR-22, which will increase your insurance rates. Fortunately, the Arizona Department of Transportation has created a website that can help you to reinstate your driver’s license online. License Revocation and Suspension | ADOT (

Increasing the Costs of Car Insurance

Once there is a DUI conviction on the driver’s record, the driver’s insurance company may find it and could quickly raise the costs for auto insurance, or may even drop the customer’s insurance coverage altogether. If the driver keeps the insurance plan, the business could increase their annual costs by more than $1,000. Typically, the insurance company will augment the monthly costs for at least four years.

Contacting an Experienced Attorney and Evaluating the Costs of the Services

A DUI Criminal Defense attorney can fight the DUI charges.  The attorney will evaluate the police investigation, interview witnesses, review the officer body cameras and the blood alcohol test to fight the case. When you are ready to schedule a free consultation, you should call Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, at 480-860-4321, or submit a request via our contact form that is located on our website.

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How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Arizona Record?

No matter where you live, being convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious matter. It can have profound and life-changing effects for everyone involved in the incident. But, for most people, a DUI is a result of an inadvertent lapse in judgment, not a long-term pattern of behavior.

For that reason, it’s not unusual for someone with a DUI conviction to wonder how long it will stay on their record. It’s one of the most common DUI questions lawyers receive and the rules surrounding this subject vary from state to state. In some states, a DUI will automatically drop off of your record after a set amount of time, provided you don’t re-offend. But here in Arizona, that’s not the case. A DUI here stays on your record for good.

woman behind the wheel drinking and driving record

But that’s also not all there is to it. A DUI on your record in Arizona won’t have practical effects forever. And you can apply for relief to speed up the process under certain circumstances. Here’s an overview of the rules surrounding DUI convictions in Arizona.

The Effect of a First DUI Conviction in Arizona

Here in Arizona, a first-time DUI can come with some significant penalties. These include:

  • A minimum of 24 hours in jail and a maximum 6-month sentence
  • A fine between $250 and $2,500, not including the multiple surcharges and fees
  • A suspended license for up to one year
  • Probation up to 3 years
  • A requirement to use an ignition interlock device

But even after all of that, a DUI can have longer-lasting effects. This is because the conviction won’t drop off of your record, no matter how long you wait. That means it will show up on a background check, potentially making it harder to secure employment.

There is, however, a look back period of 7 years in Arizona. This means that, if you end up with another DUI charge within seven years of the first, it will be treated as a second offense. If this happens after seven years, it would be treated as though the first conviction hadn’t happened.

But that only saves you from potential problems in the eyes of the law after sufficient time has passed. And, although there’s no way to remove a DUI from your record entirely, there is a way that you can apply for some meaningful relief.

A DUI Set Aside

Although the courts in Arizona are powerless to expunge a DUI from your record completely, they do offer the possibility of what is known as a set aside. After your DUI case closes, you may petition the court for a set aside by filing the appropriate paperwork. There’s no filing fee and no waiting period before you can do so.

After receiving your petition, the court may schedule a hearing to weigh your request. At the hearing, the court will consider:

  • Your compliance with probation and all other terms imposed after conviction
  • Your prior criminal history, if any
  • The specifics of the case that led to your DUI
  • Your age

If the court determines that you meet the conditions to receive a set aside, the request will be granted. It won’t remove the conviction from your record; it will, instead, add the fact that the court has granted you relief. This means that, for all intents and purposes, the court has agreed that you’ve paid your debt to society.

Improving Your Odds of a Set Aside

Although it is possible to navigate the process of securing a set aside on your own, it’s not advisable. Just as you needed a DUI lawyer to mount a competent legal defense at the time of your initial DUI hearing, you’ll need one to increase your chance of getting the relief you have requested.

This is because an experienced DUI attorney will be able to let you know what should be presented to the court to increase the chances of success, as well as advise you on the factors the court will consider.  

If the court won’t grant your set aside, an attorney can assist by filing a motion to reconsider with the court. In the motion, they can provide additional details that the court may have overlooked when deciding on your petition the first time around.

A DUI is no small thing, and you should do everything you can to avoid one. Because, once you’ve been charged and convicted, there are few options to improve your situation. Your first step should be to contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law. As a former prosecutor, he knows exactly what it takes to mount a successful legal defense in Arizona and he’ll do everything possible to make sure a single lapse in judgment does not come to define the rest of your life.


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Dangerous Crimes in Arizona Have Serious Legal Consequences

Arizona increases punishments for crimes that endanger other people. State statutes classify these offenses as dangerous crimes; this includes any offense that involves using, or threatening to use, a dangerous weapon or instrument. Even if the perpetrator doesn’t use any type of object, an offense can still qualify for this classification if the offender intentionally causes serious physical harm to another person.

Legal Consequences of Dangerous Crimes

If a criminal offense qualifies as a dangerous crime, Arizona law extends the presumptive sentence for the crime, without priors, 1.25 to 5.5 years. This penalty is in addition to the sentence for a similar, non-dangerous crime. It also mandates that the perpetrator must serve time in prison, even for a first-time offense.

Elements of a Dangerous Crime

Elements of a crime are the things that the state must prove to get a conviction. For a dangerous crime to exist, the defendant’s behavior must be:

  1. Intentionally;
  2. Knowingly; or
  3. Recklessly

Failing to prove any of these elements to the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard will prevent the court from applying the dangerous crime classification.

What Qualifies as a Deadly Weapon or Dangerous Instrument?

A deadly weapon includes anything designed to cause death or great bodily harm. A dangerous instrument could be almost any object that can cause severe physical injury. Since a car frequently qualifies as a dangerous instrument, many traffic incidents can meet this standard.

Typical Dangerous Crimes

  • Aggravated Assault
  • Manslaughter
  • Kidnapping
  • Armed Robbery

Aggravated assault becomes dangerous under Arizona law if the offender uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. This offense can include threatening another person with a weapon or causing serious physical harm. Sentences are all significantly enhanced by the dangerousness classification.

Manslaughter is recklessly causing the death of another person. The most common way manslaughter is elevated to dangerousness is when a drunk driver causes another person’s death in a traffic accident. The prosecution must show that the defendant performed an action that he or she knew created a substantial risk of death for another person and ignored that risk. Sentences range from 7 to 21 years with a dangerous classification.

Kidnapping doesn’t just mean tying someone up and demanding ransom. It also includes restraining another person while committing a felony. If the perpetrator limits the victim’s freedom by threatening them with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, the offense can become a dangerous crime. Sentences range from 7 to 21 years with a dangerous classification.

Armed robbery occurs when an offender threatens another person with a deadly weapon to compel them to surrender their property. This offense almost always will qualify as a dangerous crime since it includes the use of a deadly weapon. Sentences range from 7 to 21 years with a dangerous classification.

Defending Dangerous Crime Charges

Being charged with a dangerous crime puts the defendant in serious legal jeopardy, especially since prison is mandated on a first offense. However, there are many ways that an experienced criminal lawyer can defend against the dangerous crime classification. For example, a common defense strategy is to contest the evidence that establishes the dangerous nature of the crime. Another way is a plea resolution with the State where the State dismissed the dangerousness allegation.

Dismissing the dangerous crime allegation is a key goal for any criminal defense attorney. Probation becomes possible in many situations when the crime cannot be termed ‘dangerous’. Even if avoiding prison is impossible, eliminating the dangerous designation will reduce the sentence.

Seek Advice from an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney

This brief overview shows that there are many possible legal issues involved in any Arizona dangerous crime case. Did the defendant carry out his or her actions with intent, knowledge, or recklessness? Does the object used by the defendant qualify as a dangerous instrument? Did the defendant intend to cause serious harm to a person?

If you have been charged with a dangerous crime or have any further questions about Arizona criminal law, please contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law. Robert’s 30 years of experience can help you devise the best legal strategy to handle any Arizona criminal case.

The post Dangerous Crimes in Arizona Have Serious Legal Consequences is republished from ( Robert Dodell

Can Drug Charges Affect Financial Aid?

Even as some drug use (mostly cannabis) becomes more acceptable in society at large, serious consequences still loom large for those convicted of a drug crime. Even if you avoid prison time, having a drug conviction on your record can inhibit your ability to make a better future for yourself.

This is true in many facets of life, including qualifying for financial aid and funding your education.

Pell Grants and Federal Loans

Even if you were convicted of this drug offence, you are not automatically ineligible to receive a Pell grant. There is, however, a period of ineligibility for federal Pell grants and student loans following a drug conviction. The length of ineligibility depends on the nature of the crime and whether this is the first offence:

Possession of Illegal Drugs

First Offense: 1 Year of Ineligibility
Second Offense: 2 Years of Ineligibility
Third Offense: Indefinite Ineligibility

Sale of Illegal Drugs

First Offense: 2 Years of Ineligibility
Second Offense: Indefinite Ineligibility

Applying for Financial Aid with a Past Drug Conviction

Supposing you are past the period of ineligibility associated with your conviction, you will once again be eligible for federal financial aid, but you still have to disclose your conviction. It will only get you into more trouble if you lie about it. FAFSA applications are checked against a national database of drug convictions.

Question 23 of the FAFSA asks whether you have any drug convictions in your past. This is the question that is most likely to get you disqualified for financial aid. Upon answering yes, you will be provided with a worksheet to determine your eligibility. If you are unsure how to answer this question, you can ask a financial aid officer at your prospective school for help.

Regaining Eligibility Early

It is possible to regain eligibility for financial aid early if you complete a rehabilitation program that meets certain requirements. The program has to qualify for government funding, be administered by a hospital, clinic, or medical professional, and have two random drug tests throughout the program.

Being Convicted of a Drug Offense After Submitting the FAFSA

The situation is a bit more complicated for students already receiving financial aid when you receive a conviction for a drug crime. After your conviction, you will have to pay back any federal financial aid you have received, even if you have already spent it. Not to mention, you will still remain ineligible for financial aid for the typical time period, which tends to be more disruptive after you already began your studies.

Education Tax Credits

The American Opportunity Tax Credit is a tax credit of up to $4,000, with $1,000 of it being refundable. The tax credit; it is meant to benefit middle-income families who do not qualify for Pell grants. Conviction of a felony drug offense permanently disqualifies one from this credit.

However, students and the parents of students with felony drug convictions can still claim the Lifetime Learning Credit; the credit is simply a bit smaller.

Institutional Aid

Even if you are ineligible for federal financial aid or loans, you might be eligible for merit or need-based aid from your college or university. That being said, many colleges have similar restrictions to the federal government when it comes to awarding need-based aid and recent drug convictions may make the student a less attractive candidate for merit scholarships.

What to Do If You’ve Been Accused

If you have been accused of any drug crime, call Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, right now. Even a minor drug offense can loom over you years down the line. Having an Arizona lawyer experienced in criminal defense on your side will help you get through the process and secure a better future.

It’s always better to hire a drug charge defense lawyer as soon as you are aware you stand accused. Drug charges are investigated and prosecuted aggressively by law enforcement, who take these cases very seriously. You must take it seriously too, by hiring a lawyer like Robert A. Dodell, who will defend you and your rights.

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Appealing a Criminal Case in Arizona

When a person in Arizona has been convicted of a crime, it doesn’t mean the battle to prove their innocence is over. There are still things that can be done to challenge a court’s decision. A successful criminal defence could involve using the criminal appeals process. A person’s criminal case can be reviewed one or more times during the appeal process. This only happens in Arizona when a person has been convicted of a crime. Any other type of verdict can’t be challenged and is considered to be final. During this time, omissions and errors that occurred during the criminal trial can be identified. This could lead to a different outcome.

What are Your Appeal Options?

A defendant who wants to challenge their conviction has many options available to them. Once a sentence has been produced, a defendant has up to 20 days to file a direct appeal. A Notice of Appeal can be submitted by an Arizona lawyer. This needs to be followed by an Opening Brief. Government prosecutors have a right to respond to the appeal. All the information that has been gathered by both sides will be submitted to the court of appeal judges.

Arizona Appellate Court and Original Ruling

In Arizona, once a defendant files an appeal with an appellate court, there are four different outcomes that could occur.
*The lower court’s conviction could be affirmed.
*The lower court’s conviction could be affirmed, but modifications to the sentence could be made.
*The lower court’s conviction could be reversed, and a new trial could be ordered for the defendant.
*The lower court’s conviction could be reversed, and a defendant could be acquitted of all charges.

Relief Petition and Habeas Corpus

Whenever new evidence for a case comes to be known, or if a defendant claims ineffective assistance of counsel, they can submit a post-conviction relief petition. Once a defendant has exhausted all of their options, they will have one final legal option. They can file a petition for a writ of Habeas Corpus. It is common for this appeal to be filed with the nearest US District Court.

This appeal is often filed on behalf of prisoners who want to challenge their incarceration. This type of appeal is often used when there is any perceived violation of a prisoner’s constitutional rights.

Grounds for Appealing

A criminal defence attorney should be able to provide an adequate and important reason to appeal a court decision. In Arizona, there are a few reasons a court may grant an appeal. One is the inadequacy of the defendant’s attorney and how their case was handled during their first court trial.

A defendant can also file an appeal if they believe members of the jury, or the judge in their case, did not handle their case adequately. This could also be a situation involving a procedural error. It’s possible to file an appeal based on new evidence which may negate the evidence that was presented during their trial.


All the information in an appeal is presented to the panel of appellate judges in written form. There could be a few hearings scheduled to handle the appeal. In Arizona, there is one main difference between the criminal appeals process and criminal proceedings. The appeal panel will not go through the entire previous hearing. Their focus will be on any violations as well as omissions that occurred during the case.

Arizona Appellate Courts

Arizona is one of the states with two appellate courts. One is the court of appeals and the other is the Arizona Supreme Court. The Arizona Supreme Court is the last option for someone with a criminal conviction. Its decision can’t be overturned by any other judicial authority.

Another Guilty Verdict

Even if a defendant’s previous sentence is modified, and evidence happens to be dropped, a guilty verdict could remain in place. There may be illegally obtained evidence that can be removed from a case, but there is often new evidence or the remaining evidence that may be enough to keep a verdict.

The consequences of a person in Arizona being convicted of committing a misdemeanour or felony can be very serious and long-lasting. It’s important that, when a person is charged with a crime, they speak with a criminal attorney. Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, is knowledgeable and experienced. He is known for fighting for his client’s rights and making certain their rights are respected during the entire appeals process. Contact him today if you are looking for a defence attorney.

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How to Help Your Criminal Defense Attorney Win Your Case

The Arizona lawyer that you choose is one of the main factors that will affect the outcome of your case. However, you will have to do your part to help your attorney. You can do the following things to help your attorney.

Choose the Right Attorney

First and foremost, you need to choose the right attorney for your case. Criminal law can be difficult to understand. This is why you need to consider the following when looking for an attorney.

  • Practice extensively in criminal law
  • Responsive to the messages that you send
  • Enthusiastic
  • Has flexibility

Do Not Say the Wrong Things to the Police

Saying the wrong thing to the police can greatly decrease your chances of winning your case. You don’t want to admit to what you have done, even if you are guilty of it. This can cause you to end up in more trouble. You also don’t want to lie. It’s best to avoid saying anything until you’ve spoken to the criminal attorney.

Write Down All of the Details About Your Case

Judges and juries rely on evidence in order to decide the verdict in a case. This is why you should write down all of the important details about the case before you meet with the attorney. You need to indicate that these notes are for your lawyer, in order that the attorney / client privilege applies. Everything should be written in chronological order. If there are any witnesses, then you should write down what you think their statements will contain.

Be Honest with Your Attorney

You have to be honest when you are speaking with an attorney. This will make it easier for the attorney to decide which direction to take with your case. Even if all of the facts about the case do not portray you in the best light, it’s still within your best interest to tell your attorney the truth. Being caught out in a lie in court will be much worse than anything your attorney will think about you.

If you have a criminal history, then you should also let your attorney know that, as well. Pre-existing criminal records can affect the case that you are dealing with now.

Let Your Attorney Take Care of Your Case

You may want to help your attorney with your case. However, it’s important to remember that your attorney is a professional. If they are experienced, then they have seen many cases that are like yours. They also know how to fight your case and they know how to negotiate your case. That’s why it is best for you to sit back and let them handle things for you.

Answer Your Attorney’s Questions

Your attorney will ask you plenty of questions about your case. The purpose of the questions is to help them better understand every angle of the case. It’s important to remember that all of the information you give your attorney will be kept confidential.

If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney, then you can call Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law. We will make sure that you have a fighting chance in court.

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What are the Consequences of Driving on a Suspended License in Arizona?

Driving is considered a privilege and not a right. That is why you can lose your driving privileges for a variety of reasons. For example, if you are caught driving under the influence, if you do not pay court-ordered fines, reckless driving, automobile homicide, and felonies can all cause you to lose your license.

If you are caught driving on a suspended license, then it is a good idea for you to call a criminal attorney. There are many negative consequences that can result if you are caught driving.

Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License

Driving on a suspended license is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor in the state of Arizona. While there is no mandatory minimum fine, the maximum penalty is up to six months in jail.  While that is unlikely, prosecutors frequently recommend a day or more in jail, especially if you have prior convictions for driving on a suspended license.  You may also be charged a fine of up to $2500 plus surcharges. Additionally, you may be put on probation for up to three years and ordered to do community service.

There is a possibility that the judge will add on to your suspension time. Your vehicle may also be impounded for 30 days.

Defences That Can Be Used for Driving on a Suspended License

One of the reasons that you should hire a criminal lawyer is because they can help you make a valid defence. In fact, it is possible for you to avoid getting punished at all. Here are some valid defenses your lawyer might help you make to the court.

You Didn’t Know Your License Was Suspended

An Arizona criminal attorney can argue that you did not even know that your license was suspended. The State has to prove you were notified of the suspension.  The Department of Motor Vehicles has to tell you that your license has been suspended.

If you did not get the notification in the mail because you moved, but you did not provide MVD with your new address, then this defense will not work as it is your obligation to notify MVD of the address change within 10 days of moving.

However, if you were not properly notified, then you cannot be held responsible for driving on a suspended license.

Your License Should Have Not Been Suspended

Mistakes happen all the time. You cannot be held responsible if your license was suspended in error.

For example, you paid a fine that you were required to. However, the Department of Motor Vehicles suspends your payments because they didn’t document it properly. This is not something that you can be held responsible for.

Your attorney can review the circumstances of your case. They may then choose to argue to the court that your license should have never been suspended.

You Had an Emergency

Driving in an emergency is not a legal defense, but a legitimate emergency may mitigate the penalty from the court. Your attorney can convince the judge that you were in an emergency situation and had to drive. The judge can use their own discretion to determine whether you should get a lighter punishment.

Mitigating the Damage

Often, the suspension is due to a nonpayment of a traffic fine to the court.  The court had notified MVD that you failed to pay the traffic fine and MVD suspended your license as a result.  If you take the steps needed to correct or remove the suspension, the courts and prosecutors are more willing to reduce the penalties on this offense.

Whatever your case, it is important to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you with this charge. Contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.


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Common DUI Offenses in Arizona

In Arizona, you can be charged with a DUI any time you drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is considered a DUI if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher and it’s a punishable offense because of the incredible damage you could cause if you were to get into an accident. If pulled over for DUI, you may need to go through a driving while intoxicated evaluation, which could include blood or urine tests. The officers can use this to determine your blood alcohol level and present the results in court as evidence. To keep you and other road users safe, it’s always a good idea to have a designated driver whenever you are out drinking.

DUI Offenses

What are the Most Common DUI Charges in Arizona?

If you are charged with a DUI, you should speak with a DUI lawyer to get the best possible outcome. The penalties for DUI charges include mandatory jail time and suspension of your license. In Arizona, it’s illegal not only if you have alcohol or drugs in your system when you are pulled over, but also if you are found to have alcohol in your system within two hours after driving or “being in control of a vehicle”. This might mean that you were asleep behind the wheel; if you have the keys, are in a position to drive the vehicle, and are drunk, then you could end up in a lot of trouble. These are some of the common DUI offenses in Arizona.

First Offense DUI

Even your first DUI is not a matter to be taken lightly. This is the most common offense and, if you are convicted, it will result in mandatory jail time and a mandatory fine for even first offenders. The length of the mandatory minimum sentence depends on the blood alcohol concentration, which means the actual sentence can far exceed the minimum. The Motor Vehicle Department will suspend your license for up to one year, depending on the alcohol concentration. Even as a first-time offender, you could gain a lot by contacting a DUI lawyer such as Robert A. Dodell to help you navigate these complex laws.

Second Offense DUI

For second offenders (offenders with a prior DUI within the prior 7 years), the mandatory jail time is increased as well as the fines. The length of the mandatory minimum sentence depends on the blood alcohol concentration, which means the actual sentence can far exceed the minimum. The Motor Vehicle Department will revoke your license for up to one year with a second offense. Contact a lawyer immediately if you face this reality so that you can have all the best options when fighting this offense.

Aggravated DUI

An Aggravated DUI charge is a felony and requires prison time, if convicted. You can be subjected to felony penalties if (1) you are driving while your driver’s license was restricted, suspended, revoked or canceled; (2) if convicted of a third DUI, with a valid license, within 72 months from the first violation; (3) driving under the influence when an ignition interlock is required; (4) driving under the influence on the wrong side of the highway; or (5) driving under the influence with a child, under 15 years of age, in your car.

To better understand your legal standing in these complex cases, you need a lawyer to handle your case. You need to contact a DUI attorney immediately if you face any DUI charges. You need to contact an attorney immediately because this is a serious charge that could lead to jail or prison time, fines, and driver’s license suspension.

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Tips for Preparing Your Defense with Help from Your Criminal Lawyer

What You Should Do to Prepare for Your Criminal Case

If you have a criminal case, then it’s important for you to hire an attorney. A good attorney will greatly increase your chances of winning your case. However, it is also important for you to prepare to meet with your criminal attorney. Here are some things that you can do to help your attorney.

Avoid Posting Anything on Social Media

Posting about your case on social media is one of the worst things that you can do. You never know who may be watching your social media account after you’ve been charged with a crime, and they may try to use anything that you say against you. Don’t say anything about your charges, arrest, or the case. You may also want to avoid liking posts, checking into certain places, and writing comments. Criminal investigators are known for looking at people’s social media accounts

Keep in mind that putting your page in a private mode will not necessarily help you. Your family members and friends can screenshot what you put on your page and share it with other people. It may actually be best for you to deactivate your social media until your case is over.

Prepare to Answer Questions From Your Attorney

The goal of an attorney is to get as much information about your case as possible so that they can see how they can best help you. They may ask you some of the following questions.

  • Was there anyone else involved in the alleged crime?
  • Where were you arrested?
  • What did the police officers tell you when they were arresting you?
  • What happened before, during, and after the arrest?
  • How did the officers treat you when they were arresting you?

There may be additional questions that your attorney asks. However, if you already know the answers to the common questions and have gone through the effort of going over everything in your mind before you meet with them, then your consultation will go a lot more smoothly.

Prepare a List of Questions for Your Criminal Attorney

Your Arizona lawyer will ask you a lot of questions about your case. However, it may be just as important for you to prepare a list of questions to ask your attorney. Below is a list of some questions that you may want to ask your attorney.

  • Is there any additional information that I need to prepare to help my case go forward?
  • How many cases have you handled that were similar to mine?
  • What can you specifically do in order to help my case?
  • What are some of the options that I have?
  • How will my case likely end?
  • How much will I have to pay?
  • Who else will be helping with my case?

Have All of the Necessary Documents

You need to come prepared with all of the necessary documents. Personal contact information, hospital reports, police reports, indictments, property search papers, court dates, bail paperwork, and information about your professional and personal background are just some of the things that you may need to bring with you when you meet with an attorney. It’s a good idea to make copies of all of the documents that you will be giving your attorney.

Write Down Details About Your Case

The more information you can provide about the event, the more you will be able to help your attorney. Include details about the people, any weapons used, the time of the day the event occurred, and where it occurred. If someone was injured, then you should provide details of the injury. Make sure your notes indicate language that it is your attorney, so you can preserve the attorney – client privilege.  Trying to provide as clear and broad a picture of the incident as possible may help your case immensely.

Gather Your Witnesses

Witnesses can strengthen your case. Write down their contact information if they are willing to speak on your behalf. If there is someone who may have information that can damage you and your case, then you can also give their contact information to the attorney, if you know it. Keep in mind that your witnesses may be called upon to testify in court, whether their story agrees with your telling of events or not.

If you need a criminal defense attorney, then you should get in touch with Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law. He will make sure that your case is handled the correct way. He will represent you in court and help your case have the best outcome possible.

Tips for Preparing Your Defense with Help from Your Criminal Lawyer was first published on Post by Robert Dodell Attorney