The Difference between Felony and Misdemeanor DUI

DUI, short for “driving under the influence,” convictions can make life difficult. They cause stress in the present moment and also have the ability to bring a lot of stress in the unforeseen future. So, what makes DUI convictions a misdemeanor or a felony? Are there any differences?

While a lot of people consider misdemeanor charges to be less of a big deal compared to felony charges, the truth is that any criminal conviction is always big deal. While it is good to avoid criminal convictions, misdemeanors aren’t likely to have such a huge impact on your life as felonies. A considerable number of employers still ask for information about prior misdemeanor charges and arrests, but some companies don’t have a problem with misdemeanors. However, they’ll want to know if there are any felony charges against you, and they will perform a criminal background check to verify your answer.

 

What You Need to Know About DUI Charges

If you’re unfortunate enough to have a DUI charge, the last thing you might be thinking of is if your charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. DUI charges have several levels of intensity, and it is worth knowing the things that will determine if you get a misdemeanor or a felony. They include the following:

  • Whether it is your first offense or not
  • Whether or not you have a valid license to drive
  • Injuries brought about by the accident
  • Whether or not there is a child under the age of 15 years in the vehicle

Misdemeanor DUI convictions often result in jail time, fines and temporary loss of driving privileges.  The severity of the punishment, however, is dependent on how many prior DUI convictions you have and the blood alcohol level. First DUI convictions, with a valid driver’s license, are usually considered misdemeanors; the same is true with a Second DUI offense, with a valid driver’s license.  A third offense, within seven years, whether or not one has a valid driver’s license, is a felony offense.

One of the things that make felony DUI conviction a lot more frightening than a misdemeanor conviction is because the defendant is sent to prison after a felony sentencing. While a misdemeanor DUI requires jail time, that jail is done in a local jail and work release is often possible.  A felony DUI results in a prison sentence, starting at a minimum of four months, usually at a prison facility far from home.  No work release is available. On a first offense felony, the offender is typically put on probation after the prison term and is required to report to an assigned probation officer on a regular basis. When it comes to felony, Arizona revoked the driving privileges and will require the offender to use an ignition interlock device once they have their driving reissued. Another thing to note about misdemeanor and felony DUI convictions is that felonies stick on your criminal record much longer, negatively impacting education, job, and housing opportunities.

DUI arrests involving driving on a suspended, refused or revoke driver’s license, children under the age of 15 years in the vehicle or a resulting  death will often result in felony charges. Convicted felons tend to experience many inconveniences when released from prison, but this often varies from state to state. Some states, including Arizona, provide tons of civil and social inconveniences after felony convictions.

It’s best that you avoid drinking and driving altogether; however, we all make mistakes from time to time. Neither a misdemeanor nor a felony DUI conviction is something you want happening to you. To avoid finding yourself in such a position, it is best that you always have a sober person or a taxi driver take you home when you’ve had way too much to drink. That way, you will never have to worry about how a felony or a misdemeanor DUI conviction could affect your life.

If you have been arrested because of driving under the influence, it is important that you get in touch with a DUI attorney to discuss options as soon as you can. A DUI lawyer can help you determine the best way forward and will defend you before the court system.

The article The Difference between Felony and Misdemeanor DUI Read more on: Choose Robert Dodell Law Offices

Robert Dodell Law Offices

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321

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Understanding Rule 11 in Arizona

Within the rules of law in the state of Arizona, a person needs to be of reasonable mind in order to stand trial in court. If there is some evidence to suggest that the individual who is facing charges is not competent to understand those charges or the process of law, then it may be found that they are not able to go through the regular system. Here, we will take a look at how to understand Rule 11 procedure in Arizona.

 

The Purpose of Rule 11

The legal system in the U.S. is based on an adversarial scenario. It is believed that this adversarial system is the best way to invoke true justice. In the state of Arizona, Rule 11 is there to help ensure that each defendant has the mental capacity to understand what is taking place so this system of adversarial engagement can operate properly.

It is believed that a defendant needs to have at least enough awareness of reality to understand what is happening to them before it is fair for the state to exert their power against him. If an individual is found to lack the basic understanding of what is happening to them, they should not be tried or punished under the normal rules of law. Regardless of whether or not that person is facing proceedings because of information found against them or a complaint filed, it is still necessary that they are considered mentally competent.

According to Arizona state law, it is unacceptable to proceed with a court case if the person being tried is mentally ill, mentally disabled, or is otherwise unable to fully understand his charges or the proceedings or is unable to help with their own defense. Often, mental illness presents itself as either a neurological or psychiatric disorder, and it may present itself as emotional or behavioral abnormalities.

If a person shows some signs of being mentally incompetent, they will have to be examined to determine if they meet the legal definition of incompetence or not. If it is found that they are competent under specific parameters, then it will be possible to try them in a court of law. If, however, they are found under those same parameters to be incompetent, then they will not be able to stand trial.

At any point before a trial, if the judge feels there is some question as to the defendant’s mental capacity, then the judge can order an examination. It may be decided that he is not competent to stand trial. It could also be determined that he lacks the capacity to participate in his own defense. The law says that if a defendant is deprived of this examination, it prevents him from having a fair trial.

 

Why Is Mental Competency Required in a Court of Law?

The state of mental competency allows for a person to take part in their own legal defense. It is also how a person is able to know that they are doing something wrong or illegal. If they have no ability to comprehend that what they did was wrong, or if they are completely unable to participate in their own legal defense, then the court finds they can’t be legally held responsible for their acts or their decisions.

If it is found that there is sufficient reason to believe they may be mentally incompetent, then they have the right to be examined by someone capable to make a legal determination of competence. The law states that if there is a failure to determine competency, it deprives a person’s right to due process and to a fair trial. It is necessary for a criminal charge to be filed before a motion can be made to examine the defendant’s mental condition.

 

Why It Is Necessary for a Criminal Charge To Be Initiated Before An Examination Of Capacity Can Be Requested?

There is a chance that the individual could be committed into an institution if they are found to be mentally incompetent. For this reason, it is necessary for an actual criminal charge be filed before a request to examine competence can be made. Otherwise, it would be possible for the defendant to be committed to an institution even when there was no forthcoming crime.

Understanding Rule 11 in Arizona See more on: https://azcrimlaw.com/blog/

Can You Be Charged with a DUI on a Bicycle? You can in Scottsdale.

The number of DUI cases in Arizona has grown over the years. This led to the implementation of stricter driving laws. The sheer number of existing laws has started to cause some confusion, to be specific, on their application.

Bicycle laws are no exception. Many of these laws have evolved, which resulted to varying interpretations.

Arizona Road Rules

According to Arizona State laws, the existing provisions that apply to motor vehicles on the roadways are also applicable to bicycle riders. While this is quite clear, there is a particular law that confuses many bicyclists.

The Nat’l. Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that around 25% of all bicycle-related deaths involve intoxicated riders. Now, the question is: Is it possible to be charged with a DUI offense on a bicycle in Arizona? Is there such a law?

 

DUI in Arizona

The Arizona State Legislature considers it illegal to drive or physically control a vehicle while under one or more of these conditions:

  • Driving under the influence of an intoxicating drug, liquor, or vapor that contains a toxic substance, or a combination thereof if it impairs the person even to the slightest degree.
  • Having alcohol concentration in the blood of at least 0.08 within 2 hours of driving or physically controlling a vehicle, where the alcohol concentration is due to alcohol ingested while or before driving or physically controlling the vehicle.
  • Possession of any type of drug or its derivatives in the person’s body as defined in section 13-3401.

 

Definition of Vehicle and Bicycle in Arizona

According to Arizona state laws, a vehicle is any device that is used to draw or transport a person or property on a public highway. The definition excludes devices that are moved or controlled by human power. On the other hand, the law defines a bicycle as a device moved by human power.

The official definition is specific in mentioning that the person must actually have physical control of a vehicle. Thus, charging a bicycle rider of a DUI may not be lawful.

Most experts argue that DUI cases apply only to motor vehicles. But, in the state of Arizona, there is no statewide law is in place that applies particularly to riding a bicycle under the influence.

 

Safety in Riding a Bicycle or Vehicle

It has been clearly established that a person riding a bicycle cannot be charged with driving under the influence under state law.

Recently, the City of Scottsdale amended there city ordinance to address the issue or bicycles and scooters.  The ordinance prohibits drivers from riding a electric bike or scooters while under the influence of alcohol or recklessly, although it is legal to ride a non-motorized bike while under the influence of alcohol, so long as it is being ridden in a safe manner.

But, there are various other violations that a bicyclist can be charged with. These include disorderly conduct, as well as public intoxication, which is applicable in some Arizona cities.

Having said that, whenever you drink over the legal limit, avoid riding a bicycle or driving a car. Instead, use public transportation or have a sober driver take you to your destination. This way, you will lower your legal risk and keep yourself safe on the road at the same time.

 

Arizona DUI Convictions

In the unfortunate chance that you are facing a DUI charge, having an experienced Arizona attorney like Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, by your side will help you put up the best possible defense. In case you are found guilty, your lawyer can help minimize your jail time and other penalties.

Attorney Dodell has been defending DUI cases in Arizona for many years now. With his vast experience, you can expect him to ably handle your case. He will be with you throughout the entire legal process. He will keep you abreast on the progress, and address all questions and concerns you may have.

Working with Atty. Robert A. Dodell means you will be with an experienced lawyer who knows exactly how the Arizona legal system works. He will come up with the best possible defense for your DUI case.

 

What You Should Do

Hire a competent and experienced DUI lawyer. This way, you can protect not only yourself, but the best interest of your family as well. Bear in mind that having a DUI conviction will permanently blot your record. For the next decade or so, it will remain as a prior offense. You can prevent that by scheduling an appointment with Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law now.

Can You Be Charged with a DUI on a Bicycle? You can in Scottsdale. is republished from www.azcrimlaw.com Robert Dodell Law

Robert A. Dodell Attorney at Law

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321

httpss://goo.gl/maps/diwY4pu8X5m

Why You Need Fair Defense for a Sex Offense?

A sex crime is a serious criminal case because of the consequences that may come after it. Aside from getting convicted and paying the penalties, you will be branded as a sex offender. Because of this, you will likely grow old and live out the rest of your life having a tainted reputation. A sex crime is like a tough stain to your identity that can ruin more things in your life.

 

What Offenses Can Lead to Sex Crime Charges?

There are many forms of allegations that can result in a sex crime conviction. A good criminal defense lawyer can help when you face any of these charges:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Rape
  • Forcible touching
  • Child pornography
  • Statutory rape
  • Prostitution
  • Lewd contact
  • Sexual assault

Some sex crimes also involve domestic violence against a wife, a family member, or a dating partner.

 

Why Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Getting involved in a sex crime can affect many aspects of your life. You are risking a lengthy prison term and some very strict terms of probation. The prison term will vary depending on the type of sex offense.  And even without a prison term, obtaining employment can be extremely difficult. Also, you may become disqualified for housing opportunities, hence, you need a strong defense.

 

Also, the case and the court’s decision should be fair to you. Also, you need a qualified legal representative to get protection for your rights. When someone accuses you of a sex crime, face it with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has been taking on sex crime cases for years. A criminal defense lawyer can help you protect yourself from the consequences of getting convicted due to a sex offense.

 

How to Defend Yourself Against a Sex Crime Accusation

Because of the possible consequences of a sex crime allegation, there should be a qualified criminal defense lawyer on your side. Some of the defenses suitable for your sex crime case are:

  • False accusations: if you are not guilty, that will be a strong defense.
  • Illegally collected evidence: evidence can work against the alleged victim if it came from a bad source.
  • Tainted witnesses and interviews: these are invalid and useless evidence.

A thorough investigation can reveal if the presented evidence is clean or useless. It can also prove incorrect investigation techniques and exaggerated or false accusations. An experienced criminal defense law office like Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, can save you from huge liabilities and shame.

The post Why You Need Fair Defense for a Sex Offense? was originally published to Robert A. Dodell Attorney LLC

 

Robert A. Dodell Attorney at Law

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321

httpss://goo.gl/maps/diwY4pu8X5m

Can Legal Drug Use Lead to a DUI or DWI in Arizona?

The improper or overuse of illegal drugs or alcohol triggers a lot of DUI and DWI cases. But, there are also cases where using legal drugs can cause impaired driving, and an arrest.

In Arizona, medical marijuana and over-the-counter medications are legal. But, they can sometimes lead to unsafe driving. For one, they can cause blurred vision, sleepiness, slow movements, dizziness, fainting, jitters, and difficulty in focusing.

According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Science Administration, around 10 million Americans had driven under the influence of a type of drug or medication.

Based on a separate study done by the NHTSA the previous year, 20% of the victims of car crashes were positive for a type of drug or medication, excluding alcohol. The CDC also reported that around 18% of deaths from motor vehicle accidents were drug-related.

Driving and Over-the-Counter / Prescription Drugs

A few years ago, the NHTSA reported that incidences of driving under the influence have dropped in recent years. However, around 16% of night-time drivers had some type of potentially impairing medication or drug in their blood. The drugs mentioned in the report included over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications like sedatives, stimulants, antidepressants, and narcotic analgesics, and not only illegal drugs.

The law requires prescription and OTC drugs to bear printed warnings about their possible side effects. These include driving risks. The problem is, a lot of people either don’t bother to read the warnings or they don’t think these warnings are for them.

Bear in mind that a lot of OTC drugs, like those intended to relieve cold symptoms, contain different kinds of drugs in a single dosage. Thus, it would be wise to choose a medication that address only the symptoms you are experiencing. Ask the help of a pharmacist in case you do not understand the warnings.

States have varying laws on the treatment of prescription drugs. 15 states mandate that OTC and prescription drugs must be deemed like alcohol in DUI cases. A few states like Arizona follow a zero-tolerance policy.

A zero-tolerance DUI case in Arizona involves driving under the influence not only of alcohol and drugs, but of prescription drugs as well – if the substance impairs one’s ability to drive.

It is best that you refrain from driving in case you have ingested a medication that can possibly impair your ability to drive. Request a sober driver to take you to your destination or use the public transport system or taxi to avoid a possible impaired driving charge.

 

How Much of a Substance Can Cause Impairment?

Sadly, the amount of a particular substance in a person’s system that can cause impairment is not yet clear. There is not enough basis to compare the threshold to the standard 0.08% limit applied for BAC (blood alcohol content) levels.

The good news is, the issue is currently receiving the proper attention it deserves. The NHTSA is alarmed about the impact of impaired driving caused not only by alcohol and drugs, but by OTC and prescription medication as well.

Determining the medications and dosage levels that can impair driving ability requires a lot of time and effort. That is why the NHTSA convened a panel of experts to start work in identifying the proper methods to assess impairment.

For the meantime, a combination of factual information about the driver’s behavior, including performing reckless maneuvers, weaving, ignoring street signs, and showing slow reflexes in reacting to road hazards are used as basis for DUI charges.

 

Final Word

Bear in mind that a medical prescription is not a legal permit that will protect you from legal liability. As always, you are responsible to make sure that you are perfectly fit to drive before getting behind the wheel.

Never drink alcohol or mix it with any medication. If you are having doubts about your ability to drive, the best thing to do is not to drive. It can save your life, and the lives of other people as well.

You don’t want to hurt anybody due to your driving. Remember that your driving can be impaired not only by illegal drugs and alcohol, but also by anything you keep inside your medicine cabinet.

Can Legal Drug Use Lead to a DUI or DWI in Arizona? Read more on: AZCrimLaw

 

Robert A. Dodell Law Offices in Scottdale

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321

httpss://goo.gl/maps/diwY4pu8X5m

How Many Drinks Can I Have at My Holiday Party to Avoid Drunk Driving?

If you drink any alcohol, you should be aware of the laws about driving under the influence of alcohol. Driving after drinking an alcoholic drink is dangerous. Remember, alcohol can quickly slow you down. It affects your body’s ability to respond, especially to emergencies.

What’s the Permitted Alcohol Limit in the US?

 

Most states says it is illegal to drive an automobile if you drive while having a blood alcohol concentration or BAC of 0.08 g/dL of blood or higher. This BAC can already impair your ability to drive that leads to an accident.  Arizona generally used the 0.08 statue. But Arizona also has a law that one may not drive if that alcohol impairs the ability to drive in the “slightest degree”. The “slightest degree” statue is not pegged for any specific blood alcohol level.

At least one state has lowered tightened this rule for DUI cases. The state government of Utah changed the state’s standard BAC limit to 0.05 g/dL. The number of drinks you can have to stay under this BAC limit depends on several factors, such as:

  • Your age, weight, sex, and metabolism
  • Your meals for that day
  • The kind of alcoholic beverage you drink
  • The amount you drunk
  • Your stress levels

Note: I will not recommend that anyone drive after drinking any alcohol. It is best to be safe.

Why Should You Never Drink Alcohol When Going to Parties to Avoid DUI?

Even a few shot glasses of alcohol can already affect your ability to drive. CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that even 0.02% BAC can impair your alertness and judgment. Thus, it is best to avoid drinking any alcoholic beverage throughout the party.

If you disregard this warning, expect that you will experience these negative effects of drinking alcohol:

For 0.02% BAC:

  • Poor ability to see clearly any moving object
  • Impaired multitasking ability

For 0.05% BAC:

  • Weak ability to track a moving object
  • Difficulty in handling the steering wheel
  • Reduced body coordination
  • Decreased or slow ability to respond to emergencies

For 0.08% BAC:

  • Impaired mental capability to process information
  • Impaired perception
  • Inability to control car’s speed
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Temporary memory loss

For 0.10% BAC:

  • Impaired ability to brake and keep the car in the correct lane.

For 0.15% BAC:

  • Impaired ability to process sounds and sights
  • Weak ability to control the car

Note: A standard alcoholic drink is roughly a 355ml can of beer, a half glass of wine, or a shot of spirit.

What are the Dangers of DUI?

Alcohol can make you feel sleepy and weak. Thus, you may end up doing something that can lead to dangerous consequences for yourself and other people. Driving under the Influence is a serious offense and one of the common crimes in the US. The authorities have started taking steps to decrease the number of drunk drivers on the street.

But, the number of fatalities associated with DUI still increases year after year. Thus, the US government has decided to post heavier penalties to discourage people to drink if they still need to drive a car. If you get a DUI, consult an experienced law office.  Contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, to know your rights and how you can defend yourself from the charges against you.

The blog post How Many Drinks Can I Have at My Holiday Party to Avoid Drunk Driving? See more on: www.azcrimlaw.com Robert Dodell Law

Robert Dodell Law Offices

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321

httpss://goo.gl/maps/diwY4pu8X5m

Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Lawyer to Represent You

Being accused of a crime is a serious matter. It puts you in a dangerous. This is because a criminal conviction can have a significant impact on so many aspects your life. Thus, it is crucial that you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer like Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, to defend you.

When facing a criminal charge, you should never leave anything to chance. Defending yourself in court without the help of an attorney is never a good idea. Don’t do anything that you may regret in the future. Do not gamble with your reputation and your freedom.

There are many advantages of working with an Arizona criminal lawyer for your criminal case. They include the following:

 

Your Lawyer Is Familiar with the Local Court System in Arizona

An Arizona criminal lawyer like Robert A. Dodell will lend his knowledge and familiarity with the court system in the district where your case was filed, as well as the employees who work there.

The lawyer knows many of the local court employees, prosecutors, and judges. This is very important in helping your counsel develop a solid legaldefense that will be effective, considering the quirks and customs of the locals you will meet in court.

 

Your Lawyer Has a Good Grasp of the Arizona Justice System

You may have seen a lot of crime shows on television. Thus, you may think that the law is as simple as what you see on these shows. Television is often legally inaccurate.  At best, it is an oversimplification so everything can be neatly wrapped up with a bow within 30 or 60 minutes. Real life criminal law in Arizona can be quite complicated at times.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you come up with a good strategy for your defense. This is why you need to make sure that you hire an attorney with a lot of experience in defending clients facing criminal charges.

 

Your Lawyer Is a Good Negotiator

In criminal cases, you cannot discount the value of negotiations. There may be instances when you require extra time to prepare specific parts of your defense. You may also need to consider plea bargain.

An experienced and skilled negotiator has a good chance of having things go your way. Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf. He will apply every inch of knowledge, skills, and experience he has collected through his years as a lawyer.

 

Your Lawyer Is Capable of Handling the Required Paperwork

Defending a criminal case requires more than just appearing in court. You may need to file lots of complicated paperwork. An experienced criminal defense lawyer in Arizona is familiar with handling these types of documents. He does it day in and day out. You can rest assured that he knows exactly what he is doing.

 

Your Lawyer Will Remain on Your Side

When you are charged with a crime, you can expect that the prosecutors will work hard to convict you of a crime. They will do everything possible to see you get the punishment they think you deserve, whether that is a steep fine, jail or prison time or probation.

It is never wise to face these criminal prosecutors all by yourself. With the right criminal defense attorney by your side, you will have someone to lead your team. Like the prosecutors, your criminal defense lawyer also wants the best outcome. He will do his best to make sure that you receive the best possible resolution for your case.

 

Your Lawyer Will not Allow You Grope in the Dark

If you are not a lawyer who is well-versed with the Arizona criminal justice system, facing a criminal charge can be a scary experience. It will easily overwhelm you.

An experienced lawyer goes through the process every single day. They are prepared and know what to do in any possible situation that may arise. They know what can happen. The great thing is, they will keep you updated every step of the way. This can make the whole experience a little bit less frightening for you.

 

Final Word

 

These are the main reasons that make hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer like Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, is so important.  The right attorney will safeguard your rights and your future. Whether you are facing a serious felony charge or a misdemeanor charge, an experienced lawyer, with the skills and knowledge to come up with a solid defense, will help. Doing it on your own can expose you to unnecessary risk. Don’t d this alone.

The following blog post Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Lawyer to Represent You is courtesy of www.azcrimlaw.com/

Robert Dodell Attorney At Law

10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 860-4321

httpss://goo.gl/maps/diwY4pu8X5m