Phoenix DUI Attorney FAQ

Jonathan L. Warshaw

What are the penalties for an Arizona DUI conviction?

Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. In Arizona, some of the possible penalties for a DUI conviction are: (1) a mandatory jail or prison; (2) probation or parole; (3) loss of your driver’s license; (4) mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device; (5) loss of automobile insurance or SR22 insurance; (6) court-mandated driving school; (7) community service; (8) impounded vehicle; and (9) thousands in fines and fees. Your penalties will depend on your BAC and if you’ve had previous DUIs. Take a look at all of the Arizona DUI Penalties here.

What if you are an out-of-state visitor arrested for DUI?

Arizona gets a lot of out-of-state visitors, including tourists to the university and college students. Many people who are just visiting Arizona from out-of-state may be pulled over and charged with a DUI. I have handled many out-of-state cases in the past, and will work so that you can handle your case by telephone with the court and with your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Even though you live outside of Arizona, getting a DUI in Arizona can impact your driving privileges in your home state. Depending on the court handling your DUI, and the particular facts involved in your case, you may be able to resolve your DUI without having to return to Arizona.

Can you refuse to take a blood or breath test in Arizona?

It depends on the circumstances. You can refuse to take a portable breathalyzer test before you have been arrested. However, after you have been arrested, if you refuse to take the breath or blood test, your driver’s license will be taken away for at least one year, even if you aren’t convicted of a DUI. This is because of Arizona’s “implied consent” law. Even after your refusal, many police officers will obtain a search warrant and you will be required to give a blood sample.

If you are asked to take a field sobriety test by a police officer, can you refuse?

Yes you can. Field sobriety tests such as eye tests, one-leg stand, walk and turn, finger-to-nose tests and other tests are voluntary in the state of Arizona. You can refuse to take them, and you should refuse to take them. These tests are incredibly subjective. Unlike chemical tests of blood or breath, which rely on objective measurement field sobriety tests rely on the testimony of police officers.  It is extremely unlikely these type of tests will be of any benefit to a driver stopped on DUI suspicion.

Do you have the right to an attorney before a police officer asks you to take a field sobriety test?

No. Arizona courts have ruled that you have no right to counsel until after you are placed under arrest. The officer is asking you to perform field sobriety tests, and take a field breath test in order to gather more evidence against you. In most circumstances, we recommend that you refuse the tests and ask to speak with an attorney.

If a police officer asks me if I have been drinking, should I answer him?

The answer is NO! Your answer can be used against you as evidence, which is exactly why the officer is asking you this question. Under the Constitution, you have the right to remain silent and the right against self-incrimination. If this happens, you should politely decline to answer the question and ask to call your attorney at (480) 390-2537.

Can I choose the type of chemical test I take if pulled over for DUI?

There are three common DUI tests in Arizona – breath, blood, and urine. You cannot choose which type you prefer to take. The police officer will choose which test to administer. Increasingly police officers are “certified” to take blood samples, and will use blood tests. The type of DUI sample you should obtain depends on what happens when you are pulled over, and what type you are given at the time.

You do, however, have the option of obtaining your own independent sample. If you have been arrested for a DUI and released shortly after, seek an independent sample. You can call your attorney at (480) 390-2537 to help set you up with an independent test.

What is implied consent, and does it affect my case?

Arizona DUI law states that any person operating a motor vehicle who is pulled over and arrested for DUI (or another alcohol related offense) is presumed to have given consent implicitly for a chemical test (breath, blood, or urine). If you refuse, you will automatically lose your driver’s license for at least a year. Additionally, if you were to refuse to take the chemical test (of the officer’s choice), they may obtain a search warrant and take a sample of your blood by force, without your consent.

What will happen to my Driver’s License?

If you are convicted for a DUI, your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked. Even if you are not convicted, you may lose your license if you don’t request an MVD hearing. A DUI involves both a criminal charge, and an administrative process. You only have 15 days to request an MVD hearing to contest an automatic suspension. A DUI defense attorney can handle both the MVD hearing and your DUI case. Call your DUI Attorney at (480) 390-2537.

What will happen to my insurance?

If you are convicted for a DUI, your insurance company may drop coverage or will double or even triple the cost of your insurance premium. You will also have to obtain an SR22 certificate of financial responsibility for three years, in order to be able to drive. These costs may add up to thousands of dollars as a result of a DUI, which is why you should fight for your rights.

How should I choose my criminal defense attorney?

Go and meet them and see if you trust them. Does it sound like a sales pitch? Are they big advertisers who are only out to make a buck but could care less about winning your case?  Go see all the others and then come see me, Jonathan Warshaw.  I will give you a free case analysis. I will beat any written price in town and give you twice the service!

Deciding who to hire to represent you for your DUI can have a real impact on your future. There are a lot of lawyers out there, so make sure you ask the tough questions to make sure you are getting the best, and getting what you pay for. Ask any lawyer these ten questions before deciding who to hire in order to find the best DUI defense attorneys, who have the knowledge and experience to fight for you.

Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested for a DUI anywhere in the Phoenix Metro Area, call the one local DUI attorney who is a both former police officer and prosecutor. Ask me any questions you have, to make sure I’m the best lawyer for you. Take action NOW by contacting me, Jonathan Warshaw, at 480-390-2537.

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