FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions: Criminal Defense in Arizona
What areas of criminal law do you handle?
The Workman Law Group provides professional criminal defense counsel for a full range of misdemeanor and criminal offenses, including: DUI, vehicular manslaughter, multiple DUI, all drug crimes, drug possession, drug sales, possession of marijuana, internet crimes, sex crimes, theft crimes, traffic offenses, violent crimes, including assault and domestic violence, and white collar crimes.
What is the main difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in Arizona?
Generally, more minor crimes are classified as misdemeanors, punishable by no more than one year in jail. Possession of marijuana in small amounts, a petty theft crime or first-time DUIs are misdemeanors.
Felonies, on the other hand are serious criminal offenses that result in one year or more in a state or federal prison. The Workman Law Group is experienced in defending our client’s rights in a wide range of state and federal felony crimes such as vehicular manslaughter, multiple DUI, drug possession and sales, sex and theft crimes, as well as felony traffic offenses and violent crimes.
Should I represent myself in a criminal case?
It is extremely risky to represent yourself in a criminal case. When you face criminal charges and potential jail time, your attorney is your first and only defense against the state’s legal team consisting of the arresting officer and his investigative team, the prosecutor and his investigative team and legal experts. A judge, too, will not look out for your interests; he is to remain impartial. The most important reason against self representation is lack of experience and education in the law. Even experienced lawyers rely upon other attorneys to represent their interests in court.
What are the penalties I face if I’m convicted?
The penalties for a crime depend upon the type of crime committed, and whether you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. Generally, a misdemeanor results in fines, probation, and mandatory community service. In the case of a traffic violation or a DUI you may lose driving privileges for some time, and face up to one year in jail.
A felony conviction carries at least one year in prison, often much more. You will incur higher fines, more hours of community service and stricter probation requirements. Both misdemeanor and felony convictions result in a permanent mark on a criminal record.
When will charges be reduced or dropped?
The ability of your attorney to get charges against you reduced or dropped depends largely on the circumstances of the case, the crime you are charged with, as well as your prior criminal history. It would be unethical for an attorney to promise reduction or dismissal for every client, and especially before he has consulted with you on the particulars of your case.
How should I assert my right to remain silent?
You can state to the officer or other law enforcement official that you are pleading your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. You are allowed to remain silent. If you are harassed by the police after informing them that you are not speaking without an attorney present, you may be able to have the case dismissed on violation of your civil rights.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions: DUI Defense in Arizona
What behavior do police officers look for to spot a drunk driver?
The National Highway Traffic Administration advises there are a several clues that signal a drunk driver to an Arizona police officer, including:
- Inability to maintain proper lane position, resulting in weaving, drifting, swerving, a wide radius on turns.
- Lack of consistent speed and improper braking such as stopping short, abrupt stops, rapid acceleration or deceleration without reason and driving too slow.
- Inattentiveness difficulties such as improper signaling, driving into oncoming traffic or cross traffic.
- Misevaluation of conditions resulting in mistakes, such as turning illegally.
If I am pulled over for DUI, what should I tell the officer?
You should provide the officer with your license, registration, and proof of insurance. Then, you should inform the officer you wish to speak with an attorney. You should not make any admission, apologize, or give any explanation or statement whatsoever. No matter how many questions a police officer asks, or how much pressure you receive, you should not answer.
Do I have to answer the officer’s questions?
No, you have your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
Is taking a field sobriety test mandatory?
Under Arizona DUI law, you are not required to take the field sobriety tests. Refusal to take the tests cannot be used against you in court.
Is a chemical test required in Arizona?
In Arizona, you will lose your driving privileges if you do not take a blood, breath or urine test when requested by a police officer even if you win your DUI case. In most circumstances, it is advisable to consent to a chemical test.
What are the penalties for a DUI drunk driving conviction?
Penalties for DUI conviction are severe, and include jail time, probation, license suspension, ignition interlock, alcohol and drug counseling, and impoundment of your vehicle. In the case of multiple DUI or DUI with injury or death, penalties can include prison.
What are the defenses to a DUI charge?
Challenging the initial stop for arrest, the evidence, the field sobriety tests and chemical tests are among the numerous defenses to DUI charges. In a felony DUI cases, our team will challenge the admission of prior convictions, and license suspensions.
Will my car have to stay in impound a full 30 days?
There is a procedure in Arizona by which you may apply for a hearing for early release of your vehicle.
Can I avoid a suspended license after getting charged with a DUI?
You have 15 days in which to request a hearing at which to plead for waiver of license suspension. Our firm will help you to do so, but you must act quickly.
To retain competent, experienced and aggressive criminal defense professionals for your case, contact a Chandler criminal defense lawyer from our firm today to discuss your case.