by Attorney David Michael Cantor, The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, Arizona.
The state of Arizona is a fantastic tourist destination for Seattleites. In fact, according to The Seattle Times, one of the top five relocation spots for those living in Seattle is Phoenix, Arizona. So, whether you’re traveling there for vacation or relocating, here are 5 questions about Driving Under the Influence we’ve seen from newbies to The Grand Canyon State and their answers:
- Can you get a DUI if you had a few drinks and you were just sleeping it off in your car?
You can be convicted of a DUI in Arizona if you are either impaired and driving OR in “actual physical control” of the vehicle. If you are sleeping in your car, there are a number of factors that will be taken into consideration as to whether or not you were in “actual physical control” and it is up to the jury to decide.
Some of these factors include:
- if the engine and/or parking brake was on or off during the arrest
- if the car was off the main travel road
- if the car was in neutral
- if the car was in a bus pullout, parking lot or outside of a drive-thru
These are instances where attorneys can argue that the individual, though intoxicated, was not in actual physical control of their vehicle because the vehicle was not moving or putting anyone in harm’s way.
- A friend in Arizona was highly intoxicated and caused an accident, but was not charged with DWI at the scene. Will he be?
Most likely, yes. Often times, when an accident occurs, the police wait for the blood results to determine if the person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. If so, the police will most likely send it to the County Attorney’s office for felony prosecution.
If the person was under the influence and caused an accident, they would most likely be charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon which carries a mandatory term in the Department of Corrections of between 5-15 years. The state has seven (7) years to file these types of charges. They could also be charged with a misdemeanor DUI (assuming the person was not eligible for Aggravated DUI charges) as long as the charges were filed within one year of the date of the accident.
- I was arrested for DUI, but I didn’t get paperwork. Was I not charged?
When you are arrested for a DUI but the police release you that same night without notice of an upcoming court date, that does not mean you will not be charged with the DUI. When police obtain blood instead of breath in DUI cases, they sometimes wait for the blood results before charges are actually filed. Once the blood results are received you will oftentimes receive a notice called a summons in the mail letting you know that you have been charged and need to appear in court.
Sometimes, people move and the summons is not forwarded to the new address. When this happens a person could have charges pending and not even know it. They may even have a warrant out for their arrest. If you are arrested for a DUI but not given paperwork, you are best served by hiring an attorney who can monitor the case for you to ensure that you don’t have a warrant issued for your arrest.
- If you got two DUI’s and they were both considered your first, would the third be considered a second offense?
No. The third DUI would be the third DUI. Whether it would be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony would depend on how old the two prior DUI’s were. In Arizona, if you get three DUI’s within an 84 month period you will be charged with a felony pursuant to A.R.S. 28-1383A(2). If either of the two prior DUI’s were outside of the 84 months then you would be facing a misdemeanor second offense DUI.
- If I get pulled over, should I answer all the questions I am asked by the officers?
If the officers are asking you questions where the answers would be incriminating, you should always invoke your Right to Remain Silent and request to speak with an attorney. In Arizona, if you are arrested for a DUI and ask to speak with an attorney, the police are required to provide you that opportunity.
David Michael Cantor is a DUI Attorney in Mesa Arizona and a Certified Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®.