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Criminal Law Blog

Effective Defenses Against DUI Charges in Arizona

September 4, 2020

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense that can result in the suspension of your driver’s license, substantial fines, and time behind bars. However, an arrest does not always result in a conviction—especially if you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will develop a defense strategy that fits your particular case.

Lack of Probable Cause for the Arrest

One effective defense strategy against DUI charges in Arizona is the assertion that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to arrest you. The refusal to submit to field sobriety testing does not constitute probable cause. You can—and should—refuse to submit to field sobriety testing, which typically consists of having to walk a straight line or stand on one leg. Even if you did agree to do these tests, however, failing them does not automatically mean you were impaired by alcohol. A skilled lawyer can find loopholes. For example, you may have failed to stand on one leg because you were wearing stilettos at the time or perhaps you have a medical condition that affects your balance.

Inaccuracies in BAC Testing

Unlike field sobriety testing, you must legally submit to a chemical test, such as the Breathalyzer. However, these tests are not 100% accurate. An experienced defense attorney knows how to challenge the results of BAC tests, such as by examining whether any of the following might be true:

  • The breath testing device failed to pass monthly and quarterly maintenance and quality checks.
  • The blood test was conducted using blood sampled with a contaminated needle.
  • The blood sample was placed in a contaminated or expired container.

Lack of Physical Control of the Vehicle

It’s possible to be convicted of DUI even if you weren’t driving the vehicle at the time. The law states that a person must have “actual physical control” of the vehicle while impaired to be convicted of DUI. However, the law is vague on what physical control actually means. A skillful lawyer can argue that you were not in control of the vehicle because the car wasn’t running, the keys weren’t in the ignition, or you were sleeping off the alcohol in the backseat.

For an effective defense against misdemeanor or felony DUI charges, you can turn to the criminal defense firm of Janet Altschuler. Ms. Altschuler is a trusted defense attorney with well over 20 years of experience in and out of the courtroom. Request a free consultation by calling (520) 247-1789.

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