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Arizona Legal Rights and DUI Defense Attorneys

The Phoenix and Tucson Arizona DUI defense attorneys with Montano Arentz & Associates, PLLC,want you to be aware of your legal rights before you are stopped and/or charged for a DUI offense.

Here is a quick, simple guide for you to follow. Click on any of the links to learn more about the topic. Print this page and carry it with you at all times in case you are stopped for DUI. If you are stopped, refer to this information and contact a Phoenix and Tucson Arizona DUI defense attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

If Stopped for DUI in Arizona

Procedural Rights

Other Issues Regarding Your Rights

If Stopped for DUI in Arizona:

Don't answer questions

You have a right to remain silent in any criminal case. If you start talking, you waive your rights and anything you say will likely hurt your case. You still need to be cooperative, polite and provide your name, driver's license and address. The questions you should not answer are questions that have anything to do with the events leading up to and including your traffic stop. Talking to law enforcement often makes it more difficult for a Phoenix and Tucson area DUI defense attorney to defend your case.

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Don't admit anything

Some clients make admissions such as "I only drank 14 beers" or "I am really drunk now". Statements like these are not good for your case and can be repeated to the judge or jury if your case goes to trial. It is best not to say anything and to request to speak with an attorney immediately. Do not lie, but rather simply remain silent. Contact a Phoenix and Tucson area DUI defense attorney for assistance with your case.

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Don't do coordination or eye tests

If you are stopped and suspected of DUI, you are not required by Arizona law to submit to Roadside Field Sobriety Tests or the HGN Eye Test. Our Phoenix and Tucson area DUI defense attorneys have serious doubts regarding the accuracy of these tests and, as a result, it is advisable to respectfully decline. (This advice does not always apply to breath or blood tests, which are discussed below). You should also decline any HGN eye tests. These occur when the officer asks you to look at a small pen light that is moved from side to side. Because you are not required to submit to these tests, we recommend you decline.

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Ask to speak with an attorney immediately

Upon arrest you should immediately ask to speak with an attorney. Our Phoenix and Tucson area DUI defense attorneys are available 24 hours and an attorney can be paged if there is an emergency. You have the absolute right to consult with the attorney of your choice prior to your decision on whether or not to submit to a breath or blood alcohol test as long as your attorney can be located without a delay in the testing.

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Yes, submit to breath or blood alcohol tests

Many people ask whether or not they should submit to a breath or blood test. And, while DUI defense attorneys sometimes disagree on the advice, many DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and Tucson area believe you should generally submit to a blood or breath test if it's your first arrest for DUI. You should still ask to speak with an attorney prior to your decision, and if you have prior DUI convictions and your driver's license is already revoked, you may have nothing to lose by refusing to submit.

A Phoenix and Tucson area DUI defense attorney will advise people to submit (if it's a first offense) because the penalty for refusal is harsh and difficult to defend at the Motor Vehicle Division. If you refuse to take a test, you are facing a one-year driver's license suspension. To many people, this is worse from a practical standpoint than a DUI conviction and, depending on the circumstances, you will likely also be charged with a DUI criminal case anyway. It is advisable to discuss your options with experienced DUI defense attorneys to determine which choice is best for you.

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Request independent samples

A few years ago, law enforcement officers were required to preserve a sample of your breath for independent testing. While these laws are still valid under certain circumstances, there are other methods authorities can use to avoid this requirement. Today, many law enforcement agencies use replicate tests or back-to-back tests, and if they do this, they are not required to provide you with an independent sample.

If you are stopped you will not know which method the law enforcement agency uses. For this reason, a Phoenix and Tucson area DUI defense attorney will recommend that you ask for your own independent sample. While they may not provide it, it could make a difference in your case.

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Request release from custody for an independent blood test

You have a right to obtain and preserve any independent evidence you can use to show your innocence. If you feel an independent blood test would help your case, you can go to a hospital of your choice and request that they take a sample of your blood for testing. While they will likely bill you for this service, it may be worth it. If the authorities refuse to timely release you, tell your DUI defense attorneys. This fact could help in the defense of your case.

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Arizona Procedural Rights

It's important for you to be aware that you have certain procedural legal rights -- rights that are often ignored by the police. These rights are as follows:

  • There must be legally sufficient facts to constitute "probable cause" to stop, detain and arrest you.
  • You should be advised by law enforcement that submission to field sobriety testing, physical (coordination and eye tests) and portable field breath testing is not required by law.
  • Once arrested, you must be advised by law enforcement of your constitutional rights -- the "Miranda" warning -- before any further questioning takes place.
  • In Arizona, you may refuse to submit to a blood or breath test but if you do refuse, you must be advised of the legal consequences. This is often referred to as the "implied consent" advisement.
  • If a breath test is administered at the police station, because the breath sample is usually not saved, you must be given a chance to obtain a blood sample for later independent testing by your DUI defense attorneys. Your request for release could prevent a trip to jail and become important evidence we can use in your defense.

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Other Questions and Answers about Your Rights

Will I go to jail overnight upon arrest?

In Arizona, you generally do not go to jail overnight upon arrest, but it is possible. Usually you are released because you have a right to demand or request an independent chemical test and because you are presumed innocent. If you are held overnight, notify your DUI defense attorneys, as it could make a difference in your case.

If convicted, you will be facing jail later. There are mandatory minimum jail terms for every DUI conviction.

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What tests should I take?

It is recommend that you submit to all requests for blood, breath, or urine. This is the case even if the police ask you to do one or more tests or to blow several times.

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What tests should I decline?

It is recommend that you do not participate in any of the silly coordination and balancing tests or the follow-the-pen-with-your-eyes test. We believe these tests lack scientific reliability and there is no penalty if you refuse them.

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Do I have to answer questions?

No. Politely decline and request a confidential telephone call to your attorney. You do have to give your name, show your driver's license, registration and proof of insurance.

We recommend that you be cooperative and act courteously. Do not try to talk your way out of an arrest, and it is best not to lie. Simply keep your mouth closed and you will be glad you did later. At your first opportunity, contact a Phoenix and Tucson area DUI defense attorney to discuss your case and begin planning your defense strategy.

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10 Ways to Protect Yourself from a DUI Conviction

Do not Wait - Request a confidential telephone call to a DUI defense attorneys.

Do not Talk to any Police investigators or anyone else.

Do Write down all the facts about your case. You might forget important facts by the time your case goes to court.

Do Demand an MVD hearing immediately and contact a Phoenix and Tucson area DUI defense attorney for help.

Do Call to set up a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix and Tucson area DUI defense attorney.

Do Know your rights and find out if your rights were violated.

Do Have your law firm obtain all police reports and review them for any mistakes.

Do Find out if the breath test (or blood) was legal and reliable. Get all breath machine test records.

Do Check for illegal arrest, motions to dismiss, or suppression of breath, blood, or urine tests.

Do Only hire lawyers with experience handling of DUI cases, such as the Phoenix and Tucson area DUI defense attorneys withMontano Arentz & Associates, PLLC.

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6 Reasons to Plead Not Guilty and Hire A Phoenix and Tucson Arizona DUI Defense Attorney Instead

It is not a good idea to plead guilty before you talk to a lawyer. A DUI conviction can result in:

  • Loss of freedom
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Fines and court costs
  • A criminal record
  • Loss of employment
  • Other penalties may include years of higher insurance rates and a tarnished reputation.

Do not Plead Guilty! Demand an MVD hearing and contact a Phoenix and Tucson area DUI defense attorney immediately.

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DISCLAIMER: Montano Arentz & Associates, PLLCand Phillips Law Group, P.C. are separate, independent law firms from other firms listed on this website. Phillips Law Group, P.C. handles only contingency fee cases. This includes automobile and vehicle accidents and all personal injury cases. We also handle medical malpractice, product liability, employment, wage and hour cases, Social Security disability, and workers' compensation cases. Montano Arentz & Associates, PLLChandles criminal and DUI cases, as well as consumer bankruptcy and debt relief cases.

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