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We have handled somewhere between 35,000 and 50,000 DUIs over the course of the time that the firm has been in existence. In each case, there are unique facts. There are potentially legal challenges to the way the police stopped the vehicle. That can sometimes result in a case getting dismissed. With regard to the jail reduction provisions that you can take advantage of, your lawyer needs to know about the home detention programs that are available out there and how to make you eligible for them so that no matter what happens, the impact of this on your life is as minimal as possible.
Additionally, there are some police agencies that do not follow what I call proper protocol on an administrative license suspension, and by not following through with that protocol it can potentially cause someone accused of a DUI, who walks into court and pleads guilty to a misdemeanor DUI, the requirement of having to have an awful thing called SR-22. This is a certificate of high risk insurability which you have to carry for a period of 3 years, and that’s a mistake that can cost about $6,000. It’s totally unnecessary as long as you have an experienced lawyer and law firm that are sensitive to these types of things.
For example, blood cases. Blood alcohol. Some places draw blood, some police agencies still do breath, but blood is really the standard in our state for most of the police agencies. Blood testing is not easy, and there is a lot of potential for mistakes with regard to the whole process. However, your blood alcohol level determines the penalty you’re going to get, and if that blood alcohol level is not accurate then you’re pleading guilty to something you may not be guilty of and paying a much higher price and consequences than if someone were to go through the case and review the case.
Most of the law enforcement agencies in Maricopa County require their officers now to wear body cameras. This is 1080p high definition body camera, and this has put a whole new dimension on the way we look at and defend cases. Now there’s no more guess work in most cases as to whether or not the officers did something wrong. Probably it’s going to be on the body cam footage. It takes us, on average, 2 to 3 additional hours now to review body cam footage on every case. We do it, because that’s the difference between potentially winning and losing. If you don’t know about it, you are just taking the charge at face value and walking into court and pleading guilty when in fact you didn’t need to. We are getting clients much better resolutions of cases because we spend the time nit picking through the camera footage.
Also, with regard to blood testing and breath testing, a number is not a number. For example, take a subject test result, alcohol concentration of .080. That’s not really a .080 because it’s science, and in science there is always going to be a deviation from what is the true value. Almost never is that value what we call a true value, and there are so many things that need to be looked at. With regard to the number, and how the number plays into being beyond a reasonable doubt accurate, over a certain level, is really where I think we earn our keep almost all the time. We keep current on every machine, on every crime lab, on every person within those labs, and we interview them. Sometimes, they don’t tell you upfront that there was a problem with the blood test or the breath test, but once you dig a little bit deeper and then finally get them in on an interview, they will review to you that, oh yeah, there was a problem here. “We didn’t think it was significant so we didn’t report it”. Well, it’s not up to them to decide whether it’s significant. A lot of time is spent preparing, getting judges involved, determining whether or not protocol was followed and whether or not the alcohol concentration is admissible against somebody.
The problem is that we have several recent Supreme Court decisions, the U.S. and Arizona, that impact on this, and it’s really hard to fully explain here it is very, very complicated, but that’s good. Anytime something is complicated that’s better for the defense, every time.
We’re very excited about defending medical marijuana DUI’s, because we are able to go in and fight these marijuana DUI cases with a very, very, very good chance of winning. Briefly, marijuana is quantifiable, meaning they can do a blood test analysis and say there are x nanograms of active THC in a person’s system. The problem is that unlike with alcohol, there are no per say levels that mean you are impaired, and because marijuana is so much different than alcohol for a whole host of reasons, really there are no good studies out there, and no experts who like to give opinions as to whether or not x nanograms of active THC, caused this person to be impaired. If you smoke weed, get a card!!
For more information on Retaining A DUI Trial Attorney, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (480) 897-8737 today.