Do you know what to do if you get pulled over? If you have been drinking and driving, do you know what your DUI rights in Arizona are? A DUI in Arizona can carry serious consequences, including, loss of driving privileges, loss of driver license, steep fines, alcohol and substance abuse counseling, and even jail time. When you find yourself in this situation, you need to know what you should and should not do or say.
Should you talk to the police? Should you provide them with a statement? Should you give out your insurance information if you have damaged another vehicle or hurt someone else? Just like with any kind of law breaking violation, you still have rights when you get a DUI in Arizona.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
The best advice if you get a DUI is to remain silent and not give a verbal or written statement. Once you start talking, your rights get waved and anything you say can be used against you and hurt your case. This does not mean that you should not cooperate with police. You should provide them with your name, driver license, and address. However, you should not make any statements related to the traffic violation by remaining polite, but silent. If you have an attorney, this would be a good time to call them. If not, one can be provided for you, so make sure you ask for a defense attorney.
When to Accept Tests Requests
Another important thing to know about DUI rights in Arizona it that you are not required by law to submit to a Roadside Field Sobriety Test or to the HGN Eye Test. Many attorneys have serious doubts about the accuracy of these tests and if you are pulled over, and suspected to be driving under the influence, you can make your case more difficult to defend once you agree to take these tests. You may respectfully decline.
In the case of blood alcohol, urine, and breath tests, most attorneys recommend that you should agree to submit to those tests for your first arrest of suspected drunk driving in Arizona because the law states that you can be arrested for refusing and you will lose your license for up to a year for refusing. However, you should still request to talk with an attorney prior to making a final decision. If you have other DUI convictions in the state, it doesn’t make much difference if you accept.
Speak with an Attorney Immediately
It is crucial that you speak with an attorney immediately after you are arrested, so you can keep all your DUI rights in Arizona. A professional will know exactly what you should say or can speak for you if the police has any questions. If you know you can potentially be pulled over and arrested for a DUI offense in Arizona, it would be advisable to have the name of one or more lawyers in the area. Most defense attorneys can be available within 24-hours. Even if you must wait for your attorney to arrive at the scene, you still have the right to have them present and consult with them for any roadside test, if the delay is reasonable.
More Answers About Your DUI Rights in Arizona
Because in the state of Arizona motorists that get pulled over for suspected DUI have the right to wave roadside tests, it is possible that you will not be put in jail overnight, upon arrest. In some cases, you could be released because you have the right to request an independent test and also due to the presumption of innocence. This is a good time to call your attorney.
It is very important to ask about procedural legal DUI rights in Arizona, often ignored by police. These include:
• Police must have sufficient probable cause to stop, retain, and arrest you. In other words, they cannot pull you over randomly if you are driving normally and haven’t violated any traffic laws,
• Police must inform you of your rights to refuse the field sobriety, eye coordination, and portable tests,
• Before any questions are asked and answered, police must read you your Miranda rights and offer you the right to remain silent,
• If you refuse to take a blood or breath test, there can be legal consequence and police must explain this,
• You have the right to obtain a blood sample that can be independently analyzed later by your DUI attorneys.
In order to take advantage of all the DUI rights you have in Arizona, you should follow the guidelines previously explained. You should also try to take notes of what happened as you remember, because later on you may forget important details that could help your attorney in a potential trial. You can also demand an MVD hearing immediately and contact your lawyer, if you have one. Otherwise, one can be provided to you, per the law.
Once you contact your defense attorney or one is appointed get to work. Set up an initial consultation, go over your rights and determine whether authorities violated any of the DUI rights in Arizona. Instruct your lawyer to obtain all police reports related to your case and get the results of any blood or breath tests performed.
It is not recommended that you plead guilty without speaking to an attorney that can review your case. A DUI conviction carries serious consequences that include fines, loss of driving privileges, a criminal record, loss of freedom due to limited driving rights, and other penalties including higher insurance cost for your vehicle. As with any other violation of the law in which you are arrested and face jail time, getting pulled over for DUI in Arizona is traumatic and you may feel even worse after your hangover is gone. Try to stay calm and the incident as best as you can and don’t give out additional information that can compromise you further. A good DUI defense attorney in Arizona can reduce a sentence even when the situation seems dire.