A DUI arrest can have serious consequences. Make sure that you protect your future and your reputation with the expert Tucson DUI lawyers at Ferguson Hill Filous, PLLC.
We provide you with top-quality criminal defense against the tough DUI laws in Pima County. A Tucson criminal defense attorney from our team can fight for your freedom and help protect your future. Contact us today to discuss your case.
Arizona DUI Laws
In Arizona, driving under the influence , or DUI , is the charge of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. These laws also apply if you are under the influence of drugs.
DUI Penalties in Tucson
Your first DUI offense in Tucson is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. This is punishable by a minimum 10-day jail sentence and fines not less than $1,250. Your driver’s license may also be suspended for at least 90 days.
If your blood alcohol concentration is between .15 and .199, your first DUI conviction will carry a minimum of 30 days in jail and fines not less than $2,500. If your BAC exceeds .199, your first DUI could result in at least 45 days in jail as well as fines over $2,750.
However, penalties can become even more severe with added charges such as manslaughter if you cause a fatal accident while driving under the influence. If you have a minor under the age of 15 in the car with you at the time of your DUI arrest, you may also receive child abuse charges and an aggravated DUI charge.
For these reasons and many more, you shouldn’t wait to get in contact with the Tucson criminal defense attorneys at Ferguson Hill Filous, PLLC to help you successfully navigate your case. Our experienced Pima County DUI lawyers are dedicated to providing expert defense tactics to fight for you.
What to Know About Arizona’s Implied Consent Law
Under Arizona law, a refusal to comply with chemical tests or standardized field sobriety tests during a suspected DUI results in a one year suspension of driving privileges. Law enforcement uses these tests to try and determine if you have consumed alcohol, if you are intoxicated, and for determining your BAC.
Law enforcement officers have discretion in deciding which test you are subject to take. An experienced Tucson DUI Attorney can help you fight the administrative law driver’s license suspension resulting from an alleged refusal to participate in the chemical or physical tests.
It is important to remember that by refusing a chemical test or the standardized field sobriety tests you will face a 12-month suspension of your driver’s license. You can apply for a restricted driver’s license after 90 days, but you must complete an alcohol evaluation and you may need to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
There are several reasons why an officer may suspect you of driving under the influence. You might be tired from a long day at work or have a medical condition that impairs your driving. It is imperative that you contact the best DUI attorneys in Tucson when it comes to DUI cases. Reach out to our dedicated and experienced team of lawyers at Ferguson Hill Filous for a vigorous defense on your behalf.
Can a DUI Be Dismissed in AZ?
A Tucson DUI charge can be dismissed under certain circumstances. You’ll have a better chance of this happening with the help of an Arizona Tucson DUI attorney. Your experienced DUI attorney will analyze your case for any factual or legal problems that can result in getting the case dismissed. An experienced team of lawyers like those at Ferguson Hill Filous will comb through all of the details of your case and will always push for the best outcome possible.
When your DUI charges are dismissed, you won’t have to worry about serving jail time, paying hefty fines, or having your car insurance rates go up. With the right DUI defense, we can prove that the evidence was inaccurate, insufficient, or simply wrong.
The Tucson DUI attorneys at Ferguson Hill Filous, PLLC have the experience and commitment needed to fight the prosecution and to ensure you have the best defense possible. Contact our Tucson DUI attorneys today to take the next steps in your case.
What Should I Do Immediately After a DUI Arrest in Tucson?
It’s easy to feel frightened when facing DUI charges in Arizona. DUI laws in this state are amongst the toughest around, and while you may feel hopeless, our Tucson DUI lawyers know how to defend you against these criminal charges in the Arizona legal system.
As such, our attorneys recommend you take the following steps:
Write down as much as you can remember about everything leading up to and during your arrest. At the very least, this should include a description of the location, the actions of the officer, and which tests were administered. Share this information with your lawyer so that they can take whatever action is needed to prepare your best defense.
Do Not Discuss Your Case
Like all cases, you should never discuss your DUI case with anyone other than your attorney. In today’s digital age, it is imperative that you do not post anything online, as it could be used against you in court.
Comply with the Motor Vehicle Division
When you are arrested for a DUI, you will face a driver’s license suspension. You will have 30 days to request a hearing to challenge the suspension, and it is helpful to have one of our Tucson DUI lawyers supporting you so that you know your rights.
Get Legal Representation
Whether you were stopped at a DUI checkpoint or are facing misdemeanor or felony DUI charges, you need a skilled attorney to represent you. Contact Ferguson Hill Filous, PLLC today to discuss your Arizona DUI case with our experienced attorneys.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Tucson?
In general, a DUI charge is a misdemeanor offense in Arizona. There are circumstances where a DUI charge becomes a felony charge of aggravated DUI.
All misdemeanor DUI offenses in Arizona carry mandatory jail time. There are three categories of BAC based misdemeanor DUI offenses in Arizona and two that are not based on your BAC. These categories vary based on the law and each has specific elements that must be proven by the prosecutors. A skilled Tucson DUI lawyer can help navigate this process and work to try and resolve the case with no, or minimal, jail time.
Impaired to the Slightest Degree DUI
In Arizona, regardless of your BAC, if a person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle and is impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol consumed prior to, or while driving, this can constitute a DUI charge. An experienced DUI attorney will work with you to present the reasonable doubt as to impairment and will work to defeat these allegations. This charge will usually accompany one of the below BAC-based DUI charges.
Under 21 Alcohol DUI
If you are under the age of 21, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with any alcohol in your system. This is unique to individuals under the age of 21. Ferguson Hill Filous is experienced in representing individuals who are accused of a DUI when they are under the age of 21 years old.
If your BAC was at least .08 or more, you will face a mandatory sentence of 10 days in jail and a fine of not less than $1,250 for a first offense. These 10 days in jail may be suspended upon proof of completing alcohol screening and education as ordered by the Court. A Standard DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor and has a maximum potential penalty of up to 6 months in jail.
An Extreme DUI is when a person is accused of driving with a BAC of .15 up to a BAC of .199. For your first DUI offense this carries a mandatory sentence of 30 days in jail plus a fine of not less than $2,500.
Super Extreme DUI
Convictions for this DUI offense are for a BAC that is .20 or higher. This charge carries a mandatory sentence of 45 days in jail, and a fine of $3,250, among other penalties.
However, you need to be aware that these are the penalties for a first DUI offense. If you have prior convictions, the jail time and amount in fines will increase substantially. Repetitive DUIs within the past 84 months, even if they are all misdemeanors, increase the mandatory jail sentence for each category of misdemeanor DUI above.It is always best to have a talented and dedicated criminal defense attorney to help you fight against these serious kinds of allegations.
There are certain circumstances where a DUI can be charged as a felony level offense in Arizona. These are called aggravated DUIs. Common examples are when a person is accused of a DUI while their driver’s license is suspended for a previous DUI, when they are accused of driving the wrong way on the road, commits a DUI while a person under 15 is in the vehicle, or if they have 3 or more prior DUIs in the past 84 months. The penalties for an aggravated DUI can include time in prison depending on the individual circumstances. The team at Ferguson Hill Filous has extensive experience representing people with charges of aggravated DUI and will help you navigate the thorny legal landscape.
Can DUI Lawyers Help Me Keep My Driver’s License in Tucson?
Unfortunately, alcohol-related offenses like a DUI will result in the temporary suspension of your driver’s license Even if you do not refuse the chemical or physical tests, the officer may serve you with an administrative suspension. Ferguson Hill Filious will help explain this process to you and can represent you in challenging this suspension.
The experienced DUI attorneys at Ferguson Hill Filous will work with you to identify your unique charges and circumstances of your case. We provide a tailored defense to all of our clients.
Is It Possible to Challenge the Evidence in a Tucson DUI Case?
DUI cases in Tucson require expert DUI defense. While you may be afraid of what could happen next, remember that the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This means that there are many ways for our national trial lawyers to defend you against the charges. At Ferguson Hill Filous, we will conduct an investigation and create a strategy to protect your reputation and help you through it all.
Take a look at some of the most common DUI defense strategies we use.
Illegal Traffic Stop
A police officer must have a reason to stop you. They must have a reasonable suspicion that you have committed a traffic violation, or probable cause of a criminal violation. They cannot illegally detain you, either. For example, if you were stopped for speeding, that does not mean they can automatically start a DUI investigation. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will look through the reports to determine if your constitutional rights were violated.
Documentation of bad weather can come to your aid in your case. If there are weather reports that confirm high wind was present or other circumstances on the road that could have made it more difficult to drive, our Arizona lawyers may be able to challenge the evidence.
The police are not allowed to search you or your vehicle after pulling you over for a minor traffic offense. Furthermore, you may not realize that they do not have the right to search your vehicle without your consent or probable cause to believe a crime took place. If they obtain evidence through an illegal search, our Tucson DUI attorneys will challenge it.
Issues with the Officer
Ferguson Hill Filous always looks deeper than just the officer reports. When it is relevant, our team will work to investigate any prior misconduct by the officer, any prior statements they have made that contradict their expected testimony, and their disciplinary records. We will also obtain and review body-worn camera footage or dash camera footage from the arrest and investigation.
Improperly Administered Field Sobriety Tests
Driving under the influence must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. If your field sobriety tests were improperly administered, this can present reasonable doubt on the sufficiency of the evidence.
If the officer failed to conduct the standardized field sobriety tests in an appropriate manner, this can cast doubt on their conclusions. There are many reasons why a person might have difficulty with these tests outside of any impairment from alcohol. Stress, medical conditions, footwear, and even the testing ground itself can skew the results of the examination and can be a basis for reasonable doubt.
Under criminal law, you must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Our law offices can enlist independent witnesses who may have seen your DUI accident or saw you just before or immediately following the incident. These witnesses can help show your level of sobriety through their testimony. Expert witnesses can additionally be called in to examine the validity of the chemical tests and field sobriety tests to help further cast doubt on the prosecution’s claims.
If you have any documented health issues, these may be used, along with expert witness testimony to contest the fact that you were driving under the influence. Many medical conditions can mimic the symptoms of intoxication. Just because an officer thinks you’ve been drinking or are under the influence of drugs does not make it the truth. Our team of seasoned Pima County defense attorneys can fight your charges.
Breath Testing Problems
There are cases where the breath testing was inaccurate. There can be mechanical failures on the machine, as well as personal factors that result in an inaccurate reading. For example,a person with an increased body temperature can deliver an artificially increased reading. Besides issues with the equipment itself, there are legal problems that can arise with the officer that administered the breath test. Sadly, there are cases where law enforcement officers give this breath test and do not have a valid operator’s license for issuing these breath tests.
You may not realize that breath tests cannot be admitted without conducting a duplicate test. The results need to be within .02% of one another to agree conclusively. With so many other issues arising from the tests, there is a good chance our AZ lawyers can challenge this evidence.
Whether you are facing DUI, aggravated DUI, or any other charges, an experienced defense attorney from the law offices of Ferguson Hill Filous, PLLC can sift through every bit of evidence and seek ways to challenge it. Rest assured, when you contact us for criminal defense, we will aggressively pursue justice and make sure your rights are upheld.
Why Choose Our Defense Team for Your DUI?
Most people facing DUI charges may not realize how serious the situation can be. If things go up to the federal courts, you need the toughest defense around to preserve your freedom. Often, arrests are made without obtaining proper evidence, and it can be easily determined that there is far more doubt than truth to what happened in your case.
You don’t want to face the prosecution on your own. For DUIs, domestic violence, or any other criminal charges, choose Ferguson Hill Filous, PLLC to stand up for you every step of the way. Our Tucson criminal defense lawyers can prepare a solid defense for any situation and keep you informed throughout. You’ll never be left to wonder what’s happening. Contact us today.