Accident DUI Based on Alcohol or Drugs

Drunk Driving Defense Attorney Representing Phoenix Drivers

Most DUIs are charged as misdemeanors. However, an accident DUI based on alcohol or drugs may result in a felony charge or multiple felony charges, particularly if someone is injured or killed. Phoenix accident DUI lawyer James Novak provides skillful legal representation to people accused of this crime. Mr. Novak is a former prosecutor who now puts his insights about prosecuting DUIs and drug crimes to work for criminal defendants. He can evaluate your case closely, develop a strategy, negotiate with the prosecution, and represent you throughout the challenging legal process as necessary.

Accident DUI Based on Alcohol or Drugs

Although DUIs are taken seriously and may come with a host of penalties, they are not usually charged as felonies the first time. However, if you were in an accident DUI based on alcohol or drugs, you may face multiple felony charges, particularly if someone was hurt or killed. For example, you may be charged not only with a DUI but also with extreme DUI, aggravated driving under the influence, aggravated assault, drug crimes, or manslaughter.

Often, when someone is hurt in an accident DUI, the prosecution charges A.R.S. § 13-1204 (A) on top of the DUI charge. It is an aggravated assault if someone recklessly, intentionally, or knowingly uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument to cause serious injuries. A car may be considered a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument, particularly if the driver is intoxicated or under the influence of prescription drugs or controlled substances.

When a driver is under the influence of controlled substances, and the controlled substances (such as marijuana or cocaine) are in the car, a possession charge may also be tacked onto the other charges. The punishment for the possession charge depends on which drug and how much of it is involved. If you are caught possessing 10 grams of cocaine when pulled over for a DUI, for example, it will likely be charged as a felony, and the penalties may be severe.

In some drug crime cases, you can potentially file a motion to suppress drugs found in a car if an officer did not have a reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop. However, things may be more complex when there is an accident DUI based on alcohol or drugs. When there is an accident, an officer is often called to the scene by the victim or a bystander, and the officer is more likely to be able to establish that they had probable cause to search the vehicle. However, there are sometimes other procedural errors, such as lab errors, an error related to Miranda warnings, or improper testing of blood.

You should take all of the charges involved in an accident DUI case seriously. It is important to be aware that you may be sentenced to concurrent or consecutive terms. With concurrent sentences, all of the sentences are served at once. You may be imprisoned up to the length of the longest sentence. Thus, if you are convicted of three crimes, and the sentences are of varying lengths with the longest sentence being for Class 6 aggravated assault, which is usually three years’ imprisonment, you would serve three years.

However, in consecutive sentencing, you serve each of your sentences back-to-back. This means that if you are convicted of multiple crimes, and one involves a one-year sentence, another a three-year sentence, and still another a 10-year sentence, you would serve 14 years.

Sentencing rules are complex and depend partly on which crimes are being charged, but generally, the rule is that separate sentences of imprisonment that are imposed for two or more crimes, whether or not they are charged in the same indictment, are to run one after the other unless the judge expressly directs otherwise. In certain cases, it may be possible for an experienced and skillful attorney to persuade a judge to allow concurrent sentences in an accident DUI case.

Contact an Accident DUI Lawyer in the Phoenix Area

An accident DUI based on alcohol or drugs is taken quite seriously, and it is important to retain a knowledgeable attorney to defend you. At the Law Offices of James Novak, we understand the possible defenses and can defend you from the charges. There may be procedural errors and more substantive defenses that we can turn to your advantage. Our principal is a former prosecutor with substantial experience in drug crime cases. Contact drunk driving lawyer James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form to set up a free appointment. He represents people throughout the Phoenix area, including in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and other Maricopa County cities.

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