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Arizona Crimimal & DUI Defense Common F.A.Q.s

"21 Questions"

Q. What should I do if I am stopped by the police?
A. The following is a list of things you should do:
Stop your vehicle as soon as safely possible.
  • Open your windows. Turn off the vehicle. Keep your hands so the officer can see them.
  • Instruct your passengers to be polite, silent and keep their hands in view.
  • Be respectful, and polite to the police.
  • Show you driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance if requested. .
  • Do not admit ANYTHING. If they ask you a question, they want you to give them information they can use against you. Don’t do it.
  • Do not try to talk your way out of the situation.
  • Do not consent to any searches.
  • Don't answer questions or agree to be video or audio taped.
Q. Should I agree to take the field sobriety test? What about the eye test
(horizontal gaze nystagmus)?
A. Almost without a doubt, the HGN test will be used against you. If you have been drinking or doing drugs, the officer will say you failed the HGN test. You cannot be forced to perform the field sobriety test or the HGN eye test. If you refuse, though, you will likely be arrested for DUI and taken to another location for breath, blood, or urine testing. The purpose of the field sobriety tests is for the officer to obtain evidence against you. Usually the officer will perform the HGN test first; if he asks you to perform other field sobriety tests, he probably believes that you are intoxicated and will be arresting you anyway. Generally, we do not advise our clients to submit to the HGN test or perform the field sobriety tests.

Q. What will happen if I am arrested for DUI and I refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test?
A. In Arizona you will be subject to a one year license suspension if you refuse to voluntarily give a sample. In most cases the police will obtain a search warrant to take your blood without your consent. Generally, we do not advise our clients to refuse to give a valid blood, breath or urine sample.

Q. What should I do if the police want to search my home or my car?
A. Never consent to a search. This is a violation of your constitutional rights. Politely tell them that you are not going to consent to a search and that you know that they need a warrant to do so. Consult your defense attorney immediately.

Q. When I was arrested the police officer did not read me my Miranda Rights. How does that affect my case?
A. Contrary to popular belief, police officers are not required to read Miranda Warnings every time they make an arrest. They are required to advise you of your Miranda Rights prior to asking you questions about the alleged crime while you are under arrest. If they do fail to read you your rights, it may be possible to keep out any incriminating statements you have made. This could lead to a total dismissal of your charges.

Q. The police think I have committed a crime and want to talk to me. Should I talk to them?
A. NO! The police are not asking you questions because they want your side of the story. They will appear to be very harmless and nice to entice you into answering questions that will incriminate you. You must understand, the police are asking you questions because they are trying to gather evidence to build their prosecution case against you (although they will not say that. They will tell you it is in your best interest which is not true).

Q. I am being investigated for a crime, but I have not been arrested yet. What do I do? Do I need an attorney?
A. You need to consult a Criminal or DUI Defense Attorney before answering any questions ASAP. Don't allow self–incrimination. Your defense attorney will conduct an investigation independent of the police. Evidence of your innocence from this independent investigation can then be presented to the police and the prosecutor by your defense attorney through the proper legal channels that will protect you and your constitutional rights. The prosecutor may be required to show the evidence of your innocence to any grand jury they tries to use to indict you.

Q. What should I do if I am visiting Arizona from out–of state, and arrested for DUI while in Arizona?
A. It is extremely common that someone who is visiting Arizona from another state is arrested for DUI. Our firm handles many such Arizona DUIs from clients visiting from out of state. On a client's request, we make every effort to have you appear telephonically with both the court and the Department of Motor Vehicles. An Arizona DUI may affect your driving privileges in the state you reside in.

Q. If I am asked to take a field sobriety test by a police officer, can I refuse?
A. Yes. In Arizona, field sobriety tests (such as eye tests, one–leg stand, walk and turn, finger–to–nose tests, etc.) are voluntary. However, your refusal may be presented as evidence to the jury. In some cases, the police may feel they have enough evidence to arrest you on the spot.

Q. Do I have the right to an attorney before a police officer asks me to take a Field Sobriety Test?
A. No. Arizona Courts have ruled that you have no right to counsel until you are placed under arrest. The officer is asking you to perform field sobriety tests in order to build their case against you. In most circumstances, we recommend that you refuse the test and ask to speak with an attorney as soon as reasonably possible.

Q. Can I choose the type of DUI or Drug DUI test the officer requests of me?
A. No. In Arizona you cannot choose which test the officer will conduct. In Arizona the three most common tests are blood, breath and urine. While you cannot choose the test the officer performs, you may obtain your own independent sample of whichever test is conducted. Be sure to ask that a second sample be obtained and preserved for your defense. Depending on the facts of the case, a DUI defense retest may be performed at an independent lab.

Q. Why am I being charged with TWO crimes at one DUI Stop?
A. The most traditional DUI charge is "driving under the influence of alcohol" (DUI) or, in some states, "driving while intoxicated" (DWI). Arizona has a second "per se" offense: driving with an excessive blood–alcohol concentration (.08%). In Arizona BOTH offenses are charged. You can even be convicted of more charges depending on how high the BAC is and the circumstances surrounding your case.

Criminal Defense F.A.Q.s

Q. Do I really need to hire an attorney for my criminal charges?
A. Yes. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI and criminal laws in the country. It is extremely crucial that in the least you consult an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your charges and the need to a defense.

Q. What type of Attorney should I hire to defend my criminal charges?
A. If your charges are in Arizona, you need to hire a Criminal Defense Attorney or Arizona DUI Attorney. DUI attorneys are all Criminal Defense Attorneys. It is extremely important that you hire a Criminal Defense or DUI Defense attorney rather than a "general practice" or other type of attorney to defend our criminal charges. The criminal and DUI laws change often, and radically. It is important that the attorney you hire defends such cases on a daily base; understands the current laws; is familiar with the court systems, protocols, judges, prosecution and most important criminal and DUI defense strategies and methodologies to represent you.

Q. I used to live in another state and there is a Criminal Defense Attorney I know there. Can they represent me for my criminal charges in Arizona?
A. Attorneys need to be licensed in a particular state in order practice there or represent a client in another state. Even if they are licensed to practice in Arizona as well as the other state for which they reside and practice, proceed with caution. You need to make sure they are familiar and up to date with current legislation, case laws, court systems, defense strategies, and protocol. Also, knowing the judges, prosecution, and procedures, management in the prosecution, and the like has proven to make for more favorable outcomes in defending clients with the jurisdiction for which the defense attorney practices on daily basis.

Q. Should I just plead "guilty" in my criminal or DUI charges?
A. Many individuals do not realize that you can fight your criminal charges. You are innocent until and only if you are proven guilty. The answer is No. Contact an Arizona Defense Attorney as soon as possible. If retained they will file a "not–guilty" plea on your behalf, notice of defenses, and notice of representation by an attorney with the Court. Many cases can be defended successfully, get at least some of the evidence suppressed or ultimately get your charges dismissed completely. It is very dangerous to go at it alone without legal defense representation. Your chances of a favorable outcome increase tremendously with the help of an experienced Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney.

Q. What should I do if I am arrested for a crime?
A. If you are arrested for a crime, immediately request consultation and retention of an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney. You have the constitutional right to remain silent. Use it! Be as calm and cooperative as possible. However, request to speak with your defense attorney before answering any questions. If you do not do this, you may say the wrong thing, and every word used can be held against you. They are not only taking note of answers but consistency in your answers. Don't take the chance; it may affect the outcome of your case, once you do retain legal representation. The first thing you should do is contact the Law Office of Robert P Jarvis for skilled assistance in your criminal case. They can advise you how to proceed and will be with you during the questioning process.

Q. What if I am under investigation for a criminal offense?
A. When under investigation, in almost all cases, you will soon be arrested or a warrant will be put out for your arrest. Contact your defense attorney, as soon you realize you are under investigation for any Arizona criminal offense.

Q. What are Miranda Rights and why are they important?
A. Following an arrest, you will be cuffed and read your "Miranda Rights", as follows: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present before any questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning. Do you understand these rights?" The officer has already made his decision. Your words after that can only hurt you. Utilize this right, and remain silent. Simply say that you wish to speak to your defense attorney with privacy. Note: If the questioning continues, after you have requested to remain silent and consult your attorney, the case becomes subject to a Motion to Dismiss for Right to Counsel Violation, or in the least a motion can be filed to suppress all evidence obtained after the violation occurred.

Q. What happens after I am cuffed, read my Miranda rights and taken to jail?
A. Within the next 24 hours you will appear before the Judge or Judge Magistrate who may issue a warrant if necessary and set a bond for appearance in court. If you cannot post bond, you may be incarcerated pending appearance in court. Depending on your charges, if you qualify for release with bond, and can post it, you will remain free pending your appearance at what is called an arraignment. The arraignment is held before a judge who formally tells you the offense for which you are being charged. The judge will then inform you of your constitutional rights and of the possible penalties involved. You will enter a plea of guilty or not–guilty at this time, the bond or bail may be reviewed, and a date for the next hearing is scheduled. Note: It is important that you contact the Law Office of  Robert P Jarvis, either as soon as you have been arrested, or after your initial release prior to your arraignment. He will take over from there, make sure your constitutional rights have not been violated, handle the arraignment, enter a "not–guilty" plea on your behalf, file notice of defenses, and notice of his representation of you as counsel. He will walk you through the rest from there, and immediately begin mounting an aggressive defense on your behalf.

Q. Is it expensive to hire a criminal defense lawyer?
A. Many law firms charge different rates for different reasons. Some large law firms charge extremely high rates for the defense of criminal cases. These firms have big overheads, large premises, increased staff, high advertisement costs for T.V., Radio, billboards, magazines, newspaper, internet paid advertisement and sponsored listings, and other marketing needs. All of this converts to higher fees for your case. On top of it, your case is often handled by inexperienced attorneys or even staff.  Many times, you do not even meet “your” attorney until your first court appearance is required.  The Law Office of Robert P Jarvis is independently and privately owned and makes every effort to charge very reasonable fees and will make every effort to find a reasonable payment option for your case. The Law Office of Robert P Jarvis guarantees that your case will be handled in a professional manner and at an affordable price. They charge only flat affordable fees so that you are not surprised with an expensive lawyer bill later down the road. When dealing with the Law Office of Robert P Jarvis, you know what you are getting every time. You will find their fees to be some of the most competitive and affordable in the valley.

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