Guest authored for Minick Law Blog by Attorney David Michael Cantor. Minick Law does not have attorneys licensed in Arizona. Any person seeking help for a case in the State of Arizona should contact an Arizona licensed attorney.

Arizona is notoriously rough on drivers who get behind the wheel intoxicated. If found guilty of a DUI, you’re facing mandatory jail time, fines and surcharges; you will lose your driving privileges for a minimum of 90 days.

In addition, once you do get your driver’s license reinstated, you will have to get an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for about a year. This is at your expense of about $1,500.

Here at the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, we get a lot of questions about DUI. Read below to find four of the most commonly confused details.

  • If you got 2 DUI’s and they were both considered your first, would the third be considered a second offense?

No. The third DUI would be the third DUI. Whether it would be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony would depend on how old the two prior DUIs were. In Arizona, if you get three DUI’s within an 84 month period, you will be charged with a felony pursuant to A.R.S. § 28-1383A(2). If either of the two prior DUI’s were outside of the 84 months then you would be facing a misdemeanor second offense DUI.

  • A friend in Arizona was highly intoxicated and caused an accident, but was not charged with DWI at the scene. Will he be?

Most likely, yes. Oftentimes, when an accident occurs, the police wait for the blood results to determine if the person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. If so, the police will send the case to the County Attorney’s office for felony prosecution.

If the person was under the influence and caused an accident they would most likely be charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon which carries a mandatory term in the Department of Corrections of between 5-15 years. The state has seven years to file these types of charges. He or she could also be charged with a misdemeanor DUI (assuming the person was not eligible for Aggravated DUI charges) as long as the charges were filed within one year of the date of the accident.

  • I was arrested for DUI but have no paperwork. Was I really arrested or not?

When you are arrested for a DUI, but the police release you that same night without notice of an upcoming court date, that doesn’t mean that you will not be charged with the DUI.

When police obtain blood instead of breath in DUI cases, they sometimes wait for the blood results before charges are actually filed. Once the blood results are received, you will receive a notice called a summons in the mail letting you know that you have been charged and need to appear in court.

Many times however, people move and the summons is not forwarded to the new address. When this happens a person could have charges pending and not even know it. He or she may even have a warrant out for their arrest.

If you are arrested for a DUI but not given paperwork you are best served by hiring an attorney who can monitor the case for you to ensure that you don’t have a warrant issued for your arrest.

  • Can you get a DUI if you had a few drinks and you were just sleeping it off in your car?

You can be convicted of a DUI in Arizona if you are either impaired and driving OR in “actual physical control” of the vehicle. If you are sleeping in your car, there are a number of factors that will be taken into consideration as to whether or not you were in “actual physical control”. Ultimately, the decision to convict or acquit is up to the jury.

Some of these factors include if the engine or parking brake were on or off during the arrest; if the car was off the main travel road; if the car was in neutral; and if the car was in a bus pullout, parking lot or outside of a drive-thru.

These are instances where attorneys can argue that the individual, though intoxicated, was not in actual physical control of their vehicle because the vehicle was not moving or putting anyone in harm’s way.



David Michael Cantor is a DUI Attorney in Scottsdale Arizona at The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor. He is a Certified Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®.



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