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Tucson Criminal Defense Blog

How to handle a DUI charge

Dealing with the aftermath of a DUI arrest in the Tucson area can be stressful and frightening, especially if you did not consume any alcohol on the night in question. You may feel that you can wait until your day in court to prove your innocence. However, many innocent people receive DUI charges and end up with unwarranted convictions and criminal records. 

It is important for you to fight the charges against you. You do not want the weight of a DUI hanging over you for the rest of your life. Though you might believe you cannot afford a defense attorney and are better suited with a public defender, a private attorney has the time and experience to give your case the attention it deserves to improve your chances of a better outcome.

3 tips if you're contesting a restraining order

Your significant other has taken out a restraining order against you. You want to fight the order, believing it doesn't have merit.

There are ways to contest such an order. For instance, your partner may just have a temporary restraining order (TRO) ight now, given out fairly quickly and you can go to court and show that it's not needed.

The side of the War on Drugs that often gets overlooked

Almost since it began, the so-called "War on Drugs" has been controversial. Those who side against it point out that illegal drugs are still widely available. An incredible amount of money is spent every year to fight drug use and keep people who have been caught with drugs behind bars, but some claim it doesn't seem to make a difference.

However, some researchers point out that drug laws actually have a bit of a dark side, in that they may be so strict that they're keeping people from drugs they could really use.

What is disturbing the peace?

People in the United States have a right to peace and quiet. Things that violate this, though they may not cause anyone physical harm, may still be illegal. In some cases, those who are arrested are shocked and insist they did nothing wrong.

So, what counts as disturbing the peace from a legal perspective? A few examples include:

  • Using offensive words or phrases in a way that may get a violent reaction; this could include using racial slurs, for example.
  • Getting in a fight in a public area or challenging someone.
  • Shouting in a manner that is intended to make people act unlawfully, such as trying to start a riot.
  • Running through a hotel hallway and pounding on doors just to wake up people who are sleeping.
  • Bullying people, especially students.
  • Sitting in a car and yelling out the window, especially when using vulgar language or profanities.
  • Setting up a public assembly in an unlawful manner.
  • Letting your dog bark loudly and for an excessive amount of time, especially in a residential neighborhood where other people can hear.
  • Violating a noise ordinance and playing excessively loud music. This is especially problematic if someone else asks you to turn it down or you are issued a warning by the police, but then you continue to play the music.

Being a 'good' drunk driver doesn't mean you'll never get a DUI

People sometimes think of themselves as "good" drunk drivers, so they're willing to take the risk.

One 19-year-old who was just out of high school bragged about driving drunk right around police cars. He said he was safe and careful, never speeding or swerving, so they never knew.

Understanding field sobriety tests in Arizona

If police officers pull you over and suspect a DUI, keeping your head and understanding the proceedings that ensue could help you later if you do end up facing charges.

Officers will typically want you to take a chemical test, most often via breathalyzer. They may also ask you to take a field sobriety test.

4 elements of a self-defense claim

You're accused of assault. You don't deny that you struck another person, but you claim it was just in self-defense. It wasn't something you wanted to do. You felt like you had no choice.

This defense is often used, and it's important to know how it works. There are four different elements. If you can show that they happened, they strengthen your case.

  1. There was a threat to you, typically of harm or unlawful force. The other person was going to break the law and hurt you if you did nothing.
  2. You were honestly afraid for your own safety. For instance, if someone jokingly says they're going to beat you up and you instantly punch them in the face, it could be argued that you overreacted. It's important to show that you truly thought the threat was real.
  3. You did not provoke the attack in any way. You can't claim self-defense if the other person was leaving you alone, you harmed that person or attempted to and then the fight ensued.
  4. You had no reasonable chance to escape or retreat. Maybe you were cornered in a back alley with no way out. Whatever the case, you couldn't walk away. You had to fight back to protect yourself, and you did so.

A breath test must be calibrated properly

You get pulled over on the way home one evening in Arizona. You rolled through a stop sign, and you know it. You're just in a hurry because your favorite show starts in five minutes and you were hoping to get home in time.

As you talk to the officer, it becomes clear that you have far more to worry about than missing the show. He or she thinks you're intoxicated. You take a handheld breath test and it comes back with 0.10 on the display. You're over the legal limit.

False domestic violence allegations could keep you from your kids

One of the most heartbreaking parts of a false domestic violence allegation is that you may be barred from having contact with your kids.

After all, it may only take an allegation for your spouse or partner to get a temporary protection order. You haven't gone to court yet. Nothing has been proven. But you still have to abide by the order.

What rights do I have during a traffic stop?

When you see the lights from a police car behind you, you may feel as though your stomach falls to the ground. A traffic stop is never a pleasant situation. However, you do have rights during a traffic stop, and these rights are very important when it comes to what might happen in the future.

When you're stopped by police, you have a right to pull your vehicle over only when it is safe to do so. Once stopped, you should turn your vehicle off and stay inside. Keep your hands where the officer can see them, such as on the steering wheel. If it is nighttime, turn your interior light on.

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