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Read if You’re Facing a Tempe DUI or Other Criminal Charge

When you face the possibility of probation, jail time or even a lengthy prison term, you need an attorney who knows what it means to win. Attorney Arja Shah focuses exclusively on criminal defense representation.

Arja has helped hundreds of clients successfully defend themselves against criminal charges. You don’t have to feel like there’s nowhere else to turn.

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Questions about Criminal or DUI Charges?

You Don’t Have to Face Criminal Charges on Your Own

Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming and emotionally taxing. To make matters worse, the criminal justice system in Arizona is incredibly complex. When you are charged with a crime, you are going up against the full strength of the state and its resources. That’s why very few people are able to successfully defend themselves without the help of a criminal defense attorney.

Don’t make the mistake of fighting these charges on your own. Schedule a consultation with the Shah Law Firm.

You need an attorney who spends all of her time defending people facing criminal charges. Arja Shah can advocate effectively on your behalf. She has helped clients just like you have their charges reduced or dismissed.

If your case goes to trial, you can count on Arja to fight hard to preserve your freedom and dignity. She knows how the criminal justice system works. More importantly, she knows what it takes help her clients reach a favorable outcome.

What to do if Pulled Over by Tempe Police for Impaired Driving

A Tempe DUI case begins when an officer stops you for suspicion of drunk driving. The officer will be visually examining you for signs (alcohol odor on your breath, bloodshot eyes, for instance) that you have been drinking.

Remain as calm as possible because arguing with police might escalate an already tense situation. To determine if you are intoxicated, the officer might ask you to perform field sobriety tests and take a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. You are considered legally impaired with a BAC level of 0.08%.

While you can refuse to perform field sobriety tests, you can face a one-year suspension of your driver’s license if you refuse to take a chemical (blood, breath or urine) test. Under Arizona’s implied consent law, if you drive a vehicle, it’s implied that you consent to take a chemical test if asked by a police officer.

Are Sobriety Tests Accurate?

The officer could ask you to perform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) standardized sobriety tests, which includes a “walk-and-turn.” In this test, the driver takes nine steps by touching heel to toe along a straight line. The driver then turns on one foot and walks back the same way.

The NHTSA claims the standardized field sobriety tests are scientifically valid. So, keep in mind that the officer can use your test results against you in court.

However, there have been instances where the officer did not accurately administer the tests. In these cases, a DUI defense attorney can challenge the arrest and possibly get the results thrown out.

If you have questions about your sobriety tests, contact Shah Law Firm PLLC today. Attorney Arja Shah can review your arrest to challenge any questionable findings from your tests or any questionable actions by police during your arrest.

Types of Tempe DUIs and Penalties

Arizona has zero tolerance for drunk driving and takes it seriously enough to make even the first offense punishable by time in jail. This is why it is important to work with a DUI attorney who knows how to present a strong defense to possibly get the DUI charged reduced.

Generally, most DUI offenses are misdemeanors. But, multiple DUI convictions can result in a felony offense. Let’s take a look at some penalties for a first DUI offense and second DUI offense:

– First DUI Offense

  • Mandatory minimum of 10 days to six months in jail (nine of the 10 days can be suspended after an alcohol or drug assessment and successful completion of a treatment program)
  • Minimum $1,500 in fines and costs
  • Minimum 90-day driver’s license suspension
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device after driver’s license reinstatement

– Second DUI Offense

  • Minimum 30 days to up to 90 days in jail
  • Fines that may exceed $3,000
  • Revocation of driver’s license for up to one year
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device after driver’s license reinstatement

These DUI offenses carry other penalties including possible community service, drug and alcohol education classes, and possible impoundment of a vehicle.

– Extreme DUI Penalties

Despite the name of the offense, an extreme DUI is not a felony but a misdemeanor under Arizona law. Nonetheless, an extreme DUI conviction carries longer jail time because the charge is based on a BAC level between 0.15% to 0.19%.

An Extreme DUI charge carries penalties that include:

  • Minimum 30 days in jail, with home detention possible, in some cases, after two days
  • 90-day driver’s license suspension
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device after driver’s license reinstatement
  • Fines and costs that may exceed $2,700

Because of harsher consequences associated with an extreme DUI charge, it is important that you retain a DUI defense lawyer. Let Shah Law Firm PLLC provide legal support at a time when you need it the most.

– Felony Aggravated DUI

Felony Aggravated DUI is the most serious impaired driving offense because the charge carries a mandatory prison sentence upon conviction. Reasons for an aggravated DUI include:

  • Getting a third DUI conviction within 7 years of having two prior DUI convictions
  • Driving on a suspended or revoked license
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol while a child under 15 is in the vehicle
  • A DUI arrest in a vehicle that has an ignition interlock device installed

A felony aggravated DUI carries a mandatory minimum penalty of four months in prison, at least $4,500 in fines and costs, a driver’s license suspension for three years, and installation of an ignition interlock device for at least two years after the reinstatement of a driver’s license.

The penalties of any DUI charge involve either time in jail or in prison. Any type of imprisonment can remove you from daily interaction with your family and potentially cause you to lose your job. And, a criminal conviction can follow you for years.

Trying to handle these legal issues on your own may not result in a favorable outcome for you. However, DUI Defense Attorney Arja Shah can give you legal guidance to help you make informed decisions during your DUI case. Call Shah Law Firm at 602-888-0369 to schedule a consultation.

Your Initial DUI Court Appearance

You should receive written notice of which court will handle your arraignment. If you were arrested by Tempe Police, you will appear in Tempe Municipal Court.

At your arraignment, you will be allowed to enter a plea of either:

  • Guilty
  • Not guilty
  • No Contest

Unfortunately, pleading guilty means you waive your right to be represented by a DUI defense attorney. We recommend scheduling a consultation with a DUI defense attorney immediately after your arraignment.

DUI Attorney Arja Shah at Shah Law Firm can help by explaining each step of the court process. Knowing what to expect helps to relieve some of the anxiety that comes with a court case.

Moving to the Pretrial Stage

Because of her expertise, Attorney Arja Shah may be able to negotiate a plea agreement with the Tempe prosecutor’s office to get your DUI charge reduced or dismissed. If the prosecutor does not agree to a reduced charge or dismissal of the charges, you have the right to present your case to a jury.

Arja Shah, however, cannot guarantee a certain outcome of a jury trial or guarantee that the prosecutor will agree to dismiss charges against you. She will, however, provide competent representation and offer arguments to counter the prosecution’s case against you.

Developing a DUI Defense

In order to win a conviction in your DUI case, the prosecution must show that:

  1. You were driving a vehicle
  2. You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both

The prosecutor could further allege that your capability of driving safely was compromised. The arresting police officer’s written report and possible testimony will be key in the prosecution’s case against you.

DUI Attorney Arja Shah will build a strong defense on your behalf based on the facts of your case.

Some of the most common defenses in DUI cases include:

  • Police stopped a driver because of race or national origin.
  • Police watched an individual leave the bar, get into a vehicle, and followed the individual.
  • Police saw a driver swerve and immediately assumed that the driver was impaired.
  • The officer did not correctly administer the field sobriety tests.

These defenses may or may not be relevant to your case. In fact, you may have extenuating circumstances that become evident during an investigation. For instance, you may have been driving home from a party where someone spiked your beverage. And, because you do not drink regularly, you were affected by the beverage.

What Can You Expect from the Shah Law Firm?

Avoid Jail Time: In many situations you may be able to avoid jail time altogether, especially if this is your first time being accused of a crime. The key to avoiding unnecessary jail time is having a skilled attorney to negotiate on your behalf.

Affordable Representation: Exercising your constitutional right to defend yourself against criminal charges should not involve growing broke in the process. The Shah Law Firm offers a consultation, affordable rates and flexible payment plans.

Experience and Commitment: Experience matters when it comes to choosing a criminal defense attorney. Arja Shah is committed to focusing solely on criminal defense representation to make sure her clients get the best representation available.

Personalized Service: Your attorney should be there for you throughout the entire process. Arja Shah prides herself of providing a higher level of personalized service for her clients. You’ll be able to reach her by phone, email and schedule in-person visits when you need to talk face-to-face.

Proven Record of Results: When you hire Arja Shah you know you are hiring a Tempe criminal defense attorney with a history of great results. She has successfully defended people charged with a range of crimes from DUI to manslaughter.

Choose the Shah Law Firm Today

Get in touch with Arja Shah as soon as possible to schedule your consultation. During this consultation you will be provided with a thorough case review and have a better idea of what to expect with your case and how Arja will handle the next steps.

Attorney Arja Shah has Successfully Represented Thousands of Clients Thoughout All Arizona Courts.

Contact Arja Today to Learn How She Can Help You!

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