Goodyear DUI Lawyer and Criminal Defense Lawyer

Do You Need a DUI Defense Attorney?

Goodyear, AZ, has DUI laws with some of the most serious penalties in the country, and a DUI conviction can have far-reaching consequences.

No matter how strong the evidence against you may be, you are innocent until proven guilty. However, state prosecutors will likely pull out all the stops to try to get a conviction. You deserve top-rated legal representation, and our law firm has a proven track record of achieving favorable results for our clients.

Why Choose Steven George Law

We are firm believers in second chances. We understand that everyone makes mistakes, and a momentary lapse in judgment shouldn’t ruin your life or traumatize your family.

As you search for a Goodyear DUI lawyer, you are likely to encounter many law firms. It can be challenging to identify who the best DUI attorney in Goodyear is.

While no attorney can guarantee results, we have built a solid and favorable reputation in the community because we aggressively stand up for the rights of our clients.

Steven George Law is a top-rated criminal defense lawyer for the following reasons:

  • Experience: We focus exclusively on the area of criminal law, so we have built a bank of knowledge and practical experience in this area.
  • Stellar Reputation: Our clients love us! You can check out our reviews here. We are also well-respected and endorsed by other attorneys in the Goodyear area.
  • Successful Track Record: We are committed to serving the community, and have helped our clients achieve results. From having multiple felony charges dismissed to successfully pleading for lesser charges, you have a strong advocate in your corner.
  • Open Communication Style: We adapt our communication style for each client. We will never use complex legal jargon, and we explain your legal options in a way that you can understand. You will never have to chase us down to get ahold of us. We will keep you in the loop about the status of your case.
  • Convenient Location: We have two convenient locations to serve you. Depending on whether you are required to appear in the Goodyear Municipal Court or the Maricopa County Superior Court in downtown Phoenix, our offices are situated nearby.
  • Affordable Fee Structures: While there’s no price on freedom, we understand that your financial resources may be limited. We offer free consultations and affordable rates for our clients.
  • Technological Innovation: Our law firm has fully embraced the tech of the 21st century, making working with us convenient and seamless. By keeping up-to-date with technological systems, we can be more efficient and responsive.

Types of DUI Charges

Arizona law classifies DUIs into various categories based on your blood alcohol content (BAC), any previous convictions, and aggravating circumstances.

While the legal limit is a BAC of 0.08%, you could potentially be charged with a DUI even if your BAC is below this threshold. The reason is that a police officer can determine that you are simply “impaired to the slightest degree” and too impaired by alcohol to drive.

It can also be difficult to judge how much alcohol you can drink to reach a BAC of 0.08%. Your body’s alcohol tolerance will depend on your gender, weight, food consumption, hydration, health conditions, and more.

Standard DUI

If you are facing DUI charges for the first time and your BAC is less than 0.15%, you will likely be charged with a standard DUI, which is a misdemeanor. Though a misdemeanor charge is less serious than a felony, it can still lead to harsh penalties, including fines, license suspension, mandatory treatment programs, and even jail time.

It’s important to note that Arizona law mandates jail sentences for all DUI offenders, but the courts have discretion to pardon or reduce jail time in some situations. This is why having an experienced attorney familiar with the nuances of Arizona DUI laws can be invaluable.

Being convicted of a standard DUI is also likely to result in more extreme penalties for subsequent DUI charges.

Extreme DUI

Though still a misdemeanor, an extreme DUI is the charge one can face when BAC levels are 0.15% or above. Because higher BAC levels are considered more serious, you can expect to face stricter punishment for an extreme DUI compared to a standard DUI.

For example, an extreme DUI carries a minimum 30-day jail sentence and a fine that is double that of a standard DUI. An extreme DUI also can come with community service, probation, required classes, home detention, continuous alcohol monitoring and other penalties.

Super Extreme DUI

A super extreme DUI is a charge associated with BAC levels of 0.20% and above. On average, this is about 10 drinks, though again, the effect of alcohol varies by the individual. This enhanced DUI charge comes with additional penalties.

For example, Arizona law requires a jail sentence of 45 days for extreme DUIs, though you can suspend the majority of this sentence by installing an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. The court will order you to cover the cost of this device. There are also additional fines, mandatory treatment programs, extended license suspensions, and maybe even an SR22 insurance policy.

Aggravated DUI

While getting a second DUI can still be classified under the categories of standard, extreme, or super extreme DUI, a third offense becomes an aggravated DUI charge. You can also be charged with an aggravated DUI on if you receive a DUI while your license is suspended, revoked, or restricted.

You can also be charged with an aggravated DUI if you have someone in the vehicle with you who is under 15 years of age while intoxicated. An aggravated DUI has extreme penalties, including a prison sentence of up to two years and an extended license revocation.

Further, while the DUI charges above are all misdemeanors, an aggravated DUI is a felony charge. Receiving an initial aggravated DUI charge is a serious offense, and subsequent DUI charges can lead to significant prison time. If you or a loved one is facing this type of charge, it is imperative to have an experienced attorney on your side.

Underage DUI

Arizona has a zero-tolerance policy for anyone under 21 to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Taking just a few sips of an alcoholic beverage could be enough for alcohol to be detected in your bloodstream.

Unlike a regular DUI, however, the judge is not required to order jail time, so the penalties aren’t quite as serious in some regaurds. Still, this charge can be life-changing, especially for a young person with professional aspirations.
While a jail sentence isn’t mandatory, the Arizona MVD will require a two-year license suspension for an underage DUI unless the judge grants your request to have the MVD give you a restricted license instead.

In some instances, a person under the age of 21 can be charged with an underage DUI (sometimes referred to as a “baby DUI”) and a regular, extreme, super extreme, or aggravated DUI. This means that you could face two multiple level DUI charges at the same time. This can occur if the driver’s BAC is 0.08% or above.

Underage DUIs present additional challenges, and hiring a Goodyear criminal lawyer can help. The reason that these cases can be challenging is that the State doesn’t have to prove that you were impaired by alcohol or have a BAC above a certain level. The only things the state has to prove are that you are under 21, you had control of a vehicle, and there was any alcohol in your body.

Drug DUI

Even if you have abstained from alcohol use, you can still get a DUI if you have marijuana, prescription drugs, or illicit drugs in your system. A police officer will be able to use discretion to determine whether you are too impaired to drive.

Impairment is a low threshold, and even a slight compromise of faculties can constitute DUI. In fact, the legal language says it is unlawful to drive or be in physical control of a vehicle “if the person is impaired to the slightest degree.” This legal standard applies to both drugs and alcohol.

A criminal defense lawyer can challenge the police officer’s ability to judge impairment and question the reliability of any tests administered. Because a drug like marijuana can stay in the system for several days, a police officer may try to get you to admit that you recently smoked, so the best course of action is typically to invoke your right to remain silent in the face of this line of questioning and ask to speak to a lawyer immediately.

Penalties for DUI in Goodyear, AZ

The legal and financial penalties for being convicted of a DUI in Goodyear AZ could include:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • License suspension
  • Probation
  • Mandatory alcohol or drug classes
  • Community service
  • Installing an interlock ignition device on your vehicle
  • Additional SR22 insurance
  • Higher insurance premiums
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving Impact Class

The financial penalties can be long-ranging, and your career could also be affected. For example, many professions instill strict requirements, and a DUI conviction can result in not being eligible to practice those professions.

If you are in any of the following professions, your career could be at stake:

  • Commercial driver
  • Doctor
  • Lawyer
  • Pilot
  • Nurse
  • Outside sales representative (or any profession that requires driving)
  • Real estate agent
  • Government employee
  • Military personnel

Potential DUI Defenses

The state of Arizona has the burden of proving that you were impaired to the point at which operating a vehicle is illegal. As such, there are often weaknesses or errors in the prosecution’s case that an experienced attorney can identify and use to your advantage.

Some of the potential defenses we explore include:

  • Improper stop or arrest
  • Inaccurate field sobriety test
  • Illegal arrest
  • Not driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle
  • Inaccurate Breathalyzer results
  • Damaged or improperly maintained Breathalyzer machine
  • Outdated software or hardware
  • Issues with blood testing
  • Issues with blood testing other people’s sample in your run
  • Unlikely volatiles in your blood vial
  • Improper sample preparation in the laboratory
  • Alternative explanations for symptoms of impairment (like red eyes due to allergies or tiredness)
  • Medical conditions that affect test accuracy
  • Failure of the officer to observe you prior to testing
  • Contradicting witness testimonies
  • Chain of custody issues
  • Illegal search and seizure
  • Miranda rights violation
  • Officer or criminalist credibility issues
  • Other constitutional violations

If your BAC is low enough or close to the threshold of a higher or lower charge, a Goodyear criminal attorney may be able to negotiate a plea to a non-DUI or a lesser charge, such as reckless driving. A reckless driving charge usually does not require jail time or a license suspension.

It’s not uncommon for clients to ask us if they have to agree to a blood or breath test. The rationale is that if the police cannot prove you are impaired with a test, then they cannot charge you with a DUI.

Arizona, however, is an “implied consent” state, meaning that if you operate a vehicle, you have consented to give a blood, breath, or urine test when asked by an officer. Failure to agree to one of these tests can result in a search warrant in which the sample will be forcefully taken, as well as a one-year suspension of driving privileges.

How a Goodyear DUI Attorney Protects Your Rights

Having an experienced DUI attorney willing to fight for you can give you the best chance to beating a DUI charge or having the case reduced to a lesser charge.

One of the first steps to building a strong defense against a DUI charge is to meet with an attorney to discuss what happened. A DUI attorney can help you understand your legal rights and outline several legal avenues to pursue. Further, after your consultation, you will be aware of the consequences of various DUI charges, which will help you make an informed decision.

Your attorney will examine all of the available evidence, including police reports, witness statements, and chemical test results, looking for any inconsistencies and errors that can help your case.

Depending on the available evidence and your individual circumstances, your attorney will develop a defense strategy and represent you in court proceedings with the goal of achieving the most favorable outcome.

Steven George Law Practice Areas

Our legal team is prepared to help Goodyear residents with a wide range of legal issues.

DUI DefenseDUI License SuspensionsAggravated DUI
Felony DefenseAggravated AssaultProhibited Possessor
Probation ViolationsFelony Disorderly ConductDangerous Offenses
Diversion ProgramsMisdemeanor DefenseDomestic Violence
Misdemeanor AssaultCriminal DamageReckless Driving

Call or Text Steven Scharboneau 24/7 @ (480) 363-0090