Prescott DUI Lawyer and Criminal Defense Lawyer

Best DUI Defense Attorney in Prescott?

Prescott, AZ is known for having some of the strictest DUI laws and penalties in the country, which means that a DUI conviction can have significant and long-lasting consequences.

Regardless of the strength of the evidence against you, it’s important to remember that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, it’s likely that state prosecutors will go to great lengths to secure a conviction. That’s why it’s crucial to have exceptional legal representation, and Steven Scharboneau has a proven track record of achieving favorable outcomes for our clients.

Why Choose Steven George Law

At our firm, we firmly believe in the power of second chances. We understand that mistakes happen, and a momentary lapse in judgment should not define your life or cause trauma to your loved ones.

When searching for a DUI lawyer in Prescott, you will come across numerous law firms. Identifying the best DUI attorney in Prescott can be a daunting task.

While no attorney can guarantee specific outcomes, we have established a strong and favorable reputation within the community. We are known for our unwavering dedication to protecting the rights of our clients.

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

  • Years of 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 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.
  • 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. We offer discounts to veterans and school teachers, and work with everyone who needs to break up fees into a payment plan. 
  • 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 in Arizona

Arizona law classifies DUIs into various categories based on your blood alcohol content (BAC), any previous convictions, and other 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 too impaired by alcohol to drive. This is legally known as being impaired to the slightest degree.

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.

First DUI in Arizona

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 mandatory 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 one of many reasons 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 in Yavapai County

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 significantly higher than a standard DUI.

Arizona Super Extreme DUI 

A super extreme DUI is a charge associated with BAC levels of 0.20% and above. The effect of alcohol varies by the individual, which makes it difficult to say exactly how many drinks would put any given person at this level. This enhanced DUI charge comes with additional mandatory 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. You will be responsible for covering the cost of this device. There are also additional fines, mandatory treatment programs, extended license suspensions, and an sometimes an SR22 insurance policy is required.

Aggravated DUI in Arizona

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 a first offense 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. An aggravated DUI has extreme penalties, including a jail sentence of up to two years and a one year license revocation.

Further, while the DUI charges mentioned 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 on your breath or in your bloodstream.

Unlike a regular DUI, however, the judge is not required to order jail time for an underage DUI charge. That said, most people who are charged with underage DUI charges are also charged with the standard DUI charges, and those charges come with mandatory jail. These type of charges can be life-changing, especially for a young person with professional aspirations.

While a jail sentence isn’t mandatory for the underage DUI alone, the courts will require a two-year license suspension for an underage DUI. That said, a judge could grant a request to have the MVD give you a restricted license instead.

Again, it is important to remember that in many 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 can occur if the driver’s BAC is 0.08% or above.

Underage DUIs present additional challenges, and hiring a Precott criminal lawyer can help. One of the reasons 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 were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle, and there was any alcohol in your body.

Drug DUI in AZ

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. However, this discretion can often times be challenged in court. 

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 DUIs.

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 immediately ask to speak to an attorney.

Penalties for DUI in Prescott, AZ

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

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • License suspension
  • Probation
  • Mandatory alcohol classes
  • Community service
  • Installing an interlock ignition device on your vehicle
  • Additional SR22 insurance
  • Higher insurance premiums

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 in Yavapai County, Arizona 

In order to establish your impairment to the level where operating a vehicle becomes illegal, the state of Arizona bears the responsibility of providing evidence. Consequently, there are frequently vulnerabilities or inaccuracies in the prosecution’s argument that a skilled attorney can recognize and bring forward to benefit your case.

Some of the potential defenses we explore include:

  • Improper stop or arrest
  • Inaccurate field sobriety test
  • Inaccurate Breathalyzer results
  • Alternative explanations for symptoms of impairment (like red eyes due to allergies)
  • Medical conditions that affect test accuracy
  • Failure of the officer to observe you
  • Contradicting witness testimonies
  • Chain of custody issues
  • Illegal search and seizure
  • Miranda rights violation
  • Other constitutional violations

If your BAC is low enough or close to the threshold of a higher or lower charge, a Prescott 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 does not always require jail time or a license suspension.

How a Yavapai County DUI Attorney Can Protect 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 your charges reduced.

One of the first steps to building a strong defense against a DUI charge is to speak 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, body camera footage, 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 Prescott residents with a wide range of legal issues.

  • DUI Defense DUI License Suspensions Aggravated DUI
  • Felony Defense Aggravated Assault Prohibited Possessor
  • Probation Violations Felony Disorderly Conduct Dangerous Offenses
  • Diversion Programs Misdemeanor Defense Domestic Violence
  • Misdemeanor Assault Criminal Damage Reckless Driving

Attorney Steven Scharboneau aggressively defends clients against DUI and other criminal charges in the Prescott and surrounding areas. People facing misdemeanor charges that arise in this area will need to go to court in one of the limited jurisdiction courts in the surrounding area. Which court will depend on the jurisdiction the arrest or event occurred in. Some of the surrounding courts include:

  • Prescott Municipal Court – 120 S Cortez St., Prescott, AZ 86303 – (928) 771-3300
  • Chino Valley Municipal Court – 1988 N. Rd 1 W., Chino Valley, AZ 86323 – (928) 636-4534
  • Mayer Justice Court – 12849 Central Ave., Mayer, AZ 86333 – (928) 771-3355
  • Verde Valley Justice Court – 10 S. 6th, Cottonwood, AZ 86326 – (928) 639-5820
  • Cottonwood Municipal Court – 665 E. Mingus Ave., Cottonwood, AZ 86326 (928) 634-7537
  • Camp Verde Municipal Court – 435 S. Main St. Suite 206-a, Camp Verde, AZ 86322 – (928) 554-0030

If you are facing felony charges in Prescott or the surrounding areas, you will need to appear before the Yavapai Superior Court. The Yavapai Superior Court has two primary locations, both in Prescott and Camp Verde. Having practiced in all of these jurisdictions, Attorney Steven Scharboneau has dealt with law enforcement from the various surrounding areas including the Yavapai Sheriff’s Office, Prescott Police Department, Cottonwood Police Department, Chino Valley Police Department and others.

If you are facing DUI charges or other criminal charges in Prescott, Chino Valley or other surrounding areas, call Steven Scharboneau to discuss your case free of charge. We are available 24/7, so call or text anytime to (480) 363-0090 to set up a time to get advice on your case in Prescott, Chino Valley, or the Yavapai County area at large.

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