You are cruising down the road without a care in the world. Suddenly you feel the impact of a collision with another vehicle.

You are sure you appear as sober as ever when the officer asks if you’ve been drinking. They ask you to complete a sobriety test and you find yourself in cuffs being hauled off to jail for a DUI accident. Your first call needs to be to a DUI accident lawyer.

In 2018 there were 11,514 arrests in Arizona for drunk driving. DUI is a criminal charge. When it involves a car accident the penalties are more severe, especially when it results in severe bodily injury or death.

With the potential of a criminal record, fines, jail time, and loss of your driving privileges, a DUI accident attorney is your best level of defense. Keep reading to learn what a DUI lawyer can do for you.

1. Knowledge of Law

When facing a drunk driving charge there is a wide range of laws pertaining to your case. Your DUI attorney will be knowledgeable in criminal defense and drunk driving laws.

In an accident, DUI your attorney will know that in addition to the criminal penalties of a DUI, there may be an additional civil lawsuit involving the personal injuries a victim sustains. This is an area in which they can explain the differences in the cases and what your best options are in dealing with both the criminal and civil aspects of your case.

2. Discovery

Your attorney will be able to request discovery from the prosecuting attorney, as well as other information they deem appropriate. This may include the police report, your BAC results, police video of your field sobriety test, interviews with witnesses, and more.

If your attorney feels any of this information was obtained incorrectly or is questionable, they will file a motion to have the information withheld or the case dismissed.

3. Negotiations and Representation in Court

Your DUI lawyer will be able to make contact that you as a layman cannot. They will exchange information and negotiate with the prosecuting attorney outside the courtroom. The goal is to negotiate a plea to a lesser charge or a dismissal depending on the evidence.

Appearing in court can be intimidating if you are not familiar with Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. There are numerous hearings during which your attorney will speak on your behalf. They will be familiar with how to properly address the judge, opposing counsel, and present evidence to obtain the best possible outcome.

4. Recovery of Driving Privileges

When arrested for DUI you immediately lose your driving privileges. Your DUI accident attorney may be able to prevent you from losing your license for an extended period of time.

If you do lose your license, you will need to take specific steps to reinstate your license. Your attorney will understand these requirements and can assist you in trying to get your license back.

5. Reduction or Dismissal of Case

If you receive a drunk driving charge in the state of Arizona, on your first offense you will serve jail time a minimum of 10 days. You will receive a minimum fine of $1,250 and need to complete an alcohol education program. You will also need an ignition interlock on your vehicle to drive. 

With an accident, the severity of damages and whether anyone sustains personal injuries impact the severity of penalties. If this is your second or subsequent DUI the penalties, jail time, and fines increase.

Your attorney will negotiate to reduce the criminal charges and penalties you receive. They will file appropriate motions if there are disputes regarding the way evidence was obtained. They will also review sentencing recommendations for potential errors.

Hire a DUI Accident Lawyer

If you find yourself in handcuffs following a DUI car accident, the first call you need to make is to a DUI accident lawyer. They will provide you with the legal expertise necessary to navigate this special area of law. The difference may be your freedom, ability to drive, and criminal record.

If you found this information helpful, we invite you to check out our other blogs for more useful information on a variety of topics.