I am 31 years old, I do have a prior drug conviction at 17 but tried as an adult for possession of marijuana in mass cross country, also have a DUI-alochol at 16 tried in juvenile court...So i was pulled over due to a bad headlight. Found out my license was suspended for an unpaid traffic ticket. stepped out of the car. Proceeded to do fst and was shaky for 4 seconds on the leg lift counting one with way high pulse...Agreed to blood test (bad idea or no?). I know that Coke and meth will show cause i did both 15 min prior.. also had 20mg addreal day before. also long time methadone user but havent had my dose for a few days due to partying. What is the min jail time i will do? What is my next step? Any advise on choosing my lawyer. Has anyone completely beat this ?
Criminal Defense Attorney
I am curious as to why you refer to this as a "felony" DUI. Yes, it can be a felony if your DL is suspended, but normally the County Attorney will not charge it as a felony if the DL suspension is only for unpaid traffic tickets. Did they give you a court date in Superior Court or the City Court? If the drug metabolites end up in your blood, it will be difficult to defend the "A3" DUI charge you will be facing, given how the statute is written in Arizona. Basicially, the A3 statute is a "strict liability" offense, with some exceptions, like involuntary ingestion of the drug (See State v. Boyd). There are defenses available, but the "A3" DUI charge is one of the most difficult to defend. It is easier to defend with marijuana, much harder with coke or meth. That said, you may have other legal defenses available that will be only be discovered through an investigation of your case. As far as jail time is concerned, that depends if it is a Misdemeanor or a Felony. A Misdemeanor Drug DUI, with no priors in 7 years, carries a minimum of 1 day in jail, but that can go up depending on your history and the facts of the case. A Felony can be a lot worse, and can involve mandatory prison. If you do have a prior felony from 14 years ago in Mass then that will create problems for your potential sentence because it will be an aggravating factor in your case (hopefully not a huge factor). Again, I would have to investigate the prior conviction. You should counsult with a few different attorneys as soon as you can and you need to figure out if it is really a "felony" DUI, because that would be unusual (but not impossible) with just unpaid tickets.
If you have a prior felony you are looking at mandatory prison if convicted. It is a doc term of 2.25 - 7.5 years. In AZ it is illegal to drive with drugs or a drug metabolite in your system. You need to hire a lawyer who is familiar with Aggravated DUI cases and who has defended many of them. For instance, I have defended nearly hundreds of Aggravated DUI cases in AZ. You need to hire someone you are comfortable with. You may have an issue because typically Agra ated DUI cases are not charged if the suspension was for a traffic ticket. However, if you have prior driving on suspended tickets and a history of alcohol violations they may charge. The main element of an Agg DUI is that you knew or had reason to know your license was suspended. If you had a license on you and no admissions were made to the police regarding the status of your license you may have an argument.
Criminal & DUI Defense Attorney
Law Office of Aaron M. Black
3219 E. Camelback Rd., #573
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Criminal Defense Attorney
My colleagues provided excellent answers to the main body of your question, so I am going to respond only to your very last sentence: "Has anyone completely beat this ?"
You stated that you consumed cocaine and methamphetamine 15 minutes before the stop, and that you then agreed to let the police remove blood. Under this set of circumstances, it would be impossible to "completely beat" the charges. This is an example of a person getting caught "red handed" in the act. You would only be able to "beat" the charges if the lab lost your blood sample. That won't happen.
My advice to you is this: immediately seek drug treatment. A person who mixes Adderall, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine, then drives a car, is in serious need of drug treatment. You are lucky you did not kill yourself and/or someone else. Interview three lawyers at least. Choose one who has experience in developing mitigation. Good luck.
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