I just learned of a case against me next month set for arraignment. I was in an auto accident in AZ last January. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks. As of right now I am assuming it is related to that event.
I have never been arrested nor even spoken to by police about the accident.I literally just found out about this right now online by chance. I will have to call the Justic court on Monday to find out what it is. But it is listing a TR-2013 designation so I am assuming it is related to my traffic accident. No one was injured and it was a medical issue found while in the hospital that explains why I passed out while making a left hand turn and crashing into a wall. again I have never been spoken to about this nor arrested. I am in California now and just finally got back on my feet.
Last January???? Wow, that is quite a long time ago.
How best to fight it? First, gather up your medical records showing that you were not driving under the influence of alcohol, as perhaps Arizona police and the prosecutor assumes. Second, if you had a passenger or passengers, contact them and ask them to write down what they can best remember about the accident. Third, as other counsel have recommended, retain counsel who is experienced and local to the courthouse where the case is. Be sure to ask if you must appear in court (in California, in most misdemeanor DUI's, the defendant does not need to appear (there are exceptions).
I am a CA lawyer, not an AZ lawyer. In CA, if the police made no move to arrest you for a misdemeanor in one year after your accident, you have grounds to bring a motion for a speedy trial violation, since a misdemeanor statute of limitations in CA is one year. There are some exceptions, and one of those is if the party was out of state, or if the police made reasonable attempts to locate you but you were "on the run". The CA law is based on federal law so I am sure AZ has a similar statutory or caselaw scheme in the event the actual statute of limitations has been exceeded by the period of time that they have failed to contact you. However, you need to check with an AZ attorney about the specific offense, to see if it is a standard misdemeanor DUI especially since there was an accident, and what is the applicable statute of limitations. You should also check to see if your being out of AZ allows the AZ court to get around the speedy trial/due process issue
Touch basis with an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona and one who has handled this type of case. Share with that individual attorney all the information you received in the mail and determine if that attorney can help you. You can learn from that contact if the attorney can make the appearances for you or if you need to personally appear; whether you can enter a plea thru your attorney or whether you have to be personally present. Good luck.
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