DUI Charges Dropped After Judge Finds Violation of Constitutional Right to a Speedy Trial

The 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees, via the speedy trial clause, that all individuals charged with a crime have a right to a speedy trial. Specific states, like New York and Arizona, also have constitutional state amendments guaranteeing this right.

A case in point involves a 65 year old woman who was facing drunk driving charges in New York. Her case lasted more than two years and involved numerous court appearances due to the alleged prosecution's need for additional time to prepare. The judge, however, indicated that the delay was a violation of the accused's constitutional right to a speedy trial and dismissed the charges.

Although this case takes place in New York, the dismissal highlights the importance of having proper legal representation to fight for the rights of those at risk of losing their life or liberty everywhere-including Arizona.

In Arizona's state constitution, Article II Section 24 states that, "The accused shall have the right to have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed..."

Protecting this right is particularly important for those facing DUI charges in Arizona. DUI charges carry harsh penalties-both direct and indirect.

Convicted individuals will face mandatory jail and thousands of dollars in fines in assessments. They may also face serving community service and be forced to complete drug and alcohol classes or treatment.

Additionally, drivers convicted of DUIs must also install an ignition interlock device (IID) in all vehicles that they operate. IIDs are devices that require a driver to take a breath test before the car will start, if there is a prohibited amount of alcohol on the driver's breath the car will not start. This also carries with it maintenance expenses.

For second offenses, the penalties for DUI are even more severe. Depending upon the time frame between convictions, the jail time increases to a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of 180 days, the fines increase exponentially. Further, community restitution is required and the individual's driver's license is revoked for one year.

In tandem with jail time, fines and potential community service, those convicted of DUI in Arizona are likely to face employment roadblocks and higher insurance rates.

Seeking the assistance of a DUI attorney who can help mitigate these consequences is vital.