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DUI defenses: Common to obscure


A motorist is headed to Scottsdale’s Old Town and is pulled over by police. The motorist is then charged with DUI and suddenly faces a wide range of harsh punishments.

What are the motorist’s best options in mounting a DUI defense? It will depend largely on the circumstances of the arrest, of course, but there a number of viable defenses, ranging from common to obscure.

One of the most common and effective defenses available to defense attorneys in Arizona drunk driving cases is that the officer did not have probable cause to make the traffic stop that resulted in the DUI arrest. As you know, law enforcement officers need probable cause to stop you – in other words, there must be a reason for the officer to pull you over. The officer must believe you have broken a law. It can be something as simple as a traffic violation, but police need a legitimate reason to pull over.

If the officer does not have a legitimate reason (probable cause) to pull you over, it is very possible that an experienced DUI defense attorney will be able to persuade the court to rule that all evidence obtained in the traffic stop is inadmissible. 

On the other hand, there are some much less common defenses, including the argument that the defendant didn’t give consent for the blood or were coerced into giving consent for blood or breath. In other words, the defendant would have to show the court that the officer made them concede to testing and that it wasn’t consensual. A rare defense, to be sure. This is one of hundred’s of obscure but necessary avenues to look down when preparing a defense.

A skilled and experienced attorney has at his or her disposal a full palette of effective defenses that can help Arizona drivers avoid punishment for crimes they did not commit and avoid the very harshest sanctions of the law when they have made a mistake.

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We support Scottsdale's Taste of the Town festival that benefits the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association as well as the annual Toys for Tots campaign. Our firm also contributes to a number of other local organizations, including Home 'Fur' Good, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating the euthanasia of adoptable homeless cats and dogs in Maricopa County.
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