If you are summoned to appear before the Cochise County Superior Court for a DUI-related charge, it is important to know where to go and how to contact the court.
The Cochise County Superior Court is located at 100 Quality Hill Rd., Bisbee, AZ 85603. The phone number for the Court Clerk is 520-432-8600.
If you are being charged with a DUI in Cochise County, Arizona, then depending on the facts of your arrest and the type of DUI you are being charged with your case will be heard in any of a Municipal Court, Justice Court, or the Cochise County Superior Court.
If you face a DUI charge, please call Rosenstein Law Group expert attorneys at (480) 248-7666 to schedule a free consultation.
In Cochise County, the first court appearance for a charge before the Superior Court is the Initial Appearance. Your hearing must take place within 24 hours of your arrest.
At your Initial Appearance, the judge will inform you of the charges being brought against you, establish conditions for your release, and set your next court date.
During your Initial Appearance, the court will decide whether to set a bond and how much it will be. The bond is set to make sure you appear at the next proceeding, and is determined based on your criminal history, past DUIs, and the severity of the present charges.
A status conference is a pre-trial meeting among the judge assigned to your case, the prosecuting attorney, and your defense attorney. It is important that you have experienced DUI defense counsel to advocate for your defense during this meeting. A DUI defense attorney will know how to seek all available evidence necessary for your defense that the prosecution has in its possession.
The status conference is also an opportunity for your DUI lawyer to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution, and to file important motions with the court on your behalf.
If you are charged with felony DUI, then you have the right to a preliminary hearing. This hearing must occur within 10 days of your Initial Appearance if you are in custody, or within 20 days if you are out on pretrial release or bail.
At this hearing, the prosecution must demonstrate to the judge probable cause exists to believe you committed the crime you are accused of.
If the prosecution does not believe it is ready to file charges by your initial trial date, then your preliminary hearing may be “scratched” or temporarily dismissed.
This does not mean, however, that you are in the clear. The prosecution has 2 years to file – or re-file – charges for a DUI felony in Cochise County, Arizona.
You must obtain legal representation by the pre-file stage in Cochise County.
Choosing the right DUI defense attorney is important here because negotiations with the prosecution can continue during this pre-indictment stage of your case and your DUI defense attorney might still be able to secure a dismissal or reduction of the DUI charges during this interval.
The Grand Jury decides whether the prosecution has enough evidence to show probable cause to believe you committed the crime you are accused of.
Grand Jurors can question witnesses brought by the prosecutor, but the defendant is not permitted to participate or witness the proceedings unless summoned by the Grand Jury. If the Grand Jury indicts you, then you will proceed to arraignment in Superior Court.
The arraignment hearing is where you will enter your plea of guilty or not guilty. The arraignment must occur within 10 days of the indictment if you are in custody, or within 30 days if you are not in custody.
If you enter a not guilty plea, then the judge will set a trial date at this hearing.
If you plead guilty, then the judge will set a sentencing date.
If your felony DUI case goes to trial, the prosecution must convince the Superior Court jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime you are charged with.
A conviction must be unanimous. The judge will dismiss the case and it cannot be retried if the jury acquits you. Should the jury find you guilty, though, then the judge will set a sentencing hearing.
If you pled guilty or the jury found you guilty, then a sentencing hearing will determine the appropriate sentence.
You are permitted to address the judge before the announcement of your sentence. Even here, an experienced Cochise County DUI defense counsel can help you to make a statement that can possibly help minimize your sentence.
As mentioned above, Cochise County Superior Court has jurisdiction over most felony DUI charges.
Although most first-time DUI charges are classified as misdemeanors, a DUI becomes a felony in Cochise County if certain conditions are met. Based on these conditions, your DUI may be elevated to either a Class 4 or Class 6 Felony, depending on the seriousness of the crime.
The following circumstances can lead to a DUI becoming a Class 4 felony:
Class 4 felonies carry a mandatory prison sentence of 4 months, plus fines and other penalties.
Class 6 felony charges are less serious than Class 4 felony charges; their penalties are less severe.
A DUI becomes a Class 6 felony when you are driving impaired, and there is a minor under the age of 15 present in the vehicle.
Class 6 felonies carry minimum county jail time instead of time in prison. The length of the jail sentence depends on your blood alcohol content (BAC) level, and ranges from 10 to 45 days. Other fees and penalties are part of a Class 6 felony sentence.
In addition to a DUI charge, you could also face prosecution for vehicular endangerment if you are found to have recklessly endangered another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.
This charge is typically brought when you are alleged to have acted with an extreme indifference to human life. Endangerment is a Class 6 felony and carries a mandatory jail sentence rather than time in prison.
If someone is injured during a car accident in which you are charged with DUI, then you might also be charged with aggravated assault. Under Arizona law vehicles are considered deadly weapons, so any injury could be considered to have been using a dangerous instrument to cause injury. This meets the legal standard for aggravated assault.
Aggravated assault is a Class 2 felony, with a sentence of 7 to 21 years in prison if another person was seriously injured or injured by your vehicle.
If someone is temporarily impaired by the accident in which you were charged with DUI, you could face 5 to 15 years in prison.
Because of the severe consequences of an aggravated assault charge, you should seek the assistance of qualified attorneys. Call our team at (480) 248-7666 to schedule a free consultation right away.
Vehicular manslaughter is a Class 2 felony with a minimum prison sentence of 7 years. This charge is based on an allegation that you recklessly caused the death of another person.
If a death resulted from a DUI-related accident, then the prosecution can in some cases pursue second-degree murder charges. Second-degree murder requires the prosecution to prove that you engaged in conduct knowing that it would result in the death of another but without planning or premeditation. This charge carries a range of 16 years to life in prison.
Given the seriousness of any DUI charge in Cochise County and the wide range of penalties you could face, if you are being charged with a DUI, we urge you to retain an experienced DUI defense attorney.
With the assistance of experienced DUI counsel, mandatory minimum penalties might be reduced through negotiation strategies. Because of the specialized nature of Arizona DUI laws, we strongly recommended that you seek legal counsel that is already knowledgeable in them, including the latest changes from the Arizona legislature.
If you face a felony DUI charge, please call our expert attorneys at (480) 248-7666 to schedule a free consultation.