Have you been charged with DUI in Greenlee County, Arizona? Are you wondering what you need to do to protect your legal rights? We cover here the basics of what you need to know and what you can expect as your case develops in court.
The Greenlee County Superior Court is located at the following address:
223 5th St, Clifton, AZ 85533
Phone: (928) 865-3872
Fax: (928) 865-5358
Hours: Monday – Friday; 8am – 5pm
The Greenlee County Superior Court follows the same rules of judicial procedure and criminal procedure as all Arizona Superior courts. If you are not already familiar with how these Superior courts process a criminal matter, here is the general process.
Initial Appearance: This is the point where the judge must advise you of your right to counsel and to remain silent. This must happen within 24 hours after you are taken into custody.
It is in your best interest to retain an attorney at this point. This is because the initial appearance is the stage where your release conditions and how much bond will be required will be decided.
Bond Set: If your DUI charge is misdemeanor level, then if you have an attorney that person can attend the bond set hearing for you. In more severe felony cases, you will have to stand before a judge.
This bond set process ensures that you will appear in court for your hearing. It also ensures that your constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is not violated.
Status Conference: This is the stage where your attorney will meet with the judge and the prosecutor. During this conference, your attorney might be able to pick up your police reports, or discuss possible plea deals or dismissal of the charges against you.
Preliminary Hearing Stage: This is where the prosecution must show that probable cause exists to believe that you committed a DUI offense. The judge will dismiss the case if the prosecutor fails to satisfy this probable cause test. If the prosecutor does manage to present sufficient probable cause, then the case will proceed to the next stage.
Scratch/Temporary Dismissal of the Case: Contrary to widespread belief, “scratching” or temporarily dismissing a DUI charge against you does not mean that the case is finally dismissed. The prosecution can bring back a case a few months after it temporarily scratches or dismisses it.
Prefile Stage: This is the stage where the police will conduct a prefile investigation if they have a suspicion that you have committed a crime.
Grand Jury: A county grand jury in Arizona has 9 to 16 people on it. In criminal investigations, it serves the same purpose as the preliminary hearing above: to weigh the evidence against you with an eye toward whether enough probable cause exists to charge you.
For example, below on this page you will see some possible additional crimes that you might be charged with on top of a DUI charge. A grand jury would consider the prosecution’s evidence supporting any added charges to see if enough probable cause exists to include them.
Any potential criminal charges that the prosecution would like to put forward must go through the grand jury first. The grand jury will remove any charges that it finds are not supported by probable cause.
Arraignment: The arraignment is the stage in which the judge will confirm that you have retained legal representation and are informed of what action the grand jury has decided on. The judge will then set the case on the court’s docket.
Trial (If Necessary): This is where, if your case is not settled first, your guilt or innocence of the DUI charge against you will be contested and decided.
Sentencing (If Necessary): If the result of the trial is your conviction on the DUI or any other charge, then at a pre-sentencing hearing the judge will hear evidence about potential sentences. The subsequent sentencing stage is when the judge imposes penalties.
If you are convicted of a felony DUI, for example, here are some of the possible punishments the court can impose.
Felony Charges for DUI in Greenlee County Superior Court:
Class 4 Felony DUI Charges: The circumstances underlying this aggravated DUI offense would be any of two or more prior DUIs in the past seven years, a DUI on suspended or revoked license, or a DUI while you were under order to use an ignition interlock device.
A class 4 felony would result in the following possible minimum penalties for a charge of Aggravated DUI:
Class 6 Felony DUI Charges: This is a DUI with a child under 15 years old in the car.
A class 6 felony would result in the following possible minimum penalties for a charge of Aggravated DUI:
Intoxication behind the wheel can result in harm to yourself, to others, and to property that goes beyond driving erratically. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI arrest, the police may charge you with more criminal offenses.
Endangerment: This is one of the most common charges on top of a DUI charge. Under Arizona law, you may also be charged with endangerment if it you have “recklessly endangered another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.” If you have passengers in your car, or if your driving posed a risk of imminent death or physical injury to someone in another vehicle or to a pedestrian, you might see this charge against you.
Aggravated Assault: You may be charged with this when you cause “temporary but substantial disfigurement, temporary but substantial loss or impairment of any body organ or part or a fracture of any body part” in an incident where you are charged with a DUI. Intoxicated driving that results in an accident involving injuries is a candidate for this additional charge.
Vehicular Manslaughter: If you injure someone while DUI, and that person dies as a result, this is vehicular manslaughter. In Arizona, manslaughter falls under a Class 2 felony. This would result in harsh penalties, ranging from 7 to 21 years.
Murder: Although in Arizona first-degree murder requires premeditation, second-degree murder can be the result of behavior evidencing an extreme indifference to the value of human life. The range of penalties for Second-Degree Murder is from 10 to 25 years.
An example of second-degree murder in connection with a DUI could be a “road rage” incident fueled by alcohol or drugs that leads to a fatal confrontation with another driver or a pedestrian.
Greenlee County Superior Court DUI Defense Attorney (we are here to help when you need one)
Our DUI defense lawyers at the Rosenstein Law Group have years of experience and expertise in defending people like you. We can negotiate for the best settlement offer, or vigorously defend you in court if no out-of-court resolution can be found.
You do not want to represent yourself against a DUI charge. In addition to having complex laws, these cases also have multiple legal deadlines that you must not miss, deadlines that can begin as soon as 15 days after your DUI arrest.
Ignorance of the law is no defense; if you make a mistake as your own lawyer, the prosecution and the judge might not show you any mercy.
If you are facing a DUI charge, do not wait. Call us right away at (480) 248-7666 to schedule a free consultation with one of our DUI defense attorneys.