DUI

Do You Have to Complete a Field Sobriety Test?

Being pulled over by the police is always scary, but being asked to submit to a field sobriety test can be even scarier. Whether an officer has pulled you over on suspicion of DUI or you have been stopped at a DUI checkpoint, you may find yourself panicking and unsure of how to handle yourself. Should you be 100 percent cooperative and do everything the officer asks, or should you take the Fifth and refuse to comply with tests? Do you even have the right to decline a field sobriety test? The answers to these questions are more complex than a simple “yes” or “no.” Because of this, we’ve dedicated an entire post to discussing whether or not you must – or should – complete a field sobriety test.

The Object of Field Sobriety Testing in Arizona

These tests exist as a means of helping a police officer determine whether or not an individual is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and is posing a threat to himself and others on the road. Unfortunately, field sobriety tests can be difficult to pass even if you’re not intoxicated – especially if you’re feeling nervous or on edge. What’s more, an officer’s judgment of a field sobriety test is entirely subjective (except in the instance of a breathalyzer test), and an officer could determine that an individual is inebriated just because he or she has general balance issues or struggles to complete a task that they are not accustomed to doing. This is why the help of the experts at Schill Law Group is often needed after a field sobriety test has been failed.

What Happens if You Refuse to Complete a Field Sobriety Test in Arizona

Knowing that field sobriety tests can be tricky and that officer judgments are subjective might sway you toward refusing to complete field sobriety tests. Here’s where things get a little bit complicated. In the state of Arizona, you have the right to decline when an officer asks you to take a field sobriety test, the tasks of which may include walking a straight line and/or standing on one leg. The real question is whether or not you SHOULD decline.

In many cases, refusing to complete a field sobriety test can and will be viewed as an admission of guilt. For this reason, you may need to be prepared to be placed under arrest for a DUI. Once you have been arrested, you may be required by law to submit to a breathalyzer test. Should you decide not to submit to a field sobriety test, you may want to consider remaining silent and allowing your attorney to speak on your behalf.

Things to Consider Prior to Completing a Field Sobriety Test in Arizona

In the event that you are asked to submit to field sobriety testing, there are a few things that you should keep in mind:

  • If an officer has pulled you over and is requesting that you complete a field sobriety test, he or she is already suspicious and likely already intends to arrest you for a DUI. At this point, the officer is asking for DUI testing to gain more evidence against you.
  • Field sobriety tests can be inaccurate and certain medical conditions, medications, or even the way in which the testing is administered may impact the outcome.
  • Certain medical conditions could cause you to outright fail, even if you have not had anything to drink.
  • Refusal to complete a field sobriety test will likely lead to your arrest in Arizona.

If you have failed an Arizona field sobriety test (whether you were intoxicated or not), you need an experienced DUI attorney on your team. Contact the professionals at Schill Law Group to discuss the details of your case during a free consultation.

What Does Arizona Law Say About Underage DUIs?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an incredible 43.8 percent of Arizona teenagers drink alcohol. As a parent, this news can be quite alarming – especially if your teen is a licensed driver. What happens if your child makes the decision to drink and then get behind the wheel? This type of risky behavior can lead to a number of consequences. Today, we’ll explore what happens when an underage driver is caught under the influence of alcohol.

Arizona Underage DUI Laws

Under regular circumstances, Arizona law tolerates a driver with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.8 or less. This, of course, assumes that the driver is an adult of the legal drinking age of 21 or older. Underage drivers, however, are held to a different standard. Arizona’s “zero tolerance” policy mandates that minors can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol if their Blood Alcohol Content is at 0.01% or higher. For this reason, the team at Schill Law Group has handled many cases where a teen driver was charged with trace amounts of alcohol in his or her system.

It is important for parents and minors alike to be aware of the law. Even in situations where you might want to allow a minor to consume a very small quantity of wine for religious purposes such as communion or Seder, it’s advisable to reconsider. Not only is it illegal to provide a minor with alcohol, you could be putting your child into harm’s way by allowing him or her to drive after ingesting said alcohol. Any amount of alcohol found in an underage driver’s system could lead to an arrest.

First Offense

In the event that a minor is pulled over and charged with an underage DUI, you may be wondering what happens next. In Arizona, this will depend on both the severity of the driver’s impairment and the number of past offenses. The potential consequences for a first offense include:

  • Up to six months in juvenile detention or jail
  • Extensive court fines and fees up to $2,500
  • Class 1 misdemeanor charge
  • Suspension of driving license for up to two years
  • Mandatory drivers education classes
  • Probation

Second and Multiple Offenses

If an underage driver is charged with a DUI more than once, he or she will face harsher consequences. These second-time offenders create dangerous conditions for themselves, their passengers, and other drivers on the road, and a judge is much less likely to look upon these risky actions with much leniency. Amongst other things, an underage driver may receive jail time, the extended suspension of his or her driver’s license, and larger fines. In cases where a minor has been charged with a DUI multiple times, it’s very important to hire an experienced DUI attorney. We never advise attempting to represent yourself after multiple charges have been received.

Have you or someone you love recently been charged with an underage DUI? It’s important to remember that, while all of these are the potential consequences of receiving an underage DUI, you may find that with the help of a defense attorney, a judge may hand down a less severe punishment. Even so, you should be prepared for the fact that any outcome is possible. For the best result, we urge you to schedule a consultation with Schill Law Group. Give us a call to learn more or get started today.

Keeping Calm at an AZ DUI Checkpoint

Arizona is known for its tough DUI laws, so it’s no surprise that DUI checkpoints pop up throughout the state on a regular basis. As intimidating and frustrating as getting caught up in a checkpoint can be, it’s important to realize that DUI checkpoints are upheld under the federal constitution, so you will need to stay calm and be cordial. Just because you’re being cordial, though, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t know your rights and be prepared to protect yourself. Here are a few suggestions to help you stay calm and to be smart as you navigate an Arizona DUI checkpoint.

Know Before You Go

The best way to avoid the panic of a DUI checkpoint is to do a little research before heading out for the night. Pay attention to the news and social media to learn when and where checkpoints will be set up in your area. Be aware of the fact that checkpoints are more likely during holidays, special events, or on weekends. By preparing in advance, you can avoid roadblocks wherever possible and make better decisions throughout your evening.

Have your Paperwork Handy

If stopped at a DUI checkpoint, an Arizona police officer may ask to see your driver license, registration, or proof of auto insurance. To avoid stress, it’s wise to make sure that your paperwork is always inside your vehicle, stored in a safe place that can be easily accessed upon request.

Know Who and What’s In Your Car

As a licensed driver, you’re responsible for who and what may be found inside your automobile during a traffic stop like a DUI checkpoint. Make sure that there aren’t any open alcohol containers in any part of your vehicle and never allow illegal drugs or paraphernalia inside your car or truck. If certain medications are needed, make sure that the proper prescriptions and documents are in order upon request. Avoid driving with passengers who are under the influence of illegal drugs, as this can raise suspicions with the police.

Avoid Self-Incrimination

When stopped at a DUI checkpoint, it’s smart to avoid supplying any more information than you absolutely have to. In the event that the officer asks a question to which you believe an answer may put you at risk, remember that you have the legal right to remain silent in order to avoid self-incrimination. Plus, you have the right of refusal to perform field sobriety tests unless the officer has a warrant or probable cause. Always remain polite and respectful – even when you choose to decline to follow a request. And, of course, you can ask that an attorney like Schill Law Group be present at any time if you feel that the situation is taking a turn for the worse.

Show Respect

Although a DUI checkpoint may be annoying, it’s wise to remember that these stops aren’t intended to inconvenience you. Instead, checkpoints exist in an effort to discover people who are breaking the law and, ultimately, to keep you and your loved ones safe. With this in mind, remember to be courteous and respectful to the police. Calmly declining to meet a request with your civil rights in mind is much different than being hostile and argumentative, and any signs of aggression could be met with suspicion and further consequences.

There’s no reason why you should let an Arizona DUI checkpoint get the better of you. Taking the time to understand what to expect and to learn how to handle yourself at a checkpoint will empower you to stay safe and calm.

Do you have further questions about what to do when stopped at a DUI checkpoint in Arizona? Have you or a loved one been arrested as the result of a DUI checkpoint? The experts at Schill Law Group are here to help. Give us a call for a case consultation today.

Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Arizona?

You’ve just pulled out of the parking lot after enjoying a happy hour cocktail with your co-workers when you see the flash of red and white lights in your rear-view mirror. As your heart sinks, you stop your car on the shoulder, watch as the police officer approaches your window, and hear those few simple words:

“Have you had anything to drink tonight?”

What do you do? If you’re like many other Arizona drivers, you may feel a bit unclear about what your legal rights are in this situation. Should you answer the police officer’s questions? What should you do if the officer asks you to consent to a breathalyzer or field sobriety test?

First Things First

Prior to requesting a field sobriety test or breathalyzer, a police officer will likely ask you if you’ve had anything to drink and may ask about the quantity of alcohol that you might have consumed. At this point, the officer is attempting to gather evidence against you. Answering in the affirmative – regardless of how much you’ve had to drink or how long ago you finished your drink – is immediately incriminating. It is important to remember that you have the right to remain silent. At this point, it’s typically best to ask the officer whether or not you are being detained and to let him or her know that you would like to contact an attorney. In fact, what many drivers don’t realize is that you are entitled to an attorney at absolutely any point while conversing with an officer, even before you are arrested or detained.

The Breathalyzer Test

If the officer suspects that you are under the influence of alcohol, he or she may ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test. Refusal to comply with the breathalyzer test will complicate things for you, so it is always best to ask to have an attorney present so that you can be advised of your legal rights accordingly. The Schill Law Group has a great deal of experience in this area and our job is to protect our clients from unintentionally making a bad situation much worse.

Understanding “Implied Consent”

Arizona’s “Implied Consent” law states that if an individual has been pulled over and arrested for a DUI, then he or she is presumed to have offered their consent (implicitly) for chemical testing, such as a breathalyzer test. Those who refuse to comply with this law will automatically have their driver’s license revoked for a minimum of one year. Yes, you do have 15 days to request a hearing on the suspension, but this is absolutely not something you should rely on. Refusal to consent to a breathalyzer or other chemical test after an arrest is made could result in the officer obtaining a search warrant, allowing him or her to require you to provide a blood sample.

Consulting with an Attorney

You can legally request the presence of an attorney at any time after being pulled over for a suspected DUI. You may seek counsel even before submitting to a breathalyzer test and we would recommend that you exercise this right whenever you feel that it is prudent in the given situation. Consulting with an attorney before incriminating yourself can save you from compounding an already difficult situation, not to mention potential legal costs and severe punishment.

Were you pulled over for a DUI in Arizona? Schill Law Group can help. Give us a call to set up a free case evaluation today.

How to find the best dui attorney in Phoenix

best DUI attorney Phoenix

If you have been charged for driving under the influence, it is important that you hire the best dui attorney in Phoenix to help defend your charges. Hiring an experienced and aggresive dui attorney is vital as this increases your chances of getting the dui charges dismissed. It can mean the difference between getting a conviction with harsh penalties and having your charges possibly dismissed.

Some dui charges can be complex especially when there is property damage or injuries to a 3rd party involved. DUI charges can have an immediate impact on your day-to-day life by affecting your driving privileges, employment, and earning you jail time. As such, it is necessary that you immediately find an experienced and professional dui attorney, from a reputable law firm like the Schill Law Group, to help you navigate the complex Arizona legal system and get you favorable results.

Here are some vital tips on how to find the best dui attorney in Phoenix;

1. How experienced is the attorney?

Experience is key when looking for a dui attorney to handle your case. You don’t want a newbie who may easily be defeated by an experienced prosecution. An experienced dui attorney knows the tactics and channels to best represent you. They will study the facts of your case keenly and advise you on the best way to proceed using their experience on such similar past cases.

2. Recommendations

Recommendations and referrals are one sure way of getting a verified dui attorney. A friend, colleague, relative or any other person whose opinion you trust can give you some good information about their overall experience with a certain dui attorney and the outcome of their case. You can also visit trusted online review sites and hear what past clients are saying about an attorney’s performance.

3. Qualifications

For a dui attorney, it is best that you hire an attorney that is experienced in handling dui cases. If you are hiring an attorney who practices as an individual, make sure to confirm that they are licensed, have a good ethical record, are not disbarred, and have a good track record in their past cases. But if you are hiring form a reputable law firm such as the Schill Law Group, you can trust that their attorneys have already undergone serious background checks.

4. What is the attorney’s availability?

For best results, your attorney should commit plenty of time and effort to your case. They should be readily available to discuss the matters of your case whenever need be, one who understands the laws, and one who can easily communicate with you when needed.

5. Do you get a free consultation?

During a consultation, you can best be able to assess the working style and experience of an attorney. Here you will be able to discuss your case and see what options the attorney offers you.

6. Choose The Schill Law Firm

So, if you are looking for all these and more in a DUI attorney Phoenix, here is why the Schill Law Group is the place to turn to;

Experience– The Schill Law Group boasts of over 100 years combined legal experience in DUI cases. They have literally handled all types of dui cases and this gives them a better chance at winning when representing you.

Free consultation– You get a free consultation with one of the Schill Law Group attorneys to assess the facts of your case in depth.
Attorney’s availability- Your assigned attorney will communicate with you whenever needed.
Proven track record- The attorneys at the Schill Law Group have won over 300 jury verdicts!

Reliable representation throughout– Your case will be handled by one attorney all the way through to ensure consistency and convenience.
Don’t let your DUI charges affect your life negatively in a huge way. Hire the best dui attorney Phoenix from the Schill Law Group and get the best representation.