Drunk Driving Defense and Malpractice
Representing a person accused of driving under the influence (DUI) in the State of Arizona requires a high degree of skill, knowledge and experience in criminal law in general and DUI defense in particular. DUI charges are fast becoming the number one criminal charge filed against people arrested in the State of Arizona. Even for a first DUI offense, the penalties are so substantial, one could argue that an attorney who does not have the skill, knowledge or experience in this field would be committing malpractice by choosing to represent someone charged with driving under the influence.
Volumes of legal treatises and scores of seminars have been devoted exclusively to representing persons charged with driving under the influence. A cursory review of the voluminous materials in this field as well as the experience of this author leads one to the compelling conclusion that most driving under the influence cases can be "successfully defended". Successfully defended is defined as a dismissal, acquittal and/or a reduction of DUI charges.
With every DUI arrest there are two individual cases. The first is the criminal case, and the second is the Department of Motor Vehicle Administrative Per Se suspension/revocation. The criminal charges are governed by criminal law. The DMV administration per se suspension/revocation are governed by administrative and civil law.
With respect to the criminal charges, there are serious constitutional implications that are present in every DUI case. A DUI defense attorney must have in his or her command the most current law in the areas of fourth, fifth and sixth amendments to the U.S. Constitution as well as the rules of evidence and criminal trial procedure. Furthermore, new cases are being decided every day from the U.S. Supreme Court all the way down to State Appellate Courts throughout the country. The Arizona Supreme Court and the Appellate Courts in this State are routinely deciding issues that are placed before it in the field of driving under the influence.