Navigating Legal Strategies With a Mesa DUI Attorney After a Hit & Run DUI Incident in Arizona

A person can be charged with a hit and run DUI by hitting another vehicle and driving away while under the influence. In Arizona, a hit and run DUI can put a felony on your record and even send you to several years in prison. 

In hit and run DUI cases, the potential charges can be a DUI per ARS 28-1381A1, hit and run per ARS 28-661 or ARS 28-662, and possibly an aggravated DUI per ARS 28-1383. If you’ve been arrested and charged for hitting another vehicle and leaving the scene while intoxicated, you may have several defenses available to you. It is essential to contact a Mesa DUI lawyer to determine the best course of action.

Judge's gavel, a glass of whiskey, and car keys on a table, symbolizing a DUI charge in Arizona.

Understanding a Hit & Run DUI in Arizona: Definitions & Legal Criteria

In a court of law, there are a few criteria that must be present in order to convict you of a hit and run DUI. It must be proven that you were the person behind the wheel and driving the car while intoxicated or that you were the person behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration above .08%. From there, they must prove that you were in a car accident and did not stop at the scene. 

Once it is proven that you were the perpetrator of the hit and run DUI, you will typically be charged with the following:

  • DUI per ARS 28-661: The accident resulted in serious injury or death and you knowingly did not stop at the accident.
  • DUI per 28-662: The accident resulted in damage to a vehicle and you knowingly did not stop at the accident.
  • Aggravated DUI per ARS 28-1383:  You were driving intoxicated with a suspended license, an ignition interlock device, or a third DUI.
  • Effective Legal Defenses for Hit & Run DUI Charges in Arizona

Defending against a hit-and-run DUI charge in Arizona involves addressing both the hit-and-run and DUI components separately, as each carries its own legal implications. The potential defenses that could be used by your Mesa DUI attorney are:

Defenses against the hit-and-run charge

  • Lack of Knowledge: Arguing that you did not realize you were involved in an accident. For instance, if the collision was minor, you might not have been aware that an accident occurred.
  • No Damage or Injury: Demonstrating that the accident did not result in any property damage or personal injury. Without damage or injury, the hit-and-run charge might not stand. 
  • False Identification: Asserting that you were not the person driving the vehicle at the time of the incident. This can be supported by alibi witnesses or other evidence proving your whereabouts.
  • Emergency Situation: Claiming that you left the scene due to a legitimate emergency, such as seeking immediate medical attention.

Defenses Against the DUI Charge

  • Improper Traffic Stop: Challenging the legality of the traffic stop. If the police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, any evidence obtained (like breathalyzer results) could be helpful to your Mesa DUI lawyer and potentially inadmissible.
  • Inaccurate Field Sobriety Tests: Arguing that the field sobriety tests were improperly administered or that your performance was affected by factors other than intoxication, such as medical conditions, fatigue, or uneven road conditions.
  • Breathalyzer Inaccuracy: Questioning the accuracy of the breathalyzer results. This could involve challenging the maintenance and calibration of the device, or the procedure followed by the officer administering the test.
  • Rising Blood Alcohol Defense: Asserting that your blood alcohol concentration was below the legal limit while driving but rose to an illegal level by the time the test was administered.
  • Medical Conditions: Presenting evidence that a medical condition caused you to appear intoxicated or affected by the breathalyzer results, such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or diabetes.

Arizona Hit & Run DUI Penalties: What to Expect If Convicted

When it comes to penalties for a hit-and-run DUI, a Mesa DUI attorney will tell you that it depends on what crime you’re convicted of. If you’re facing a crime under ARS 28-661 where there was a death or serious injury, you would be facing a felony and could spend up to 10 years in prison. 

If you are convicted of a crime under ARS 28-662 where there was damage to personal property, this is a class 2 misdemeanor and you could face up to four months in jail and/or a fine of up to $750.

Lastly, if your crime is an aggravated DUI under ARS 28-1383, you will be charged with a felony and will face at least four months in prison, $4,000 in fines and a minimum of 1 year with a suspended license. 

Trust Our Mesa DUI Attorneys for a Solid Defense in Your Hit & Run DUI

When facing a hit-and-run DUI, trust our experienced Mesa DUI attorneys at Dove Law Firm to provide a robust defense. We understand the complexities of Arizona law and will meticulously examine the details of your case.

Contact us today to get started and confidently navigate this challenging legal situation. 

This blog is purely for marketing purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.

Dove Law Firm, PLLC

Arizona Injury Lawyer
2650 E Southern Ave Suite 201
Mesa, AZ 85204

Office: 480-213-4489

Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer
2650 E Southern Ave #125
Mesa, AZ 85204

Office: 877-368-3529

Arizona DUI Lawyer
2650 E Southern Ave #311
Mesa, AZ 85204

Office: 602-755-6512

By Published On: May 15th, 2024Categories: Expungement Attorneys

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