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out of state DUI questions...

On Lawyer & Legal » criminal law & procedure

4,694 words with 5 Comments; publish: Wed, 05 Oct 2005 08:22:00 GMT; (800175.78, « »)

The state is: I live in Nebraska, have previous DUIs in California, and got my recent DUI in Arizona.

I live in Nebraska. I have two prior DUIs in California - one was 7 years ago, one was 3.5 years ago. I just received my third DUI while visiting Arizona and sleeping it off behind the wheel of a parked car.

I am wondering how to find the BEST attorney possible in the Phoenix area to handle my case. If you ask an attorney who is good, I would think they would refer friends first, not necessarily "the best." How do I get objective feedback on attorneys?

Basically I'm looking for damage control with regards to punishment. I understand that Arizona only considers priors up to 5 years old, so this is technically my "second" DUI as far as AZ is concerned.

Lawyers I have spoken to say that AZ has some of the toughest laws on DUI in the nation and that jail time is mandatory. I am wondering what I can possibly do to avoid it, or minimize it, and keep it in my state (Nebraska).

Some attorneys have told me "work release" is possible, "house arrest" is possible, and that technicalities are in my favor since the Intoxilyzer 8000 is "out of compliance" in Arizona? Can anyone verify these things?

I am really tired of always getting into trouble for drinking, and I have stopped completely. How do I prove to a judge that I have stopped, and will that help me? I don't have a car, so I attend online AA meetings. Is that good enough to show that I am taking control of my problems? Will checking myself into a rehab program possibly help reduce or eliminate jail?



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    • To find a lawyer, I'd use a combination of referrals via word of mouth, and then call the state bar and ask for recommendations based on their rating and certification system. You can even interview them, if you have the time, and ask about their conviction stats.

      Pretty much you need to free yourself from the bottle. Rehab will be documented which might help, and continue with the AA meetings. Really work the steps and be prepared to make a statement to the judge that reflects that you are really serious about AA, not just going in hopes of leniency.

      You definintely need a lawyer for your case. I'm relieved that you will never drink and drive again.

      #1; Wed, 05 Oct 2005 08:51:00 GMT
    • Does anyone know anything about the availability of work release or house arrest in lieu of straight jail time? What does the judge need to see in order to grant such a privilege?
      #2; Wed, 05 Oct 2005 12:07:00 GMT
    • I have a friend that had a WA state driver's licence. He moved to Tucson, where he got his FOURTH DUI. It was his "first" in Arizona, but his fourth overall up to that point. They dropped the DUI charges in exchange for him agreeing to move out of Arizona.

      He moved back to Washington State- where he promptly racked up DUI #5. Instead of jail, they made him move into an "Oxford House" for 6 months. It's a sobriety house. It worked for him. He's been clean now for 2 years.

      I'm totally serious. I have the court paperwork on my dining room table. (I'm looking over his stuff to prep for my own). I thought for sure the Washington judge was going to lock him up for a year for this 5th DUI. I was there in the courtroom with him when the verdict was read. Unbelievable!

      If I were the Judge, I probably would have locked him up and thrown away the key, to be honest.

      #3; Wed, 05 Oct 2005 23:50:00 GMT
    • Not everyone is going to agree on who the "best" attorney is. Even if they did, you might not agree, once you'd worked with him yourself.

      I'd say the best way to choose an attorney is to go to their offices and talk to them. Do you trust him? Does he seem like he knows what he's talking about? Is he somebody you can work with? Is he going to return your calls? Does he know the prosecutors and judges at the courthouse where your case will be heard?

      Whether you like/trust your attorney is more important than whether somebody else says he's the best. Your lawyer might be giving you great advice, but if you don't trust him, it's not going to help you much.

      Some attorneys return calls promplty, others are always in court.

      Are you going to want updates every week? Are you going to want everything explained in detail in advance?

      If so, you might not be happy with a great attorney, who doesn't have time (or inclination) to talk to you. Some great attorneys might not have that much time, if Tom DeLay is on the other line.

      #4; Wed, 05 Oct 2005 14:10:00 GMT
    • Unfortunately, I've heard Arizona is not so lenient. They are supposedly one of the toughest states on DUIs and have mandatory jail time, even for first offenses.
      #5; Thu, 06 Oct 2005 13:12:00 GMT