Articles Posted in Chandler AZ DUI

Driving under the influence of a legal drug in Arizona is not solely a defense for DUI.

Last year, the Arizona Department of Public Safety revealed that prescription drugs were increasingly being found in the blood and urine tests of individuals who have been pulled over or arrested in Arizona and suspected of DUI. Prescription drug abuse is a common problem all over the United States, but Arizona had the sixth highest prescription drug abuse rate for 2010-2011 of all the states.

Because they are prescribed by a doctor, people often do not realize that misused or abused prescription drugs can be as dangerous as illegal recreational drugs like heroin or cocaine. It is important to be aware, however, that you can be charged in Arizona with driving or being in physical control of a vehicle while on certain prescription drugs, or while a “metabolite” of the drug is in your body. Recent Arizona case holds that it does not matter whether you are actually impaired by the drug.

Even if you appear to be driving safely, the State can prove your guilt simply by proving that any drug that is listed on the schedule of “dangerous drugs”, “narcotic drugs”, or “prescription-only drugs” were in your system. Under Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381, there is a narrow safe harbor defense to a “driving on prescription-only drug charge” under A.R.S.28-1381 D: This is the case, if you were using a drug as prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner, including doctors, dentists, podiatrists and osteopaths. That means you can use this defense if you took the amount that was prescribed by a physician, but you may not be able to use it if you took more.

In a prescription drug case last year, the appellate court was asked to explain just what was entailed by this defense. Several issues were in question: Does the burden of proof to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the prescription drug use was not justified–also called a justification defense? Or is it the responsibility of the person accused to mount an affirmative defense in which he must prove that he did not abuse prescription drugs, but used them according to a doctor’s directions? Or is the lack of a prescription or use of the drug against what a prescription says a key element of the crime? If it is a key element of the crime, it is something the State must prove in order to secure a guilty verdict.

The defendant was initially charged in municipal court for driving with Methadone, Klonopin and Ritalin (prescription-only drugs) in his body. The latter of these two are drugs that are commonly taken daily in order to treat psychiatric conditions like ADD and anxiety. Like illegal recreational drugs, however, these common prescription drugs can have powerful effects on one’s attention span, motor skills and focus. Klonopin is sometimes even taken to treat insomnia.

Fannin challenges the superior court’s holding that A.R.S. § 28-1381(D) creates an affirmative defense requiring him to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he was using the drug as prescribed by a medical practitioner.

The municipal court ruled that the defendant had to make an initial showing that provided by a preponderance of the evidence that he was taking the drugs as prescrbed by a medical practitioner under the law. If successful, only then would the burden of proof shift to the State to show “beyond a reasonable doubt” that he was not. The State filed a special action petition with the superior court challenging the municipal court’s ruling. The superior court agreed with the State that the defendant was raising an affirmative defense, which attempts to excuse a defendant of the criminal action, for which they would otherwise be held accountable. By doing this, it places the burden of proof on the defendant.

The defendant appealed, asking the appellate court to answer the question of what kind of defense the safe harbor for prescription drugs was. The appellate court reasoned that the defense here was an exception to the general rule that it is a crime to drive with prescription-only drugs in one’s system. But the court established that A.R.S. 28 – 1381 (D) was in fact an Affirmative Defense. But the defendant failed to mount an Affirmative Defense. Relief was not granted on that basis.

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How BAC impacts DUI impairments and penalties in Arizona

According to the National Center for Disease Control (CDC) recent studies three categories of people are the most at risk of getting an alcohol or drug related DUI. Those categories include young people; motor cyclists; and repeat DUI offenders:

1) More than one of every three fatal crashes involved a driver’s with BACs of 0.08% or greater were between the age of 21 to 24 (34%); The next largest percentage of age groups were the 25 to 44 years of age (28% average);
2) Of all motorcyclist involved in a fatality 28% of them had a BAC of 0.08% or greater. Of those impaired riders killed 44% were between the ages of 40 to 44 years of age;
3) Motorist with BACs of 0.08% or greater involved in fatal accidents were four times likely to have a prior DUI – DWI conviction.

Arizona DUI Legal Limit BAC Laws and Penalties

Arizona has some of the most strict laws and harsh punishments in the country. The higher the BAC level, if the impairment is due to alcohol, the more impaired they become. The more impaired the driver. Arizona recognizes this, and consequently has laws in place that increase the severity of charges and penalties for higher BAC limits.
Under A.R.S. 28 – 1381 the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Content in a person’s system is 0.08% or greater. However, under the law, a person may be guilty of DUI even if their BAC is below the legal limit of 0.08%, or even if they had no alcohol in their system. This is called being “impaired to the slightest degree. A person convicted of these charges will be exposed to 10s jail along with other harsh penalties.

Under A.R.S. 28 – 1382 a motorist with a BAC of 0.15% or more, and less than 0.20 is considered to be under the Extreme Influence of alcohol. A person found guilty of these charges will be subject to 30 days in jail, in addition to other harsh penalties.
And under A.R.S. 28 – 1382 and a driver with a BAC of 0.20% or greater is will be guilty of Arizona Super Extreme DUI charges. Penalties for this offense will be subject to 45 days in jail in addition to the other harsh penalties.

Second DUI offenses expose a driver to heavier sentencing of 90 to 180 days in jail in addition to other harsh penalties.

Third offense within 7 years will result in Aggravated DUI (Felony), which will expose a person to prison sentencing that ranges from 4 to 8 months in imprisonment.
Convictions in all of these cases will result in adverse Driver’s License actions including suspensions, denials, or revocations; court ordered installation and use of Ignition Interlocking device on vehicle; alcohol or substance abuse screening and counseling; fines, fees, costs; probation; community service; or restitution.

DUI Lawyer Chandler AZ

If you were arrested for any type of impaired driving charges due to drugs or alcohol you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney who defends DUI charges. They will discuss your matter and options for defense. If retained they will evaluate your case to determine if any defenses are available to challenge the charges; defend your charges; make sure your rights are protected; and work to get the best possible resolution to your case.

Additional Resources:

Arizona State Legislature – DUI laws and Impaired to the Slightest Degree

Arizona State Legislature – DUI laws – Extreme and Super Extreme DUI Laws

National Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Arizona Department of Public Safety – Driver Impairment

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Super Extreme Felony DUI Laws Chandler AZ:

Under Arizona Law A.R.S. 28-1383, a person can be charged with a Felony Super Extreme DUI offense. A Felony DUI is also known as Aggravated DUI. A Super Extreme DUI can be charged if a driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) exceeds 0.20% based on DUI breathalyzer or blood test; and “Aggravating factors existed: :

Felony or Aggravated factors are those that elevate a Misdemeanor DUI to a Felony DUI. They can include any or more of the following circumstances:

1. The driver was charged with Super Extreme DUI (BAC 0.20% or greater), while driving on a suspended, cancelled or revoked license;
2. The driver was charged with Super Extreme DUI (BAC 0.20% or greater); and it is their third or more DUI within 84 months of any two prior DUI offense convictions;
3. The driver was charged with Super Extreme DUI (BAC 0.20% or greater); while carrying a passenger age 15 or under, in the vehicle.

Felony Super Extreme DUI Penalties:

• Mandatory Minimum 120 days in prison; increases with 4 or more convictions;
• Driver’s License Revocation 3 years;
• Mandatory alcohol education, counseling or treatment program;
• Minimum 30 hours Community Service;
• Ignition Interlock device for vehicle – current term requirements;
• Fines, court fees, prison assessments and fees exceeding $4,000.00 and higher.

Criminal Defense for Felony Super Extreme DUI charges Chandler AZ

All DUI charges in Arizona are serious. But Felony Super Extreme DUI charges can have long lasting adverse impacts for life. These serious charges require highly qualified legal representation. If you face Aggravated Super Extreme DUI charges, you should retain a good criminal defense lawyer with a vast amount of litigation experience. You will need a multi-facet defense. Many areas of defense can surround an aggravated DUI charge, including but not limited to constitutional rights violations; evidentiary issues; and mitigation of the charges and sentencing. Your chances of getting any favorable resolution will increase significantly with retention of a private practice criminal defense firm.

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AZ DUI Law, Felony DUI Penalties

“The cost of retaining a good Chandler DUI defense lawyer is far less a price, than fines, fees, costs, and your freedom, if convicted of Felony DUI Charges in Chandler.”
If you were arrested for felony DUI charges in Chandler, AZ you should obtain a free consultation with a Chandler DUI lawyer as soon as possible. A felony DUI conviction in Chandler will expose you to severe penalties. You will need a qualified Chandler DUI attorney to defend your Felony DUI charges if you wish to have any chance at getting a good outcome in your case.

Felony DUI – Arizona Laws:
There are three aggravating factors that will cause a Chandler Misdemeanor DUI to escalate to a Felony DUI charge. “Felony DUI” charges are also known as “Aggravated DUI charges”:

1) A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (1): (Paraphrased) DUI arrest while you driving on a suspended, restricted or revoked driver’s license – Class 3 Felony
2) A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (2): (Paraphrased) You just received a new DUI charge and it is your third DUI in 7 years and you were convicted of at least two of them within the last 7 years. – Class 3 felony
3) A.R.S. §28-1383(A) (3): (Paraphrased) You were charged with DUI DWI and a child under 15 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle – Class 6 Felony
DUI Penalties – Felony DUI Sentencing Guidelines in Arizona
A Felony DUI conviction for Chandler DUI charges exposes you to mandatory AZ DUI sentencing guidelines. The mandatory DUI penalties under Arizona Law include, but are not limited to the following:

• Jail Sentences that range from 1 day to 1 year;
• Incarceration in Prison from 4 months to 2 ½ years;
• Revocation of your drivers license for 3 years;
• Ignition Interlock Device (at your expense;)
• Fines of Up to $150,000 plus 80% surcharge;
• $1500 prison assessment;
• $250 abatement fees;
• Probation fees;
• Costs for Drug or Alcohol Treatment Screening;
• Costs for Drug or Alcohol Counseling or Treatment Program;
• Supervised probation;
• Felony criminal record
Felony DUI Penalties for Chandler DUI sentencing for convictions may be “aggravated” or “mitigated”. Aggravated factors are those that support the prosecution and warrant more serious DUI penalties. Mitigating factors are circumstances or evidence that support your DUI defense and warrant less serious penalties.

Chandler DUI Lawyer – Felony DUI Defense Chandler AZ

Without compelling arguments presented or motions filed by your DUI Defense Lawyer, the judge or prosecution will not generally offer mitigated sentencing. An experienced Chandler DUI Attorney will know what to look for and obtain evidence needed to argue for a mitigated sentence if you are convicted of a felony DUI charge.

Some Defendants do not realize that a Felony DUI charges is not a conviction. They think since they were arrested, they must be guilty. But an experienced Chandler DUI lawyer or good AZ criminal defense lawyer will advise you that almost any Chandler Felony DUI charge can be challenged, regardless of the classification. Proven Chandler DUI lawyers are often able to get evidence dismissed; charges reduced, or ultimately get the felony DUI completely dismissed. But rarely if ever does this happen without qualified legal representation and defense from a private practice AZ DUI Attorney or Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona.

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10 Tips to Finding the “Best” DUI Lawyers in Chandler AZ!

Why You Need the Best Chandler Criminal Attorney to Defend your Criminal Charges
Chandler AZ DUI or Criminal prosecutors, egregiously pursue convictions for DUI & Criminal charges in Chandler. Your chances of getting a DUI or criminal charge dismissed in Chandler AZ, increase dramatically with the retention of a DUI or criminal lawyer in Chandler to represent you. It’s a fact that the effectiveness of your criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between losing your freedom, and getting your charges dropped. It is very rare, if ever, that a person facing Chandler DUI or criminal charges get them dismissed, without retention of an experienced private practice DUI attorney who defends charges in Chandler, AZ. The cost of your freedom and future are much too high to ignore this fact.

10 Tips To Finding the Best DUI lawyer & Criminal Attorney for Chandler AZ Charges

1) Narrow your search by location: Decide how far you are willing to travel to retain a good DUI or Criminal Defense Attorney;
2) If you are not in a position to commute to a criminal defense law firm, but you wish to hire that attorney, they will usually help you make other arrangements. For example, if the client is in jail, the attorney would simply meet travel to where they are to meet with them. A few DUI or criminal attorneys in Chandler AZ charge separately for a jail or prison visit. But if retained, most Maricopa County criminal defense attorneys include it as part of the pre-trial service fees and do not charge extra for the jail visit;
3) You can call The Arizona State Bar, to verify they are licensed as an “Attorneys” in Criminal Defense which encompasses DUI defense. Make sure they are licensed to practice in Arizona and within Maricopa County;
4) Attorneys in other practice areas you know can prove to be good referrals. Ask them who they would hire or recommend. Many lawyers travel in the same circles for seminars, continuing legal education, or other law forums;
5) The best source of referral is from friend, family, or other person with whom you trust; But you should use caution and refrain from discussing details surrounding your charges. You may inadvertently harm your defense and your statements to them may later be used against you. That person may later be subpoenaed or called upon to testify against you. Also, if you call them from the jail or prison, remember that all calls from detainees and inmates are recorded and can also be used against you by the prosecution
6) Reviews from prior clients: There are many places to find reviews including websites, search engines, directories, and many other sources on the internet;
7) By now you should have narrowed your search down to a few choices; Consult at least two or three; discuss your charges and defense options. Most AZ DUI & criminal defense lawyers who defend charges in Chandler AZ usually provide free consultations; If they charge for this service, it is this author’s opinion that you politely say “no-thank-you” and move on to your next choice;
8) Avoid asking “if they can get your case dismissed”. They have not been in contact with the prosecution, seen the evidence, or worked your case. No attorney has a crystal ball. If an attorney “guarantees” they can get your charges dismissed, head for the exit or move on to the next call. They are simply giving you false hopes. You what a trustworthy and ethical lawyer who will respect you with truthful and realistic responses;
9) Ask them about their education, trial experience, credentials, training and anything else that will make you feel you have found the best attorney for the job.

10) Consider costs and fees; but don’t make the cost the only or most important factor in your decision; you’re not searching for the cheapest gallon of gas in town. There is a lot more at stake to consider, and you need to look at service to value. There is nothing a busy attorney dislikes more than someone “calling around” for price checks as though the attorney was selling widgets; Price is not necessarily an indicator of the attorney’s experience, qualifications, or level of service they provide. But if the quote does not sound reasonable to you then move on. On the other hand, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

If you use these tips, they will most likely lead you to the best DUI or Criminal Defense lawyer to defend your Chandler DUI or criminal charges.

If you found this post helpful and “Like” it, please let us know! Feel free to “Share”!

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Find out how top Chandler DUI Lawyers Challenge DUI or Drug Blood Alcohol Tests

DUI & Drug blood test evidence can be challenged by your Chandler DUI or Criminal Defense lawyer. The results often lead to a dismissal of your DUI or Criminal charges.

AZ DUI Laws | Defending Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Test

If you were arrested for drunk driving or DUI Drug charges in Chandler AZ based upon your DUI blood testing results, your private Chandler DUI or criminal lawyer can sometimes be used as exculpatory evidence (evidence that helps your defense).

Below are 10 ways your AZ DUI or criminal defense attorney might use to challenge your Chandler drunk driving or Drug DUI blood test results.
1. Errors occurred in the conducting of the blood test.
2. Police violated required protocol related to DUI blood alcohol testing, analysis, preservation, or transportation of the blood sample.
3. The Police Officer who conducted the blood test was properly trained and was not certified in phlebotomy for DUI or drug testing;
4. The blood sample retested by your Arizona criminal defense lawyer or DUI attorney at an independent crime lab resulted in significantly different results than those processed at the police crime lab;
5. Due to improper labeling the blood sample belonged to someone else other than you.
6. The blood sample container was not properly sealed during storage and transport;
7. The date of the DUI or Drug testing kit used by police to conduct your test was expired.
8. The DUI or drug blood testing kit used by police was stored and exposed to prolonged extreme temperatures which compromised accurate results.
9. The police had your blood sample processed at a hospital instead of a crime lab. Most hospitals are not equipped for or designed for processing of criminal evidence. They are not required to follow proper protocol for testing, storage and transport of criminal or DUI evidence. They are intended for treatment and testing of injured or ill patients. Further, they have different policies, procedures and governing entities.
10. The police officer (s) who conducted your blood test failed or refused to give you a blood sample for your Chandler drug DUI or criminal defense attorney. Their refusal upon your request is a violation of your rights. Violation of rights can result in suppression of evidence or dismissal of your criminal or DUI charges.

Criminal Lawyers for DUI or Drug Charges in Chandler AZ
When you consult an Arizona criminal defense lawyer or DUI attorney to defend Chandler DUI or drug charges, ask the defense attorney if they plan to retest the blood sample. The best DUI lawyers or criminal defense attorneys who defend changes in Chandler AZ this on every alcohol DUI or Drug DUI case involving blood testing.

Also, ask your attorney up front, if you will be responsible for the blood retesting fees for the retesting by an independent lab. The charge for this service averages between $250.00 and $350.00 in Maricopa County. Many AZ DUI and criminal defense lawyers will factor the fee into your total defense costs. Some DUI attorneys in AZ will absorb the cost as a courtesy, because they understand how important it is to your defense. If you are required to pay the fee on top of defense costs, it is still well worth it, to pay the fee and have the blood retested. Many drug DUI and AZ drunk driving charges have been dismissed because the tests were challenged successfully by the defense. The best Chandler criminal defense attorneys in AZ know what to look for in their examination of the processes surrounding the blood test results. If they can find weaknesses or flaws in the prosecution’s blood sample evidence, they will educate the court and prosecution; and present compelling arguments on your behalf which may lead to a total dismissal of your Chandler DUI or Drug DUI charges.

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The Best Criminal Attorney in Chandler AZ is the One that is Right for You.

There are plenty of good criminal and DUI defense lawyers who defend criminal or DUI charges in Chandler AZ. But the question is which one is right for you? It will take some effort on your part. It likens to the age old cliché “Sweat now, bleed less later.”

Here are some tools that will help you make your decision. Below is a list of things you can do to help you find the best criminal defense attorney or DUI lawyer to defend your criminal or DUI charges in Chandler AZ: :


Chandler AZ DUI Charges

If you face Chandler DUI you should consult a criminal defense attorney or DUI lawyer who defends cases in Chandler AZ as soon as possible. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws and penalties in the country. However, a charge is not a conviction. You have a constitutional right to fight your DUI. Your best chance of getting a good outcome or even a DUI dismissal is to retain a good DUI defense lawyer in Arizona. They will be review the evidence and facts of your case and determine what defense strategies may be used to fight your Chandler DUI.

One Chandler DUI Defense – Second Breath Test Out of Range

Were the two breath tests that you took, far apart in range, and still used to charge you with a DUI?
Two breath tests are given. If the second test is not within 0.020 alcohol concentration of the first test, additional tests shall be administered until the results of the two consecutive tests are within 0.020 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If this procedure is not followed and the results are outside the allowable range that breath test evidence may be suppressed.

Chandler AZ DUI Defenses
There are many DUI defenses that can be used to defend your DUI charges in Chandler Arizona. A good DUI lawyer who defends DUI charges in Chandler Court will know what DUI defense strategies can be used in your case. The above defense is just one of many defenses surrounding breath testing results. Below is an excerpt from the book “101 DUI Defenses 101 DEFENSES TO BEAT YOUR ARIZONA DUI ©” written by James Novak, Arizona DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney. For more DUI defenses, the abridged version of this E-book can be downloaded free by visiting

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“Just because you were charged or arrested for criminal or DUI doesn’t mean you are automatically “guilty” of those charges…even if the evidence against you is overwhelming.”

Chandler Criminal Defense
If you face criminal charges or a DUI charges in Chandler AZ, you can fight your charges and win. Your chances increase drastically of getting a good outcome in your case if you hire a good Chandler criminal or Chandler DUI attorney or Arizona criminal defense lawyer who practices frequently in Chandler. Just because you were charged or arrested for criminal or DUI charges doesn’t mean you are “guilty” of those charges…even if the evidence against you is overwhelming. The fact is that criminal and DUI charges are dropped, dismissed, acquitted every day with experienced Chandler Legal Representation from good criminal defense and DUI lawyers on board.

Your Constitutional Rights entitle you to remain silent, be treated fairly, and retain the services of a Chandler criminal defense or Chandler DUI Attorney– these inherent rights are there for your protection. Don’t let them be abused. Use them to your advantage. The Chandler Prosecution and judge want convictions. Only good private practice criminal defense or DUI Lawyer who defends DUI and criminal charges in Chandler, AZ frequently will defend your charges, your rights, your freedom and your future.

Defending Criminal Charges in Chandler, AZ
You may wonder whether or not you should hire a Chandler Criminal defense or DUI defense attorney. First find out what they will or can do for you. In the least, you should contact an experienced criminal or DUI defense Attorney for a consultation. Most of the best criminal defense and Chandler DUI lawyers in Arizona provide free initial consultations. You will get insight into your charges, sentencing you will be facing if convicted, and a comfort level in your decision.

The Law Office of James Novak is devoted to handling 100% DUI, Drug & criminal cases in Chandler, Mesa, Chandler, Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix and surrounding areas valley-wide in Maricopa County.

How a Chandler Criminal Attorney will Defend You
Here is brief list outlining what a good criminal defense attorney, or experienced DUI lawyer who defends cases in Chandler, AZ will do for you:

• File notice to the court that you are being legally represented and request that all communications go through the defense attorney.
• File notice to the court of “not guilty” plea and defenses on your behalf.
• Listen to your side of the story. Educate the prosecution and court about your side of the story through the proper legal channels. Keep in direct communications with your regarding you case.
• Answer questions and address any of your concerns
• Give you guidance and recommendations
• Gather and examine any and all evidence
• Retest any blood or urine specimens, by an independent lab that the prosecution tested and plans to use against you.
• Determine if any of the evidence was mishandled, obtained unlawfully, protocol followed in obtaining the evidence.
• Determine if any violations of your Constitutional Rights occurred.
• Look for weaknesses or flaws in the Chandler Prosecutions case
• Mount a strong and effective defense based on the circumstances in your case. A good attorney, with much litigation experience will know which of many defenses should be used based on your situation. Sometimes it takes just one. Sometimes multiple defenses will apply.
• Challenge evidence or lack thereof
• Attempt to suppress evidence if justifiable reasons exist
• Educate the Prosecution and court on weaknesses or flaws in their evidence or case to set the stage for negotiations of a favorable outcome on your behalf.
• Participate in all hearings, conferences, negotiations with the court and or prosecution.
• File all appropriate and necessary motions
• Make every attempt to reduce the criminal or DUI charges
• Make every possible attempt to dismiss the charges.

The earlier your bring your Chandler Criminal or DUI Attorney on board, the greater the chances are of your obtaining a successful outcome in your case. This gives your defense Attorney a head start and time to build and mount a winning defense on your behalf. You generally do not get more than one shot at freedom. Do not underestimate the need for a Chandler criminal defense or DUI defense Attorney. It may mean the difference between a conviction and a complete dismissal of charges.

The Law Office of James Novak provides criminal defense for Chandler Arizona 85224, 85225, 85226, 85244, 85246, 85248, 85249, 85286.

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Felony DUI Chandler, AZ

“Felony DUI Attorneys must be extremely knowledgeable as to what defenses can be utilized to get the ultimate best outcome in your case for your Felony DUI charges in Chandler, AZ.”

A Chandler “Felony DUI” is also known as “Aggravated DUI”. If you’ve been arrested or face Felony DUI (Driving under the Influence) charges in Chandler, AZ the best advice you can get now is to consult a good Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney or Felony DUI Defense Attorney who defends cases frequently in Chandler Court. All DUI charges are serious. But Felony DUI convictions are even more serious, and can have long lasting adverse consequence on your future, freedom, job, finances, family, driving privileges, and more.

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