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When Can You Be Charged With A DUI?

  • Published: October 12, 2018
When Can You Be Charged With A DUI?

If you watch a television show in which an individual is charged with driving under the influence (DUI), it usually goes like this: Law enforcement pulls over the driver, conducts tests to determine if the driver is impaired, arrests the driver, and brings charges against the driver. Reality is not like television, however. While television shows make the process of being pulled over for a DUI and being charged with a DUI seem quick, the reality is that there is no guarantee that charges will immediately follow an arrest. It is important for those individuals who have been pulled over for a DUI to not get lulled into a false sense of security if they are not charged immediately following a DUI arrest. There are many factors that can contribute to a delay in charges being brought for a DUI.

Delayed Laboratory Results

In most instances, chemical tests will be conducted to find out the amount of alcohol that is in one’s system. These tests must be fulfilled by laboratories. Backups in a laboratory are common and it can sometimes take time for the lab to process the test and come up with results. Laboratory workers are often overworked and overwhelmed with the number of tests that need to be processed. Do not be surprised if a delayed DUI charge is the result of a lab backup.

“Long Form” Submissions

There are five instances in which a felony DUI charge can be brought:

  • Driving under the influence with a suspended, canceled, or revoked license;
  • Committing three or more DUIs within 84 months;
  • Committing a DUI with someone under the age of 15 in the vehicle;
  • A driver with an ignition interlock system being found driving under the influence; or
  • Committing a DUI while driving the wrong way on a roadway.

One way in which charges can be brought in Arizona is in a “long form.” The case is submitted to the county attorney in a long form, meaning the written statement of the facts of the DUI is submitted to the county attorney to allege an offense. Essentially, this means that there can be a grand jury indictment coming for any of the above five felony DUI situations.

Statute of Limitations

If an individual is going to face charges for a DUI, the charges must be brought within a specified period of time, or within the statute of limitations. Misdemeanor DUI charges must be brought within one year of the offense. Felony DUI charges must be brought within seven years from the date of offense.

Charges Following a Car Accident

DUI charges become even more complicated in the event a car accident coincides with it. If this happens one can be charged with Aggravated Assault or even Homicide depending on the injuries sustained. If there are questions about the injuries of other parties involved, there can be a delay in charges. If you have been in a car accident, could be charged with a DUI, and have not been charged yet, you need an attorney ASAP.As you can see there are many situations in which charges for a DUI can be delayed. Do not take the lack of immediate charges as a sign that no charges are coming. Contact a skilled DUI attorney who can advise you on the next steps to take. The attorneys at the Molina Law Group are here to help you, no matter how long it takes for charges to be filed.

Edwin A. Molina III

The Molina Law Group has expertise in two
areas of law; Criminal Defense and Personal
Injury - Call Us Now - (602) 718-1249