Arizona DUI Appeals
Being charged with, then sentenced for, DUI ends the prosecution’s case – at least in their eyes. Sometimes, the trial court gets things wrong. In other cases, the state stepped outside its legal limitations to sentence or convict you.
When certain parts of your DUI conviction don’t add up, or numerous procedural errors exist, offenders are within their constitutional rights to appeal their sentencing. It’s the duty of your trial lawyer, or perhaps another you retain, to handle the appeals process. This quick guide shows how that process may work in Arizona.
Hiring an experienced, well-versed and highly aggressive DUI attorney for your appeal goes without saying, especially since writing the Supreme Court of Arizona takes specific lingo, case law references, and an understanding of DUI laws.
Upon receiving all court case notes, all police reports, and everything else from your original case, your attorney will look for it.
- Legal mistakes which, if taken to trial, could have affected the outcome
- Typographical errors were missed by the court clerk when filing the final sentencing order
- Misinformation that led the presiding judge toward inaccurate sentencing
- Failing to follow Supreme Court regulated sentencing guidelines
DUI attorneys have tight time constraints which mean doing your part, when asked, will speed up the process. Here are the steps (not in any order) which will occur during your DUI appeal:
- An attorney will file a notice in open court that you’re appealing the final outcome which will generally be happy shortly after you’ve been sentenced.
- Then, the attorney will gather your record of proceedings from the clerk, otherwise called a transcript. Anything else relevant to your appeal will also be levied in his examination.
- After carefully reviewing all information and finding enough errors to contest, your DUI attorney will prepare his written brief or detailed statement which merits your sentencing getting overturned.
- DA will file their written brief in rebuttal, stating why your sentencing should be upheld.
- Once Supreme Court has all literature, the judge(s) will convene to settle your case for good.
After this process is complete, the Supreme Court will come back with two decisions based on their findings, historic cases similar to yours and common law. Those are:
- Sentence affirmed. This means that nothing was discovered to be erroneous, and your current sentence stands. This decision is usually firm, and not appealed again.
- Sentence was remanded to the trial court. This means enough erroneous information in your DUI sentencing hearing, or throughout the entire process, was found and the case – or parts of your sentence – is remanded to the trial court (original court) where a judge must provide an ethical, legal and wise outcome. It cannot be identical to the current one. It is possible judges can foul up, which opens doors for the appeals process to begin again.
Appeals making their way up through the system have taken years to finalize, which means the sense of urgency in hiring your current DUI attorney, or at least one with knowledge of DUI appeals is vital. Rarely have defendants on their own accord written appeals in Arizona that were decided favorably.
Choose wisely when something important like appealing convictions could erase your record, lighten your sentence, or provide relief from excess fees.
Click here for information on post-conviction relief in Arizona.
You have the right to appeal charges brought against you – it’s in the U.S. constitution. Sometimes trial judges get their sentences wrong, which is why the appellate court is there to spare your freedom. It’s important to file your appeal within the preset time limit prescribed by law. And, of course, you must have a good reason for appealing.
Finally, retain skilled counsel throughout the entire process. It will increase your chances of having your conviction overturned.