Criminal Traffic Charges in Arizona
Arizona Criminal Traffic Lawyers
Getting stopped for a motor vehicle violation is a common, if not pleasant occurrence for just about everyone, from the young teenage driver, the busy businesswoman on her way to work in downtown Phoenix, the parent shuttling children and a crew of soccer, hockey, lacrosse or football players to a local sports center like Tempe Sports Complex, or the conservative careful driver who is accused of excessive speed on US 10 or 17.
For many of us visiting or traveling through the Phoenix Arizona metroplex or new to the Valley of the Sun, there is a disturb realization that many of Arizona’s traffic violations carry very serious criminal penalties and are actually graded as criminal traffic violations, both of the misdemeanor or felony grade. Before it is too late, under the value of an experienced criminal traffic lawyer to represent you and protect your rights from what could be a permanent criminal conviction for charges such as excessive speeding, driving without a valid license or reckless driving and drunk driving. Contact the Ciccarelli team now for the help you need in best advocating your situation.
What does it mean to be charged with a criminal traffic case in Arizona?
Criminal traffic violations include felony or misdemeanor driving under the influence (DUI), speeding in a school zone, reckless endangerment, vehicular manslaughter, driving without insurance, and driving on a suspended license.
Can I be in prison or go to jail with a Arizona criminal traffic conviction?
Yes. A criminal traffic violation can carry a 30 day sentence and 500.00 fine and higher tier criminal traffic offenses can carry 4 months incarceration and 750.00 fine and also Six months incarceration and 2500.00 fine.
What kind of traffic citations are considered criminal in Arizona?
Criminal Traffic cases including excessive speeding, DUI, reckless driving, driving without a license and driving on a suspended license.
There are three ways to be charged with criminal speeding in Arizona. Pursuant to A.R.S. §28-701.02, they are:
- Driving over 35mph in a school zone;
- Driving over 20mph above the posted speed limit. (If no speed limit is posted, i.e. rural areas, anything over 45mph will qualify); and
- Driving over 85mph on the highways and freeways.
Should I hire an experienced criminal lawyer to represent me if I am charged with an Arizona criminal traffic case?
Unlike most states with civil trafficking penalties that often “stay” in the state of the violation, Arizona traffic charges can both be criminal and also result in a conviction being transferred to your home state. You always have the right to plead guilty or handle the case by yourself, there are often many benefits of retaining the services of an experienced Arizona criminal traffic lawyer. Amongst the value of finding the right defense attorney is advice, representation, guidance and success including fighting the charges, getting a dismissal, getting the case resolved with defensive driving school and avoiding jail time, significant points and a license suspension. Said another way, you are facing the possibility of thirty days of jail, points, possible license suspension, a permanent criminal record because you were going to fast on a highway in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler or Gilbert; on your way to Las Vegas; or Mexico; or in Pinal County on your way to Tuscon. Who wouldn’t want the benefit of an experienced lawyer to have your back? Need to learn more: Contact us 24/7 at Ciccarelli Law Offices today.
How long does a criminal speeding ticket stay on your record in Arizona?
In Arizona, misdemeanor and felony convictions remain on your record until age 99. As criminal speeding is a Class 3 misdemeanor, that means your criminal speeding ticket will be on your record for life.All criminal convictions are recorded by Arizona courts and are public record. All courts in Arizona must report criminal convictions to the Arizona Department of Public Safety Criminal Records Division. All convictions are forwarded to the FBI NCIC (National Criminal Information Center).
The State of Arizona does not have expungement or “sealing” of criminal convictions. The only relief is to file a petition to “set aside” a criminal conviction after the entire criminal sentence, probation, and fines have been served.
When you are facing what could be a life time conviction for a speeding ticket (that’s right—an excessive speeding ticket) anywhere in Arizona or Maricopa County or the Valley of the Sun, its probably time to speak with Lee Ciccarelli on reasonable options presented by thoughtful, aggressive attorneys.
Is an Arizona criminal traffic case handled the same way as a normal or civil traffic case?
You have the following rights as a civil traffic defendant:
- The right to have a civil traffic hearing before a judge or a civil traffic hearing officer.
- The right to be represented by counsel at the hearing. If you choose to be represented by counsel you must notify the court in writing at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing date, otherwise you waive your right to be represented by an attorney. The court does not appoint attorneys for civil traffic violations.
- The right to question witnesses testifying against you and cross-examine them as to the truthfulness of their testimony.
- The right to present evidence on your behalf and the right to have subpoenas issued by the court at no cost to you to compel the attendance of witnesses.
- The right to appeal the outcome of the civil traffic hearing. There is however, no right to appeal a judgment entered by default as a result of your failure to appear.
You also have the following rights for defendants with misdemeanor or criminal traffic violations:
- The right to a trial before a judge, and in some cases, before a jury.
- The right to be represented by an attorney at all stages of the case. In some cases, if you are unable to pay for an attorney, the court may appoint an attorney for you. You will have to provide evidence that you are indigent or are unable to afford an attorney. The court may require that you contribute a reasonable amount towards attorney fees.
- The right to confront witnesses and cross-examine them as to the truthfulness of their testimony.
- The right to have subpoenas issued by the court at no cost to you to compel the attendance of witnesses.
- The right to remain silent and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The right to appeal. There is no right to appeal a guilty plea.
What can happen to me if I fail to appear or fail to hire a lawyer for my criminal traffic case?
It is a mistake to ignore a criminal traffic citation in Arizona or fail to appear without an attorney to represent your interests and enter their appearance on your behalf. In Arizona, a failure to appear carries serious penalties such a warrant for your arrest and suspension of your driver’s license under ARS 28-1557B1.
A defendant that hires a criminal attorney may have their presence waved for most court proceedings under Rule 14.1(c)(1) of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. A defense attorney may also enter a not guilty plea on their client’s behalf so that they may waive their client’s initial appearance before a court. Rule 9.1 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure.
A court may still require the personal attendance of a defendant at some hearings such as a trial or sentencing. Our office works to waive our client’s presence for most hearings and minimize or eliminate any court time for our clients when possible for most if not all hearings. Lee Ciccarelli can be counted on to be the difference when it matters most for Arizona criminal traffic charges.
Can I get Defensive Driving Schol (or Traffic School) for a Criminal Speeding Ticket?
It is possible to get Defensive Driving School (a.k.a. traffic school) for a criminal speeding ticket, but it is not automatic and is entirely up to the judge after the filing of a motion to the court requesting Defensive Driving School under ARS 28-3392. There is no guarantee a judge will agree to Defensive Driving School but he may allow your entry if:
- You have not attended Defensive Driving School in Arizona for any violation in the past 12 months
- The Defendant has a current valid driver’s license
- The traffic violation did not involve a serious accident or injury
- The Defendant is not a commercial driver
Contact the Ciccarelli legal team today to discuss your rights and options following criminal misdemeanor or felony traffic violations in the State of Arizona, including Maricopa and Pinal Counties, the greater Phoenix metro area, including but not limited to Chandler, Gilbert, Meza, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Tempe.
How Many Points is Criminal Speeding on my License?
In Arizona, criminal speeding has the same amount of points as a civil speeding ticket (3pts). You will be ordered to attend traffic school if you receive 8 traffic points in a 12 month period. If you get 12 points in a 12 month period, your license could face suspension.
What Are the Steps in a Criminal Traffic Case?
- Initial Appearance – Must appear in court to enter a guilty or not guilty plea before a judge. A defendant may make alternative arrangements not to appear if they hire an attorney or make other arrangements with the court ahead of the scheduled hearing date.
- Pretrial Conference – An opportunity for a defendant to meet with the prosecutor to receive disclosures and work out a possible non-trial resolution to the case.
- Bench Trial – A bench trial is a hearing before a judge where witnesses and testimony are presented by the State to prove a defendant guilty. A defendant may call witnesses and make arguments on their own behalf and cross examine State’s witnesses.
- Change of Plea – If a defendant or a defendant’s attorney negotiates a plea agreement, a defendant must sign a plea agreement to reflect that agreement. A change of plea hearing is conducted in front of a judge. Depending on the distance from court, a defendant and their attorney may ask the Court to submit a plea agreement by mail to avoid having to do a personal court hearing.
Now is the time, immediately after receipt of a criminal traffic citation, to reach out to qualified, experienced advocates and attorneys ready to protect you or your family’s interests. Contact the Ciccarelli Legal Team now when you are facing a criminal traffic ticket in Arizona,
Is It Possible to get a Criminal Traffic Charge reduced to a Civil Traffic Ticket?
Yes. It typically depends on the plea negotiation policies of the county attorney or city prosecutor. A prosecutor may offer a defendant a civil traffic resolution.
Our office continually works to negotiate with prosecutors to get charges reduced or dismissed for our clients. If it is in our client’s best interest, we will work to negotiate a civil traffic resolution. It is still ethically not possible to guarantee a 100% outcome in any criminal case.
How an Experienced Criminal Traffic Attorney from Ciccarelli Law Offices Can Help
Are you facing a misdemeanor or felony criminal traffic violation and need help? It is incredible how a speeding or moving violations can result in a criminal conviction that can actually follow you through life. T At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Arizona Criminal Traffic lawyers are ready to use our experience and resources to fight criminal traffic violations.
Call a Phoenix Traffic Crimes Attorney Today
If you or somebody you love is facing accusations or charges of Criminal Traffic Violation in the greater Phoenix metro area, Maricopa County including but not limited to Chandler, Tempe, Scottsdale or Gilbert or in neighboring Pinal County, you need to contact an attorney immediately. Not any attorney will do, and you likely need a team of Smart, Experienced, Aggressive, determined lawyers to fight, contest and resolve criminal traffic charges. Call now. Now is the time for action and the time for Lee Ciccarelli and his team.