Arizona Criminal Traffic Defense AttorneyGilbert Criminal Traffic Attorney

Criminal traffic violations can change your life. Financial consequences aside, a moving violation can even land you in jail.

“Across the country, drivers on average spend at least one day in jail for their first offense and three days for their second offense for reckless driving.”—Fortune


If you, or a family member, is facing charges for:

  • DUI
  • Reckless driving
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Excessive speeding
  • An accident resulting in death
  • Driving without a license

Don’t wait until the situation spins out of control. The potential consequences will significantly damage your future. Empower yourself! Contact a Gilbert criminal traffic attorney. Our legal team is dedicated to helping people through difficult and confusing legal situations.

Arizona Criminal Traffic Laws

Many moving violations can constitute criminal acts under Arizona law. They include:


Arizona police may issue criminal speeding tickets for:

  • Driving more than 85 miles per hour
  • Exceeding 35 miles per hour in a school crossing zone
  • Driving 20 miles per hour more than the posted speed limit in a business or residential area
  • Driving more than 45 miles per hour when no speed is posted in a business or residential area

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Arizona law provides for several types of DUI charges.

The law, A.R.S. 28-1381(A)(1), states, “it is unlawful for a person to be in physical control of a motor vehicle if they are under the influence of an intoxicating liquor, a drug, a vapor-releasing toxic substance, or a combination of these which may cause them to become intoxicated to the slightest degree.”

Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more is driving under the influence, and is punishable by law. The situation becomes exponentially more complicated if a passenger in the car is younger than 15, if the driver is operating without a valid license, or has a criminal record or three or more DUI arrests within the past seven years. The state also takes into account the severity of any injuries and the extent of property damage.

DUI punishments are strict and may include:

  • Incarceration
  • Suspension of driving privileges
  • Community service time

The more serious the DUI charge, the more time you could spend in jail. The various categories of DUI include:

  • Driving while impaired to a slight degree
  • Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08 percent
  • Extreme DUI
  • Super extreme DUI
  • Felony DUI
  • Drug DUI
  • Commercial driver DUI
  • Boating DUI

Arizona law holds commercial drivers—those with CDL licenses—to a higher standard. They only need to have a BAC of 0.04 percent to face DUI charges.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Whether or not you were at fault, under Arizona law if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and fail to stop at (or as close as possible) to the scene, police may charge you with leaving the scene of an accident, or hit and run. Arizona law requires you to:

  • Give your name, address, and registration to the other driver or responding police officer
  • Show your driver’s license if the other driver or responding officer requests that you do so
  • Assist the other driver by administering First Aid or getting help for injuries if necessary

If you fail to comply, authorities can charge you with a class 3 misdemeanor, and subject you to:

  • $500 in fines
  • 30 days in jail

A driver in a hit and run accident that results in serious physical injury or death can face a Class 2 felony. This can yield:

  • A five year revocation of your driver’s license
  • 5 years in prison

Depending on the severity of the accident, drivers may lose their driving privileges permanently. Additional penalties and criminal and civil charges may also apply.

You Have Rights and Options

You have a right to remain silent if you are taken into custody and questioned about a traffic violation. Your silence is not legally considered an admission of guilt, and authorities cannot use it against you. Police must halt questioning as soon as you request legal representation.

“If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must be given an opportunity to contact your country’s consulate prior to any questioning.”—Arizona’s addition to the standard Miranda warning)

A criminal traffic violation in Arizona will likely go on your criminal record. Understand the potential consequences and your options no matter the charge. An experienced criminal traffic violation attorney understands those options and can help you make the best decisions for your particular situation. Before it is too late, contact McPhie Law to request a complimentary and privileged consultation. Ryan McPhie, our founding partner, is a former county deputy attorney and knows that prosecutors are looking for. This helps us defend against criminal traffic citations and major felony offenses.

We take the time to assess your particular situation. Using proven strategies, we explore the legal options that will result in the best outcome for your case. We strive, whenever possible, to get our clients’ charges reduced or dismissed. The clock is ticking, however, and prompt action can help protect your rights and preserve evidence crucial to your defense.

A Conviction Costs More Than Legal Fees

A criminal traffic conviction can damage nearly every area of your life and can cost you your ability to drive, find work, and even your freedom. In addition, collateral consequences may include:

  • Ineligibility for government contracts
  • Exclusion from management or operation of regulated businesses
  • Restrictions on family relationships and living arrangements, such as child custody, fostering, and adoption
  • Bond requirements or other heightened standards for licensure
  • Publication of your criminal record
  • Ineligibility for public funds, including welfare benefits and student loans
  • Loss or restriction of professional licenses
  • Possible revocation of your immigration status

McPhie Law, P.C. works with our clients individually concerning fees and related costs. To learn more about how we work with our clients to come up with manageable payment arrangements, contact us.

Whether you face criminal traffic charges for the first time, or have a prior history of convictions, do not risk dealing with them alone. If you, or a family member, faces criminal charges in Phoenix, Mesa, or Gilbert, Arizona, McPhie Law can help. Call McPhie Law today at (480) 400-5555 or email us to schedule your free consultation.