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DUI Law- Civil vs. Court; How Arizona Handles DUI

Being involved in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver is incredibly traumatic and made worse often by the feeling of unfairness as your accident was caused solely by a driver who made the reckless decision to drive while intoxicated.

If your accident happened in the state of Arizona, the DUI law will be on your side as the state takes a famously ‘zero-tolerance’ approach meaning if you were the victim of an accident, the courts will likely be in your favor. It can feel very overwhelming to start legal proceedings after an accident- particularly when it could have been avoided so it’s important to understand your rights and the legal journey you will embark on.

Our blog explores why the DUI laws in Arizona side with DUI accident victims and the difference in court settings that can be chosen to represent each individual case, depending on the details of the accident.

The injury attorneys at Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in Phoenix have significant experience in helping clients who have been victims of DUI accidents and need help understanding DUI law. If you need help filing a claim for one of these awful, life changing accidents, we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our offices are conveniently located in ChandlerPeoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person or over the phone or video call.  You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.

By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor or psychiatrist who can help get your life back on track. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people. Our familiarity with the local Phoenix courts and DUI laws makes us confident that we can help you get the best settlement possible.

If you are unsure whether or not you can afford an attorney, don’t worry. We only get paid when you settle. Check out our Attorney Fees Calculator to find out more.

The DUI Law in Arizona Concerning DUI Drivers

Thankfully, due to Arizona’s strict DUI law, the relief that is available to help the victim of the crash depends on whether the remedies are in a civil or a criminal setting. There are two ways in which our legal system in Arizona handles a DUI accident; either in a criminal court which is designed to protect the public- or you as an accident victim- from illegal activity, or via a civil case which looks to compensate victims of individuals who break the law for damages that they incurred because of illegal behavior.

Criminal courts are specifically designed to prevent any kind of illegal activity from happening. For example, if a drink-driver causes an accident and pleaded not guilty to DUI, a criminal court would then work hard to prove that they either did or didn’t then break the law and behave in an illegal manner.

A civil court will defend the victim or person who has been impacted directly by a DUI driver who has already pleaded guilty and therefore acknowledged the illegal behavior and subsequent damages that have happened as a direct result of their own actions.

Civil vs Criminal court- DUI Law Trials

The differences between criminal and civil courts are not only the issue of damages but also the plea; a DUI driver will likely either initially plead guilty or plead not guilty only to be found guilty of a DUI. This scenario is the most common that plays out in criminal courts, as we’ve previously covered, as their initial denial means the law has to then prove the illegal activity happened.

Depending on a number of other factors surrounding the case such as how drunk the driver was when breathalyzed, the damage to the cars and injuries sustained, your legal representative will decide which legal path will best suit your individual case.

Get Help Now

At Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you, we have more than 15 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries from DUI accidents in the Phoenix area. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office, conveniently located near you.

If you have been in a DUI accident, contact Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in nearby Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in your area including ChandlerGilbertMesaScottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.