Resisting Arrest after an Arizona DUI – What’s the Penalty

Whenever officers have reasons to suspect you’ve committed a DUI, they will arrest you and take you for a test. Since Arizona is an implied consent state, you can’t refuse to cooperate. If you do, you face automatic license suspension for a long period of time. Refusing to take a BAC test, however, isn’t the only violation you can commit in the aftermath of a DUI suspicion. Resisting arrest after an Arizona DUI is a criminal offense and here’s how it could potentially affect you in the future.

Arizona Resisting Arrest Legal Provisions

Struggling against police officer efforts to detain you is known as resisting arrest. This offense is described in detail in Arizona Revised Statutes 13-2508.

The statute defines resisting arrest as intentional behavior aimed at preventing law enforcement professionals from carrying out the arrest. A person may use either threats or physical force to resist. A few examples of behaviors that will qualify as attempts to resist arrest under A.R.S. 13-2508 include the following:

  • Speeding to evade a traffic stop
  • Running into danger (for example, running into traffic) to avoid getting arrested
  • Starting a physical altercation with a law enforcement professional
  • Assuming the fighting stance – a fundamental martial arts position

As you probably understand already, the statute is intentionally broad. Many types of behavior can be interpreted as attempts to resist an arrest. Whenever an individual doesn’t comply with police officer instructions 100 percent, they could potentially be charged with resisting arrest on top of the DUI.

The Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Arizona

Resisting arrest after an Arizona DUI comes with serious consequences of its own.

Under Arizona law, this is a Class 6 felony. A first-time offender could potentially face probation or up to two years in prison. Individuals that have a previous criminal conviction will see a prison sentence in the range from nine months to over three years. If there are multiple prior criminal convictions, the prison sentence could reach almost six years.

Depending on the specifics of the situation, the Class 6 felony could be reduced to a misdemeanor. This would be possible for first-time offenders under Arizona Revised Statutes 13-604. Either the prosecutor or the judge could make the decision. The circumstances will have to be examined and even if the trial is lost, the reduction could still be enacted.

Keep in mind that these sanctions could be enforced even if your arrest was not legally justified. it is best to cooperate with law enforcement professionals and challenge their activities later on in court. If you resist the arrest, you could potentially face prison time in the event of being innocent of another offense.

You Still Have Rights during the Arrest

The fact that it’s your duty to cooperate with law enforcement professionals during an Arizona arrest does not mean you’re deprived of rights.

resisting arrest after an arizona duiThe basic rights of all US citizens are stated in the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments of the US Constitution. Whenever a police officer decides to carry out a DUI arrest, they do not have the right to make the defendant participate in self-incriminating behavior. All accused individuals should be read their Miranda Rights and they should be granted the right to counsel.

Any violation that occurs during the process of getting arrested will give an Arizona DUI attorney the opportunity to challenge the entire procedure and the resisting arrest charges. In addition, an individual cannot be charged with resisting arrest whenever they aren’t aware of the fact that a police officer is trying to restrain them. Arizona police officers have to identify themselves audibly before initiating the arrest. Any simple failure in following established procedures could be used by a defendant to get a more favorable outcome.