Professional Criminal Defense Help for Clients Facing Charges of DUI Manslaughter and DUI Homicide in Arizona

Our Pima County attorneys build an aggressive defense in fatal DUI accidents

In Arizona, drunk or drugged driving accidents that result in deaths or injuries are treated as intentional crimes that carry the same penalties as any other homicide or assault charge. Even if the fatal accident was not your fault, approach your driving while under the influence (DUI) arrest as you would a murder or aggravated assault charge because the potential outcome is the same.

The Nesci & St. Louis, PLLC team includes attorneys with 40 years of combined experience and board certifications from the National College for DUI Defense and the State Bar of Arizona. Our attorneys act as lead counsel on death penalty murder trials and so possess the skills to strategize at each stage of a DUI homicide case — including the suppression of evidence and the introduction of exculpatory factors.

Arizona manslaughter and negligent homicide laws

An experienced homicide attorney can explain to you that Arizona laws do not directly specify a charge for individuals who cause fatal or catastrophic DUI accidents. Instead, law enforcement relies on other statutes to charge a person who kills or seriously injures another person while driving recklessly or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The courts consider a motor vehicle to be a deadly weapon. Intent to commit the crime arises at the time the person becomes impaired and decides to take control of the automobile. Relevant DUI, homicide and assault provisions of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S) include:

  • A.R.S. section 13-1102 — elements of negligent homicide
  • A.R.S. section 13-1103 — elements of manslaughter
  • A.R.S. section 13-1104 — elements of second degree murder
  • A.R.S. section 13-1201 — elements of endangerment
  • A.R.S. section 13-1203 — elements of assault
  • A.R.S. section 13-1204 — elements of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
  • A.R.S. section 28-1385 — administrative license suspension for driving under the influence or for homicide or assault involving a motor vehicle
  • A.R.S. section 28-668 — testing alcohol concentration in accidents involving death to drivers
  • A.R.S. title 28, chapter 4 — driving under the influence provisions

Because these statutes define a “person” to include an “unborn child,” homicide charges can be filed if a pregnant woman miscarries even if no other person is killed in the accident.

Penalties for DUI accidents that result in death or injury

Jail terms for DUI fatalities in Arizona typically range from one to 22 years, including convictions for:

  • Negligent homicide — one to eight years
  • Manslaughter — seven to 21 years
  • Second degree murder — ten to 22 years

However, companion charges — such as child endangerment or child abuse — may increase the length of imprisonment that the Arizona courts impose for a conviction. An accident with multiple victims may result in multiple assault or homicide charges.

Consult with our defense lawyer in Tucson, AZ for strategic defenses to DUI manslaughter and homicide charges

For hard-hitting defense to a challenging DUI homicide charge, call Nesci & St. Louis, PLLC today at 520.777.0235 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.