DUI Endangerment Defense Attorneys in Tucson, Arizona
As described above, if you injure someone in a DUI accident, you can be charged with felony Aggravated Assault, requiring mandatory prison time. But even if no one is injured at all in an accident, you can be charged with felony Endangerment, requiring mandatory prison time.
Pursuant to A.R.S. §13-1201, a person commits felony Endangerment by “recklessly endangering another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.” Physical injury is defined in A.R.S. §13-105(29) as “the impairment of physical condition.” While that definition may not be helpful, by caselaw, causing red marks on an individual and pain to them constitutes causing a physical injury.
If you recklessly endanger another individual with a substantial risk of imminent death, you have committed a class six felony. Recklessly, under Arizona statute §13-105(10)(c), means: "with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense, that a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard of such risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates such as risk but who is unaware of such risk solely by reason of voluntary intoxication also acts recklessly with respect to such risk.”
Furthermore, if you recklessly endanger someone with a substantial risk of imminent death while using a motor vehicle, you have committed the crime using a dangerous instrument. Under the Arizona statute A.R.S. §13-105(12): “Dangerous instrument” means anything that under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used or threatened to be used is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury. By caselaw, and by common sense, a motor vehicle fits the definition of a dangerous instrument.
Because a motor vehicle was used to endanger the victim, the crime can be charged as a “dangerous nature offense.” If you are charged with Endangerment, dangerous nature, you are facing a mandatory 1.5 - 3 years in prison. Obviously, if you are charged with DUI Endangerment, you need to call the attorneys at Nesci & St. Louis right away.
DUI endangerment is not always charged with consistency. Some accidents where the injuries do not seem to be serious are charged as Aggravated Assault cases. Some accidents where the injuries seem serious are charges as Endangerment cases. Furthermore, there is no requirement that there actually be an accident before Endangerment charges are brought. It is the act of placing individuals in danger of imminent death that constitutes basis of the charge; no injury or accident needs to occur before the charge can be filed. Mandatory time felony Endangerment charges are often filed as an accompanying charge to Child Abuse charges when an individual is charged with driving DUI with minors in the car.
Call our experienced Endangerment lawyers in Tucson, AZ right away to let us fight to get you the best result possible when you face these serious charges. Call Nesci & St. Louis at (520) 999-2441 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.
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