ARIZONA DUI STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ISSUES
Many times in Scottsdale, Tempe and other cities in Maricopa County, people will be arrested for DUI, provide a blood or urine sample to police and then be released without receiving a citation or notice to appear in court. Those individuals often contact my office and wonder what their next step is, or alternatively, when they are expected to appear in court.
The reason some individuals do not receive a citation with an order to appear in court following a DUI arrest is that police may wait until the blood or urine tests are received before referring the case for prosecution. When police receive laboratory test results that reveal an alcohol concentration above the legal limit or the presence of illegal drugs they will notify the prosecutor's office and request that a summons be issued. The prosecutor will then file a complaint with the court charging the person with DUI and have a summons issued which orders the person to appear and answer the charges. This process could take months and in some cases nearly a year. One potential defense in this scenario is that the relevant statute of limitations has expired.
Arizona law, particularly A.R.S 13-107 states:
A. A prosecution for any homicide, any conspiracy to commit homicide that results in the death of a person, any offense that is listed in chapter 14 or 35.1 of this title and that is a class 2 felony, any violent sexual assault pursuant to section 13-1423, any violation of section 13-2308.01, any misuse of public monies or a felony involving falsification of public records or any attempt to commit an offense listed in this subsection may be commenced at any time.
B. Except as otherwise provided in this section and section 28-672, prosecutions for other offenses must be commenced within the following periods after actual discovery by the state or the political subdivision having jurisdiction of the offense or discovery by the state or the political subdivision that should have occurred with the exercise of reasonable diligence, whichever first occurs:
1. For a class 2 through a class 6 felony, seven years.
2. For a misdemeanor, one year.
3. For a petty offense, six months.
C. For the purposes of subsection B of this section, a prosecution is commenced when an indictment, information or complaint is filed.
D. The period of limitation does not run during any time when the accused is absent from the state or has no reasonably ascertainable place of abode within the state.
E. The period of limitation does not run for a serious offense as defined in section 13-706 during any time when the identity of the person who commits the offense or offenses is unknown.
F. The time limitation within which a prosecution of a class 6 felony shall commence shall be determined pursuant to subsection B, paragraph 1 of this section, irrespective of whether a court enters a judgment of conviction for or a prosecuting attorney designates the offense as a misdemeanor.
G. If a complaint, indictment or information filed before the period of limitation has expired is dismissed for any reason, a new prosecution may be commenced within six months after the dismissal becomes final even if the period of limitation has expired at the time of the dismissal or will expire within six months of the dismissal
DUI offenses in Arizona, except for Aggravated DUI, are considered class one misdemeanors. Consequently, a complaint must be filed and prosecution begun within one year of a person's arrest. If this has not occurred, the State may be legally barred from prosecuting you for DUI.
If you, a family member or loved one has been charged with aggravated assault by auto, DUI or any other criminal offense in Arizona you are well advised to immediately contact an experienced DUI or criminal defense lawyer who regularly represents people charged with these types of offenses. Attorney Raymond Kimble has represented people charged with DUI and other crimes, including aggravated assault in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler Phoenix, Scottsdale and other cities throughout Maricopa and Pinal Counties during the last twenty years and has achieved tremendous results for his clients.