DUI & Criminal Defense

111 East Taylor Street, Suite 120
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Scottsdale DUI Lawyer


The Definitive Guide (2019)


If you are arrested for DUI and looking for a Scottsdale DUI Lawyer then here are some things you want to know:

  • Unique issues in Scottsdale DUI cases.
  • How a typical DUI case progresses through the Scottsdale court. 
  • Essential information to Scottsdale DUI allegation necessary for your defense.
Scottsdale DUI City Court

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Scotttsdale DUI cases are different. Most people could not know this fact. Unless you have other DUI arrests to compare. The good news is you don’t have to get arrested somewhere else to learn the difference. Here are some important things only experienced Scottsdale DUI Lawyers know.


Essential Information About Scottsdale DUI Cases

Scottsdale Crime Lab Scandals in DUI Cases

Scottsdale DUI cases almost always rely on the results of a chemical test(s). Thus, if you are arrested for a DUI in Scottsdale you need to know of any issues that cast doubt on the trustworthiness of the results of these chemical tests (i.e. blood and breath).

Software Errors

Between 2010-2016 the Scottsdale Crime Laboratory used instruments suffering from catastrophic software errors to test blood samples in DUI cases.  The kinds of erros that ocurred included:

  • Results assigned to the wrong person
  • Inaccurate blood test results 
  • Misidentified results

Myself, and a handful of other Scottsdale DUI Lawyers, challeged the issue in a series of leagl hearings.  As these hearing went on systemic flaws in their testing process was revealed.

Blood Sample Tampering

In 2016, a blood sample was seized from a person accused of DUI.  The blood sample is contained in a tube called a vacutainer.  As is customary, a police officer collected two samples. Each sample in their own tube.  The tubes of blood were sealed with red evidence tape. 

A Scottsdale Crime Laboratory Analyst tested one of the blood samples for an alcohol concentration. This required her to open on of the blood tubes and break the red evidence tape.  The second tube is intended to be in storage for the accused to test if they chose.

Blood Sample DUI Sealed
Evidence Tape Blood

The analyst did not report any issues with her analysis.  Her result claimed that the person’s sample contained an alcohol concentration above Arizona’s legal limit.  The prosecution of the accussed in Scottsdale City for DUI went forward based on her results. 

She subsequently informed the laborary that she was “planning on leaving the country” (you can’t make this stuff up if your tried).  As a result, the lab states it retested several samples where the associated cases was set for trial.

When a member of the lab evaluated her work they essentially concluded that she attemped to cover a mistake.  To do so she clandestinely opened the second tube and passed off a different result as her original test.  If there was not a reason for someone to check her work (because of her plans to leave the country) it would never have been discovered.

How are Scottsdale DUI cases different from other DUI cases?

To start, the Scottsdale Police Department is very aggressive when it comes to DUI enforcement. Sometimes they are so aggressive that there is a danger of a rush to judgment. There is objective evidence demonstrating many people have been accused of DUI in Scottsdale and it was subsequently determined they were innocent.

Breath Alcohol Test
Blood Alcohol Test

Moreover, the Scottsdale Police Department is one of the few law enforcement agencies that require a person suspected of DUI to perform both an intoxilyzer breath test and also provide a blood sample.

How many DUI cases does the Scottsdale City Court handle each year?

Scottsdale police make a significant amount of DUI arrest each year. To give you an idea of the volume of DUI cases that are prosecuted in this court let’s look at 2018. According to the Scottsdale City Court’s 2018 Annual Report, 14,763 criminal matters filed: 434 were DUI cases.

Does the Scottsdale City Court make a profit?

Accordingly to a 2016 study by the Goldwater Institute, not only does court have a net revenue, it’s actually one of the top-earning courts in Arizona. The Scottsdale City Court’s Revenue was: $7,766,086, but the court’s expenses were a mere $4,742,649 in comparison.  As a result, the court had a net profit of approximately $3,000,000.00.

Scottsdale Court Profit
Does the Scottsdale Police Department have DUI quotas?

They will tell you no, but…

I discovered this by chance during a jury trial. Instead of using the word “quota” they call it a SMART Goal. As you can see from the above screenshot taken from a Scottsdale City Counsel Quarterly Report, the Scottsdale Police Department has a SMART goal 2400 DUI arrest per year.

Scottsdale DUI Quotas

They also have a goal to have 70% of those arrested to be of non-Scottsdale residents.  Why would arresting more people, who don’t live in Scottsdale but commit the crime of DUI there, the make the city safer? (I live in Scottsdale and this statistic definitely does not make me feel safer).

Why is my DUI in Scottsdale City Court and not a Justice Court?

Most DUI arrests in Scottsdale are processed and prosecuted in the Scottsdale City Court.  The deciding factor that determines what court your case will be sent is which police department makes the arrest.

When an officer makes an arrest they have discretion to submit to the case to any court that have jurisidction.  In scottsdale there are two possible court.  The Scottsdale City court or the West Mesa Justice Court (the name is misleading).

Scottsdale Police Department
Does the Scottsdale Court permit an out-of-state resident to resolve a DUI without returning to Arizona?

It is legally possible for a person arrested for DUI who was merely visiting Scottsdale to resolve their case without returning to Arizona. However, this is a very fact-specific issue.

Why didn’t the officer read me my Miranda rights until the investigation was almost over?

Scottsdale is one of the only police departments in Arizona that will wait until the entire DUI investigation is almost completed – to inform you of your legal rights. Their standard practice is to inform you of your right to consult with a lawyer after obtaining your consent to a chemical test.

Does the Scottsdale City Court have a way to look up information on a DUI case up online?

Yes.  However, a word of caution – the court’s online system is not always correct and there are often delays between when the court (or law enforcement) makes a decision and when it posted online.  Here is a link Scottsdale City Court’s CASE SEARCH.

Do Scottsdale police officers have body cameras that record video?

Yes.  In 2017, the Scottsdale Police Department announced they would be switching to the Axon Flex 2 body camera.

According to Scottsdale Police Department Policy officer are required to activate their “on-body camera” (OBC) to record all citizen contacts when performing their official duties.  However, the videos they provide often are muted or edited.  If you want to see if this has occurred then the metadata from the recording software must be obtained.

Scottsdale DUI Body Camera Video

The Scottsdale Police Department has started to acknowledge some of the problems that have arisen since officers have started using on-body cameras. Here are the results of a June 2018 internal Police Body Camera Audit: AUDIT REPORT NO. 1808

Court Contact Information

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