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A criminal case has three primary roles: the judge, prosecution, and defense. The judge is the neutral party who hears the arguments of the opposing parties and uses his knowledge to issue legal decisions regarding a case. The prosecution builds a case and presents evidence to convict the accused of a crime. The defense makes the accused aware of their legal rights and advocates for them in court.

Below, we will focus on the role of a defense attorney in the criminal justice system and their duties to a defendant.

The Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney

A criminal defense attorney is responsible for providing a defendant (the suspect in a criminal case) with legal representation, as is their right by law. Being a criminal defense lawyer means defending individuals accused of committing crimes of varying levels, ranging from minor misdemeanors to felonies. 

The role of a criminal defense attorney is multi-faceted. They can sit on the first chair in a trial (as a lead attorney), offer assistance as a second-chair counsel, draft motions and pleadings, or run trials and motion hearings. 

What Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

Here are some of the daily responsibilities of a criminal defense attorney:

Negotiating and offering a settlement may leave a bad taste in the mouth for some, but from the defense’s perspective, the defendant’s welfare is the priority. If they can foresee that going to court may not end well for their client, they must try and avoid it at all costs. A settlement in which the aggrieved party is compensated for their suffering is one way to do that. 

Protect Your Rights as a Defendant: Call a Tucson Criminal Defense Attorney

Being a defendant is tough, but remember that the law recognizes a person’s innocence until he is proven guilty. People accused of crimes have the right to defend themselves, and criminal defense attorneys play the most important role. 

If you or someone you know faces criminal charges, it’s best to find a skilled Tucson criminal defense attorney with experience and credibility you can trust. 

Look no further than Katsarelis Law, a trusted criminal defense law practice in Tucson. We offer legal representation defending clients charged with assault and battery, DUI, drug crimes, domestic violence, and other felonies. Having practiced criminal defense law for 17 years, we have a proven record of providing reliable legal services and representing defendants with respect and compassion.

You can reach us at [email protected] or call (520) 510-0439 to schedule an appointment. 

Driving under the influence, more commonly known as drunk driving or driving while intoxicated, is a heavily punishable criminal offense in Tucson, Arizona. The state considers DUI a “violent crime” and results in harsh punishments, even for first offenders. 

DUI: The Legal Definition in Arizona

ARS § 28-1381 defines a DUI offense as being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, drugs, vapor-releasing substance, or a combination of these substances that can impair a driver at even the slightest degree. More specifically, people are considered intoxicated if they have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher. If they drive a vehicle within two hours of exceeding the minimum BAC, they can be subject to a DUI charge, lose their driver’s license, and serve jail time.

Not everything is black and white, however, and every DUI case has different circumstances. If you or someone you love gets a drunk-driving charge, you’ll need solid DUI defense strategies and an experienced DUI defense attorney to defend your rights. 

Common DUI Defenses 

Here are examples of DUI defense options that you can use depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Note that DUI defenses aren’t a remedy to dismiss your case instantly. Rather, they are a good starting point to build your case, so having an experienced DUI defense lawyer on your side is vital. 

Let’s get started.

  1. Unreliable Breath Alcohol Test Results

Police officers use breathalyzers to determine if a driver has exceeded the acceptable intoxication threshold. These devices analyze the amount of alcohol vapor in the lungs and determine a person’s BAC level. However, the value that breathalyzers provide is an indirect measurement of a person’s blood alcohol level. Moreover, they can give false positives due to several factors:

If any of these scenarios apply, you can add this argument to your DUI defense strategies. 

  1. Unreliable Blood Test Results

Like with the breathalyzer results, you can challenge the integrity of your blood tests if you have reason to believe your sample may have been contaminated, tampered with, or improperly handled, such as it wasn’t stored properly or it took hours before your blood sample was tested in a lab. BAC findings are often evidence in drunk-driving cases, so contesting its accuracy and reliability is also one of the most common DUI defenses.

  1. Improper Field Sobriety Testing (FST)

Most people behave exactly as you would expect of a drunk person. Hence, police officers conduct FST to verify intoxication. The three standardized FSTs are the one-leg stand, walk-and-turn, and horizontal gaze nystagmus test. 

The first thing you should know is you’re not required to do an FST in Arizona. You have the right to refuse, which you should do if circumstances aren’t in your favor:

If you agree to perform FSTs, your performance can be used against you. Suppose you complied with the tests and didn’t do so well. You can counter with these DUI defenses:

The second counter argument brings us to another of the most common DUI defenses you can use, not because it is a loophole but because many officers violate this rule.

  1. Illegal Stop of Your Vehicle

Traffic law states that officers can only pull over a vehicle if they have a reasonable and articulable basis of cause. This means they can only stop a moving car on the road and check for the possibility of a DUI if:


Police officers only need minor violations like broken tail lights to pull over a vehicle legally. Only then can they investigate you for possible intoxication. But if you didn’t break any laws and they have no reasonable cause for suspicion, your DUI defense attorney can build a case for dismissal. 

This is one of the textbook DUI defenses attorneys can use: prove that the officers performed an unlawful stop because they had no basis to stop your vehicle. If the court agrees, any evidence the police obtains after pulling you over – an over 0.08% breathalyzer result or failed FSTs – will become inadmissible under the exclusionary rule. The prosecutor will have no choice but to drop the charges against you. 

  1. No Probable Cause for Arrest

The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution protects everybody from unreasonable searches and seizures. The state bears the burden of proving they have legally obtained evidence that a crime has been committed. 


This applies to getting pulled over for suspected drunk driving. The burden of proof lies on the police officers, and they cannot pull you over simply because they have a hunch that you’re intoxicated. Watch out for unreasonable causes for stopping your car; they are some of the best DUI defense strategies you can use to dismiss your DUI charge:

  1. No Actual Driving or Physical Control of the Vehicle

Arizona’s law explicitly defines DUI as driving and having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, thereby becoming a threat to others. So, if you weren’t driving or in control of a vehicle at the time of arrest, the state doesn’t have a case against you. 

For example, if you sat inside your car with the engine running to turn on the air conditioning, fully intending to wait until the effects of the alcohol wore off, you can make a case before the jury that you weren’t driving and aren’t guilty of DUI. This is one of the most common DUI defense options your defense attorney can use. However, you may need solid evidence, like interior dash cam footage, to strengthen your case. 

Here are more examples of circumstances that can benefit from this argument:

It’s difficult to disprove “actual physical control of a vehicle” in court. The prosecution will use the following to prove that you were:

Choose a Seasoned Tucson DUI Defense Attorney To Represent You

Knowing your DUI defense options is just half of what you need. You must also have a reliable Tucson dui defense attorney who knows can chip away at the prosecution’s case against you. 

Atty. Efthymios Katsarelis of Katsarelis Law, PLLC, is a top-rated criminal defense attorney in Tucson who can help you build a strong case against a DUI charge. He has years of experience in litigation for various DUI offenses, like drunk driving, first-time offenders, felony hit and run, and out-of-state DUI. If you are charged with any of these offenses, contact us right away. 

You may call (520) 510-0439, email us at [email protected], or fill out our Contact Form to get in touch.  

Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects millions of individuals worldwide, including many residents of Tucson. Understanding the laws and legal protections available to victims is essential for breaking free from abusive situations and seeking justice. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the domestic violence laws in Tucson and the critical role played by a Tucson domestic violence lawyer in advocating for victims.

Recognizing Domestic Violence

Domestic violence goes beyond physical abuse and can manifest in various forms, such as emotional, psychological, financial, or sexual abuse. Victims may experience threats, stalking, or isolation, leaving them feeling trapped and helpless. Recognizing the signs of domestic violence is crucial to seeking help and protection.

Understanding Tucson Domestic Violence Laws

In Tucson, domestic violence is taken very seriously, and the legal system offers several protections for victims. Under Arizona law, domestic violence offenses are defined under Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) §13-3601. These laws encompass various acts committed by a household member against another, including spouses, ex-spouses, parents, children, and other familial relationships.

Seeking Legal Help: The Role of a Tucson Domestic Violence Lawyer

If you are a victim of domestic violence or know someone who is, seeking the assistance of a skilled Tucson domestic violence attorney is essential. A compassionate and experienced lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, ensuring your rights are protected and your safety is a priority.

A skilled domestic violence attorney can provide the following services:

Many victims of domestic violence are hesitant to report their abusers due to fear of retaliation or shame. However, reporting domestic violence is crucial for several reasons:

If the abuser faces criminal charges related to domestic violence, hiring a skilled Tucson criminal defense attorney is equally crucial. The accused has the right to legal representation, and a competent lawyer can build a strong defense while ensuring their rights are protected.

If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence, don't hesitate to seek legal help and support. Contact Katsarelis Law today to schedule a confidential consultation with a trusted domestic violence lawyer who will stand by your side and fight for your rights. Let us help you navigate the legal process and take the first step towards a brighter, safer future.

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