Interviewer: How far is the situation going to be, if someone were to get arrested for possession of prescription medications like their job, their friends and family are going to find out?

Michael Munoz: It really depends, most cities, while they have a booking process, when they print you and take a photograph of a person, most cities do not post that online. In Arizona if you are arrested and booked at the Maricopa County jail, the Maricopa County sheriff’s office does post those mug shots online, so then that picture will become public record. Most misdemeanor DUIs, alcohol and drugs are done by cities or justice courts and most of those bookings are done by the local authorities that do not post them online. Now the arrest and possibly a conviction will become public record but there is no authority that essentially notifies friends, family or work. It’s really something whether or not a person decides to tell them.

In Arizona Certain Professionals Have an Obligation to Self-Report Any Conviction to the Professional Regulatory Authority
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All this information could be found because public record on certain government websites can show that you’ve either been convicted or maybe even charged, but it is not really something that anyone is going to know about unless the suspect or defendant actually volunteers that information. This does change in Arizona, if you are a certified school teacher. If you are a certified teacher and you are convicted of any crime, by law it must be reported to the teachers board. So any certified school teacher should know that. Also, there are many different professions that require that a person is arrested for a DUI or any crime, self-report that, and if those boards find out that you were convicted and you did not self-report, then you could be putting your status in jeopardy. For example, medical boards, nursing boards, all have reporting requirements for criminal offenses and there are many more.

A Conviction for a Drug Related Misdemeanor DUI Results in Driver’s License Suspension for 1 Year

Interviewer: Is it different when it comes to drug related DUIs, what happens to your license? Is that any other different from what happens when you get arrested for an alcohol DUI?

Michael Munoz: If a person is convicted for a misdemeanor DUI drug, which is the 28-1381A3, if they’re convicted of that account, that specific account, MVD will suspend their license for one year. So that does have different MVD consequences vs. an alcohol DUI. There is a one year suspension. So, one of the things that a defense lawyer tries to do is in certain situations we try to get that count dismissed so that there is not a one year license suspension to the defendant’s license.

A Breakdown of the Process After An Individual is Arrested For Prescription Drug Related DUI

Interviewer: What is going to happen if I get arrested for a medical or a prescription drug, what is going to happen during the initial arraignment and what’s the process going to be like?

Michael Munoz: You are going to have an arraignment date, an arraignment date is essentially a court date where a judge notifies you of what your criminal charges are and asks whether or not you plead guilty or not guilty. It is always advisable in an arraignment to plead not guilty. From there, the case will then get moved to a new court date, called a pretrial conference and that’s when the case starts. An attorney would essentially meet with the prosecutor, collect the states discovery or police reports and any evidence that the state plans on using against the defendant and then an experienced defense lawyer is going to start their own defense investigation to protect their clients rights and to defend them.

In the System, A Defendant Can Have Multiple Pre-Trial Conferences 30 Days Apart

In the system, you could have multiple pretrial conferences, each pretrial conference is about 30 days apart. Eventually the case will be either resolved and if it does not resolve, the case could be set for trial. On a DUI drugs case, in Arizona, everyone who is facing those charges has the right to a jury trial and if it goes to trial, they would have a trial to the jury and the trial usually lasts anywhere from one or two days and you would do the trial and depending on how the jury rules, then you will get a verdict and you’ll either be guilty or not guilty and then you would be sentenced accordingly or if you are not guilty, your case will be over.

By Michael Munoz

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