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Speeding Infractions in Arizona FAQs

Woman Receiving Speeding Ticket in Arizona

If you’ve received a speeding ticket in Arizona, you may also have questions regarding the charges. If so, continue reading our collection of FAQs in regards to traffic fines and penalties.


The Law Office of Gonzales & Poirier is located in beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona. Flagstaff is the crossroads for two major interstates, I-17 and I-40. It also is a travel destination for millions of people around the world who stop for a visit on their way to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, or Las Vegas. If your coming to visit Flagstaff you most likely will arrive by car. If you arrive by car you need to make sure you follow all applicable traffic laws. If you do obtain a traffic ticket, the Law Office of Gonzales & Poirier can help you. Call 928-774-5400 and ask to speak to Tony, Matt, or Daniel. Remember traffic infractions could have serious consequences towards your right to drive.

Q&A – Arizona Traffic Offenses

Below are commonly asked questions related to traffic offenses.

Q. Do I need an attorney for a civil traffic or criminal traffic offense?

A. Traffic offense can be simple or extremely complicated and you may need an attorney to protect your rights and driving privileges. After reading this FAQ, if you feel you need an attorney immediately contact the Law Offices of Gonzales and Poirier L.L.C. to speak to one of our three experienced criminal/traffic attorney’s.

 

Q. I received a civil traffic citation, what can I do?

A. You can do the following:

  • Attend defensive driving school
  • Admit responsibility and pay the civil penalty
  • Deny responsibility and request a hearing

 

Q. What happens if I attend defensive driving school?

A. If you eligible to attend defensive driving school, you will not have to make a court appearance if you attend the class before your scheduled court date. If you fail to attend defensive driving school before your court date you must appear in court and request permission to attend driving school.

 

Q. Am I eligible to take defensive driving school for my traffic ticket?

A. In order to be eligible for defensive driving course you must meet certain requirements:

  • You have not attended a defensive driving course for a traffic citation within the past 24 months
  • Your citation must be eligible for defensive driving course
  • You may only attend for one violation only
  • You must complete the course at least 7 days prior to your court date
  • If you have a commercial driver’s license you are not eligible to attend Defensive Driving School

 

Q. I am from out of state are there additional requirements I must fulfill?

A. The above factors apply and you must also:

  • Contact an Arizona Certified Defensive Driving School
  • You may take an internet class
  • You may return to Arizona to take the class
  • You can attend a class in your home state only if it is coordinated through an Arizona Certified School

 

Q. Where can I attend defensive driving school for Coconino County?

A. This is a list of certified defensive driving schools accepted in Coconino County:

  • Verde Valley Defensive Driving School 928-284-2190 (English)
  • Roadrunner Traffic School 623-398-6590 602-441-3866 (English)
  • 2 Go 2 Defensive Driving 520-449-8788 (English), 855-218-2007 (Spanish)
  • U-Save…Easy 4U…Fun 2 Arizona Defensive Driving Online 888-554-7659, 877-347-5178 (English)
  • TrafficSchoolOnline.com 877-805-0005, 800-800-3579 (English)
  • Arizona Traffic Schools, LLC 480-857-4000 (English), 520-792-0400 (Spanish)
  • EZ AZ Traffic School 877-303-3929 (English), 520-207-3200 (Spanish)
  • National Traffic Safety Institute 520-547-2500 (English), 800-726-6874 (Spanish)
  • Arizona-Express In-N-Out Defensive Driving Online 800-554-2718, 888-554-2718 (English)

 

Q. What if I have a civil traffic violation and I deny responsibility and request a hearing?

A. You will have a civil traffic trial in front of a judge. The officer who issued you a ticket will be subpoenaed to testify and give evidence against you and you may present evidence. The judge will either find you responsible or not responsible. If found responsible you will be assessed a fine and MVD will be notified of the offense.

 

Q. What if I admit responsibility and pay the civil penalty?

A. You can pay the listed fine and mail the payment to the court before your court date or appear on your court date and pay the fine.

 

Q. What laws apply to traffic offenses?

A. Arizona has special Rules of Procedure in Traffic Cases and Boating Cases.

 

Q. What happens if I have a criminal traffic violation?

A. You must appear before a judge for your initial appearance at which time you can:

  • Plead guilty, meaning you admit that you committed the crime on the ticket
  • Plead not guilty, meaning you deny you committed the crime

 

Q. I just plead guilty for a criminal traffic violation, what are the consequences?

A. The court can impose:

  • A fine
  • Suspension or restriction of your driving privileges
  • Jail
  • Community service
  • Court-ordered education classes
  • Notify MVD that you plead guilty to a traffic offense, which could result in points on your driving record

 

Q. I just plead not guilty for a criminal traffic violation, what happens next?

A. The court can either set:

  • A pre-trial conference where you meet with the prosecutor and a plea may be given
  • Set it for trial where the State will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense

 

Q. What happens at a criminal traffic trial?

A. A trial is held before a judge and the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt with evidence that you committed the crime. After the prosecutor “rests” his case the defendant has the opportunity to present evidence. After the trial the judge will find you either guilty or not guilty.

 

Q. What rights do I have in a criminal traffic trial?

A. You have the following rights guaranteed under the US Constitution:

  • The right to a trial before a judge
  • The right to be represented by an attorney at all stages of your case
  • The right to confront and cross-examine witnesses as to the truthfulness of their testimony
  • Right to subpoena witnesses
  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt
  • The right to an appeal

 

Q. What if I fail to appear at court or fail to pay my fine?

A. If you fail to appear or fail to pay a fine a judgment can be entered against you, a warrant for you arrest may be issues and the court will report your failure to appear/pay to MVD and direct your license be suspended.
Man Riding Bike Up Mountain Road in Flagstaff

Bikers/Bicyclist – Know Your Rights!

Man Riding Bike Up Mountain Road in Flagstaff

If you’re a serious bike rider, it is important that you know the traffic laws that must be obeyed and that you know your rights as a cyclist.

The Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier hopes everyone has a safe summer and fall on two wheels. The weather is nice and school just started for FUSD, NAU and CCC, which means there are a lot of bikers on the road. Generally, Flagstaff usually reports 70-80 car and bicycle accidents a year.

If you are one of the 6% of the Flagstaff residents who bike to work and school, you should know your rights as a bicyclist. If you have been injured in a bike accident by the negligence of somebody else, call the Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier and ask to speak to one of our attorneys: Matt, Tony or Daniel. Bikes are highly regulated in Arizona and this is a small list of applicable bike laws:

A.R.S § 28-101(6) defines bicycle as: a device, including a racing wheelchair, that is propelled by human power and on which a person may ride and that has either:

(a) Two tandem wheels, either of which is more than sixteen inches in diameter.

(b) Three wheels in contact with the ground, any of which is more than sixteen inches in diameter.

A.R.S § 28-756. Method of giving hand and arm signals

A. Except as provided by subsection B, a person shall give all hand and arm signals required by this article from the left side of the vehicle in the following manner, and the signals shall indicate as follows:

  1. Left turn. Hand and arm extended horizontally.
  2.  Right turn. Hand and arm extended upward.
  3. Stop or decrease speed. Hand and arm extended downward.

B. A person operating a bicycle may give a right turn signal by extending the right hand and arm horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.

A.R.S. § 28-811. Parent and guardian responsibility; applicability of article

A. The parent of a child and the guardian of a ward shall not authorize or knowingly permit the child or ward to violate this chapter.

B. Except as otherwise provided in this article, this chapter applies to a bicycle when it is operated on a highway or on a path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

A.R.S. § 28-812. Applicability of traffic laws to bicycle riders

A person riding a bicycle on a roadway or on a shoulder adjoining a roadway is granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter and chapters 4 and 5 of this title, except special rules in this article and except provisions of this chapter and chapters 4 and 5 of this title that by their nature can have no application.

A.R.S. § 28-813. Riding on bicycles

A. A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than on or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle.

B. A person shall not use a bicycle to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.

A.R.S. § 28-814. Clinging to vehicle

A person riding on a bicycle, coaster, sled or toy vehicle or on roller skates shall not attach the bicycle, coaster, sled, toy vehicle or roller skates or that person to a vehicle on a roadway.

A.R.S. § 28-815. Riding on roadway and bicycle path; bicycle path usage

A. A person riding a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following situations:

  1. If overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  2. If preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
  3. If reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, including fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals or surface hazards.
  4. If the lane in which the person is operating the bicycle is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

B. Persons riding bicycles on a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

C. A path or lane that is designated as a bicycle path or lane by state or local authorities is for the exclusive use of bicycles even though other uses are permitted pursuant to subsection D or are otherwise permitted by state or local authorities.

D. A person shall not operate, stop, park or leave standing a vehicle in a path or lane designated as a bicycle path or lane by a state or local authority except in the case of emergency or for crossing the path or lane to gain access to a public or private road or driveway.

E. Subsection D does not prohibit the use of the path or lane by the appropriate local authority.

A.R.S. § 28-816. Carrying article on bicycle

A person shall not carry a package, bundle or article while operating a bicycle if the package, bundle or article prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.

A.R.S. § 28-817. Bicycle equipment

  1. A bicycle that is used at nighttime shall have a lamp on the front that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and a red reflector on the rear of a type that is approved by the department and that is visible from all distances from fifty feet to three hundred feet to the rear when the reflector is directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A bicycle may have a lamp that emits a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear in addition to the red reflector.
  2. A person shall not operate a bicycle that is equipped with a siren or whistle.
  3. A bicycle shall be equipped with a brake that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

These are the most cited statutes pertaining to bicycles in the Arizona Revised Statutes. However, the legislative branch allows local government to regulate bicycles. Under the City of Flagstaff Ordinances, these are the applicable ordinances that apply to use of bikes within the City of Flagstaff.

Section 9-05-001-0001 Application of Provisions

  1. The parent of a child and the guardian of a ward shall not authorize or knowingly permit the child or ward to violate any of the provisions of this Chapter.
  2. The regulations of this Chapter in their application to bicycles shall apply when a bicycle is operated upon any roadway, path, or sidewalk subject to those exceptions stated in this Chapter.
  3. The regulations of this Chapter shall not apply to exempt vehicles when they are used for the purposes for which they are intended.

Section 9-04-001-0002 Definitions

For the purposes of this Chapter:

A. “Bicycle” means a device, including a racing wheelchair, that is propelled by human power and on which a person may ride and that has either:

  1. Two tandem wheels, either of which is more than sixteen inches in diameter.
  2. Three wheels in contact with the ground, any of which is more than sixteen inches in diameter.

Section 9-05-001-0003 Traffic Laws Apply

Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway is granted all the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this Chapter, except as to special regulations in this Chapter and except as to those provisions of this Chapter which by their nature can have no application.

Section 9-05-001-0004 Riding on Bicycles

  • A person riding a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.
  • No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.
  • No person riding upon any bicycle, skateboard or play vehicle shall attach the same or themselves to any vehicle upon a roadway.
  • No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.
  • No person shall operate a bicycle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances, conditions and actual and potential hazards then existing, or in excess of the posted speed limit.

Section 9-05-001-0005 Riding on Roadways and Bicycle Lanes

A. A person riding a bicycle on the roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following situations:

  • If overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  • If preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
  • If reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, including fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, snow and ice, or surface hazards.
  • If the lane in which the person is operating the bicycle is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel side by side within the lane.
  • When proceeding straight, through an area where a right-turn is permitted, in order to avoid conflicts with right-turning vehicles.

B. When parking is allowed along the roadway, then the “right side of the roadway” shall be deemed to be to the left of any parked vehicles or parking lane, including the area occupied by open car doors, or to the right of any parked vehicles or parking lane on the left side of one-way streets.

C. Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two (2) abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

Section 9-05-001-0006 Equipment

  • Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet (500′) to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the Arizona Department of Transportation, which shall be visible from all distances from fifty feet (50′) to three hundred feet (300′) to the rear, when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on motor vehicles. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet (500′) to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.
  • Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

Section 9-05-001-0007 Riding on Sidewalks

A. Where signs are erected giving notice thereof, no person shall ride a bicycle, skateboard, or play vehicle upon a sidewalk. This prohibition shall also apply to any bicycle, skateboard or play vehicle which is equipped with or assisted by a motor. Signs prohibiting such activity shall be installed at locations as directed by the Office of the Traffic Engineer.

B. A person riding a bicycle, skateboard, or play vehicle upon any public sidewalk shall be subject to the following provisions:

  1.  A person riding a bicycle, skateboard, or play vehicle on a sidewalk shall yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians and exempt vehicles.
  2. Such person shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian or exempt vehicle traveling in the same direction on the sidewalk.
  3. No person shall operate a bicycle on a sidewalk at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances, conditions and actual and potential hazards then existing.

C. Penalty. Violation of any of the provisions of 9-05-001-0007 by any person shall be a civil traffic offense punishable by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than seventy-five dollars ($75.00) for each offense.

Section 9-05-001-0008 Riding on Paths

A. A person riding a bicycle, skateboard, or play vehicle on a path shall yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians and exempt vehicles.
B. Such person shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian or exempt vehicle traveling in the same direction on the path.

Section 9-05-001-0009 Voluntary Bicycle Registration

The Chief of Police, or his or her designee, is hereby authorized and directed to issue, upon written application, bicycle registration tags. The Chief of Police shall designate and provide tags for the use of the registrant, direct the manner of placing such tags on the bicycles by the registrants, and keep a record of the name of the registrant, the number of the tag, the date of issuance of the tag, and pertinent information about the bicycle. A fee may be charged for registration and the tag.

Section 9-05-001-0010 Bicycle Helmets/Protective Equipment

  • It shall be unlawful for any person under eighteen (18) years of age to operate or ride upon a bicycle on any highway, street, road, sidewalk, bike-way or trail, unless that person wears a protective helmet that is properly fitted and fastened.
  • No parent or guardian of any unemancipated minor under eighteen (18) years of age shall knowingly allow the minor to violate this section.
  • Violation of this section shall constitute a civil traffic offense and shall be punishable by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than seventy-five dollars ($75.00) for each offense.
  • The first time a person is charged with a violation of this section the Court may dismiss the charge upon presentation of evidence that the person has purchased or obtained a protective helmet.
  • For purposes of this section “protective bicycle helmet” means a helmet containing a manufacturer’s certification that it meets the standards of either the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
  • Except as authorized by A.R.S. § 28-1599, a violation of this ordinance cannot be used as evidence of negligence or comparative negligence in a subsequent civil or criminal proceeding.
Minivan with Rear Damage

Car Accident Settlement

Minivan with Rear Damage

If you’ve been the victim of a car collision in the Flagstaff area, contact Gonzales & Poirier, PLLC to fight for the maximum compensation for damages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.

 

Our client was involved in a car accident in Flagstaff, Arizona, which resulted in minor injuries and damages to his car. The aggressive representation of the Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier allowed the client to settle the case for $7,500.

When we asked our client how he felt about the results, he stated: “I am really satisfied with your service and would definitely come back, I will refer you to my friends.”

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident because of the fault/negligence of another, contact us at Gonzales and Poirier at 928-774-5400. We will fight the insurance company and help obtain you a favorable settlement.

Logging Truck on Icy Winter Road

Winter Road Conditions

Logging Truck on Icy Winter Road

Northern Arizona drivers must take extra precautions when driving on icy winter roads, so not to become another statistic.


According to the National Weather Service and the Arizona Daily Sun, Northern Arizona and Flagstaff will receive its first significant snow fall starting Thursday afternoon and lasting until Saturday. The National Weather Service is predicting up to 11 inches of snow for Flagstaff, which is a welcome relief to our drought stricken region. Furthermore, many of us are looking forward to white Christmas and all the outdoor activities a good snow year will bring Flagstaff.

Safe Winter Driving

While a lot of people cannot wait to hit the slopes, the Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier would like to emphasize the importance of safe winter driving. Winter weather presents dangerous and unsafe road conditions like: ice, snow and freezing weather. Combine these road conditions with drivers unfamiliar with safe winter driving and you have the perfect recipe for car accidents. Every year we hear reports of huge chain reaction car accidents severely injuring multiple people shutting down I-17 or I-40 for hours. We also see bad drivers driving too fast or following too closely because they have a 4WD car or truck. Many of our winter accidents can be prevented if drivers follow these safety tips as provided by the Arizona Department of Transportation:

Drive Carefully

  • Drive for conditions: slower speeds, slower acceleration
  • Use your headlights
  • Do not use cruise control
  • Four-wheel and all-wheel vehicles do not stop or steer better on ice
  • Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
  • Remember, the larger the vehicle, the longer the stopping distance
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps and bridges
  • When driving behind a snowplow, stay back at least a few car lengths until it’s safe to pass or until the plow pulls off the road. If you think you’re traveling too close to a plow, you probably are. Be safe and stay back!
  • If approaching an oncoming snowplow, slow down and give the plow extra room
  • Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road conditions, not winter road conditions.
  • Avoid quick starts, stops and fast turns. Accelerate, brake and steer smoothly and gradually
  • Do not slam on brakes. Apply steady pressure on ABS-equipped vehicles and pump the brakes if necessary on non-ABS vehicles
  • Always comply with all posted chain requirements
  • Always carry tire chains, especially when traveling in mountain passes or typically snowy areas
  • Remember – 4-wheel-drive vehicles cannot necessarily turn or stop any better than 2-wheel-drive vehicles

Know What to Do in Collisions and Emergencies

  • Dial 9-1-1
  • If possible, move the vehicle out the travel lanes into a safe area
  • Attend to all medical needs in a safe place, if possible
  • If you are making arrangements to have your vehicle towed, do that in a safe location
  • If your vehicle becomes non-operational, raise the front hood to signal that it is disabled
  • Be alert to the hazards of moving traffic, especially on a slippery road surface
  • Do not stand anywhere in the travel lanes or close to your vehicle
  • The emergency lane or shoulder berm are not safe places to stand or park

Furthermore, winter conditions can also leave a lost driver or a driver involved in a car accident stranded because they cannot be located. Again, we have heard tragic stories of people who have gotten their cars stuck and froze to death when they tried to find help. To prevent a tragedy like this from happening, the Arizona Department of Transportation suggests that you plan ahead when traveling in areas with winter road conditions. Plan ahead:

  • Carry plenty of food and water and all necessary medications
  • Carry a fully charged cell phone
  • Visit www.az511.gov or dial 5-1-1 to check for current road and weather conditions
  • Plan your travel route and allow for extra time to arrive at your destination
  • Notify someone of your travel route, destination and projected arrival time
  • Get plenty of rest before your trip and take breaks during your trip to stay alert
  • Carry an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle that includes blankets, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a shovel, sand for traction, and hazard warning lights or reflectors

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident or any other type of accident seek medical attention immediately then call the Law Offices of Gonzales & Poirier at (928) 774-5400. You may also email us at tony@triallawyersaz.com, or message us from our website atwww.triallawyersaz.com or www.triallawyersaz.com. We handle cases inFlagstaff, Holbrook, Winslow, Williams, Sedona, Cottonwood, Prescottand other parts of the State. Our initial consultation is free and we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid, unless you get paid. The goal is to settle your case with the responsible driver or his/her insurance company or employer. Should they decide not the settle, our aggressive trial attorneys will sue the responsible driver.

Many accident injury cases can be handled by our firm negotiating with the insurance company without having to file a lawsuit. We have many years of experience dealing with insurance adjusters and fighting for our clients rights. However, our car accident attorneys are also experienced trial lawyers and are able and ready to protect your rights in court. Our firm offers free consultations. In addition, we help you find the right doctors to treat your injuries.

In order to best assist us in handling your case, it is important that you have the following information: the location of the accident, the direction the vehicles were traveling, the insurance information of the person that caused the accident, your insurance information, medical treatment information, and traffic citation information. As a client, our firm will work closely with you to obtain any information you do not have, but it is important after any traffic accident to obtain as much information at the time of the crash as possible.

Man Riding Motorcycle on Mountain Road

Motorcycle Safety Tips & Information for Arizona Riders

Man Riding Motorcycle on Mountain Road

Motorcycle riders have a lot of disadvantages to operators of other motor vehicles in that they are harder to see and if a collision occurs, injuries are often more severe.

Motorcycles are amongst the few hobbies that display an entirely new breed of culture throughout the global society, however with this culture comes great risks. At the Law Offices of Gonzales & Poirier, some of our staff are experienced riders who understand the passion behind the hobby.

In the state of Arizona it is not required by law for a rider to wear a helmet, or any gear other than eye protection for that matter. The dangers of not wearing protective gear are seen to be fatal in many incidents. When riding a motorcycle the facts that should be taken into consideration for a safer ride are as follows:

  • On a motorcycle you are far less visible on the road than any other vehicle, meaning there is a far greater risk of collision as a result of other vehicles not seeing you.
  • On a motorcycle you are far more vulnerable to injuries. Unlike cars, where many incidents lead to fender benders and minor injuries if any, a motorcycle almost insures that at a time of collision the rider will end up on the road.
  • The distribution of balance is key in riding, making it a necessity to always be aware and alert of your surroundings and their potential effects on your motorcycle.
  • Road conditions can ultimately decide whether or not you are in an accident, be it the weather, gravel or potholes. If you ride somewhere where you are not familiar with the road and the conditions on it, ride alert and cautiously until you get a feel for the hazards the road may present.

The concepts listed above are all to be frequently noted in order to ride efficiently and safely but predicting an accident isn’t always possible, because of that safety gear is imperative. Although it isn’t required by law, riding should always take place with a helmet in order to avoid serious injuries or fatalities. Gloves and a jacket are also an extremely beneficial asset to anybody who rides, seeing how people on motorcycles are 35% more likely to be in an accident than a person in a car. With such a large percentage of riders prone to being in a collision the more safety gear, the better. With all this taken into account remember to ride with care and keep the rubber side down, one of them at least.

If you or a loved one has been inured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Law Office of Gonzales & Poirier at (855) 774-5400 for more information on our services or click here for personal injury help. We represent clients injured in accidents throughout Flagstaff, Arizona and if you are too injured to come meet at our office location, we will gladly come to you!

Vehicle Involved in Fatal Car Accident

Care Accident Fatalities in Arizona

Vehicle Involved in Fatal Car Accident

Unfortunately, fatal car accidents take place daily around the country. Our law office would like to remind drivers to be safe – don’t speed and wear your seatbelt at all times.


Tragedy has struck Flagstaff again. There have been two fatal car accidents in less than 12 hours. In the first case, a young woman and her family rolled their vehicle off of Interstate 40. In the second case, a Tucson man was killed on Interstate 17. Both cases were single car accidents.

Fatal Car Accident Statistics

In 2011, there were 825 fatal car accidents in Arizona. Half of these fatalities occurred in rural areas and were also single car accidents.[1] These statistics tell us that being in a small rural community does not mean that we are out of harm’s way. Motorist need to be mindful of this fact and always remember to wear their seatbelt.

The lawyers at Gonzales & Poirier have successfully represented hundreds of clients in personal injury cases. Each case is handled with extraordinary care. The client’s interests are priority, not the lawyers. We almost always cut our fee to make sure you receive as much money as possible in any settlement. Otherwise, we want you to have a good experience. Our firm handles all types of accident cases such as automobile and motorcycle accidents, truck and bus accidents, slip & fall, medical malpractice, wrongful death and other types of personal injury cases. We handle cases in Flagstaff, Holbrook, Winslow, Williams, Sedona, Cottonwood, Prescott and other parts of the State. Please call us today if you have any questions at (928) 774-5400. Otherwise, please email us at tony@triallawyersaz.com.

Auto Collision Accident in Busy Intersection

Flagstaff’s Most Dangerous Intersection

Auto Collision Accident in Busy Intersection

Some intersections around the state and country are simply more dangerous than others. As is the case with the intersection of Ponderosa Parkway and Route 66 in Flagstaff.


​Recently, the Arizona Daily Sun reported that E. Ponderosa Parkway and E. Route 66 was the most dangerous intersection in Flagstaff. Since the road was redesigend into a four way intersection, accidents have increased from 21 accidents to 47 accidents a year. According to city data, in 2011 there were 2,200 car accidents, 380 injury accidents and 5 fatality accidents.

According to the paper a majority of the accidents reported are caused by distracted driving, such as: texting, talking on the pohne, eating or driver error such as speeding, following to close or not paying attention. To read the full Arizona Daily Sun article click here.

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident of any type first and foremost you must find out how severe the injuries are. If you are clearly severely injured then try to not move until ambulances arrive at the scene of the accident. Back injuries are incredibly prominent in many collisions and movement with a back injury increases the likelihood that the injuries will remain permanent.

If there are no injuries within sight then check with the other people involved in the collision and make sure that they are alright, without having physical contact with them. No matter what the circumstances are call the police to write up an accident report. Many insurance companies have begun to reject claims simply because a police report wasn’t filed. Whether or not you are at fault, calling the police will be beneficial to you when attempting to go through insurance to settle financial disputes.

intersection 2

If there are no injuries within sight then check with the other people involved in the collision and make sure that they are alright, without having physical contact with them. No matter what the circumstances are call the police to write up an accident report. Many insurance companies have begun to reject claims simply because a police report wasn’t filed. Whether or not you are at fault, calling the police will be beneficial to you when attempting to go through insurance to settle financial disputes.

Do not admit any fault until you have consulted an attorney, if needed it is completely acceptable to tell an officer you don’t know the answer to their questions. Overall exercise extraordinary care/caution on the road and when approaching intersections, as many fatalities and extreme injuries can be avoided with the right amount of attention, and by doing so know that you are helping keep the roads as a safer environment.

Here are some tips on safer driving and traveling with care provided by the Arizona Medical Association:

Tip #1: Drive with care.

Always—

  • Plan your trips ahead of time. Decide what time to leave and which roads to take. Try to avoid heavy traffic, poor weather and high-speed areas.
  • Wear your safety belt—and wear it correctly.(It should go over your shoulder and across your lap.)
  • Drive at the speed limit. It’s unsafe to drive too fast or too slow.
  • Be alert! Pay attention to traffic at all times.
  • Keep enough distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • Be extra careful at intersections. Use your turn signals and remember to look around you for people and other cars.
  • Check your blind spot when changing lanes or backing up.
  • Be extra careful at train tracks. Remember to look both ways for trains.
  • When you take a new medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist about side effects. Many medicines may affect your driving even when you feel fine. If your medicine makes you dizzy or drowsy, talk to your doctor to find out ways to take your medicine so it doesn’t affect your driving.

Never—

  • Never drink and drive.
  • Never drive when you feel angry or tired. If you start to feel tired, stop your car somewhere safe. Take a break until you feel more alert.
  • Never eat, drink or use a cell phone while driving.

If—

  • If you don’t see well in the dark, try not to drive at night or during storms.
  • If you have trouble making left turns at an intersection, make three right turns instead of one left turn.
  • If you can, avoid driving in bad weather, such as during rain, sleet or snow.

Tip #2: Take care of your car.

  • Make sure you have plenty of gas in your car.
  • Have your car tuned up regularly.
  • Keep your windshields and mirrors clean.
  • Keep a cloth in your car for cleaning windows.
  • Replace your windshield wiper blades when they become worn out.
  • If you are shopping for a new car, look for a car with power steering and automatic transmission.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in Arizona contact the Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier at 928-774-5400 or visit our website. Remember, The Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier is first and foremost a Plaintiff’s Firm. We represent accident victims, we do not represent insurance companies. We have experience dealing with insurance companies and will not compromise your rights. We will make the insurance company understand that you are not a “file” but a person who suffered because of the negligence of their insured. If you or a loved one was injured while riding a motorcycle contact us and make an appointment at one of our two convenient locations in Flagstaff or Cottonwood.

The Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier.

This article is not a substitute to consulting an attorney and does not predict or guarantee a certain result in your case.

woman with Neck Pain After Accident

The Do’s and Don’ts of Accidents from Flagstaff’s Personal Injury Lawyers

woman with Neck Pain After Accident

If you’ve been involved in a significant auto accident, be sure to take proper measures to protect yourself by following our Do’s and Don’ts detailed below.


What is Personal Injury? Personal injury is the legal term for an injury to a person’s body, mental state and emotions, along with property.

  • To prove that someone is responsible for such injury, the injured party must prove the following:
  • The responsible party had a duty to keep others safe from being injured.
  • The responsible party was at fault.
  • The injured party was injured as a result of the responsible party’s acts or omissions.
  • The injured party suffered damages.

What do I do after an accident and injury?

  • It is always a good idea to call 911 after an accident. Determining who was at fault is also very important because the failure to prove liability may cause an insurance company to deny liability.
  • Never leave the scene of an accident – always wait for law enforcement.
  • Do not discuss fault with the other parties involved in the accident or with bystanders. It is human nature to want to apologize – even if you are not at fault. DON’T APOLOGIZE!
  • Taking photos is also important. Most of us carry a camera in our pocket everywhere we go (camera phones). Photographs are just as important as any police report. Look for skid marks, damaged property, or other results of the accident and document them by taking pictures.
  • Look for witnesses. If you learn that there were witnesses, make sure law enforcement gets witness statements from them.
  • If you are injured, consider going to the hospital by ambulance. This decision is difficult because drivers may not have health insurance, or funds sufficient to pay for ambulance. Nevertheless, if you are injured, the first course of action is to document your injury with a medical provider. Insurance companies consistently devalue cases because the injured person waits too long before he or she seeks medical attention.
  • Get the insurance information from all drivers involved in the accident.
  • Contact the insurance companies involved to make a claim – BE CAREFUL. INSURANCE COMPANIES WILL TRY TO INTERVIEW YOU. EVERYTHING YOU SAY CAN BE USED AGAINST YOU. IT IS BEST TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY MAKE THE CLAIM FOR YOU.
  • Consult an attorney. Most attorneys will give you a free consultation about the accident.

How do I do to start an injury claim?

  • Make sure you have a copy of the police report.
  • Document all medical providers that provide treatment.
  • Write down all of your injury symptoms in a daily journal (our firm gives suggests day planners to our clients to do so)
  • Do not allow gaps in treatment – go to the doctor when ordered or needed.
  • Do not give a recorded statement to insurance companies without the help of an attorney. Again, EVERYTHING YOU SAY CAN BE USED AGAINST YOU. IT IS BEST TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY MAKE THE CLAIM OR STATEMENT FOR YOU.
  • Why do I need an Injury lawyer or Injury Attorney?
  • Accident attorneys or accident law firms have vast experience in dealing with insurance companies. These accident lawyers know that insurance companies still engage in dirty tricks and unethical behavior to get you to accept less money than you are entitled to.
  • Insurance companies work to delay and deny any and all claims – having an injury attorney gives you leverage over these industry giants.

The Law Offices of Gonzales & Poirier are injury lawyers who can handle any personal injury claim. Our injury attorneys are trial attorneys who have vast experience filing personal injury law suits. We are accident attorneys. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, bike accident or any other type of accident, you need injury lawyers to help get you the settlement or verdict you deserve. Insurance companies do not want to pay you for your losses. In Arizona, an injured person hurt in an accident may seek recovery for the following damages:

  1. The nature, extent, and duration of the injury.
  2. The pain, discomfort, suffering, disability, disfigurement, and anxiety already experienced, and likely to be experienced in the future as a result of the injury.
  3. Reasonable expenses of necessary medical care, treatment, and services rendered, and expenses reasonably probable to be incurred in the future.
  4. Lost earnings to date and any decrease in earning power or capacity in the future.
  5. Loss of love, care, affection, companionship, or other pleasures of any relationship.
  6. Loss of enjoyment of life, that is, the participation in life’s activities to the quality and extent normally enjoyed before injury.

Just like each person is a unique individual, your case is unique is different. Therefore you need to talk to an attorney about your particular case and should not use this article as a substitute to seeking the legal advice of an attorney. If after reading this article you have any questions about your case and your rights call us at 928-774-5400. We are a plaintiff’s law firm and only represent injured people.

Woman Signing for Speeding Ticket

Flagstaff Criminal Lawyers Discuss Speeding Tickets

Woman Signing for Speeding Ticket

Depending on the severity of your speeding violation, you may in fact need to retain the counsel of an attorney to fight for your rights and keep your penalties at a minimum.


In Arizona you can receive a citation from criminal or civil speeding depending on how fast the officer alleges you were going over the speed limit. A criminal or civil traffic ticket may have serious consequences to your driver’s license, insurance rate and criminal history. Before you admit guilt or responsibility to a speeding ticket, you should immediately talk to an attorney about your rights and your case.

Flagstaff Criminal Lawyers Discuss Speeding Tickets

While, it is untrue that police, like the Flagstaff Police Department, mandates officers to stop a particular number of traffic offenders. It is true, the Flagstaff Police Department and City of Flagstaff, have incentives to cite a high number of traffic offenders for revenue purposes. In fiscal year 2010 the City of Flagstaff estimated that the Flagstaff Municipal Court would collect $3,100,000 in fines and fees.* Although, this estimate includes fines and fees for criminal offenses, it is staggering to think the amount of revenue the City of Flagstaff collects from speeding and traffic related offenses. Thus, the City of Flagstaff Police Department and City Attorney’s Office will not cut you a “deal” on your case because you were “only going 5 over” because they have no incentive to do otherwise.

If you are cited for a traffic offense you may be eligible for defensive driving/traffic school if you meet certain requirements. Usually, Municipal Court will only allow civil traffic offenders to attend traffic school if they have not attended within the past 24 months. If you are allowed to complete traffic school you have 7 days prior to your date to complete the class and show proof. If you cannot take traffic school for your offense your only option is to either admit responsibility and pay a civil penalty or deny responsibility and request a hearing.

If you admit responsibility, you will be required to pay the fine or be placed on a payment plan. Once you admit responsibility, the court will report the traffic ticket to MVD who will asses points against your driver’s license. If you deny responsibility and request a hearing, you will have a civil traffic trial in front of a judge. Usually, there is no prosecutor and the officer who issued you the ticked will testify and give evidence against you and you may also present evidence on your behalf. The judge will either find you responsible or not responsible. If found responsible by the judge you will be assessed a fine and the court will notify MVD of the offense.

If you were cited for a criminal traffic violation, you can either plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty the court can impose:

  • Fines;
  • Suspension/restriction of your driving privileges;
  • Jail;
  • Community service;
  • Court-ordered education classes; and
  • Notify MVD of your conviction, resulting in points on your driving record.

If you plead not guilty, the court will set a pretrial conference where you meet the prosecutor and a plea may be offered or the case will be set for trial. At trial, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. The prosecutor will usually prove that you violated the traffic statute by calling the officer who issued the ticket as a witness. Once the prosecutor “rests”, you will be afforded the opportunity to present evidence in your defense. Afterwards, the judge will weigh the evidence and find you either guilty or not guilty.

As you can tell, resolving a traffic ticket is a difficult matter and can have serious implications on your rights. Before you admit responsibility or guilt you need to talk to a lawyer. If you, a friend or a loved one has been cited for a criminal or civil traffic violation contact the Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier at 928-774-5400 or visit our office in Flagstaff or Cottonwood. We will review your case because we offer free case consultations.

Your criminal or civil traffic case is unique and this article is not a substitute to consulting and discussing your case with an attorney. If you have further questions contact us at 928-774-5400 or visit our website here.

Train at Railroad Crossing

Flagstaff’s Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss Train Safety

Train at Railroad Crossing

Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike need to be aware of their surroundings, especially when going over railroad crossings, as trains do not have the luxury of being able to stop quickly.


One of the many tourist attractions that Flagstaff has to offer is the railroad that travels through the center of town. Although the sound of the train tracks at work is simply exhilarating, it comes with a major issue of safety. Railroads are private property, and no matter which railroad owns that property, trains have the right of way 100% of the time. Trains receive right of way over police vehicles, over fire trucks, over ambulances. No matter the case the train has the right of way and there are a variety of reasons as to why.

Train Safety Information

Currently the state of Arizona has over 2,200 miles of railroad track running throughout the state. Annually, over five million tons of goods travel out of the State of Arizona and over thirty one million tons of goods travel into the state of Arizona through the use of trains. Goods such as coal, lumber, wood products, stone, glass metal products, chemical and metallic ore, stone products and farm products use the railroad to transport goods.

A typical locomotive weighs roughly 400,000 pounds. If a train was is carrying 100 rail cars it can weigh up to 6000 tons! A train to a car is like a car to a can of soda, and this displays a major safety issue. With such a great amount of weight behind the direction of which it is headed, trains can take up to 1 mile to reach a complete stop. By the time a railroad conductor can see a pedestrian or vehicle it is more than likely too late for the train to come to a complete stop, because of that it is completely up to you to prevent a collision.

We all have see vehicles and pedestrians trying to beat the train at San Francisco, Beaver and Enterprise. We see these cars and pedestrians drive and run past the closing gates, flashing lights and ringing bells. We also see locals and tourist parked in the middle of the railroad tracks oblivious to the dangers. Remember, the train tracks in Flagstaff are active and on any given day about sixty trains travel through Flagstaff.

Safety precautions you can take in order to avoid a collision with a train would be always expecting a train to be on the tracks when approaching a railroad. Never anticipate that a railroad is out of commission simply because of rusty tracks and weeds growing. Do not mix recreation with rail road tracks. If the gates to a rail road track are coming down or if the lights are flashing then do not cross them and avoid blocking the tracks at all costs. Only cross the tracks at designated crossing locations, and last but not least look both directions before entering a railroad crossing.

If you have questions about a personal injury or wrongful death case do not hesitate and contact the Law Offices of Gonzales and Poirier. We are plaintiff attorneys and only represent accident victims. Call us at 928-774-5400 for a free consultation or visit our website here.

Remember if you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of another person you need to consult an attorney. Your civil/personal injury case is unique and this article like any article you read on the internet is not a subsitute to consulting and discussing your case with an attorney.

~The Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier

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