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Tag Archives: defensive driving
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.

Children at Play Road Sign

Car Accident Attorney Message: When Children are at Play, Drive Carefully!

Children at Play Road Sign

Any residential neighborhood has the potential for children to be playing. Please drive slowly and with extreme caution whenever you drive through a neighborhood.


The Arizona Daily Sun reported another tragic accident where a young Flagstaff child died after being struck by an automobile. These sort of wrongful death accidents are devastating to parents, families and the community. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, the driver was a 59-year old woman who was driving in a local neighborhood at 25 mph. The driver slowed to 20 mph when she saw that there were children playing in a yard. However, the victim was struck by a vehicle when she darted from the opposite side of the road. Read the full article here.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, motor vehicles are responsible for one of every five deaths among children 1–14 years of age in the United States, and pedestrian injuries account for one fourth of them. Pedestrian injuries are typically more severe than vehicle occupant injuries, which are more than 5 times likely to result in death. Traumatic brain injury accounts for more than half the fatalities. The child pedestrian death rate has declined during the past several decades in the United States.

At Gonzales and Poirier, we recognize that no amount of financial compensation settlement or award can ever replace a child. However, we dedicated lawyers who can help find justice for you. Our experienced attorneys will investigate an accident to determine if another person or entity is response for your loss. It is not uncommon for our attorneys to hire accident re-constructionists or other experts to determine liability.

If you or a loved one is injured, or if a loved one has died as a result of an accident, call or email the attorneys at the Law Offices of Gonzales and Poirier for a free consultation. All injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, so we don’t get paid, unless we collect money for you. We handle cases over all of Arizona, including Flagstaff, Holbrook, Winslow, Sedona, Camp Verde, Cottonwood, Prescott and Phoenix. Call us at (928) 774-5400. Otherwise, email us at tony@triallawyersaz.com. You may visit our website atwww.triallawyersaz.com and www.triallawyersaz.com.

This article is not a substitute to speaking with an experienced attorney. If you have questions about you or a loved one’s rights, contact us at 928-774-5400.

Flooded Roads After Monsoon Rains

Monsoon Weather Driving Tips

Flooded Roads After Monsoon Rains

Unlike parts of the nation that constantly receive rain, Arizona’s Monsoon Season storms provide more rain than the ground can deal with, causing flooding and slick road conditions.


This may be one of the rainiest monsoon seasons Flagstaff has seen in almost a hundred years. The record was in July 1919 when 7.58 inches of rain fell in Flagstaff. At this time, approximately 7 inches of rain has fallen in Flagstaff causing flooding, run offs and dangerous road conditions. When it rains in Flagstaff it pours, sometimes more than 2 inches in several hours making for low visibility and slick roads.

The Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier would like to reiterate the following rainy road driving tips, from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, so everyone can get home safely.[i]

  • First and foremost SLOW DOWN. The posted speed limit may not be a safe speed to travel in bad weather. On wet roads your vehicle will have less traction than on a dry road. Slower travel speeds allow for safer braking and stopping distances.
  • Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle ahead of you and be aware of the vehicles around you in other travel lanes. Braking and shorter stopping distances will be affected by wet roads and slippery roadway surfaces.
  • Watch carefully for water pooling on the roadway surface as this could cause your vehicle to slide or hydroplane.
  • Do not enter an area where the roadway has been closed by barricades due to flooding. You don’t know how deep the water is or how fast it is running. Besides, it is against the law and very dangerous to drive into a flooded area!
  • Drive with your headlights on. This increases your visibility to other vehicles.
  • At night, slow down and pay close attention to changing road and weather conditions.
  • Strong winds can be associated with a monsoon storm. Watch for blowing dust and if at all possible, avoid driving into a dust storm.
  • If you cannot avoid the dust storm drive with your headlights on and slow down. Do not stop on the roadway or on the emergency shoulder area. Pull completely off the roadway surface, stop, and turn off all vehicle lights and take your foot off of the brake.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Ensure your head and tail lamps along with your turn signals are working properly. Replace worn out tires for better traction and maintain proper tire air pressure, replace worn out windshield wiper blades, keep windshield washer fluid topped off, and see that the brakes are in good condition.
  • Be prepared for unforeseen delays, such as flooded roads, construction or other traffic delays. Carry extra food and water in your vehicle.
  • If you suffer a mechanical breakdown or tire failure, remain calm, slow down, keep the steering wheel straight, and drive the vehicle to a safe area as far from traffic as possible.
  • ALWAYS wear your safety restraints.
  • Be patient and courteous. Remember other motorists are facing the same weather conditions as you.

If you or a loved one is injured, or if a loved one has died as a result of an accident, call or email the attorneys at the Law Offices of Gonzales and Poirier for a free consultation. All injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, so we don’t get paid, unless we collect money for you. We handle cases over all of Arizona, including Flagstaff, Holbrook, Winslow, Sedona, Camp Verde, Cottonwood, Prescott and Phoenix. Call us at (928) 774-5400. Otherwise, email us attony@triallawyersaz.com. You may visit our website at www.triallawyersaz.com andwww.triallawyersaz.com.

Remember this article is not a substitute to speaking with an experienced attorney. If you have questions about you or a loved one’s rights, contact us at 928-774-5400.

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