The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C.


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Attorney Michelle Behan Argues DUI Case Before Arizona Supreme Court

Attorney Michelle Behan Argues DUI Case Before Arizona Supreme Court

On February 7, 2019, Attorney Michelle Behan presented arguments before the Arizona Supreme Court in a case involving a DUI arrest. In the case of Diaz v. Hon. Bernini, et al., Ms. Behan argued on behalf of a woman arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Tuscon.

This case involved the question of whether requests by police officers to perform testing of a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) following a DUI arrest constitutes coercion. The defendant in this case, Ms. Diaz, had been arrested for DUI and was read an admonition by officers stating that drivers who operate a motor vehicle in Arizona give implied consent for BAC testing, and refusal to submit to testing will result in the suspension of a driver’s Arizona driving privileges. While Ms. Diaz agreed to testing, she argued at trial that her consent was not voluntary and asked to have the results of the test suppressed.

While the request to suppress the results of the BAC test were granted, this ruling was appealed to a higher court, which ruled that the consent was not voluntary, but that a good-faith exception applied in this case. Under this exception, the police officer was allowed to obtain evidence because they believed that they were acting lawfully. After an appeal by Ms. Diaz, the case was heard by the Arizona Supreme Court.

When presenting the case to the Arizona Supreme Court, Ms. Behan argued that a statutory violation occurred, and that Ms. Diaz’s consent to BAC testing was not voluntary. She stated that the prevailing precedent in Arizona in cases involving a statutory violation is to apply the exclusionary rule, which allows evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to be suppressed.

Ms. Behan is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Navy and a former Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She has worked as an Assistant Public Defender at the Tucson City Public Defender’s Office and was awarded the 2015 Tucson Women’s Commission Rising Star Award. She has successfully defended clients in a wide variety of DUI cases, and she has previously defeated a number of appellate challenges by the State of Arizona.

About The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C.:

The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C. is a Tucson-based criminal defense law firm representing individuals facing DUI and other criminal charges throughout Arizona, including Pima, Santa Cruz, Cochise, Graham and Pinal counties. To contact their office and set up an initial consultation, call 520-220-5047 or contact them online.

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