New Arizona DUI Law to Have a Serious Impact on Defendants, Lawyers Say

Peoria, AZ (PressExposure) August 22, 2011 -- It's now more important than ever to have a lawyer on your side when facing a DUI charge in Arizona, according to the criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Corso & Rhude.

Legislators in Arizona recently enacted a new law that changes the way DUI trials are handled by the state, taking away the option of a jury trial for non-extreme DUI cases and replacing it with an automatic bench trial. All extreme DUI and second offense DUI charges will still continue to have automatic jury trials.

The Arizona law (SB1200) will take effect Dec. 31 after a petition to place the measure on the 2012 ballot fell short of the required signatures.

"What this means for a defendant is significant," said Christopher Corso, a partner at the Law Office of Corso & Rhude. "Before, we would argue a case in front of a jury of peers of the accused. Now judges are hearing the cases exclusively and that changes the landscape of the trial."

According to Corso, the differences will be substantial. Judges will bring their experience to the case and will factor in much more prominently in the absence of jury.

"The burden of proof hasn't changed but the audience hearing the case has and that means an experienced DUI defense lawyer is now necessary," said Corso, a former Maricopa County prosecutor. "Having an attorney who can negotiate as a result of understanding the prosecution's side is key as is the relationship or trust factor we bring to the case as former prosecutors.

"We bridge the gap between the prosecution and defense. There is a trust present with us that may not exist with other defense attorneys."

Among the concerns Corso and his law partner John Rhude have with the new Arizona DUI law is the impact it will have on plea deals as trials without juries now will be shortened from a full day to just a few hours.

"I anticipate the state will be harsher and more aggressive given the change in the law," Corso said. "It's why having an experienced criminal attorney with excellent negotiating skills is a must. Plea deals will be harder to negotiate and more cases will go to trial because of the expedited nature of the trial schedule now. Defense wins will be harder to achieve, meaning a defendant must choose their attorney wisely."

Corso says it's why such cases require the experienced Arizona DUI defense lawyers at the Law Office of Corso & Rhude. Combined, the Law Office of Corso and Rhude has handled more than 15,000 DUI cases as prosecutors and defense attorneys.

The Law Office of Corso & Rhude works hard to include all family members in the legal process, communicating with their clients and their families every step of the way. Including everyone in the process alleviates stress during the legal process.

The Law Office of Corso & Rhude is well versed in both family law and criminal law. As former Maricopa County prosecutors, they have more than a decade's worth of combined experience in the prosecutor's office. The legal team believes that everyone has the right to experienced attorneys who will fight for their rights, helping to educate their clients in the hopes of lessening the occurrences in the future and including their families in all proceedings.

In addition to DUI defense, the Law Office of Corso & Rhude handles all criminal defense cases, including domestic violence defense, possession of drugs, felony drug charges, photo radar, criminal speeding, disorderly conduct and marijuana possession.

The experienced defense lawyers at Corso & Rhude serve clients throughout Arizona, including the cities of Ahwatukee, Avondale, Buckeye, Chandler, El Mirage, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sun City, Tempe, Tolleson and Youngtown.

The Law Office of Corso & Rhude, PLLC is located at 9210 W. Union Hills Drive, Suite 102, Peoria, Arizona, 85382. To schedule a free consultation, please visit or call (602) 254-3188.

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About The Law Office of Corso & Rhude

Al Stevens
The Law Office of Corso & Rhude
9210 W. Union Hills Drive, Suite 102
Peoria, AZ 85382

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Press Release Submitted On: August 22, 2011 at 2:35 am
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