Teen Dies in Phoenix Surface Street Wrong Way DUI Crash
The driver of a pickup truck hit an SUV on its front right side with a family of seven aboard, killing the oldest of five children, Josiah Boteiho, 13, and injured family members who were transported to a hospital. The family had been on the way to church.
(A GoFundMe account has been established for the family at https://gofund.me/99cf1a64)
Shortly after 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 14, Fox 10 News reported the driver of a pickup truck, who police said failed to obey a stop sign and turned into oncoming traffic on Greenway Road near 30th Street.
The pickup truck driver, Bartolome Godinez-Perez, 36, was arrested on vehicular manslaughter and DUI charges. The news report stated that the driver smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes and his speech was slurred.
A field sobriety test showed Perez had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .256, which is three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent. A super extreme DUI is .20 BAC and higher.
Perez had a prior DUI conviction which ended with a plea agreement in 2010, Fox News reported.
Under Arizona Revised Statute §28-1382(A)(2) a super extreme DUI is a Class 1 Misdemeanor offense, the most serious in the misdemeanor range. Causing death and injuries raises a DUI into the felony range. A felony DUI and a second DUI conviction increases the penalties.
Vehicular manslaughterThe most common vehicular manslaughter cases involve a dangerous weapon, which is the vehicle, with the driver speeding, driving aggressively, racing, or driving impaired by alcohol or drugs, even prescription medications.
An involuntary manslaughter charge may be applied in impaired driving cases because the driver did not intend to kill anyone.
Consequences of a manslaughter convictionArizona prison sentencing guideline provisions are comprised of minimum, presumptive, and maximum ranges. For a first-time offender charged with a Class 2 felony manslaughter, the minimum sentence is seven years, the presumptive is 10.5 years, and the maximum prison term is 21 years.
For an offender who has one prior dangerous Class 2 conviction, the minimum is 14 years, the presumptive is 15.75 years, and the maximum is 28 years.
For someone who has two prior Class 2 dangerous felony convictions, the range increases to a minimum of 21 years, a presumptive of 28 years, and a maximum of 35 years.
A judge has the discretion in determining the actual length of the sentence, so the punishments can vary depending upon the facts of the case and the defendant’s criminal history and if it is the person’s first offense or not. The judge may also impose fines and a term of probation after the period of incarceration ends.
Civil financial ramificationsOther than years in prison, the family of the person killed can sue for financial and punitive damages under civil law for causing a wrongful death, to recover what the deceased person could have earned had he or she lived. The offender’s future wages can be garnished. While criminal law requires the state to have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, civil law just requires a far lesser burden of a preponderance of the evidence.
Common vehicular manslaughter defensesWe all are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. And we all have the constitutional right that protects us from convicting ourselves. For those interacting with authorities, it is crucial to invoke the Fifth Amendment because anything said will become evidence against you.
Every manslaughter case has its own particular set of facts that will determine the most effective defense strategy. These are the common defenses:
- Challenging the state’s version that the defendant’s action was reckless
- The death was the fault of the victim
- The death was committed in self-defense
- Errors in residue testing of gunshot cases
- Mistakes in ballistics testing
- Contaminated DNA testing
- The defendant’s confession was coerced
- Reconstructing the crash to show vehicle defects were at fault
- Challenging the accuracy of witness statements
- Violations of Miranda rights to remain silent and to have an attorney
- The police report was misleading or contained substantive errors of fact
- The breathalyzer test was inaccurate because of calibration faults
- Blood draw test result was tainted by improper handling or storage
DUI DefensesArizona provides several defenses to DUI charges. The size, weight, and alcohol tolerance of people play a part in the level of impairment because the body’s metabolism processes alcohol at different rates over time. These are common DUI Defenses:
- Police did not have a legal right to detain you
- Authorities made errors during the field sobriety test
- Breathalyzer and blood test results can be flawed
- How quickly a person can process alcohol
- Police did not have the legal right to search you or your vehicle
- Police did not advise you of your right to remain silent and have a defense attorney present during questioning
- Errors were made on the police report
Aaron M. Black Law for DUI defenseShould you or someone you care for be charged or are under investigation for a DUI, it is imperative that you have an experienced DUI defense attorney such as myself to defend you at the earliest possible time.
In my long career as a DUI defense attorney, I know that good people can find themselves in legal trouble. That is why I work hard to ensure they have the best defense possible. My goal is always to get the charge dismissed. If the police have a strong case; I will, with your permission, negotiate a plea agreement for a lesser charge, such as reckless driving.
Aaron M. Black Law provides personalized legal services. You will always be talking directly to me at every stage of your case.
Call Now: Begin your DUI defense immediately by calling 480-729-1683 at any time on any day and I will respond promptly unless I am in court on at trial. Or use the online contact form on my website.
I defend DUI cases courts throughout Arizona, including the cities of Phoenix & Scottsdale, and Maricopa, Pinal, Yavapai, and Coconino County courts.
About the Author
Aaron Black is the founder and sole attorney of the Law Office of Aaron Black. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his DUI and criminal defense law firm provides legal services to people who have received felony or misdemeanor charges from the state.Aaron has developed a strong interest in defending people who have been arrested and received criminal charges for driving under the influence. With his professionalism and knowledge of Arizona DUI and criminal law, he has acted as a check and balance on the police, prosecution and courts and has protected a great number of his clients from excessive and unfair sentencing.
Along with DUI defense, Aaron handles a range of other criminal defense matters, including aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud defense, insurance fraud, sex crimes, and white-collar crime cases.
After graduating college in 2003 from the University of Arizona, Aaron decided to pursue a law degree. He followed a family long tradition and went to the University of South Dakota School of Law where he pursued his goal of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.
After passing the Arizona and South Dakota bar exams, Aaron joined the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender where he defended hundreds of people charged with serious criminal offenses. His work as a public defender helped him sharpen his litigation skills and gave him a unique insight into the Arizona criminal justice system.
Over the course of his 15-year legal career, Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in both Arizona justice, municipal, state and federal courts. He has argued over 50 jury trials, tried over 100 bench trials and has become one of the highest-rated criminal and DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. He has received a 10/10 rating from the legal directory Avvo because of his legal background and successful case record. Since 2014, he has received the Super Lawyer rating for his work as a Phoenix DUI Attorney and criminal defense attorney.
You can review Aaron’s Attorney Bio page for more information about his background, education and experience as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.