If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), you may face severe penalties if convicted. A charge of DUI should always be taken seriously, and you should certainly seek legal representation.
Arizona has stringent DUI laws, and the city and county attorneys for the State of Arizona are very dedicated to prosecuting these cases to the fullest extent. If you have been charged with a DUI, you face hefty fines and jail time. A conviction of a DUI may also lead to issues at work and the possible requirement to purchase SR22 insurance on your vehicle in the future.
Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Intoxicated are two terms used for essentially the same criminal charge. The police and the court systems often use these terms interchangeably, with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) being the most commonly used term.
DUI or DWI can apply to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, whether those drugs are prescription, over the counter or illegal.
The state of Arizona has categorized their DUI charges as either misdemeanors or felonies to help the courts determine the penalties associated with the conviction. The state has also subcategorized these categories to include different levels of intoxication: regular, extreme, and super extreme. The facts of your arrest will determine what type and level you will be charged with when you go to court.
The main differences between a misdemeanor and a felony is the severity of the penalties. A misdemeanor sentence that requires jail time will most likely be spent in the city or county jail, while a felony jail sentence may be much longer and required to be served in a prison.
Anyone who is arrested for a DUI with a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of .15% or less, if it is their first, and possibly second, arrest for this offense will be charged with a misdemeanor DUI.
Arizona law requires that any first offense conviction of misdemeanor DUI requires at least ten days in jail. However, nine days can be suspended if the person successfully completes a mandatory alcohol screening and classes.. A fine and fees of approximately $1,600 will be imposed on the person convicted, not including the cost of jail, the Ignition Interlock Device or increased automobile insurance premiums.
An Extreme DUI is one where a person who was arrested had a BAC level of .151 to .199%. Arizona law mandates, on a first offense, a 30-day jail sentence with the potential to suspend 21 days of that sentence if the person installs the Ignition Interlock Device into their vehicle for at least one year. Of the remaining jail time, 80% of the time may be eligible for home detention or the Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Program. The law requires successful completion of a mandatory alcohol screening and classes.. A fine and fees of approximately $2800 will be imposed on the person convicted, not including the cost of jail, the ignition interlock device or increased automobile insurance premiums.
Any DUI arrest that has a BAC of .20% or higher is considered a super extreme DUI. With a first offense, there is a mandatory jail sentence of 45 days with 31 days eligible for suspension if the person installs the Ignition Interlock Device into their vehicle for at least one year. Of the remaining jail time, 80% of the time may be eligible for home detention or the Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Program. The law requires successful completion of a mandatory alcohol screening and classes.. A fine and fees of approximately $3200 will be imposed on the person convicted, not including the cost of jail, the ignition interlock device or increased automobile insurance premiums.
It should be understood that these are just the minimum penalties. If there was an accident or any other aggravating factors, the court could impose stricter penalties..If you have a second offense DUI within 72 months, the penalties increase substantially.
A felony DUI is officially charged as an Aggravated DUI or Aggravated DWI. You will only be charged with aggravated DUI if:
• This is your third arrest in a 72-month period for DUI
• You were driving under the influence when you were supposed to have an Ignition Interlock Device in place
• You were driving with a suspended or revoked license
• You had a person age 15 or under in the vehicle at the time of your arrest (“Child in Car”}
All felony DUI convictions require a prison sentence, except for the Felony DUI with a Child in Car. If it is your first conviction, you will spend a minimum of 4 months in prison with a maximum of up to 3.75 years in prison, with supervised probation for up to 10 years.. The fine is approximately $4,700 and your driver’s privileges will be revoked for a period of one year. You will also be required to use an Ignition Interlock Device for two years..
If it is your second or third felony conviction, you can expect substantial more prison time and fines with each conviction.
Any time that you face a DUI or DWI charge, you should have quality legal representation. A conviction, even for a misdemeanor, can change everything about your life. You will face jail or prison time, large fines, and many other associated expenses.
These expenses will not just be the ones imposed by the Mesa court. If you are convicted of any level of DUI, you may have to carry SR22 insurance. This is an expensive policy that will be required because of the conviction. You will also face additional personal expenses such as transportation costs while your driving privileges are revoked.
To arrive at the best possible outcome for your criminal arrest, work with Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law. I have helped many people successfully fight their DUI arrests and arrive at the best outcome for their case.