Most people are aware that if you are convicted of driving under the influence, you face serious consequences. While a first time DUI is generally a misdemeanor, even if you have a clean driving record, and have never before been convicted of misdemeanor DUI before, the consequences can be staggering.
The possibility of jail time, fines, assessments, license suspensions and insurance increases make it essential that you evaluate all possible defenses to DUI.
Pursuant to current Arizona DUI laws (A.R.S. § 28-1381), it is a misdemeanor DUI for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle under any of the following circumstances:
In addition to the penalties for DUI that a person may suffer through the criminal court process, in Arizona there is also a mandatory license suspension for DUI.
Often times, when a person is cited for misdemeanor DUI, the arresting officer will confiscate the person’s driver license and leave them with Admin per Se paperwork. This paperwork acts as your driver license for the 15 days after being cited for misdemeanor DUI. After that the 15-day grace period, your Arizona driving privilege will be suspended for:
Known as Arizona’s Implied Consent Law, MVD can suspend a person’s license even if you haven’t been convicted of DUI. However, while rarely explained by law enforcement, you can request a hearing to contest the legality of the license suspension for DUI. By following the instructions on the back of the affidavit, reviewing the procedures online or by contacting a Phoenix DUI lawyer your license can be saved.
REMEMBER: You, or an attorney on your behalf, MUST request the hearing within 15 days of being arrested in order to stop the automatic license suspension for DUI.
The penalties for misdemeanor DUI in Arizona are severe. Even without a prior criminal history, a misdemeanor DUI will result in mandatory jail time, fines and classes. Furthermore, the conviction will be reported to Arizona MVD who will take action against your driver license.
If you are convicted of a first offense DUI in Arizona, you can expect:
If you are convicted of a second offense DUI in Arizona within 7 years, you can expect:
If you have two or more prior misdemeanor DUI convictions, the next one will be charged as Aggravated or Felony DUI, a class 4 felony in our state.
With penalties for misdemeanor DUI as strict as they are in Arizona, it is the utmost importance to evaluate each case for possible defenses to DUI. Consulting with an experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer should give you a better understanding of the defenses that should be used in your specific case. That said, common DUI defenses include:
This list of defense to DUI is not meant to be exhaustive and the defense that fits any one case should be tailored specifically. At Feldman & Royle, we are Phoenix DUI lawyers dedicated to finding the best defenses to our client’s cases.
Even for a first offense with no aggravating factors, the penalties for a misdemeanor DUI conviction can radically affect your life and that of your family. In addition to the impact a license suspension can have on your job, things as simple as going out to a restaurant or a social gathering all will change merely by virtue of a conviction. When you add in jail time, heavy fines, an ignition interlock device and insurance increases, a conviction can turn your life upside down.
Choosing Phoenix DUI lawyers who specialize in misdemeanor DUI cases will give you the best chances of a positive outcome. Many DUI arrests do not result in convictions –some are dismissed, some result in reckless driving convictions and some result in not guilty verdicts at trial. To give yourself the best chance of avoiding the harsh penalties associated with a conviction contact Feldman & Royle for a free consultation.