A DUI charge can be overwhelming as these allegations can affect many facets of your life, including your job and driving privileges. A DUI conviction might also result in jail time, community service, and professional repercussions.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or any drug, you need an Arizona DUI lawyer to provide advice and relentless representation. To preserve your rights, act quickly and consult a skilled attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group today.
If you are charged with DUI, your driver’s license will likely be automatically suspended. You have a total of 15 days following your arrest to apply for a hearing with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) to oppose the suspension of your driver’s license. We include this in our representation. Once we file for a hearing, your license will remain in good standing at least until we have a hearing at ADOT/ MVD.
The MVD hearing is a civil hearing that takes place separately from your criminal case and concerns the status of your driving privileges. It is your only opportunity to keep your license. Obtaining legal counsel as soon as possible is important in an Arizona DUI case, as it takes time for an attorney to prepare an effective defense.
Some people wonder whether it really matters whether they have an attorney for their DUI. Or if they do, does it matter which lawyer they use. Some say, I know I’m guilty so what’s the point? Or, you’ve told me about all the penalties, isn’t it all decided already? NO! Here are a few thoughts.
As described below, there are multiple moving parts to a DUI case. There is also a variety of ways and order of events that can occur. Without someone you can call and a proactive resource to tell you what to expect and what is happening along the way, this process will seem absolutely random and stress-filled.
A “side-effect” of a criminal DUI charge is that MVD/ADOT initiates its own process and consequences that impact your ability to drive. For 95% of people, this is a devastating process. An attorney who helps you with this (not all of them do) will help minimize the chance of a suspension. If a suspension does occur, they can help manage the timing of it and avoid additional consequences such as an SR-22 restriction on your license that can occur if you do not handle it in the right way to avoid it. SR-22 is a requirement on your license that you carry high-risk insurance.
Most misdemeanor courts allow us to appear on behalf of our clients. DUI’s do not get resolved at the first hearing. It generally takes about 4 hearings, sometimes more and sometimes less. Having a skilled Arizona attorney means you will likely have to show up one time when the DUI case is ready to resolve, saving you many hours. In addition, the right attorney will keep you informed throughout the process, decreasing the stress and anxiety that comes when you have no idea what is happening in your case.
Court is complicated in general. But the nature of DUI is even more so. This is due, partially, on the use of chemical tests (blood or breath) to prove the case. These are often not available right away and can cause delays and confusion for those that do not know what is happening. Some mistakenly believe the charge has gone away, and often people end up with bench warrants for their arrest when the case is later charged. We help clients whose charges are pending to ensure this does not happen. This also causes confusion since the MVD/ ADOT suspension process may be going forward while the criminal case is not.
If there is any kind of conviction of DUI, there is a long list of requirements to complete. And again, it is confusing. Many people fail to complete them simply because they do not know the process. So even after the case is complete, we assist our clients to help them ensure they move on as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Those who represent themselves in a DUI have no idea if they are making good decisions about how to resolve the case. They are not aware of the MVD consequences of how they resolve their criminal case. They generally are not aware of the viability of other options, such as trial or a substantive motion to suppress or dismiss and no way to fight it. They have no real leverage by saying they will go to trial. Not only does making informed decisions lead to better outcomes, but it decreased the stress and uncertainty of the process, as well as the frustration of consequences down the road that were unexpected.
The outcome in a DUI case is not a foregone conclusion. There are defenses to be made, mitigation to be presented, and at the very least some benefits to be scratched and fought for so that the impact to your life is as minimal as possible. When you hire GCLG for your Arizona DUI case, you will know that the outcome was the best possible outcome. Every stone was turned, every argument made.
In Arizona, there are several different types of DUI. These charges range from a misdemeanor to a felony. Most DUI’s are misdemeanors. But if a DUI is charged and the State believes the person’s license was suspended at the time of the DUI, it will often be charged as a felony. Some other conditions that can cause it to be charged as a felony is if there is a child in the car at the time, if the person has 2 DUI convictions in the previous 7 years, or if the person was driving in violation of an ignition interlock requirement. The Arizona State legislature has also added a category where they can charge it as a felony if a DUI is committed, and the person is driving the wrong way or on the wrong side of the road.
The amount of alcohol or drugs in a person’s body will not cause the case to be charged as a felony. A DUI is charged as a misdemeanor if:
However, misdemeanor DUI offense consequences can quickly escalate for prior convictions or higher blood alcohol levels. It is crucial for those facing any type of intoxicated driving accusation to consult a knowledgeable attorney at our firm about the specifics of the charges against them.
Under ARS 4-1381, a first-time DUI offense could lead to ten days in jail, approximately $2,000 in fines and fees, license suspension, and required enrollment and completion in drug and alcohol classes. An alcohol DUI conviction also necessitates installing an alcohol interlock device in one’s vehicle for six to eighteen months.
A convicted motorist faces 30 days to 6 months in jail and mandatory enrollment in drug and alcohol classes for a second DUI within seven years. Additionally, a second DUI conviction will result in a one-year license suspension, elevated fines of $3,000 to $5,000, and an interlock ignition device on their vehicle.
A third conviction in 7 years can be charged as a felony. The defendant faces a minimum of four months in prison, a one-year license suspension, and extensive fines. This is also in addition to the interlocking ignition device placed in their vehicle.
These are the mandatory minimums under the law. There are defenses and work that your attorney can do to reduce the charges and penalties. When the potential penalties are this severe, it is essential that those accused of driving under the influence seek counsel from an experienced Arizona DUI attorney.
DUI cases are complicated and can have life-altering repercussions. The effects on driving privileges, risk of jail, fines and probation all make it difficult to maintain employment and threatens your reputation. Even worse, a jail sentence threatens your freedom and entire way of life. A criminal conviction can also negatively affect your future employment and finances.
However, you do not have to fight these charges on your own. At the Grand Canyon Law Group, our Arizona DUI lawyers can provide seasoned counsel and relentless defense to protect your way of life. We are former DUI prosecutors who know how to fight the case for the best outcome and guide you through the process. Call our office as soon as possible to get started on your case.