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What to Know About Arizona Defensive Driving School

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Like many states, Arizona assigns a point value to every moving violation and traffic offense. Anyone who gets more than eight points assessed against their license within a 12-month period is subject to mandatory Traffic Survival School attendance or a license suspension. In some situations, you can avoid having points assessed against your license following a traffic offense by successfully completing a Defensive Driving class.

While this is not, and should not be, interpreted as a “get-out-of-jail-free card,” it can be a valuable option for people who do not have a history of getting traffic tickets and are looking to avoid more serious consequences. Here is a brief overview of what to know about Arizona Defensive Driving School, and a traffic defense lawyer can discuss each aspect in further detail.

Who Is Eligible for Defensive Driving School?

First and foremost, only certain traffic violations in Arizona are “eligible” for dismissal through completion of a Defensive Driving course. Any offense which does not appear on the following list provided by the Arizona court system is not eligible for the purposes of a Defensive Driving Course.

Additionally, applicants cannot have attended Defensive Driving School for a traffic offense in Arizona within the 12 months prior to their application, nor can they apply for Defensive Driving School based on a traffic violation which led to someone suffering a serious or fatal injury. As of 2019, people with Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) ticketed for traffic violations may be eligible for Defensive Driving School, but only if they meet all the criteria mentioned above and were driving a vehicle with Class D or Class M license requirements for a non-commercial purpose.

How to Apply for Defensive Driving School in Arizona

There are various options for Defensive Driving School which Arizona residents can apply for online, over the phone, or in person. Only courses approved by the Arizona Supreme Court will count as “Defensive Driving School” for the purposes of getting a traffic ticket dismissed. Typically, the application process will require the applicant to mail, fax, or email photocopies of their driver’s license and their traffic violation to their chosen school. The school will then send those documents to state authorities to confirm eligibility.

Eligible applicants must then pay all required fees, including not only the cost of the course itself, but also state fees of $69 and a court diversion fee, the exact value of which may vary depending on the county and court involved. All told, applicants can expect this process to cost somewhere between $150 and $250, though different areas of Arizona may have different average prices.

How Long Does Defensive Driving School Take?

State law requires Arizona Defensive Driving Courses to last at least four and a half hours in total, and participants must complete their selected course at least seven full days before their assigned court date for their traffic offense. Most classes can be taken online, but in-person options are also available from many course providers.

An experienced traffic defense lawyer can answer any further questions you may have about Defensive Driving School in Arizona during a confidential consultation. Call today to schedule yours.