A DUI conviction carries a number of devastating effects and legal penalties. Arizona is well-known for having some of the harshest DUI penalties in the nation. Regardless of the level, Arizona DUI’s result in jail or prison, high fines, required classes, license suspension, and in many cases the requirement to install an ignition interlock device for a year or more. If someone is a professional driver, or if driving is an aspect of their employment, a DUI conviction could undermine their ability to earn a living. It could also harm a person’s reputation and subject them to a lawsuit.
Picking the right Mesa DUI Lawyer can have a major impact on the outcome of your case. Arranging a consultation to discuss your circumstances is a wise move. The sooner you begin investigating legal options, the better your chances of reducing the burden of a DUI charge. Good advice increases your chances of a good outcome.
WARNING: You have 15 days from the date of your arrest to challenge your license suspension, or you may give up the chance to stop it.
Many people are surprised to hear that once someone is arrested for DUI, even if it is later determined that the blood alcohol level does not justify conviction, or if a non-DUI plea is reached, or a jury finds them “not guilty” at trial, they are still subjected to a suspension of their license. Unless they act quickly.
A person or their attorney has a right to request a hearing prior to the suspension of their license goes into effect 15 days after their arrest. Once the hearing is requested, the suspension is “stayed”, and the accused will maintain the right to drive until a hearing is held. It is very important to exercise this right.
Another negative effect on your driver’s license, if the suspension is not handled correctly, is that you may end up with an “SR-22” restriction on your license. This would make it so that your driving privilege would be restricted so that you would not be allowed to drive a vehicle without “SR-22” insurance. This is a high-risk insurance that can cost a great deal of money every month and can cause issues if driving is part of employment.
If someone refuses to consent to a blood, breath or urine test when requested by law enforcement when suspected of DUI, their license will be suspended for 1 year. Under Chapter 28 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, anyone who operates a motor vehicle in Arizona consents to having their blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance tested if they are pulled over for driving under the influence. To administer a test, a police officer must have reasonable grounds to believe that a driver is intoxicated or, if the driver has not yet reached the age of 21, has liquor in their body. A driver who will not take a test must be informed that refusing will cause a one-year suspension of their driver’s license or permit.
A DUI test that reveals a concentration of .08 percent or more alcohol in the driver’s body (or .04 percent or more if they drive a commercial vehicle) results in the suspension of their license for at least 90 days. A test revealing a prohibited drug in the body of a driver who has no valid prescription for the substance also leads to suspension. But in practice, if the officer files the suspension paperwork before any blood or breath has been proven, the suspension will occur before it can be avoided.
Someone charged with driving under intoxication can discuss strategies for avoiding or minimizing the effect of a suspension, avoiding the SR-22, and avoiding or minimizing the conviction by speaking with a DUI lawyer in the nearby area.
During the arraignment of someone charged with a DUI, the accused is informed of their right to a jury trial and may receive one if they choose. Someone convicted of a DUI faces a maximum penalty of six months in jail, a $2,500 fine, and 5 years of probation. However, it is rare for these maximums to be imposed. The minimum penalties are that that a person convicted of DUI must be sentenced to at least ten days in jail with up to 9 of them suspended, must pay a fine of at least $250, $500 to the prison construction and operations fund, another $500 to the public safety equipment fund, and may be responsible for community restitution. Higher blood alcohol concentrations and prior DUI’s within seven years can greatly increase the minimum penalties.
But there may be a possibility to get an outcome of a lower offense of DUI than charged, or avoiding a DUI conviction altogether. Someone hoping to avoid such penalties could arrange a consultation with a Mesa, AZ DUI attorney to discuss potential legal strategies for avoiding a conviction.
Most drivers find a DUI charge and other potential consequences of intoxicated driving scary and confusing. An ordinary traffic ticket for speeding or making an illegal turn, or a traffic accident that turns out to be a minor fender bender, while unpleasant, generally allow a driver to pick up the pieces, pay the costs, and get on with their life. A DUI charge threatens longer-lasting consequences.
You may be able to pick up the pieces, however. Someone who understands your circumstances and knows how to protect your rights could steer you toward a favorable outcome. A consultation with a Mesa DUI lawyer could get you on your way.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, you will work with an experience DUI attorney. You will not be pushed off to an inexperienced or unknowledgeable lower level associate. You will receive the absolute best in representation and the greatest opportunity to reduce or eliminate charges. And if your case is one that makes sense to take to trial, you will have the best trial attorneys in the State.