If you’ve made the unfortunate mistake of drinking and driving in the state of Arizona, we offer as much information as possible to help you choose an effective DUI attorney to represent you in a court of law. This is no time to go at it alone, simply because of all the legalities and options that only an experienced professional can advise you about.
It is important to understand what you are up against. The best advice would be not to drink and drive. That being said, if you have chosen to do so, the legal limit of intoxication in Arizona is .08%. If convicted of a DUI in Arizona, you will face mandatory jail time, alcohol screening and counseling, fines, license suspension and ignition interlock requirement.
Driving under the influence in the state of Arizona is a serious, criminal offense. In accordance with the state implied consent law, which becomes effective as soon as you obtain a valid driver’s license, an officer has the right to request a blood/breath/urine test if they suspect that you are impaired due to alcohol or drugs. In most instances, the arresting officer supplies you with a temporary driver’s license that lasts approximately 15 days. This is so you can request a hearing to contest the suspension and put the 90 day or 12 month suspension on hold.
In addition to the Arizona Department of Transportation hearing, you will also have to respond to the criminal case and appear before a judge in court. Beware – failure to appear in court during the specified time and date will result in a warrant for your arrest. Once you appear, the judge reads the charges and possible sentences for the charges.
An attorney who specializes in DUI defense has a working knowledge of the court system and personnel, and can assess and evaluate your situation to provide the best possible defense strategy with the least harm to your reputation and finances, along with the smallest amount of jail time. An important aspect to choosing any attorney is asking questions about their case load, ensuring that your case will be handled with enough of the lawyers’ attention to provide a quality defense.
There is a mandatory jail stay in Arizona if you are convicted of a DUI. The length of time depends on results of the alcohol level tested, your DUI history and anything else relating to your arrest. Those who are convicted of a first offense, referred to as a regular DUI, and have had a reading of below .15%, will spend a minimum of 24 hours in jail. If you tested between .15% and .20%, the minimum then jumps to 30 days in jail. Above .20% and you will be incarcerated for a minimum of 45 days. Additional jail time is assessed, lasting as long as 4 months, if the conviction is for an aggravated (felony) DUI.
Additionally, Arizona law requires that fines are levied dependent on your alcohol concentration and DUI history. You may also have to attend classes and have an ignition interlock device installed in your automobile.
Arizona is known to have some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. The changes, as of January 1, 2010, made by the legislature regarding DUI laws have not made it easier for DUI offenders, and in fact, have made it more advantageous for the offenders to hire an attorney with a proven record of success in DUI cases.
Extreme DUI offenders with alcohol concentrations between .15% and .20% are facing a mandated 90-day suspension of their driver’s license and the installation of ignition interlock device on their vehicle for 12-18 months after their license has been reinstated. They could incur fines exceeding $2,700 and continuous monitoring of their alcohol concentration for 30 days or more, while being required to submit to probation for up to 5 years. There is also the possibility of having to attend a traffic survival school and a MADD victim impact panel.
Needless to say, those DUI convictions are dependent on the prosecution of the case against you, and that is why your choice of a qualified expert in the field of Arizona DUI law is so very important. You want to be represented by someone who has a clear understanding of all the circumstances in your case, and the knowledge and skill to garner the best possible outcome for you.
Establishing a rapport with your attorney needs to include honest dialogue between you. Your choice of a DUI lawyer should depend upon whether the attorney will truthfully explain what you are facing while making his expertise and experience available to you in the forms of advice, defense and encouragement.
We understand that no one can guarantee the results of any criminal court proceeding, but we offer expertise and skill that will optimize your chances of a successful outcome.
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