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IF CONVICTED OF YOUR FIRST MISDEMEANOR “REGULAR” DUI (IMPAIRED TO THE SLIGHTEST DEGREE OR OVER A BAC LEVEL OF .08%)
The punishment for your first conviction of misdemeanor "regular" DUI is at least 10 days in jail. Of those 10 days, 9 days can be suspended only upon completion of mandatory alcohol classes. There is a minimum fine of approximately $1800, though this can be much higher. The maximum jail punishment allowable by law is six months in jail. The MVD will suspend your license for at least 90 days (you may be able to get a 60-day work or school restriction if you attend an alcohol screening) and will require you to attend a one-day traffic survival school. Also, the MVD will require you to get an ignition interlock device on your car for 1 year (under the new 2012 law, you may get this period lowered to 6 months if you follow MVD instructions).
NOTE: Many people think that they will automatically get 1 day in jail for a “regular” DUI. This is not true anymore. Although some people do get the minimum, many other people are sentenced to more than 1 day in jail because of aggravating factors in the case. For example, some prosecutors use a "grading scale" to determine jail time. So if your BAC level is, hypothetically, .14%, the prosecutor may seek more days in jail because you are so close to the Extreme level. Please consult with an attorney regarding this issue.
IF CONVICTED OF YOUR FIRST MISDEMEANOR “EXTREME” DUI (BAC LEVEL .15% to .19%)
If you are convicted of Extreme DUI, the punishment requires at least 30 days in jail. Under the new 2012 DUI law, some people may be eligible to have up to 21 of those jail days suspended by the court if they equip an ignition interlock device on a car. However, some courts are refusing to suspend those jail days because the court cannot monitor the interlock device requirement. To make matters even more confusing, some courts will allow you to do "home detention" for part of your jail sentence, under certain circumstances. Some judges are very generous with home detention time, while other judges do not like to give it, or only give it in small amounts. The bottom line is that you need to consult with an attorney regarding these issues because you may be facing a wide range of possible jail time for an Extreme DUI.
In addition to jail time, there is a minimum fine of approximately $3000, though this can be higher if the court charges jail costs. The MVD will suspend your license for at least 90 days (you may be able to get a 60-day work or school restriction if you attend an alcohol screening) and will require you to attend a one-day traffic survival school. The MVD will also require that you get an ignition interlock device on a car for a minimum of 1 year.
NOTE: Although the minimum punishment for Extreme DUI is 30 days in jail, you may be able to get work release during your jail time for a maximum of 72 hours a week. This must be ordered by the judge at sentencing and it is not always given. Please consult with an attorney regarding this possibility.
IF CONVICTED OF YOUR FIRST MISDEMEANOR “SUPER EXTREME” DUI (BAC LEVEL .20% OR HIGHER)
If you are convicted of Super Extreme DUI, the punishment requires at least 45 consecutive days in jail (yes, 45 days, even if you have no prior criminal history). Under the new 2012 DUI law, some people may be eligible to have up to 31 of those jail days suspended by the court if they equip an ignition interlock device on a car. However, some courts are refusing to suspend those jail days because the court cannot monitor the interlock device requirement. Also, some courts are giving "home detention" for a portion of the jail sentence, under certain circumstances. Please consult with an experienced DUI attorney regarding these jail issues.
There is a minimum fine of approximately $3500, though this can be much higher if the court charges jail costs. The MVD will suspend your license for at least 90 days (you may be able to get a 60-day work or school restriction if you attend an alcohol screening) and will require you to attend a one-day traffic survival school. The MVD will also require that you get an ignition interlock device on your car for a minimum of 18 months.
NOTE: Although the minimum punishment for Super Extreme DUI is 45 days in jail, you may be able to get work release during your jail time for a maximum of 72 hours a week. This must be ordered by the judge at sentencing and it is not always given. Please consult with an attorney regarding this possibility.
IF CONVICTED OF YOUR SECOND MISDEMEANOR DUI (“REGULAR”, “EXTREME” or “SUPER EXTREME”)
If convicted of your second misdemeanor DUI within 7 years of your first DUI conviction (within 7 years of the dates of offense, not dates of conviction), the punishment requires at least 90 days in jail. Of those 90 days, 60 days can be suspended only upon completion of alcohol screening and classes. The maximum punishment allowable by law is six months in jail. If you are convicted of Extreme DUI, and you have a prior DUI conviction within 7 years, the punishment requires at least 120 days in jail. Of those 120 days, no days can be suspended. If you are convicted of Super Extreme DUI, and you have a prior DUI conviction within 7 years, the punishment requires at least 180 days in jail. Of those 180 days, no days can be suspended. In all cases, you will be required to attend alcohol classes, perform 30 hours of community service, the MVD will revoke your license for at least one year, and the MVD will require you to get an interlock device on a car.
NOTE: You may be able to get work release during your jail time for a maximum of 72 hours a week. This must be ordered by the judge at sentencing and is not always given. Also, "home detention" may be possible for part, but not all, of the jail sentence. Please consult with an attorney regarding these possibilities.
IF CONVICTED OF A MISDEMEANOR "DRUG" DUI
In Arizona, the law and the punishment for a first-time "drug" DUI is almost exactly the same as the law and the punishment for an alcohol-related, first-time "regular" DUI. Just as it is illegal for a person to drive an automobile with too much alcohol in their system, it is equally illegal to drive an automobile with any drug in your system that impairs your ability to drive. The drug can be an illegal drug, like marijuana, or it can be a prescription drug, like Ambien. Either way, if it impairs your ability to drive to the slightest degree, you can be convicted of DUI. For many people, like senior citizens (who often take medications on a regular basis) this does not seem fair. But it is the law in Arizona.
Unlike alcohol DUI cases, there is one additional punishment that is usually imposed in "drug" DUI cases. If the judge finds that a DUI conviction involved a "drug", as opposed to alcohol, the judge will often notify the MVD of this finding. When the MVD learns of this, the MVD policy is to revoke a person's driver license for an entire year (as opposed to the normal 90-day suspension). It does not matter to the MVD if the drug was a prescription drug or an illegal drug. That is why many people believe it is better to be convicted of a an alcohol-related DUI, than a drug-related DUI.
NOTE: Under Arizona law, if a person has an "illegal" drug in their system, like marijuana, the State does not need to prove that the person's ability to drive was impaired. The State only needs to show that the drug's "metabolite" was present in the person's system. So, even if a person smoked marijuana several days prior to the DUI arrest, they can still be convicted of DUI if the metabolite is still present in their system at the time they were arrested. That seems incredible, but that is the law!
IF CONVICTED OF AGGRAVATED DUI (FELONY DUI)
If you are convicted of Aggravated DUI, you have been convicted of a felony offense. There are three ways in which you can be charged with Aggravated DUI. First, prosecutors can charge you with Aggravated DUI if you commit the crime of DUI while your driver license is suspended, revoked, cancelled, or restricted. Second, they can charge you with Aggravated DUI if it is your third DUI conviction within 7 years (the dates of offense must be within 7 years, not the dates of conviction). Third, they can charge you with Aggravated DUI if you are driving while impaired and there is a child in your car. In most Aggravated DUI cases, you will be facing mandatory time in prison, if convicted. Call an attorney immediately.
MOTOR VEHICLE DIVISION CONSEQUENCES (ARIZONA'S IMPLIED CONSENT LAW & ADMIN PER SE)
When you are convicted of a DUI in Arizona, the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) will take action against your driver license. For a first-time DUI, the normal policy is to suspend a person's license for 90 days, require a traffic survival school (TSS), and require an ignition interlock device. For a second-time DUI, the MVD will usually revoke a person's license for at least 1 year, and will require an ignition interlock device. For a more complete list of consequences, refer to this web page at the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division.
In Arizona, however, the MVD does not need to wait for a DUI conviction in order to take action against your license. Anyone who drives a car in Arizona is subject to what is known as Arizona's "implied consent law." This law says that anyone who is lawfully arrested in Arizona on reasonable grounds of committing DUI, must give the police a sample of their blood, breath, or urine (See A.R.S. 28-1321). If the person refuses, the person will lose their privilege to drive in Arizona for 1 year. This 1 year suspension will occur regardless of whether or not the person is later convicted of DUI.
Arizona law also says that if a person's blood or breath test reveals a BAC level over .08%, the MVD can suspend a person's driving privileges for 90 days. This is known as an "admin per se" suspension (See A.R.S. 28-1385). This 90 days suspension will often occur before a person has even finished their court case, and before a person is even convicted of DUI. In fact, the MVD does not care if you are ultimately found Guilty of DUI and does not have to wait for a conviction. Many people are later found Not Guilty of DUI, but still had to suffer the 90 day admin per se suspension. It seems unfair, but that's the law!
NOTE: In some cases, it is possible to challenge an MVD suspension that occurs before a person has been convicted of DUI. In order to do this, a defendant, or an attorney, must request a hearing with the MVD. If you win the hearing, your license will not be suspended prior to a DUI conviction. However, there may be legal and strategic reasons why a person should not request a hearing and fight the suspension. In some cases, it is actually better to allow the MVD to suspend your license before your criminal case is completed. You should consult with an attorney regarding this issue because MVD policies are very complicated and cannot be fully explained on a web site.
IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE
The ignition interlock device, also known as an "IID", is a device that the MVD will require you to place on your vehicle if you have been convicted of an alcohol-related DUI charge. The IID will not allow you to start or drive your vehicle if you have any alcohol in your system. This is an MVD requirement, not a court order, so a judge cannot remove this requirement from your DUI sentence. The interlock will be required for at least 12 months for any conviction of the Regular DUI and Extreme DUI statutes. It will be required for at least 18 months for a Super Extreme DUI conviction. It will be required for at least 24 months for a Super Extreme DUI conviction with a prior DUI conviction in the last 7 years (See A.R.S. 28-3319 for all of the specific penalties).
However, under the new 2012 DUI law, a 12-month interlock requirement can be reduced to 6 months if you follow all MVD instructions (i.e. complete alcohol classes and have no interlock violations). This reduction will happen automatically and there is nothing you need to do to get the reduction, simply obey all the rules and instructions provided to you by the MVD. If you have further questions about interlock requirements in Arizona, please call our office. Or, if you would like to read more about the ignition interlock device, visit the Safe Harbor Ingnition Interlock Provider site.
- Shell & Nermyr: If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is important to contact a lawyer who is knowledgeable about Arizona DUI law right away. A DUI conviction carries a mandatory fine, jail time, and license suspension. Have Your Been Arrested for DUI? Many people do not realize that they should retain a DUI lawyer when they have been arrested for drunk driving. Law enforcement officers rarely suggest it, and the courts do not encourage it. If you have been accused of DWI, you have the same rights as anyone else who has been arrested. Even if you have submitted to a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test, ... experienced attorneys ... can defend you. If you have been charged with DUI (or drinking and driving if the driver is under 21), you should ... protect your rights. A DUI charge can have a significant impact on your life. If your license is suspended or revoked, you may be unable to get to and from your job, and your insurance premiums will increase. A DUI charge does not necessarily mean a conviction ... The sooner you call ..., the better your opportunity to have your charges reduced to reckless driving, or dismissed entirely.
- Aslamy & Associates:
Drunk driving (DUI/DWI)
Drug possession (marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, prescription drugs)
Violent crimes (assault, homicide)
Parole or probation violations
- Mark Victor: SURVIVING A TRAFFIC STOP
by Marc J. Victor
Being pulled over by a police officer can be a stressful experience. Although life is full of such experiences, unlike many other stressful experiences, a traffic stop has the potential to end in a loss of money, liberty or even life. No two traffic stops are entirely identical. Therefore, the advisable course of conduct will vary depending on the situation. However, there are some general rules which can be helpful in many situations.
The best piece of advice one can offer is to avoid being pulled over in the first place. A traffic stop offers nothing to be gained. The best case scenario for the driver is to leave as if the stop never occurred losing only some time. On the other hand, the downside can be disastrous.
Vehicle equipment violations such as expired tags or an unlit taillight equate to a neon sign on your car inviting a police officer to pull you over. Remember, a police officer can legally justify a traffic stop based on an equipment violation even if the police officer subjectively intended to investigate some unrelated issue. Moving violations such as speeding or failing to use turn signals also serve to legally justify a traffic stop. Avoid giving the police a free pass to pull you over.
Notwithstanding your best efforts, you may nonetheless find yourself being pulled over by the police. Needless to say, do not attempt to flee as this will earn you a felony charge as well as a very excited and unfriendly police officer at the end of the chase. Your main goal should be to survive the traffic stop with your life and liberty intact. A traffic stop is a terrible time to be testing out new legal theories or arguing about constitutional law. You can resolve any disputes with the police officer in court at a later date.
The law is well settled that a police officer can order both the driver and any passengers out of the vehicle at a traffic stop. However, do not exit the vehicle until the police officer orders you to do so. If you are fortunate enough to have a passenger at your traffic stop, you should ask the passenger to carefully observe all events. Your passenger may be an important witness if events during the traffic stop deteriorate.
Although there are many different varieties of police officers, you should expect a police officer who is nervous and possibly excited. Do not give the police officer reasons to be suspicious. Do not engage in any quick or covert movements. You should place both of your hands in plain view on the steering wheel.
If there ever exists a good time to socialize with a police officer, a traffic stop is not one of them. You should attempt to end the traffic stop as quickly as possible. You have no constitutional right to a friendly or courteous police officer. Do not demand to know the reason for the traffic stop. Remain calm, polite and respectful at all times even if you have to fake it. You should immediately produce your license, vehicle registration and auto insurance upon request. Plan ahead by storing these items in an easily accessible place so you are not fumbling around trying to find them in front of the police officer. Such conduct is often interpreted as alcohol or drug impairment.
Use your common sense. You should quickly assess the police officer. There are some excellent public servant type police officers who I often refer to as "peace officers." On the other hand, there are those who revel in the overwhelming amount of power afforded to police officers who I refer to as "law enforcement officers." You must use extraordinary caution when dealing with the law enforcement officer as things can escalate very quickly.
Most police officers are honest; some are not. Unless you personally know the police officer, you should not assume you are interacting with an honest person. Because we live in a time when mere possession can be a serious crime, a dishonest police officer can rather easily cause an innocent person to be charged with serious felony offenses.
Constitutional rights exist, at least in theory, to protect the innocent. Do not give your rights away. If this is not obvious to you by now, please see my article entitled, "Don't Be Your Own Worst Enemy." I always advise against consenting to any search or talking to a police officer. During a traffic stop, you should communicate your refusals especially politely. Always keep your main goal in mind at a traffic stop.
If you simply cannot resist the urge to talk to a police officer, I suggest you read the back of my business card. This is a good way to document exactly what you said to the police officer. Do not simply hand the card to the officer. Remember, nobody can invoke your rights but you.
As a general rule, you should not volunteer information or answer any questions about having a weapon. Said another way, do not open a potential can of worms. However, if the police officer is about to discover the presence of a weapon, you should inform the police officer about all details of the weapon so as to avoid an accident. Also, if you have a concealed weapons permit, you must produce the permit upon the officer's request.
If you are asked to sign an affidavit of service, sign it. Failure to sign an affidavit of service will likely result in an unnecessary arrest. In such a case, the officer had discretion to arrest you, but decided against it. You cannot waive your right to trial at a traffic stop. Even if you disagree with the charge, being arrested for failure to sign an affidavit of service will not strengthen your case.
If you are arrested, do not resist. Resisting even an unlawful arrest can earn you a felony charge. Expect a search of your vehicle and your person upon arrest. You should request to call an attorney immediately. If you are given a choice, do not opt to have your vehicle towed. You should expect to see a judge within twenty four hours, and you should try to arrange for an attorney at that hearing.
Traffic stops are not pleasant. However, handled with the right amount of tact, many traffic stops will result in nothing more than a waste of your time. Even for the more significant traffic stops, fighting it out in court is always a better choice than haggling with a police officer who has the power, and maybe the inclination, to arrest you.
- Donaldson & Associates: Whether you have been charged with drug offenses, marijuana possession, theft, or driving under the influence, our Arizona criminal law firm will ensure all resources are utilized in defending against the charges. When appropriate, we will challenge search and seizure and probable cause as well as file motions to dismiss any illegally obtained evidence.
- Brown & Little: Traffic Ticket Basics In Arizona, a traffic ticket can be either civil or criminal in nature. In most instances, the officer will check a box on the citation indicating which type of ticket it is. If you have received a criminal traffic ticket, you have been charged with a misdemeanor. The case against you may have serious consequences, so you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Civil traffic tickets are less serious, as they are punishable only by fines. They are also far more common. More civil traffic cases are filed in Arizona courts than any other type of case. Traffic Ticket Issues Complex issues can come up in even the simplest traffic cases. Officers are often not properly trained in visually estimating a vehicle's speed or pacing. Laser speed detection has serious limitations, as do photo enforcement technologies. Radar is also imperfect, as batching, shadowing, interference, and other factors may affect its reliability. Many officers and police agencies fail to use or maintain speed detection equipment correctly. Numerous factors may severely impact the reliability of the ticket. Your Options You may be able to avoid some of the most serious consequences of your traffic ticket simply by taking a driving class. Although the classes do cost money, the ticket will ultimately be dismissed, and you will not receive points on your license or see an increase in your insurance premiums. You will likely have to deal with those effects if you choose to just pay the ticket. If you are not interested in taking a driving class or paying the ticket, you can request a civil traffic hearing. Procedures for civil traffic hearings are largely the same throughout Arizona. Most jurisdictions will not assign a prosecutor to a civil traffic matter, so the citing officer prosecutes the case. When photo enforcement is involved, a representative of the company that installed the equipment will likely prosecute the case. You will likely only have to go to court one time, for the actual hearing. At your hearing, the state will present its case first. You will have an opportunity to ask questions, and then you will be able to present your side. The types of evidence allowed in civil traffic matters can be very different from what is allowed in criminal cases. The judge will usually make his decision immediately after hearing both sides.
- Gordwin Law: * DUI * Extreme DUI * Aggravated DUI * Domestic Violence * Assault * Aggravated Assault * Disorderly Conduct * Criminal Damage * Armed Robbery * Vehicular Crimes * Misconduct Involving Weapons * Robbery * Drive-by Shootings * Burglary * Kidnapping * Child Abuse * Sex Offenses * Fraud Schemes * Manslaughter * Murder * Probation Violation Cases
- Quinlan, Scott: In Arizona, an aggravated DUI is forever an historical prior felony conviction. Once you’ve been convicted of aggravated DUI, you will always be looking at an enhanced, mandatory prison sentence if you are later charged with pretty much any felony. That aggravated DUI conviction will follow you around for the rest of your life, resulting in worse plea offers and giving you powerful incentive to take them because of the risk of guaranteed prison. It’s something that comes as a surprise to most defendants.
- Allen, Jamal: A drunk driving arrest can happen to anyone.
- Dodge, Benjamin: Time is always of the essence and you must retain a DUI Lawyer quickly to avoid unnecessary MVD penalties!
- Sullivan Law Office: In Arizona, DUI is a serious crime with serious repercussions.