DUI Lawyer Support and Resources

DUI Lawyer support
Last Updated: November 23, 2020

Getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can have major implications for your professional and personal life. The consequences are far reaching, and they can quickly take a toll on your mental and emotional health. A specialized DUI lawyer will be able to help you navigate the days ahead if you get arrested for a DUI.

What Is A DUI?

Sometimes referred to as a DWI, a DUI is a crime or an arrest for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This can include prescription medications. Even if you have a note from your healthcare provider authorizing you to use the medication, you still are not allowed to operate a vehicle under the influence of many medications. 

If you are pulled over under suspicion of a DUI, you will likely be given a breathalyzer, which measures your blood alcohol content (BAC). In all states, if your BAC is .08 or above, you are legally considered intoxicated. In some instances, you can also get charged for driving under the influence even if your BAC is under .08. 

Many drugs can be detected in tests for up to a week or more. Because of this, it’s harder to know for sure if someone was driving under the influence of a drug. Some states use Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). DREs are trained to recognize drug use, and to distinguish between the influence of drugs and medical or mental conditions. 

15 states, including Arizona, use “Per Se” laws for drugged driving. Under this law, if you are found to have any detectable amount of a drug in your system, you are considered to be under the influence.  

Attempting to understand your DUI arrest on your own can feel overwhelming; an experienced DUI attorney can help.

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DUI Lawyer

All is not lost if you have been arrested for a DUI. A lawyer can help you navigate what comes next and reduce or eliminate your charges. In some states, charges from the DMV or MVD are separate from criminal charges, which only complicates matters more.  

DUI lawyers in Arizona have spent years learning and practicing the law. There is a very small chance you will fare better representing yourself or using a public defender who is likely stretched too thin. 

When searching for DUI lawyers, you have the advantage of being able to weigh reviews, recommendations, and to find someone who clicks with you, and with whom you have confidence. Finding a lawyer you feel comfortable with can make this process less stressful for you.

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DUI Defense Attorney

While it’s important to find a DUI attorney who is the right fit for you, in many states, DUI charges can be very strict, and you don’t have much time to defend yourself. Contacting a defense attorney immediately after your arrest is essential. 

A DUI lawyer can refute the charges in many cases. For example, the arresting officer may not have used proper protocol, or there may have been technical issues with the equipment used in your arrest. In addition to fighting the criminal charges, a DUI defense attorney can also work to restore your driving privileges, which are automatically revoked in Arizona regardless of criminal proceedings.

DUI Lawyer Cost

Hiring a DUI lawyer might feel like it’s out of the question financially. However, it is entirely possible that the fines associated with your arrest are much more than the cost of an attorney. If there is a chance a lawyer can help you reduce your charges, it will be well worth it. 

A public defender is a viable option, but they often have very large caseloads and aren’t able to give your case the attention a private attorney would. Fortunately, many attorneys offer free consultations.

If you choose to go with an experienced DUI attorney, take advantage of the free consultation many of them offer. This can help you determine if you can afford a lawyer, and whether it is worth it for your situation. 

The cost of a DUI lawyer can vary greatly from one lawyer to the next and one situation to the next. Some offer hourly pricing while others charge a flat fee to represent your case. The minimum you can expect to pay for a DUI lawyer in Arizona is $1,000, but many people need to pay more. Keep in mind, however, that your DUI will likely cost much more than that if you don’t get the charges dropped or reduced.

DUI Penalties

In Arizona, DUI penalties are strict even if it’s your first offense. A DUI attorney has experience navigating these cases, reducing charges, and managing penalties. Penalties are severe because the natural consequences of driving under the influence can be severe as well. The state of Arizona takes DUIs seriously; in 2018, Maricopa County spent $167,820.06 on DUI enforcement and overtime; Pima County spent $82,360.96, Phoenix spent $81,694.99, and Tuscon spent $72,383.13.

There is a range of DUI penalties, and these get more severe for each subsequent DUI. The minimum BAC for being charged with a DUI in Arizona is .08 for the average driver, .04 for commercial drivers, and .00 for drivers under 21. Below, you can find the DUI penalties for the state of Arizona; other states may have different consequences.

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First DUI

Following are the minimum penalties for a first DUI in Arizona: 

  • 24 hours in jail (up to 10)
  • $250 minimum fine
  • 90 day-1 year license suspension
  • Interlock ignition device installation required in car

Second DUI

Following are the minimum penalties for a second DUI in Arizona: 

  • 30 days in jail (up to 90)
  • $500 minimum fine
  • 1 year license suspension
  • Interlock ignition device installation required in car

Third DUI

Following are the minimum penalties for a third DUI in Arizona: 

  • 4 months in jail
  • $750 minimum fine
  • 1 year license suspension
  • Interlock ignition device installation required in car
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DUI Consequences

Consequences for a DUI are extensive and far-reaching. These consequences are expensive, time consuming, and in some cases long-lasting. In addition to the penalties listed above, many consequences come with getting arrested for a DUI.

Suspension of Driver’s License

In Arizona, driver’s license suspension is handled separately from the court handling charges of the arrest. Regardless of whether your charges are withheld, your license can still be suspended for anywhere from 90 days to one year. This is because the state of Arizona views driving as a privilege, not a right.

Another important policy in Arizona is the 15 day rule. Under this rule, you have 15 days from the time you receive an affidavit of suspension to attempt to have it reversed. If you don’t request a hearing with the MVD within 15 days, your license will be suspended regardless of whether your DUI lawyer is able to get your charges dropped. Importantly, the MVD handles suspensions separately from other charges. A lawyer can help you navigate these differences and ensure you do everything in a timely manner.

Time Spent in Jail

Depending on which offense you are arrested for, you can face anywhere from 24 hours to four months in jail for a DUI offense. 

In Maricopa County and other areas of Arizona, a home detention program has recently been implemented. This allows you to spend part of your jail time at home with a location and alcohol monitoring device. Similar programs are also available in Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe.

Fines

The fines alone for a DUI vary from $250-$750 minimum. Fines for a DUI are only one small part of the money you’ll need to pay if you are arrested, however. You’ll also be responsible for paying for your court costs, classes, counseling, ignition interlock device, and increased insurance rates. This all adds up to thousands of dollars.

Probation

A DUI can lead to up to five years of probation. Probation is more likely for aggravated or extreme DUIs. If you get put on probation, you’ll need to follow the rules set by your probation officer, which may include complying with home visits, refraining from drinking alcohol, refraining from driving, and attending counseling.

Ignition Interlock Device Installed on Vehicle

An ignition interlock device is a requirement for any DUI in Arizona. You’ll be responsible for paying for the device to be installed in your car. This device acts as a breathalyzer, and it won’t allow you to start your vehicle if it detects alcohol on your breath.

Community Service

Community service is not always required for a DUI, but it can sometimes be ordered, particularly with more severe charges. In some cases, it may also be used in place of jail time, such as with DUI probation violations.

Substance Abuse Evaluation or Treatment

Most DUI charges require substance abuse screening and treatment. Screening consists of a face-to-face interview, where a behavioral health professional will measure your alcohol dependency or substance abuse with a standardized test. 

After your screening is completed, this information will inform your treatment, which includes 16 hours of DUI education as well as 20+ hours of group counseling. Your counseling will be provided by a behavioral health professional. While programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous are extremely valuable, they do not count toward your treatment.

Alcohol/Drug Awareness Classes

These classes are commonly ordered as part of treatment after a DUI. They take place in a typical classroom setting, either online or in person.

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Drug/Alcohol Awareness Class After DUI

DWI vs DUI

People often use the terms “DWI” and “DUI” interchangeably, however they are not exactly the same.

What is the Difference between DWI and DUI?

The acronyms have similar meanings: driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI). In Arizona, when you are pulled over, an officer can issue a DUI even if you blow below .08 on a breathalyzer. It is possible to be charged with a DUI if you are under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs.  

In order to be charged with a DWI however, you need to blow at least .08 on a breathalyzer within two hours of driving. This also means that you can only get a DWI if there is alcohol in your system.  

Because an arresting officer can attempt to charge you with a DUI even if you blow under .08, a lawyer can be particularly helpful in these cases. The officer must be able to clearly explain how you were putting yourself or others in danger, and why this behavior leads him or her to believe you were intoxicated.

DUI Arrests

After a DUI arrest, life gets crazy and chaotic. DUI lawyers in Tuscon, Phoenix, and other cities in Arizona are prepared to be your advocate throughout the entire process. The sooner you contact a DUI attorney after your DUI arrest, the better they’ll be able to help

DUI FAQs

Laws vary by state, penalties and consequences vary by arrest, and the legal system is just plain confusing to the average person. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about DUIs in Arizona.

Is A DUI a Felony or Misdemeanor?

In most cases, a DUI in Arizona is a misdemeanor. There are a few circumstances that could up your charge to a felony; these might include: 

  • Driving under the influence with a suspended license
  • Having multiple DUI arrests in a seven year span
  • Having a minor in the vehicle at the time of arrest
  • Getting convicted of a DUI for the third time

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?

In Arizona, a DUI will stay on your criminal record for life. When it comes to your driver’s license, a first offense DUI will give you eight points on your license that will stay for five years

Can You Get a DUI on a Bike?

You can get a DUI on a motorcycle or motorbike because it is considered a motorized vehicle. You cannot get a DUI on a bicycle

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse?

 You cannot get a DUI while riding a horse because a horse is not a motorized vehicle.

What Happens When You Get a DUI?

When you get pulled over under suspicion of a DUI, you may be asked to complete a field sobriety test. You will also be asked to take a breathalyzer either on the side of the road, or you might take one at the police station. If you are charged, you will spend at least 24 hours in jail and be subject to fines and alcohol screenings. You will also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, and your license will be suspended.

First Offenese DUI Consultation

DUI laws vary from state to state. A first offense DUI is a serious conviction in Arizona, but it’s unfortunately a common one. In 2018, there were 27,104 total DUI arrests in Arizona. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you navigate your charges; it is very difficult to reverse DUI charges, but your best chance of success is with a lawyer. With their knowledge of the legal system, they can work to reduce or reverse your charges.

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© Copyright Jazz Media Ltd. 2020. All rights reserved

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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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© Copyright Jazz Media Ltd. 2020. All rights reserved

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