Arizona DUI/DWI Cases: What to Expect in Court

If you are facing a DUI/DWI charge in Arizona, it can be a stressful and confusing time. Understanding what to expect in court can help you feel more prepared and in control. Here’s what you need to know.

Initial AppearanceArizona DUI/DWI Cases: What to Expect in Court

Your first court appearance is called the initial appearance. At this time, you will be advised of the charges against you, and the judge will set conditions for your release, such as bail or house arrest. You will also be given a court date for your next appearance.

Preliminary Hearing

If you plead not guilty to your charges, you will have a preliminary hearing. This is a hearing where the prosecution presents evidence against you, and the judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to move forward with the case.


If the judge determines there is enough evidence, you will have an arraignment. At this hearing, you will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, you will be sentenced immediately. If you plead not guilty, you will have a trial.


In Arizona, DUI/DWI cases can be tried in front of a judge or a jury. During the trial, the prosecution will present evidence against you, and your attorney will present evidence in your defense. After both sides have presented their cases, the judge or jury will make a decision.


If you are found guilty, you will be sentenced. The judge will take into account the severity of the offense, any aggravating or mitigating factors, and your criminal history. Possible sentences include fines, jail time, probation, and community service.


If you are found guilty and believe that the trial was conducted improperly or that your rights were violated, you may appeal the decision. The appellate court will review the trial record and determine whether there were any errors that require a new trial.

It is also important to note that Arizona has strict DUI/DWI laws, and the consequences of a conviction can be severe. Even a first-time offense can result in fines, license suspension, and possible jail time.

Additionally, Arizona has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under 21 who are caught driving with any alcohol in their system. This means that even a small amount of alcohol can result in a DUI charge for a driver under 21.

In order to avoid a DUI/DWI charge, it is important to always designate a sober driver or use a ride-sharing service if you plan on drinking. If you do find yourself facing a DUI/DWI charge, it is important to take the charge seriously and work with an experienced attorney who can help protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences.

Navigating a DUI/DWI charge in Arizona can be a complicated and stressful experience. Understanding the legal process and working with an experienced attorney can help you feel more in control and increase your chances of a favorable outcome. Remember, the best way to avoid a DUI/DWI charge is to always plan ahead and never drink and drive.

At Smith & Green, Attorneys At Law, P.L.L.C., we specialize in defending clients in Arizona who are facing DUI/DWI charges. We understand the complexities of the legal system and can help guide you through the entire court process.

Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can work with you to develop a strategy that best defends your rights and minimizes the potential consequences of your case. We can help you understand the charges against you, advise you on your legal options, and negotiate with the prosecution to reduce or dismiss your charges.

We are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest level of legal representation, and we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and interests throughout your case. We can also assist you with the administrative aspects of your case, such as dealing with the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) to protect your driver’s license.

If you are facing a DUI/DWI charge in Arizona, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you in navigating the legal process and defending your rights.

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