Phoenix DUI Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, you need an experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer. The State of Arizona imposes serious penalties on individuals convicted of a DUI. Being convicted can alter the course of your entire life.
DUI in Arizona
If you’re charged with a DUI in Arizona, you’re being accused of operating a vehicle of some sort (including a boat) while you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes being under the influence of medications prescribed by a doctor or using medical marijuana.
DUI charges in Arizona are categorized as follows:
- Driving while impaired to the slightest degree. Arizona state law says that is it against the law for someone to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle if they are under the influence of an intoxicating liquor, drugs or vapor-releasing substance if that person is even just a little impaired. That means it is against the law for someone to drive if they even feel just a slight “buzz” from any sort of intoxicant.
- Driving with a BAC greater than .08%. The legal BAC limit in Arizona is .08%. If you’re pulled over and have a BAC of .08 or higher and you’re driving or have actual physical control of the vehicle, you can be charged with DUI. In Arizona, you cannot have a reading of .08% or higher if you’re going to be behind the wheel or have control of a vehicle within two hours.
- Extreme DUI. An extreme DUI means that your BAC was over .15%, which is roughly twice the legal limit. Again, this relies on the two hour time limit. If you’re charged with extreme DUI, the penalties are much more severe.
- Aggravated/Felony DUI. Aggravated/felony DUI includes driving under the influence and you have committed a violation of section 28-1381 or 28-1382, your driver’s license is suspended or revoked, you’re driving on a restricted license, this is a third or subsequent DUI, you’ve already been convicted of a DUI during the last 60 months (5 years), or you have a minor under the age of 15 in the vehicle.
- Drug DUI. It is illegal for someone to drive or be in actual physical control of the vehicle if they are under the influence of any drug or its associated metabolite defined in section 13-3401.
- Commercial DUI. Commercial DUIs aren’t held to the same BAC standard as passenger vehicle drivers. A commercial vehicle driver’s BAC may be no higher than .04%.
- Boating DUI. This charge is also referred to as OUI standing for Operating Under the Influence. It is illegal in Arizona for someone to operate or be in actual physical control of a motorized watercraft if they are impaired to the slightest or fall under one of the other DUI limits previously discussed. For commercial vessels, the BAC is the same as for a commercial DUI: .04%.
What Must Be Proven in a DUI Case?
First time (and subsequent) DUI charges are harsh. The State of Arizona takes public safety quite seriously. For the State to convict you, they must prove:
- You were driving or had actual physical control of the vehicle. The State does not have to prove that you had an intention to drive while under the influence. They just have to show that you were driving or that you had physical control of the vehicle.
- That you were impaired according to Arizona law. Remember, in Arizona you can be impaired to the “slightest” and still be charged. The legal limit for BAC is .08% (.04% for commercial drivers). It includes drugs, vapor products, medical marijuana, and alcohol. You can see a full list of intoxicants, as defined by law, by clicking here. You can also learn more by scheduling a consultation with a Phoenix DUI lawyer. Only a doctor, nurse, or other qualified individuals may draw your blood to determine your BAC or if there are drugs in your system.
- The State doesn’t have to prove your mental state. This is important because with most crimes, the State must prove that the defendant was in a culpable mental state. This means that the defendant understood or had the ability to understand that they were committing a crime. That’s not required if you’re charged with DUI.
Contact a Phoenix DUI lawyer to help you develop and implement the best possible defense. Even one conviction can change your entire life.
Penalties for DUI
Even first time DUIs can be serious. Here’s what you could face:
- First-time with BAC of at least .08% and less than .15%. This is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. You could be sentenced up to six months in jail. You are required to serve one day in jail. You’re also required to complete a drug and alcohol screening as well as get involved in specialized counseling. The outcome of your screening will affect how long you must remain in counseling. You’ll be fined at least $250 and be charged an additional $500 penalty. You could also be placed on probation for up to five years. Your license will be suspended for 90 days, but you can get a work permit after 30 days. You’ll also be required to have an interlock device installed in your vehicle.
- Second-time DUI within five years and you have a valid driver’s license. This is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. You could spend up to six months in jail, but you’ll face a minimum jail time of 30 days. You’ll undergo another drug and alcohol screening and must return to counseling. You’ll be fined a minimum of $500 and pay another financial penalty of $1,250. You’ll also be placed on up to five years of probation. Your driver’s license will be revoked for one year. You will be required to have an interlock device installed in your vehicle.
- First-time extreme DUI. This is also considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. You’ll go to jail for a minimum of 30 days. You could spend as much as six months behind bars. You’ll be required to undergo a drug and alcohol screening and must attend counseling. How long you’ll have to undergo counseling will depend largely on your screening results. You’ll pay a minimum of $250 as a fine, $250 for an assessment, and an additional $1,000. You could be placed on probation for up to five years. Your license will be suspended for 90 days. You can get a work permit after 30 days. You will be required to use an interlock device.
- Second-time extreme DUI. A second extreme DUI is treated as a Class 1 misdemeanor by the state. You’ll serve a minimum of 120 days in jail, but could be sentenced up to six months. You’ll be required to undergo another drug and alcohol screening and return to counseling. You’ll pay a minimum of a $500 fine, $250 for an assessment, and an extra $1,000. You could go back on probation for up to five years. Your driver’s license will be revoked for a year, and you’ll be required to have an interlock device placed in your vehicle.
- Aggravated DUI. Aggravated DUI is treated as a Class 4 felony. You’ll be sentenced to a minimum of four months but could be sentenced to spend 2.5 years in jail. You’ll still be required to receive a drug and alcohol screening and attend counseling. How long you must attend counseling will be decided by the results of your screening. You’ll pay a minimum of $750 in fines, $250 for an assessment, and an additional $1,500. You could be sentenced to up to 10 years of probation. Your driver’s license will be revoked for three years and you’ll be required to have an interlock device in your vehicle.
Charged With Driving While Intoxicated? Call a Phoenix DUI Lawyer Now
If you’ve been charged, don’t wait to call a Phoenix DUI lawyer. You could lose your ability to drive, lose your job, face jail time, and pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees by the time it’s all said and done. You’ll also be forced to pay the expense of having an interlock in your vehicle as well as probation fees. Give yourself the best possible chance by hiring a Phoenix DUI lawyer.
To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us now at (602) 812-4600.