Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime in all 50 states. Arizona, however, penalizes DUI crimes more harshly than most states. If you are convicted of driving under the influence or driving impaired while traveling through Arizona, it is important to understand your rights. An out-of-state DUI case will have unique elements and challenges compared to an in-state DUI in Arizona. Hiring a DUI attorney in Arizona may be necessary to protect yourself.
Consequences of an Out-of-State DUI in Arizona
A DUI conviction can lead to many serious repercussions in any state. Arizona, however, is notorious for punishing operating under the influence crimes more severely than other states. Arizona lawmakers penalize DUIs harshly in an attempt to discourage drivers from driving while impaired. In Arizona, out-of-state DUI arrest penalties and consequences can include:
- Hefty fines
- Mandatory jail time
- Suspended or revoked driver’s license
- Ignition interlock device
- Mandatory drug or alcohol counseling
- Mandatory traffic school
- Community service
These penalties may keep you in the state until the resolution of your DUI case. Keep in mind that a conviction is not a guarantee, however, just because you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence while visiting the state, the prosecutor in your case must establish that you committed all of the elements of this crime under state law beyond a reasonable doubt. The sooner you contact a defense attorney in Arizona, the sooner he or she can start working on your defense. Our Glendale DUI attorney can help you defend your charges, with over 20 years of experience our law firm understands the severity of these charges.
Why Should I Retain a Local Arizona Lawyer?
Getting a DUI in your home state is distressing enough. Getting arrested for driving under the influence in a foreign state, where you are away from your home and family, can be even more stressful. One action that can give you some peace of mind during this difficult time is hiring a local Arizona DUI defense attorney to represent you.
An attorney can build the strongest possible defense on your behalf to fight the driving under the influence charges or reduce them for less severe penalties in Arizona. A lawyer may be able to build a defense based on lack of evidence, lack of probable cause or police misconduct, for example. A lawyer can help you avoid the strictest consequences for a DUI in Arizona.
Choosing a defense lawyer in Arizona instead of from your home state is important, as the DUI laws in each state may be very different. An Arizona defense attorney will understand local drunk driving laws and how to navigate them. The lawyer will also have a history with the judges and court systems in the Phoenix area. Finally, a local lawyer will be barred in the state where your DUI case is taking place. A lawyer from your home state, on the other hand, may not have the legal authority to practice law in Arizona.
Do Prior Offenses in Your Home State Affect a DUI in Arizona?
Yes, a prior DUI offense in your home state could adversely affect your out-of-state DUI in Arizona. Even if you were convicted of driving under the influence in two different states, you will most likely be processed as a repeat offender in Arizona if the offenses were within seven years of each other.
As long as the DUI laws in your home state are the same as Arizona’s DUI laws, your prior offense will be considered a foreign DUI. This means if you receive a second DUI conviction, the laws in Arizona will punish you more harshly. For example, a second-offense DUI most likely escalates the charge to a felony rather than a misdemeanor. If, however, the laws in your home state are different than Arizona’s, your previous DUI may not count as a prior for prosecuting purposes.
If you get arrested for an out-of-state DUI while in Arizona, don’t hesitate to contact a local lawyer for a free consultation about your case. A DUI defense attorney can help you understand and protect your rights as an out-of-state defendant.