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Arizona has strict laws against driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. If you get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you may face serious consequences such as jail time and the loss of your driving privileges. It is important to hire an attorney in Peoria who has experience defending clients during DUI cases. Having a lawyer by your side can help you minimize the effect that this arrest has on your life and future.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Peoria, Arizona, contact a criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of John Phebus to schedule a free consultation. Our Peoria DUI defense attorneys can discuss your options and protect your legal rights.
Throughout your DUI defense case, a lawyer will search for ways to protect your rights and make your life easier. Your defense attorney can help you reinstate your driving privileges if your license gets suspended after your arrest, for example. Your lawyer can also handle all communications and negotiations with the prosecution, such as arranging a plea deal that lightens the sentence you face. You can trust your lawyer to look out for your rights and best interests when you need help the most.
In Arizona, an individual can get arrested for driving under the influence under Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381 if he or she is pulled over by a police officer and blows a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at or above 0.08 percent. For a commercial driver, the legal BAC is 0.04 percent. If the driver is under the age of 21, any discernible amount of alcohol can result in a DUI arrest. A BAC is the percent of alcohol in a driver’s bloodstream. It is typically collected through a breathalyzer test, where the driver breathes into a device.
With a BAC at or above the legal limit, a driver can get arrested for a “per se DUI” in Arizona. This means that no further proof of intoxication is necessary to make an arrest. Even with a lesser BAC, however, a driver could get arrested for being impaired even to the slightest degree by drugs or alcohol. An officer could make an arrest based on the driver’s actions and behaviors that point toward intoxication, such as reckless driving or slurred speech.
A DUI is typically charged as a misdemeanor crime in Arizona. It can be elevated to a felony, however, if there are aggravating circumstances. Arizona Revised Statute 28-1383 lists the following for an aggravated DUI:
If you are convicted of a felony DUI in Peoria, you could face a minimum of four months (and up to three years) in prison, plus $4,000 or more in fines and fees. It is critical to contact an attorney to aid in your defense if you are facing felony DUI charges.
Being convicted of a DUI in Arizona can come with life-changing consequences. A conviction for a first-time DUI is a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 10 days in jail, plus a $250 base fine and license suspension from 90 days to one year. For a second offense, these penalties are increased to 30 to 90 days in jail, a $500 base fine and license suspension for one year. A third or subsequent offense comes with a minimum of four months in jail, a $750 base fine and license suspension for one year.
Anyone convicted of a DUI must also install an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle at the driver’s expense. This device requires a driver to blow a BAC level below the legal limit before the vehicle’s engine will start. It will also test the driver periodically throughout the drive and automatically send the results to the administration in charge of overseeing the device. Mandatory drug or substance abuse counseling may also be part of a DUI sentence.
In addition to the legal trouble that comes with getting a DUI, you may face lasting effects from having a DUI conviction on your record. In Arizona, a DUI remains on a person’s driving record for five years. It also puts eight points on the driver’s license for three years. Even worse, a DUI stays on a driver’s criminal record and appears on background checks forever. Under Arizona law, however, you may qualify to have your DUI record “set aside,” which is similar to expungement and blocks your DUI record from appearing on background checks.
Driving under the influence is a serious crime in Arizona. In an effort to protect the public and prevent drivers from making this reckless mistake, Arizona punishes this crime severely. It is imperative to hire an experienced DUI defense lawyer if you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Peoria.
An attorney can take over your case and negotiate for a more positive outcome, whether this is having the charges against you dismissed entirely, reducing the charges (e.g., negotiating a felony down to a misdemeanor) or minimizing your sentence upon conviction. Your lawyer will explore all available strategies to use in your defense.
For more information or advice about what to do after a DUI arrest in Peoria, contact the Law Offices of John Phebus to request a free consultation. Call (623) 400-5675 today.
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