DUI and DWI in Arizona is a serious offense.
Bad things can happen to good people. If you have been arrested and suspected of a DUI or drunk driving, it may be the first time that you have ever faced criminal charges, but even first time DUI offenders are subject to possible jail time. If it's your second or third offense, you know that the stakes have been substantially raised. Sometimes the fear and confusion can become paralyzing and overwhelming when uncertainty and fear creep into your mind. That is the time when you need to speak with a qualified and experienced DUI attorney the most.
Will I lose my license? How much jail time will I do? How will I lose my car?
A DUI attorney can explain to you many of the questions you may have when you are charged with the crime of DUI.
Arizona has some of the strictest and toughest mandatory DUI sentencing laws in the country. (Click to see a chart of mandatory minimum Misdemeanor DUI penalties). A conviction for DUI will result in mandatory jail time, fines, and your driving privileges suspended. It could also result in jail fees, community “restitution”/work service, an ignition interlock device being installed on your vehicle and alcohol counseling, all at your own expense.
Arizona DUI Law
The state of Arizona has exhibited through legislation and enforcement that it has an incredibly low tolerance for motorists who drive impaired. The state's anti-DUI efforts seem to expand every year, with the creation of more sobriety checkpoints and saturation polls. Local police officers are trained to aggressively pursue and detain drivers whom they suspect are driving while drunk or “drugged” on state roadways, while prosecutors aim to pin alleged offenders with the harshest sentences possible. And these actions are all carried out in an effort to alleviate the pressure placed on state legislatures by vocal advocacy groups and a society who has a tendency to treat drivers charged with DUI charges as if they are guilty before a trial ensues.
With the state's keen interest in arresting motorists who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it's possible that you may have found yourself in a situation where you have witnessed those red and blue lights flashing behind you. And before you know it, you are facing DUI charges that carry exceptionally harsh penalties. You are not alone. Thousands of drivers are arrested within Arizona state lines every year for different variations of a DUI. This is why it's important for you, as a driver, to know your rights and understand how important it is for you to protect these rights with the assistance of legal representation. The representation of an experienced attorney who understands complex Arizona DUI law can make all the difference when defending and mitigating these charges.
For the purposes of this article, we'll expound on two common charges many have acquired in the state of Arizona: extreme DUIs and super extreme DUIs.
Most drivers are aware of the legal blood alcohol concentration limits imposed upon drivers in Arizona. If the typical non-commercial motorist is caught driving with a BAC of 0.08% or over, he or she will most likely be issued a standard DUI. For a commercial motorist, the legal limit is 0.04% or higher, and for drivers under the age of 21, any detection of alcohol is illegal and will not be tolerated. These laws are consistent with the legislation implemented in every state across the country.
However, most drivers may not be aware of what acquiring charges of an extreme DUI or super extreme DUI entails. And how these charges could potentially compromise a driver's livelihood, driving rights and freedom.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR "5 Facts you Should Know About DUI Cases in Arizona"
What is a Regular DUI?
So, if you've been arrested for a DUI, you probably were cited with multiple charges and you're probably wondering what those multiple charges mean.
When a defendant is arrested for a regular DUI, that usually mean that—one of two things. That usually means that they're either impaired by alcohol or they might be impaired by drugs. There's a couple of different theories that someone could be charged with committing those type of offenses. The main charge that most people get charged with for DUI is that they are above the legal limit. In Arizona, the legal limit of blood or breath alcohol concentration is 0.08. If a defendant submits to a scientific test, such as an Intoxilyzer or a blood test, if their blood or breath alcohol limit is above a 0.08, in Arizona, they are presumed to be impaired and they are per se, guilty of a DUI.
Being above the legal limit is not the only way that you can be convicted or charged with a DUI. If you consume drugs or illegal drugs, and you have that in your system, you can also be convicted of a DUI. That is referred to commonly as an A3 Charge. So, if you are using illegal drugs, if it's in your system, no matter how recent you consumed it—those illegal drugs, or whether you're really impaired by them at all, you could be found guilty of a DUI. If you use drugs but you have a prescription for the drugs, you have to show that you use those drugs in the manner that they were prescribed to you. So, that would be a defense if you had some drugs in your system. Sometimes they are some narcotic drugs that are still prescribed to patients and you have to prove to the trier of fact that you were lawfully taking those drugs.
The A1 Charge, is what it's referred to, is that if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs, even to the slightest degree, you could be found guilty of a DUI. So, what that means is a couple of things. You could be below the legal limit of a 0.08, but if the State can prove that you are still impaired by that alcohol, to the slightest degree, then you could be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If you use prescription drugs and even if you use those prescription drugs under a valid prescription and are using the drugs as prescribed, if by taking those drugs, it still impairs your ability to drive, to the slightest degree, you could still be found guilty of a DUI.
That is why it's important to talk to a defense attorney to find out what your defenses are in a DUI case, because presumably, you could be below the legal limit or you could be using your drugs as prescribed and still be found guilty of a DUI. You could be found guilty of a regular DUI. So, it's always best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to find out what your rights are in a DUI case and what your defenses are.
Additional Charges Related to Driving Under the Influence
Talent And Expertise
As a trial attorney, former deputy county and criminal defense attorney, Shawn B. Hamp has practiced criminal law for almost a decade and has handled thousands of criminal and hundreds of DUI cases all over Mohave County. If you need a DUI attorney, hire someone that has the experience you need to minimize the consequences you face.
Kingman attorney Shawn B. Hamp can help by answering many questions you might have about your DUI case and if acting as your lawyer, help you with the court process to avoid as many penalties as possible so that you can get your life back on track.
When you need someone on YOUR SIDE. 928-753-6868