FAQs FOR DUI in Tucson, Arizona
DUI is the abbreviation for “driving under the influence,” which can apply to alcohol or any other substance that could affect your ability to drive. Once an officer is suspicious that you are driving under the influence, you will be pulled over, field sobriety tested and/or breathalyzed, and arrested if you show signs of intoxication.
There are vast potential consequences to a DUI in Arizona. Even a first arrest carries mandatory jail time, which, like all DUI penalties, increases for a high BAC or second arrest. There are also fines, your vehicle may be impounded, you may be ordered to take alcohol counseling and driving courses, community service, required use of an interlock device, expensive SR-22 insurance, and losing your driver’s or occupational license.
A Field Sobriety Test is a quick way for a police officer to gauge if you are driving under the influence. There are three standard field sobriety tests: standing on one foot, walking in a straight line, and the “horizontal gaze nystagmus test.” The horizontal gaze nystagmus test involves the officer having you look into and follow a light, and they will watch your eyes for signs of intoxication.
Your DUI will remain on your record for life. You may be able to eventually file a motion to set aside your DUI conviction. Factors the court will consider include the time that has passed since the conviction, any additional arrests, the age at time of arrest, community service or restitution, and more. In Arizona, an aggravated DUI can’t be set aside.
You can be charged with DUI for any alcohol in your system if you are younger than 21. The judge may choose to give you penalties on the harsher ends of their guidelines if you are arrested for an underage DUI.
BAC is short for blood alcohol content. The actual calculation is how many grams of ethanol are in 100 milliliters of blood. Drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher are presumed to be intoxicated in Arizona, but an officer may use their discretion to arrest a driver with a BAC of .04 or higher. Drivers with a BAC of .15-.19 will be charged with an extreme DUI, and a BAC of .20 or higher will result in a super extreme DUI charge. The penalties increase for each level of DUI. There is also an aggravated DUI, which can be applied at any of the three BAC levels if the driver has a minor younger than 15 with them in the car, was arrested while driving without a license, or multiple DUI arrests within a certain timeframe.
You will be required to obtain SR-22, or high risk, insurance to get your driver’s license back after a DUI. Your current insurance company may raise your rates to offer the SR-22 coverage, or they may drop you altogether. In that case, you will need to find a new vehicle insurance company. In Arizona, SR-22 insurance rates are on average 52% higher than standard auto insurance rates.
You should consult a Tucson DUI Attorney as soon as possible after the arrest. Also, you should do so so that the memories are still fresh in your mind, and your Tucson DUI Attorney has time to gather evidence and witnesses. Additionally, an attorney can also help guide you through the process leading up to trial. Plus, you will be appointed a public defender if you don’t want to represent yourself or hire a public attorney. While these attorneys are often experienced in DUI cases, they often have a huge caseload and may not be able to give you and your case the attention you would like.
If the arresting officer fails to read you your Miranda Rights, this isn’t sufficient to have your entire case thrown out. However, any statements you made to the officer/s after they failed to read your Miranda Rights can be excluded as evidence in your trial.
Yes. The standard license suspension for a DUI in Arizona is one year. If it is a basic DUI and the driver has no previous DUI arrests, they may be eligible for a restricted license after 90 days. The driver may be required to get SR-22 insurance, install an interlock device in theri vehicle, and only drive to places like work or medical appointments with their new restricted driver’s license.
An illegal traffic stop is one that violates the Fourth Amendment, like if the officer didn’t have probable cause to pull you over. You may be able to have your case dismissed if you have a strong probable cause defense, but you should probably hire an attorney if you plan on pursuing this defense. Plus, DUI checkpoints have generally been ruled not to be a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Some things officers look for include: speeding, drifting in your lane, failure to use your turn signals, delayed reactions to traffic signals, not having your headlights turned on, swerving, driving excessively slowly, wide turns, and more. Once you have been pulled over, the officer will be looking for signs of intoxication like flushed cheeks, red eyes, the scent of alcohol, and slurred words.
If you are pulled over under suspicion of a DUI, you should not tell the officer how many drinks you have had. The officer can use their discretion to arrest you for DUI if your BAC is between .04 and .08. Admitting to having more than one drink can be used by the officer as evidence of intoxication.
If you are arrested while trying to sleep off a few drinks in your car before driving, you may have a defense for your case. You will need to prove that you “relinquished actual physical control of the vehicle.” The jury will weigh a number of factors, like if the key was in the ignition, if the headlights were on, the time of day and weather conditions, etc. to determine if you relinquished control of your vehicle.
Arizona hands down has the harshest penalties for a DUI in the country. An experienced DUI attorney should be able to spot procedural issues or negotiate a plea deal where others could not. With the risk of so many penalties, you should hire the best DUI attorney you can afford.
My AZ Lawyers Tucson DUI Attorneys Can Help
In any case, working with experienced and qualified Tucson DUI Attorneys can help you get a better outcome than you would get going it alone. You have too much at stake with a DUI conviction to risk your future by not getting the best legal help that you can. If you are facing DUI charges in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, you should call My AZ Lawyers today to find out how our experienced team may be able to help you. Making the call could be exactly what you need to protect your future and to get a second chance.
Lastly, our Tucson DUI Attorneys offer free consultations and in many cases can start your case with only $500 down. We have had great success in getting DUI and DWI charges reduced or dropped in Tucson and throughout Pima County. Also, our experience makes the difference as we strive to get the best situation for our clients accused of driving under the influence. By all means, call our DUI lawyers in Tucson today. We can help!
What is an Aggravated DUI in Tucson?
Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, is a serious offense in Arizona. The potential consequences of a DUI conviction include jail time, fines, license suspension or restriction, mandatory interlock device use, high-risk insurance coverage, alcohol counseling, driving classes, community service, and more. The potential penalties increase for higher BAC levels at time of arrest and for multiple DUI arrests during certain time frames.If this is the case, your DUI charge will be increased to extreme or super extreme. Under certain circumstances, the driver may be arrested for an even higher charge- aggravated DUI.
Aggravated Tucson DUI Basics
There are three ways you can be charged with aggravated DUI. The first is at the time of your DUI arrest, you have a child under the age of 15 in the car with you. The second is if this is your third DUI arrest within a seven-year period. The last way prosecution may upgrade your DUI charge to aggravated is if you don’t have full driver’s license privileges when you are arrested. This could be a suspended license, a restricted license, or you are required to use an interlock device. An Aggravated DUI charge is a felony, while basic DUI charges are only misdemeanors. The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor in Arizona is that a misdemeanor is punishable by jail time of 6 months or less, while a felony is punishable by jail time of more than 6 months.
Penalties for an Aggravated DUI in Tucson, Arizona
One of the unique things about DUI laws in Arizona is that even for a first offense, all drivers convicted of a DUI must serve some jail time. However, a first time offender with a basic DUI charge may only end up spending one day in jail. The penalties are much harsher for an aggravated DUI in Arizona. Aggravated DUI is punishable by a mandatory minimum of four months in prison. The maximum prison sentence for a first aggravated DUI is 3 years, 9 months.
If you are convicted of a second aggravated DUI, your minimum prison sentence will be 2 years, 3 months. The maximum prison sentence for a second aggravated DUI is 7 years, 6 months. For a third (and subsequent) aggravated DUI arrest, the minimum prison sentence will be 6 years. The maximum prison sentence for a third aggravated DUI is 15 years. If you receive additional charges as part of your arrest, like hit and run or vehicular manslaughter, you will receive additional time in prison.
Consequences of a Tucson Aggravated DUI
Time in prison isn’t the only potential consequence of an aggravated DUI conviction. Also, your license will be suspended for at least 3 years if you are convicted of an aggravated DUI. You will typically be required to use an interlock device for one year after a standard DUI conviction, but this is raised to 2 years for an aggravated DUI. An interlock device is a machine that will be installed in your vehicle, and you will need to blow into it to start your car. Additionally, you will also be required to blow into the device at intervals while driving, usually every 15 minutes. Plus, your vehicle won’t start if there is alcohol in your system, and you may receive fines and additional punishments for repeated failed attempts. You may have to pay a fee to have the interlock device installed in your vehicle, and all providers will charge a monthly fee for the service. You can expect to pay $70-130 each month you have an interlock device installed in your car.
Driving will become a very expensive privilege after an aggravated DUI conviction, and interlock device fees aren’t the only ones you’ll have to worry about. Your auto insurance provider may drop you, or drastically increase your rates for high risk SR-22 insurance. This insurance typically costs $3,000 per year or more. You may be required to take DUI courses to get any driver’s license privileges back, which can cost hundreds of dollars.
Arrested for DUI in Arizona? There are Consequences.
Clearly, being arrested for an aggravated DUI in Tucson can have serious consequences on your life. Whether you want to plead innocent and go to trial, or would rather take a plea deal, you need a skilled attorney in your corner. You can stick with your public defender, or hire a private criminal defense attorney to ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case. Our expert Tucson DUI attorneys offer free consultations and affordable pricing. If you have been arrested for DUI, the clock is ticking- call today.