What are the Arizona DUI penalties for misdemeanors?

by | Nov 22, 2014 | Articles

POSSIBLE PENALTIES FOR A FIRST TIME DUI CONVICTION IN ARIZONA:

What are the Arizona DUI penalties for misdemeanors? In other words, “What am I facing?” It’s the most common question I get as a dedicated Arizona DUI attorney. In Arizona, DUI penalties are incredibly harsh. And the range of penalties increase depending on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and how many prior DUIs within the last 7 years you have. Let’s begin with the absolute maximums for a DUI offense.

What are the maximum penalties for a DUI?

For misdemeanor DUIs the maximum penalty is up to 6 months jail and a $2,500 fine plus surcharge which is currently 83% (I’m excluding felony DUIs in this article). Before panicking, the table below is a list of the mandatory minimums. If convicted, sentences can be anywhere between the mandatory minimum to the maximum. Because penalties in Arizona are already so harsh, most sentences hover around the minimums unless there are egregious facts or circumstances but that can change depending on your judge. Those are very case specific factors and experienced Arizona DUI attorney can guide you through that analysis.

What are the mandatory minimum penalties for a DUI?

First time DUI with BAC less than .15
Jail Time Fines Counseling Ignition Interlock License Suspension
10 days (9 suspended upon completion of counseling) $250 + 83% surcharge & $500 prison construction fund & $500 public safety equipment fund Required (hours determined by court approved agency) Required for at least 12 months but may be reduced to 6 months* 90 days (may apply for restricted license after 30 days)

First time DUI with BAC less than .2 but more than .15
Jail Time Fines Counseling Ignition Interlock License Suspension
30 days (21 suspended if ignition interlock installed by sentencing) $250 + 83% surcharge & $500 prison construction fund & $500 public safety equipment fund & $250 DUI abatement fee Required (hours determined by court approved agency) Required for at least 12 months (or 18 months for (A)(2) conviction) 90 days (may apply for restricted license after 30 days)

First time DUI with BAC more than .2
Jail Time Fines Counseling Ignition Interlock License Suspension
45 days (31 suspended if ignition interlock installed by sentencing) $500 + 83% surcharge & $500 prison construction fund & $500 public safety equipment fund & $250 DUI abatement fee Required (hours determined by court approved agency) Required for at least 12 months (or 18 months for (A)(2) conviction) 90 days (may apply for restricted license after 30 days)

Second time DUI with BAC less than .15
Jail Time Fines Counseling Ignition Interlock License Suspension
90 days (60 suspended upon completion of counseling) $500 + 83% surcharge & $1,250 prison construction fund & $1,250 public safety equipment fund Required (hours determined by court approved agency) Required for at least 12 months (or 24 months for (A)(2) conviction) 1 year (may apply for restricted license after 45 days with special interlock restricted license)

Second time DUI with BAC less than .2 but more than .15
Jail Time Fines Counseling Ignition Interlock License Suspension
120 days (60 consecutive) $500 + 83% surcharge & $1,250 prison construction fund & $1,250 public safety equipment fund & $250 DUI abatement fee Required (hours determined by court approved agency) Required for at least 12 months (or 24 months for (A)(2) conviction) 1 year (may apply for restricted license after 45 days with special interlock restricted license)

Second time DUI with BAC more than .2
Jail Time Fines Counseling Ignition Interlock License Suspension
180 days (90 consecutive) $1,000 + 83% surcharge & $1,250 prison construction fund & $1,250 public safety equipment fund & $250 DUI abatement fee Required (hours determined by court approved agency) Required for at least 12 months (or 24 months for (A)(2) conviction) 1 year (may apply for restricted license after 45 days with special interlock restricted license)

Also, the court can order a term of community service in addition to the penalties listed above. For second time DUIs, there is a mandatory 30 hours of community service required. Normally, government plea offers are to the mandatory minimums. That’s another reason it’s important to have qualified counsel by your side. Even the mandatory minimums are extremely harsh, not to mention the collateral consequences of a conviction.

What are the collateral consequences of a DUI?

There are other penalties not listed here but can be just as devastating. First, there are the MVD consequences to your driving privileges. A DUI on your driving record causes your insurance rates to spike. Second, there are the incidental consequences that can affect employment, child custody, immigration, and the emotional toll of a conviction on your record. These consequences are real and shouldn’t be ignored when evaluating your case and seeking the best resolution for you.

Is there any way to reduce the mandatory minimums?

There are many factors that can effect the sentence. First, hire good counsel to attack the case. DUIs are not as rock solid as the government wants you to believe. Through skillful negotiation and litigation, an attorney may be able to negotiate a more lenient sentence short of trial. Second, there are statutory provisions that can mitigate a sentence such as court ordered counseling or installation of an interlock device. Finally, most city courts can offer home detention after 20% of the sentence is served. To participate in home detention you must have a telephone line (traditional landline) to participate.

How do I avoid of the mandatory minimum DUI penalties?

If you’re convicted of the charge either through trial or a plea agreement, you can’t. No matter how bad the judge feels for you, the legislature took that power away from the courts in Arizona. A court should be able to factor in the appropriate consequences for each individual person because no two DUIs or people are the same but that’s the reality. Nevertheless, if you win at trial or your case is dismissed or you plea to something other than a DUI, none of the above mandatory minimum penalties apply. Let me repeat it again: having qualified legal counsel who can assist you is critical. There’s no substitute for experience and hard work to obtain better outcomes in a DUI case.

Give us a call today. DUI is what we do. We can help you.

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