Criminal Defense & DUI Attorneys

What You Need to Know About Criminal and DUI Law in Arizona.

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Criminal & DUI Attorneys

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If you have been charged with a DUI, turn to the trusted criminal defense attorneys at Best Law Firm. Our team of attorneys has both prosecution and criminal defense experience. We know what it takes to defend your case and provide practical advice related to negotiating a plea offer versus taking a case to trial. With our in-depth experience in the criminal justice system, we can effectively guide you through every stage of the proceeding and help defend your case.  Call Best Law Firm today and talk to an attorney to find out about your options.

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Best Law Firm has seen new challenges while assisting families with divorce and child custody during the pandemic. Courts are open and law firms have been deemed essential services, so we are also open and exercising all safety precautions. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an attorney consultation by video or phone, please call us at 480-219-2433.

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal and DUI Law

What is a DUI in Arizona?

Arizona has some of the harshest DUI laws in the country. Under Arizona law, a person may be charged with a DUI if it can be proven that they were operating a vehicle and (1) had a Blood Alcohol Count (BAC) over .08, or (2) if the driver is impaired to the slightest degree regardless of BAC. Being impaired to the slightest degree means that under Arizona law, a person may be charged with a DUI, even if their BAC is well below .08, as long as a police officer or other witness is able to prove that the driver was impaired even to the slightest degree due to alcohol or drugs.

What does it mean to be a “Zero Tolerance State?”

Arizona being a “Zero Tolerance State” means that under Arizona law, a person can be charged with a DUI with any BAC level, even under .08, as long as a police officer or other witness can prove that the driver was impaired to the slightest degree while driving.

What is an Extreme DUI?

An extreme DUI is a DUI with a BAC of .15 and above. This charge comes with harsher penalties than a regular DUI.

What is a Super Extreme DUI?

A Super Extreme DUI is a DUI with a BAC of .20 and above. This charge comes with harsher penalties than an Extreme DUI.

I was arrested for a DUI, what should I do?

If you were arrested for a DUI, you should immediately contact an attorney, because a DUI conviction can often come with jail time, hefty fines and probation. A DUI may also come with a suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. Because of these serious potential consequences, it is critical that you speak with an attorney to understand what your rights are and what your options are.

Is a DUI a felony?

A DUI is typically not a felony. A DUI is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.  There are 5 circumstances where a DUI can be charged as a felony, which is called Aggravated DUI. The following circumstances for an Aggravated DUI to be charged are:

  • You commit a DUI while your driver’s license is already suspended or revoked, or
  • It is your third or more DUI in the past 7 years, or
  • You commit a DUI while you already have a court-order for an ignition interlock, or
  • You commit a DUI while there is a passenger under the age of 15 in the car, or
  • You commit a DUI while you are driving the wrong way on the highway.

Should I fight my DUI or plead guilty?

Every case is different, and the best decision for one case may not be the best decision for another case. Speaking with an attorney will help you understand what your options are and allow you to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

Will I go to jail for a DUI?

For a first-time DUI, Arizona law requires that a person convicted a DUI must serve 10 consecutive days of jail. It is possible, however, to defer 9 of the 10 days and only serve 1 day in jail. Deferred jail is jail time that will be suspended and deleted after you successfully compete a court order, such as alcohol classes.

If you are charged with an Extreme DUI, you may be facing a minimum of 30 days in jail, with 21 days deferred – meaning a minimum of 9 days of jail actually served.

If you are charged with a Super Extreme DUI, you may be facing a minimum of 45 days in jail, with 31 days deferred – meaning a minimum of 14 days of jail actually served.

If this is your second DUI, you may be facing 90 days of jail, with up to 60 days deferred – meaning a minimum of 30 days of jail actually served.

How much are DUI fines?

If this is your first DUI, you will likely be facing a minimum of $1,250 in fines.

If you are charged with an Extreme DUI or a Super Extreme DUI, you can be facing over $3,000 in fines.

If this is your second DUI, you can be facing over $3,000 in fines.

What is probation?

Probation is form of supervision ordered by the court, where you are monitored by a probation officer. It is generally up to the judge to decide how long you must serve probation, however there are limits to how long probation can last depending on several factors. There are many terms to probation, but common terms of probation can include (1) Not possessing or consuming alcohol while on probation, (2) Paying a monthly probation fee, and (3) Regularly attending meetings with your probation officer.

There are generally 3 types of probation in Arizona. The most common type of probation is Supervised Probation, which is sometimes called Standard Probation. Supervised Probation requires you to meet with your probation officer once a month.

There are 2 other, less common types of probation: (1) Unsupervised Probation and (2) Intensive Probation Supervision or “IPS.” Unsupervised Probation is probation that does not require monthly meetings with a probation officer. Intensive Probation Supervision is probation that requires meeting your probation officer every few days.

It is generally up to a judge to decide what level of probation a person receives.

How long is probation for a DUI?

The maximum time a person can be sentenced to probation in Arizona for a DUI is 5 years. Judges often sentence people to much less time than 5 years, which is why it is critical to speak with an attorney if you are charged with a DUI.

What other punishments come with a DUI?

Including jail, fines, and probation there are other potential punishments. If you are convicted of a DUI, you are also facing a suspension or revocation of your driving privileges.

If it is your first DUI, you will likely have your driver’s license suspended for a period of 90 days to one year. If it is our second DUI, your driver’s license will be revoked for one year.

In addition to a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, courts typically also order an ignition interlock system to be installed in your car after you start driving again for up to a year.

Is it a DUI to drive with marijuana in your system?

Marijuana, just like alcohol, is legal to consume in Arizona but can still land you with a DUI. A person can be charged with a DUI if marijuana is currently in their system, even if they are not impaired. A single metabolite of marijuana in someone’s system is enough to be charged with a DUI, under Arizona law.

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