First Offense DUI Arizona
DUI charges in Arizona may lead to a range of severe legal consequences, including heavy fines, jail time, and license revocation. The ramifications will likely be more serious if you’re facing an aggravated DUI charge or have a prior DUI conviction.
Whether it’s your first offense DUI or second offense DUI, you need fast and assertive legal representation by an experienced DUI attorney. Call the Law Office of Karl A. Mueller, PLC, at 602-697-8761 24/7 to schedule a quick initial consultation with a DUI lawyer in Gilbert, AZ.
What Counts as a DUI in Arizona?
Operating motor vehicles is illegal in Arizona if:
- You’re 21 or older and have a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of over .08%
- You’re under 21 and have any traceable amount of alcohol in your blood
- You are a commercial driver on duty and have a BAC of over .04%
- Alcohol or controlled substances visibly impair your driving abilities, even if your BAC is under the legal threshold
Keep in mind that some legal prescription meds, like opioid-based painkillers, may also impair driving and lead to DUI charges. Please ask your physician whether your prescription drugs are compatible with safe driving.
DUI Penalties in Arizona
Arizona has some of the strictest DUI laws in the U.S. The possible legal penalties for a DUI conviction in Arizona depend on whether this is your first, second, or higher offense. Additionally, a BAC of over 0.15% counts as Extreme DUI and will always lead to harsher punishments, even if it’s your first offense DUI.
First Offense DUI
A first-offense DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona. The penalties for a first-time DUI conviction include:
- At least 10 days in jail
- A minimum fine of $1,250
- Mandatory IID (ignition interlock device) installation
- A mandatory alcohol treatment program
- Community service
Drivers with a BAC of over .15% face the charge of Extreme DUI, which may lead to a fine of at least $2,500 and a minimum of 30 days in jail without options of suspended sentence or probation.
Driving with a BAC of .2% or higher in Arizona counts as a Super Extreme DUI, an offense with penalties that include up to 45 days in jail, fines of over $3,200, and a license suspension of up to a year.
Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs while there is a child under 15 in the car is an Aggravated DUI, a felony charge that could send the offender to jail for up to two years.
Also, any arrest for DUI charges in Arizona leads to an automatic 90-day driver’s license suspension, effective immediately regardless of the eventual outcome of your case. Our law firm can help you challenge an administrative license suspension.
Second Offense DUI Arizona
A second offense DUI in Arizona refers to any second DUI conviction within seven years, even if the previous offense occurred in another state. Like a first-time offense, a second DUI can also fall under an ordinary DUI, Extreme DUI, or Super Extreme DUI category.
Drivers convicted of a second offense DUI may expect:
- 90 days of incarceration, with a possibility of suspending 60 days if the offender completes a court-mandated substance treatment program
- A fine of at least $3,000
- License revocation for one year
- Driving with an ignition interlock device for one year
- Community service
Second-time offenders with an Extreme DUI conviction may face 120 days of incarceration and a minimum fine of $3,250. The penalties for a second Super Extreme DUI include 180 days behind bars and fines of at least $3,750, not counting court fees.
Arizona courts will charge a second-time DUI as an Aggravated DUI if the offender drove against the direction of traffic, operated a vehicle with a suspended license, or had a passenger 15 years or younger in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
Third and Higher DUI
A third DUI offense within seven years always counts as a felony in Arizona, even if the offense led to no property damage or injuries. The penalties for a third-offense DUI include:
- A minimum of four months in jail
- A fine of $4,000 or more
- License revocation for three years
- Driving with an IID for two years
Apart from direct legal penalties, a DUI conviction may raise your insurance premiums, limit your employment options, and even cause child custody issues. If you’re an immigrant, aggravated or repeat DUI convictions could lead to deportation or make you ineligible for permanent residency.
How Long Does a DUI Conviction Stay on Your Record in Arizona?
Until now, the answer has been “forever.” So far, the most Arizona residents could do was petition a court to “set aside” past convictions, a legal motion that doesn’t completely remove former offenses from your record.
However, new legislation that comes into effect on December 31st, 2022, will make the sealing of eligible criminal records possible in Arizona. This is promising news for many drivers with past DUI convictions who have paid their legal dues and want to turn a clean page.
An individual with a sealed criminal record may state that they have no former criminal arrests or convictions on work, loan, housing, and financial aid applications.
Our law firm will continue to keep up with relevant legal developments in Arizona and use every available option to protect our clients’ reputations and future prospects.
What to Do If the Police Arrests You for Suspected DUI
What if a police officer stops you on grounds of a suspected DUI? No matter how many drinks (if any) you actually had, we recommend that you:
- Stay polite and cooperative. Obey the police officer’s instructions, avoid arguing, and present your ID.
- Be careful with what you say. Any statement, like “but I only had two beers”, could act against you.
- Submit to a DUI breathalyzer test. Refusing a breathalyzer test in Arizona will trigger an instant license suspension for a year. You may, however, refuse field sobriety tests with no legal consequences.
- Ask to contact a DUI attorney as soon as you can and start working on your DUI defense strategy.
How a Skilled DUI Lawyer Can Help Your Case
Choosing the right lawyer may determine the impact of your DUI case. You need a seasoned local attorney who will assess your case and help you work out a viable defense strategy as soon as possible.
At the Law Office of Karl A. Mueller, PLC, we have successfully handled countless DUI cases in the Phoenix metro area, some of them extremely complex. Depending on your case, we may:
- Inspect evidence and look for ways to overthrow it. For example, we may challenge witness testimonies or examine whether a breathalyzer was improperly calibrated.
- Question police procedures. Did the police officer have a valid reason to stop you? Did they read you your Miranda rights? We can work to get specific evidence or even your entire case dismissed on grounds of faulty procedure.
- Review your legal options and help you understand the possible outcomes of plea bargaining vs. a trial.
- Negotiate alternative sentencing instead of jail time, like community service, alcohol treatment programs, or home detention.
- Work to help you keep or restore your driver’s license. If you are eligible, we’ll help you apply for a restricted driver’s permit so you can still drive to work or school.
Additionally, after a required period, we can petition an Arizona court to set aside your DUI conviction (a.k.a seal your record) so it will not appear on most background checks.
What Makes Karl A. Mueller a Top-Rated Local DUI Attorney
If you need knowledgeable, assertive, and efficient legal support for DUI charges, Karl A. Mueller is your go-to attorney. Drivers in the area of Gilbert, AZ, choose the Law Office of Karl A. Mueller thanks to:
- An outstanding track record. Attorney Karl A. Mueller has successfully resolved over a hundred jury trials.
- Extensive legal experience. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Mueller understands how DUI cases work and what strategy offers the best chance of getting your charges dismissed or reduced.
- Dedicated representation. We will use every available legal tool to defend you against DUI charges, provide frequent updates on your case, and protect your rights throughout its progress.
- 24/7 support. DUI cases are legal emergencies that require fast action. We take calls 24/7 and will work hard to get your case resolved as quickly as possible.
The Law Office of Karl A. Mueller, PLC: Powerful Legal Defense Against DUI Charges in Gilbert, AZ
A DUI conviction can land you in jail, destroy your prospects, and cost you a lot of money. Don’t let a single mistake mess up your future. Contact the Law Office of Karl A. Mueller, PLC, and start working on your legal defense strategy today. In over 25 years of practice, attorney Karl Mueller has helped many drivers in the Phoenix metro area keep a clean record, preserve their freedom, and retain their licenses.
Call 602-697-8761 or contact us online for a free consultation on a first offense DUI & second offense DUI across the East Valley.
1760 E. Pecos Road, Suite 332 Gilbert, AZ 85295