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A mere arrest will not affect a driving record or cause points to be added to your record in Arizona. However, a conviction of DUI will be included on your driving record and remain there for 10 years. The points, which may or may not affect your insurance premiums, will be relevant for three years after your license is reinstated. A Phoenix DUI lawyer at our firm can help you avoid having these points placed on your record, so don't hesitate to contact the office today.
There is the possibility of getting the charges expunged from our criminal record. What this means is that the arrest and conviction may be "set aside" by the court. It does not mean that the arrest and conviction will be removed completely off of the criminal record but the record will show that the stated offenses were expunged. This can protect an individual from the negative effects of having an active criminal record.
Insurance Premiums After DUI
A DUI conviction in Arizona is sure to cause a spike in the driver's insurance premiums. The costs of a DUI conviction go beyond the initial penalty fees. After a driver's license is suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the state of Arizona requires the individual to obtain SR-22 insurance prior to the reinstatement of the driving privileges. An SR-22 certificate is a form of liability coverage to show financial responsibility before having a license reinstated and is filed through the individual's auto insurance company. Once the certificate is issued, it is then forwarded to the DMV to be processed and allow for license reinstatement.
After issuing a SR-22 certificate for drivers who completed the suspension period for a DUI conviction, the insurance company is sure to weigh several factors when deciding how much to raise the individual's premiums. The individual can be sure that their conviction excludes them from the possibility of a "good driver" discount, but some drivers may experience a smaller hike in premiums than others. Factors that affect the insurance company's decision on this matter include the driver's age at the time of the offense, their gender and even marital status. A single 26-year-old male may be deemed a higher risk than a 45-year-old mother of three children. An arrest for DUI without conviction should not affect the driver's future auto insurance premiums.
There are several factors that may protect against an increase in insurance premiums after a DUI conviction. Many insurance carriers show a degree of grace to first-time offenders of DUI, especially if those drivers are considered unlikely to repeat the offense. Clean driving records prior to the conviction can also have a positive effect on the individual. If convicted of DUI, there are defensive driving courses available to offenders in order to educate about the proper methods of driving. The voluntary participation in such courses designed for DUI convictions has been known to mitigate increased payments. These courses are different from and will be taken after the individual completes the mandatory court-ordered traffic survival school (TSS) courses as a part of their sentence.
Points for a DUI remain relevant to affecting insurance premiums for three years. That means that the existing insurance company, or a new insurance company, can charge more in premiums using the reason of that conviction for only three years after the license is reinstated. An individual convicted of DUI can expect to experience an increase of between $300 and $800 in insurance premiums after conviction.
Protect Against the Effects of DUI Conviction
The information discussed above can be daunting for someone who has been or is facing conviction of a DUI in Arizona. The reason that we have shared this information to our existing and potential clients is to educate them on the big picture effect that a DUI conviction can have on their lives. We want to stress that conviction after an arrest is not imminent and you can increase your chances for a lighter sentence or altogether dismissal by hiring an experienced DUI attorney in Phoenix.
Additionally, for those reading who already have been convicted of DUI, expungement is possible in order to set aside the offense from your criminal record.
Contact a Lawyer
To learn more about your options of avoiding the negative effects of DUI conviction, contact the Rosenstein Law Group today. We offer free initial case consultations and want to apply our legal knowledge and resources to help you achieve positive results.
From offices in Phoenix, Scottsdale and other cities, we represent clients throughout Arizona.