Do not wait to speak to a DUI attorney in Scottsdale, we are available day or night. Rosenstein Law Group is headquartered in Scottsdale, but we represent people who are facing DUI and criminal charges throughout Arizona and any specific court where your case will be heard. We offer free, no-risk initial consultations and also offer monthly installment payment plans for our clients. We also accept all major credit cards. Contact one of our Scottsdale DUI attorneys 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (480) 248-7666. We are ready and waiting for your call.
What Are the Different Levels of DUI Charges in Arizona?
In Arizona, state law does not identify only one type of driving under the influence offense. There are multiple types and levels of DUI charges, each with different penalties. To achieve a DUI conviction, the prosecution must prove the necessary elements of the specific type of crime being charged.
The four levels of DUI in Arizona are as follows:
- Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 28-1381 – Standard DUI: to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, drug or vapor-releasing substance if the driver is impaired to the slightest degree or has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or more.
- R.S. 28-1382 – Extreme DUI: to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, drug or vapor-releasing substance with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.15 but less than 0.20.
- R.S. 28-1382(2) – Super Extreme DUI: to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, drug or vapor-releasing substance with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.20 or more.
- R.S. 28-1383 – Aggravated DUI: to drive under the influence of an intoxicating substance with aggravating factors, such as driving on a suspended or revoked license, being a repeat DUI offender, driving with a person under the age of 15 in the vehicle, or causing a car accident.
Note that a commercial driver in Arizona can be arrested for a standard DUI with a lesser BAC than the general population (0.04 percent). In addition, Arizona has a zero-tolerance law for drivers under the legal drinking age of 21 years old. An underage driver can be charged with a DUI in Arizona with a BAC of 0.02 percent or more.
Potential Consequences of a DUI Charge
Arizona is known for taking a strong stance against drunk and drugged driving. It has some of the most serious consequences for DUI convictions in the country. The more severe the circumstances surrounding a DUI crime, the harsher the penalties. A repeat offender with more than one DUI conviction on his or her record, for example, will be subject to longer potential jail time and the possibility of permanent license revocation.
Examples of potential DUI consequences in Arizona include:
- Underage DUI: an underage driver who is cited for any measurable amount of alcohol during a BAC test can face a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail, a maximum fine of $750 and up to two months of driver’s license suspension. Unlike an adult DUI conviction, an underage DUI does not come with mandatory minimum jail time.
- Misdemeanor DUI: most first-offense DUIs in Arizona are classified as class 1 misdemeanors. The typical penalties are up to 10 days in jail, a fine of about $1,500 and driver’s license suspension for 90 days. In addition, a driver may be required to attend alcohol or drug counseling, perform community service, and install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles.
- Extreme or super-extreme DUI: while extreme and super extreme DUIs are still class 1 misdemeanors in Arizona, the penalties are enhanced compared to standard DUIs. The potential consequences include up to 45 days in jail, over $3,000 in fines, driver’s license suspension for at least 90 days and one year of mandatory ignition interlock device.
- Felony DUI: being convicted of an aggravated DUI or a third DUI within seven years of the first two will result in a felony. The possible penalties include mandatory prison time of at least four months, more than $4,000 in fines, license revocation for one year and a two-year ignition interlock device requirement.
- Repeat DUI offender: if a driver receives a second DUI conviction within seven years, the potential penalties are increased to up to $4,250 in fines and driver’s license revocation for at least one year. Community service hours and ignition interlock device times can also drastically increase.
The penalties associated with a DUI conviction in Arizona can be life-altering. If your case involves other infractions or charges, such as for refusing to take a BAC test or reckless driving, you may face other consequences, as well. It is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine how best to handle your case. A lawyer will argue to minimize the penalties that you face as much as possible.
What to Do if You Are Arrested for a DUI in Scottsdale?
If you get arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Scottsdale, the most critical step to take is to contact a DUI defense attorney at Rosenstein Law Group without delay. We can immediately go to work on helping you exercise your rights and protecting you during the legal process. Hiring a defense lawyer from the very beginning of your DUI case can enhance the odds of achieving a positive outcome.
Important steps to take after a DUI arrest include:
- Remain calm and cooperate with law enforcement. Resisting arrest could get you into deeper trouble. Do your best to stay composed and keep your emotions in check. Do what the law officer says, but keep your rights in mind.
- Invoke your right to remain silent. Anything you say during your arrest can be used against you in court. While you are being arrested and booked, politely state to law enforcement that you are exercising your right to remain silent and that you wish to speak to an attorney.
- Request a defense lawyer. Express your desire to contact a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. In general, it is not a good idea to answer any questions without an attorney present. The only information you are required to give is your name.
- If requested, take a breath or chemical test. This is required under Arizona’s implied consent law; refusing could lead to additional penalties. You are not legally required to take a field sobriety test, however.
- Contact a DUI defense attorney. Once you have been brought to the police precinct and booked, you will be given the chance to make one phone call. Use it to contact a defense lawyer directly or call a friend or family member who can call Rosenstein Law Group for you.
If the city proceeds to file charges against you, you or your attorney will need to attend all required court appearances and administrative proceedings. Your lawyer can help ensure that you are treated fairly and that your rights are protected during these processes. You can trust your DUI defense attorney to seek the best possible outcome on your behalf, which may include reduced charges, a plea deal or case dismissal.
Common Defenses Used in a DUI Case
One of the most important reasons to hire a Scottsdale DUI attorney is to help you shape a defense to the charge(s) you are facing. The strength of your defense strategy can make all the difference to the outcome of your criminal case, including whether you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony and the penalties that you face. The right lawyer will craft a personalized plan for the most effective DUI defense.
Common DUI defense options include:
- Improper traffic stop or arrest: if an officer did not have probable cause to pull you over or make a DUI arrest, any alleged evidence collected thereafter may be ruled inadmissible.
- Inaccurate or unreliable test results: incorrectly administered breathalyzer tests or mechanical errors with the device (including faulty calibration or improper use) could lead to inaccurate test results.
- Medical condition: the argument that the reason you failed a field sobriety test or appeared impaired is due to a medical condition that led to a false results.
- No crime committed: the prosecution is missing elements to achieve a conviction, such as a lack of evidence of intoxication or no proof of actual physical control of a vehicle.
- Civil rights violations: infringements upon your rights by the officer, such as denial of the right to counsel, could lead to the case against you being dismissed.
It is important to consult with a DUI defense attorney at Rosenstein Law Group to discuss the specific details of your case and determine the most effective defense strategy available. Our lawyers will examine the circumstances of your traffic stop and DUI arrest, review the evidence against you, identify potential weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, and build your defense based on the facts involved and the applicable laws in Scottsdale.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Scottsdale DUI Attorney
If you or someone you love has been accused or charged with a DUI, contact our local Scottsdale DUI attorneys at Rosenstein Law Group for a free initial consultation today. Your case will be in the hands of experienced trial lawyers who you can trust to fight hard for your defense, from start to finish. Call today or contact us online.