Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Difference Between an Aggravated DUI and an Extreme DUI?

An Aggravated DUI occurs when there are certain “aggravating factors” present at the time of the arrest. These aggravating factors include driving with a minor under the age of 15 in the car, driving the wrong way on a highway, driving without a full license, and more that can be found listed here

An Extreme DUI is charged based on the driver’s BAC level when arrested. If the driver is found to have a BAC of 0.15 or above, that person will be charged with an Extreme DUI.

How Do I Pick Up Someone’s Property or Money from Jail?

Inmates who are booked into the Maricopa County jail may release their property to anyone they choose. An inmate can choose to release the property to a specific person or to anyone who comes down and specifically requests it. The inmate will choose where the property is released. The person picking up the property will need to provide a valid government-issued picture identification card (ID), such as a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) identification card/driver’s license that is current and valid. See more details here on how to pick up someone’s property from jail.

How Long Does It Take to Get Charged For A DUI?

Generally speaking, DUI charges come shortly after the date of arrest. However, the exact time frame can vary depending on the county or municipality charging the crime. Some situations can occur which can delay the process. Examples of these situations include chemical testing issues, prosecutorial or judicial backlog, law enforcement backlog, absence of evidence, and other issues that may arise interfering with the filing of charges. 

That being said, the statute of limitations for misdemeanor charges in Arizona is one year from the alleged violation date.

How Do I Get My Car Back from Impound?

In most cases, you must wait 30 days before your vehicle can be released. After your arrest and your car has been impounded, you will be given a notice which will have the information related to your arrest including the location of your car and the contact information for the impound that is holding your car. 

To get your car out early you must request a hearing with the police department that impounded the vehicle. After 30 days to get your car, the applicable Police Department can release your vehicle. To receive this release paperwork, you must pay the fines, and fees associated with the impounded car. More details on how to get your car out of impound before and after 30 days can be found here.

Do I Have to Attend Every Court Date for My DUI or Criminal Charges?

The decision to hire an attorney is a personal one. Every case is different, and everyone’s situation is different, as well. That being said, the choice of whether or not to hire an attorney should be made with professional guidance and as early on in the process as possible. Our office meets with clients initially for no charge to discuss precisely this topic. 

If you have been arrested for a DUI or criminal charges, whether or not you have been charged, call us immediately at (480) 248-7666, we are ready to discuss your case with you.

How Long Does a DUI Conviction Stay on Your Record?

Because a DUI is both a criminal infraction and a traffic infraction, two types of records are affected upon a DUI conviction: your driving record, and your criminal record. 

As it relates to your driving record, a DUI is reported to the MVD and remains on your driving record for 10 years. As it relates to your criminal record, a DUI conviction is a criminal infraction, and criminal infractions remain on a person’s record indefinitely in Arizona. 

Despite this, there are legal remedies for a criminal conviction of guilt set aside at the county and municipal levels in Arizona. More details on set-asides in Arizona can be found here.

Is Jail Mandatory for a DUI in Arizona?

Jail time is mandatory for a DUI conviction in Arizona but depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, the jail time can be reduced or pardoned through several alternatives.

What Is the Difference Between Record Sealing and a Set Aside?

Record sealing is a legal process through which a criminal conviction can be removed from public view. The sealed criminal conviction is still visible to law enforcement agencies and/or the court system, but not to individuals like potential employers, housing agencies, or the general public. 

Record sealing is available in Arizona through Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-91. 

A set aside is a way to limit public exposure of an Arizona criminal conviction. In this option, a court can set aside the conviction after the completion of sentence and probation. This has the same basic effect on your record as a case dismissal.

Will a DUI Conviction Cause My Insurance Rates to Go Up?

The simple answer is yes. However, it is important to remember the difference between a conviction and an arrest—an arrest alone will not increase your insurance, but a conviction will. A DUI conviction will cause a significant increase in your car insurance and remain on your driving record for 10 years. While the spike in insurance premiums in Arizona is reported to be below the national average—you can expect an increase of between $300 and $800 in insurance premiums following a DUI conviction.

What is The Legal Limit in Arizona?

Arizona is a zero-tolerance state for driving under the influence, so even if your blood alcohol concentration level is 0.08 or under, you can still get arrested and charged for driving impaired. If you are under the age of 21, driving with any amount of alcohol in your system, you can be arrested and charged for a DUI.

What Should I do If I Am from Out of State, and Charged with a DUI in Arizona?

Out of state, DUIs occur more often than people usually think. If someone is convicted of a DUI in Arizona but does not reside in Arizona, there are few important things to consider. First, an Arizona conviction is an Arizona conviction, and you will need to go through the criminal justice system in Arizona. It follows that you will need to satisfy most of your sentences imposed in Arizona as well. However, some municipalities and counties have made exceptions and allowed individuals to serve sentenced jail terms in jails out of state or serve sentenced treatment in out of state treatment centers.

Furthermore, Arizona is part of an interstate compact with most other states with whom they have an agreement to share information and update each other with things like criminal convictions or license suspensions. This means that if your license is suspended in Arizona as a result of a DUI conviction, Arizona will likely notify your state of residence of your license suspension. Each state deals with this differently, and it is important to learn how your state of residence deals with this scenario.

Can Someone Get a DUI Conviction Expunged in Arizona?

Expungement is only available in Arizona for certain prior convictions that involved possession of marijuana.

Can I Be Charged with a DUI Even If I Have a Medical Marijuana Card?

If you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana, having a current medical marijuana card will undoubtedly help your case. That being said, driving while impaired by marijuana is a crime regardless of whether you have a valid medical marijuana card. 

It is important to remember that Arizona’s criminal code is notoriously harsh on drug crimes. For example, if you are found to be in possession of marijuana in Arizona, producing a valid medical marijuana card is the difference between a felony credit and no charge at all for possession. The decision to obtain a medical marijuana card is a personal medical decision for each individual to consider with their physician carefully. Having a valid card if you are charged with a marijuana DUI can be very advantageous to your case.  See more on being arrested on suspicion of DUI with a medical marijuana card here.

Should I Take the Field Sobriety Test When Asked to By a Police Officer?

Field sobriety tests are designed for the average individual to fail. This is true regardless of whether the individual is stone-cold sober or falling-down drunk. If you take the test and fail, the government will use your poor performance on the test against you if you go to trial. 

Police officers cannot force you to participate in field sobriety tests. While the court has held that an individual does not have the right to refuse a field sobriety test, refusing to participate will only result in the officer collecting less evidence to use against you in a court of law. Click here for more details on what to do when asked to take a field sobriety test. 

Can I Still Drive on My License While My DUI Case Is Ongoing?

The short answer is yes. As discussed in the 30-day rule here, once someone is cited for a DUI, that person will have 30 days to request a hearing with ADOT to contest or delay the suspension. If a hearing is not requested within the 30-day window, the license suspension will automatically begin. In many cases, administrative law judges will allow an individual to choose, within reason, when the license suspension begins if they are not successful in contesting the suspension. Click here for more details on the 30-Day rule and challenging the 90-Day suspension.

This is Not My First DUI Arrest, What Are the Penalties for Multiple DUIs in Arizona?

Subsequent DUI charges can come with much more severe penalties than a first time DUI. The penalties will depend on the factors including your BAC level, the number of prior DUI convictions on your record, the length of time that has passed since your last DUI conviction, and the circumstances surrounding the facts of the current case. For example, an individual who has been charged with a third DUI following two DUI convictions will face felony charges within seven years, which would otherwise be misdemeanor charges.

What is Arizona’s 15-Day Rule?

In Arizona, when a person is charged with a DUI, that individual will go through a civil process and a criminal process. 

The criminal process will be facilitated by the county or municipality that has jurisdiction. The civil process will be facilitated by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). If you refuse to submit to a breath test during the DUI investigation, you can have your license suspended for 12 months. However, you have the right to a hearing where you will have the opportunity to prove that your license should not be suspended. 

The 15-day rule in Arizona refers to the length of time that you have to request a hearing with ADOT’s executive hearing office for an opportunity to prove this to an administrative law judge. Find more details on License Suspension Hearings and how to protect your driving privileges here.

What Are the Punishments for DUI’s in Arizona?

The penalties for DUI charges in Arizona vary depending on the class of DUI you are charged with. Depending on the severity of the offense, a conviction may lead to prison, jail time, probation, fines, and loss of driving privileges.

If I Am Pulled Over & The Police Officer Asks if I Had Been Drinking, What Should I Say?

It is not uncommon for individuals to lie to law enforcement officers after being stopped and asked if they have been drinking. However, it is crucial to understand that this is technically a crime. If it is later determined by chemical testing that you had been drinking, you could be cited for false reporting—which is a criminal charge of moral turpitude. 

The safe bet, whenever an officer asks you questions, is to respectfully and politely say something like, “It’s nothing against you personally officer. I do not answer law enforcement’s questions without a lawyer present.” Stay stuck to this line and continue to request to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. It is important to know your rights, click here to read more information on knowing your rights, and how to protect and to assert them.

Do I Have a Right to An Attorney While Taking a Field Sobriety Test?

No. Unfortunately, an individual does not have the right to consult with an attorney before a field sobriety test in Arizona. However, a person cannot be forced by law enforcement to aid in collecting evidence that the government will eventually use against them in court.

Can I Still Travel to Canada if I Have a DUI?

Canada does not generally admit individuals who have been convicted of DUI. However, there are some exceptions. For instance, if you apply for a temporary resident permit, you may be able to become admissible temporarily. The downside to this is that this can take time. 

Do not try to cross the international border and lie. These border agencies have access to extremely extensive information. Lying could further bar you from entering Canada in the future. 

Also, keep in mind that a DUI conviction is not an automatic bar from entry. The Canadian Border Services Agency will determine on a case by case basis who can enter the country.

Will a DUI Hurt My Chances of Getting a Loan or a Mortgage?

Private parties give private loans and mortgages, and each has its criteria and application process. These private companies are neither required to nor prevented from conducting a background check before deciding on whether or not that you are eligible for a loan. 

This being said, it is unclear the weight that would be given should a private lender discover that you have a DUI conviction on your record. However, the requirements for loans are often somewhat clear and can easily be learned by inquiring with the lender. Given that hard credit inquiries harm your credit score, it is wise to learn about the criteria of a given lender before applying for a new loan.


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