Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is very dangerous and against the law. Driving under the influence puts you and other drivers at risk of serious injury or even death. The law takes this offense very seriously, and even if you are arrested for a first-time offense, you can face severe consequences.
It is important that you work with an experienced Phoenix, Arizona DUI lawyer who can advise you of your rights and your legal options if you are arrested for a DUI. But if you’re not sure, consider these serious penalties you could face for a first-time DUI offense if you don’t work with a DUI attorney to clear or minimize the charges:
The law does take it “easy” on you for a first-time DUI offense in that the penalties only get worse if you are arrested for a DUI a second or third time. However, few people would consider the penalties for a first-time offense to be “light.”
Arizona considers drivers who have a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent to be guilty of DUI, as well as those who are under the influence of drugs, including prescription medications that affect their driving ability. Those who are arrested face:
• Minimum of 24 hours in jail or a maximum of six months
• Minimum fine of $250 or a maximum of $2,500 (combination of fines and fees)
• Suspension of driver’s license for 90 to 360 days
• Potential three-year probation
• Potential community service mandate
• Potential order to complete drug or alcohol education class
• Installation of ignition interlock device
A DUI conviction also stays on your criminal record for seven years. That means that if you are arrested on DUI charges any time in the next seven years, you will be looking at even more serious penalties, including longer jail time, higher fines, and longer license suspension. Other “costs” also include having to pay for a lawyer, paying more in insurance premiums, losing time from work, and having a very hard time finding future work. The consequences of a DUI, whether it’s your first time or not, are very serious.
If you are arrested for a DUI, you may be shocked and even scared. If you are under the influence, you may also react inappropriately. However, it’s important that you try to remain calm and cooperate with the officer on the scene.
You do not have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test in Arizona. The state has an “implied consent” law that requires you to take the test if the officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that you are intoxicated and arrests you. If you do not take the test, you will have to surrender your license on the scene, and the consequences of your conviction can be more severe.
Always remain calm and cooperate on the scene. As soon as you have the opportunity to contact a DUI lawyer in Phoenix, do so, whether that’s from your call in jail or from home as soon as you are released.
Never try to go it alone if you are arrested for a DUI. A dedicated DUI defense lawyer can work to protect your legal interests, making sure that you don’t make your problem worse at a minimum. But in most cases, a good DUI lawyer will actually be able to have your penalties minimized, and can sometimes have the charges dismissed entirely.
The benefits of those two things are vast. You can save money, protect your criminal record, and protect your ability to get employment. Your DUI attorney may be able to keep you out of jail, protect your driving privileges, and ensure you keep paying good rates for insurance.
Defending the first DUI charge will also save you from more extensive penalties if you are ever charged with a DUI again.
Phoenix DUI Lawyer is ready to help if you have been charged with a DUI in Arizona, whether it’s your first offense or your fourth. We believe that everyone has a right to experienced and dedicated legal counsel, no matter what mistakes they have made. A DUI defense lawyer from our team will review the details of your case and put together the best defense to help you beat the charges or to reduce the penalties. Contact us in Arizona today to start talking to a DUI attorney!
Phoenix DUI Lawyer
668 N. 44th St., Ste 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
Hours: Mon – Fri: 9am – 5pm
Email: [email protected]