Arizona is a state with very harsh DUI laws. The consequences for making a mistake to pleading no contest to driving while under the influence can have serious financial and social consequences. For this reason, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney the moment you are offered a phone call following arrest. A lawyer can help negotiate a favorable sentence and ensure that you avoid unnecessary punishment.
First Time DUI
If you are convicted or plead guilty to DUI, your first offense will involve financial fines to a number of different state organizations as well as a minimum 24 hours of jail time. This amount can be higher based on the circumstances of your arrest. The most common charges include between $250 and $1250 to the state of Arizona in addition to any fees paid to the MVD for license suspension and eventual reinstatement.
Repeat DUI Offense
The most serious consequence of a repeat DUI offense is increased jail time. The judge is less likely to view a second conviction as a simple transgression, and may assign a more serious punishment. For instance, a second or third offence offense can land a driver in prison for at least thirty days and ensure a fee of at least $500. This DUI conviction may also be treated as a felony, which takes away a defendant’s right to vote even after he or she is finished serving time. Additionally, a repeat offense involves the installation of an ignition interlock device and completion of a court-ordered alcohol education program.
Calling a Lawyer
One of the most damaging things a driver suspected of DUI can do is volunteer information. If you or a loved one is arrested and charged with a DUI, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. These trained legal professionals will be able to protect your rights and information during police questioning. This ensures that the prosecutor and law enforcement do not elicit improper confessions or guilty pleas from a case that could result in someone’s acquittal.
If you live in the Tucson area and need legal advice, don’t hesitate to contact the law office of Sherick & Bleier by dialing (520) 318-3939 to reach our Downtown office.