DUI Law in Mesa, AZ
What Is a DUI?
Mesa residents that operate a vehicle under the influence put not only themselves, but also those around them in serious danger. And if you receive a DUi in Mesa it can seriously affect every aspect of your life. However, you are not without options or legal recourse. If you have received a DUI, you may want to contact an experienced Mesa attorney to help you move forward.
Possible Consequences of Mesa, Arizona DUI Convictions
Where you live, the severity of the incident, and your criminal record determine the sentencing for a DUI. The punishments can drastically increase if you have had previous DUIs, so be mindful of that. If this is your first DUI, do not go at it alone and risk costly mistakes. Get a Mesa law firm on your side to fight for you and your rights.
If convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Mesa, Arizona, you can count on fines being a part of your sentencing. The Arizona Department of Transportation states that a first offense DUI in Mesa is punishable by $1,250 in fines, minimum. The maximum fine you could pay is as high as $2,500.
However, other factors can drastically increase the amount you must pay, including:
- Any damage to property while driving under the influence
- If someone suffered injuries as a result of your intoxicated driving
- Cases that include child endangerment
- Any court costs associated with your case
Jail time is mandatory, even for first-time offenders in Mesa. If this is your first DUI offense, you may only have to face a day or two in prison. But if you have previous convictions for DUIs, you can be sentenced to several months or years, depending on the nature of the crime. Know that some circumstances can add even more time in a cell, including injury to other people while driving under the influence.
If you do not face jail time, you will likely be on probation, with the sentencing judge determining the duration. You will pay monthly fees, and you cannot commit any more criminal offenses, including traffic violations. If you violate the terms of your probation, count on facing time behind bars.
Mesa residents that are given probation will be assigned a probation officer. You are solely responsible to meet with the probation officer assigned, and will be required to do so on a regular basis. Your probation officer may also ask you to submit to random drug tests, and make surprise inspection visits to your residence. Failure to comply with these protocols may result in jail time and or the revocation of your probation. Mesa residents may also be required to abstain from drug use, undergo counseling, and perform community service.
Drug and Alcohol Education Program
Following a Mesa DUI sentencing, the law states you must complete a drug and alcohol education program. This will teach you about the dangers of driving under the influence. These programs cost more fees besides the legal costs you already have to pay.
The ADOT provides screening, counseling, and education courses for those dealing with substance abuse and over consumption in Mesa. Certain driving offenses will require these courses automatically. You’ll be required to take part in a screening process to accurately assess treatment needed, and then proceed with the treatment as recommended. Educational courses generally consist of 16 hours of classroom education by a licensed behavioral therapist or specialist.
The education programs also include a DUI evaluation. An evaluator asks you questions about how alcohol and drugs affect your life. If they believe that you are dependent, you may have to enter a substance abuse treatment program.
Suspension or Loss of License
No matter where you may face a DUI conviction, you have to undergo a license suspension period, at the very least. If it is your first DUI, you may have a license suspension for a few months while you go through probation and the drug and alcohol education program.
If this is not your first DUI, you may have your license suspended for much longer, or you could have it taken from you permanently.
What Should You Do When Charged With a DUI in Mesa, Arizona?
If you’re facing a felony DUI charge, you must take the following steps to protect yourself:
Step 1: Contact an Attorney Familiar With DUI Law
Immediately following your DUI arrest, you need to contact an experienced Mesa DUI attorney. Your attorney can help prepare for your arraignment and prepare a defense to vindicate yourself or reduce the sentencing.
Step 2: Learn About Your Local DUI Laws
Mesa, Arizona has unique laws for DUI or DWI charges. Your lawyer will work with you to help you better understand your state’s laws on driving while intoxicated. It is critical to understand what charges you face and the potential outcomes of your case.
Step 3: Request a DMV Hearing
You or your attorney should request a hearing as soon as possible following your arrest. In Mesa, Arizona you only have so much time to ask for a DMV hearing to keep your license until your court appearance. If you do not request a hearing, prepare for a license suspension.
The Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles NOW provides an online service to allow you to request a hearing. You can also request a hearing through the U.S. Postal Service, or deliver a written request by hand. However, you must do this in a timely manner. Failure to file within 15 days of receiving notice can cause your license to be suspended.
Step 4: Prepare for Court Appearance
You and your attorney will prepare for your appearance and arraignment in Mesa. If you plead “not guilty,” your DUI defense attorney represents you in court, and a judge and jury oversee the DUI law case.
Step 5: Receive Sentencing or Exoneration
You will either be “not guilty” of the charges brought against you and walk free, or you will receive sentencing for a guilty verdict.
Work with an Experienced Local DUI Lawyer in Mesa, Arizona
Should you ever find yourself charged with a DUI in Arizona, you need to work with an experienced Mesa lawyer who can stand up for you in court. You cannot clear your name of the charges or reduce the consequences without help. Your life and future depend on having great legal representation during your DUI case. Contact an attorney near you today. We can even help you connect with legal help across Arizona state lines.