DUI Law in Tucson, AZ
What Is a DUI?
DUI, which refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is a criminal offense that can lead to weighty consequences. Also known as DWI, the process of going to court to face either conviction or exoneration can change the course of your life forever.
Learn more about your DUI law defense options below, and then talk to a local attorney in Tucson, Arizona who will help you in this delicate situation. You don’t have to stare down consequences alone. You can take wise steps today to protect your interests.
Possible Consequences of a Tucson, Arizona DUI Conviction
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 Tucson law firm on your side to fight for you and your rights.
If convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Tucson, Arizona, you can count on fines being a part of your sentencing. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the fine for your first DUI in Tucson can range from $1250 to $2500. However, subsequent or aggravated DUIs carry minimum fines of up to $3250.
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 Tucson. 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.
DUI probations in Tucson can last as long as 5-10 years. Arizona has some of the harshest DUI penalties in the US, and the probation terms are no less stringent. In addition to alcohol treatment, education, and fines, you may be prohibited from consuming any alcohol or driving without an ignition interlock device. Violating the terms of your probation can result in longer, stricter probation, or significant jail time. Tucson courts contract with a vendor to supervise probationers, and the office is located in the Tucson City Court.
Drug and Alcohol Education Program
Following a Tucson 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.
As a part of your sentence for a DUI in Tucson, you may be required to complete an alcohol treatment and education program through the Arizona Department of Transportation. The program begins with a screening, after which case-specific treatment and/or education is recommended. The education component of the program consists of a minimum of 16 classroom hours. There are approximately 20 approved providers in Tucson, and online classes may also be available.
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 Tucson, 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 Tucson, AZ DUI Law
Immediately following your DUI arrest, you need to contact an experienced Tucson 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
Tucson, 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 Tucson, 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.
When you are arrested for a DUI in Tucson, the officer is required to confiscate your driver’s license and issue you a notice of suspension. Your license will automatically be suspended unless you request a hearing with the Arizona Department of Transportation. You only have 15 days to request the hearing. Although the main hearing office is in Phoenix, you may be able to schedule your hearing in Tucson, or even have it conducted over the phone.
Step 4: Prepare for Court Appearance
You and your attorney will prepare for your appearance and arraignment in Tucson. 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 Tucson, Arizona
Should you ever find yourself charged with a DUI, you need to work with an experienced Tucson, AZ 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.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!