First Offense DUI in Phoenix, AZ

If you are arrested for driving under the influence, you are facing significant penalties even if you have a clean driving record and were never before convicted of drunk or drugged driving. Make no mistake about it – while DUI is a “driving” offense, it is a crime in the State of Arizona, specifically, a class 1 misdemeanor.

The possibility of loss of your license, fines, assessments, insurance increases and jail time make it essential that you choose the best legal representation available.

What are the Penalties for a First Time DUI?

Let’s assume you have never before been convicted of driving under the influence, or at least that there were no convictions within the past seven years. Also assume that there are no aggravating factors that would alter the penalties or the classification of the offense. In that case, a typical first time DUI sentence would generally include the following:

  • Jail. A minimum 10-day jail sentence must be imposed by statute, although the judge may suspend all but one day of that term subject to completion of alcohol or drug screening, education or treatment.
  • Monetary Penalties. You will be required to pay fines, assessments (including a surcharge) of approximately $2,000. You will also be subject to substantial increases in your auto insurance premiums.
  • License Suspension. Your license will be suspended, usually for a period of 90 days. After 30 days you may be able to obtain a restricted license. The restricted license would allow you to go to and from work.
  • Community Restitution. May be required.

Which Factors Can Affect my Penalties?

Every case is different, and while we cannot recite every possible circumstance that will affect the penalty, there are certain circumstances that will increase either the level of the offense and/or the penalties associated with it, even for a first time offender. Here are some examples:

  • Refusal to submit to a chemical test;
  • Blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher;
  • DUI causing injury or death;
  • DUI with a minor passenger under 15 years of age;
  • DUI while a license suspension is in effect.

Drunk Driving Defense Attorney in Phoenix

Even for a first offense with no aggravating factors, the penalties for a DUI conviction can radically affect your life and that of your family. In addition to the impact on your job (either commuting to and from work, or traveling as part of your work day), think about the simple things we take for granted. Going out to a restaurant or a social gathering, visiting friends and family, taking our children to school and to sports and other extracurricular activities – all of this will change merely by virtue of the suspension of your driver’s license. When you add in jail time, heavy fines, an ignition interlock device, assessments and surcharges, a conviction can turn your life upside down.

Now is the time to choose a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases. Many DUI arrests do not result in convictions. Some are dismissed, some result in reckless driving convictions and some result in not guilty verdicts. Give yourself the best chance of avoiding the harsh penalties associated with a conviction. Contact The Law Office of Bret Royle today for a free consultation.

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