The state of Arizona takes drunk driving seriously, and courts tend to prosecute these offenses harshly, even for people with no prior criminal records. On top of that, if you are currently a Legal Permanent Resident in the United States rather than a citizen, a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction could affect your eligibility for naturalized citizenship in the future and, in certain situations, may be a deportable offense.
Whether this is your first time in any courtroom or you have faced DUI charges before, you should think twice before proceeding with your case without seeking counsel from a defense attorney experienced with handling charges and situations like yours. Working closely with a Mesa DUI lawyer can go a long way toward protecting your legal rights and personal interests, not just now but for years after your case concludes.
In Arizona, it is illegal for anyone over 21 years old to drive any motor vehicle if they are impaired by alcohol or drugs or if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or more, regardless of whether they demonstrate other symptoms of impairment. For an individual with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the BAC limit for a DUI charge is 0.04 percent. A driver under 21 could face drunk driving charges for any BAC level other than 0.00 percent.
A person found driving a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.15 percent or more may face charges of extreme DUI, which carries harsher penalties upon conviction. Additionally, the court may charge a person who drives drunk under any of the following circumstances with an aggravated DUI:
An attorney in Mesa could help address any DUI offense practically and proactively.
A first-time DUI offender is subject to a minimum 10-day jail term and a minimum $1,250 fine. A second-time offender may face a minimum 90-day jail term with at least 30 days served consecutively, a minimum $3,000 fine, and a 12-month driver’s license suspension. In either scenario, a convicted defendant may also be subject to ignition interlock device (IID) installment in all personal vehicles for 12 months, mandatory alcohol education, community service, and up to five years of probation.
A first conviction for extreme DUI carries a mandatory minimum jail term of 30 consecutive days and a minimum $2,500 fine. A second conviction could result in a minimum 120-day jail term, a $3,250 fine, and a 12-month license suspension. Finally, as a lawyer in Mesa could further explain, any aggravated drunk driving conviction is a felony punishable by four months to two years of incarceration, a minimum of $4,000 in fines, a three-year license suspension, a two-year IID installation, and a maximum 10-year probation.
Even someone with no history of criminal charges for drunk driving may face serious repercussions for a first-time DUI conviction. Fortunately, you have help available from a seasoned legal professional who knows how to contest allegations like this effectively. A Mesa DUI lawyer could make all the difference in your case’s outcome. Schedule a consultation by calling today.