DUI Arizona Jail Time for a First Offense
First-time DUI offenders get off easily, don’t they? This is a common belief Arizona residents share. The truth is somewhat different. Driving under the influence in Arizona is a very serious crime. Even if you commit a DUI for the very first time, you’ll still have to face the consequences.
The Consequences of Your First DUI Offense
People who have a clean criminal record and who don’t commit an aggravated or an extreme DUI can benefit from some leniency during the legal proceedings.
A first-time DUI offense in Arizona is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
A Class 1 misdemeanor contributes to several types of penalties – there’s a minimum sentence of 24 hours in jail, a fine of at least 250 dollars, license suspension, the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID), probation (possible) and community service (possible).
Depending on the specifics of the situation, the court may also order drug and/or alcohol screening. The person that committed the DUI could also be asked to enroll in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.
Do You Have to Spend Time in Jail?
Spending time in jail sounds scary so naturally, you may wonder if it’s possible to eliminate this part of the court-mandated sanction for first-time offenders.
Going to jail is mandatory in Arizona for all DUI offenders, even those who have made a mistake and never plan to repeat it.
This is why you should contact an experienced Arizona DUI attorney as soon as you get arrested. Your lawyer will examine the evidence and the procedure followed by law enforcement professionals. Depending on the facts and factors that contributed to your arrest, the lawyer could reduce some of the penalties. In some instances, attorneys have been known to get charges dismissed altogether.
Jail time can be reduced significantly if you agree to go through alcohol or drug screening. Keep in mind that one day is the minimum. First-time offenders could also be sentenced to longer jail time. Standard first-time offenders may have to spend as many as 10 days in jail.
Extreme, Super Extreme and Aggravated DUI
Those who commit extreme, super extreme and aggravated DUIs will also have to spend time in jail even if it’s their first offense.
An extreme DUI, just like the standard DUI, is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona. Convicted drivers will have to spend 10 consecutive days in jail, unless another arrangement is finalized and accepted in court. Other sanctions for an extreme DUI include a fine of 2,500 dollars, a 12-month IID installation requirement and license suspension.
Super extreme DUIs are also Class 1 misdemeanors but the jail time is longer. Anyone who is convicted of super extreme DUI in Arizona will have to serve 45 consecutive days in jail. The fine will also be increased to 2,750 dollars.
Aggravated DUIs come with a range of sanctions. Some of the offenders will be sentenced to anywhere between 10 and 45 days in jail. Those who commit a more serious violation (injuring someone or causing property damage) may have to anywhere between four and eight months in prison. These penalties apply to first-time offenders, even those who have a meticulously clean criminal record.
People who commit an aggravated DUI for the first time will also face a fine of at least 4,000 dollars, a 12-month license suspension, IID installation for 24 months, mandatory drug screening, probation and community service.
Offenders who do not comply with some of these court requirements risk getting a much longer prison time that will reach up to two years in some instances.
To sum it up – the jail sentence for first-time offenders is mandatory but it can be reduced in some instances. Talk to your lawyer and be honest about the specifics of the situation. Even if the charges cannot be dropped completely, the penalties can be reduced through adequate legal representation.
Click here for information on the woman arrested under AZ extreme DUI laws.