The state of Arizona has several different variations of DUI charges, sometimes being charged as a felony, and sometimes being charged as a misdemeanor. While the penalties are harsher for felony charges, a misdemeanor DUI isn’t something to be taken lightly; the consequences can still be severe and significantly impact your life and your future. If you were arrested for driving under the influence, it’s important to speak with an experienced Glendale misdemeanor DUI lawyer right away. The lawyers at Stewart Law Group have extensive experience handling all types of DUI cases. Contact us today to set up a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
Glendale, Arizona Misdemeanor DUI Laws
In Arizona, a driving under the influence charge that has no aggravating factors will be charged as a misdemeanor. If you are arrested for driving under the influence and have no prior DUI convictions, and your BAC was less than .15%, or if you were under the influence and impaired in the slightest – even if your BAC was under the legal limit – you will be charged with a misdemeanor DUI.
Penalties for Misdemeanor DUI in Glendale, Arizona
The penalties for a misdemeanor DUI vary depending on whether it’s your first or second offense.
First offense: Penalties for a first offense misdemeanor DUI include a mandatory 10 days in jail, though all but 1 can be suspended, meaning you could only have to spend 24 hours incarcerated. Additionally, you will be required to complete a drug and alcohol screening (and treatment if required), pay at least $1,250 in fines, and complete a traffic safety course. Finally, you will also lose your license for 90 days and will be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for 1 year.
Second offense: Penalties for a second offense misdemeanor DUI include at least 30 consecutive days in jail, drug and alcohol screening, and fines of at least $1,750. You will also be required to install an ignition interlock in your vehicle and your license will be suspended for 1 year.
Legal Defenses to Misdemeanor DUI
Being arrested for a DUI does not automatically mean you’re doomed. There are many legal defenses we can raise to help fight your case in court. The strategy we use will depend on your circumstances, as each case is unique, but some common legal defenses to DUI charges in Glendale include the following:
No Actual Physical Control: To be convicted of a DUI, you must be in actual physical control of the vehicle. The fact that you were in the car but not driving won’t automatically get you off the hook, but this allows us to argue that you weren’t in actual physical control of the vehicle. For example, if you were asleep in the front seat of the car but it was legally parked and the keys were not in the ignition, this defense could lead to an acquittal.
No Reasonable Suspicion For Initial Stop: If law enforcement pulled you over in your vehicle without reasonable suspicion, we can use a motion to suppress to try to have all subsequent evidence – observations, statements, breath or blood tests, etc. – thrown out, meaning the state cannot use them in court.
No 15-Minute Waiting Period: After you’re arrested, law enforcement is required to observe you for a continuous 15 minutes before they administer a breath test. If this isn’t done, your Glendale misdemeanor DUI attorney can argue to have the breathalyzer results excluded.
This is not an exhaustive list of legal defenses, so if you don’t think any of these defenses apply to you, we can still help; contact us to discuss your situation.
Contact The Stewart Law Group For The Help You Deserve
Many people think being charged with a misdemeanor DUI isn’t a big deal, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. All DUI charges carry significant penalties that can have lifelong consequences. At The Stewart Law Group, our experienced Glendale misdemeanor DUI attorneys will fight alongside you every step of the way. Contact us today to set up a free consultation to discuss your legal options.