Arizona has enacted very harsh driving under the influence (DUI / DWI) laws and has made the offenses and penalties more strict, including mandatory ignition interlock installation for all convicted DUI offenders. Arizona’s laws do not require the alleged offender to be over the limit of .08% to be charged with DUI. Simply being impaired to the slightest degree while in actual physical control of a vehicle can result in an arrest for DUI. However, it is important to remember an arrest for DUI does not have to result in a conviction for the offense.
Generally, every DUI case has an administrative proceeding and a criminal proceeding. Anyone who has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or has received an administrative license suspension should immediately contact an experienced Tempe criminal defense lawyer. You only have 15 days after receiving notice to dispute your administrative license suspension. Therefore, it is essential to consult a Mesa DUI defense lawyer to begin crafting your best legal strategy today.
Mesa DUI Defense Attorney
James Novak of the Law Office of James E. Novak has over 13 years of experience defending residents in Maricopa County against alleged DUI charges. He knows how serious the ramifications to a DUI accusation can be and is not afraid to fight the allegations against you. Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak for a free consultation at (480) 413-1499 or send an online message if you have been charged with a DUI in Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix or the surrounding areas.
Invoke Your Right to Remain Silent
After you have been pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Chandler, it is important not to speak to any law enforcement officer until you have hired an experienced DUI lawyer. In order to invoke this right, simply state you will not make any statements until after your have spoken to your attorney. Once you have said this to the officer, remain silent, even if they continue to question you.
It is best to remain silent, even if you are innocent, and not try to explain your situation. This can occasionally lead to conflicting details or other evidence the prosecutor WILL use against you at your trial. Your lawyer will represent your best interests and protect your constitutional rights when speaking to law enforcement in order to prevent you from incriminating yourself in any way.
DUI Administrative Proceedings in Tempe
Anyone who drives a vehicle on Arizona’s roads has agreed to the state's implied consent laws. These laws state every driver has agreed to submit to field sobriety tests, breathalyzer or Intoxilyzer tests, and other chemical testing if you are pulled over for a suspected DUI. If you do not submit to chemical testing, you can receive an administrative license suspension. Additionally, if you do submit to chemical testing and fail the test with a blood or breath alcohol concentration (AC or BAC) over the limit of .08, your license can be administratively suspended.
According to the Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-1321, you can receive an administrative license suspension when you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI if:
- You refuse to submit to a blood, breath or urine chemical test, or
- You take a chemical alcohol test, but fail to pass it (also known as per se DUI).
In order to possibly reinstate your driver’s license after an administrative license suspension, your attorney must file a request for an administrative license suspension hearing within 15 days after you receive notice of the suspension.
If the administrative law judge at the administrative hearing determines there was insufficient evidence to suspend your license, your license will be returned to you. Even if your administrative license suspension is not overturned at the hearing, you attorney may be able to help you apply for a temporary or provisional license so you can continue to drive to school or work through any subsequent criminal DUI case.
Actual Physical Control in Maricopa County
You can be charged with a DUI in Arizona even if you were not actually driving at the time of the offense. Arizona law does not actually define actual physical control (APC), but the Arizona Supreme Court has held that APC is determined by whether the alleged offender’s current or imminent control of the vehicle presented a danger to the driver or the public at the time of the arrest. The prosecutor will look at the totality of the circumstances to determine if the driver had actual physical control at the time of the arrest. These factors can include:
- The time of day;
- The weather conditions for the day;
- Whether the vehicle was running;
- Where the driver was located;
- Whether the keys were in the ignition;
- Whether the driver voluntarily pulled over;
- Whether the driver was awake or asleep;
- Whether the ignition was on; and/or
- Whether the vehicle was stopped.
Types of DUI Offenses in Tempe, AZ
The criminal DUI process is separate from the administrative license suspension process in Arizona. Most people are familiar with the criminal aspect to DUI offenses, which generally involve pre-trial motions, hearings, trial, sentencing, and possibly appeals. Some of the most common DUI charges in Tempe can include:
First DUI - This offense is usually punishable as a class 1 misdemeanor and can occur if you drive or are in actual physical control of a vehicle while:
- Under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance, or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances and impaired to the slightest degree;
- You have an alcohol concentration of .08 or more up to two hours after driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle, and the alcohol concentration level is from consuming alcohol either before or while driving, or being in actual physical control of the vehicle;
- There is any controlled substance in your offender’s body; or
- You had an alcohol concentration of .04 or more and the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle that you to have a commercial driver’s license.
Second DUI – This offense can occur if you have previously been convicted of a DUI offense within the preceding 84 months.
Aggravated DUI – You can be charged with aggravated DUI if you drive or are in actual physical control of a vehicle and:
- Have a suspended, revoked or cancelled driver’s license;
- It is your third or subsequent DUI;
- You have a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle; or
- You have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.
Extreme DUI – This offense can occur if you operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and have an alcohol concentration level of .15 or more but less than .20.
Super Extreme DUI – This offense can occur if you operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and have an alcohol concentration level of .20 or higher.
Possible Penalties to DUI in Tempe
An individual who has been convicted of driving under the influence in Mesa could face any of the following penalties:
- A mandatory jail or prison sentence;
- A fine ranging from $250 to $750;
- Installation of an ignition interlock device for at least one year;
- Possible community restitution or community service;
- Possible vehicle impoundment;
- Possible probation;
- An additional assessment of at least $250;
- An assessment ranging from $500 to $1,500 to be deposited in the prison construction and operations fund;
- An assessment ranging from $500 to $1,500 be deposited in the public safety equipment fund;
- Alcohol or drug screening;
- Alcohol or drug education or treatment program;
- Court costs;
- A driver’s license suspension for 90 days to three years; and/or
- A criminal record.
The Law Of James E. Novak | Maricopa County DUI Lawyer
Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak today for a consultation about your alleged driving under the influence, DUI or DWI offense throughout Maricopa County in Arizona. James E. Novak is knowledgeable in all areas of Arizona's DUI laws and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and punishments for your alleged drinking and driving offense. Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak at (480) 413-1499 for a consultation about your DUI charges throughout Tempe and the surrounding areas of Arizona, including Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix, Chandler, Scottsdale or East Valley.