Out-of-State DUI

Lawyer for Defense Against Drunk Driving Charges

Arizona has some of the harshest DUI penalties in the country. If you are charged with an out-of-state DUI, you may be rightly concerned about a potential conviction and sentence. You can call Phoenix DUI attorney James E. Novak, a former prosecutor who now dedicates himself to helping people fight criminal charges. He will fully investigate the facts of your case and help you develop the most relevant strategies for your case.

Out-of-State DUI

If you’re convicted of a DUI in Arizona, you may face fines and penalties not only from the state of Arizona, but also from your home state’s department of motor vehicles. Assuming your case goes to trial, a conviction can lead to fines that you must pay to the state of Arizona. This is because your case is processed in Arizona using Arizona resources. As such, the fines can’t be paid within your home state. This also means that you won’t be able to appeal your fines within your home state. Only a state that has issued a license is entitled to suspend or revoke it. If you hold a license in your home state, you will receive an Arizona license number so that the state can enforce penalties against you. The authorities in your home state may honor the penalties imposed by Arizona courts, or they may impose different penalties based on local regulations.

In most cases, a first-time DUI is charged as a misdemeanor, though there are circumstances under which it can result in a felony DUI charge. Under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 28-1383, you can be charged with an aggravated DUI if you drive under the influence with a minor in the car. You can also be charged with an aggravated DUI if your driver’s license is suspended when you get a DUI. If you cause serious bodily injury in Arizona as a result of a DUI, you may face felony DUI charges. You can be sentenced to a mandatory prison sentence of 4 months for a first offense aggravated DUI.

Even if you are convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor instead of a felony, law enforcement agencies in your home state will be able to see the misdemeanor on your record.


For a first offense DUI, you will likely pay at least $1500 in fines and fees. If you have a driver’s license in another state, it may be revoked or suspended for a long period based on your DUI conviction in Arizona. Additionally, your auto insurance rates will probably go up.

Many people are concerned about the prospect of jail time. Arizona requires jail time even for first offenders. Jail time can be a challenge for someone from out-of-state, and moreover, alternatives like work release aren’t available to out-of-state drivers. In some cases, your DUI defense attorney may be able to help you get your jail time transferred to your home state, but some states’ jails are overpopulated and so a transfer is not guaranteed. This means you would potentially need to serve the sentence in an Arizona jail unless and until you located a jail in your home state to accept you for the rest of the sentence. If you were able to get a transfer, you would have to pay the costs for the transfer yourself.

Even if your Arizona DUI is your first offense in Arizona, a prior DUI in another state could affect the harshness of your sentence. The prosecutor might ask for your prior charge or charges to be considered during sentencing. This is a situation in which it can be helpful to have seasoned Arizona legal counsel on your side. Where there are significant differences between Arizona law and the law of your home state, you may be able to argue that you should be treated as a first offender.

DUI Defense Attorney Serving Phoenix Residents

If you have been charged with an out-of-state DUI in Phoenix, you can discuss your circumstances with criminal defense lawyer James Novak. Mr. Novak defends those who are being prosecuted for drunk or drugged driving in or around the Phoenix area, including in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and across Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact us via our online form.

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