As Americans, we have all heard the phrase “driving under the influence,” or DUI for short. It is a serious offense that can result in significant consequences, including fines, suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, and even jail time.
What is DUI?
DUI is the act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In most states, including Arizona, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, even if your BAC is lower than 0.08%, you can still be charged with a DUI if the officer believes you are impaired.
DUI charges can be filed against anyone who operates a motor vehicle, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and boats. If you are charged with a DUI, it is crucial to hire a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can help you navigate through the legal process and defend your rights.
What are the penalties for DUI?
If you are convicted of a DUI, the penalties can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. In Arizona, a first-time DUI offense can result in:
- Up to 10 days in jail
- A minimum fine of $250
- Community service
- Participation in an alcohol or drug screening and treatment program
- Suspension of your driver’s license for up to 90 days
If you are facing a second or subsequent DUI offense, the penalties can be even more severe. For example, a third DUI conviction is considered a felony offense, and the penalties can include a mandatory prison sentence.
What should you do if you are pulled over for a DUI?
If you are pulled over for a DUI, it is essential to remain calm and cooperative with the officer. You do not have to answer any questions or perform any field sobriety tests, but you should provide your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.
If the officer believes you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will likely be arrested and taken to the police station for a blood or breath test. It is essential to contact a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and defend your case in court.
What should you look for in a DUI attorney?
When looking for a DUI defense attorney, it is crucial to find someone with experience and expertise in this area of law. You want an attorney who understands the science behind DUI cases, including breathalyzer tests and blood alcohol level measurements.
You also want an attorney who is familiar with the local court system and has experience defending DUI cases in your area. A knowledgeable attorney can negotiate with prosecutors and judges to get the best possible outcome for your case, including reduced charges, dismissal of charges, or a plea bargain.
What happens if I refuse a breath or blood test?
If you refuse a breath or blood test, you can face additional penalties, including a longer driver’s license suspension and possibly even jail time. In Arizona, there is an implied consent law, which means that by driving on the state’s roads, you consent to a breath, blood, or urine test if an officer suspects you are driving under the influence.
Can I go to jail for a DUI?
Yes, depending on the circumstances of your case, you can go to jail for a DUI. Even a first-time offense can result in jail time, especially if your BAC was significantly above the legal limit or you caused an accident or injury while driving under the influence.
What can a DUI defense attorney do for me?
A knowledgeable DUI defense attorney can help you understand the charges against you, explain your legal options, and defend your case in court. An attorney can negotiate with prosecutors to reduce or dismiss charges, challenge evidence against you, and argue on your behalf in front of a judge and jury.
Being charged with a DUI can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. However, it is essential to remember that you have legal rights and options, and a DUI defense attorney can help you protect them. If you are facing DUI charges in Tucson, Arizona, contact an experienced attorney today to discuss your case and understand your legal options.