7 Reasons Not to Ignore Your Arizona DUI During the Holiday Season
If you get a DUI during the holiday season, it can be tempting to ignore it. Why meet with a lawyer and go to court when you could be spending time with your friends and family? The holiday season only comes once a year—if you miss it, you will miss out on lifelong memories.
But, if you ignore your DUI, you will face lifelong consequences.
In Arizona, facing a DUI charge is a severe matter. All DUI defendants meet the possibility of jail time plus thousands of dollars in fines, fees, and surcharges. DUI convictions can trigger other penalties as well—and if you are being charged with an aggravated or extreme DUI, it is not a stretch to say that a conviction could truly impact the rest of your life.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your DUI During the Holidays in Arizona
Here are seven more reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your DUI during the holidays in Arizona:
1. You Can Be Charged with Failure to Appear if You Miss Your Court Date
One of the most important things you need to know if you are considering ignoring your DUI charge is that you can face an additional charge if you miss your court date. This is a “failure to appear” charge under either Section 13-2506 or Section 13-2507 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.
Section 13-2506 applies to misdemeanor DUI cases, and failure to appear is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor. Section 13-2507 applies to felony DUI cases (including aggravated DUI cases) and ranks failure to appear as a class 5 felony.
2. Your DUI Case Will Proceed Without You
Regardless of how you handle your DUI case, it will proceed according to schedule. Prosecutors will build their case against you and be prepared to secure a guilty verdict in court. Your conviction will lead to sentencing, and the judge will almost certainly impose the maximum sentence allowable under Arizona law.
3. You May Have Several Defenses Available (Even if You Were Driving Drunk)
There are several ways to defend against DUI charges under Arizona law. This includes several defenses that you may be able to assert even if you were driving drunk. An experienced defense lawyer will be able to examine the facts of your case to determine what defenses you have available. Then, your lawyer can assert all viable defenses on your behalf.
What if prosecutors have your BAC and dash camera footage or other clear evidence of impairment? Even in this scenario, you have options. It is also important not to forget the risks of failing to appear that we discussed above. If the police violated your constitutional rights, if prosecutors withheld evidence, or if there are any other issues with the government’s case, this could save you from a conviction in court.
4. Your Lawyer May Be Able to Negotiate a Plea Bargain
If you can’t avoid a DUI conviction entirely, you may be able to minimize the consequences of your arrest by negotiating a plea bargain. Arizona prosecutors will consider plea bargains in appropriate circumstances. This will often involve pleading guilty to a “wet reckless,” which carries far lesser consequences than a DUI conviction. An experienced lawyer will help you decide whether to seek a plea deal and negotiate with the prosecutor’s office on your behalf if warranted.
5. Criminal Penalties Aren’t the Only Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Arizona
Speaking of consequences, it is also essential to understand that criminal penalties aren’t the only consequences of a DUI conviction in Arizona. From immigration consequences and travel restrictions to loss of your professional license or CDL, a DUI conviction in Arizona can have many other serious consequences as well. Additionally, while you may become eligible to limit access to your conviction record in the future, DUI convictions do not qualify for expungement under Arizona law.
Then there are the financial costs. A DUI conviction will significantly increase your auto insurance rates for several years. If your driver’s license is suspended, you must find alternate transportation and pay to reinstate it when the time comes.
6. Hiring a Lawyer Can Be Your Cheapest Option By Far
Given the various costs of a DUI conviction in Arizona, hiring a lawyer can be your cheapest option by far. Whether your lawyer helps you avoid a conviction or negotiates a favorable plea deal, the costs of your legal representation will be well worth it.
7. You Owe it to Yourself and Your Family to Fight Your DUI
Due to the consequences you will face if you ignore your DUI, you owe it to yourself and your family to fight your case by all means available. You have options, and an experienced defense lawyer can help you choose the best option. Yes, ignoring your DUI and spending time with your family during the holidays might seem the best option. But, in the long run, fighting your DUI is the best thing you can do for yourself and those you love.
While dealing with a DUI charge can be stressful, the first step is easy. You only have to send a message or pick up the phone. We provide free consultations for all DUI cases and can help you make informed decisions about your next steps.
Discuss Your Case with an Arizona DUI Lawyer at The Weingart Firm for Free
Are you facing a DUI in Arizona? If so, we can help, but you must contact us promptly. To discuss your case with an experienced Arizona DUI lawyer in confidence, call 480-405-7922 or request a free consultation online now.