If you are facing a DUI charge in Arizona, there is a lot you need to know. Drunk driving charges carry steep penalties, and while there are defenses available, protecting yourself requires a clear understanding of your legal rights and what it takes to assert them effectively in court.

This Ultimate Guide to DUI Defense in Arizona will help you make intelligent decisions about your case. With that said, there is no substitute for experienced legal representation. Once you finish reading this guide, we strongly encourage you to contact us for a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer at The Weingart Firm.

Understanding Arizona’s DUI Charges

Arizona’s DUI laws are unique in many respects. One way they differ from the laws of most other states is by establishing multiple types of DUI charges. Depending on the facts of your case, you could be facing:

  • “Ordinary” DUI
  • Aggravated DUI
  • Extreme DUI
  • Super Extreme DUI
  • Felony DUI

After a drunk driving arrest in Arizona, it is critical to make sure you know the specific type of DUI charge you are facing—as this will determine both the defenses and penalties that are on the table. You will also need to know if you are facing any other charges, such as an open container violation or an implied consent violation (also known as a “DUI refusal”). Learn more: What Are the Differences Between the Different Types of Arizona DUIs?

Understanding Arizona’s DUI Penalties

Regardless of the specific charge (or charges) you are facing, a conviction could lead to steep penalties. In Arizona, the potential consequences of a DUI conviction include:

  • Fines
  • Costs and Surcharges
  • Driver’s License Suspension
  • Ignition Interlock Device Installation
  • Vehicle Impound
  • Mandatory Alcohol Education and Treatment
  • Jail or Prison Time

The specific penalties on the table depend on the facts of your case. The type of DUI charge you are facing, and your DUI history (if any) are the two primary factors—but various other factors can also come into play. In all cases, however, the potential costs of a conviction make hiring an experienced DUI defense lawyer well worth it.

But these are not the only costs involved. Having a DUI on your record can lead to various other consequences as well. Along with increased auto insurance premiums (which will add thousands of dollars to the costs of your DUI, you may also need to consider:

What to Do After a DUI Arrest

Considering these risks, you must know what to do after a DUI arrest. There are several steps you need to take to protect yourself. In his free book, How to Survive a DUI Charge in Arizona, defense attorney and former judge Mark Weingart discusses the steps you should try to take as soon as possible.

What Not to Do After a DUI Arrest

Along with taking the steps outlined in Judge Weingart’s book, you must also be careful to avoid several costly mistakes. Far too often, people face consequences they could (and should) have avoided simply because they weren’t as cautious as they should have been. For an overview of what not to do while your DUI case is pending, you can read 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Facing a DUI Charge in Arizona.

FAQs: Fighting a DUI Charge in Arizona

Can (and Should) I Request a Jury Trial?

If you face a DUI in Arizona, you have the right to a jury trial. However, requesting a jury trial has both benefits and drawbacks. To make an informed decision, you must discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.

Can (and Should) I Seek a Plea Bargain?

Plea bargaining is an option in Arizona DUI cases—and there can be several benefits to accepting a plea bargain in appropriate cases. However, whether you should seek a plea bargain depends on the facts of your case. When you consult with a DUI defense lawyer, your lawyer can help you decide whether this is an option.

Should I Plead Guilty if I Got Caught Driving Drunk?

No, it would be best if you did not plead guilty to drunk driving in Arizona. The costs are too significant. When you discuss your case with a DUI defense lawyer, your lawyer will explain how you can avoid unnecessary consequences even if you were drunk at the time of your arrest.

Do I Need a Defense Lawyer for a DUI in Arizona?

Legally speaking, you do not have to hire a lawyer to represent you in your DUI case. However, hiring an experienced DUI defense lawyer is essential for minimizing the long-term consequences of your arrest. You do not want to try to handle your DUI case on your own for several reasons.

What if I Refused the Breathalyzer?

If you refused the breathalyzer during your DUI stop, you can be charged with an implied consent violation, and prosecutors can still secure a DUI conviction without your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading. As a result, you must discuss your case with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

What if I Admitted to Drinking and Driving?

If you admitted to drinking and driving during your DUI stop, you still have options available. With that said, you could be facing an uphill battle, so you must promptly speak with an experienced lawyer in this situation.

Schedule Your Free DUI Defense Consultation at The Weingart Firm

Are you facing a DUI charge in Arizona? If so, we can help, and we encourage you to contact us immediately. To discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense lawyer at The Weingart Firm, call us at 480-405-7922 or request your free DUI defense consultation online.