Criminal, Civil, and Collateral Penalties in DUI Convictions
Arizona is known to have particularly strict laws for those convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is important to understand that there are criminal, civil, and collateral penalties in DUI convictions in the Phoenix, AZ area. When all of these penalties are accounted for, even a first time offender with the least severe DUI charge can be left facing significant consequences. Our DUI defense attorneys are highly experienced in fighting DUI charges.
There are many factors that are taken into consideration when determining penalties for a DUI conviction. First, it is important to determine what class of DUI the driver has been charged with. In Arizona, a driver may be charged with DUI, Extreme DUI, Super Extreme DUI, or Aggravated DUI (which is a felony). The type of charge is based on the blood alcohol level of the driver.
Second, the court will consider whether this is a first-time offense, or whether the driver has a history of DUI charges. Each DUI conviction carries criminal, civil, and collateral penalties, but the extent of those penalties increase with the severity or repetition of the crime. Below are some of the criminal, civil, and collateral penalties that may be faced by drivers convicted of DUI in Arizona:
- Criminal DUI penalties: Drivers who are convicted of DUI face criminal penalties that include jail time, fines, and probation. Again, the extent of these fines will depend on the blood alcohol level of the driver and whether that driver is a repeat offender. A first time offender with a blood alcohol level between .08 and .14 will face the most minor criminal penalties. These drivers may be sentenced to up to 10 days in jail, up to five years of probation, and a minimum fine of $1,490. From here the penalties continue to increase. An Aggravated DUI carries potential criminal penalties of four months in jail, up to ten years of probation, and a minimum $4,655 fine.
- Civil DUI penalties: DUI convictions also carry civil penalties. As with the criminal penalties, these are determined by taking into account the severity of the DUI and whether it is a first time offense. Civil DUI penalties include a suspension or revocation of the driver’s license, vehicle impoundment, and negative marks on the driver’s record. A first time DUI offender is likely to have his or her license suspended for 90 days to a year. The most severe DUI convictions can result in the revocation of the driver’s license for three years, as well as the impounding of the driver’s vehicle (at the owner’s expense).
- Collateral DUI penalties: In addition to criminal and civil penalties, DUI convictions carry collateral penalties. Collateral penalties include those extra penalties that don’t really fall under the category of civil or criminal. Drivers may be required to participate in an alcohol treatment program, they may be asked to perform community service, and they may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for a period of one year.
The penalties of a DUI conviction are severe, but with experienced legal representation, these penalties can be minimized or avoided altogether. If you are facing DUI charges, it is important to work with an experienced DUI defense attorney. Contact us at The Law Office of James Novak at your earliest convenience to learn more about DUI defense.