Community Service in DUI Cases
One potential penalty for those convicted of DUIs is community service. Community service may be available to those facing DUI charges so that they can reduce or avoid jail time or another potential penalty. If you are concerned about community service in a DUI case, former prosecutor James E. Novak may be able to help. Mr. Novak is a Phoenix DUI attorney who has years of experience strategizing regarding drunk driving cases, and he can potentially put his insights to work for you.Community Service in DUI Cases
Under Arizona Revised Statutes section 28-1381, you can be charged with a DUI if you are caught operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08%. If you are caught with this or a higher blood alcohol content, you can be arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence. Driving under the influence of prescription drugs is also against the law. If you’re charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor DUI, you can face a range of penalties, such as up to 10 days in a row in jail, $250 in fines, a six-month installation of an ignition interlock device, and an order to perform community service. For a standard second DUI that is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, you’ll need to complete a minimum of 30 hours of community service.
Community service refers to performing work free of compensation for a nonprofit or civil organization. It is a potential penalty for those who face DUI charges. The court orders the defendant to serve a certain number of community service hours. The hours are intended to be a substitute for how much time would have been served in a jail sentence. In addition to serving as a penalty, community service is also meant to educate someone convicted of DUI as well as others about their conviction. It is an alternative that benefits taxpayers, since jail can be expensive.
Community service may be part of a sentence even for serious DUI offenses. For example, if you’re convicted of an aggravated DUI, you can face two years in jail, a three-year driver’s license suspension, completion of an alcohol or drug screening program, installation of an ignition interlock device, and community service. An aggravated DUI can be charged if you perpetrated a DUI while your license was suspended, canceled, or revoked, or if you perpetrated a third DUI in 84 months. It can also be charged if you perpetrated a DUI while someone under age 15 was in the vehicle or where you perpetrated a DUI or refused to submit to a blood alcohol test while you were required to have installed an ignition interlock device in your car.
You can also face a requirement that you serve 30 hours of community service as part of your sentence for a first or second extreme DUI. An extreme DUI is charged if your blood alcohol content was .15% or greater. If you are convicted of super extreme DUI, you can face a minimum of 180 days in jail, fines, assessments, a requirement that you install an ignition interlock device, and a requirement that you serve 30 hours of community service. A skilled DUI defense lawyer can help you seek to lessen the penalties you may be facing for the offense you have been charged with.Ways to Fulfill Community Service Requirements
You can meet your court-ordered community service hours in a range of ways. There are numerous nonprofit organizations in Arizona through which you can perform your hours. Not all organizations provide community service opportunities, and in some cases, certain chapters don’t provide these opportunities, which means it’s critical to make sure that where you volunteer allows for the community service hours ordered by the court to be performed there.Consult an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Phoenix
A variety of consequences may be imposed if you are convicted of a DUI. The particular nature of the penalties depends on the circumstances of the offense, but community service is often one of the penalties. If you are concerned about community service hours in a DUI case, a seasoned criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your options. Mr. Novak represents those facing DUI charges in and around the Phoenix area, including in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and across Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact us via our online form.