DUI While Driving on Suspended License
Drunk driving charges are taken seriously in Arizona. Certain DUI offenses, such as DUI while driving on a suspended license, are quite serious, even if they are charged as a first offense. If you were charged with a DUI while driving on a suspended license, you face the possibility of incarceration, fines, and license penalties. You can consult James E. Novak to determine what your legal options may be. Mr. Novak is a seasoned Phoenix DUI lawyer who uses insights he gained while previously working as a prosecutor to mount strong defenses on behalf of clients charged with drunk driving.DUI While Driving on a Suspended License
Under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 28-1383(A)(1), you can be charged with a DUI while driving on a suspended license if you’re caught operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs while your driver’s license is suspended, revoked, or canceled. This is an aggravated driving under the influence charge. If you were driving drunk while your license was suspended, you can be charged with a DUI no matter what the reason for the suspension, revocation, or cancellation was, whether it was the result of another drunk driving conviction or for failing to appear in court. Drunk driving on a suspended license is a Class 4 felony.
A prosecutor trying to establish this crime will need to prove these elements: (1) you drove or were in actual physical control of a vehicle in Arizona, (2) you were under the influence of alcohol, drugs, a vapor-releasing substance containing a toxic ingredient, or some combination of these, (3) your ability to drive was impaired to the slightest degree because you were drunk or otherwise under the influence, and (4) you knew or should’ve known your license was suspended, revoked, canceled, refused, or restricted while driving. A knowledgeable DUI defense attorney can evaluate the facts of your case to determine whether the prosecution may be able to fulfill all of the required elements.Penalties
If you are convicted for this kind of offense, you can face mandatory prison time. You aren’t eligible for probation, commutation, pardon, or suspension of your sentence on any basis until you’ve served at least four months in prison if you’re convicted for DUI while driving on a suspended license. After that, there will be a probationary period during which you’ll have to observe probation conditions. You’ll also be ordered to pay an assessment of $250 to be sent to the county treasurer. Further, you will need to pay a fine of at least $750. You’ll also be ordered to pay an assessment of $1500, to be deposited by the state treasurer in a prison construction and operations fund. Additionally, you will need to pay an assessment of $1500 toward the public safety equipment fund. You will also need to attend and complete an approved traffic school course.
Moreover, upon your conviction, the court will report the conviction to the Arizona Department of Transportation. When the department receives the report, it will revoke your driving privileges for a year. Additionally, you may need to install an ignition interlock device on your car for more than 24 months starting on the date you successfully complete the alcohol or other drug screening, education, or treatment program requirements. The installation must be performed at your own expense.Defenses
The strongest defense to this type of charge depends on the circumstances surrounding the incident and your arrest. In some cases, the strongest defense is to show that you weren’t given notice that your license was suspended. If there is strong evidence that you didn’t know about the license suspension, it may be possible to arrange a plea deal for the DUI. In other situations, it may be appropriate to show that the police didn’t have reasonable suspicion to detain you, or didn’t have probable cause to arrest you, and therefore violated your Fourth Amendment rights. If evidence was seized in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, it may be appropriate to bring a motion to suppress. If the evidence is suppressed, the prosecution will not be able to establish a drunk driving charge beyond a reasonable doubt.DUI Lawyer for Residents of the Phoenix Area
If you have been charged with a DUI while driving on a suspended license, you may have several questions. You can discuss your situation with a skilled drunk driving defense attorney. Mr. Novak defends clients against criminal 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.