DUIs and the Point System

Phoenix Lawyer for Drunk Driving Charges

The Arizona DUI process is subject to the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. Once you are charged with a drunk driving offense, you face the possibility of a criminal conviction and all the serious and harsh penalties that come with that conviction. You also face the possibility of civil consequences if you injured someone or killed someone while drunk driving. Additionally, there is a system of points used for traffic tickets in Arizona. It’s important to be aware of how DUIs and the point system interact, and the impacts that an accumulation of points can have on your driving record as well as your life. Phoenix DUI attorney and former prosecutor James E. Novak may be able to represent you in your drunk driving case.

The Point System

There is a point system in Arizona for drivers who incur certain moving violations and traffic tickets. These different tickets can result in “points” being added to your driving record. When too many points accumulate, the result may be an automatic license suspension. It can be crucial to mount a strong defense even when the claim is relatively minor because the points eventually may impact your ability to drive. Points remain on your record for 12 months.

Traffic tickets may involve criminal or civil citations. The civil citations are less serious violations like speeding, following too closely, and failing to yield right of way. Each of these carry certain points. For following too closely you can get 2 points. For speeding you can get 3 points. DUIs also involve receiving points on your record, but they are serious criminal matters, and should be treated as such.

DUIs and the Point System

Misdemeanor DUIs can result in 8 points, in addition to a fine, community service, and jail time of at least 10 days. For an extreme DUI, you can also face 8 points, in addition to a more serious fine, community service, and minimum jail time of 90 days. Reckless driving and aggressive driving are also convictions that come with 8 points. Your license will be suspended for 30 days with an aggressive driving conviction.

Felonies are more serious. You can face a felony conviction if you try to avoid the police or if you’re in an accident in connection with drunk driving and somebody suffers injuries or death. The penalties and sentencing can include incarceration and hefty fines. Where death results, you can face 6 points on top of license revocation for 3 years, and possibly incarceration.

License Suspension

When you accumulate 8 points over the course of 12 months, your license may be suspended for a year. This is distinct from offenses that result in immediate driver’s license suspension. You may be able to go to traffic survival school to avoid a driver’s license suspension based on accumulating 8 or more points on your driving record or where you’ve been convicted of reckless driving or aggressive driving. However, you cannot go through this program if you’ve been convicted for driving under the influence. It may be possible to work out a deal with the prosecutor whereby you avoid a conviction for DUI so that you can also avoid having your license suspended for a year, but plead to a lesser offense that would not result in jail time or license suspension]. It is important to be aware that prosecutors are not required to make deals with defendants, which is one reason why it often wise to retain an experienced DUI defense attorney.

Skilled DUI Attorney for Phoenix Area Residents

If you are concerned about DUIs and the point system, a seasoned criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your options and build a defense. Mr. Novak represents those charged with DUIs and other crimes in the Phoenix area including in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and throughout Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
I was facing criminal charges with three priors in my history. Mr Novak was very helpful and got me a lighter sentence than I probably deserved. He is a great attorney and I would highly recommend him. A. T.
James worked tirelessly behind the scenes with the prosecution, to decrease my son’s charges to a more reasonable penalty. I could not have asked for a better, more professional attorney. He treated my son with the utmost respect and walked him through every step of a very difficult situation. S. G.
Attorney Novak did an outstanding job defending my son. Due to his extensive professional background within the court system, he was successfully able to defend my son during a very difficult time for my family. I highly recommend Attorney James Novak for your legal needs. T. G.