The Law Office of James Novak

Jail Time in DUI Cases

Phoenix Lawyer for Defense of Drunk Driving Charges

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 28-1381 defines drunk driving in Arizona. It’s illegal to be in control of a car while under the influence of intoxicants, drugs, vapors containing toxic substances, or some combination of these, and you may face harsh penalties for a conviction. If you are concerned about jail time in a DUI case, James Novak may be able to help. He is a former prosecutor who now puts his insights regarding how prosecutors think toward his work as a Phoenix DUI attorney, advocating for those accused of drunk driving offenses.

Jail Time in DUI Cases

Drunk driving is a crime that can be charged in different ways in Arizona. You can face a Class 1 misdemeanor if you are charged for a first-time offense with a blood alcohol content of at least .08%. The potential penalties vary. They can, however, include at least 24 hours in jail and up to 6 months in jail. Additional penalties could include 3 years’ probation, community service hours, a driver’s license suspension of 90-360 days and up to $2500 in fines and fees. You may also need to complete an alcohol education course.

It may be possible to get a DUI charge reduced such that both fines and jail time are reduced. The circumstances will dictate what defenses may be appropriate to raise in order to get charges and penalties such as jail time reduced.

You can face felony DUI charges, however, if you have prior DUI convictions, you were arrested for a DUI after being ordered to use an ignition interlock device, you were transporting someone under age 15 at the time you were arrested, or if your driver’s license was revoked or suspended at the time of the DUI arrest.

You can be charged with an aggravated felony DUI if you previously got a DUI in the last seven years. You can also be charged with a felony DUI if you are caught driving drunk on a suspended license. If you’re charged for a first-time offense with aggravated DUI, there is a mandatory prison sentence of 4 months. This jail sentence can’t be waived. In addition, you’ll need to go through a screening for substance abuse and you’ll have your driving privilege taken away for 3 years. You’ll also need to have an ignition interlock device installed for two years in your car at your own expense. You can face 2.25-7.5 years in prison if convicted of a second aggravated DUI.

You can also be charged with a felony DUI where you have two prior felony convictions of any kind. For example, if you were charged with a felony for embezzling from your employer and you were charged with felony cultivation of marijuana, and then you got a DUI, you could face felony DUI charges. There is a mandatory prison sentence of at least 6 years for a third felony offense DUI. You may face up to 15 years. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer can help you develop possible defenses to felony charges.

First-Time Offenses

Judges can reduce the minimum jail sentence for certain DUI first offenders, so that they face only a single day of jail time instead of the usual 10 days if they complete an alcohol and drug screening and treatment. Where an extreme DUI is charged, a judge is authorized to reduce the minimum jail time to 9 days instead of 30 days and can reduce the minimum jail time to 14 days instead of 45 days where an ignition interlock device is maintained for up to 12 months after a conviction.

Retain an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Phoenix

Most DUIs involve misdemeanor charges. However, some are felony charges that carry significant periods of imprisonment. If you are concerned about jail time in a DUI case, you can consult a seasoned DUI lawyer. Mr. Novak can go over your options with you and help you present your defense. He handles DUI charges in the Phoenix area, including in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, 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.