Misdemeanor DUI FAQs

Knowledgeable Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Strategically Representing Individuals Charged with DUI Offenses Throughout Maricopa County

The experience of being arrested and charged with a DUI can be overwhelming, regardless of whether it’s your first arrest or you’ve been through the process before. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we have more than 25 years of experience defending clients facing all types of DUIs. Over this time, we’ve learned that much of our clients’ stress and anxiety stems from the fact that they don’t know what to expect throughout the process. Thus, below, we’ve put together a brief list of misdemeanor DUI FAQs to help you understand what you’ve been charged with, what your exposure is, and how you can effectively defend against the allegations against you.

Read on to learn more about some of the most common misdemeanor DUI FAQs:

When Is an Arizona DUI a Misdemeanor?

Most DUIs in Arizona are misdemeanors; however, felony DUI charges are possible. For example, if you have two prior DUIs within the past seven years, your third DUI conviction will be graded as a felony. Additionally, if you are arrested for DUI while driving on a suspended license or after causing a DUI accident with injuries, you’ll face felony DUI charges.

What Are the Punishments for a First-Time Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona?

The punishments for an Arizona misdemeanor DUI can vary quite a bit based on the facts and your prior record. However, a first-time DUI conviction can result in the following consequences:

  • Ten days to six months in jail;
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to one year;
  • At least $1,250 in fines and assessments;
  • Restitution (if applicable);
  • Completion of an approved traffic survival school course; and
  • Placement of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

However, judges overseeing DUI trials have the option to suspend all but one day of a jail sentence if you agree to complete a court-ordered alcohol or other drug screening, education or treatment program.

Does Being Convicted of a Misdemeanor DUI Mean My License Will Be Suspended?

Yes, if you are convicted of a DUI in Arizona, your license will be suspended. However, the length of the suspension will depend on whether you have a prior DUI conviction. If this is your first offense, then your license will be suspended for 90 days if you were under the influence of alcohol and one year if you were under the influence of drugs. For a second DUI offense, which is still considered a misdemeanor, the suspension increases in length to one year. However, you may qualify for a restricted license after 45 days.

Does Arizona Have Diversionary Programs for Those Charged with a Misdemeanor DUI?

Unfortunately, Arizona lawmakers have not provided for a DUI diversionary program. Thus, those who are arrested for a DUI must find the best way to resolve the case through traditional means, which include negotiating with prosecutors in hopes of accepting a guilty plea to a less serious offense or taking the case to trial. An experienced Phoenix DUI defense attorney can help you determine which DUI defenses apply to your case and provide you with a list of your options.

Do You Have Additional Questions About Misdemeanor DUIs?

While this list of misdemeanor DUI FAQs is a good start, you probably have many more questions. If so, reach out to the Law Office of James E. Novak for immediate assistance. Over the past several decades, Attorney Novak has earned a reputation for being an aggressive advocate who thinks outside the box to secure the best possible results for his clients. Regardless of whether this is your first-ever DUI or you have prior DUIs from years ago, Attorney Novak can evaluate all your options and ensure that your arrest has as little impact on your future as possible. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Novak, call (480) 413-1499 today. You can also connect with us through our online contact 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.