The Law Office of James Novak

Out of State DUI

Phoenix Lawyer for Drunk Driving Charges

There are a significant number of people who come into Arizona from other states for recreation and tourism. They may engage in drinking at bars or events. Some of these tourists wind up with out of state driving under the influence (DUI) convictions, and the harsh criminal, civil, and collateral penalties that come with a DUI. If you are facing an out-of-state drunk driving charge in Arizona, a seasoned Phoenix DUI attorney can provide a tough, experienced defense.

Out of State DUI

It can be difficult to be arrested for a DUI where you live, but it’s significantly more stressful to go to jail in Arizona away from your home state, and face Arizona’s harsh DUI laws. It’s wise to hire an attorney who understands the state statutes and any local court rules that may apply. Arizona is considered to be a state with some of the harshest DUI penalties, but a conviction is not assured just because you have been arrested. As in other states, the prosecutors in Arizona must establish their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and each element of the DUI must be established in this manner.

A prior DUI conviction can adversely impact a new DUI case in Arizona. Generally, if you have a prior DUI conviction in your home state or another state, it is considered a foreign DUI or out of state DUI, which means that the law under which you received the DUI conviction needs to be the same as Arizona DUI law in order for a harsher sentence to be imposed upon you. In some cases, the laws in the other state are different, and in some of those situations, they will not count as a prior conviction for sentencing purposes in Arizona.

Criminal, Civil, and Collateral Penalties of DUI

You can face numerous court costs, penal costs, and jail costs after a DUI conviction in Arizona. These are fines that need to be paid to the state of Arizona, since that’s where the processing of your charges takes place. You can’t appeal these fines in your home state, because they’re owed to Arizona.

You may need to serve jail time for a DUI conviction. For many people this is a challenge because the jail time keeps you from going back home. It can be up to 45 days in jail, and alternatives aren’t available. In most cases, you’ll need to serve any court-ordered jail time in Arizona, though there may be instances in which your sentence can be transferred to the state where you live. You would need to locate a jail that can take you, but they might not accept a petition, which means you would need to serve your jail sentence in Arizona. If you do successfully transfer your jail sentence to your home state, you will have to pay for any costs of associated with the transfer.

Generally, information is shared between different states through an Interstate Driver’s License Compact when traffic violations occur in a state that is different than the one in which a driver lives. Once the state where you live receives information about you getting arrested and convicted of a DUI elsewhere, and they can impose restrictions on your license. Arizona’s penalties related to your license only apply within state lines. While Arizona residents might face a suspended license, your out of state DUI can only result in a suspension of driving privileges within Arizona. The state where you live has the option of putting in place any penalties or limits on your license after you return to the state.

As an out of state driver, you may still need to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle if your license is reinstated after being suspended for a DUI. The court can order you to install the device and then keep it on your vehicle for a specific amount of time. With an ignition interlock device installed, your car won’t start unless you first breathe into the device, and it finds that you do not have alcohol in your system. The device’s breath test results are logged for future reference. The device can be installed in your home state, but you’ll need to make sure the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department receives results.

Experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Phoenix

If you are charged with an out of state DUI in Phoenix, knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer James E. Novak can evaluate your case and help you develop a defense strategy. Mr. Novak represents people charged with DUIs throughout the Phoenix area, including in Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Mesa, and throughout Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or 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.