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Probation in DUI Cases

Phoenix Lawyer Helping Local Residents Fight Drunk Driving Charges

Some crimes, including DUIs, are eligible for probation in Arizona. The court has the discretion to put in place different kinds of probation for varying amounts of time. Generally, probation is put in place in proportion to the crime at issue. If you hope to get probation in a drunk driving case, experienced Phoenix DUI attorney James E. Novak can review the facts of your case and advise you as to the likelihood of receiving probation.

Types of Probation

Probation can be supervised, unsupervised, or intensive. Supervised probation requires you to report to a probation office regularly, and it usually applies to people who have been put on probation for violating § 28-1381 (DUI) or 28-1382 (Extreme DUI), except where the court finds that supervised probation isn't necessary or there are no supervisory probation services for that court. During the meetings, you may need to undergo tests, such as drug and alcohol tests, to show compliance with probation rules. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer can explain what to expect under these circumstances.

Unsupervised probation doesn't require reporting to a probation officer. The rule is simply not to get into trouble before the probation period ends. So long as you don't get arrested or charged during the probation period, you don't need to go before a judge. Intensive probation is prescribed under § 13-913. It can involve restitution payments and a strict structure.

Lengths of probation may vary based on the nature of the offense. For example, for a Class 2 misdemeanor, probation may be for two years. For a Class 1 misdemeanor, probation may be for three years. For a class 5 or 6 felony (the least serious felonies), the probation term may be three years. However, for a class 4 felony, the probation term may be four years. Certain crimes make you ineligible for probation, but usually they don't include DUI, unless the DUI is also a dangerous crime against children or a violent crime.

Probation in DUI Cases

Generally, if you are put on probation in lieu of imprisonment, it is critical to follow the rules ordered by the court. In most cases, a person on probation needs to complete community service obligations, restrict alcohol intake, and refrain from using illegal drugs. They may need to go to court for scheduled appearances. There are punishments for violating probation in Arizona, and these can be very serious.

Probation Violations

Violations of probation in DUI cases can take place in a number of ways. They can include failure to come to court for a scheduled appearance, failure to pay fines, traveling out of state, meeting with certain people without the consent of the probation officer, use of illegal substances, possession of illegal substances, arrest for another DUI or another crime, and failure to let the probation officer know one’s whereabouts when it's required.

What action will be taken for a probation violation depends on the severity of the violation and whether it was a first offense. Some probation violations include failing a Breathalyzer, consuming alcohol, possessing a firearm, and not showing up for a mandatory appointment. If a probation officer petitions to revoke your probation, the court can issue a warrant for your arrest.

Aggravated DUI

If you're convicted of aggravated driving under the influence under § 28-1383(A)(2) and within 84 months have been convicted of 3 or more prior violations of certain code sections related to DUI, you won't be eligible for probation, nor commutation, pardon or sentence suspension until you've served at least 8 months in prison. If you're convicted under § 28-1383(A)(3)(a) or (A)(3)(b), you will have to serve a minimum incarceration term.

DUI Defense Attorney for Phoenix Area Drivers

If you have questions or concerns about probation in your DUI case, seasoned lawyer James E. Novak can meet with you for a free consultation. Mr. Novak is a former prosecutor who represents defendants facing drunk driving charges throughout the Phoenix area including in Gilbert, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, and Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact us via our online form.

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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.
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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.
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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.