Second-Time DUI Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ
The penalties for even a first-time DUI can be staggering. But if this is your second charge of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the possible ramifications of a conviction are enormous. Even though a standard second-time DUI is a first degree misdemeanor, you could end up with months in jail and fines that can represent an enormous financial drain on you and your family. In fact, the cost of a conviction could approach $20,000, and that is above and beyond any legal fees you might pay for your defense.
What Determines Whether I Will be Sentenced as Second-Time DUI Offender?
The DUI law says that if you are convicted of DUI and you have a prior DUI conviction in Arizona (or the equivalent in another state) within 84 months, known as the “lookback period,” then you will be subject to a number of enhanced penalties. So it is not just the fact that you have been convicted of driving under the influence for the second time, but that it occurred within 84 months, that controls whether you will be treated as a second offender for sentencing purposes.
Note that under A.R.S. 28-1382F, the dates that control in applying the 84-month provision of the law are the dates the offenses were committed, not the dates of the convictions.
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What are the Penalties if I am Sentenced for a Second-Time DUI?
The differences between the sentence for a first and second DUI are substantial. If you are sentenced for a second DUI, and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.15 or less, here are the potential consequences:
- Jail Time. The statute provides for a jail time of at least 30 days, which in some cases may include home detention for the majority of that time.
- The total amount of fines and assessments will be at least $3,000.
- Driver’s License. You will lose your driving privileges for at least 90 days, although you may be eligible for a restricted license after 45 days.
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID). You will be ordered to have your vehicle equipped with an Ignition Interlock Device (and maintain it for a period of one year), the cost of which will be borne by you.
- Community Restitution. You will have to perform a minimum of 30 hours of community restitution.
- Additional Costs. You can expect your insurance rates to increase dramatically for several years, and you will bear the cost of any court-imposed sanctions.
Beyond the specific penalties, there is the embarrassment and inconvenience of not being able to drive. This will cause, for most people, a serious disruption in their daily lives.
The sentence you receive as a second-time DUI offender can also be affected by other factors, most importantly, the circumstances of the second DUI itself. In particular, your BAC will have a major impact on your sentence and could lead to significantly higher penalties than might otherwise apply.
FAQ’s About Second-Time DUI in Arizona
Some of the more frequently asked questions about second-time DUI’s in Arizona involve both when you can be sentenced as a second DUI offender, and whether the facts in your case can affect the severity of the sentence. Those questions include, among others, the following:
Q: My DUI trial is scheduled for later this year on a DUI charge from early 2020. I had a prior DUI conviction where the DUI took place in late 2012, but the case was delayed, and I was not convicted until 2014. If I am convicted of DUI in the current case when I go to court in September 2020, will I be sentenced as a second offender, since the convictions will have been less than 84 months apart?
A: No. The operative dates are the dates of the offenses, not the dates of the convictions. Since you committed the second DUI more 7 years after the date of the first DUI, you will not be sentenced as a second offender.
Q: I was arrested for my second DUI and my BAC was 0.17. Will this affect the potential sentence if I am convicted?
A: Yes. The penalties for an extreme (second) DUI (BAC from 0.15 to less than 0.20) are more substantial than for a simple second DUI. Mandatory jail time goes up to 120 days, your license will be revoked for a year, increased fines apply, and the IID requirement goes up to 18 months.
Q: What if the charge on my second DUI includes the claim that my blood alcohol content was 0.20 or more?
A: If your BAC is 0.20 or higher, this is referred to as “super extreme DUI.” Again, this will lead to an increase in the potential penalties if you are convicted. And those increase can be life-altering. Jail time goes up to 6 months. There will be an increase in the fines you are mandated to pay, and you will have to install, maintain, and pay for an ignition interlock device for 2 years.
Defense of Second-Time DUI in Phoenix
Always remember that you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. While the potential penalties increase for a second-time DUI, you need to be convicted of the offense before those penalties apply. All the potential defenses in any DUI will be available. In addition, your prior conviction may not be within the lookback period.
If you are facing a second DUI charge, speak to an experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer. Call the Feldman Law Firm today for a free consultation.