Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is no laughing matter – especially in the state of Arizona. With some of the strictest DUI laws in the nation, Arizona is notorious for stopping and arresting impaired drivers. So, what happens when these drivers are pulled over and detained by the police? What about after the arrested driver is released from jail? How long does the DUI process take? Read on to learn everything you need to know about what to expect after a DUI arrest.
If an Arizona police officer believes that your driving is impaired by alcohol (regardless of your BAC) or other substances, he or she will likely place you under arrest. At this time, you will typically be handcuffed and placed in the backseat of their police car. This step is usually taken as a means of preventing you from forcing yourself to vomit before taking a breathalyzer/ blood test.
After the arrest, you may be escorted to a local precinct or to a mobile DUI van. At this time, you will probably be asked many questions by the police. You have the right to remain silent or to request an attorney. It’s in your best interest to not answer any questions that may incriminate you. Beyond giving the police your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance info, you are not legally obligated to disclose any further information.
Next, you will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test. Any results from this type of testing could be used as evidence against you in the Arizona court system. Should you refuse testing, however, you will receive an automatic driver’s license suspension for a period of one year.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you may be released into the care of a sober friend, relative, or cab driver, or you may be booked into jail. Generally speaking, you will be booked into jail in situations where you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest, you failed to provide identification, if you are aggressive with the police officer, or if there are other aggravating conditions.
Regardless of whether you were released or booked into jail, you will be issued a citation and a court date. After investigating your BAC results, arrest circumstances, and criminal history, a prosecutor will decide whether to charge you with a misdemeanor or felony DUI. Misdemeanors are usually handled by a city court, whereas felony DUIs are handled in superior court.
Having an experienced attorney like ours at the Schill Law Group represent you in the courtroom can help your case significantly. Hiring legal representation shows that you are taking your DUI arrest seriously and are willing to do what it takes to make amends. It is highly advisable that you never appear in court without a lawyer.
Finally, a judge will issue your sentencing. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you could face a number of consequences ranging from DUI education, loss of your license, ignition interlock systems, fines, community service, and jail time. Your lawyer will best be able to evaluate the conditions surrounding your DUI and provide you with the most accurate information on what to expect.