Does a DUI Follow You from State to State?
If you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Arizona, it is important to advise your criminal defense attorney if you have had prior DUI or alcohol-related convictions in other states. It is a critical consideration because this could be used against you in your current DUI case. Not only could the current charge be enhanced, but you could be charged as a repeat offender—which brings harsher penalties than a first-time offense.
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How an Out-of-State DUI Conviction Factors Into Your Case
If you are charged with DUI in Arizona and prosecutors learn that you had a prior drunk driving conviction in Colorado, for example, they could ask that your prior conviction be considered in your sentencing. This is where a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer can be helpful. Your attorney can analyze the specific charges and make persuasive arguments that the prior conviction is not the same as (or unrelated to) your current case.
A perfect example is the difference between Colorado’s driving while alcohol impaired (DWAI) law and Arizona’s DUI law. In order to be charged with DWAI, a driver must only consume alcohol to the point that his or her ability to drive has been impaired “to the slightest degree.” State law establishes a blood-alcohol limit of .05-.08% for this offense. Conversely, a driver can only be charged with DUI in Arizona if his or her BAC is .08% or above.
Experienced legal counsel could argue that the statutory mandates are considerably different because they are meant to punish different levels of impairment, and that a slight level of impairment does not equate to drunk driving under Arizona law. If they are successful, you may be able to avoid enhanced criminal charges—and, thus, penalties for a second or third DUI conviction—which is why you should waste no time in hiring an attorney.
The Penalties for a Repeat DUI Offense in Arizona
As previously mentioned, it is possible for an out-of-state DUI conviction to be factored into your current DUI charge. This means that, if you are convicted, you could face penalties for a second or third DUI offense.
In Arizona, the penalties for a second DUI offense can include:
- Between 30 days and 6 months in jail
- Up to $3,000 in fines and court fees
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Driver’s license suspension for one year
Life After an Out-of-State DUI
As you navigate your legal battles involving the DUI outside of Arizona, it is important to know what o expect. It is also essential to understand that our team is available to fight on your behalf and for your future. We can help build a powerful defense that is suited to the specifics of your case so that you can continue to enjoy your freedoms.
Contact Suzuki Law Offices for an Aggressive Defense
Have you been arrested for drunk driving with an out-of-state DUI conviction on your record? If so, it is important to act quickly. Contact a DUI lawyer at Suzuki Law Offices to learn more about your options. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; you can count on us to be there when you need us most.