Committing DUI on a Suspended License in Arizona
Committing a DUI or another serious traffic violation in Arizona could lead to the suspension of your license. This is a measure aimed at keeping the offender from operating a vehicle. Getting in the car on a suspended license is a serious offense. If you commit a DUI on a suspended license, the consequences are likely to be even more severe.
Arizona Laws and Regulations
A person who commits a DUI on a suspended license faces aggravated DUI charges in Arizona. This offense is a felony (Class 4).
On top of the jail time and the fine you will eventually face as a result of committing DUI on a suspended license, you will also have the vehicle impounded for a period of 30 days. This is a standard sanction in the case of driving on a suspended license. More information is available in Arizona Revised Statutes 28-3473, 13-802 and 13-707.
Just driving on a suspended license without being intoxicated can lead to up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to 4,500 dollars and three years of probation.
A person that’s found guilty of aggravated DUI could face jail time of up to 180 days, fines of up to 4,500 dollars, counseling, the installation of an ignition interlock device in the car for a period of 12 months and a license revocation for an extended period of time.
In the worst-case scenario, driving under a suspended license and committing a DUI will be a Class 4 felony (when you have committed DUIs in the past or when you have an ignition interlock device already installed in the vehicle). Such a driver will face a penalty of four months in prison, mandatory counselling, fines, the installation of an ignition interlock device for a period of 24 months and license revocation for a period of three years.
Depending on the severity of the offense, the fine could reach up to 150,000 dollars. Also, having a minor in the car at the time of committing the offense will lead to prison time of up to two years.
Another very important thing to remember is that felony charges make it impossible to ask for serving time in county jail. If you are found guilty, you will have to serve the sentence in an actual prison.
Common Defense Scenarios
Driving under the influence on a suspended license is a serious offense that will have life-changing consequences for anyone found guilty. Refrain from self-incriminating yourself by answering police officer questions. You have the right to remain silent and to request assistance from an attorney.
A lawyer that specializes in the field of Arizona DUI law will examine the scenario and determine which line of defense could deliver the best possible outcome.
Attorneys will often challenge the results of breathalyzers and other tests used to determine the blood alcohol concentration. Even blood tests can produce a false positive, especially if the test was administered incorrectly or by an inexperienced technician.
A lawyer will also attempt to establish the lack of criminal intent. According to the Arizona suspended license statute, a person would have had to operate a vehicle knowingly on a suspended license. If the driver didn’t know that their license was suspended, some of the charges could be dropped and the penalty will be less severe.
No evidence of driving and a constitutional violation during the police investigation could also be addressed by the lawyer. Even if it is impossible to eliminate the charges altogether, some of the eventual sanctions could be diminished. Remember that drunk driving on a suspended license is a felony. You could face time in prison, which is why experienced legal representation happens to be so important in these cases.