If you happen to get a DUI in Arizona, you’re probably feeling a lot of emotions. There’s the legal side of things: the appearances in court, hiring a lawyer, paying fees, and more. Then there’s the personal side. A DUI can have harsh effects on your mental health, social life, job, and family.
In other words, it’s not something to take lightly. In this article, we’ll look at the steps to take after you’ve gotten a DUI, including:
- What to do during your arrest
- The importance of making your court date a priority
- Whether you should hire an attorney
- Figuring out how to get around while you await trial
- Preparing for your day in court
- Finding out how to get Arizona car insurance after a DUI
What to Do During Your Arrest
In Arizona, when a person is arrested for driving under the influence, they spend 10 to 30 consecutive days in jail and are charged $1,250 to $2,500, depending on blood alcohol content (BAC). At the end of this period, someone will need to be there to pick them up and pay their bail. Whatever the situation is for you, you will need to find a ride home.
Note that for subsequent offenses, this 10-day jail sentence extends to 90-120 days, and the fine increases to $3,000 or more.
If you get a DUI in Arizona, your license will be immediately suspended as soon as you are charged by the officer. If you drive home on a suspended license, you risk accruing yet another charge. Make sure to avoid this trouble at all costs.
Figure Out Your Court Date and Don’t Forget It
When you are released from jail following your arrest, an official will give you a notice covering your court date and the charges brought against you. It is absolutely imperative you do not lose this piece of paper or forget the court date. Take a picture of it, lock it in your memory, and as soon as you get home, mark the date on your calendar. Contact your employer to clear the day in your schedule.
Figure Out Whether You Want to Hire a Lawyer
It is not true that you always need a lawyer if you’ve gotten a DUI, despite what many billboards attempt to tell you. Most DUI cases are quite formulaic. Judges will generally convict you purely based on your BAC, and there’s little chance of being able to talk your way out of it if the evidence against you is compelling. In recent years, laws around DUIs have grown stricter, and judges have grown more predictable in their verdicts. Also, note that depending on your financial state, you may not be eligible for a public defender and will have to procure a lawyer.
Nevertheless, hiring a lawyer is a good idea. If you ever intend to plead not guilty in court, you should definitely have a lawyer with you. This may be the case if the breathalyzer used to measure your BAC appeared to be faulty, or if you didn’t pass the sobriety test during the traffic stop due to being nervous, etc. A lawyer will help you build your case and make the most of your court appearance.
The other benefits of a lawyer include the fact that they can help you make sense of paperwork and other parts of this complex and painful process. They may be able to make recommendations to help you keep your life on track while you deal with your DUI charge. You may find their consultation valuable even if you plead no contest and simply want to get back to your everyday life sooner.
Decide whether it’s worth it to have a lawyer on your team as soon as possible because they will need time to help you build your case.
Figure Out How You’ll Get From A to B
During the period while you await your court date, it’s absolutely critical you keep your life in order. That hopefully means traveling to work and back, getting groceries, and taking care of your responsibilities. To do this, you might need to arrange a ride service or lean on a friend or family member. If you live in an urban area, public transit is probably the best option.
In some scenarios, you may be able to obtain a hardship license. This allows you to make limited trips either to your job or to school.
Get Ready for Your Day in Court
The amount of preparation you need to do for your court date depends on how you will plead. Pleading guilty requires the least preparation, but do make sure you dress nicely and bring any paperwork the court requires.
A plea of not guilty requires more preparation and should involve an attorney. You may need to record your memory of your arrest, gather defense-of-character or eyewitness testimonies, and make other legal preparations.
Find Out How to Get Arizona Car Insurance After a DUI
The first step you’ll need to take to get your life back in order after a DUI is repairing your driving record. This will involve taking classes, following probationary rules, and performing other tasks ordered by the court.
Finding insurance is crucial to getting back on the road. Oasis offers the best auto insurance for high-risk drivers, offering SR-22 auto insurance for more reasonable rates and helping you get back on the road. By providing these policies to people with a DUI, Oasis helps drivers start building back their driving records so they can move on with their lives.
If you have gotten a DUI in Arizona, contact your closest Oasis representative to help find the insurance you’ll need. We have locations all around the state, including:
We serve many other locations as well — simply visit our website or give us a call to get excellent coverage as you start your journey beyond having a DUI on your record.