You Can Get Back On Track After A DUI
A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction is a serious matter, but that does not mean it needs to ruin a person’s life permanently. It is possible to get back on track after a DUI. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a mistake, and the experienced DUI attorney Chuck Franklin of Chuck Franklin Law believes those convicted of DUI deserve a chance to learn from their mistakes. Learn more about what to do after a DUI by calling Chuck Franklin directly for a free consultation at (480) 545-0700.
DUI Penalties in Arizona
DUI convictions in Arizona carry serious penalties that increase depending on whether there were previous offenses and other circumstances. Those facing DUI charges may want to consider discussing their case with an experienced DUI defense lawyer. In some cases, an attorney may be able to help get charges reduced or dropped.
Arizona has the following penalties for DUIs, per the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT):
- First offense DUI – A first-time conviction carries a minimum jail sentence of 10 days and $1,250 in fines, along with alcohol treatment, the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, and community service.
- Second and additional offenses – At least 90 days in jail and $3,000 in fines, one year of a suspended driver’s license, alcohol treatment, an interlock device, and community service.
Arizona also has separate offenses called extreme DUI and aggravated DUI, which carry heavier penalties. These elevated charges may be filed based on aggravated circumstances, such as a BAC over 0.15 or driving with a child in the car at the time of the arrest.
Can a DUI Be Expunged in Arizona?
Arizona is one of several states without expungement laws. However, it is still possible to remove a DUI conviction from your record in the state. According to Arizona law ARS 13-905, a criminal conviction can be set aside, meaning the conviction will be listed as “set aside” or completed on the defendant’s criminal record. DUI is one of many offenses that qualify to be set aside in Arizona.
Setting aside a conviction is not the same as an expungement, which removes the record of the conviction completely. But applying to set aside a conviction can be an important step for people looking to get back on track after a DUI.
What are the Requirements for Setting Aside a DUI Conviction?
ARS 13-905 dictates that a conviction can only be set aside if the sentence has been completed, all court-ordered conditions have been satisfied, and if the offense qualifies to be set aside. Additionally, the judge presiding over the request is legally required to consider the following circumstances before making a decision:
- The circumstances of the offense
- Whether the applicant has complied with the terms of their conviction, including parole and probation
- Does the applicant have prior or subsequent convictions for DUI or other crimes?
- The opinion of any victims, such as someone injured in a DUI crash
- How much time has passed since the sentence was completed
- The age of the applicant at the time they were convicted
- Any other circumstances related to the case
Benefits of Setting Aside a Conviction
Setting aside a DUI conviction can help restore certain civil rights that were lost as a result of the conviction. For example, a felony conviction that is set aside can restore the right to vote, possess a gun (depending on the offense), run for office, and serve jury duty. Additionally, someone who has set aside their conviction may regain eligibility for professional licensing to work in fields like healthcare, education, or aviation.
However, driving-related penalties like license suspensions or commercial driver’s license (CDL) disqualifications will not be affected. Employers will also still be able to see a record of the set-aside DUI on a background check, but setting the conviction aside could potentially increase employment opportunities. Some employers may view the set-aside conviction as evidence the applicant has learned from their mistakes.
How to Apply to Set Aside a DUI Conviction in Arizona
Applications to set aside convictions should be submitted to the Superior Court in the county where the person was convicted. Many Arizona counties, including Maricopa County, have made these forms available online. If the application is not available online, the person applying should contact the Clerk’s Office in the county where the conviction happened.
If the application is denied, a request for reconsideration may be filed. Those considering a reconsideration request can learn more about the process by contacting the DUI defense lawyer Chuck Franklin directly at Chuck Franklin Law.
Steps to Take After a DUI Conviction
The process of rebuilding a life following a DUI conviction will vary depending on the person. However, everyone looking to get back on track will need to commit themselves and put in the necessary effort to do so. Some steps that people who have been convicted of DUI may benefit from include:
- Seek treatment if the conviction was a result of an addiction to alcohol or drugs.
- Fulfill all court orders.
- Find gainful employment.
- Consider keeping an ignition interlock device even if not court-ordered, as they are proven to reduce DUI arrests by approximately 70 percent.
- Apply to have the conviction set aside.
Contact an Experienced Arizona DUI Defense Lawyer For Legal Guidance
If you have been charged with DUI as a non-citizen in the United States, it is important to be aware of your legal rights. A conviction could potentially affect your immigration status, along with carrying other serious consequences like fines and jail time. Because so much is at risk in these cases, individuals facing DUI charges should have a strong legal defense. This is why many people in this situation turn to the services of an experienced DUI lawyer.
If you have questions such as how can a DUI arrest affect immigration applications or other immigration-related DUI concerns, the Arizona DUI defense lawyer Chuck Franklin or Chuck Franklin Law is here to provide answers. Contact Chuck Franklin directly today at 480-545-0700 to learn more about your legal options as an immigrant charged with DUI.
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