When you are arrested for a DUI in Arizona, you will face many stiff penalties, including jail time
(between 24-hours – 6 months), fines of $250 – $2,500, and losing your license for 90 days. Obviously,
none of these punishments are fun and they can all wreak havoc on your life. However, there are some
things you can do to improve your outcome – like getting a DUI screening before you go before the judge.
Why You Should get a DUI Screening Before Your Court Date
Getting a DUI screening before your court date has many advantages. To understand these advantages, you must first understand what this screening is. Essentially, it is a 15 – 30-minute one-on-one interview with an alcohol counselor who asks you questions about your drinking habits. They will then recommend a treatment plan which you are only obligated to follow if you are convicted of DUI.
Typically, this treatment plan will require 16 hours of your time for your first offense, but if you have committed multiple, extreme, super extreme or aggravated DUIs it will require between 36 – 72 hours of your time.
Scheduling your DUI screening as soon as possible is a good idea for several reasons, including:
It reduces your license suspension from 90 days to 30 days of no driving with an additional 60
days of restricted driving.
If you are convicted of DUI, you will get credit towards the court-mandated Alcohol Screening
you must complete in exchange for less jail time.
Other Ways to Help Improve Your Case
Scheduling a DUI screening before going to court is not the only thing you can do to help yourself. You
Alcohol and drug assessment, including possible treatment, is recommended so you can face your problem sooner rather than later. Taking this action will impress the judge as your lawyer can present this as evidence that you are seeking help. They may, in turn, lessen your charges or help you make a plea.
Attending DUI school before trial lets you get your full driver’s license back after an administrative suspension. It also helps give your attorney some leverage in the charges against you because you are showing that you accept responsibility for your problem and its consequences.
Taking time to clean up your driving history, including any other violations or infractions (e.g. speeding, reckless driving), will enable your attorney to make a deal with the prosecuting attorney – they may even be able to create a “package deal” in which all your traffic offenses are taken care of at once for you. This is also another opportunity for you to show the judge that you are taking charge of your legal issues and your life instead of trying to run and hide from things.
Make sure you have enough money to cover your criminal offense – including money for a bond to get out of jail; retaining a lawyer; and hiring expert investigators, accident reconstructionists, couriers, process servers, field sobriety experts, and forensic experts. You will probably need to miss some work to appear in court, attend DUI school, and fulfill community service. All these things add up fast so do your best to start saving up money as soon as possible.
As we have mentioned, you will need to have time to attend court. You cannot determine when you will appear in front of the judge so you should save some of your vacation days for this. Be prepared just in case your hearing lasts for several days. If you have to go to jail at some point you are your DUI, you do not want to lose your job so you will need vacation days for this as well. Some people have discovered that they needed to spend your entire vacation time for a year taking care of this “mess.”
Getting involved in community service is a good thing to do while you are awaiting your trial because it will be a part of your mandatory punishment anyway. The number of hours you will need to undertake will be determined by the number of offenses you have committed and how severe your offense is. When you start working on these hours through a charitable or non-profit organization before your trial your lawyer will have a bargaining tool to use with the prosecutor.
Another great reason to get started with this ahead of time is that you may be able to make a much better choice of where you spend these hours than what a judge may sentence you to. Additionally, you may be able to avoid any “probation supervision fees” here as well (monthly costs for your probation officer to oversee you and check up on how you are completing your court-ordered punishment).
Many of the things you should do before your case goes to trial are in your best interest simply because they show the judge that you are taking things seriously, that you are taking “the bull by the horns.” When a judge sees that you are putting forth a good faith effort they will typically mitigate your punishment during the sentencing part of your indictment.
Why You Need a Lawyer Throughout it All
Along with getting DUI screening, make sure you also hire an attorney. While you will still lose your license for a while if you are convicted of DUI, there are some ways that an attorney can help you, including:
They will prepare for court by explaining what is expected of you in a way that will make sure you understand what is happening when you are in court.
Your attorney can help you complete some of your requirements before appearing in court like obtaining SR-22 auto insurance and filing the proper forms with the department of motor vehicles.
They can have you complete your alcohol education and treatment programs so you regain your driving privileges.
At DUI Class Online AZ, we have guided many people through this process. Our goal is to help you regain your driving privileges as quickly as possible. Give us a call at (602) 535-6468 as soon as you are arrested for a DUI so we can help you immediately begin reclaiming your life.