Does One Day Mean 24 hours?

Posted by Craig Penrod | Sep 09, 2013 | 0 Comments

No, not necessarily.

If we learned anything from the Clinton presidency, it is that there can be a fine distinction in what we once thought had obvious meaning:

“It's depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is' is. If the – if he – if ‘is' means is and never has been, that is not – that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….  Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”

While not quite so entertaining as President Clinton's grand jury testimony back in 1998, there can be a distinction between “24 hours” and “one day” when it comes to A.R.S. § 28-1381.

A.R.S. § 28-1381(J), effective until December 31, 2011, reads:

“Notwithstanding subsection I, paragraph1 of this section, at the time of sentencing the judge may suspend all but twenty-four consecutive hours of the sentence. . .”

What this means is that if you are sentenced pursuant to A.R.S. § 28-1381 and ordered to serve not less than ten consecutive days in jail, you may have nine of those days suspended upon completion of the court ordered alcohol or drug program, leaving you with “all but twenty-four consecutive hours.”

Effective January 1, 2012, A.R.S. § 28-1381(J) has been changed and now reads:

“Notwithstanding subsection I, paragraph1 of this section, at the time of sentencing the judge may suspend all but one day of the sentence. . .”

And here is why, in this instance, one day does not equal 24 hours.  After January 1, 2012, if you are placed under arrest for A.R.S. § 28-1381 and taken into custody for a any period of time before being released, and later convicted of the charge, the judge now has the ability to sentence you to “time served,” even if you were held for less than 24 hours.  Up until this point, a judge had no discretion to allow a defendant to serve any less than 24 consecutive hours when convicted of A.R.S. § 28-1381.

Contact the DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod for a free initial legal consultation or to find out how new changes in the law could affect you if you find yourself facing DUI charges, criminal charges or possible MVD action against your driving privileges.  Craig Penrod has been certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a criminal law specialist and The Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod has been involved in criminal and DUI defense for more than 20 years.

About the Author

Craig Penrod

Craig W. Penrod was born and raised in Arizona and has practiced criminal defense for over 30 years. Mr. Penrod is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, Maricopa County Bar Association, State of Nevada Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


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