Plea agreements

Dismissing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge without a specific reason is prohibited in the state of Arizona. Prosecutors and defense attorneys are not allowed to negotiate plea agreements that would allow DUI defendants to avoid the mandatory minimum sentence required by Arizona statutes.

In the cities of Phoenix, Mesa or Tempe, it is important that persons who are facing DUI charges consult experienced Arizona DUI lawyers like those associated with the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C.

All criminal trials in the state of Arizona pose a risk of conviction. It is important for DUI defendants to determine after a review of the evidence disclosed by the prosecution in order to decided whether or not they should accept a negotiated plea agreement that reduces the charge to a lesser included offense where the sanctions are less serious. In some cases, a prosecutor will agree to make a favorable recommendation to the judge regarding sentencing. If there is an offer which provides an incentive for the DUI defendant to waive their right to a trial, a plea agreement may be submitted to the judge for consideration.

A DUI in the state of Arizona will include two different charges:

  • Count one: DUI–impaired to the slightest degree; and
  • Count two: DUI–blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in excess of 0.08 percent.

Each of the charges are misdemeanors. They are alternate ways in which a DUI defendant can be convicted of a DUI in the state of Arizona. That means that even if a defendant is tried on both counts and either convicted on both counts or convicted on one of the two counts, the sentence will likely be the same. The charges are two different ways in which a prosecutor attempt to prove a defendant to be guilty at a trial.

Under Count one: DUI–impaired, the prosecutor can try to prove that a defendant was driving, or in actual physical control of a vehicle, and that their ability to drive was impaired to the slightest degree by the use of alcohol, drugs, medications, or vapor releasing substances, or a combination of the same.

A conviction for Count one, no matter whether it is alcohol, drugs, or even a defendant's prescription medications, requires a minimum of at least one day in jail. The maximum sentence is six months in jail… possible, even though a defendant has no prior DUI convictions. There are also numerous fines, fees, counseling, and other penalties associated with a conviction.

While the standard Count two has to do with a defendant who has a BAC above a 0.08 percent, tested to within two hours of driving, there are actually a few different ways someone can be charged with alternate counts.

Sometimes, Count one: DUI–impaired, will allege that a defendat is impaired by drugs, medications, and/or vapor releasing substances, instead of alcohol. When that is the case, Count two is usually charged as a DUI where there is an illegal substance or its metabolite in your system. Likewise, the charge could be that there was a legal substance, that was not being taken as prescribed.

In any of the above situations, Count two is an alternate count to Count one. Additionally, in any of the above situations, a conviction on both counts would be the same as a conviction on only one count.Count one is always a more factual argument, while Count two is considered to be a more scientific argument.

First-time DUI sentence:

  • One-day to six months in jail;
  • A minimum of $1,500 in fines and fees;
  • Alcohol counseling;
  • A license suspension;
  • The possibility of a term of probation;
  • The possibility of SR22 high-risk insurance requirement;
  • The possibility of a term of community service; and
  • The requirement of an ignition interlock device for a period of one year (can be reduced down to six months).

Second-time DUI sentence, which alleges a prior DUI conviction within the past seven years, although it doesn't matter what type of prior DUI conviction it was, only what the new charge is:

  • 30 days to six months in jail;
  • A minimum of $3,500 in fines and fees;
  • Alcohol counseling;
  • A license suspension;
  • The possibility of a term of probation;
  • The possibility of SR22 high-risk insurance requirement;
  • The possibility of a term of community service; and
  • The requirement of an ignition interlock device for a period of one year.

The Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod offers free consultations for all DUI and criminal matters. Our Arizona DUI attorneys and Arizona criminal lawyers can provide you with the experience and knowledge needed for qualified representation. An experienced Arizona DUI lawyer is vital in cases of driving while intoxicated and our DUI attorneys set that standard. If you're in need of a criminal defense, our Arizona criminal attorneys are ready to assist you. Let our Phoenix DUI lawyers and Phoenix criminal attorneys serve you.

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You can depend on our Arizona DUI attorneys and Arizona criminal lawyers if you’ve been charged with driving while intoxicated and/or need a criminal defense. DWI attorneys offer essential legal representation and protect your rights. Make sure you have an Arizona DUI lawyer or Arizona criminal attorney protecting your interests.

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