Arrested for DUI? What You Need to Know
Let's face it, no one really plans to be arrested for DUI or any other criminal offense for that matter. But what happens after you've been stopped for a traffic violation, arrested, given a blood, breath or urine test, had your driver's license confiscated and car impounded and finally, handed a citation along with other miscellaneous paperwork by arresting officers.
Here is a quick guide to the steps you should take to address a DUI arrest in Arizona.
1. Vehicle Impound
If you have been charged with Extreme DUI, Super Extreme DUI, a second offense DUI or Aggravated DUI in Arizona, its likely that your vehicle was towed and officers served you with notice that it will remain impounded for thirty days. This is an expensive proposition as you will be required to pay towing fees along with daily vehicle storage charges.
You are entitled to request a hearing regarding this thirty day vehicle impound. To do this, simply call the telephone number on the impound order, request a hearing and be prepared. The officers are required to show there is sufficient evidence to support the applicable DUI charge. This is usually accomplished by introducing the results of your breath or blood test or the preliminary breath test you may have taken at the scene.
You can also obtain a release of your vehicle by showing that the car is registered or titled in someone's else' name. Alternatively, police will release the vehicle to your spouse. In either case you are required to affirm that you will not drive that particular car.
2. License Suspension
If you were arrested for DUI and your alcohol concentration was determined to be above .08, or alternatively, you refused to take a chemical test as requested by officers, police probably confiscated your driver's license and issued you an order of suspension. This is commonly referred to as an Admin Per Se or Implied Consent suspension.
A suspension of your driving privileges will automatically go into effect after fifteen days unless you request a Hearing with the Division of Motor Vehicles. Depending upon whether you agreed to take a breath, blood or urine test or refused to take a test, the suspension will be between 90 days and one year. You must be sure to take the proper steps to request a hearing or contact an attorney who regularly practices DUI defense so your license is safeguarded. Once a Hearing request is made, the proposed suspension is stayed and you may continue to drive until MVD schedules a hearing date. You must keep the Admin Per Se form with you while driving as that will act as your temporary driver's license.
3. Responding to the Citation
Perhaps the most important (and distressing) document you will receive from arresting officers is your citation or summons to appear in court. In Arizona, the citation or summons serves as your official charging document and gives you notice about what charges you are facing, what court to appear in and the date and time of your first court appearance.
Your first court appearance is called an arraignment. Here, a not guilty plea will be entered and you will be directed to appear for future court hearings. Normally, requests that the prosecutor assigned to your DUI case will be made for production of the police report, blood breath or urine tests results, video and audio tapes and other evidence related to your matter. It is very important that you or your attorney attend this Arraignment Hearing as a bench warrant would be issued for your arrest if you failed to appear as required.
Most people leave the police station dazed and confused about what they should do after a DUI arrest. Hopefully, this article will explain what steps you must take immediately after being arrested for DUI as well as the meaning of some of the paperwork you received. It is extremely important however that you contact an experienced DUI defense attorney. An attorney can make sure immediate action is taken to defend your license and rights and ensure that you obtain the most favorable outcome possible.