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Getting a DUI is for most people one of the most frightening experiences of their life. You are likely wondering what is next now, how this DUI will affect you and what it means for your future. The most important thing is to take logical steps through the DUI legal process. Below are some of those steps to get you started:
Take notes about how your DUI occurred and of the events surrounding it.
Your memories of last night are sharpest right now. Use this opportunity to write down what led up to your DUI arrest, how the arrest occurred and what happened after you were in police custody. Be detailed because even small points may make a difference in your defense. Remember that the police filed their own police report about your arrest and you need to take your own notes in the same way to form your side of the case.
Consider gaining representation by a DUI defense lawyer.
Too many people give up on their own DUI defense before their first court appearance. Just because Arizona is known for being extremely tough on DUI offenders, it does not mean you cannot fight your charge. There are multiple reasons to hire a dui lawyer phoenix, primarily to keep you from feeling lost in the complex system of DUI charges, to have someone in your corner fighting for you and so you can have a good chance of keeping these charges from affecting your future, family and work. You can get a free consultation from top quality DUI defense lawyers, so why not take that opportunity to hear how they can handle your case?
Time is of the essence: 15 days until your license suspension.
The officer most likely took your license and handed you some pieces of colored paper. The pink paper is a legal notice of your license suspension that is set to occur in 15 days. The suspension is supposed to last 90 days. Through an administrative hearing you can keep your license from being suspended with that lawyer’s help. But remember that requesting a hearing without an attorney is a bad idea, as you could easily cause yourself to suffer bigger consequences or may incriminate yourself without realizing it. You need an attorney to speak for you.
What does the future hold for me, based upon winning or losing this case?
If you win your DUI case, whether that is through a dismissal or being found not guilty at trial, you still have to deal with Arizona Motor Vehicle Services, known as the MVD. They may still suspend your license through a hearing. But if you lost at trial or took a plea deal, you will have to fulfill those before you can get your license back.
You will need to complete an alcohol screening.
An alcohol screening can be conducted at any facility approved by the Arizona Department of Health. This is the first step in the process, but an essential one toward getting your license back after DUI suspension. You must complete this alcohol screening.
DUI Education is required.
After your alcohol screening you will be required to complete a set number of class hours, at least 16 hours for DUI. The alcohol screening facility is required to provide you with the names of three DUI Education providers in your home area. You can go to one place for both alcohol screening and education and this will simplify submission of your paperwork from one provider to the courts. The Court may exercise its option to specify a provider for you. If that is done, then you must use that provider as ordered.
Traffic Survival School is required.
Traffic Survival School is not the same as defensive driving classes. This is a specific course you must take in person. It cannot be taken online. Some alcohol treatment providers offer TSS courses in their services. It is also possible to gain your alcohol screening, DUI Education and TSS all in one place, from one provider. That is the best scenario for convenience, for most people.
Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installation and use.
Even after your first offense of DUI in Arizona, you will have to have an IID installed in your vehicle. You may be required to have the IID in your car for a time period of between six months and two years.
Insurance options will change.
After a DUI, your insurance rates will increase. You may be required to obtain a special form of insurance called SR-22. Your insurance agent will be able to guide you through your coverage requirements. Speak with your DUI lawyer about your case first, as you may be able to gain dismissal of your charges and this will keep you from going through costly insurance changes.
You will be okay after your DUI.
Take a moment and breathe easily. You have been through a lot since last night and getting arrested is traumatic. You may feel overwhelmed right now, but with the help of your attorney you can emerge from this just fine.
As the steps above indicate, you need the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney for a multitude of reasons. Having the right attorney matters, as you need one you count on to walk you through the process and logically yet aggressively fight your DUI for you.