It happens every day in Northern Arizona: One minute, you’re driving home from a bar, restaurant, or party, and the next, you’re seeing flashing lights in your rearview mirror. Suddenly, a police officer is asking you to complete a field sobriety test or blow into a breathalyzer, and then you get arrested for driving under the influence and ushered into the back of a squad car. One irresponsible decision to drink and drive can cause shocking consequences on the rest of your life.
Unfortunately, it often feels as if you face insurmountable odds after getting stopped by the police and arrested for drunk driving. In these situations, it can seem as if all the power rests with the police officers and prosecutors. It is easy to give up hope and resign yourself to the fact that things will never be the same again.
Driving Under the Influence
Getting charged with driving under the influence, or a DUI, can affect many aspects of your life. Without the help of a reputable attorney, a DUI charge can haunt you forever. That’s why you should know your rights and how to choose a trusted Flagstaff DUI attorney to reduce or eliminate these consequences.
DUI Definition – A DUI, also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI), is the term used for the infraction of operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol or other substances that would impair your ability to drive. The penalties in Northern AZ tend to be more severe, as the state of Arizona has implemented a zero-tolerance policy. This means any amount of alcohol on your breath or in your bloodstream could merit a penalty under certain circumstances. Be aware that local Flagstaff law officers take DUI and DWI offenses very seriously. Not only are police diligent about apprehending impaired drivers, but the legal system also mandates harsh consequences for convicted offenders. Even if your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit of 0.08 percent, you can still get arrested for a DUI.
DUI Penalties – In Flagstaff, Arizona, the Implied Consent Law mandates that anyone accepting a driver’s license must consent to blood alcohol concentration or blood content tests if they are pulled over and believed to have been drinking and driving. If these tests come back positive for alcohol, for a first offense the drunk driver faces up to 24 hours in prison, at least $250 in fines, plus hundreds in fees and assessments, and a possible driver’s license suspension. Depending on the extent of your DUI and whether it is your first offense, you could also face consequences including community service and required screening and counseling. Subsequent offenses can lead to felony convictions and prison time. Arizona is one of the stricter states for DUI laws, so contacting an attorney after you are pulled over is especially wise.
Possession of Marijuana Law – In Flagstaff, AZ, it is illegal to possess marijuana without a medical prescription. The consequences for possession depend on how much marijuana (also known as cannabis) is found on the offender’s person or property. Incarceration times and fines increase with the amount of marijuana present, sometimes resulting in prison sentences of up to three years. In addition, like any other legally or illegally possessed drug if you are driving after use, you may be convicted of a DUI.
How a DUI Can Affect Your Life
Without an experienced Northern Arizona DUI attorney on your side, you could face permanent consequences for a single DUI charge. These include the following.
- Loss of your driver’s license: Your driver’s license could get revoked for up to one year after your first offense. Without a license, you will need to find new ways to get around Flagstaff, and you will not have the freedom to come and go as you please, which can be frustrating.
- Difficulty finding employment: Many employers do background checks on job candidates. Having a DUI on your record could disqualify you for many jobs and make it harder for you to find gainful employment.
- More expensive car insurance: Your DUI conviction will cause your insurance rates to increase exponentially. On top of the fees you are already facing, this could put you in financial trouble.
- Immigration: Additionally, if you are from another country, you may lose your ability to legally remain in the USA.
- Employment: You can lose your job if your employer believes a DUI makes you unfit to be employed.
Frequently Asked Questions About DUIs
If you have been charged with a DUI, you undoubtedly have several questions on your mind. Here are three of the most common things people wonder about DUI arrest and conviction.
- How can I find a qualified DUI lawyer to represent me in court?
When seeking a DUI lawyer, there are several things to look for. One of the strongest indicators of a lawyer’s commitment to a high standard of integrity is membership in the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Years of experience is also a sign of a lawyer’s competency.
- How can a DUI attorney help me with my case?
An experienced DUI defense attorney in Northern Arizona will help represent you in court. DUI defense attorneys like Vaughan S. Winborne have specific expertise in the technical aspects of DUI cases and knows how to successfully negotiate reduced penalties and sentences.
- When should I call a Flagstaff DUI lawyer?
The best time to call a DUI lawyer is not right before your court appearance, but immediately after getting arrested. A DUI attorney can prove invaluable in helping you navigate the legal complexities of your case.
What to Do If You Get Charged With a DUI
If you are charged with a DUI in Flagstaff, Arizona, having a good attorney on your side is essential. If you or a family member has been caught driving drunk, contact Vaughan S. Winborne today. Vaughan S. Winborne is a sole practitioner in Flagstaff, Arizona, so you don’t have to worry about your case being passed along to junior staff. He sees clients in Northern Arizona, and previously practiced in Hawaii and North Carolina. As a locally trusted Flagstaff DUI attorney, he has established a reputation for integrity and for working hard on behalf of his clients.
Schedule Your Consultation
Vaughan S. Winborne will take the time to assess your case and provide you with the legal information and advice needed to resolve your case as quickly and efficiently as possible. Schedule a consultation today!Schedule Now