Many charges associated with driving under the influence are considered misdemeanors. While misdemeanor charges come with fewer consequences and lighter penalties than felony charges, they still have serious and permanent effects. A misdemeanor DUI can range from a first-time offense (even below .08% blood alcohol content) to an extreme DUI with a BAC above .20%. There is considerable variation within Class 1 Misdemeanors related to driving under the influence.
Regardless of circumstance, the team of defense attorneys at Stewart Law Group is prepared to take on the prosecution and fight to achieve the best sentencing outcome for you. With experience gained from tackling hundreds of DUI cases, Scott David Stewart and the legal team at the Stewart Law Group can help you get the treatment you deserve.
A standard DUI is issued when a driver’s results on a blood alcohol test are over .08% blood alcohol content, but less than .15% BAC. In 2012, 28,432 Arizona drivers were issued DUI misdemeanors, which makes it the most common offense related to driving under the influence. Many drivers who get DUI misdemeanors argue that they didn’t “feel drunk” or were “just buzzed,” but Arizona law is based solely on blood alcohol content, which means if your BAC tests above .08%, the legal system considers you to be guilty of driving under the influence.
Even though it is considered a misdemeanor, a DUI charge is a serious criminal case that deserves to be handled by experienced and knowledgeable legal representation. Scott David Stewart and the team at the Stewart Law Group understand how Arizona DUI law works, and will help negotiate the criminal court system, as well as the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division hearing, to defend your rights and clear your name. Our attorneys have helped hundreds of people like you lower their charges or even have them dropped.
A first time DUI misdemeanor defendant who is convicted faces a minimum of one-day jail time with a maximum of six months, a minimum fine of $750 plus surcharge, drug and alcohol screening, suspended license for 90 days, and up to five years of probation. An ignition interlock device is also required for operation of a vehicle. This device works similar to a breathalyzer to test blood alcohol content before allowing the vehicle to start. If you do not pass the ignition interlock device blood alcohol test, your vehicle will not start, and police will be automatically notified. You are required to pay for your use of the ignition interlock device as part of your sentence agreement. Installation typically costs around $100, and the monthly cost runs between $50 and $100.
If you receive a second DUI misdemeanor, the penalties increase dramatically. Your sentence will include a minimum of thirty days in jail, drug and alcohol screening, and a minimum fine of $1750. In addition, your license will be revoked for one year, and you will be required to use an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Even though this charge is still a misdemeanor, a second time offense translates to harsher penalties and longer lasting consequences.
While the category of Class 1 misdemeanors encompasses many kinds of DUIs, the most common is the standard DUI, which is given when a driver’s blood alcohol content is above .08% and below .15%. This type of DUI misdemeanor is the most frequent and commonly issued drunk driving related charge. Even though the state clearly defines a DUI as operating a vehicle with a BAC above .08%, there are still ways to lower your charges, get them dismissed, or achieve a suitable sentencing outcome. Scott Stewart at the Stewart Law Group can help you understand what to do after receiving a DUI misdemeanor. Contact our office today or set up a FREE case evaluation to show you how we can help.