Being charged with a first-time DUI is a stressful and intimidating experience, especially if it's your first run-in with the law. It's important to know your rights and what steps you should take in this situation. 

You might feel overwhelmed by the legal implications and unsure about your next steps. At The 928 Law Firm in Flagstaff, Arizona, our experienced DUI attorneys are here to guide you through this challenging time and help you seek your best possible outcome.  

The 928 Law Firm proudly serves clients in the surrounding areas, including Page, Williams, Kingman, Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Winslow, and Holbrook, and the Navajo and Hopi reservations. Contact their team today to set up a free consultation and learn about your defense options. 

Understanding First-Time DUI Charges

A first-time DUI charge involves being found in actual physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. Even if your BAC is below this threshold, you can still be charged if you show signs of impairment due to alcohol or drugs. 

Penalties for First-Time DUI

Arizona enforces stringent penalties for those convicted of a first-time DUI. These consequences are severe and can have long-lasting impacts on your personal and professional life: 

Jail time: A minimum of 10 consecutive days in jail. 

Fines: Starting at $1,250, these fines can increase depending on specific circumstances. 

License suspension: Immediate suspension of your driving privileges. 

Alcohol education: Mandatory enrollment in alcohol education or treatment programs. 

Ignition Interlock Device (IID): Installation of a certified ignition interlock device on your vehicle. 

What Are Ignition Interlock Devices?

An IID is a breathalyzer installed in your vehicle, designed to prevent you from starting the engine if alcohol is detected on your breath. This device requires you to provide a breath sample before allowing the vehicle to start. If the IID detects a BAC above a pre-set limit, typically 0.02%, the engine will not start.  

Additionally, periodic rolling retests may be required while driving to ensure continuous sobriety. The IID records data such as BAC levels, test times, and engine starts, which is reported to the relevant authorities for monitoring compliance.  

The installation and maintenance of the IID are at the driver's expense, and usage is mandated for a specified period, typically ranging from six months to a year, depending on the court's order and the specifics of your DUI case.  



What to Do After a First-Time DUI Charge

Facing any criminal charge is challenging, but knowing the steps to take after a DUI can greatly help you manage the situation effectively.  

After being charged with your first DUI, it's imperative to seek the help of an experienced DUI attorney as soon as you can. Legal representation can make a significant difference in how your case is handled and its ultimate outcome. An attorney who's successfully handled Arizona DUI cases will help you understand the charges you are facing, explain your rights, and develop a defense strategy tailored to your situation. At The 928 Law Firm, our dedicated team of DUI lawyers will assess the specifics of your case and work towards mitigating the consequences as much as possible. 

Documenting every detail of your arrest and interactions with law enforcement can be beneficial to your defense. This includes noting the date and time, the reason given for your traffic stop, the officers involved, and any field sobriety or breath tests conducted. If possible, gather evidence such as photos, videos, or witness statements to provide to your attorney. Accurate and detailed documentation aids in identifying any procedural errors or violations of your rights that could lead to a dismissal or reduction of charges. 

Compliance with all court orders is crucial once you have been charged with a DUI. This may include attending scheduled court appearances, enrolling in mandatory alcohol education or treatment programs, and adhering to probation terms. Failing to comply with court orders can result in additional penalties, including extended license suspension, increased fines, or even jail time. Your attorney can guide you on fulfilling these obligations and ensure you understand each requirement. 

With your driving privileges likely suspended, arranging alternative transportation is essential. Planning your transportation ensures that you can maintain your daily responsibilities, such as getting to work and attending court or treatment sessions. Some jurisdictions may allow limited driving privileges for essential activities—an attorney can advise you on eligibility and how to apply for such permissions. 

Frequently Asked Questions From First-Time DUI Clients

Can a First-Time DUI Charge Be Expunged from My Record?

In Arizona, the possibility of expunging a DUI charge depends on various factors, including the specifics of the case and your criminal history. While Arizona law doesn't allow for true expungement of a DUI conviction, there is a possibility to "set aside" the conviction, which essentially dismisses the penalties associated.  

However, the record of the arrest and charge remains. Consulting with an experienced attorney can provide clarity on whether you may be eligible for setting aside your conviction. For more on setting aside a conviction, visit our legal blog: Expungements, Set-Asides, and Sealing of Records in Arizona.

What Should I Do if I Missed My Court Date?

Missing a court date in a DUI case is a serious matter that can lead to additional penalties, including a warrant for your arrest. If you realize you have missed your court date, you should contact your attorney immediately.  

Your lawyer can advise you on the best course of action, which usually involves addressing the missed court appearance as soon as possible to avoid further complications. Taking quick action can sometimes mitigate the severity of the consequences. 

Will a First-Time DUI Affect My Employment?

Any DUI conviction can significantly impact your employment, particularly if your job requires driving or a clean criminal record. Many employers conduct background checks, and a DUI can be a red flag. Also, if your license is suspended, you might face challenges fulfilling job duties that require commuting.  

Don't let a one-time mistake or faulty arrest jeopardize your career—seek legal representation to help minimize the consequences on your employment and your future. 

How The 928 Law Firm Handles First-Time DUI Cases

The attorneys at The 928 Law Firm recognize that everyone makes mistakes, and a single lapse in judgment should not ruin your future. Our dedicated DUI attorneys are committed to providing personal and effective legal representation. Here's how we can assist you: 

Comprehensive case review: We'll thoroughly examine the details of your arrest, including police reports and breathalyzer results, to identify any inconsistencies or errors.  

Strategic defense planning: Our team will strategize the most effective defense plan tailored to your unique situation, whether it's questioning the legality of the traffic stop, the accuracy of the field sobriety tests, or the calibration of the breathalyzer device.  

Experienced negotiation and court representation: We'll negotiate with prosecutors to seek reduced charges or alternative sentencing options. If necessary, we are prepared to vigorously defend your case in court.  

Dedicated guidance and support: Throughout the legal process, we'll keep you informed, offer clear advice, and provide emotional support to help you understand your rights and options.

First-Time DUI Lawyers in Flagstaff, Arizona 

If you have been charged with a first-time DUI, don't wait to seek legal counsel. Schedule a free initial consultation with the DUI defense attorneys at The 928 Law Firm in Flagstaff, Arizona. We serve clients in the surrounding areas, including Page, Williams, Kingman, Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Winslow, and Holbrook, and the Navajo and Hopi reservations. Let us help you protect your rights and move forward with your life. Call, message, or visit our Flagstaff office today.