Any DUI arrest is a worrisome situation, no matter where you are from or where you are arrested. However, your legal status may seem confusing or complex to you if you were from out of state and were arrested on suspicion of DUI in Phoenix. Perhaps you live most of the year in a northern state and spend your winters in the Phoenix metro area, as thousands of other “snowbirds” do. Perhaps you were here on vacation or business from elsewhere — or were en route from someplace east to California. You may be a student at Arizona State University or you may be stationed at a military base here.
Whatever your individual circumstances, if you have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Phoenix, it is important that you consider hiring a local Arizona attorney to represent you. Call Rosenstein Law Group at (480) 456-6400 for a free consultation.
Rosenstein Law Group, located in Scottsdale, represents both Arizona drivers and out-of-state drivers who have been charged with DUI in the Phoenix metro area and beyond. We work to keep nonresidents well-informed of the implications of a DUI conviction in Arizona back in their home states.
After a DUI arrest in Arizona, without aggressive legal representation, you may end up spending time in jail here. The matter does not end in Arizona, however. A criminal record in Arizona will invariably haunt you in your home state in various ways:
One of the most frequent questions we receive from out-of-state clients has to do with what lies ahead in terms of conviction and sentence. First of all, a conviction is not necessarily the only way out of this situation. As soon as you are arrested, you should contact our office. There is a chance that your DUI charges could be dropped if we are able to successfully challenge the facts and evidence against you. However, in the unfortunate event that you are convicted, you will need to know the logistics of your potential sentence.
When you are convicted of DUI in Arizona, you may be facing very heavy fines and sanctions from the state of Arizona and from the Department of Motor Vehicles in your home state. A DUI conviction in Arizona includes the payment of several types of fines concerning penal fines, court costs and jail costs. If you are convicted, you will pay these fines to the state of Arizona. This is because a DUI in Arizona is first and foremost a violation of Arizona’s traffic laws and because the processing of your case is handled in Arizona using the state’s resources. The fines cannot be paid to your home state, and you cannot appeal the fines when you go back to your home state.
The subject of jail time is perhaps the most troubling for out-of-state drivers convicted of DUI in Arizona. The laws of the state require jail time for all DUI convictions, even a regular first-time offense. A jail sentence can be the most burdensome element in a DUI conviction because it keeps you from returning to your home and to your employment. DUI sentences can carry a jail sentence of at least one to 45 days in jail depending on the circumstances. While jail time is inconvenient for anyone, even an Arizona resident, alternatives such as work release that allow convicted parties to keep their day jobs do not help out-of-state drivers.
The mandatory jail sentences require a special degree of effort from out-of-state drivers. In some instances, it may be possible to transfer your sentence to your home state. However, in order to serve the jail time in your home state, it will be your responsibility to find a jail that will take you. Unfortunately, many states are suffering from overpopulation and therefore may not accept your petition. If this is the case, it means that you will have to carry out your jail sentence in Arizona either to the full extent or until you find a jail to accept you for the remainder. In the event that you are able to arrange a transfer, the costs of the process will all be at your own expense.
For Arizona DUI, license suspension is another imminent penalty upon conviction. Arizona residents may face years of license revocation and restrictions but the situation becomes cloudy when the driver’s license is from out of state. Whenever a traffic violation occurs in a state different from the driver’s home state, the information about the infraction is shared between the jurisdictions through the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC), an agreement between states to share pertinent information about people’s driving records. This allows your home state to receive information about your arrest and conviction and since you will be driving on the state’s roads when you return, they are permitted to place their own sanctions on your license.
Arizona’s sanctions subsequent to your DUI conviction can only apply within the state lines. That means the state cannot actually suspend your out-of-state license. Rather, it can only suspend your driving privileges within the state. However, your home state has the jurisdiction to treat your Arizona DUI as if it occurred on its soil and place any pertinent restrictions and sanctions once you return home.
If you live out of state, our goal is to help you avoid jail and other consequences of Arizona drunk driving charges. Call today at (480) 456-6400 for a free case evaluation. We are available 24/7.