LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Brian Douglas Sloan | Dec 3, 2011

Arizona DUI Defense Attorney Guide to a DUI Arrest - Step 19 - Sentencing

SENTENCING:

If you plea Guilty, or are found Guilty at trial of one or more counts of any DUI, you will be sentenced anywhere within the range of sentence provided by law. The ranges of sentence, and how sentencing is handled depends on whether you are in City / Municipal Court dealing with a Misdemeanor DUI, or in Superior Court dealing with a Felony Aggravated DUI.

City / Municipal Court:

If you plea Guilty, or are found Guilty at trial of one or more counts of DUI, you will be sentenced immediately, or the judge may allow you to have some time to prepare for sentencing. It is unlikely you will be taken into custody at the time of sentencing. You will likely be able to pick the date and time for you to go into custody.

While there is no “starting point" for a jail sentence on a Misdemeanor DUI conviction, in every situation, jail time is required – at least one day. The judge will decide whether to sentence you to the minimum sentence required by law, or the maximum sentence required by law. Under Arizona Law, the maximum sentence for a Misdemeanor DUI is six months in jail. Any DUI conviction will also come with mandatory fines and fees, a suspension of your license, the requirement to do counseling and treatment, and get an Ignition Interlock Device, and potentially up to five years of probation,

Superior Court:

If you plea Guilty, or are found Guilty at trial of one or more counts of Aggravated DUI, you will be sentenced approximately one month later. You can ask for an additional month if you like. If convicted of an Aggravated DUI, even if you had been out of custody pending your trial, the judge will very likely take you into custody immediately to await your sentence. You will get credit for the time you are in custody pending sentencing towards the jail/prison sentence you will ultimately receive

The judge will decide whether to sentence you to the minimum sentence required by law, or the maximum sentence required by law. On Aggravated DUIs (Felony), there is a “starting point," often called the “Presumptive Sentence." For a first time Aggravated DUI conviction, with no prior Felony convictions of any kind, the presumptive sentence is 2.5 years prison. That can be “aggravated" to 3.75 years prison, or could be “mitigated" to as low as 4 months prison as a term of probation. Probation can be up to 10 years. Any Aggravated DUI conviction will also come with mandatory fines and fees, a revocation of your license, and the requirement to do counseling and treatment, and get an Ignition Interlock Device.

If convicted at trial, you will have the right to appeal. An appeal can only be successful if there was a legal issue in the case, either before or during trial. An appeal will not be successful if the argument is that “the jury got it wrong."

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