Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us have committed at least a minor criminal offense in our lives, even if it was unknowingly. Therefore, it’s very possible that you’ve contemplated what you might do if you were ever arrested. Some are confident enough to want to self-represent, trusting themselves more than a legal professional. Some may think that financially, their only option is to use a court-appointed attorney. Others prefer to consult with multiple defense attorneys before retaining the one that fits their needs the best. But sacrificing the personal selection of a defense attorney may not be free- the county can still order a defendant to repay the costs of their own representation, even if they are convicted of the offense charged. Therefore, it can be useful to at least consult with private defense attorneys to see if it is worth the cost versus remaining with court-appointed counsel. Our Tucson criminal defense firm offers experienced representation and convenient, free phone consultations. Schedule your appointment by calling 520-441-1450.
Arizona Public Defender State Law
You can find Arizona’s legislative information regarding public defenders in A.R.S. § 11-584. First of all, it specifies who should be appointed a public defender if they are financially unable to employ legal counsel. Not every type of legal matter in Arizona entitles a defendant to a court-appointed attorney- the list of legal matters that require the assignment of a public defender include:
- Criminal offenses triable in the superior court or justice courts
- Extradition hearings
- Some mental disorder hearings
- Some involuntary commitment hearings
- Juvenile delinquency and incorrigibility hearings
A public defender has specific duties as prescribed by Arizona law. They must keep records of all of the services they render and provide this information in an annual report to their supervisors. They must also file an annual report of the costs of defending a felony case.
A public defender is only free if the defendant doesn’t have the financial capability to hire a lawyer on their own. After a financial examination and analysis, any defendant who utilizes a public defender can be ordered to reimburse the county that paid for their representation. An indigent or juvenile defendant can be ordered an assessment of up to $25. For other defendants, the court will look at the defendant’s financial resources and the burden imposed by paying to determine how much reimbursement is appropriate. Assessments are paid into a county general fund. This fund is only for the use of public defenders and other court-appointed counsel. These funds are only meant to supplement additional county funding rather than replace it.
The Risks of Conviction
There are several direct and indirect penalties a criminal defendant in Arizona will face upon conviction. Most defendants convicted of crimes will be ordered to pay some type of fine, which is separate from any reimbursement for legal representation ordered by the county. A defendant convicted of DUI in Arizona will have to spend at least one day in jail but could be ordered to a much longer sentence. A defendant convicted of Aggravated DUI will spend a significant amount of time in prison. The defendant might even receive a bill for their own incarceration, which will be larger the more time they spend behind bars.
There are other mandatory penalties that come with a DUI conviction in Tucson and the rest of Arizona. Arizona imposes strict driver’s license penalties on anyone convicted of DUI. On the lower end, this may be a temporary driver’s license suspension followed by a restricted driver’s license that can be used for specific purposes or during specific times only. It will be more difficult for the defendant to regain their driving privileges if their license is revoked rather than suspended. Any defendant convicted of DUI will need to complete traffic safety school and drug and alcohol screening and education, with more hours being ordered for more serious DUI offenses. These courses also come with fees, and the defendant will be penalized if they don’t complete their courses within the time frame set by the court. Arizona DUI defendants will be ordered to install an ignition interlock device, or IID, in their vehicles once they resume driving. An IID may require an installation fee and will definitely require monthly fees and maintenance inspection fees. A driver convicted of DUI in Arizona can also expect to see their insurance rates increase sharply.
Someone who operates a commercial vehicle for a living shouldn’t take any risks when it comes to Arizona DUI charges. Arizona treats commercial driver’s license, or CDL, holders stricter across the board when it comes to DUI law. The BAC level at which someone is presumed to be intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle is decreased from 0.08 to 0.04 for commercial vehicles. A CDL holder convicted of DUI at any level will have their CDL suspended for at least one year. If they are convicted of a second DUI, they will lose their CDL for life.
Clearly, the effects of a DUI conviction in Arizona can follow someone for perpetuity. A DUI conviction can also decrease an applicant’s chance of approval on a variety of chances in life. No matter which level of DUI charges a defendant is facing, they should decide how they are going to face them as soon as possible. For your free consultation with one of our experienced Tucson DUI defenders, call 520-441-1450.
What To Look For In A Private DUI Defense Attorney
Billboards, bus wraps, radio commercials, and other advertisements all over Tucson let you know that there are a variety of options in private criminal defense firms here. However, when it comes to defense attorneys, you don’t necessarily get what you pay for, and not every firm offers the same level of service. Some of the features and services you may want to focus on in your search for legal counsel include:
- Experience, especially in Arizona criminal defense and DUI defense
- Working knowledge and relationships with Tucson prosecution
- Dedicated staff who can take your calls and answer your questions when your attorney is busy
- Flexible appointment scheduling, including phone appointments
- Detailed attention to your case
- Skillful negotiation
- Installment payment options
- Free consultations
Tucson’s Premier Alternative to Court-Appointed Legal Counsel Against DUI Charges
So many people operate on the automatic assumption that the best choice for them financially is to retain a public defender when facing criminal charges. However, if the defendant has the financial ability, the court will not hesitate to force the defendant to reimburse the county for the costs of their own public defender. This could mean a sacrifice in the quality of legal representation that still comes with a financial burden. Reimbursing the county for a public defender will be made even more difficult if the defendant is convicted of the charges against them. That’s why if you’re serious about beating Tucson DUI charges, you should at least see what your other options are for DUI defense attorneys. Tucson DUI Attorneys offers skillful knowledge and flexibility and convenience for our clients. When you’re ready to schedule your free phone consultation with our Tucson DUI defense firm, call 520-441-1450.
Additional Information on Arizona $0 Down DUI Lawyers.
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #101
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 399-4222