10 Things to Know about City DUI Courts in Arizona

There are a few things that anyone charged with a misdemeanor DUI in Arizona should know. I have looked at the information out there, and it seems to me that some clarification is in order. Here are the top ten things you need to know about City DUI cases in Arizona. Obviously this list is not complete, so feel free to contact our DUI attorneys with your questions or concerns.

1) Work Release: The DUI law was recently changed allowing work release for 6 days out of the week. However, work release for 6 days is not a guarantee. A judge might want a letter from an employee. A judge may also reject a 6 day release for reasons unknown. In the past, I have blogged indicating that work release is 6 days without clarifying that some courts will not grant it. To be honest, no judge has rejected my request for 6 day a week work release, but I have seen it happen to other DUI attorneys.

2) Waiving jail costs: Jail costs can be huge for DUI cases with long sentences. Many judges will take pity on a defendant and eliminate some or all of the fees. However, some judges will never waive costs. Make sure you know what the jail costs are before you accept a plea agreement.

3) Some courts have very inflexible plea agreement deadlines. For example in Scottsdale, it is very difficult to get a plea after the trial readiness conference. Once a case is set to trial in Phoenix, it is very tricky to get a plea from a prosecutor. In other words, keep in contact with your attorney, and be aware that the “last-minute plea” that you are hoping for may never come due to the prosecutor’s policies.

4) Home detention: Some judges allow only people will illnesses to do home detention. But able-bodied people may not be eligible. So don’t count on the judge reflexively granting you home detention. It may not happen.

6) Communication: It is important to be on the same page with your DUI attorney. Each court has their own policies and procedures. Don’t get in trouble with a judge because you weren’t aware of their local rules.

7) Appearing in Court: Some judges will allow attorneys to appear for their clients. It is judge specific whether or not an attorney can waive your presence. Some judges require that you appear for each and every appearance. Be careful.

8) Smaller courts have court appointed prosecutors, such as Avondale and Buckeye. It might be a good idea to appear at the first setting to see if they are willing to make a quick and favorable plea offer.

9) Apache Junction Court has a domestic violence policy that makes it more difficult to get a lenient outcome. Be advised that AJ is not the place to get a DV charge.

10) In Scottsdale you must file a notice of appearance 48 hours in advance. Be advised that some attorneys don’t know this and their clients get warranted because their notice of appearance is filed too late.

If you need to speak with a DUI attorney about a case in Arizona, give us a call at 602-989-5000 for a free consultation.

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