DUI Priors and the 84 month or “7 year” rule.

When a person in Arizona is facing a second DUI charge it is absolutely crucial that they know the dates of the offenses. The dates of the offenses are normally controlled by the date of the arrest.Additionally, it is important to note that the 84 month span in which you are subject to severely enhanced penalties begins from the date you committed your first DUI offense and NOT the date of your first conviction. In other words the day you were stopped by police or the day the police and prosecutor said you drove drunk. In almost all cases it is the day you were pulled over or stopped.

The date of conviction is the date you either pled guilty (“took a plea”) or were found guilty at trial. The date of conviction is not relevant to this particular calculation other than the state needs to be able to prove there was in fact a prior DUI conviction.

I have seen an example of a prosecuting agency incorrectly alleging a prior conviction even though the second DUI was outside the 84 month danger zone. Please be mindful of this factor and consult an attorney anytime you are facing a Allegation of a Prior Conviction. There are many pitfalls in this arena.

Why is this so important?

Because there is an enormous difference in jail time. If the second offense was committed within the 84 month danger zone you could be facing anywhere between 90 and 180 days  in jail depending on your blood alcohol level.

If the second offense is outside the 84 month danger zone the court would treat it is a first offense. You would likely face a minimum of 1 day to 14 days depending on the BAC. However, The judge could always impose more jail for first offenses so it is important exercise caution and seek an attorney’s advice and counsel. First time DUIs are all Class 1 Misdemeanors and always carry a potential of 6 months jail time. Normally, most of this jail time is avoided by complying with terms of probation.

If you have question about your DUI or other criminal case please call me, Ryan M. Gibson  at (520) 261-2576 to set up an appointment.

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