Arizona MVD Issues Separate From the Criminal Charges

Beware:  Any law firm can have DM Cantor’s website information rewritten by Artificial Intelligence (AI), and then they can post it online as their own “knowledge base.”  But, they cannot falsely list our Jury Trial Complete Acquittals, or our Board Certifications, as their own.  Also, many attorneys claim that they “specialize” in criminal defense, but only a “Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist” is allowed by the State Bar of Arizona to use this title as their own, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization.


The Arizona MVD and Criminal Court Process

When an Arizona driver is stopped by an Officer for an alleged DUI, they will always be asked to give a blood or a breath test.  Whether they do or don’t give the test for alcohol and drugs, it still is considered a DUI arrest result, and it triggers an MVD proceeding.  The person will be read an Admonition from what is known as the Administrative Per Se/Implied Consent Affidavit.  This will trigger a set of deadlines that begin to run regarding requesting a Hearing, or being Suspended.  In other words, your case consists of two distinct parts:  (1) the Criminal Court part, and (2) the MVD proceedings.

If we were to go to the MVD and state “our Client hasn’t been charged,” or “we have gotten all charges dismissed,” the MVD will state “so what – their Client still has to deal with us.” If we go to the Criminal Court and state “we have resolved the MVD portion by winning a Hearing at the Arizona Department of Transportation,” the Court will then say “who cares, their Client still needs to deal with us.”  This means that we represent the Client on two separate proceedings as their DUI case progresses.

If an Administrative Per Se Hearing is set, this means that you were tested, and your Blood Alcohol Concentration came back at .08 or higher.  If an Implied Consent Hearing was set, this means you Refused to provide a blood, breath or urine sample, and the Police had to secure a Search Warrant in order to get you to comply.  Each type of Hearing carries a different type of penalty, which are based on several factors.

Pre-Conviction (i.e., before being convicted of any crime) Consequences of an MVD Hearing.

Beware:  You have a 30-day time limit to request a Hearing, otherwise, the Suspension will automatically go into effect.

Administrative Per Se Suspension:

Remember, you (the driver) only have 30 days to request an MVD hearing from the time you are actually served with the Administrative Per Se/Implied Consent Affidavit, or after you receive the Suspension information in the mail.  Contact a DM Cantor Phoenix DUI Attorney immediately, so we can request a Hearing on your behalf.

Consequences if the Admin Per Se Suspension is upheld:

If your reading is a .08 or above (even if the BAC’s are at the levels of an Extreme DUI or Super-Extreme DUI), and if the Hearing Officer finds that you were impaired, then the Suspension remains the same for a first offense. You will lose your license for 90 days however, you will have two options on how to handle the Suspension. You can either have it Suspended for the first 30 days, and then apply for a Restricted License, which allows you to drive to and from work, school or the doctor.  Or, you can elect to install an Ignition Interlock Device for the full 90-day Suspension, and drive. If you are pulled over driving during that time period for any other reason, you could potentially be cited for Driving on a Restricted License.  Also, there is no requirement for an Ignition Interlock Device.

 Implied Consent Suspension:

If license suspension hearings are held, or you miss the 30-day request deadline, and it is determined that you improperly refused to provide a sample of your blood, breath, or urine, then there are certain Suspensions which will apply.  The penalty depends on whether this is your first violation within the last 7 years, or is this your second Implied Consent Suspension within the last 7 years.

If you do not request a Hearing, thereby agreeing to the 1-year Suspension, then you are allowed to install an Ignition Interlock Device, after alcohol screening and classes, and drive for that year.

Consequences if the Implied Consent suspension upheld:

  • First time license Suspension:  The Suspension for a First-time Implied Consent Suspension is a one-year flat Driver’s License Suspension.  However, you are allowed to apply for, and install, an Ignition Interlock Device after you have served the 90 days of the suspension, which will allow you to drive to and from work, school, and the doctor.
  • Second time Suspension:  The Suspension for a Second time Implied Consent Suspension within the past 7 years, is a two-year Suspension of your driving privileges.  There is no exception to driving, even driving with an Ignition Interlock Device installed.

Your Arizona DUI Lawyer should always conduct the MVD Hearing!

Every Arizona DUI Defense Attorney should always conduct the MVD hearings after the person has received a DUI arrest, or DUI charge, if they can request them in a timely manner.  At an MVD Hearing, the only people in attendance are an Administrative Law Judge, the Police Officers involved in the DUI, and the Defense Attorney. There is no Prosecutor present.  These Hearing are held under oath, and they are recorded.  This allows the Defense Attorney to ask the Officers all sorts of questions in order to lock in their testimony, so it can be used against them at a future Evidentiary Hearing or Jury Trial, in order to impeach their testimony if they change their story. This should always be part of your Arizona DUI Attorney’s drunk driving defense!

DM Cantor always does MVD Hearings if possible!

Why?  Because the first time the Officer tells their stories in the police report.  The second time is at the MVD hearing.  The third time is when they are interviewed by Defense Counsel separately.  The fourth time is an Evidentiary Hearing.  And the fifth time is potentially at a Jury Trial.  The Attorneys’ at DM Cantor will conduct as many of these proceedings as possible in order to find all the discrepancies in Officers’ testimony prior to, or during, a Jury Trial.

Beware:  If a Defense Attorney says “oh, an MVD Hearing is not necessary,” or “since we’re stipulating the Suspension, there’s no purpose to the Hearing.”  These Hearings always have an important evidentiary gathering  purpose, even if you ultimately plan on stipulating to the Suspension at the MVD level in order to “hedge your bet” against a future conviction.

Post-Conviction (i.e., after being convicted of a DUI) i.e, DMV DUI Consequences of an MVD Hearing.

  • If the Pre-Conviction Administrative Per Se or Implied Consent Suspension is Upheld, then there are no new consequences if you are subsequently convicted of the actual DUI.  It will be deemed that the Pre-Conviction drivers license Suspension was punishment enough for your DUI charges.
  • If the Pre-Conviction Administrative Per Se or Implied Consent suspension was Voided, and then you are subsequently convicted of a Regular DUI, Extreme DUI, or Super-Extreme DUI, then you will then face a 90-day Suspension which, after 30 days, you will be allowed drive to and from work, school, or the doctor, for the remaining 60 days.  Because of this Arizona DUI license suspension, per Arizona law, you will need to obtain SR22 insurance.

SR 22 Insurance

What is SR-22 Insurance? In order to keep your driving privilege, you will need SR-22 Insurance. Basically, this means you are required to pay an additional amount to the insurance company, so they can tell the MVD should your insurance lapse at any point in the future.  In other words, you will be paying your insurance company to snitch on you if you let your insurance lapse.  This will then result in the MVD Suspending your driving privileges almost immediately.  This insurance usually adds $300 per year to your existing insurance costs.

Traffic Survival School (TSS):

After any DUI conviction, 8 points will be added to your MVD record.  Once you obtain 8 points or more during a 12-month period, you will be required to do Traffic Survival School within a certain amount of time before they will Reinstate your license after you serve your Suspension.  If you already have other points on your license within the previous 12 months, speak to DM Cantor in order to find out what the full ramifications will be, should you exceed 12 points or more in a given year.

CDL Implications:

Many people have a Class A vehicle license, which is sometimes referred to as a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).  Although Arizona Uber and Lyft vehicle drivers do not need these licenses, it is required that chauffeurs, truckers, bus drivers, etc. must have a Class A designation.  As long as a person did not receive the DUI violation while they were actually driving for business purposes, then all the MVD penalties and Suspensions will be the same as a standard driver’s license Suspension above.  However, if a person was driving a vehicle for a business purpose on a Class A License, and they then subsequently provided a blood, breath or urine sample which resulted in a .04 BAC, they could be convicted in Arizona of a CDL DUI.  See DM Cantor if your case involves a DUI while you were “on the job.”

Reinstatement Warning – “The $50 Felony”

Many people forget to Reinstate their license after the full Suspension time has run.  It’s really only a matter of filling out some very basic paperwork (i.e., a Reinstatement Packet) and paying about $50 to get Reinstated.  However, if you don’t do this, your license will be 100% Suspended after the 90-day Suspension period (or one year Suspension period if Implied Consent Suspension) is complete.  This is true even if you leave a Certified Interlock Device on your vehicle beyond that required time period.

Why does this matter?  If you are to get another DUI at any point in your life while your license is still Suspended, this will then become a Class 4 Felony Aggravated DUI.  You now would be facing a minimum of 4 months in prison, and that’s only if you have no prior Felony convictions.  If you have other Felony convictions which are “allegeable,” you could be facing up to 15 years in Prison (depending on your circumstances).  This is why Defense Attorneys and Prosecutors call this the “50-dollar Felony.”  What that means is, if you had merely paid the $50 and reinstated your license, the next DUI would have just been a Misdemeanor.

Always Reinstate your license as quickly as possible once your Suspension has run its course!

Work With DM Cantor Today

For a free initial consultation, call our 24 hour DUI hotline at 602-307-0808 , or click here to contact us now.

DM Cantor’s Board Certified Criminal Law Specialists (Left to Right) Partner, Christine Whalin; Founding Partner, David Cantor; Partner, Joey Hamby



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