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Statute of Limitations Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona

It is easy to become confused about how the state of Arizona views and treats DUI offenses. The state classifies some DUIs as a misdemeanor, and since misdemeanors in Arizona have a statute of limitations of one year, many individuals have mistakenly thought they were safe from legal action once a year had passed. However, there are circumstances they may not be aware of that will affect their situation.

David explains the statute of limitations of a DUI in Arizona:

Arizona varies jail time and fines for DUIs depending on whether the offense is a first time occurrence or one of a series, as well as according to the blood alcohol level. Since the state still views some DUIs as misdemeanors, the temptation to avoid prosecution until the statute of limitations has run its course can be strong. Yes, according to A.R.S. § 13 – 107, the state must formally file charges for a misdemeanor DUI within a year, but what many fail to realize is that there are several parts of that statute that affect when the clock starts or stops on that year.

A.R.S. § 13 – 107 (D), for example states that if one is on the run or out of Arizona for any reason, the clock is not running while they are gone. This means that if you are stopped for a DUI and leave the state before charges are brought, the statute of limitations will not start until you return. Hiding in-state may not help you avoid prosecution either, because A.R.S. § 13 – 107 (E) states that time during which a DUI suspect’s identity is unknown does not count toward the time limit of a year.

Even more confusing is A.R.S. § 13 – 107 (G) which states that a new prosecution can begin within a six month period after previous charges for the DUI have been dismissed, prior to the expiration of the time limit. This new prosecution is possible either up to the original one year limit or six months after the original charge dismissal was finalized, whichever one is longer. This means your case could be dismissed 11 months after the DUI occurrence and then be prosecuted up to six months later. In theory, one might not be safe for 18 months after a DUI arrest.

Dealing with a DUI in Arizona is not something the average person should attempt to handle on their own. If you find yourself facing an impending DUI charge contact the DMCantor for a free consultation at (602) 560-4004. We can navigate you safely through the mine field that is Arizona DUI law, contact us today.

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