Are DUI Arrests Public Record in Arizona?
DUI arrest records in Arizona are generally considered public records. This means that information related to your arrest — including the arrest report — may be accessible to your employers, landlord, and other parties. Individuals facing DUI charges should be aware of the potential visibility of their arrest records and take appropriate action to address the legal implications.
If you are facing a DUI charge, choose experienced Arizona DUI defense attorneys who can help you take the right steps to mitigate the legal consequences.
Which DUI Arrest Records Are Public in Arizona?
Details such as the name of the arrested individual, the nature of the DUI charges, and booking information are often available as part of the public record. In Arizona, public records generally include documents, information, and records created or maintained by government agencies. These records are accessible to the public unless exempted by law for reasons such as privacy or safety.
Once a DUI case enters the Arizona court system, additional information — including court dates and outcomes — becomes public record. This information is typically accessible through court records.
Who Can Find Out About My Arizona DUI Arrest or Conviction?
Here are some entities that may have access to information about your DUI arrest or conviction in Arizona:
Law Enforcement and Justice System
Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies involved in your arrest and processing have access to your DUI records. Courts and other components of the criminal justice system, such as prosecutors and defense attorneys, will also have access to your arrest and conviction records.
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Your DUI arrest and conviction information is likely to be available to the DMV, and it can impact your driving record, leading to potential license suspension or other administrative consequences.
Many employers conduct background checks as part of the hiring process. A DUI conviction may impact your employability, particularly for positions that involve driving, handling sensitive information, or working with children.
Insurance companies often review driving records when determining insurance premiums. A DUI conviction could result in higher premiums or the possibility of being classified as a high-risk driver.
Some landlords may perform background checks on prospective tenants, which could include checking for criminal convictions, including DUIs.
Background Check Companies
Companies specializing in completing background check services may compile and provide information about your criminal history, including DUI convictions.
Non-U.S. citizens may face immigration consequences due to a DUI conviction. Immigration authorities may consider criminal convictions when determining visa status, green card applications, or deportation proceedings.
Crossing State Lines May Not Necessarily Shield You
Arizona participates in an information-sharing system about DUI convictions and arrests among states.
- National Driver Register (NDR): The NDR is a computerized database that compiles information about individuals’ driving records, including DUI-related convictions and license suspensions
- Driver’s License Compact (DLC): The DLC is an agreement among participating states to share information about traffic violations, including DUI offenses committed by non-residents.
- Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision: For cases involving probation or community supervision related to DUI offenses, the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision facilitates communication and coordination among states.
DUI Records Form Part of the FBI Fingerprint Database
When you’re arrested, law enforcement officers typically take your fingerprints. Your arrest information will likely get entered into the local law enforcement database where the arrest occurred.
The National Crime Information Center, which is part of the FBI, includes information on individuals who have been arrested. Law enforcement agencies across the country use the NCIC to access various criminal justice information, including arrest records.
Arizona automatically submits certain arrest records to the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, which maintains the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). However, not all DUI arrests automatically result in information being sent to the FBI database, but they may be accessible at the state and local levels.
You should consult with knowledgeable Arizona lawyers for DUI defense to pursue proactive steps to prevent a record in the first place or have it expunged or sealed.
Strategies Employed by Arizona DUI Attorneys to Minimize the Impact of a Criminal Record
Here are some ways your criminal defense lawyer can help minimize the impact of a DUI record:
Challenging the Evidence
Dedicated Arizona DUI attorneys will thoroughly examine the evidence against you, looking for any weaknesses or procedural errors that could be used to challenge the prosecution’s case. If successful, it may result in reduced charges or even a dismissal.
Expungement or Sealing of Records
Depending on the circumstances, an experienced criminal defense law firm in Arizona may explore options for expunging or sealing the DUI record. Expungement generally removes the conviction from the public record, while sealing restricts access to certain individuals or agencies.
Alternative Sentencing Programs
In some cases, an assertive DUI lawyer may advocate for participation in alternative sentencing programs, such as diversion programs or alcohol education classes. Completion of these programs may be considered favorably by the court.
Avoiding Mandatory Minimum Sentences
Some DUI offenses come with mandatory minimum sentences. Your lawyer may work to negotiate with the prosecutor and argue for a sentence below the mandatory minimum, if applicable.
Even if a conviction is likely, a DUI lawyer can work to minimize the penalties you may face. This may involve advocating for reduced fines, probation instead of jail time, or other lenient sentencing options.
Negotiating Plea Deals
A skilled DUI attorney may negotiate with the prosecutor to reach a plea deal. This could involve reducing the charges to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving, which may have less severe consequences.
Get Strong Legal Representation from a Proven Arizona DUI Defense Attorney Today
At Ferguson Hill Filous PLLC, our experienced Arizona DUI lawyers will invest the time to thoroughly assess the details of your case, identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s arguments, and draft solid defense strategies.
We will leave no stone unturned when challenging the evidence against you and will fight hard to protect your rights, freedom, and reputation. To schedule your free and confidential consultation, call us at 520-231-2814 or write to us online.