Maricopa County Allows Home Detention for Low Level DUI Offenders

by Aaron M. Black • December 03, 2021

Home Detention for DUI in Maricopa CountyMaricopa County has finally decided to allow people convicted of “low level” DUI offenses to serve most of their sentence at home.

The new program, which was approved by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, was developed by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. The new program was a top priority of Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel.

Although the county did not object to home detention, the county did not join the program previously arguing that time in jail would make drivers think again before driving after drinking and reduce the number of repeat DUI offenders.

Home detention allows eligible DUI offenders to avoid disruption of their work or school schedules and helps reduce expenditures for the county’s 26 justice courts and the county jail. The cost of devices for monitoring location and consuming alcohol are paid by the defendants. The county is hoping the program will reduce recidivism.

Arizona Revised Statute §251.15 established home detention and allowed cities to use the program if they chose to do so. Almost all cities in the county employed it, including Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe.

Not everyone can be placed on home detention.

Home detention qualifications

First-time DUI offenders are not eligible for home detention. This is because it is possible that these defendants will only spend one day in jail instead of 10 days, which is allowed by law, if they enroll in an alcohol or drug education program and successfully complete the program.

At the time of sentencing, a judge can rule on the offender’s eligibility for home detention.

A judge in some cases may require the defendant on home detention to have a steady job.

The home detention program is not available to people who have been convicted of one of more of these offenses:
  • People who have a criminal history of violent behavior
  • Those convicted of domestic violence
  • A conviction for child abuse
  • Any sexual offense
  • People who have a prior felony conviction
  • Offenders who are living in the U.S. illegally
  • Drivers who have a second DUI conviction within 84 months from the first one
  • Persons who are a danger to themselves or the community

Living with home detention’s restrictions

People who are placed on home detention are not allowed to consume alcohol or illicit drugs and they must use a device that tests randomly at least one time a day, but often three times in one day. If the defendant tests positive at any time, the home detention order is revoked and the remaining time of the sentence will be served behind bars.

The court can also require that the defendant wears a GPS ankle monitor for continuous electronic monitoring. The ankle monitor ensures the home prisoner has not left the residence and is not violating a curfew imposed by the court. The GPS monitor can be removed when the person is at his or her job, or while on a community service work assignment.

Ankle Monitor for DUI Home Detention

The offender must pay the fees for the electronic monitoring and alcohol testing devices, which range from $10 to $30 a day. There is another option for monitoring, which is calling the offenders landline at the residence.

In addition to monitoring, the court may order the offender not to associate with people the court believes are harmful to the offender’s successful home detention.

Home detention vs incarceration

A certain degree of freedom is home detention’s big benefit. In home detention, the offender is not confined in a jail cell, does not need to dress in jail attire, does not associate with other prisoners or follow the jail’s rules and procedures.

In DUI cases, the offender can be released from jail to go to work but must return to jail after the work day. This is the work release program.

Home detention allows the offender to drive to work, school, keep medical appointments, attend religious services and go to funerals. During these trips, the offender’s vehicle must have an ignition interlock device (IID) for which the offender pays for its rental, installation, and maintenance.

How to request home detention for a Maricopa DUI

The court does not offer home detention. The offender must request it. The defense attorney can gather evidence of your character, militating factors stemming from before, during, and after the arrest, a showing of remorse, the offender’s age, medical ailments, and if the defendant is a single parent. Every case is different, so other evidences may be available.

The attorney assembling these factors must request home detention before the judge pronounces the DUI sentence hearing.

DUI defenses in Maricopa County, Arizona

Better than home detention is, of course, for the defense attorney to win a dismissal of the charges or to reduce the DUI to a lesser offense such as reckless driving.

The state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense must establish a reasonable doubt in the minds of a jury or without a jury, to the judge.

A seasoned DUI defense attorney such as myself will review the state’s evidence for flaws in the reason to make a traffic stop, errors or omissions in the police report, challenge the results of the field sobriety test based on physical ailments preventing the suspect to do well on the tests, and faults in the breathalyzer or blood test results. The defense will also look into the officer’s record for previous mistakes.

The best defense begins when the officer makes the traffic stop and starts asking questions. Anything you say will be used against you but you have the right to refuse to answer questions under the Fifth Amendment. The officer must tell you that at the moment of arrest, so it is best to politely decline to answer early.

Consequences of a DUI conviction

People who are convicted of driving impaired will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, face financial and freedom consequences. A conviction becomes public record for anyone to see.

The law requires a minimum of 10 days in jail, but nine of them may be suspended, and a maximum of six months accompanied with fines and surcharges totaling $1.250. The license to drive can be suspended, too.

Using Aaron M. Black Law for your defense

From extensive experience defending DUI cases, I know that good people can make a mistake and deserve the best outcome possible. I work diligently to design, build, and deliver the best defense possible. I also provide open personalized communication throughout the case that the big law firms do not always do. You will always be talking directly to me.

Begin your defense by calling 480-729-1683 or use my online contact form.

I defend DUI cases and work to achieve home detention in the justice, municipal, state and federal courts in and adjacent to Maricopa County.

About the Author

Aaron Black Phoenix DUI LawyerAaron Black is the founder and sole attorney of the Law Office of Aaron Black. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his DUI and criminal defense law firm provides legal services to people who have received felony or misdemeanor charges from the state.

Aaron has developed a strong interest in defending people who have been arrested and received criminal charges for driving under the influence. With his professionalism and knowledge of Arizona DUI and criminal law, he has acted as a check and balance on the police, prosecution and courts and has protected a great number of his clients from excessive and unfair sentencing.

Along with DUI defense, Aaron handles a range of other criminal defense matters, including aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud defense, insurance fraud, sex crimes, and white-collar crime cases.

After graduating college in 2003 from the University of Arizona, Aaron decided to pursue a law degree. He followed a family long tradition and went to the University of South Dakota School of Law where he pursued his goal of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.

After passing the Arizona and South Dakota bar exams, Aaron joined the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender where he defended hundreds of people charged with serious criminal offenses. His work as a public defender helped him sharpen his litigation skills and gave him a unique insight into the Arizona criminal justice system.

Over the course of his 15-year legal career, Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in both Arizona justice, municipal, state and federal courts. He has argued over 50 jury trials, tried over 100 bench trials and has become one of the highest-rated criminal and DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. He has received a 10/10 rating from the legal directory Avvo because of his legal background and successful case record. Since 2014, he has received the Super Lawyer rating for his work as a Phoenix DUI Attorney and criminal defense attorney.

You can review Aaron’s Attorney Bio page for more information about his background, education and experience as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.
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