What Is the Punishment for Aggravated DUI in Arizona?

What Is the Punishment for Aggravated DUI in Arizona?

Aggravated DUI Lawyer Arizona

Are you subject to aggravated DUI penalties in Arizona? Talk to Steven George Law today for free advice on how to navigate aggravated DUI charges in Arizona.

Steven George Law is a passionate DUI attorney in Prescott, AZ. If law enforcement arrested you for driving under the influence, we can advocate for you and fight to reduce the life-long consequences of a DUI criminal conviction. We offer a free consultation!

What Is Aggravated DUI According to Arizona Law?

You’re probably already aware that driving under the influence over a certain blood alcohol concentration can result in a DUI conviction, which the state classifies as a misdemeanor, but what does an aggravated DUI charge mean under Arizona law?

An aggravated DUI charge registers as a felony and occurs when any of the following circumstances increases the severity of a drunk driving charge:

  • The person receives the charge while under license revocation or suspension related to a prior DUI.
  • The person has at least two DUI convictions within the last seven years.
  • The charge occurred while the person was transporting a child under the age of 15.
  • The person drives with an ignition interlock device.
  • The charge occurred while the person was driving the wrong way on the highway.

Each of these conditions represents a different class of a felony, so the severity and consequences depend on other factors present at the time.

Potential Aggravated DUI Penalties in Arizona

What are the potential aggravated DUI penalties in Arizona? It depends on the conditions of your arrest and several other considerations. However, every felony DUI conviction shares some common penalties, including mandatory prison time, alcohol screening, community service, required counseling, and the mandatory installation of an IID.

No matter the circumstances, an aggravated DUI charge also means that you could lose any professional licenses you hold (such as the ability to practice medicine or law), your right to vote, and your right to own firearms. The court might also place you on probation.

Frequency of Offense

How frequently you’re charged with a DUI weighs heavily in determining your penalty. Prior DUI convictions can aggravate your sentence. If this is your third DUI conviction in seven years, it’s an automatic aggravated charge. The penalties for aggravated DUI can include:

  • First offense: First-time offenders have a minimum mandatory prison sentence of four months, have their driver’s license revoked and pay fines in excess of $4,600.
  • Second offense: Second-time offenders could spend between 2.5 and 7.5 years in prison, experience a license revocation for at least three years, and pay a mandatory minimum of $6,600 in fines.
  • Third offense: If you gain a third aggravated DUI, you could spend 6 to 15 years in prison and have your license revoked for at least three years.

With an aggravated DUI, it doesn’t matter how long you go between charges. They are what are known as forever allegeable offenses. 

DUI With a Child Present

If you’re driving under the influence with a child 14 years old or younger, Arizona law categorizes it as a class 6 felony. While class 6 is the least severe felony, it still carries some significant penalties, depending on your blood alcohol content at the time. 

No matter the level of the felony charge, if you’re driving with a child present, you’ll always face at least $4,000 in fines and might have to forfeit your motor vehicle. You’ll also receive a minimum one-year license suspension.

With a Restricted License

A restricted license includes those revoked or suspended by the state department or other government agency or law enforcement for a prior DUI offense. This can include out of state suspensions or revocations/ Arizona law classifies driving under the influence with a limited license as a class 4 felony.

If found guilty of this type of felony aggravated DUI in Arizona, you’ll face the following penalties:

  • A mandatory minimum state prison stay of four months
  • At least $4,000 in heavy fines
  • A license revocation of at least one year
  • A court-ordered IID installation

DUI With an Ignition Interlock Device – IID

An ignition interlock device device acts as a breath test for a person’s vehicle. You must blow into the device before you can start your car. If you manage to operate your vehicle while DUI and are required to have an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, it is as a class 4 felony Aggravated DUI in Arizona and thus carries the same criminal penalties as other Aggravated DUIs.

While Driving the Wrong Way

If driving under the influence while driving the wrong way on the highway, it counts as a class 4 felony DUI in Arizona. It carries the same minimum penalties as driving with your driving privileges revoked or while you have an IID installed. You don’t have to lose control of the vehicle for the aggravating factor to apply and this charge can be charged even if you are driving the wrong way on a city street. 

What Does a Misdemeanor DUI Entail?

Misdemeanor DUI can be charged for a variety of reasons in Arizona. For example, if you are driving, or in actual physical control, of a vehicle while impaired to the slightest degree—you can be charged with misdemeanor DUI in Arizona. A person can also be charged with misdemeanor DUI for driving with certain impairing drugs in their blood. This includes marijuana. The most common form of misdemeanor DUI in Arizona is driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. 

A police officer can attempt to determine your level of impairment or blood alcohol levels in the following ways:

  • A breathalyzer test can determine your BAC by breathing into a breath testing device. There are two devices that are primarily used by law enforcement, and each is used against you in a different way. There are small handheld portable breathalyzers, and then there are the lager Intoxilyzer machines used in DUI vans or at police stations. 
  • A field sobriety test, such as walking in a straight line or standing on lone foot can help the officer determine your level of impairment and whether or not they have probable cause to arrest you for a DUI/DWI.
  • If you’re arrested under suspicion of a DUI, they can perform a breath or blood test at the police station. While your consent is request by police initially, a refusal to submit to testing at the police station can result in the officer obtaining a search warrant and they will forcibly take your blood if necessary. 
  • If the police suspect you’re guilty of drunk driving, they can also do a urine test instead of the breath or blood test—although this method is very rarely used. 

The court where your DUI charges are pending can impose various penalties for a misdemeanor criminal case, and the severity of the penalties depends on several factors, including but not limited to: whether you have prior DUI cases or other misdemeanor offenses on your record and the level of your alcohol reading. 

Understanding Extreme DUI vs. Aggravated DUI Charges

Aggravated DUI penalties in Arizona also depends on the level of the DUI offense. Depending on your BAC, law enforcement can charge you with a normal DUI, an extreme DUI, or a super extreme DUI.

Extreme DUI ARS 28-1382A1

In Arizona, an extreme DUI charge occurs with a BAC of .15% to .199%. As a class 1 misdemeanor DUI, it doesn’t automatically qualify as an aggravated DUI in Arizona. It carries minimum penalties of a 30-day jail sentence, 90-day revocation of your driving privileges, at least $2,500 in fines, and potentially even harsher penalties. Depending on the circumstances, some jail time may be suspended. 

Super Extreme DUI 28-1382A2

A super extreme DUI in Arizona occurs with a BAC in excess of .20. This class 1 misdemeanor charge carries a minimum of 45 days jail time, a 90-day suspended license, at least $2,750 in fines, and other penalties common to DUI convictions. As with extreme DUI charges, depending on the circumstances, some jail time may be suspended.

What About Felony DUI Charges?

DUI charges become felony charges when they qualify as aggravated DUI in Arizona. If you’re the defendant in a felony DUI case, you’ll want legal help to help avoid or reduce the more serious penalties imposed by the court, such as prolonged probation, extended jail or prison terms, or losing your driver’s license.

Why Hire a DUI Attorney?

Whether facing a felony offense for an aggravated DUI in Arizona or a regular misdemeanor DUI charge, you should consider the benefits of hiring legal help to represent you in Arizona courts.

Understanding Arizona Law

Each state has different laws governing what happens when you face charges for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating substances. A reputable lawyer can investigate the investigation and examine whether your constitutional rights were violated. A DUI attorney can also look closely at the breath or blood collection process to determine if there were any issues that occurred. The same is true for the actual testing process. 

Experience in DUI cases

An attorney who focuses on drunk driving cases can help to potentially reduce the penalties associated with your DUI conviction. Having a defense attorney who is experienced and familiar with Arizona DUI law is critical. It is a common misconception that once is a person is charged with a certain level of DUI, they might as well be convicted of it. There are many issues or mistakes that occur during a DUI investigation, and it is best to consult with an experienced DUI attorney to discuss what may have gone wrong in your case. Steven George Law always offers free consultations for Arizona DUI cases. 

Steven George Law Can Represent You in Your DUI Case

Steven George Law can represent you and help you navigate the aggravated DUI penalties in Arizona. No matter the nature of your DUI convictions, our passionate DUI attorneys bring considerable experience and knowledge to your case.

Whether you’re wondering what to do if you’re stopped for a DUI while in the process, or are already facing charges such as aggravated DUI, we want to help you. To schedule your free initial consultation, call 480-363-0090 today.

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About the Author – Criminal Defense Lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona

Steven Scharboneau is an Arizona attorney practicing criminal defense law and is also a lobbyist with deep roots in the Phoenix Metro area. While he primarily practices in the area of Arizona criminal law, he also practices in other areas where the opportunity to represent the accused presents itself. Beyond the courtroom, Steven advocates for Arizonans impacted by the criminal justice system by working to change Arizona’s criminal laws. Protecting the rights of others from government intrusion is Steven’s passion in life.

This blog is intended to offer explanations of criminal laws and discuss general and basic legal concepts in Arizona. If you have questions or comments specific to a blog entry, feel free to contact me. Nothing on this site is to be construed as legal advice nor to establish an attorney client relationship. If  you would like  more information regarding  your specific situation, you can contact me 24/7 at (480) 363-0090 or through the Contact Me page on this site.