Arizona Felony DUI Defense
In Arizona, some DUIs are considered more serious than others. A first-time conviction for DUI that resulted from a checkpoint or traffic stop is generally classified as a misdemeanor, but a DUI arrest after a fatal accident may be charged as a felony, even if it is a first offense.
Generally, felony DUI in Arizona is charged under the following circumstances:
- The driver had a child under the age of 15 in the car with him or her when pulled over for DUI
- The driver has a history of DUI convictions
- The driver’s license is already suspended or revoked due to a previous DUI or other violation
- The driver was ordered to use an ignition interlock device but is not using one at the time of the arrest
A felony DUI is cited as “Aggravated DUI” and is considered a Class 4 felony. A conviction of felony DUI carries a minimum four month and maximum 2.5 year jail sentence, a $750 or greater surcharge to fines, a $250 assessment to the Arizona DUI Abatement Fund and $1,500 in financial penalties as well as a possible ten years of probation.
Worst of all, Arizona considers a felony DUI conviction “forever allegeable.” This means that once you are convicted of felony DUI, you remain a convicted felon for the rest of your life. If you are ever charged with another felony of any type, you may suffer enhanced sentencing as a prior felon. You may also find that it is difficult or impossible for you to secure certain jobs as a convicted felon and you will be required to disclose this fact on applications.
Clearly, a felony DUI charge is a serious thing and should not be taken lightly. It is important to find the right representation for your DUI case, and this means retaining a lawyer who understands how to handle DUI charges in a manner that reduces the seriousness of the consequences. Many criminal defense attorneys handle DUI cases, but it takes experience, skill and specialized knowledge to successfully defend a felony DUI charge.
Do not take chances with your future by attempting to handle a felony DUI charge alone. You need sound legal representation by a professional who understands the law and the options available to you. A DUI defense attorney can help you choose the right way to handle this charge so that you preserve your future to the greatest extent possible.