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How Do You Defend Yourself Against a Aggravated DUI in Arizona?

In Arizona, there are multiple types of DUI penalties with varying types of severity, and an aggravated DUI is one of the most serious types of DUI charge. There are many things that can elevate a DUI into an aggravated DUI, and once a DUI is charged on this fashion, the penalties, fines and possible jail time increase substantially. Aggravated DUIs are also often referred to as felony DUI charges.

How Does a DUI Become Aggravated?

  • Child in car: The presence of a minor under the age of 15 in a vehicle will escalate a DUI into a felony charge.
  • Having a suspended, cancelled, revoked, refused, or restricted license
  • Assault: Parties being injured or killed will escalate a DUI.
  • While ordered to have an Ignition Interlock Device on a vehicle
  • Multiple DUI charges will often cause a DUI to become a felony.

Injury to other people automatically makes a DUI a felony. Those that are being charged with a DUI for the third time will also be charged with an aggravated DUI. Those facing a felony DUI for the second time will encounter stricter sentencing. An aggravated DUI also occurs if the driver already has a suspended license, if they are driving with an ignition interlock or if a child under 15 is in the vehicle.

What Are The Consequences of an Aggravated DUI?

A driver that has had a single class 4 felony DUI will face the following consequences:

  • 120 days to 3.75 months in prison.
  • Almost $5,000 in estimated fines.
  • Probation following jail time.
  • Community service determined by a judge.
  • License suspension.

Multiple DUI charges are considered very serious. Someone who has two class 4 felony DUI charges may face additional penalties as follows:

  • 2.25 to 7.5 years of prison time.
  • Almost $5,000 in fines.
  • Alcohol counseling and community service.

A driver with three or more class 4 felony DUI charges will find themselves in an even more serious situation:

  • 6 to 15 years of prison time.
  • License revocation.
  • Alcohol counseling and community service.

Class 6 felony DUI charges are not as serious as class 4, but they still carry with them possible jail time and significant fines.

Additional Factors Considered

When judging a DUI, the extent of the driver’s intoxication will be considered. A judge has significant amounts of freedom to determine the overall penalties and consequences of a DUI, and they may increase the DUI charges based on certain aspects of the case. Drivers with histories of DUIs may be enrolled in substance abuse programs and may be required to have their ignition interlock devices for a longer period of time. There are also two levels of felony: class 4 and class 6. Class 6 felonies occur when a driver is impaired even a little and a minor under the age of 15 is in the vehicle. Other felony DUI charges are considered class 4.

How Does a Lawyer Help With an Aggravated DUI Charge?

Those facing an aggravated DUI charge in Arizona may be surprised at the numerous ways an attorney can help. Charges can be suspended to be served at a later date and jail time can potentially be changed into house arrest. Attorneys may be able to refute the evidence presented by the state entirely in some circumstances, and the actual level of intoxication can sometimes be called into question.

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