While an ordinary DUI is quite difficult to face, escalated DUI charges such as an extreme DUI can be even more severe. The consequences of an extreme DUI in Arizona include increased fines, penalties and the potential for additional time in jail. Attorneys at the Maasen Law Firm are specialized in the defense of those accused of driving while under the influence will often be instrumental in reducing or even eradicating these charges.
When you’re facing an extreme DUI, the first thing you should do is take a deep breath. It’s OK. You’ve been accused of the extreme DUI, not found guilty. The second thing is to call or sign up online for a free consultation with an attorney. It’s vital to have legal representation when you’re facing an Arizona judge or jury and fighting an extreme DUI case.
What Is an Extreme DUI?
A DUI charge is classified as extreme based on blood alcohol content. In Arizona, a DUI occurs if the blood alcohol level of the driver tests at 0.08 percent or higher. However, a blood alcohol level tested at 0.15 percent is considered an extreme DUI. These cases are treated differently from others because drivers with a BAC this high are considered to be higher risks and more likely to injure someone else. The BAC is almost twice the legal limit in the state. Those that test at 0.20 percent or higher blood alcohol level will face a different charge of a “super extreme DUI.” Meanwhile, an extreme DUI can also be escalated to an aggravated DUI under some circumstances.
How does a DUI get charged?
In order for a charge of extreme DUI to become a conviction, a prosecutor has to prove elements, or factors. These elements are the same for every extreme DUI case and must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction. The elements are:
- You were driving a motor vehicle within the state
- Your BAC was between 0.15 to 0.20 percent within two hours of you operating a motor vehicle
- Your BAC was the result of alcohol consumed either while you were driving or prior to driving
The first element may be proven by an officer having probable cause for stopping your vehicle or if it was a result of a crash. In addition to driving, the prosecutor can prove this element if you had actual physical control of the motor vehicle. The prosecutor usually relies on witness testimony from the police officer to meet the reasonable doubt involved in this element.
The second element, your BAC level, may be proven by the breath or blood test you took within two hours of being stopped. If you didn’t take the test within two hours, your lawyer may be able to challenge the state’s evidence.
The last element refers to you drinking prior to the traffic stop or traffic violation. For instance, you were partying in downtown Phoenix when were stopped and accused of DUI. The important point the prosecutor has to prove is that you didn’t drink any alcohol after you were stopped.
To understand more about the elements and type of evidence the state must show for your Extreme DUI case; contact us for a free extreme DUI consultation.
Possible Penalties from an Extreme DUI Conviction
If you’re convicted of extreme DUI, you face certain penalties depending on the offense.
First Extreme DUI Offense Penalties
This is a misdemeanor which carries a possible:
- 30 to 90 days in jail
- Maximum five years on probation
- Fine of $250 and surcharge
- Additional penalties including $1,000 to the State Prion Fund
- Interlock device placed on your vehicle
- 90 day suspended license (permitted to use vehicle for work after 30 days)
Second Extreme DUI Offense Penalties (within 7 years of Prior DUI Conviction)
This is a misdemeanor offense that carries a possible:
- 90 to 120 days in jail
- Minimum fine of $250 plus surcharge
- Additional financial penalty
- Maximum five years on probation
- Revoked license for 1 year
- Interlock device installed on your vehicle
Third Extreme DUI Offense
With a third DUI offense within seven years of a second offense, you face tougher penalties. If you’re in this legal situation you should read more about Third Offense DUI’s in Arizona by clicking here.
Additional consequences of being charged with an Extreme DUI
As with other DUI charges, an extreme DUI leads to a license suspension. Drivers with a history of DUI charges may also need to install an ignition interlock device to drive, and drivers may need to take classes in regards to their driving or substance addiction.
Additional Factors to Consider with a DUI in Arizona
A DUI will become more serious if the driver was tested at .2 percent blood alcohol content. Additionally, the charges will often be more serious if someone was injured during the DUI incident or if a minor was involved during the incident.
How Does a Lawyer Help with Extreme DUI?
An attorney specializing in the defense of those accused of an extreme DUI can help in a variety of ways. Attorneys can reduce sentences or get sentences deferred. Those accused may be able to plea down to lesser sentences, and the evidence used against the accused can be called into question or suppressed. An extreme DUI only occurs when BAC is above .15 percent, so an attorney can also sometimes call into question the accuracy of the test used, especially if the accused falls within a margin of error.
When you meet with your attorney, he or she will discuss your legal options such as to plead innocent or guilty. Your attorney can also negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf. Each extreme DUI case is different that’s why it’s important to discuss your legal options during your free consult. You also may want to understand more about DUI, blood tests, license suspension and other legal terminology, if so check out these dui pages.
At the Maasen Law Firm we specialize in extreme DUI defense and are happy to talk with you at no charge to see what options are available to you. Call us anytime, any day, 24/7 at480-778-1500 for a Free Consultation.
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Scott, just a quick note to thank you for all the time and energy you spent last week on my son’s behalf.
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