Like most states, Arizona has a progressive penalty system for those convicted of driving under the influence, or a DUI. The first violation is often seen as a warning to give a person a chance to realize how serious the violation is. However, progressive, repeat violations are treated much more harshly, especially when a person gets to a third, repeat violation or more. The path to more severe penalties is not as clear as a 1-2-3 strikes approach. Much depends on the type of violations that occurred beforehand and how drunk a person was when arrested and tested.
The key factor is whether a 3rd DUI registers as a class 4 or 6 felony(Aggravated DUI) or as a misdemeanor DUI. Clearly, a felony is a much more serious penalty. However, it requires that the prior 84 months had some kind of DUI violation.
Penalties for multiple DUI charge’s in Arizona:
If a person finds himself facing penalties of a 3rd DUI as a misdemeanor, a key factor is if the violation is more than 84 months since the last violation. If so, then the conviction is treated as a first-time offense. That doesn’t stop the prosecution from bringing up the matter of prior violations when it comes time for sentencing.
Aggravated DUI: Felony Class 4
(Arizona Revised Statutes § 28 – 1383A1 and A3. Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-1401. Arizona Revised Statutes § 28 – 1383.L.1)
A class 4 felony applies if the felony 3rd DUI occurred when one didn’t have a valid license, or it’s a third DUI within 84 months, or under a court order to have an interlock device on the vehicle. If convicted, the person can receive up to 4 months in state prison, a $750 fine with up to $3,250 in administrative assessments on top (total $4,000), not to mention other local fees and fines. Folks also lose their license for a year, an interlock device is applied for the next year, substance abuse testing and counseling can be required, and a person is on 10 years of probation, which can increase penalties if there is another violation during the probation period. Traffic school and court-ordered restitution like community service can be required as well.
Given the above, the best choice is to avoid getting arrested for a 3rd DUI altogether. However, if arrested in Arizona, working with a good defense attorney is highly advised. It’s the key to getting a charge lowered to a less severe level if possible. At the Maasen Law Firm we have handled thousands of cases involving multiple DUI offenders. Give us a call anytime at 480-778-1500 or click here for a free consultation.
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