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Types of Aggravated DUI, class 4 & 6 Felonies
Potential Aggravated DUI Penalties
Aggravated DUI class 4 Felony:
Most people would argue that Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country, even for first-time offenders. Some states classify an Aggravated DUI as a misdemeanor. Not Arizona. An unfavorable conviction for an Aggravated DUI in Arizona will result in a felony charge. And, as with most other felonies, the penalties attached to the felony are forbidding.
Prosecutors in Arizona have the ability to charge what would have been a normal DUI, to an Aggravated DUI if your drivers license is suspended, revoked, cancelled, or even restricted; or if the violation is your third DUI conviction within 7 years, and finally, if you are impaired and there is a child in your vehicle, the prosecutor will elevate the charges to an Aggravated DUI. In the event your ruling results in a conviction of an Aggravated DUI you will probably do some prison time.
In the case of an Aggravated DUI conviction in Arizona, fines can often exceed $6,000. In addition, the odds of you spending time in prison are high and can carry up to a six year term. Further, the court will mandate you pay for and install an ignition interlock device for eighteen months, followed by the revocation of your driving privileges for 3 years. Lastly, you will face up to five years of probation, plus undergo a battery of drug and alcohol evaluation screenings to determine the depth of your alcohol and/or drug issues, followed by required classes and/or psychological treatment designed to address any such issues.
A normal first-time DUI is a misdemeanor in Arizona and its penalties far lighter than the Aggravated DUI penalties. There are few similarities among an Aggravated DUI and a normal first-time DUI conviction. If you are convicted of an Aggravated DUI in Arizona, don’t expect any leniency from the courts. If convicted of a normal, first-time DUI you will be required to spend a day in jail, pay fines up to $2500, undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and psychological treatment, and you will face between one year and five years of probation.
Furthermore, the court will order you to pay for and install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle to monitor your sobriety (or lack of) prior to driving your car, and finally, your drivers license will be suspended for a minimum of 90 days. If by chance you were fortunate enough not to cause any serious physical injuries to others, and you have no prior DUI’s, you may be entitled to reduced penalties surrounding your driver’s license.
There exists an unusual quirk in the Arizona drunk driving laws many people are unaware of. In Arizona, the Department of Motor Vehicles (MVD) does not have to wait for a DUI conviction before it can move legally against your license and driving privileges. It’s known as the “implied consent law.” Essentially, anyone arrested for DUI, is required to provide a sample of their blood, breath or urine (A.R.S. 28-1321).
If for whatever reason you deny one or more of the required samples, you will lose your driving privileges for one year. This punishment is not dependent upon a finding of guilty in your DUI case.
Although an Aggravated DUI carries penalties far more severe than a first-time DUI, it is evident that any DUI in Arizona will set you back financially, potentially put you behind bars, and wreak havoc on your life in more areas than you can imagine. What hasn’t been factored into any of the financial burdens previously mentioned, are costs associated with hiring a law firm to help you through what certainly is a legal quagmire.
It’s not always the court induced penalties which cause the greatest hardship, the social stigma combined with the possibility of losing one’s job, damaging your credit, and sending your insurance premiums through the roof, are enough to deter most social drinkers from driving while impaired in Arizona. Time will tell whether the statute has deterred those who habitually drink and drive.