A DUI of any type is a very serious charge and can carry significant penalties, as well as put your livelihood at risk. Penalties for a DUI can include jail time, fines, suspended or revoked license and more. DUI’s may be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on a number of factors. For a Felony DUI, penalties can be quite severe, though a drunk driving attorney can often get those penalties, or even the charges themselves, reduced significantly.
The difference between doing time in jail and paying a nominal fine can be the legal representation you obtain prior to appearing before a judge. In the case of a felony charge, you could be facing a jury trial. A DUI attorney in Scottsdale will have a thorough understanding of Arizona drunk driving laws and provide a strong defense for you.
The loss of your driver’s license, even temporarily, can cost you your job, and cause financial hardship. With the added threat of a prison term and hefty fines, it’s not a battle you would want to undertake on your own. It’s clear that obtaining the legal help of a DUI attorney in Arizona is essential.
Since there are three different types of DUI in Arizona, each with varying levels of severity, you might very well be facing more than one DUI charge for the same offense, based on a number of circumstances.
What Is a Felony DUI?
For a DUI charge to be classified as a felony in the State of Arizona, it must be considered Aggravated DUI, the most serious type. Aggravated DUI involves one of the following:
- A DUI charge with a suspended, revoked or cancelled driver’s license;
- A third conviction within the past 7 years, or
- A DUI with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle.
Aggravated DUI with a suspended, revoked, restricted or cancelled license is a Class 4 Felony in Arizona that carries a mandatory prison term with a conviction. Prison terms for this type of Aggravated DUI can be between 4 months and 3 years, with no opportunity for work release or county jail terms.
If you are charged with Aggravated DUI with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle, this is a Class 6 Felony. Under this statue, you can be charged with separate felony counts for each underage child in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
A felony conviction of any kind in the State of Arizona can prevent you from obtaining gainful employment, strip you of firearm privileges, and even lead to denial of housing, credit or loans. The far-reaching consequences of a felony conviction make it necessary to find a DUI attorney in Phoenix who can defend you against a Felony DUI charge.
Facing a Felony DUI
If you’ve been charged with a DUI that meets the statutory classification of a felony offense under ARS 12-1382, your penalties can cost you quite a bit of money. Between fines, fees and loss of income, the financial toll is steep. Then there’s the prospect of jail or prison time that could cost you your career, as well as many civil liberties, such as gun ownership.
As stated previously, with Aggravated DUI (ARS 28-1383), a conviction brings a mandatory prison term. Straight to prison, not county jail. So it’s more than just a good idea to hire a DUI attorney if you’ve been charged in Phoenix.
Upon conviction, your license will be revoked, you will not only be unable to drive for up to a year, you’ll also have to reapply to have your license reissued. You will also have to complete mandatory alcohol and drug screening, treatment and education program before you get it back.
Get Legal Help
Do not delay in finding a drunk driving attorney near you. Arizona laws regarding driving under the influence are as varied as they are stringent. Navigating through the potential pitfalls and getting the most satisfactory outcome in court takes professional legal assistance.