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What are the penalties for an aggravated DUI?
Arizona is known for being tough on crime, and the crime of an Aggravated DUI brings with it harsh consequences. Facing a DUI is a frightening experience for anyone as it could equate to loss of your license, prison time, and long term complications due to having a misdemeanor or felony on your criminal record. Aggravated DUIs come with heightened penalties that could potentially mean years in prison, revocation of your license, and a felony conviction. Our Phoenix, Arizona DUI defense attorneys explore the crimes of Aggravated DUI in Arizona and how you can defend against these charges below.
Types of Aggravated DUIs
Per Arizona criminal law, there are four different types of Aggravated DUIs. These include:
- DUI with a child under the age of 15 in the car;
- Two or more DUIs within seven years;
- DUI with your license suspended or revoked; and
- DUI while your vehicle has an ignition interlock device.
Each of these offenses may subject the defendant to more stringent penalties than an ordinary DUI.
Penalties for Aggravated DUIs
Being convicted of a DUI with a young child in the car is considered a Class 6 felony in Arizona. A Class 6 felony is punishable by up to two years in prison, along with fines. At times, a Class 6 felony can be treated as a misdemeanor offense. If you have other criminal convictions, however, the penalties for a DUI with a child in the car will increase potentially drastically. Additionally, those charged with DUI with a minor may face other offenses, such as child endangerment, which can increase the potential penalties you may receive.
All three other types of Aggravated DUIs (having two or more DUIs in seven years, DUI with your license suspended or revoked, and DUI with an ignition interlock) are considered a Class 4 felony. Class 4 felonies in Arizona could be punished by up to 3.75 years in prison and a maximum fine of $150,000. Those charged with a Class 4 felony on top of a previous record could be looking at twice that time in prison.
In addition to fines and prison time, an aggravated DUI conviction comes with numerous other major ramifications. In the short term, a DUI will result in temporary loss of your license or limited driving privileges. You will likely experience an increase in your auto insurance rates or may struggle to find coverage. In the long term, an aggravated DUI will remain on your permanent record for life. The felony conviction will be visible to your current and potential employers, as well as loan, scholarship, and professional programs. Your DUI could hinder your ability to keep your current job or find a new one. It may even prevent you from entering certain professions. As such, it is critical that you strongly defend against any aggravated DUI charge to minimize your chance of conviction for this serious crime.
Phoenix Attorney Defending Against an Aggravated DUI
Anyone charged with an Aggravated DUI should take the charges quite seriously and contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. There are several potential defenses you can raise, including challenging the validity of the stop, the findings of the field sobriety test, blood test results, and much more. Your best defense will strongly depend on the unique circumstances surrounding your arrest. Your criminal defense lawyer will review the facts surrounding your offense to craft your ideal defense against the charges you face.