Under Arizona law, Aggravated Felony DUI charges can be given to persons charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs while the driver’s license is suspended, if they have had prior DUIs in the last seven years, or while a person under the age of fifteen is in the vehicle. Aggravated Felony DUI convictions lead to severe penalties, including mandatory jail time. Like other DUI charges, a Blood Alcohol Content over 0.08% is not required in the state of Arizona; the law states that you can be charged with a DUI if you are “impaired to the slightest degree,” making it difficult to use BAC as a defense. While there are three circumstances that can fall under the category of an Aggravated Felony DUI, each has specific requirements:
Felony with Suspended License
Aggravated Felony DUI in the case of a suspended, revoked, cancelled, restricted, or refused license is a Class 4 Felony. If you are charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or while impaired to the slightest degree, and have a license that is not current or recognized, you could face serious fines and other penalties.
Felony with Two Prior Offenses
If you are charged with driving under the influence or impaired to the slightest degree after two previous DUI convictions within the last seven years, it is considered a Class 4 Felony. A Class 4 Felony has mandatory jail time and a range of possible fines and punishments associated with it, including an Ignition Interlock Device mandate.
In the case of Class 4 Aggravated Felony DUIs, a first offense sentence will receive: 4 months to 3.75 years in prison, minimum fines and fees of $4,700, license revocation, probation, alcohol counseling, SR22 High Risk Insurance, two years with an Ignition Interlock Device, and community service. If you have a prior felony conviction or more than one prior felony conviction, these penalties get more severe.
Felony with a Child in the Car
If you are charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while a person under the age of 15 is in the vehicle, Arizona law dictates that your Aggravated DUI is a Class 6 Felony. This is a slightly lower charge, and while there is mandatory jail time of at least one day, the penalties are less than a Class 4 Felony.
In a first offense sentence for a Class 6 Aggravated Felony DUI, your sentence could include: 1 day to 2 years in prison, fines and fees of $4,700 minimum, alcohol counseling, probation, license revocation, community service, SR22 High Risk Insurance, and one or two years with an Ignition Interlock Device.
In Arizona, Aggravated Felony DUIs are classified similarly to manslaughter and arson in being “Forever Allegeable.” This means if you are convicted of an Aggravated Felony DUI, that conviction can be used against you forever, and will be considered a “Prior Felony Conviction” in the event that a defendant is charged for a felony offence later in life. This is an extremely serious charge, and proper legal representation is vital to protecting your rights and ensuring you receive the best available option.
Arizona has some of the toughest laws regarding DUIs and Aggravated Felony DUIs in the country. You need a top-rated lawyer to help you navigate your legal options and formulate a defense that gives you the best possible chance of avoiding a felony charge and receiving the lowest sentence possible. The penalties associated with Aggravated Felony DUIs are severe and will last a lifetime. Don’t leave your fate up to chance; contact the Law Offices of Scott David Stewart today to set up a free case evaluation and begin strategizing the best option for your case.