Is a DUI a Felony in Arizona?
In Arizona, a DUI can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Although most DUI offenses are misdemeanors, the presence of certain aggravating factors can elevate the charge to a felony. These factors may include prior DUI convictions, driving with a suspended license, or causing serious injury or death. Our comprehensive guide offers a detailed analysis of Arizona’s DUI laws, differentiating between misdemeanor and felony charges, and providing insights into the legal consequences and potential defenses related to each classification.
Welcome to Chelle Law Firm’s blog! As a top criminal defense law firm in Scottsdale, Arizona, we are dedicated to providing informative content on various legal topics relevant to our clients. In this post, we will discuss whether a DUI is considered a felony in Arizona, the circumstances in which a DUI can be classified as a felony, and the potential penalties involved. We will also explain how Chelle Law Firm can help you navigate your DUI case.
DUI Classification in Arizona
In Arizona, driving under the influence (DUI) charges are generally classified as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the incident. Most first-time and second-time DUI offenses are classified as misdemeanors. However, under certain conditions, a DUI can be considered a felony, also known as an “aggravated DUI” or a “felony DUI.”
Circumstances for a Felony DUI in Arizona
There are several situations in which a DUI offense can be elevated to a felony in Arizona:
- Third DUI Offense within 7 Years: If a person is convicted of a third DUI within a 7-year period, the offense is considered a felony DUI (ARS § 28-1383(A)(2)).
- Driving Under the Influence with a Suspended License: If an individual is caught driving under the influence while their license is suspended, revoked, or restricted, it constitutes a felony DUI (ARS § 28-1383(A)(1)).
- DUI with a Child Under 15 in the Vehicle: If a person is found to be driving under the influence with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle, it is considered a felony DUI (ARS § 28-1383(A)(3)).
- DUI Resulting in Serious Injury or Death: If a DUI offense results in serious physical injury or death, it can be charged as a felony, specifically as “aggravated assault” or “manslaughter” (ARS § 13-1204 and ARS § 13-1103).
Penalties for a Felony DUI in Arizona
Felony DUI convictions in Arizona come with severe penalties, including:
- Mandatory prison time, ranges from a minimum of four months to several years, depending on the severity of the offense.
- Fines and fees can amount to thousands of dollars.
- License revocation for a minimum of one year.
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device upon license reinstatement.
- Probation, community service, and substance abuse counseling.
How Chelle Law Firm Can Help
If you are facing a DUI charge in Arizona, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, it is crucial to have experienced legal representation to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system. Chelle Law is dedicated to providing top-notch criminal defense representation for those facing charges in Scottsdale.
Our legal team will thoroughly examine the details of your case, work diligently to protect your rights and develop a strategic defense to achieve the best possible outcome. We understand the severity of a felony DUI conviction and its long-lasting impact on your life, which is why we are committed to advocating for you every step of the way.