Arizona's Aggravated DUI Penalties
If you are charged with DUI in Arizona, you probably have many questions and even some fears. This is particularly true if your offense is felony DUI known as Aggravated DUI in the state. Arizona's Aggravated DUI penalties are incredibly severe. These penalties increase according to your criminal history.
There are four types of Aggravated DUI charges, ranging from a class 6 felony to class 4 felonies. These charges include:
- DUI with a child under 15 years old in the car, a class 6 felony
- Two or more prior DUIs in seven years, a class 4 felony
- DUI on suspended or revoked license, a class 4 felony
- DUI while ordered to use an ignition interlock device, a class 4 felony
What are the maximum penalties for an Aggravated DUI?
Without any prior felony offenses, your maximum penalty is two years in Arizona prison for a class 6 felony. Also without any prior offenses, your maximum prison term for a class 4 felony is 3.75 years. Both class 4 and class 6 felonies carry a $150,000 fine plus an 83 percent surcharge, as the maximum.
If you do have prior felony convictions, your incarceration time for either a class 6 or a class 4 will be drastically longer. One prior felony of any kind pushes the maximum punishment to 7.5 years. With two or more prior felonies, your sentence maximum is 15 years.
Arizona's Aggravated DUI penalties are extreme. This is why most first-time offenders gain minimum sentencing according to the law, unless there are egregious facts or circumstances associated with the case.
Having prior felony convictions changes everything. You suffer much higher penalties with sentencing usually at 2.5 years, 4.5 years and ten years, depending on how many prior felonies exist. All Aggravated DUI convictions in Arizona carry minimum punishment of probation with specific mandatory minimum punishments accompanying that probation.
What are the mandatory minimum penalties for an Aggravated DUI?
A class 4 felony of Aggravated DUI results in the following minimum penalties:
- Four months' prison time
- $750 in fines and 83 percent surcharge
- $1500 prison construction fund fee
- $1500 public safety equipment fund fee
- $250 DUI assessment fee
- Required counseling
- Ignition interlock device required for at least 24 months
- Three year license revocation
A class 6 felony of Aggravated DUI results in the following minimum penalties:
- Jail time matching the sentence of a class 1 misdemeanor
- Fines matching the sentence of a class 1 misdemeanor
- Required counseling for at least 12 months
- Ignition interlock device required for at least 12 months
- License revocation, possibly with restricted license allowed
The court my add community service terms to your sentencing, too. Felony DUIs in Arizona usually result in felony probation, meaning you will likely also have to pay a monthly probation fee and check in with probation on a monthly basis.
What are other consequences of an Aggravated DUI?
Aggravated DUI damages your life in ways not listed in the sentencing guidelines. Your driving privileges are deeply affected and your insurance rates spike. You also face consequences in regard to your employment, child custody and immigration. Having a conviction takes an emotional toll and is always visible on your record. These are very real consequences you should not ignore when considering your case and the legal help you need.
Can the mandatory minimums be reduced?
Having a good criminal defense lawyer on your side helps your case immensely. A particularly skilled attorney will negotiate and litigate on your behalf, working toward a more lenient sentence. This begins with securing a plea to a lesser or different offense. Winning at trial is another possibility toward reduction of your sentence.
You cannot avoid mandatory minimums if you are convicted of Aggravated DUI through trial or a plea agreement. Judges do not hold the power to reduce these sentences beyond the minimums put forth by lawmakers. But you can possibly win at trial, gain dismissal of your case or plea to a different charge with an experienced DUI defense lawyer by your side. That means the mandatory minimums will not apply, if your lawyer is successful.
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