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Difference Between Misdemeanor and Aggravated DUI

All states have laws against driving under the influence. Arizona is no exception. Arizona laws prohibit driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. In fact, Arizona has a “zero tolerance” meaning even the slightest amount of alcohol can lead to an arrest – something as innocent as cold-medicine or mouthwash could cause a significant problem for you. Charges and penalties for receiving a DUI vary depending on the circumstances.

Regardless of those circumstances, a DUI conviction can have grave consequences and should be faced head-on. Receiving a felony aggravated DUI charge in Arizona can result in much harsher charges, as well.

Although a felony aggravated DUI can result in severe consequences, even a misdemeanor DUI in Arizona has penalties that need serious attention. Therefore, it is wise if you have received a DUI charge to consult with an attorney.

First Time DUI – BAC From 0.08% to 0.149%

Under Ariziona DUI laws, standard DUIs involving alcohol are found in ARS 28-1381 (A)(1) and (A)(2). These two subsections provide different ways you can be charged with a regular DUI.

Under subsection (A)(1), the police can charge you with a DUI if you have actual physical control or drive a vehicle after ingesting any impairing amount of alcohol or drugs.

It is important to note that this subsection allows the police to charge you with a DUI even if you only have a small amount of alcohol or drugs in your system or do not have results from a chemical test.

Under subsection (A)(2), the police can arrest you for a DUI if a chemical test within two hours of your arrest shows a BAC ranging from 0.08% to 0.149%. This is Arizona’s per se DUI statute, meaning that there will be a presumption created that you are impaired by alcohol when your BAC falls within this range.

Commonly, police officers will cite both subsections in DUI cases. However, even if you are convicted under each subsection, you will only receive the penalties for a single DUI, and the two separate subsections will not be treated as two DUI convictions.

Under Arizona DUI laws, all DUIs are treated harshly, including first-offense standard DUIs. If you are convicted, you will be ordered to serve at least 10 days in jail. However, the court can suspend nine days upon completion of an alcohol assessment and any classes that might be recommended.

Extreme DUI – BAC From 0.15% to 0.199%

If your BAC tests at 0.15% to 0.199% within two hours of your arrest, under Arizona DUI laws, you will be charged with an extreme drunk driving offense per ARS 28-1382(A)(1).

If it is your first DUI offense within seven years, an extreme conviction will lead to the following potential penalties:

  • At least 30 days in jail
  • Fines and fees totaling at least $2,500
  • Minimum 90-day driver’s license suspension
  • 12-month mandatory IID installation
  • Substance abuse assessment and any recommended classes
  • Probationary sentence of up to five years
  • Eight points assessed against your license
  • Traffic survival school
  • SR-22 insurance

For a second extreme conviction, you will be ordered to spend 120 days in jail. You will also face fines and fees totaling at least $3,700, have your driver’s license revoked for one year, and be ordered to install an IID in your vehicle for 18 months following the revocation period.

You will also be ordered to complete 30 hours of community service, a substance abuse assessment, and any treatment that might be recommended.

Super-Extreme DUI – BAC of 0.20% or Higher

Under Arizona DUI laws, a super-extreme DUI can be charged if your BAC tests at least 0.20% under ARS 28-1382(A)(2). If you are convicted of a super-extreme offense as a first offense, the mandatory minimum jail sentence will be 45 days.

Additionally, you will be ordered to pay at least $3,000 in fines and fees, and your license will be suspended for a minimum of 90 days. You will have to install an IID at your own expense, attend traffic survival school, and might be ordered to complete at least 30 community service hours.

For a second super-extreme conviction, the court can order the following potential penalties:

  • Six months in jail
  • Fines and fees totaling at least $4,700
  • 12-month driver’s license revocation
  • IID for 24 months
  • At least 30 hours of community service
  • Probationary sentence of up to five years
  • Substance abuse assessment and classes
  • Traffic survival school

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Under Arizona DUI laws, you can be charged with a drugged DUI per ARS 28-1381(A)(3) if a blood or urine test completed within two hours of your arrest reveals the presence of any of the drugs found in ARS 13-3401, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, controlled substances without a prescription, and many others.

If you are convicted of a first drugged DUI in Arizona, you will face the penalties for a regular DUI. However, you might not be ordered to install an IID in your car since it is not required for drugged driving cases.

Arizona Felony Aggravated DUI Charges

The police can charge you with an aggravated DUI in one of the following five situations:

  • Getting a DUI while your license is restricted, revoked, or suspended
  • Getting a DUI when you are required to have an IID installed in your vehicle
  • Getting a DUI when someone younger than 15 is in your vehicle
  • Being charged with a third offense within seven years
  • Getting a DUI while driving the wrong way

If you are convicted of a DUI when someone younger than age 15 was in your vehicle, it is a Class 6 felony. The other types of aggravated DUIs are Class 4 felony offenses.

Under Arizona DUI laws, a first aggravated DUI as a Class 4 felony will result in a prison sentence of at least four months with probation of up to 10 years.

The court will also order you to pay fines and assessments of at least $4,700 and revoke your license for 12 months. You will have to install an IID in your vehicles for 24 months and complete an alcohol assessment and any recommended treatment.

What a DUI Criminal Defense Attorney Might Do

When you work with an defense attorney experienced with Arizona DUI Laws, he or she might help by doing the following things:

  • Explain the laws, potential penalties, and court procedures
  • Engage in plea bargaining to try to get a reduced charge or sentence
  • File evidentiary motions to seek the suppression of some or all of the evidence
  • Appear on your behalf in court
  • Fight for your rights up to and through a jury or court trial

Working with an experienced defense attorney might make it much likelier that you will obtain a favorable outcome in your case. To learn more, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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