Most allegations of drunk driving in Arizona are misdemeanor cases. While a conviction still comes with a mandatory jail sentence, most convicted people will eventually be able to move on with their lives. The same may not be possible for charges alleging felony DUI.
A felony DUI in Gilbert will permanently impact your life if the case results in a conviction. These charges will mark you as a felon and require you to spend significant time in jail and lose your driver’s license. To avoid these severe repercussions, speak with a seasoned attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group. Our legal team can work tirelessly to develop a defense strategy and protect your way of life.
Several factors may lead to a prosecutor pursuing a DUI case as a felony. Perhaps the most common is when a driver has previous DUI convictions on their criminal record. According to Arizona Revised Statute § 28-1383, an arrest for DUI when a person has two or more convictions for DUI in the past 84 months allows a prosecutor to bring felony-level charges.
The same statute says that aggravated DUI charges could result if the driver had a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle. This applies regardless of a driver’s prior criminal history. Aggravated DUI also applies when a person faces arrest for DUI while their license is under suspension for another DUI case or while they have an order requiring them to install an ignition interlock device. Our experienced Gilbert attorneys can provide further information about felony DUIs and how to defeat these allegations.
The most obvious impact of a felony DUI conviction is that it will label the driver as a felon. This can make them ineligible for certain government benefits, affect their ability to own firearms, and leave them unable to vote. It also creates a mark on their criminal record that will remain for the foreseeable future.
The other penalties for a felony DUI conviction are more immediate. The aggravated DUI statute labels most examples of these convictions as class 4 felonies. This means that a person with no prior felony convictions and with mitigating circumstances must still receive at least one year in jail. Furthermore, the aggravated DUI statute says that a judge cannot suspend or otherwise reduce time spent in custody to less than four months in prison. Aggravating factors could result in a sentence as long as 3.75 years.
Convictions also affect a person’s finances and ability to drive in the future. Judges in these cases must order the revocation of a defendant’s driver’s license. That license is ineligible for reinstatement for at least one year. In addition, convictions will require a person to pay at least $4,000 in fines and attend traffic survival school. The dedicated felony DUI attorneys at our firm work to help accused people avoid these harsh penalties and preserve their future prospects.
DUI cases can become felonies for a variety of reasons. A person’s prior criminal record involving DUIs can allow a prosecutor to pursue a new case as a felony. Additionally, the presence of a child in the vehicle or a DUI arrest while your license was suspended for a separate DUI case can also result in aggravated charges.
Our relentless attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group can help you defeat these serious allegations in court. We will explain how a felony DUI in Gilbert works and build a tailored defense strategy for your situation. This may include disputing that you were under the influence of alcohol or contesting whether an aggravated DUI charge is appropriate. Call us today to get started.