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Mesa Felony DUI Lawyer

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is always a serious charge and carries significant penalties. The impact on an offender’s life is heightened when the charge is aggravated DUI, which people often call felony DUI.

A felony DUI conviction requires you to serve time in prison, not the county jail, and it carries all the other consequences of a felony conviction. You need an experienced DUI defense attorney to defend against a felony charge. Do not leave anything to chance!

Contact a Mesa felony DUI lawyer when you are arrested for driving under the influence with aggravating conditions. Grand Canyon Law Group will offer a vigorous defense and help you achieve the most favorable results the circumstances permit.

Circumstances That Make a DUI to a Felony

Being in control of a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs subjects a driver to DUI charges. An adult driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 is presumed impaired and will face DUI charges, and so will an underage driver with any detectable alcohol in their blood. DUI is a misdemeanor charge, even when a driver’s BAC is two or three times the legal limit.

Certain factors, called aggravating conditions, allow a prosecutor to bring felony DUI charges, as described in Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-1383. A driver could face felony DUI charges if they were allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and:

  • Someone under 15 was in the vehicle
  • Was going the wrong way on a highway or one-way street
  • Their driver’s license was suspended, restricted, or revoked
  • There is a valid court order requiring them to have an ignition interlock device on their vehicle
  • They have two prior DUI convictions within the last seven years

DUI with a child in the car is a Class 6 felony and the other charges are Class 4 felonies. These charges are serious, which means you need to call us as soon as possible.

Penalties for a Conviction on Felony DUI

Arizona’s sentencing guidelines offer judges limited discretion. In the case of aggravated DUI, the law requires offenders to serve mandatory sentences in prison. The time must be served on consecutive days, and there is no option for an offender to obtain early release.

Prison Time

Someone convicted of DUI with a child in the car faces ten days in prison if their BAC was less than .15, 30 days in prison if their BAC was between .15 and .20, and at least 45 days in prison if their BAC exceeded .20.

Other felony DUI convictions carry harsher sentences. A first offender must serve at least four months in prison. Someone with two prior misdemeanor DUI convictions within seven years must serve at least eight months in prison.

When the offender has prior felony convictions that are not DUI-related, they face a presumptive sentence of four and a half years in prison with one prior, and ten years with two priors, though the time they must serve could be more or less than the presumptive sentence. A Mesa attorney could explain how various factors might influence a felony DUI sentence in a specific case.

License Suspension

A driver convicted of felony DUI faces a minimum three-year license suspension. When they regain driving privileges, they must install an ignition interlock device at their own expense and maintain it for at least two years if they were under the influence of alcohol, and one year if they were under the influence of drugs.

Other Penalties

Anyone in Mesa convicted of felony DUI must undergo a drug and alcohol screening and complete any treatment the screening indicates is necessary. Offenders must take a traffic survival class. Fines and fees total thousands of dollars, plus a driver with a felony DUI conviction faces much higher costs for car insurance.

Defenses to Felony DUI Charges

People sometimes feel that once they flunk a breathalyzer or BAC test, there is no point in challenging a DUI charge. That is untrue.

A lawyer can investigate whether the officer that administered the sobriety test had the proper training and qualifications, and whether the equipment was properly maintained and calibrated. Some physical maladies can affect a test result. If the driver has such a condition or was not feeling well on the day of the arrest, those facts could offer a defense. Questioning whether the police had a valid reason to stop the vehicle and ask for a test also could be a fruitful strategy.

When a prosecutor chooses to bring a felony DUI charge, our Mesa lawyers could challenge the basis for doing so. For example, perhaps the prosecutor used the wrong dates when calculating the time between prior offenses, or court orders restricting the driver’s license might not have been valid at the time of the arrest. By scrutinizing the details, we can often find mistakes that can work in the accused’s favor.

Get in Touch With a Mesa Attorney Regarding a Felony DUI Charge

Any DUI is a serious matter, but when a prosecutor brings an aggravated DUI charge, your freedom is at stake. Conviction requires you to serve time in prison.

Do not risk these dire consequences. Contact one of our Mesa felony DUI lawyers as soon as you are arrested. You need to move quickly, so call Grand Canyon Law Group for help today!

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