Most people know that driving with a blood alcohol level (BAC) exceeding the legal limit is a serious offense. A DUI conviction leads to mandatory minimum jail sentences, hefty fines, and other consequences such as community service, traffic survival school, probation, and more expensive insurance.
When you get a DUI and certain aggravated factors are present, you could face a felony charge. These charges require time in prison in addition to the other consequences of a DUI offense. You need the right attorney to represent you and protect your way of life.
A record as a convicted felon could impact immigration status, permanently prevent you from working in certain professions, and limit opportunities for education, housing, travel, and credit. You could lose the right to vote, run for office, and own firearms. Work with a New River felony DUI lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group to give yourself the best chance of limiting the long-term consequences of the charge.
Most first-time DUIs are misdemeanors. Even super-extreme DUI, driving with a BAC exceeding .20, is a misdemeanor. However, the law makes the offense a felony in certain cases.
Arizona Revised Statute §28-1383 lists multiple factors that could elevate a straight DUI to a felony charge. With one exception, felony DUI is a Class 4 felony charge.
One of the most common reasons for a felony charge is a history of DUI convictions. If an accused has two prior convictions within seven years, a third DUI arrest results in a felony DUI charge. However, prosecutors sometimes miscalculate the dates between convictions. A New River attorney could raise this issue and work to get a felony DUI charge reduced to a misdemeanor.
A prosecutor will bring felony charges if someone is arrested for DUI while allegedly driving without a license or on a suspended or revoked license. The restriction on the license could be for any reason; it does not need to be related to impaired driving. Even a first-time offender could face a felony DUI charge if they were driving without a valid license.
Resolving a DUI charge usually involves installing an ignition interlock device for a period of time. However, people sometimes avoid the ignition interlock by driving a different car or having someone else blow into the alcohol detector. If the person arrested for DUI is the subject of a current order for an ignition interlock device, they will face a felony charge.
The law makes it a felony crime to drive the wrong way on a highway while intoxicated. A first offender could face felony DUI in this circumstance.
If someone is arrested for DUI and they have passengers under 15, they would face a felony charge. This DUI charge is a Class 6 felony, as our experienced lawyers in New River can explain.
Arizona law requires everyone convicted of felony DUI to serve significant time in prison. The actual time they must serve depends on the grounds for charging a felony and the accused’s criminal history. Our skilled local attorneys can explain a defendant’s potential sentence in a felony DUI case.
When someone without prior felonies is convicted of Class 4 felony DUI, they must serve at least four months in state prison. If the offender has prior DUI convictions, they must serve at least eight months. A judge may not suspend the sentence or allow work release; the offender must serve the time on consecutive days.
If the offense was DUI with children in the car, a Class 6 felony, the penalty is the same as for a regular DUI:
A seasoned attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group can employ various strategies to challenge the evidence for a felony DUI. Officers administering sobriety tests must have special training and periodic refreshers. A prosecutor might drop a charge or negotiate a plea to a misdemeanor or infraction if the officer does not have the proper credentials.
Similarly, the police department must adhere to a rigorous protocol for periodically testing and calibrating the equipment the officer uses to test for alcohol. Failing to honor the protocol could result in a lesser charge or dismissal. Many potentially viable defenses exist in a felony DUI case; our New River lawyers can tailor one to the specific circumstances.
You must take any felony charge seriously. A felony conviction could impact you for years and prevent you from moving forward with your life. A New River felony DUI lawyer is prepared to fight tirelessly for you and your future.
Do not risk the far-reaching consequences of a felony conviction by trying to handle your case alone. Schedule a consultation with Grand Canyon Law Group as soon as you are arrested.