A DUI arrest under any circumstance is a serious matter. Even if a person has no prior criminal record and no history of DUI, convictions require a minimum jail sentence, a significant fine, and a loss of license. If an individual has a prior DUI conviction or the case involves aggravating factors, convictions can bring even longer jail sentences and permanent loss of a driver’s license.
You need to mount an effective defense against all possible Phoenix DUI sentencing. Talking with a seasoned lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group can help you better understand the potential consequences of a conviction and develop a defense against these serious accusations.
Most DUI cases in Phoenix are misdemeanors. This means a conviction can result in up to a year in jail. However, DUI cases occupy a special area of the law. According to Arizona Revised Statute § 28-1381, a first conviction is a misdemeanor with significant minimum penalties.
According to the statute, a first conviction comes with the following minimum penalties:
Second convictions extend the penalties to:
The experienced attorneys at our Phoenix office can provide further information about the potential sentencing for first and second DUI convictions.
While most DUI cases are misdemeanors, various factors can allow a prosecutor to pursue the case as a felony under AZ Rev. Stat. § 28-1383. These include two or more prior DUI convictions, having a child under 15 in the vehicle, or an arrest during a DUI suspension period.
Any of these factors will result in an aggravated DUI case, which is usually a class 4 felony. This means that even if a person has no prior felony conviction and mitigating factors exist, the court must sentence them to a minimum of one year in prison. This sentence may be up to 3.75 years if aggravating factors are present.
In addition to the criminal penalties, a court may issue a fine of $4,000, require a person to attend traffic safety school, and revoke a person’s license. Those facing aggravated DUI penalties should contact a nearby lawyer immediately to prevent severe consequences.
Even if an arrest for DUI is your first interaction with the criminal justice system, you must be proactive in protecting your future. The state does not offer a diversion program for first offenders, and a conviction always mandates time spent in jail. You also face heavy fines and a required loss of license upon conviction.
Things become even more severe if you have a criminal history related to DUI. Prior convictions can result in a longer mandatory jail sentence or allow a prosecutor to pursue the case as a felony. Speak with the legal team at Grand Canyon Law Group about Phoenix DUI sentencing and let us work to protect your way of life. Call today to set up a consultation.