Most DUIs in Tempe and throughout the state are misdemeanors. Although the law is harsh in mandating a jail sentence after all convictions, most misdemeanor DUIs are temporary events that allow you to move forward with your life. However, felony DUI cases are not so simple. Convictions on felony DUI charges can have life-changing consequences.
A Tempe felony DUI lawyer at our firm can work to prevent this and protect your way of life. The dedicated attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group will explain why a DUI is being prosecuted as a felony and discuss the potential penalties for a conviction. We can develop a defense tailored to your specific case and fight for your rights throughout the legal process.
Being charged with a felony is always a serious matter. Convictions will label a person as a felon and come with a lengthy prison sentence. It is important to recognize when a DUI, usually a misdemeanor, becomes a felony under Arizona law.
A DUI can become a felony if a person has prior DUI convictions on their criminal record. According to Arizona Revised Statute § 28-1383, having two prior DUI convictions in the past 84 months allows a prosecutor to pursue a new DUI case as a felony regardless of any other circumstances. These convictions do not need to be in Tempe or even in the state. A conviction anywhere in the country can count toward this limit.
Felony DUI charges may also result from allegations that a driver endangered a child. If a driver has a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle at the time of the traffic stop, a prosecutor may bring felony DUI charges to court.
If a police officer makes a stop and realizes that a driver’s license is under suspension for a DUI case, either pending or after a conviction, this can also lead to a new felony-level charge. Our seasoned attorneys in Tempe can help a driver understand why their DUI case is moving forward as a felony.
Most felony DUI cases in Arizona are class 4 felonies. This means that a conviction will bring a mandatory prison sentence. Even if a person has no prior felony convictions and there are mitigating circumstances, a judge must issue a prison sentence of at least one year. If there are aggravating factors in the case, state sentencing guidelines allow a judge to lengthen a prison sentence up to 3.75 years.
It is crucial to contest these allegations at every opportunity. The relentless lawyers at our firm can dispute the core allegations in the felony DUI case. This may involve contesting the results of a blood/alcohol test, questioning an officer’s reason for making a traffic stop, or disputing the supposed results of a field sobriety test.
It may also be possible to convince a prosecutor or court to lower the severity of a charge to a misdemeanor. This could help a person avoid the consequences and stigma of a felony conviction. Our felony DUI lawyers in Tempe fight to protect a defendant’s rights and freedom at every stage of the process.
Every DUI case is a serious matter under state law. However, certain circumstances may lead to an arrest and prosecution for felony-level charges. These can involve situations alleging prior DUI convictions, child endangerment, or operating with a suspended license.
Our Tempe felony DUI lawyers want to help you avoid the penalties that come with a conviction. We can explain the specifics of state law, evaluate the facts that led to your arrest, and create reasonable doubt about the prosecutor’s case at trial. Reach out to Grand Canyon Law Group now to take the first step in protecting your future.