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Most arrests for DUI are misdemeanors under state law. However, a person’s prior criminal history may allow a prosecutor to pursue the case as a felony. In these cases, a conviction will label you as a felon, resulting in a complete loss of driving privileges. In addition, these convictions always come with mandatory jail time.
Let Grand Canyon Law Group help you fight against allegations of a third-time DUI in Tempe. Our knowledgeable lawyers can explain the severity of your charges and determine a strategy to protect your present and future.
Prosecutors seeking convictions for third-time DUI in Tempe must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt. The first is that a driver violated the state’s prohibition on drunk or drug-impaired driving under Arizona Revised Statute § 28-1381. They may attempt to show that a driver violated the law by having a blood/alcohol content over .08 percent. Alternatively, they may rely on an officer’s observations to prove that a driver was impaired.
Prosecutors must also show that a driver had two prior DUI convictions. These convictions may have occurred in Arizona or elsewhere in the country. However, the DUI statute only allows a prosecutor to examine a defendant’s criminal record for the prior 84 months. This means DUI convictions from many years ago may not count in a current case. Our Tempe attorneys can further explain what a prosecutor needs to prove to obtain a third-time DUI conviction.
Two prior DUI convictions are an aggravating factor in DUI cases. This means prosecutions will progress under the aggravated DUI statute, AZ Rev. Stat. § 28-1383. This statute states that aggravated DUIs are felonies, meaning convictions will significantly impact the rest of a person’s life.
The penalties that accompany a conviction are also severe. Under the statute, convictions are class 4 felonies. Even if a person has no prior felony convictions and the case involves mitigating factors, a court must impose a minimum prison sentence of one year. Aggravating factors may extend this sentence to as long as 3.75 years.
In addition, a court must revoke a driver’s license, order fines of at least $4,000, and require a person to complete a traffic survivor’s school course. Retaining a savvy nearby lawyer as soon as possible can be crucial in preventing these severe penalties and fighting a third DUI conviction.
An arrest for a third-time DUI in Tempe is a life-changing event. If a defendant appears to have two prior DUI convictions on their criminal record, a prosecutor may pursue a case as a felony under state law. This means that a conviction will mandate a prison sentence of at least one year and requires a court to revoke the defendant’s driver’s license.
It is vitally important that you contest these allegations at every opportunity. This includes challenging the core of the DUI case and contesting your supposed prior criminal history. Reach out to Grand Canyon Law Group today to discuss your situation and learn your legal options for protecting your way of life.