Driving under the influence is a serious crime that poses serious penalties. This couldn’t be more true in Arizona, a state known for being one of the toughest when it comes to DUI. While any DUI conviction carries its consequences, there are situations when charges and penalties can be greatly enhanced.
Is DUI a Felony in Arizona?
In Arizona, the majority of DUI arrests involve misdemeanor charges. In some cases however - especially when aggravating circumstances are present - individuals can be prosecuted with felony DUI. Felonies are considered more serious offenses than misdemeanors. They carry harsher penalties - including minimum terms of imprisonment - and often result in long-term consequences that can affect your personal and professional future.
Aggravating Factors in Arizona DUI Cases
Under Arizona law, there are ways individuals can be charged with felony DUI. Here are some examples:
- Three DUIs in Seven Years - Multiple DUI convictions are considered an aggravating factor in DUI cases. As a result, motorists can face felony charges for a third DUI conviction within seven years. If you have two prior DUI convictions within the past 7 years and are arrested for a new DUI, you can face felony allegations.
- DUI with Minor Passenger - Arizona aggressively penalizes motorists who drive under the influence with children in the vehicle. If you are arrested for DUI with a minor passenger (under the age of 15) you can be charged with a felony.
- DUI with Suspended License - Felony charges can be prosecuted against drivers arrested for DUI while their driver’s license is suspended, canceled, revoked, or refused - or while there are restrictions placed on their license.
- DUI Causing Injury or Death - DUIs involving accidents that cause injuries or death are often the most harshly punished driving under the influence charges. As felonies, these charges can carry years of imprisonment.
At Suzuki Law Offices, we have helped many clients charged with DUI, including those facing felony DUI allegations. We know that the stakes are elevated in these cases, and we fight aggressively to protect our clients’ freedoms and futures.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for felony DUI, our legal team is available to discuss the case during a FREE consultation. Contact Suzuki Law Offices today.
About the Author
Attorney Richard Suzuki is the founding attorney of Suzuki Law Offices in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. Mr. Suzuki is a former criminal prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and is now dedicated to the practice of criminal defense. [ Read More ]