When Is a DUI Charged as a Felony in Arizona?
In Arizona, there are four different ways that a DUI can result in felony charges. Many people believe that the only way a person can end up with a felony DUI is by receiving multiple DUIs in a short time. However, there are additional ways a person can be facing felony charges after driving under the influence.
Here is when your DUI charge can become a felony in Arizona:
- Your DUI caused injury or death (Class 2 or Class 4 felony)
- You were driving under the influence while your driver’s license was suspended (Class 4 felony)
- You were driving drunk with a minor passenger (under the age of 15) in the vehicle (Class 6 felony)
- You received 3 or more DUIs within the last 7 years (Class 4 felony)
- You were driving drunk despite having an ignition interlock restriction (Class 4 felony)
- You were driving drunk recklessly, such as driving the wrong way on the highway or another type of endangerment (Class 4 felony)
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What Are the Consequences of a Felony DUI?
Getting a DUI conviction can result in serious penalties more than getting hefty fines and jail time. In most cases, having a felony conviction on your record can affect your ability to apply for a job. Most employers do a thorough background check during the hiring process, so it can affect their hiring decision if you have a felony on your record. It can also affect you if you are trying to rent or if you are trying to purchase a home.
A felony DUI is also what is known as a “forever prior,” meaning it can always be used to enhance punishment for any future offense.
Phoenix DUI Defense Attorneys
If your DUI situation resulted in one of the felony situations listed above, you likely face a felony conviction. You only have 15 days to schedule a license suspension hearing with the Arizona Department of Transportation. If you fail to take action, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for 90 days or longer, and you will face serious penalties. Our Phoenix DUI defense lawyers can help you fight to have your driving privileges reinstated, and your charges reduced or possibly eliminated.