In Arizona, when someone is charged with a DUI, certain aggravating factors can lead to harsher penalties and sentencing. The legal limit allowed for driving a vehicle in the state of Arizona is with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) below 0.08%. Anyone caught driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher will be arrested and convicted for the crime. However, judges and prosecutors will usually see and weigh any mitigating or aggravating factors to determine the sentencing.
Mitigating Factors In DUI Cases
The presence of any mitigating factors help reduce the punishment because they may justify or explain why the driver acted in the way he or she did. These factors may be used as an excuse to explain the bad behavior and can help reduce the penalties. For example, if the person was driving under a lawfully prescribed medication, or the driver had a clean prior record and barely cracked the 0.08% limit, then the court may show mercy. Moreover, if the driver voluntarily completes a substance abuse program, the court may be inclined to apply a minimum sentence.
Aggravating Factors In DUI Cases
In case if there are any aggravating factors present, then the prosecutors and courts may not provide a lenient sentence. Some of the common aggravating factors in Arizona are:
- when a driver is caught driving on a suspended license or revoked license
- when a driver is caught driving under the influence with two prior DUIs in 7 years
- when a child under the age of 15 years is present in the vehicle with a drunk driver
- when a driver drives recklessly or is excessively speeding while driving under the influence
- when a driver causes serious bodily injury or harm to another person
- when a driver is driving with an extremely high blood alcohol concentration
State laws usually require stiffer sentencing for higher-profile DUI arrests. These aggravating factors will elevate a misdemeanor DUI to a felony DUI. Public pressure and pressure from lobbying groups like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) are other reasons for harsher penalties when aggravating factors are present.
Get Help From A DUI Defense Attorney
Today, it is very difficult to simply sweep a terrible DUI accident off someone’s record. It requires professional legal counsel and help from a qualified DUI defense attorney to have the charges reduced or dismissed. It is even more important to get help from an attorney when arrested for a DUI with aggravating factors. That’s because once convicted of a DUI with aggravating factors, also called Extreme DUI, the penalties are much more severe which can affect you for a much longer period of time than a typical DUI in Arizona.
Contact the law office of Brian D. Sloan at 480-900-0384 or 602-900-0384 for a Free Initial Consultation. Attorney Sloan is a skilled DUI defense attorney who will evaluate all the evidence, including field sobriety and chemical tests, to ensure that your legal rights are protected.