When it comes to Driving Under the Influence, Arizona has the strictest DUI laws in the country. A DUI charge in Arizona could either be a Misdemeanor or an Aggravated DUI charge. The differences between these two DUI charges are given below:
Misdemeanor DUI In Arizona
A Misdemeanor DUI charge in Arizona carries penalties like fines and jail time. Although these penalties are not as severe as in the case of an Aggravated DUI or Felony DUI, they need to be taken very seriously.
Misdemeanor charges in Arizona can fall under any of these four categories:
- First DUI Offense
- Second DUI Offense
- First Extreme DUI offense
- Second Extreme DUI offense
A First DUI offense and a Second DUI offense are both misdemeanor crimes. A person can be convicted of these if their blood alcohol level at the time of testing is between 0.08% and 0.15%. They can face 10 days in jail for a first offense and 90 days in jail for a second offense.
A BAC level above 0.15% is considered an Extreme DUI case and carries a sentence of 30 days in jail for the first DUI, and 120 days in jail for the second offense.
Other penalties include a fine between $750 – $2,000, license suspension of 90 days to 1 year, counseling or attending an alcohol treatment program, installation of an ignition interlock device, and probation for up to 5 years.
Aggravated DUI In Arizona
An Aggravated DUI charge or a Felony DUI will carry heavier fines and penalties, and longer prison times if the charges are not reduced.
A misdemeanor DUI may be escalated into a felony DUI for any of these three reasons:
- The person was arrested for a DUI while they were driving on a suspended or revoked license. (Class 3 Felony)
- It is their third DUI arrest within 7 years, with two prior DUI convictions. (Class 3 Felony)
- They had a passenger 15 years of age or less in the vehicle when they were arrested for a DUI. (Class 6 Felony)
Depending on the felony class, the sentencing and penalties for a felony DUI can be serious. If convicted for a DUI in Arizona, these penalties are mandatory, and are given below:
- Prison sentences between 4 months to 2.5 years
- Suspension or revocation of the driver’s license for 3 years
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
- Paying for installation of IID
- Fines up to $150,000
- Prison assessment fee of $1500
- Probation fees
- Drug and Alcohol Treatment
- Be on supervised probation
It is important to get in touch with an experienced DUI defense attorney to increase your chances of building a strong defense in a DUI case. That will help you reduce the severe penalties associated with a DUI charge in Arizona.