What Are the Differences between Felony and Misdemeanor DUI Charges?

Interviewer: What’s the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony charge UI charge?

Brian Sloan: If someone is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, prescription medications, a vapor-releasing substance and being impaired to the slightest degree, it’s a misdemeanor. If they are charged with having any drug or some metabolite in their system that was not being taken as prescribed, that’s a misdemeanor, as well as: If they were driving with a blood alcohol level at or above .08; If they’re driving with a blood alcohol level above .15;  If they’re driving with a blood alcohol level above .20.

For all the misdemeanors they can actually be driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle. All those are misdemeanors.

Felony DUI Charges Can Include Having a Minor Passenger in the Car

When we get into felony territory is when someone was basically committing a misdemeanor DUI but they had a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle. That’s going to be a Class 6 Felony, or they committed a DUI while their license was suspended, revoked, cancelled, refused or restricted. That’s going to be a Class 4 Felony.

Or they committed a DUI when they were ordered to have an Ignition Interlock Device placed on any vehicle they operate, or they committed a DUI and it is their third DUI, third or more DUI within seven years, then that will also be considered a Class 4 Felony.

By: Brian Douglas Sloan

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Why Attorney Brian Douglas Sloan?
Phoenix DUI Lawyer

Why Attorney Brian Douglas Sloan?


18+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense


4,100+ DUIs Successfully Defended

Top Accolades

  • Only DUI "Power Lawyer" in the Nation Featured in USA Today, 2022

  • Top 10 in Arizona

Top 1%

Top One Percent in the Nation

Superb 10/10


4.9 / 5.0


“I am one of only a handful of Phoenix DUI Lawyers that focuses solely on DUI Defense representation.”

I have spent my entire career focused on DUI Defense representation, having personally defended more than 4,100+ DUI clients in the past 18+ years.

If you’re looking for a divorce attorney, tax attorney, or civil attorney, then I can comfortably say: "I’m not the one for you".

Coming up with traditional, as well as outside-the-box motions and defenses for my clients, often with good results, is the hallmark of my practice.

Lawyers that say they are "aggressive", or "will fight for you", are a dime a dozen. They use these phrases because that is what they think people want to hear. The truth of the matter is, being "aggressive" rarely gets the client anywhere in these court systems. Being "aggressive" isn’t the same as being good, and is often used to put on a show for a client to hide the fact that they aren’t doing anything meaningful for the client.

The same is true for the lawyers that claim to do DUI Defense... and Criminal Cases..., and Accident cases..., and Divorces. A Jack-of-all-Trades is a master of none. By handling all different sorts of cases, they take away from their ability to truly focus on DUIs, and keep up to date on the latest changes in DUI Defense Representation.

What I offer is intelligent, quality DUI Defense, at an exceptional price.

I am one of only a handful of Arizona DUI Lawyers that focuses solely on DUI Defense representation.

I have not only taught other lawyers how to do DUI Defense Representation at statewide seminars, but I produce DUI Legal Guides used by defense lawyers across Arizona.

I am one of the most award-winning DUI Defense Lawyers in Arizona; have been recognized nationally, including in a 2022 issue of USA Today; and there are only a few lawyers in Arizona who have personally defended more DUI cases than I have. I am also one of the most reasonably-priced DUI Lawyers, as I pride myself on charging a Flat Rate only for the legal services you need, and not for the legal services you don’t.

I am also the lawyer who people call once they realize that their original lawyer screwed something up, gave them false hope or false promises, or simply just took their money and didn’t do much on the case. You would be surprised at how often this happens.

Save yourself the trouble of hiring the wrong lawyer, and hire the right DUI Defense Lawyer from the start.

You can reach me on my personal cell phone: 480-720-7839.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Brian Douglas Sloan

DUI Attorney

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Email address:
2 N. Central Ave Suite 1929
Phoenix, AZ 85004