Written by attorney Jon Martinez

Arizona Aggravated DUI

The Seriousness of the Charge in Arizona

An Aggravated DUI in Arizona can be an extremely scary prospect as a conviction may require prison time, even for a first time offender. A DUI offense in Arizona can easily become a felony DUI, or an Aggravated DUI, with just one extra factor. There are two different levels of any Aggravated DUI case, a class 4 Felony offense and a class 6 Felony offense and having the right attorney can mean the difference between going to prison and freedom.

Why am I being charged with an Aggravated DUI?

A DUI offense can be charged as a felony Aggravated DUI offense if:

  • A person is charged with DUI and has a driver’s license that is suspended or revoked
  • A person is charged with DUI and has 2 previous DUI convictions in the past 7 years
  • A person is required to have an ignition interlock on their vehicle and do not have one when arrested for DUI
  • A person is charged with DUI while a minor under the age of 15 is in the car

If you are charged with an Aggravated DUI as a class 4 Felony offense in Phoenix, the consequences could be:

  • A minimum of 4 months in prison and a presumptive sentence of 2.5 years in prison for a first time offender
  • Up to 5 years of supervised probation
  • A maximum fine of $150,000 plus an 84% surcharge
  • A revocation of your driver’s license for at least 3 years
  • A felony record
  • A requirement of an ignition interlock on any vehicle that you drive

How can I avoid a conviction for an Aggravated DUI?

The most common reason a person is charged with an Aggravated DUI as a class 4 Felony offense occurs when a person is charged with Driving Under the Influence and their license is either suspended or revoked. There are two separate and very important factors that the State will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict a person of Aggravated DUI. The first is that the person was actually driving or in control of a motor vehicle while they are impaired by either alcohol or drugs. In order to avoid an Aggravated DUI conviction, you can fight the actual DUI portion of the offense on many levels. From the stop to the field sobriety tests and the blood draw to the scientific testing of the blood, an experienced Aggravated DUI attorney will be able to find any and every flaw that may have been done in your case by the State.

Your attorney should always interview all witnesses, especially the police officers, in order to expose those flaws. Often times, the police report is different than what you remember actually happening in your case. This is why it is important to interview every witness as well as having you work with your attorney to go over every detail of the police report to find any and every inaccuracy possible. In addition, it is important to use other resources like your own expert witness to re-test your blood samples in order to see if there are any possible signs of contamination, clotting or any other factor that can actually you’re your blood sample a higher alcohol reading than what it really was. When there are flaws in your case, there is a much higher likelihood of a dismissal or a drastically better plea bargain than the prison offer the State is likely to give you.

The second key factor that the State must prove in order to find you guilty of Aggravated DUI is that you knew or should have known that your license was suspended or revoked. This is often the most highly contested portion of an Aggravated DUI trial because it is much harder to prove that a person knew their license was suspended. These days, many people have a suspended license without ever knowing it. It is possible that a person received a traffic or parking ticket that they had completely forgot about for years until they are arrested for Aggravated DUI and are facing some serious prison time. An experienced Aggravated DUI lawyer in Phoenix will fight to prove that you did not know your license was suspended at all. This can be done by showing that you moved, had been pulled over before and were never told your license was suspended or even by proving that you had a physical license. All of these factors can show the jury that you did not know your license was suspended or revoked at the time you were arrested. If the State cannot prove that you knew or should have known your license was suspended at the time, it can be the difference between a felony conviction and prison time and a misdemeanor offense.

Aggravated DUI Defense Lawyer

An Aggravated DUI can greatly impact your life. Not only would a conviction require prison time along with supervised probation, you will lose your license for 3 years and have a felony offense on your record for the rest of your life. Having the right Phoenix Aggravated DUI attorney can prevent these charges from ruining your life.

Additional resources provided by the author

Jon M. Martinez Attorney at Law Jon M. Martinez Criminal Law Group 40 North Central Avenue, Suite 1400 Phoenix, Arizona 85004 (480) 745-1572

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