Have you been charged with an aggravated DUI in Arizona?  Have you consulted a Mesa aggravated DUI attorney?

While most first and second driving under the influence (DUI) convictions in Arizona are misdemeanors, the crime of Aggravated DUI in Arizona is a felony.  This is because this charge is reserved for repeat offenders, and for those who endanger children while driving impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Between 2004 and 2013, the total number of DUI arrests in Arizona rose from 5,255 to 31,455, with a high of 32,174 in 2012.  The drop between 2012 and 2013 is attributed in part to a reduction of police officers participating in the statewide drunk driving task force and partly to greater public awareness of the problem, according to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

The portion of DUI arrests that were for Aggravated DUI has risen by 64% over that time period from 7.4% in 2004 (390 Aggravated DUI out of 5,255 total DUI arrests) to 11.5% in 2013 (3,604 Aggravated DUI arrests out of a total of 31,455 DUI arrests).  This means that the number of repeat DUI offenders seems to be increasing, as well as the number of those that drink and drive with children in the vehicle.

Arizona’s Aggravated DUI law is found in Arizona Rev. Stat. Sec. 28-1383, and it defines four categories of these felony DUIs:

  • violating the laws against  DUI, Extreme DUI, or Aggravated DUI while the driver’s license or privilege to drive is revoked, suspended, refused or canceled, or while a restriction is placed on the person’s privilege to drive or license because of the DUI conviction or under section 28-1385 (suspension for DUI, or homicide or assault involving a motor vehicle);
  • driving or actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs if, within a period of eighty-four months, a person has been convicted of two prior DUI convictions of any type either in Arizona or in another state if the conviction in the other state would have been a DUI in Arizona;
  • driving under the influence (either DUI or Extreme DUI), with a child under the age of fifteen in the vehicle;
  • driving under the influence (DUI or Extreme DUI) while under orders to equip any motor vehicle with a certified ignition interlock device.

The 7-year time period is determined by the dates of the commission of offenses, and the third or subsequent violation for which a conviction occurs does not include a conviction arising out of the same series of acts.  Conviction of Aggravated DUI comes with mandatory jail or prison time, fines of over $4,000, license revocation for a year, alcohol or drug screening or treatment, and an order to install a certified ignition interlock device for 24 months on any car the person drives once the license is reinstated.

The crime of Aggravated (Felony) DUI is very serious, and your future will be greatly hindered by a conviction.  There are some possible defenses to the charge including denial of right to counsel, not being in actual physical control of the vehicle, no reasonable suspicion to stop, no probable cause for arrest, or inaccuracy of the blood or breath test.  In order to ensure that you are adequately represented at trial, it is imperative that you retain experienced Mesa Aggravated DUI Lawyers to represent you before a judge or jury.  Call our offices today at (480) 405-1558 and speak directly with an attorney who can answer your questions over the phone, without the need for an appointment.