Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while your license is revoked, canceled, suspended or refused in the state of Arizona is considered an Aggravated DUI charge, as specified in Arizona Revised Statutes, ARS 28-1383(A)(1). There are a multitude of reasons why an individual’s license may have been revoked or suspended, including the below:
- Driving under the influence (DUI) – ARS 28-1381
- Extreme and super extreme DUI – ARS 28-1382
- DUI involving serious injury or death – ARS 28-1385
- Other reasons, as enough points are incurred against the driver’s license
If you are caught driving with a suspended license while under the influence, it is very important that you immediately contact an attorney who knows Arizona law and can help you defend yourself in court. These are serious issues with serious penalties for which you will need the help of a good criminal defense lawyer.
Driving Penalties in Arizona
The Arizona driver license points system designates a specific number of points for traffic violations. When a driver has incurred enough points against their license, their driving privileges are suspended or revoked. Reckless or aggressive driving causes eight points against an individual’s driver’s license, as do DUI and extreme DUI.
Six points are applied to a driver’s license for hit-and-run accidents or failure to yield. Speeding results in three points and other violations committed while the vehicle is moving are two points. A driver’s license is automatically suspended or revoked by the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department when the driver is caught driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or toxic vapors.
If a driver is caught driving with a suspended license, their vehicle may be impounded for a period of 30 days. Such drivers are not eligible for a commuted, suspended or pardoned sentences and cannot receive probation or release without a term of at least four months behind bars. Driving on a revoked or suspended license in the state of Arizona is a serious crime with serious ramifications – even when the driver is not driving under the influence.
DUI Charges on a Suspended License
When you are caught driving under the influence on a suspended license, your charge is elevated to a class four felony. This means that you will serve at least the mandatory prison term of four months and may be ordered to prison for up to two and a half years if convicted, as many judges often order in the state. Supervised probation usually follows such terms and while in prison, these inmates are not permitted a work release provision or to serve time in county jail. The sentence must be served in an actual state prison.
Second DUI in Seven Years
If you receive a second DUI within a seven year period of the first DUI, your mandatory minimum jail term depends upon your blood alcohol content (BAC). For BAC under .15, you will receive a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail to a maximum of six months. BAC between .15 and .20 results in sixty days minimum imprisonment, for up to a maximum of six months. BAC above .20 requires a minimum incarceration of 120 days and up to six months.
Clearly, a second DUI within seven years is a serious matter. Your license will be revoked for a minimum of a year and you must reapply to receive a license when the year has passed.
Third DUI in Seven Years
If you incur a third DUI in a seven year period, your penalties can be higher and the trial is conducted with different evidentiary standards than a misdemeanor trial. Unlike other cases where the state cannot submit prejudicial information regarding your prior arrests as evidence, in a third DUI, the state can use your prior offenses against you. This makes a case very difficult to win in the eyes of the jury.
Differences between Suspended and Revoked Licenses
There is a distinction between suspension of a license and revoked licenses in the state of Arizona. Suspended licenses result in a set starting date for the suspension and an ending date. After the end date, you can pay to have your license reinstated. When your license is revoked, the end date is open and the driver must be approved to regain driving privileges after a review.
Even when your suspension period is over or you have been approved for reinstatement, you must complete all aspects of the reinstatement. Otherwise, you will receive an aggravated DUI at the next DUI offense, due to your license not being valid. A DUI on a restricted license can also be charged as an aggravated DUI.
Importance of Experienced Legal Representation for DUI or DUI with a Suspended License
Whether you have one DUI charge, a second DUI in seven years, a third DUI in seven years or were caught driving under the influence on a suspended or revoked license, you need highly experienced legal help. Call DM Cantor at 602.307.0808 to speak with a Phoenix DUI defense lawyer about a free, no-obligation consultation about your DUI case.