Extreme DUI vs. Aggravated DUI in Arizona
In Arizona, being charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) is not as simple as one set of charges and penalties. There are a multitude of factors that can lead to felony charges when you are pulled over for a DUI. A DUI in the state of Arizona can be considered “extreme” or “aggravated,” beyond just a regular DUI case.
Extreme DUI penalties in Arizona are determined according to the severity of the crime, with a DUI rated as a regular misdemeanor, an aggravated DUI or extreme DUI.
Some of the possible penalties of a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) include:
- Jail or prison time
- Probation or parole
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Mandatory use of an ignition interlock device in each personally owned vehicle
- Loss of automotive insurance with requirement for SR22 auto insurance
- Court required driving school
- Community service
- Impounding of your vehicle
- Thousands of dollars in fees and fines
Regardless of the severity of your DUI charges, from regular to super extreme, you need an experienced DUI lawyer on your side. Courts in Arizona take driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol very seriously and penalties can result in financial and occupational losses for years, as well as jail or prison time and other inconveniences.
Regular Misdemeanor DUI Cases
A “regular” DUI wherein the driver has a BAC anywhere from 0.08 percent to 0.14 percent is usually just referred to as DUI in Arizona. This is a misdemeanor charge, but one that can still carry stiff penalties.
Penalties of a first time, regular DUI include:
- 24 hours to 10 days in jail
- Fines of a minimum $250
- Suspension of driver’s license for up to 360 days
A second offense brings the following penalties:
- Between a minimum 30 days and maximum 90 days in jail
- Fines of a minimum $500
- Suspension of driver’s license for a year
What makes a DUI an Aggravated DUI?
An aggravated DUI is a DUI with “aggravating factors” that are significant enough to convert misdemeanor charges into felony driving while under the influence.
Some aggravating factors present at the time of arrest leading to felony DUI include:
- The driver has received multiple convictions of driving under the influence in the past seven years. If the driver has been convicted of two other DUIs in the prior seven years, the current charge automatically becomes an aggravated felony case.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a passenger of less than 15 years of age. Drivers pulled over by police for DUI are automatically assessed an aggravated charge if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit of 0.08 percent and a passenger under the age of 15 years was in the vehicle at that time.
- Driving with a suspended, restricted or revoked license at the time of the arrest. A driver who has a suspended, restricted or revoked licensed, yet is pulled over for driving under the influence, will face aggravated DUI charges.
- DUI leading to damage to another person or property. An aggravated DUI will result if the driver caused damage to property or injured another person while driving under the influence.
- Driving without a mandatory ignition interlock device. A driver who receives a DUI on a vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock device, as required by the courts after prior DUI convictions, will face felony charges under aggravated DUI.
Aggravated DUI Penalties in the State of Arizona
In Arizona, under Arizona Revised Statute 28-1383, drivers charge with aggravated DUI are usually fighting felony charges. The result of aggravated DUI in the state may include:
- Minimum sentence of four months in state prison
- Fines of at least $750
- License suspension or revocation
- Possible mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
- Up to ten years of probation or parole
What Makes a DUI an Extreme DUI?
An extreme DUI charge is the direct result of the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. Unlike an aggravated DUI, an extreme DUI is not related to factors present at the time the driver was arrested.
When a driver is pulled over for driving under the influence in the state of Arizona and subsequently tests at a BAC level of .08 or higher, that driver receives a DUI ticket. But if the driver’s BAC is 0.15 percent or higher, the charge is extreme DUI. An even worse charge is that of super extreme DUI, which is the direct result of a 0.20 BAC or higher.
Extreme DUI is not a felony like aggravated DUI. It is still a misdemeanor. But extreme DUI holds stiff penalties that are much more severe than for regular DUI of drivers with BAC of between 0.08 percent and 0.14 percent.
Get the Help of an Experienced DUI Attorney
Facing DUI charges will be one of the most frightening times of your life. Arizona holds drivers accountable for their behaviors with penalties that are designed to prevent recurrence of their negative actions. Immediately consulting with a DUI attorney as soon after your arrest as possible is highly recommended. You stand to lose too much, to take these matters lightly. Call DM Cantor at 602.307.0808 for a free consultation regarding your case and the immediate help you need in court.