When Does a DUI Become a Felony In Arizona? How To Protect Your Rights
Understanding The DUI Laws In Arizona
Most DUIs in Arizona are misdemeanor violations, but that doesn’t mean a significant number can be charged as felonies. All DUIs in Arizona are related to drugs or alcohol, but when other factors are present, the DUI becomes a felony.
In the following article, you will know when a DUI becomes a felony in Arizona and how to protect your rights with Phoenix DUI defense lawyers.
Driving On a Suspended License
One of the aggravated DUI laws in Arizona is ARS 28-1383, which means the person committed a DUI “while the driver’s license or privilege to drive was suspended, canceled, revoked, or refused”. Another reason is when the restriction is placed on the driver’s license.
In short, a DUI can become a class 4 felony with a suspended license.
If you’re not supposed to drive, and you are caught driving while drinking alcohol, you will receive a harsh punishment. This type of felony doesn’t require your driver’s license to be suspended if there was another DUI before. Your license can be suspended for other circumstances and still be a felony with DUI.
Another felony is to drive when the license has a restriction because of an administrative suspension. It happens if you obtained a previous DUI and your license was suspended by ADOT, but you were able to drive from work or school under certain restrictions.
In that case, a DUI with a restricted license is still a class 4 felony.
Third DUI In No More Than 7 years
This is another delicate situation that often requires a lot of help from Tucson DUI defense lawyers.
If you get caught with a third DUI within 7 years or 84 months, then this DUI will be a felony. Both of the previous DUIs must have happened within 7 years of the current DUI charge. In the end, the date of arrest is what matters, not the date that you were convicted.
The court will not consider multiple DUI convictions that belong to the same acts arising on the same day. This is important because a person is usually charged with numerous counts of DUI arising out of the same circumstance.
If a driver has a BAC of 0.17, they can be charged with 3 counts of DUI, including BAC greater than 0.08 AND BAC greater than 0.15. Although the driver may be convicted for 3 counts of DUI, the actions will be considered a single criminal act, so it counts as one conviction.
Keep in mind that this is another class 4 felony.
Driving In Violation Of A Court Order While Having Ignition Interlock Device
Nobody likes being charged with a DUI, especially when the results are troublesome. However, depending on the case and the Phoenix DUI defense lawyers you contact, you may receive fewer charges, but only if you accept installing an ignition interlock device.
Many people convicted of a prior DUI involving alcohol impairment receive an order to install an ignition interlock device. This device must be in the vehicle only for a certain period.
If that’s your case, you must be careful while driving. If you are still within the period of use, and you get caught driving a car without the interlock device, you will be charged with a class 4 felony.
Driving The Wrong Way While Being On A Highway
This one may be confusing because Arizona law defines “highway” a bit differently from other states. According to ARS 28-1171, a highway is “the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained by the federal government, a city, a town, the department, or a county”. In other ways, a highway is any public road in Arizona.
As for driving the wrong way, it means that you are driving in a direction opposing the legal flow of traffic, which is quite dangerous, and that’s why it is considered another felony.
What Can I Do To Reduce A Felony DUI?
Contacting Phoenix DUI defense lawyers is the best. Being charged with a felony DUI does not mean you will be convicted of a felony DUI immediately. At My AZ Lawyers, we can help you fight for your rights and reduce your charges or get them dismissed. Contact us now to get started.
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