Aggravated DUI With a Minor in the Vehicle
Arizona prosecutors pursue DUI charges aggressively. You can be charged with an aggravated DUI for transporting a child passenger. You can also face an aggravated DUI charge if you have a suspended license or are charged with a third DUI in seven years. If you have been charged with an aggravated DUI with a minor in the vehicle, you may face harsh penalties. Phoenix DUI attorney James E. Novak is a former prosecutor who may be able to represent you in defending against these charges.Aggravated DUI With a Minor in the Vehicle
An aggravated DUI with a minor under the age of 15 in the vehicle is a felony. Various circumstances can result in you facing this type of felony charge, and the consequences may be painful for both you and the child. For example, if you are driving with your daughter who is 8, and are pulled over for running a red light, and the police officer notices your slurred speech and alcohol on your breath, you could be arrested and charged with an aggravated DUI with a minor in the vehicle. You may be arrested on the scene. Your car will be impounded and the child will be sent to Child Protective Services, or you may be able to get the child to a family member.Penalties
Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) sections 28-1383A3(a) and (b) define aggravated DUI and the associated penalties. Your blood alcohol content at the time of the offense will affect the penalties you face. You may be charged with a Class 6 felony if you have a blood alcohol content level of at least .08% while transporting a child passenger. You can face even more serious charges if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content level of .15% or higher. And you can face still more serious charges if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content level of .20% or higher with a child passenger.
If your blood alcohol content level is .08%-0.149% and there is a minor in the car at the time of your arrest, you may face 10 days in jail. Nine of those ten days can be suspended. You will need to pay fines and fees. You may face a maximum of 5 years of supervised or unsupervised probation, and you may need to install an ignition interlock device on your car at your own expense for 12 months in a row. Your driver’s record will receive 8 points and your driving privileges will be suspended for a 90-day period.
If you are caught with a blood alcohol content level of 0.150% - 0.199% with a minor in the car, you can be charged with an extreme DUI and may face 30 days of jail time. Upon conviction, you may be ordered to go through alcohol abuse counseling and treatment. You can face hefty fines totaling $2500. You may also be ordered to perform community service.
If you are caught with a blood alcohol content level of over .20% with a minor in the car, you can be charged with a super extreme DUI. A conviction can result in a 45-day period of incarceration. The fines may be significant. You may face a term of 5 years’ probation, supervised or unsupervised. You may need to install an ignition interlock device on your car for 18 months in a row, and you may receive 8 points on your driving record, with your driving privileges suspended for 90 days.Defenses
Even if you are facing charges for aggravated DUI with a minor in the vehicle, you shouldn’t assume a conviction is inevitable. There may be strong defenses your attorney can raise on your behalf. All DUI charges need to be established beyond a reasonable doubt, and sometimes the strongest defense is to show the prosecutor he cannot establish the charges against you. This may involve reasonable doubt about the degree of your inebriation or whether you were inebriated at all. It may also be possible to raise constitutional or procedural defenses. For example, if you were pulled over without reasonable suspicion, it may be possible to get evidence from the stop suppressed.Knowledgeable DUI Defense Attorney for Phoenix Area Residents
If you have been charged with an aggravated DUI with a minor in the vehicle, it’s advisable to discuss your situation with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer. Mr. Novak defends clients facing prosecution for drunk driving in and near the Phoenix area, including in Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, and throughout Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact us via our online form.