Articles Posted in Aggravated Dui

In a case before the Arizona Court of Appeals earlier this month, the defendant appealed his conviction and sentence for aggravated driving while under the influence. Originally, the defendant was charged and found guilty after a jury trial; he was sentenced to concurrent twelve-year prison terms because the jury found that he was on felony release when he committed the offenses. The defendant asked the higher court to vacate his sentence, but after reviewing the case, the court rejected the appeal and affirmed the original conviction.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was charged with two counts of aggravated driving while under the influence. The State tried to offer the defendant a settlement deal, which would have allowed him to accept a sentence of five years in prison if he agreed to plead guilty. The defendant rejected the deal and decided he wanted to move forward with trial.

Two days before trial, the trial judge had the parties in for a scheduling conference, just to talk about logistics for trial. At that conference, the judge asked the defendant about whether he was sure he did not want to settle the case. The defendant stated that he was sure, and that he wanted to proceed with trial as originally planned.

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In a recent case before an Arizona court of appeals, the defendant asked the court to reconsider her convictions for manslaughter, aggravated assault, criminal damage, and aggravated DUI. On appeal, the defendant argued that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support the convictions, and, thus, that her guilty verdict should be vacated. After reviewing the record, the court denied the defendant’s appeal.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was driving one afternoon with her young daughter in the backseat. At the time, the defendant’s daughter was not in a booster seat but was buckled in only by the car’s lap belt. As she drove, the defendant started swerving the car and veering off the side of the road. Eventually, she crossed the double line into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on into another car.

Unfortunately, the defendant’s daughter suffered severe injuries and later died of brain trauma. The second car’s driver was also injured, and he was treated for a fracture to his leg. The driver’s car was also completely totaled.
Upon searching the defendant’s car, officers found prescription bottles, medical marijuana, and pipes in the defendant’s possession. A subsequent analysis of the defendant’s blood showed that she had several heavy depressant-like drugs in her system – drugs that would certainly impair her ability to drive. The defendant was criminally charged, and her case went to trial.

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Recently, an Arizona court addressed the State’s appeal in a case involving aggravated and extreme aggravated driving under the influence. On appeal, the State argued that the lower court should not have allowed the defendant to be granted an early end to her probation. Looking at the text of the statute involved, the court disagreed with the State and affirmed that it was acceptable for the defendant’s probation to be terminated early.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was charged in 2019 with multiple counts of aggravated and extreme aggravated driving under the influence. After being charged, the defendant sold her car to pay for an attorney to represent her in criminal court. She pled guilty and was sentenced to two years of supervised probation with a 45-day jail sentence.

The sentencing order stated specifically that all but 14 days of the sentence could be suspended if the defendant put a “certified ignition interlock device” on any car she operated for a period of 12 months. This device would allow for more surveillance of the defendant’s driving and would keep her from committing the same offense again.

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Drunk driving is taken seriously by police and prosecutors across the country. That said, out of all fifty states, Arizona DUI laws are among the strictest. However, the punishments for DUI crimes are not always easy to understand. At the same time, it is only when someone truly understands what they could be facing that they can make a fully-informed decision on how to handle their case.

In Arizona, not all DUI offenses are created equal.

  • DUI – A DUI offense is the most basic version of an Arizona drunk driving crime. Someone can be found guilty of a DUI if they are driving a car with a blood-alcohol content between .08 and .14.
  • Extreme DUI – Someone can be found guilty of an Extreme DUI If they operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .15 or more.
  • Aggravated DUI – An aggravated DUI results when someone is driving under the influence (with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more) under one of the following circumstances:
    1. Driving on a suspended or revoked license;
    2. Having committed two prior DUIs in the past seven years;
    3. Driving with a passenger under the age of 15 years old; or
    4. Refusing to submit to a breath sample (for those ordered to have an ignition interlock on their vehicle).

So, even a driver who is arrested for a DUI for the first time may face any of these charges. Like most other states, Arizona law provides for escalating punishments for those who are convicted of repeat DUI offenses.

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Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in an Arizona DUI case discussing the elements of an aggravated DUI under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 28-1383(A)(3). Ultimately, the court determined that the prosecution established evidence of each element, and affirmed the jury’s guilty verdict.

According to the court’s opinion, the defendant was driving a 14-year-old girl home from a party when he was involved in a car accident. Evidently, the defendant did not know the girl very well, and was unaware of her age. When police arrived on the scene, they found a bottle of pills inside the vehicle, and the defendant admitted that he had smoked marijuana earlier that day.

The defendant was arrested and charged under A.R.S. section 28-1383(A)(3), which makes it an aggravated DUI to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol while carrying a passenger less than 15 years of age. The defendant requested the trial court instruct the jury that he could not be found guilty unless the prosecution proved the defendant knew the girl was under 15 years of age. The court rejected the defendant’s request and the jury convicted the defendant of aggravated DUI. The defendant appealed.

Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in an Arizona aggravated DUI case that was brought against a man who was arrested for driving while under the influence while his license was suspended. The case required the court to determine if the lower court properly instructed the jurors that they could presume the defendant had notice that his license had been suspended. Ultimately, the court determined that the jurors were properly instructed and affirmed the defendant’s conviction.

Aggravated DUI in Arizona

Under Arizona Revised Statutes section 28-1383, a motorist can be charged with an aggravated DUI offense if the prosecution can prove one of several additional facts. For example, if a motorist is found to be driving under the influence while their license was suspended. Another example is if there is a passenger under the age of 15 in the vehicle at the time the driver is arrested for DUI.

The Facts of the Case

The defendant was arrested in Arizona after he rear-ended a police officer. It was later determined that the defendant was intoxicated and that his California driver’s license had been suspended. The defendant was charged with aggravated DUI, convicted, and sentenced accordingly.

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The people of Tempe deserve a skilled defense attorney who puts their rights ahead of all else. That's why so many people turn to The Law Office of James Novak in their time of legal need. For skilled criminal law and DUI defense, we can help.

A number of clients have questions about the nature of aggravated DUI charges. Let's take a moment to consider these kinds of cases and the legal penalties involved right now.

Defining Aggravated DUI

The Law Office of James Novak has helped countless people in and around Phoenix in need of a criminal defense lawyer. We help ensure that the legal system is fair and works for everyone, and that each client understands all of his or her options when it comes to their case. If you need a skilled DUI defense attorney, we are here for you.

A number of clients have had questions about the differences between Extreme DUI charges and Aggravated DUI charges. We'd like to compare the two right now.

Different Drunk Driving Charges Based on Circumstances

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