DUI With a Minor in the Vehicle
Often DUIs are charged as misdemeanors in Arizona. Penalties can include jail time, fines, installation of an ignition interlock device at your own expense, loss of your driver's license, and treatment. However, the situation is even more serious if you are caught drunk driving with children under the age of 15 riding in the car. Arizona has harsh drunk driving laws, especially if minors are involved. If you were charged with a DUI with a minor in the vehicle, an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney can help you develop a defense strategy.Aggravated DUI with a Minor in the Vehicle
If you're caught drunk driving with a child of under age 15 in your car, you can be charged with an aggravated DUI with a minor in the vehicle. This is a Class 6 felony charge, and the penalties are very harsh, even if it is a first offense DUI. You'll usually be arrested at the scene, and your car may be impounded, too. The child in the car will be given to a family member or Child Protective Services depending on the circumstances.Penalties for Aggravated DUI
The penalties for an aggravated DUI with a minor in the car depend on what your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was.
If your BAC was .08%-0.149%, you can face 10 days in jail. One of these days will need to be served, but 9 out of the 10 days may be suspended. You'll need to pay fines and fees. These may include a $250 fine, as well as a $500 fee for prison construction and a $500 fee for the public safety equipment fund. Your probation may last up to 5 years. You may need to install at your own expense an ignition interlock device for 12 months in a row.
If your BAC was .150%-.199% with a minor in the car, this will be an extreme DUI that carries 30 days of actual jail time. Additionally, you'll have to go through alcohol abuse screening, treatment and counseling. You'll need to do community service and pay various fines that may together be around $2500. You'll also need to undergo probation for up to 5 years and install an ignition interlock device at your own expense.
If your BAC is over .20% with a minor in the car, this is a super extreme DUI. The jail sentence will be for 45 days. The fees and fines together will be $3750. You'll likely be put on up to 5 years of probation and will need to install an ignition interlock device for 18 months in a row.Other Considerations
Sometimes the DUI charge will be coupled with other crimes like child abuse or child endangerment, and this means the penalties may be harsher. If there is an accident DUI with a minor in the vehicle, the charges may be more complicated and the penalties are likely to be more severe depending on what the specific charge is, whether it's aggravated assault or manslaughter. A seasoned DUI defense lawyer can help you navigate these serious charges.
There will also be insurance consequences. You'll be required to get an SR-22 for a certain amount of time, and your insurance premiums will go up, possibly by thousands per year annually. Additionally, for a felony DUI conviction you are likely to lose your professional licenses, gun licenses and the right to vote. A conviction can also have an adverse impact on a child custody dispute.Consult a DUI Defense Attorney Phoenix
You may be overwhelmed and stressed out if you were pulled over for drunk driving with a minor in the car. If you are charged with an aggravated DUI with a minor in the vehicle in Phoenix, you should take the charges seriously. You should consult a skilled criminal defense attorney who can provide knowledgeable counsel and representation. James E. Novak is a former prosecutor who offers strong defenses to those charged with DUIs throughout the Phoenix area, including Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, and throughout Maricopa County. Contact James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.