Felony DUI FAQs
Most Arizona DUIs are misdemeanors; however, prosecutors can bring felony DUI charges in certain circumstances. A felony DUI is much more serious than a misdemeanor DUI and carries a mandatory jail sentence if you are convicted. For this reason, it’s understandable that you have a lot of questions about your case, what you’re facing, and whether you have a defense to the allegations against you. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we’ve been defending good people charged with drunk driving and drugged driving offenses for over two decades. Over this time, we’ve come to understand that much of the stress and anxiety our clients experience is due, in part, to the unanswered questions they have. Therefore, we put together a list of felony DUI FAQs to cover some of the most common questions.
In Arizona, felony DUIs are referred to as aggravated DUIs. Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-1383 outline the situations where a DUI is considered a felony, which includes:
- You were arrested for DUI while your license was suspended, revoked or restricted;
- You have two prior DUI convictions within the past 84 months;
- There was a passenger under the age of 15 in the car;
- You were arrested for DUI without a required ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle; and
- You were driving the wrong way on the highway while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In each of these cases, if convicted, you will end up with a felony DUI on your record.
Arizona law imposes harsh penalties on those convicted of felony DUI offenses. However, the seriousness of an offense depends on which sub-section of the aggravated DUI statute you violated. Most felony DUIs are Class 4 felonies, punishable by a presumptive prison term of 2.5 years. However, felony DUIs related to transporting a minor are considered Class 6 felonies, punishable by a presumptive prison term of one year.
Typically, judges have discretion in sentencing. However, when it comes to felony DUIs, judges must impose mandatory jail sentences in some cases. For example, if you were arrested for DUI with a suspended license, DUI while driving the wrong way on the highway, or you have two prior DUIs, you must serve at least four months in jail.
In addition, anyone convicted of an aggravated felony DUI must pay over $3,000 in assessments and successfully complete an approved traffic survival school course.
Yes, a felony DUI conviction will result in a mandatory one-year driver’s license suspension. However, if this is your third DUI conviction, you will be subject to the repeat offender suspension instead, which is three years. Those who do not have a DUI conviction within the past five years may qualify for a hardship license, provided they can meet the criteria.
These are just a few felony DUI FAQs, and it’s perfectly understandable if you have questions that were not answered here. If so, reach out to the Law Office of James E. Novak to schedule a free consultation.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Phoenix, it’s important you know what you are going up against and how you can effectively defend the case against you. The above felony DUI FAQs are just the tip of the iceberg, but you probably have additional questions. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we’re here to help. Our Phoenix DUI defense attorney makes himself available for his clients 24/7, ensuring that they are never without an answer to their questions. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Novak today, call (480) 413-1499.