In Arizona, if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08%, you can be convicted of a DUI. Drunk driving is considered a third offense when you have are two prior DUI convictions within the last 7 years. If you are facing charges for a third DUI, you can consult experienced Phoenix DUI attorney James Novak. You may be facing serious criminal and administrative penalties. Mr. Novak is a former prosecutor who understands the severity of the potential consequences of a DUI, and he can potentially help you develop a defense.Third DUI
A first offense DUI in Arizona is usually charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, penalties ramp up if you accumulate more convictions. In order for you to be charged with a third DUI in Arizona, a prosecutor will need to be able to establish that your blood alcohol content was between .08% and 0.149% at the time you were arrested. They will also need to show that this is your third offense in 7 years.
Arizona Revised Statute section 28-1383(A)(2) provides that a third offense DUI within 84 months (roughly 7 years) will be charged as a first offense felony or aggravated DUI. It is one of the situations that can trigger felony penalties. It carries significant criminal and administrative consequences. Felony convictions are taken very seriously by employers and others.
Any three DUI crimes within a set 84-month period can warrant an aggravated DUI charge. There needs to have been not only three crimes, but a third or subsequent DUI that led to a conviction. There are situations in which you could face several charges arising out of the same drunk driving incident. However, a third or subsequent violation for which a conviction occurs doesn’t take into account convictions for any other crime arising out of the same series of acts. Certain dates will also be left out during the calculation of an 84-month period, such as any dates when you were on probation but labeled an absconder, or days in which you were incarcerated in a correctional facility.Penalties
You cannot get a third DUI reduced to a wet reckless charge, which means you can encounter severe penalties. When it’s a regular DUI, but a third offense, you will face at least 4 months in jail, and up to 2 years. The minimum fine will be $750, but the fines and fees can be between $4000 and $150,000. Your car will also be impounded.
Your driver’s license may be suspended for 3 years, which can have drastic repercussions on your ability to get to and from school or work. Once you’re able to drive again, you’ll need to install an ignition interlock device in your car. You’ll need to show you went through alcohol treatment and at least 30 days of community service. You’ll also need to install the device for over 24 months starting on the date your driving privilege was reinstated after a suspension, or on the date when the department got your receipt of conviction.Defenses
Although a third DUI is a serious charge and the consequences may be intimidating, you shouldn’t assume that you will be convicted or even that harsh penalties are inevitable. You and your lawyer may be able to mount a strong defense by showing that there was a violation of your constitutional rights or that there were laboratory or procedural errors that invalidate the case against you. For example, if you were pulled over without reasonable suspicion, you may be able to get important evidence seized during your detention suppressed, thereby gutting the prosecution’s case.Retain a Seasoned DUI Attorney in Phoenix
If you are charged with a third DUI in Phoenix, you may face harsh consequences. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can analyze your particular situation and help you craft a defense. Mr. Novak is available to serve defendants charged with DUIs and other crimes in the Phoenix area, including in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and throughout Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact us via our online form.