DUI Aggravating Factors in Arizona
Arizona punishes driving under the influence seriously, even when a person is a first-time offender. A standard DUI could lead to even harsher sanctions whenever aggravating factors are present. There are numerous common aggravating factors and in their presence, the court is going to impose a harsher sentence instead of being lenient.
The Most Common Aggravating DUI Factors in Arizona
Aggravating factors are significant enough to turn misdemeanor into felony DUI charges. Usually, these involve reckless behavior or serious consequences from the DUI. Here’s a list of a few very typical aggravating factors:
- A very high BAC: anyone in Arizona who has a BAC reading of 0.08 percent or higher is going to be charged with DUI in Arizona. An extremely high BAC, however, is considered an aggravating factor. The consumption of too much alcohol contributes to extensive impairment that will endanger the driver and others on the road.
- Having been arrested of multiple prior DUIs in the past seven years: recidivism eliminates the possibility for a lenient sentence. You need to have been convicted of at least two prior DUIs in order to be charged with aggravated DUI this time around.
- Causing injuries to others or property damage: a car crash that’s caused by an impaired driver can have serious consequences. You face aggravated DUI charges if you harm another person in the crash or you cause property damage.
- Having a passenger under the age of 15 in the car: regardless of your BAC, having a minor in the car when you decide to drive impaired will be considered an aggravating factor. The penalties for this offense are very serious.
- Driving on a suspended license: the same applies to people who decide to drive whenever their license is revoked or restricted.
- Driving without a court-ordered ignition interlock device (IID): in the aftermath of a DUI, you will be ordered to install an IID in the car. If you’re caught driving without the device and you’re impaired, you will face aggravated DUI charges.
When you commit a DUI and you have a minor in the car, you’ll be charged with a Class 6 felony. Those who have multiple past DUIs in the past seven years will face Class 4 felony charges. The same applies to individuals who are driving on a suspended license and those operating a vehicle without a court-ordered IID.
The charges for those who destroy/damage property or injure people as a result of impaired driving will depend on the scope of the damage.
Click here to find out about DUI Arizona jail time for a first offense.
Penalties for Aggravated DUIs in Arizona
An aggravated DUI will always lead to felony charges. Even if there are some mitigating factors, the sanctions are going to be very serious. You need to immediately contact an experienced Arizona DUI lawyer. If you’re found guilty, you’ll most definitely face fees and jail time.
A Class 6 felony comes with a minimum sentence of at least 10 days in jail, a license revocation for a period of three years, a fine of 4,500 dollars or more, probation, alcohol counseling/treatment and the installation of an IID.
Anyone who has a prior offense of the same magnitude will have to serve a longer sentence and the financial sanctions will be higher.
The mandatory minimum penalty for a Class 4 felony in Arizona is four months in prison, fines of 5,500 dollars or higher, license revocation for three years, probation of up to 10 years, mandatory drug/alcohol counseling or therapy and eventual vehicle impoundment.
You need to have a very compelling case to benefit from mitigating sentencing. A plea bargain or a conviction mean you’ll have to serve the sentence that’s determined as just by the court. Hence, you should work closely with your attorney to find cracks in the evidence presented by the prosecution.