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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Sep 25, 2015

Glass of Beer and Keys

It’s common knowledge at this point in the greater Phoenix area that Arizona has some of the toughest laws in the country in regards to how DUIs are prosecuted and punished. Thanks to national media attention, most people know about the grueling conditions in Tent City and how DUI offenders are pretty much destined to spend some time there. The law is becoming more severe, and there is now such a thing as a Super Extreme DUI offense. Here’s a rundown on the applicable laws when you get caught driving under the influence in Arizona.

There are varying degrees of DUIs that are dependent on how impaired you are when pulled over as well as whether or not you’ve been charged with a DUI before. Misdemeanor DUIs are generally prosecuted in either the Municipal Courts or Justice Courts, while the felony DUI charges are handled by the Superior Court.

Misdemeanor DUIs

If the charge is your first or second DUI, then it will qualify as a misdemeanor with the exception that if you have a child under 15 years old in the car with you. In that case, it’s an automatic Aggravated DUI, which is a felony charge. Misdemeanor charges fall into four categories:

  • First DUI offence (Blood alcohol content between .08 and .15)
  • Second DUI offence
  • First Extreme DUI offence (Blood alcohol content above.15)
  • Second Extreme DUI offence

Aggravated DUIs

A felony DUI is called an Aggravated DUI, and you can be charged with one when driving while impaired to the slightest degree or a Blood Alcohol Content above the legal limit, while:

  • Having a suspended, cancelled, revoked, refused, or restricted license.
  • Having two DUI convictions within seven years of the DUI currently charged.
  • Ordered to have an Ignition Interlock Device on a vehicle
  • Having a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle.

If you are convicted of DUI in Arizona you will go to jail. How much time you spend in jail depends on how impaired you were, your criminal history especially in regards to past DUI charges, as well as other circumstances. A DUI case is an extremely complicated criminal case, and it’s important to have an attorney assist you in protecting your rights.

If you’ve never been charged with a DUI, don’t risk it. If you have been charged, schedule a consultation with an experienced DUI attorney today.