With a vibrant night life, college town atmosphere and a variety of bars and restaurants – Tempe is a great town to enjoy an abundance of activities. With ASU at the heart of the city, and the party atmosphere along Mill Avenue, this also means law enforcement has a noticeable presence, particularly on weekends, holidays and during festival weekends and other high traffic times throughout the year. One of Tempe Police Department's annual campaigns is the "Safe and Sober Campaign" which typically begins at the start of the fall semester at ASU and runs for about 8 weeks. The primary focus is the enforcement of liquor laws such as Underage DUI and Felony DUI, but also includes educating folks about bicycle and pedestrian safety and enforcing party ordinances. If you are charged with an alcohol violation in Tempe, it is critical to consult with an experienced DUI attorney as Arizona is one of the toughest states as far as penalties are concerned.
While many DUI charges are classified as misdemeanors in the State of Arizona, there are some circumstances which can result in DUI charges being classified as a felony, or 'Aggravated DUI'. If you are charged with a felony DUI in Tempe, your case will be filed in Maricopa County Superior Court. Misdemeanor DUI cases in Tempe are generally filed in the Tempe Municipal Court (if Tempe Police Department was the arresting agency) or the University Lakes Justice Court (if ASU Police Department was the arresting agency). The primary factors in felony Aggravated DUI charges include:
Class 4 Felony:
- Driving on a restricted, suspended or revoked license at the time of the DUI
- Two prior DUI/DWI/OUI convictions (in any state) within the past 84 months
- If you are required to equip your vehicle with an ignition interlock device at the time of the DUI
Class 6 Felony:
- Driving with a minor child (under the age of 15) in the car at the time of the DUI
While misdemeanor DUI charges are not taken lightly in Arizona, Aggravated DUI cases are considerably more serious and as such, result in much harsher penalties. The jail or prison terms follow the statutory requirements for Misdemeanor DUI charges – regular DUI, Extreme DUI and Super Extreme DUI, and with no prior felony convictions, the range for anAggravated DUI (Class 6 Felony) with a minor child in the car is a minimum of 1 day in jail up to a maximum of 2 years in the department of corrections. Additionally, the court fees and fines are nearly $5,000, license is revoked for 1-year (with possibility for restricted driving), up to 10 years' probation (plus probation fees), alcohol screening and classes (plus cost of screening/classes), community work service, possible SR22 insurance, 1-2 year ignition interlock, depending on BAC level (plus cost to rent the device), Victim Impact Panel (MADD), and a felony record (which is forever allegeable). The jail or prison term for an Aggravated DUI (Class 4 Felony) with no prior felony convictions is a minimum of 4 months (which can be reduced to 24 days if eligible for Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Program) and up to a maximum of 3.75 years in the department of corrections. Additional penalties include court fees and fines of nearly $5,000, a 1-year license revocation, probation up to 10-years (plus probation fees), alcohol screening and classes (plus cost of screening/classes), community work service, possible SR22 insurance, 2-years ignition interlock device (plus cost to rent device), Victim Impact Panel (MADD), and a felony record (which is forever allegeable).
Given the serious, costly, and long-term impact of a felony Aggravated DUI conviction in Tempe, it is critical to seek the advice of an experienced Tempe DUI lawyer before making any decisions in your case. Mr. Buckallew has extensive experience litigating DUI cases, including very serious and complex felony DUI charges, and has a proven track record of successfully resolving countless DUI cases over the course of his career. Mr. Buckallew is also a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, as designated by the State Bar Of Arizona.
Contact the Firm today for a free evaluation of your Tempe felony DUI or any other criminal or DUI case in the City of Tempe.
**This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact the Firm to schedule a consultation regarding your case.