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Articles Tagged with East Valley DUI Defense Lawyer

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While many DUI charges are classified as misdemeanors in the State of Arizona, there are certain circumstances when DUI charges may be classified as a felony, or 'Aggravated DUI'. If your case was filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, or any other County Superior Court, then it is likely being charged as a felony. Misdemeanor DUI cases are generally filed in City/Municipal Courts or Justice Courts. The primary factors in felony Aggravated DUI charges include:

  • Driving on a restricted, suspended or revoked license at the time of the DUI (Class 4 Felony)
  • Driving with a minor child (under the age of 15) in the car at the time of the DUI (Class 6 Felony)
  • Two prior DUI/DWI/OUI convictions (in any state) within the past 84 months (Class 4 Felony)
  • If you are required to equip your vehicle with an ignition interlock device at the time of the DUI (Class 4 Felony)

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 an Aggravated 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 (prison). 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 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, it is critical to seek the advice of experienced DUI counsel 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. The Firm handles cases in East Valley Cities, including Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley and Queen Creek, as well as Phoenix, West Valley Cities, throughout Maricopa County and Statewide.

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Penalties – 1st Time Misdemeanor DUI in AZ

A first time misdemeanor DUI includes violations involving, impaired to the slightest degree, above a .08 (BAC), any drug, any drug metabolite, or vapor releasing substance (ARS 28-1381). If you have been charged with a 1st time misdemeanor DUI charge, the penalties can be significant and the consequences long lasting. The maximum jail time for a misdemeanor DUI is 6 months. The minimum jail time is 10 days (9 may be suspended upon successful completion of alcohol classes or Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Program). Financial penalties for a first time DUI are steep and can include fines, court assessments and surcharges of approximately $1500.00, plus additional costs for alcohol screening and classes, jail costs, MADD Victim Impact Panel, and interlock ignition device (approximately $800-$1,000 for 12 months). In addition to financial penalties, a 1st time DUI conviction may result in a 90-day license suspension (1 year revocation if convicted of drug related DUI). Other penalties following a DUI conviction can include, possibility of probation (up to 5 years), alcohol / drug screening and classes, community work service, possibility of SR22 insurance (increased insurance rates), and interlock ignition device requirements (for alcohol related DUI). The penalties become more harsh if a person has prior DUI's, higher BAC levels, was involved in a car accident at time of DUI, had minor children in the car at time of DUI, or were driving on a suspended driver's license at time of DUI.

When facing DUI charges and the significant consequences if convicted, it is critical to consult with an experienced attorney regarding your legal options before you make any decisions in your case. Mr. Buckallew is an experienced litigator with extensive trial experience in both DUI and criminal cases. In addition to his law degree, he also holds a Master's in Forensic Science (M.F.S.) degree, giving him unique insight and expertise in challenging the scientific evidence in your case. The Firm will vigorously advocate on your behalf, and has a proven track record in successfully resolving serious and complex criminal and DUI cases. Early involvement by the Firm is critical to ensure that your rights are protected throughout every stage of the case. A full investigation of the evidence against you will be undertaken as the first priority. Through the course of his investigation, the attorney will identify any potential legal, procedural, or factual weaknesses in the case and determine the best course of action in resolving the case under the most favorable terms possible.

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