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A Lawyer Explains Felony DUI, AZ

 

We believe each DUI is a unique case and will work hard to build trust and relationships with our clients while providing the best DUI defense possible.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is bright, hard-working, and well-versed in criminal law. His legal writing is superb, and his commitment to his clients is outstanding. He will fight for you and offer you the best defense possible. Additionally, he is a pleasure to work with. I fully endorse this lawyer.”


J.S.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“I hired Zachary after I found myself charged with a felony. He put me at ease right away and during the whole process he explained each step to where I understood everything and was always available for any questions I had. ”


S.N.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Zachary is a brilliant attorney, I highly recommend his company to resolve any legal/criminal matter satisfactorily. He still continue to work on my case to tie some loose ends. He is intelligent , prompt and a problem solver. I thank him a million times to protect my dignity and reputation.”


D.G.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Divelbiss in the past and know him to be a hard working professional. His attention to detail and care for his clients set him apart from the rest!”


Joshua Black, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is a hard worker and will advocate for his clients with an attention to detail that you don’t see very often these days.”


Brandon White, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is bright, hard-working, and well-versed in criminal law. His legal writing is superb, and his commitment to his clients is outstanding. He will fight for you and offer you the best defense possible. Additionally, he is a pleasure to work with. I fully endorse this lawyer.”


Josephine Hallam, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Mr. Divelbiss and I worked in the same office, although we were at different law firms. He was eager to learn and developed a reputation for honesty and zealous advocacy.”


Kristopher Califano, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Mr. Divelbiss is a GREAT attorney, very honest and reliable. He takes his times with every client and answers all questions and concerns. Is been a pleasure working with Mr. Divelbiss and he serves his clients very well!”


Allen Hsu, Attorney

Resources

Future First Criminal Law

Working Hours

Office Hours: 8am-5pm
Contact us by Phone or
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DUI Charges Under Arizona Law

 

Even though most DUIs in Arizona are charged as misdemeanors, a significant number may result in a felony charge. Under Arizona law, DUIs refer to driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

However, when certain additional factors such as driving with a suspended license, driving with kids in the car, not using your interlock device, or having multiple DUI convictions are determined to be applicable to your case, misdemeanor DUI charges may turn into felony charges.

As such, it is always important to contact an Arizona DUI defense attorney to help you fight the charges against you after a DUI arrest.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is a hard worker and will advocate for his clients with an attention to detail that you don’t see very often these days.”


Brandon White, Attorney

Experienced Lawyer

Our mission is to help keep good people out of jail by balancing the criminal justice playing field so that each of our clients has a fighting chance to achieve realistic outcomes for their individual legal situations.

What Is a DUI in Arizona?

 

A DUI in Arizona means driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than .08% when you are arrested for DUI, you will be charged with a felony or misdemeanor DUI. Similarly, you can be charged with a DUI if you are arrested with any amount of illegal drugs in your system while driving a motor vehicle. You can also be arrested for using prescription drugs if they impair your driving ability.

Arizona DUIs usually take the form of either a regular DUI, extreme DUI, or aggravated DUIs.

What Is a DUI in Arizona

What Is a Felony?

 

A felony crime in Arizona is any crime punishable by a minimum of one year in prison. When a person is convicted of such an offense, they will be held in the custody of the State Department of Corrections for a specified term.

 

Is a DUI a Felony or Misdemeanor?

In Arizona, DUIs are usually charged as misdemeanor offenses. The confusion usually comes when people see the words “extreme DUI” or “super extreme DUI” in their citations. This may make them believe that they are being charged with a felony.

While extreme and super extreme DUIs may result in more serious charges and penalties than regular DUIs, they remain misdemeanors. Most of the time these terms are usually used to show that someone is driving with a blood alcohol content greater than .15% or .20%.

What Is a Felony

DUI vs DWI in Arizona: What Is the Difference?

 

DUI stands for “Driving Under the Influence” of alcohol or drugs, whereas DWI stands for “Driving While Intoxicated” by alcohol alone. Although they are different, DUI and DWI are used interchangeably for the following reasons:

  • They are both criminal offenses
  • They each carry severe penalties with mandatory sentencing guidelines in Arizona
  • Both involve driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs 
  • Each state can name their DUIs something different

DUI and DWI differ primarily in that DUI refers to behavior, while DWI refers to blood alcohol concentration. 

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

Allen Hsu, Attorney

“Mr. Divelbiss is a GREAT attorney, very honest and reliable. He takes his times with every client and answers all questions and concerns. It has been a pleasure working with Mr. Divelbiss and he serves his clients very well!”

grev dark

 

When Driving While Intoxicated Becomes a Felony

 

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are both serious charges that result in severe consequences. While DUIs are, in most instances, charged as misdemeanors they are sometimes charged as felonies in the following circumstances::

  1. Aggravated DUI Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will result in a felony charge when aggravating factors exist, such as driving the wrong way, driving with a revoked or suspended license, having multiple DUI/DWI convictions within seven years, If there is a child under the age of 15 in the car or driving drunk without your interlock device installed can result in a felony charge.
  2. Aggravated DWI – Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher within two hours of driving while having your license suspended or revoked or a third DUI within seven years will also result in a felony charge. Essentially, this is the same as above. 

The key to a DUI defense in such an instance is to know the differences between the two charges. A DUI charge by itself will not require a breath or blood test as it only deals with suspicion of driving under the influence. However, the police can and will require you to give a blood or breath sample, which you are required to do or else you will automatically lose your license for 1 year. 

For the DWI charge, an aggravating factor is usually required. However, it should be noted that the legal limit of blood alcohol content is usually the figure taken at the time of driving and not at the time when they were actually in control of the car.

When Driving While Intoxicated Becomes a Felony

Penalties for Felony DUI in Arizona

 

A felony in Arizona carries harsh penalties. As a first-time offender, a class 4 felony aggravated DUI carries a mandatory minimum four-month prison sentence. Prison is worse than jail and yes, there is a difference. 

In addition to some circumstantial punishments, aggravated DUIs are subject to mandatory classes, screening processes, license suspensions, and jail time. These penalties often include:

  • The minimum sentence is four months in prison, the maximum sentence is 3.75 years (Class 4 Felony)
  • Substance abuse screening and follow-up classes are mandatory with a minimum of 36 classes
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for no less than 2 years, which costs at least $2,000 
  • Court fines and fees over $4,500
  • Driver’s license revocation for 1 year and must reapply to drive again
  • Insurance premium increases
  • Supervised probationary period with random drug or alcohol testing for 10 years
  • The permanent criminal record of a felony conviction
  • Loss of civil liberties, such as the right to vote and own a firearm

Additionally, the driver’s license can be completely revoked or a probationary period of up to 10 years can be imposed.

An aggravated DUI conviction can threaten a person’s employment. Several professional licenses carry a mandatory reporting requirement for felony DUI charges, so doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, and government officials may even lose their professional licenses.

Penalties for Felony DUI in Arizona

Is it Possible to Dismiss Felony DUI or Reduce it to Misdemeanor?

 

Getting a felony DUI charge reduced or dropped is possible. With the help of an experienced DUI attorney, you may be able to defend yourself against DUI charges and may be able to avoid felony convictions.

Or you could avoid being charged with a criminal offense altogether if you consult an attorney about how to defend yourself before charges are filed after you have been arrested for an aggravated DUI.  A defense attorney can negotiate on your behalf with the prosecutor before charges are brought. As a result, you might be able to avoid felony charges altogether.

If you or your family member has been charged with a DUI, contact Future First Criminal Law today. We have helped many clients charged with DUI and have managed to get them favorable outcomes.

Is it Possible to Dismiss Felony DUI or Reduce it to Misdemeanor

Areas Served

2999 N. 44th St. Suite 307, Phoenix, AZ 85018

8650 N. 35th Ave. Suite 110, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Areas Served

future first 1

2999 N. 44th St. Suite 307, Phoenix, AZ 85018

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8650 N. 35th Ave. Suite 110, Phoenix, AZ 85018

We do not handle cases outside of our listed service areas but we can refer them to our trusted colleagues who do handle those out of Maricopa County areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’M INNOCENT! CAN YOU GET MY CASE DISMISSED?

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IF THE ALLEGED VICTIM DOES NOT WANT TO PRESS CHARGES, WILL THE CHARGES BE DROPPED?

Depending on the nature of the crime, even though a victim may withdraw from pressing charges, law enforcement (police and prosecutors) can still proceed with the charges if they choose to do so. This is very common in DUI situations and shoplifting but can happen with any crime.

WILL I HAVE TO GO TO TRIAL?

Ideally no, but it’s not always avoidable. Once your case goes to trial, your verdict will be determined; by the jury. A criminal defense attorney’s #1 goal is to resolve your case before it ever goes to trial to have the best chances of a favorable outcome. If your case does go to trial, we’ll be there to defend you.

IF I AM OFFERED A PLEA DEAL, SHOULD I TAKE IT?

Accepting a plea deal can help get a reduced charge, like having a felony reduced to a misdemeanor. That can have a massive impact on an individual trying to retain their professional license or protect their career prospects. But taking the plea deal isn’t always in your best interests — It’s the same as admitting guilt to a crime. This limits your lawyers’ ability to enforce your civil rights and get you the MOST favorable outcome possible (which could be getting your charges dropped).

DO I REALLY NEED A LAWYER IF I INTEND TO PLEAD GUILTY?

Although a lawyer can’t control whether you plead guilty or not guilty, they can provide you with the legal knowledge you need to make an informed decision. A lawyer will ensure your rights are protected, work with the courts to get you a reduced charge, a make sure you understand the process and the future implications of a guilty plea.

WHAT DOES GUILTY “BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT” MEAN?

During a trial, the prosecutor will present evidence to the court aimed to prove the defendants’ guilt. Upon assessing the evidence, if the jurors and judge are only able to draw one reasonable conclusion –that you were guilty– It is referred to as guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. There is simply no doubt of the defendants’ guilt and no other reasonable explanations based on the evidence shown.

WHAT IS THE JURY’S ROLE IN A CRIMINAL TRIAL?

The primary role of a jury is to determine innocence or guilt. They assess all evidence presented in a case, review facts, ask questions, and discuss amongst themselves until they conclude. The jurors must all come to the same conclusion; otherwise, it results in a “hung jury” and can lead to a mistrial.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is bright, hard-working, and well-versed in criminal law. His legal writing is superb, and his commitment to his clients is outstanding. He will fight for you and offer you the best defense possible. Additionally, he is a pleasure to work with. I fully endorse this lawyer.”


J.S.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“I hired Zachary after I found myself charged with a felony. He put me at ease right away and during the whole process he explained each step to where I understood everything and was always available for any questions I had. ”


S.N.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Zachary is a brilliant attorney, I highly recommend his company to resolve any legal/criminal matter satisfactorily. He still continue to work on my case to tie some loose ends. He is intelligent , prompt and a problem solver. I thank him a million times to protect my dignity and reputation.”


D.G.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Divelbiss in the past and know him to be a hard working professional. His attention to detail and care for his clients set him apart from the rest!”


Joshua Black, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is a hard worker and will advocate for his clients with an attention to detail that you don’t see very often these days.”


Brandon White, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is bright, hard-working, and well-versed in criminal law. His legal writing is superb, and his commitment to his clients is outstanding. He will fight for you and offer you the best defense possible. Additionally, he is a pleasure to work with. I fully endorse this lawyer.”


Josephine Hallam, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Mr. Divelbiss and I worked in the same office, although we were at different law firms. He was eager to learn and developed a reputation for honesty and zealous advocacy.”


Kristopher Califano, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Mr. Divelbiss is a GREAT attorney, very honest and reliable. He takes his times with every client and answers all questions and concerns. Is been a pleasure working with Mr. Divelbiss and he serves his clients very well!”


Allen Hsu, Attorney