Driving under the influence in the State of Arizona is a very serious and complicated crime. There are several penalties associated with a DUI, whether you are even convicted of the crime itself. A person charged and/or convicted of a DUI faces financial consequences, vehicle impoundment, driving suspensions, required alcohol treatment, interlock devices, and jail. There are two separate entities to tackle when defending a DUI: the court system AND the Motor Vehicle Division. Both the courts and the MVD have their own consequences when you are charged with a DUI.
There are several different “levels” associated with DUI charges. You can be charged and convicted of a DUI even if you are below the legal limit of .08% blood alcohol content (BAC), which means that you were “driving impaired to the slightest degree.” The next level of a DUI is a Regular DUI which entails “driving under the influence of .08% blood alcohol content or more.” Next level up is an Extreme DUI, which stipulates that a person was “driving under the influence of .15% blood alcohol content or more”. The most serious level is a Super Extreme DUI and involves “driving under the influence of .20% blood alcohol content or more.” In addition, most DUI criminal charges go hand in hand with additional civil traffic citations. The Mendelson Law Firm will also be there to represent you with those civil infractions.
The higher the blood alcohol content someone has, the harsher the consequences become – not only through the courts, but through the Motor Vehicle Division as well. Not all criminal defense lawyers know how to handle a DUI charge, so it’s very important when you are charged with a DUI that you hire an experienced DUI attorney to handle each aspect of your case and to help you work through what can be harsh consequences of a DUI conviction.
Aggravated (Felony) DUI
Typically, a DUI charge is considered a misdemeanor charge, however a DUI can become a felony charge if it falls into one of these categories:
- The accused has two or more DUI / DWI priors within 5 years of the current offense (even if the prior drunk driving charges are from another state);
- The accused committed the DUI / DWI offense while their driving privileges were suspended or revoked;
- A child under the age of 15 was in the car at the time of the drunk driving offense
It is important that you hire an experienced DUI attorney to help you through each aspect of your DUI case. Wendy Mendelson has handled hundreds of DUI cases and is very familiar with the entire process. From handling MVD hearings to dealing with courts all over the state of Arizona, the Mendelson Law Firm, PLC can aggressively represent you and defend your specific case.