A great misconception about DUIs in Arizona is that they are always only misdemeanor charges. What many people are not aware of is that, in Arizona, it's really not very difficult to be arrested and cited for Aggravated DUI (also commonly referred to as Felony DUI).
Under A.R.S. 28-1383, you can be cited for Aggravated DUI / Felony DUI under several circumstances. The most common situation is being charged with DUI while your driver's license is suspended, revoked or canceled. This is a Class 4 Felony, which carries a sentence ranging from four months to 3.75 years in prison. This means that if you are convicted, you will serve at least four months in prison!
Another way to be charged with Aggravated or Felony DUI in Arizona is to be cited for DUI when you have at least two prior DUI convictions in any state in the last 7 years. This is also a Class 4 Felony, which carries the same range of 4 months to 3.75 years in prison.
A third common way to be charged with Aggravated DUI / Felony DUI is to be cited for DUI while having anyone under the age of 15 in the car at the time you are cited for DUI. This is a Class 6 Felony which carries a range in penalties from one day in jail to two years in prison and probation, depending on what level DUI you are cited for. Additionally, if you have more than one person under 15 in the vehicle, you can be cited for one count of Aggravated DUI for each person.
Other forms of Aggravated DUI / Felony DUI can arise from being cited for DUI while you are required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. This is also a Class 4 Felony, carrying the four month to 3.75 years in prison range of punishment.
As you can see, being cited for most forms of Aggravated DUI / Felony DUI carries extremely harsh penalties. In addition to having a felony conviction on your record, you will serve at least four months in an Arizona prison, which is different than a county jail. You could also be placed probation with a range of up to 10 years, and risk losing your license and driving privileges for three years through the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles.