Felony DUI Charges – Gilbert

Difference Between Felony and Misdemeanor DUI in Gilbert

Getting a DUI in Gilbert can be a terrible experience. Regular DUIs are class 1 misdemeanors and come with penalties including hefty fines, jail time, license suspensions, rehabilitation classes, and sometimes probation or community service duty.

However, a DUI can go from a misdemeanor offense to a felony offense, depending on the circumstances surrounding the DUI. Even if this is your first DUI, a DUI charge can go to a felony offense. Felony convictions can come with much more severe penalties than misdemeanor convictions such as more significant fines, extended probation, license revocation or long-term suspensions, prison time, and more. Until the enactment of new expungement laws in 2023, a felony conviction will stay on your record indefinitely.

Gilbert Felony DUI Cases

After your arrest in Gilbert, if charged with a misdemeanor DUI in Gilbert, you will generally go through the Gilbert Municipal Court process. This means your case will be handled by a Gilbert Municipal Court judge and prosecuted by a Town of Gilbert prosecutor.

However, you are facing felony DUI charges, arising out of Gilbert, the Town of Gilbert will transfer your case to the Maricopa County Superior Court. A superior court judge or commissioner will be overseeing your DUI case, and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will be responsible for prosecuting you. Also, this will result in your Court dates taking place at the downtown county courthouse.

Felony DUIs out of Gilbert Beginning as Misdemeanor DUIs

The situation occurs where a person is arrested by the Gilbert Police Department, charged in the Gilbert Municipal Court, and only later is their case sent to Maricopa County, who then pursues felony charges. Given the severe penalties that come with a felony DUI, it is crucial to understand what circumstances can turn an otherwise misdemeanor DUI into a felony DUI offense.

Given that felony DUIs sometimes start as misdemeanor DUIs, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced DUI defense attorney that is skilled in knowing the difference. You will greatly benefit from the legal assistance of a Gilbert DUI attorney from Rosenstein Law Group. Our well-qualified DUI defense lawyers have a proven track record of defending these kind of DUI cases out of Gilbert.  Call our office today (480) 248-7666 and schedule a free consultation. We offer phone and video consultations in addition to in person appointments. You can count on our team of DUI defense attorneys to handle every detail of your case and you can trust to fight hard for your defense, from start to finish.

Aggravated DUI in Gilbert

The most common type of felony charges associated with a DUI are called “aggravated” DUIs. Most types of aggravated DUIs are class 4 felonies, except for one class 6 felony aggravated DUI. Facing any felony charge can be a life-altering experience, and the penalties that come along with a felony conviction can be devastating for people. Some circumstances that can lead to felony aggravated DUI charges are as follows :

Driving on a suspended license while DUI 

Violating Arizona’s DUI laws while you are driving on a suspended or revoked license in Gilbert, can result in you receiving an aggravated DUI charge. This charge is a class 4 felony. However, depending on your circumstances surrounding the procedure of notice given to you by ADOT, you could have these charges reduced or even dropped. Again, this is evidence that after an arrest for a DUI in Gilbert, we strongly advise a person to reach out to Rosenstein Law Group. Our team of attorneys has a proven track record of dealing with aggravated DUIs out of Gilbert with the skill you need on your side to maximize your chances of a favorable outcome of this kind of case.

Third time DUI within 7 years

If charged violating Arizona’s DUI laws and you have two or more prior DUI convictions within 7 years, this could lead to an aggravated DUI charge. This charge is a class 4 felony. If you have prior DUI convictions arising outside of Arizona, they may or may not count against you in charges such as these. This distinction could be the critical factor between a misdemeanor DUI charge and a felony DUI charge. (See informational content on this page regarding prior out of state felony convictions). Qualified and knowledgeable help is critical in these situations.

Having a person under the age of 15 years-old in the vehicle while DUI

Another way you could be charged with an aggravated DUI is if you violate Arizona’s DUI statutes while having a person under the age of 15 years-old in the vehicle. While still an aggravated DUI, this type of aggravated DUI is charged as a class 6 felony, rather than a class 4. Working closely with the government prosecutors, you can often mitigate class 6 felonies.

DUI, while having an interlock requirement by the court

After a previous conviction of a DUI, the court may have ordered that you have a breathalyzer interlock device installed on your vehicle. Driving in Gilbert while violating Arizona’s DUI laws while having a current order to have a breathalyzer interlock device installed on your car, you will more than likely lead you to face a class 4 felony aggravated DUI.

Wrong way driving on a highway 

Wrong-way driving is taken very seriously in Arizona and can lead to deadly crashes, especially on a freeway. If you are driving the wrong way on a highway in Gilbert while in violation of Arizona’s DUI statutes, this could lead to an aggravated DUI charge—a class 4 felony. The roads considered as a “highway” is very much debated between prosecutors and defense attorneys. Many prosecutors consider a highway any public place intended for vehicle travel. Determining what they consider the definition of a “highway” could be the difference between a misdemeanor and felony DUI conviction. Craig Rosenstein and skilled attorneys at the Rosenstein Law Group are the founders of the fight against the definition used by prosecutors. We have also been the drafter of legislation sponsored by State legislators that seeks to reform criminal justice in Arizona. Part of that includes hosting stakeholder meetings to discuss both the intended and unintended consequences of the legislation. This one of the many reasons why our attorneys are best suited to deal with this fight for you.

Speak With a Gilbert Felony Attorney Today About Your Case

Felony convictions are serious charges that can have a devastating effect on a person’s life. As mentioned above, in some cases, Gilbert DUI charges can begin as misdemeanor charges and then turn into felony charges. However, felony charges can be avoidable. In the unfortunate event that you find yourself in the situation where you are facing DUI charges out of Gilbert, call our team with highly trained board-certified DUI Defense attorneys to schedule a free consultation at 480-248-7666. Alternatively, you can request to speak with an attorney through our online contact form.


  • All fields required *
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.