Getting a DUI in Paradise Valley can come with heavy penalties. These penalties can be largely amplified when a DUI charge goes from a misdemeanor charge to a felony charge. It is important to have competent and skilled representation if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of facing any criminal charges, but this especially true in the case of felony charges.
Regular DUIs are class 1 misdemeanors. A person charged with a misdemeanor DUI in Paradise Valley will generally be charged in the Paradise Valley Municipal Court. This means that your case will be heard by a Paradise Valley Judge and prosecuted by the Paradise Valley Prosecutor’s Office.
If you’re charged with a felony DUI, your case will usually be transferred to the Maricopa County Superior Court where a superior court judge or commissioner will oversee your case and the Maricopa County Prosecutor’s Office with prosecute your case. The hearing related to the case will likely be heard at the county courthouse in downtown Phoenix, rather than in Paradise Valley.
Sometimes, cases that begin as misdemeanor cases can turn into a felony case if the Paradise Valley prosecutor decides to send a case to the Maricopa County Prosecutor’s Office. This is one important reason that it is critical to contact a defense attorney who is experienced in spotting issues that could push a case from a misdemeanor DUI to a felony DUI if you find yourself facing these criminal charges.
If an individual is charged with violating Arizona’s DUI laws, the DUI charge may be “aggravated” depending on the circumstances. Generally, a DUI is aggravated when a DUI violation occurs and there is some other added situation that makes it more of an egregious offense. An aggravated DUI is a felony charge. Some examples of conduct that could lead to an aggravated DUI charge are:
If an individual is violating Arizona’s DUI laws while having a suspended license, they may be charged with an aggravated DUI—a class four felony. There are many factors to consider when coming up with a defense strategy to charges such as these, including if, when and how you were notified of you license suspension. In this case and others, a highly trained and qualified Paradise Valley DUI lawyer could be the difference between felony and misdemeanor DUI charges.
If you are pulled over for a third or subsequent DUI during a 7-year period, you will likely be charged with aggravated DUI—a class 4 felony. Prior DUI convictions in other states could count against you depending on how the other state’s DUI law is written. This is a complex matter and should be handled by an experienced DUI attorney. You can find more information about out of state prior DUI convictions on this website’s blog page.
An individual could also be charged with an aggravated DUI if they are in violation of Arizona’s DUI statutes while have a person under the age of 15 years-old in the vehicle. This is charged as a class 6 felony, rather than a class 4. Class 6 felonies can oftentimes be mitigated by close contact with the prosecution’s office, who offer special programs for class 6 felonies. Having an attorney who is well versed in these programs is essential in charges such as these.
DUI convictions oftentimes result in an order by a court that requires the person convicted to have a breathalyzer interlock device installed on their vehicle. If a person violates Arizona DUI laws while having an active interlock order, the result will likely be class 4 felony aggravated DUI charges.
Wrong way driving is serious and can lead to deadly crashes, especially on a freeway. If you are driving the wrong way on a highway in Paradise Valley while in violation of Arizona’s DUI statutes, you could be charged with aggravated DUI—a class 4 felony. What roads are considered to be a “highway” is highly debated between prosecutors and defense attorneys.
Many prosecutors consider a highway any public place that is intended for vehicle travel. What the definition of “highway” is considered to be could be the difference between a misdemeanor and felony DUI conviction. The experienced and aggressive attorneys at the Rosenstein Law Group are the founders of the fight against the definition used by prosecutors and our attorneys are best suited to deal with this fight for you.
As you can see, DUI charges in Paradise Valley can go from bad to worse. This is true even though you have already been arrested for the crime and have not done anything since that time to make it worse. If you are charged with any DUI offense, you need an attorney that is experienced, knowledgeable and studied on the topic of DUI. At the Rosenstein Law Group, we have a team of them. In the unfortunate chance that you find yourself facing misdemeanor or felony DUI charges, call us at (480) 248-7666 for a free consultation so that we can get to work fighting for you.