AZ DUI Law Myth of the Month – Misdemeanor v. Felony

Press Justice SystemArizona is known to have some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. As a result, many people unfamiliar with the law assume that DUI in Arizona is a felony.

Although Arizona DUI law is particularly tough, in most cases, DUI is not a felony. In fact, a DUI only becomes a felony in one of four circumstances:

  1. DUI while license is suspended
  2. DUI while a child under 15 is in the car
  3. DUI while required to have an interlock device
  4. Third DUI within seven years.

In such instances, the DUI is called an aggravated DUI and is processed in superior court as a felony. In all other instances, DUI is a misdemeanor. That being said, any DUI should not be taken lightly. In fact, the penalties for DUI in Arizona are particularly severe and as discussed in a previous post, Arizona law does not even require a blood alcohol level above a 0.08 to be found guilty. Moreover, a person convicted of DUI will usually be required to pay over $2000 to the court in fines and assessments alone. This is in addition to mandatory minimum jail time, substance abuse classes, and, in most cases, a requirement to have an interlock device installed on your car.

It is important to be well-informed when proceeding in a DUI case. The sooner the better as some consequences of DUI, will be imposed immediately after simply being charged. Hiring an attorney such as myself is important as I assist clients accused of DUI with both the MVD process and the criminal court process.

Call DUI defense attorney Matt for free consultation: 602-912-5897.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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