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What factors will escalate DUI charges to aggravated DUI charges?

Drunk driving charges of any kind should be taken very seriously. With a single conviction, an Arizona driver could have his or her license suspended and be ordered to pay fines, not to mention increased insurance premiums. In some cases, jail time or rehabilitation may also be ordered.

In cases when drunk driving charges are escalated to aggravated DUI charges, the penalties of a conviction can be even more serious. Drivers in this state should know what factors will typically lead to aggravated charges in order to understand what they may be able to expect.

According to Arizona DUI laws, a driver who has a blood alcohol concentration higher than 0.08 percent can be charged with DUI. If the following factors are also in place at the time of an arrest, the driver will be facing aggravated drunk driving charges.

  • Driver has a suspended, restricted or revoked license
  • Driver has had three or more DUI convictions in the past seven years
  • Driver has a child under the age of 15 in the car
  • Driver is in violation of ignition interlock device requirements

When one or more of these violations are present, a person will be facing felony DUI charges. If convicted, a driver will be facing minimum jail sentences, mandatory alcohol screen or treatment, revoked driver's license, penalties and substantial assessment fees.

All of this can add up quite quickly and prove to be devastating to a person's life. It can be crucial to defend against the claims with the support and guidance of an attorney. In some cases, it is possible to have the charges reduced or sentences minimized through negotiation or dismissed by successfully arguing that a person is not guilty of the charges that have been filed.

If you are in this situation and have been charged with aggravated DUI in Arizona, you have the right to speak with an attorney. Doing so can be an effective way to protect your rights, your criminal record, your finances and your future.

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