Mesa Aggravated DUI Lawyer
While any drinking under the influence (DUI) charge may be serious for an Arizona driver, Aggravated DUI is the most severe level of DUI. Many factors can trigger an Aggravated DUI charge, but these cases can all end in a common result: felony conviction with life-altering consequences.
An Aggravated DUI conviction carries substantial mandatory minimum fines, incarceration time, driving suspension, and probation. Once an offender completes their sentence requirements they may qualify for license restoration. However, even after the state restores a license, the offender must comply with high-risk driver filing guidelines and pay increased insurance premiums.
If you have been charged with Aggravated DUI, time is critical. Speak to an experienced DUI criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to ensure the best defense that can be made is put forward in your case. Contact McPhie Law today at (480) 400-5555 or online to schedule a free consultation and learn if we may be able to serve you.
Your Defense Options
Ryan McPhie is a former Maricopa Deputy County Attorney who understands how prosecutors build their cases. Along with the other lawyers at McPhie Law, he has years of experience in DUI criminal defense, and specifically in Aggravated DUI defense. If you have been charged with this most serious of DUI offenses, get the knowledgeable and experienced legal representation you need.
We are proud of our record, and believe our clients trust us because:
- We understand complex Arizona Aggravated DUI cases and relevant defense strategies.
- Our attorneys have resolved over 1,000 cases in Arizona criminal court.
- We have courtroom experience in nearly every East Valley court.
- McPhie Law was Avvo Clients’ Choice Award Law Firm in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
- We are an American Academy of Trial Attorneys Premier 100 Law Firm.
Our experience has taught us that the sooner we can get to work on a client’s defense, the better the outcomes may be. Schedule an appointment to allow us to review your case and discuss your options.
Our Firm’s Commitment
At McPhie Law, we understand an Aggravated DUI, or any criminal charge, can change a client’s life from the moment they have been accused. However, we believe that no criminal case should define someone. People make mistakes, but their protected rights must still be upheld.
Our criminal defense commitment is to work hard for every client and get the best possible outcome for their case. Every case is unique, and so while we cannot promise specific outcomes, we proudly invite all potential clients to review our past client testimonials.
What Is Aggravated DUI?
Aggravated DUI may be charged when a driver:
- Has previous Standard DUI or Extreme DUI convictions;
- Was driving with suspended, canceled, revoked, or refused privileges;
- Has a child under age 15 in the vehicle;
- Has a court-ordered certified ignition interlock device; or
- Was driving the wrong way on a highway.
Aggravated DUI conviction has a specified schedule of penalties, fines, and mandatory minimum punishments. While courts have some sentencing discretion, a defendant should generally not expect leniency or any significant variations from the schedule.
What Happens When You’re Arrested?
If you are arrested under suspicion of an Aggravated DUI violation, your driver’s license will be confiscated. You may be issued a temporary license for use until your hearing. Authorities will notify the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department of your pending suspension.
After initial processing, a crime lab will test your blood or urine samples for alcohol and/or drugs. In many cases, the police will then release you to a responsible party.
The Motor Vehicle Department will mail a suspension notice. You must then schedule a suspension appeal hearing within 15 days to protest your pending license suspension.
You will enter your plea on your court hearing date. The judge will hear the evidence and make determinations about guilt and penalties.
At the time of arrest, your Miranda Rights should be read. It is important to know that at any point, from the moment an officer stops you until your hearing, you have legal rights, including a right not to self-incriminate and to remain silent. You also have the right to have an attorney represent you throughout the process.
Aggravated DUI Penalties
Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. A conviction for Aggravated DUI comes with consequences that are even harsher than those for Standard DUI and Extreme DUI, because unlike those other offenses, Aggravated DUI is a felony charge with commensurate penalties. Additionally, felonies are categorized by class. Depending on the unique facts of the case, authorities may charge Aggravated DUI cases as either a Class 4 or Class 6 felony.
Even a first-time Aggravated DUI conviction has severe and mandatory minimum penalties, including:
- More than $4,000 in fines and fees;
- Up to 15 years in prison (depending on the defendant’s criminal history and unique case);
- Mandatory alcohol counseling program completion;
- Driver’s license revocation up to 3 years;
- Mandatory ignition interlock device installation; and
- Expensive high-risk car insurance once driving privileges are restored.
A felony conviction means incarceration in prison, not merely not jail time. The only exception may be under Arizona statute that permits an offender to serve part of their sentence in jail if local authorities have established a specific “aggravated driving under the influence jail program.”
A felony record can have life-changing and long-term effects, and so, unfortunately, a conviction for Aggravated DUI brings even more consequences than those the court imposes. The immediate consequences of losing a license may mean an offender can no longer get to work. However, the lasting impact can be a limit on future professional opportunities as well. The damage to personal and professional reputation may be deep, and virtually irreparable.
Aggravated DUI Defenses
Regardless of the crime committed, every defendant is entitled to a defense under the law. Mesa DUI criminal defense lawyer Ryan McPhie has years of criminal law experience. He has successfully used an arsenal of defense strategies on behalf of his clients, and his legal team has the resources and focus to give every client the careful and individualized representation they deserve.
The legal team at McPhie Law have researched and studied the law. We understand the potential defenses, and we know how critically important the evidence is to getting the best possible outcomes for our clients.
Every DUI case is unique, and the applicable defenses vary based on individual circumstances. However, some common defense strategies may apply in several scenarios, such as:
- Police officer had no legally valid reason for making a stop. An officer cannot make a stop without probable cause.
- There was no proof the defendant committed an Aggravated DUI crime, or the authorities can produce no valid evidence of a crime.
- Chemical DUI testing was not completed within the required two-hour window.
- Problematic testing equipment or process, such as where a testing device failed to meet calibration guidelines and may not have registered accurate results.
- The defendant was not given an opportunity for an independent blood or urine test. Under Arizona law, there is a right to request testing be performed by an independent laboratory.
- The arresting officer violated the defendant’s Miranda Rights, including the right to call a defense attorney upon request.
- Intoxilyzer or Chromatograph test was improperly administered. Problems may arise with equipment range of error, operator error, mouth alcohol detection, and radio frequency issues.
- There is a question of whether the defendant had actual physical control of the vehicle. Over the years, court cases such as State of Arizona v. Love and others have modified and defined “actual physical control” as it relates to DUI cases. To establish the actual physical control element that allows criminal DUI charges, a person cannot be simply sitting behind the wheel. Instead, their actions when arrested must meet certain tests. For example, a driver must be in a vehicle on a highway, or with a key in the ignition and the engine engaged.
Don’t Wait to Protect Your Future
If you are facing DUI charges, especially for Aggravated DUI, you need to take decisive action to protect your rights, freedom, and future. Don’t mistakenly believe you are out of options just because you’ve been charged; our team is here to help. With more than a decade of real-world criminal trial experience, Attorney Ryan McPhie has the experience and knowledge necessary to secure the best possible results on your behalf.
Time is critical. If you have been charged with Aggravated DUI or any other DUI crime, speak to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible so that they can review your case and start to work on building the best defense possible.
Whether you are in jail, have been released, or you are looking for an experienced DUI attorney for a friend or family member, contact McPhie Law today at (480) 400-5555 or online to schedule a free consultation and learn if we may be able to serve you.