While getting charged with a DUI under any circumstances is serious, a third time misdemeanor DUI (ARS § 28-1383(A)(2)) can have particularly harsh consequences. a conviction for a 3rd DUI in Arizona essentially elevates the charges to an Aggravated or Felony DUI.
David Cantor explains a 3rd Offense DUI in Arizona:
Normally, a third DUI within seven years is charged as a first offense felony (i.e. an aggravated DUI) which carries a term of four months in prison. However, in some cases, a city court will charge you with a misdemeanor instead of routing it through the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office as a felony DUI charge. The city court may decline to do so when there is a proof problem with one of your prior DUIs. For example, if one of your prior DUIs is from another state, the City court may not be able to get the proper conviction paperwork for the prior DUI offense.
Other serious flaws in proving your prior DUIs that may cause the city court to charge you with a third offense misdemeanor rather than a felony include, absence of a signed attorney waiver from a prior conviction, or if the judge in one of your prior DUIs failed to properly read the guilty plea proceeding advisement. If those issues exist, the County court would have to fly in a witness from another state to testify as to the validity of your prior conviction. Thus, the City court may feel that is too much trouble and will charge you with a misdemeanor DUI instead.
Of course, the third offense misdemeanor DUI still produces a variety of expensive and inconvenient consequences. Usually, the court will sentence you to 180 days in jail, with a 12-hour work release five days per week. Although you won’t miss work, you will have to pay jail costs of $14,500 in addition to a $3,500 fine. You will also lose your license for at least one year and will incur the expense of $1,200 for the installation of an ignition interlock device on your car. If you want to continue driving legally you’ll have to acquire an SR-22 car insurance policy for $1,500 over the next three years along with premium increases of approximately $9,000 over the same time period.
Let’s recap the punishments of a 3rd Offense Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona:
That’s a total of $29,700 in costs that will be incurred after a conviction for a 3rd Offense Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona.
If you, a loved one or family member has been arrested for a third DUI in the past seven years, call our offices immediately so we can help you rectify the situation. Our firm has the experience and insight to fight your charges and obtain a more favorable outcome for you – you can browse through our DUI case victories section to see our past courtroom successes. Email or call our office today for a free consultation at (602) 307-0808.
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