Is a DUI a Felony in Arizona?

For many people, a DUI charge is their first exposure to the criminal justice system in Arizona. Everyone has heard that having a felony conviction is bad and can cost you your job, professional license, or even your housing. So one of the most frequent questions I get is “Is my DUI charge a felony?” In most circumstances, a first time DUI charge in Arizona is a misdemeanor, not a felony.

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What To Do After a DUI Arrest

A DUI arrest can be scary. Police hand you a stack of papers. They take your driver’s license and replace it with a piece of paper, they give you a court date, they may have towed your car. The next few weeks will be full of things to do related to your arrest. This guide will answer the most common questions we hear from people recently arrested for DUI.

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You can get a DUI in Arizona with a BAC less than 0.08

Starting in 2019, Utah will become the first state in the country to lower the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) “legal limit” to 0.05. Every other state has a BAC legal limit of 0.08. The term legal limit refers to how much alcohol you can have in your blood while driving. However, in Arizona, it is possible to get a DUI even if your BAC is BELOW the legal limit.

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Will a DUI Stay on my Record?

Following a DUI arrest, you may concerned about your future – wondering how a DUI charge may affect future jobs. Unfortunately, in Arizona, you cannot expunge a criminal conviction. That means once you have a conviction, it will always stay on your record. This is why it is important to try to avoid a conviction, if at all possible. If you are facing DUI charges, consult with a lawyer to find your best options.  

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First Time DUI Jail Time

Under Arizona law, all DUI convictions come with mandatory jail time. This jail time can be as little as one day for a first time conviction, or could go all the way up to years for multiple felony convictions. The amount of jail time you are facing depends on if you have any prior DUI convictions and what your BAC (blood alcohol content) was when you were arrested.

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