Misdemeanor DUI charges: Why you will need good legal representation to defend the charges.

An AZ DUI with no aggravating factors is a Class 1 Misdemeanor; but don’t let anyone mislead you into thinking that a “Misdemeanor DUI” in Arizona is not serious. AZ penalties for Misdemeanor DUI are more serious than penalties for a felony in many states. Do not plead guilty of any Arizona DUI charge, before consulting an experienced Phoenix DUI Attorney.

Misdemeanor DUI charges may be lenient in some states, but Arizona is not one of them. Phoenix DUI charges are very serious and you will be subject to mandatory punishments in place under Arizona State Law. Even a first time Phoenix Misdemeanor DUI can subject you to mandatory jail; hefty fines; fees, and court costs; loss or suspension of your driver license; ignition interlock device on your vehicle and more.

Arizona Misdemeanor DUI Laws:
Generally an Arizona DUI with no “aggravating factors” is a Class 1 Misdemeanor as cited in part under A.R.S. 28-1381. The majority of DUI DWI charges in Arizona are classified as Misdemeanors. A Phoenix “Misdemeanor DUI DWI charge” will be raised to a “Felony DUI” only when certain “aggravating” factors exist. To read more about the specific factors that will elevate a Misdemeanor DUI DWI to a Felony DUI DWI visit www.arizonacriminaldefenselawyer.com/lawyer-attorney-1629205.html.

A Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona can be charged if a person is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substance and:

1. The driver of the vehicle in Arizona is impaired to the slightest degree (A.R.S. §28-1381(A) (1) or “impaired to the slightest degree”; and/or…

2. The driver of a vehicle in Arizona if the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol were consumed before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle. (A.R.S. §28-1381(A) (2)) or “DUI”.

If the police have evidence that a driver is “impaired to the slightest degree” and had Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) lever of 0.08% or greater within two hours of driving or being in “actual physical control” of a vehicle, they will usually charge the driver with not only one, but two DUI charges in that one stop.

ARIZONA MISDEMEANOR DUI: It is illegal to DRIVE or be in ACTUAL PHYSICAL CONTROL of a motor vehicle in Arizona under the following circumstances:
PER SE DUI – Adult “Impaired to the Slightest Degree” by Alcohol
DUI Minor – Minor with or without impairment, “Zero Tolerance” for person under 21 years of age. BAC level of 0.08 is not required.
CDL DUI – Blood Alcohol BAC 0.04% or greater for adult Commercial Driver
DUI – Blood Alcohol Content BAC 0.08% or greater for adult Driver within two hours of driving
Extreme DUI – Blood Alcohol Content BAC 0.15% or greater adult within 2 hours of driving
Super Extreme DUI – BAC 0.20% or greater adult – within 2 hours of driving
Drug DUI – Impaired by any Drug whether lawfully prescribed drugs, over-the-counter drugs, legal or illegal drugs, dangerous or drugs not classified as dangerous.

Note: The Arizona DUI charges listed above are all considered to be separate and distinct charges. So a driver stopped under suspicion of DUI can actually be charged with one or more of these charges in one stop. The number of violations you may be charged with during one DUI stop is determined by the police DUI investigation, and DUI test results such as DUI breath test, DUI blood tests, or other chemical testing.

Misdemeanor DUI Defense – Arizona DUI – DWI Lawyers
Arizona misdemeanor DUI charges are heard in Arizona justice, city or municipal courts. Be sure that you are being defended by a private practice Phoenix or Arizona DUI lawyer with trial and defense experience; and one who is very familiar with the protocol, procedures and laws, judges and prosecutors in he court in the county, city or jurisdiction in Arizona for which you are required to appear for your court date. This will provide you with a definite advantage in your defense and increase your chances of a successful outcome. A good Arizona DUI attorney will tailor and build a defense case based on the facts of your DUI charges. They will know how to build a winning defense strategy in an effort to get your charges dismissed, reduced or the otherwise best outcome in your case.


If you have an outstanding warrant for arrest in Arizona or have been arrested in Maricopa County for AZ DUI, DWI, Drunk Driving or any other criminal charges contact the Law Office of James Novak, for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499. Speak directly with experienced Arizona criminal Defense and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor). The Law Office of James Novak is devoted 100% to defending DUI, Drug & criminal charges in valley wide within Maricopa County including Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert Arizona, East Valley, AZ and surrounding cities within the Phoenix metro and Maricopa County Areas.
This blog has been posted for general public informational purposes only. All articles by this author are intended to raise awareness and generate discussion on a variety of Arizona State Law issues and topics. Note that Arizona legislation, laws, criminal code and DUI laws and penalties frequently change. If you have a criminal or DUI defense matter related to this topic, it is important that you consult or hire an Arizona criminal or AZ DUI lawyer in the jurisdiction or municipality of Arizona where you received your charges of up to date information.

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