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What Are the Differences between Felony and Misdemeanor DUI Charges?

Interviewer: What’s the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony charge UI charge?

Brian Sloan: If someone is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, prescription medications, a vapor-releasing substance and being impaired to the slightest degree, it’s a misdemeanor. If they are charged with having any drug or some metabolite in their system that was not being taken as prescribed, that’s a misdemeanor, as well as: If they were driving with a blood alcohol level at or above .08; If they’re driving with a blood alcohol level above .15;  If they’re driving with a blood alcohol level above .20.

For all the misdemeanors they can actually be driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle. All those are misdemeanors.

Felony DUI Charges Can Include Having a Minor Passenger in the Car

When we get into felony territory is when someone was basically committing a misdemeanor DUI but they had a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle. That’s going to be a Class 6 Felony, or they committed a DUI while their license was suspended, revoked, cancelled, refused or restricted. That’s going to be a Class 4 Felony.

Or they committed a DUI when they were ordered to have an Ignition Interlock Device placed on any vehicle they operate, or they committed a DUI and it is their third DUI, third or more DUI within seven years, then that will also be considered a Class 4 Felony.

By: Brian Douglas Sloan

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Why Brian Douglas Sloan?
AZ DUI Defense Lawyer Brian Douglas Sloan
  • 13+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense
  • Represented 2,600+ DUI Clients
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    • Extreme DUI
    • Super Extreme DUI
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  • Top One Percent in the Nation"
    National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • “Top 10 DUI Lawyers in Arizona”
    National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • “10 Best Client Satisfaction Award”
    American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
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  • Preeminent “4.9 / 5.0” -- Martindale-Hubbell
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