DUI & Criminal Defense

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Felony DUI Penalties


The Ultimate Guide

Arizona Felony Penalties

Felony convictions have mandatory penalties under Arizona law. This includes convictions for Class 4 Aggravated DUI and Class 6 Aggravated DUI.


What is a felony?

Arizona defines a felony as an offense for which you can be sentenced to a term of prison in the Arizona Department of Corrections. Arizona classifies felonies by the potential range of prison the law permits for a conviction.

The lowest class (i.e. smallest possible penalties) of a felony is a class six (6). The smaller the number associated with the offense – the more serious the felony.  Thus, a class five (5) felony is more serious than a six felony.  And it also has harsher potential penalties. 

What is an Undesignated felony?

A.R.S. Section 13-604(a) provides:

Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, if a person is convicted of any class 6 felony not involving a dangerous offense and if the court, having regard to the nature and circumstances of the crime and to the history and character of the defendant, is of the opinion that it would be unduly harsh to sentence the defendant for a felony, the court may enter judgment of conviction for a class 1 misdemeanor and make disposition accordingly or may place the defendant on probation in accordance with chapter 9 of this title and refrain from designating the offense as a felony or misdemeanor until the probation is terminated. 

The offense shall be treated as a felony for all purposes until such time as the court may actually enter an order designating the offense a misdemeanor. 

This subsection does not apply to any person who stands convicted of a class 6 felony and who has previously been convicted of two or more felonies.

What kinds of DUI are felonies?

A felony DUI in Arizona is called Aggravated DUI.  Within this group of offenses, there are different levels of felonies.

Aggravated DUI cases are either Class Six (6) Felonies or class Four (4) Felonies. 


Mitigated, Presumptive, Aggravated (Sentencing Ranges)

A felony DUI in Arizona is called Aggravated DUI.  Within this group of offenses, there are different levels of felonies.

Aggravated DUI cases are either Class Six (6) Felonies or class Four (4) Felonies. 


Different Classes of Felonies

Class 1 Felonies (Harshest)

  • First-degree murder
  • Second-degree murder 

Both these types of murder in Arizona are eligible for the death penalty or life imprisonment.  Second-degree murder is punishable by 16 years’ to life imprisonment. Arizona Revised Statutes, Sections 13-705, 13-706, 13-710, 13-1104.

Class 2 Felonies

Aggravated Assault on a police officer is an example of a class two felony. 

Class 3 Felonies

Theft of Mean of Transportation is an of a Class Three (3) felony in Arizona.

Class 4 Felonies

Aggravated DUI because of a suspended license or a third offense is a class four felony. 

Class 5 Felonies


Statute​ of Limitations

Class 2 - Class 6 Felonies

For Class Two (2) through Class Six (6) felonies prosecutions must be commenced within seven years.

No Time Limit Crimes

Prosecution for the following offenses have no statute of limitations:

  • Homicides
  • Conspiracy to commit a homicide that results in the death of a person
  • Any violent sexual assault pursuant to section 13-1423,
  • Any violation of section 13-2308.01 or 13-2308.03,
  • Any misuse of public monies or a felony involving falsification of public records or
  • Any attempt to commit an offense listed.


For a misdemeanor offense, the prosecution must start within one year.


Arizona misdemeanor DUI penalties in plain English


How long does a court retain jurisdiction to order restitution?

The government often relies on a case called State v. Zaputil, 220 Ariz. 425, 207 P.3d 678 (Ct. App. 2008) to claim a defendant need not be on probation for restitution to be re-opened.

In Zaputil, the defendant and State continued the restitution hearing several times before eventually vacating the hearing to await the outcome of a Rule 32 petition. “In vacating the hearing, the trial court stated that it retained jurisdiction over the matter of restitution.” Id. at 427, 680. “The hearing was continued several more times… and then vacated… with the court once again retaining jurisdiction with respect to restitution. Id. The decision relies on the fact that jurisdiction over restitution was expressly maintained by the Court. “Although the hearing on the restitution claim was long delayed, the trial court expressly retained jurisdiction over the claim.” Id. at 429, 682.

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2501 N. 7th Street | Phoenix AZ 85006 | (602) 494-3444