The difference between a felony and misdemeanor is a big difference; in legal terms, it is essentially the difference between night and day.
If the state has charged you with a felony, then the state has filed a indictment. In Maricopa County and most of Arizona, even after the police have arrested someone, the court must determine that there is probable cause to prosecute someone. That determination can come in the form of a grand jury indictment or a preliminary hearing.
If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor and you will serve time in custody, that time will be in the county jail or city jail. It will not be in the Arizona Department of Corrections. If you are sentenced to do time in the Arizona Department of Corrections, then you have been convicted of a felony.
A simple way to determine if your case is a misdemeanor or a felony is if your case is in city court or justice court then it is probably a misdemeanor, and if your case is in superior court, then it is probably a felony.
A felony is more serious than a "misdemeanor." Typically, felonies are potentially punishable by a year or more in the state prison system (and a fine of up to $150,000). By contrast, misdemeanors are punishable by no more than six (6) months in the county jail (and a fine of up to $2,500). In the next few days, the police will be meeting with the prosecutor (lawyer for the State of Arizona), who will decide if you will be formally charged with a felony and which ones.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FELONY OR AGGRAVATED DUI AND A MISDEMEANOR DUI?
That distinction, between a misdemeanor and a felony DUI charge in Arizona is a very big one. It means the statutory minimums and MVD consequences for a felony conviction are much greater than for a misdemeanor conviction.
Contact Vladimir Gagic at his Phoenix office today.