Aggravating Factors in a DUI Case
In the presence of aggravating factors, a DUI case becomes more serious. Aggravating factors serve to increase the penalties for the alleged drunk driver. It is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content above .08% across the nation. When a person is arrested for DUI in California, there are certain penalties they will face.
A first drunk driving conviction in this state can involve jail from 96 hours to 6 months, driver’s license suspension for 6 months, mandatory completion of a driving under the influence program and possibly more. These penalties are assuming there were no “aggravating factors” present during the arrest.
Aggravating factors are those factors present that make the DUI case more severe, meaning the mere presence of any of the below factors create more danger and risk of harm to those in the environment of the drunk driver.
Aggravating factors in a DUI case include: having a BAC of 0.15% or greater, being involved in an accident, causing bodily injury to someone else, causing property damage, chemical test refusal, having a child under the age of 14 in your vehicle, being on probation for another criminal case, having a prior DUI conviction within the last 10 years, you are under 21 years old, driving on a suspended or revoked license, excessive speeding and reckless driving.
If you were arrested for DUI and you had any of the above aggravating factors, you will need an experienced DUI attorney now more than ever. With a typical DUI case, the prosecutor is normally willing to do a plea bargain; however, when he or she views the police report and sees that there were one or more aggravating factors, they will more than likely seek additional punishment. This additional punishment can mean anything from jail time, to cleaning freeways, to community service, AA meetings, and greater fines among other penalties.
What’s more, if you caused an accident where there was any bodily injury to someone else, you could lose your license for a full year. If someone was seriously injured, you could be charged with felony DUI and face going to state prison. You could also be forced to pay for the damages resulting from the accident, this is called restitution. On the other hand, if there was a child in your car during the arrest, you could face charges of child endangerment in addition to the other charges you are facing.
If you were arrested for DUI and had one or more aggravating circumstances present, you are going to need the services of a highly experienced and knowledgeable Solano county criminal defense attorney. A lawyer will know how to investigate every aspect of your DUI case from the traffic stop to questioning the reliability of any chemical testing. If your case is particularly serious, an attorney can be invaluable when it comes to negotiating lesser penalties on your behalf.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Petty & Warshawsky
Petty & Warshawsky is proud to serve the residents of Solano County, California in all of their criminal defense needs. Our firm is adept at handling both misdemeanor and felony crimes in both the state and federal courts. We represent clients facing all types of criminal charges ranging from DUI, to domestic violence, drug crimes, theft crimes, auto theft, school expulsion, sex crimes, and even serious violent felonies such as murder. In every case we take on, we make it our personal mission to help get our clients’ charges reduced or dropped wherever possible.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.