Legal Guide

2024 Guide for an Aggravated DUI

It is a severe criminal offense to drive under the influence of alcohol. Sometimes, aggravating factors in a DUI matter can make the motorist face enhanced criminal consequences, more severe charges, or a higher probability of sentences.

Dissecting Aggravated DUI

The US forbids operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. Such an act is already an offense, but an aggravated DUI is more severe. 

An aggravated DUI is when an individual drives under drugs or alcohol influence while committing another crime simultaneously. Particular “aggravating influences” that happen during the incident indicate this offense. 

While conventional DUI or DWI is a severe crime, many jurisdictions see the first offense as a misdemeanor. However, aggravating factors may heighten a DUI from a misdemeanor to a felony, attracting more significant penalties. 

Types of Aggravating Influences Causing Aggravated DUI

Below are the reasons a DUI charge may become an aggravated DUI charge:

  • Driving with a suspended, restricted, or revoked license
  • Driving under the influence while conveying a minor (states set different ages for children)
  • Multiple DWI or DUI charges within a given period (it differs by state)

The above factors can increase a DUI case's severity, not minding if the driver is a first-time offender. No one can hide under the excuse of ignorance to break laws. Before you venture into any criminal act, ask yourself if you are ready for its consequences.

Mitigating and Aggravating Factors in Drunk Driving Charges

The situations around each DUI case may differ. Similarly, the mitigating or aggravating factors affecting the severity of the offense will vary. 

Mitigating Factors in a DUI

Although mitigating factors do not guarantee an escape from the minimal penalty for a DUI charge, they can propel a judge to probably permit the defendant to plead for a lesser punishment, like reckless driving. They may also lead to an offending motorist receiving probation instead of imprisonment. 

Mitigating factors include low blood-alcohol content (BAC), accepting responsibility for the event, willingly seeking treatment for substance abuse, and a clean driving record with no prior criminal past. 

You cannot be a chronic offender and seek a shortcut from your troubles. Willingness to accept responsibility, quitting substance abuse, and having a clean past will help your case in a DUI charge. 

Aggravating Factors in a DUI

Aggravating factors can lead to increased penalties in a DUI case. Aggravating factors show that you intentionally broke the law while driving under the influence. Such factors include:

  1. Possessing an extremely high blood-alcohol content (BAC)
  2. Under 21 years of age
  3. Noncompliance with a chemical test for blood, urine, or breath
  4. Committing a severe accident or a hit-and-run resulting in injury or death
  5. Possessing a revoked, suspended, or restricted driver’s license
  6. Convicted for numerous OWI, DUI, OUI, DWI, or similar drunk driving crimes within a given duration stipulated by the authorities
  7. Having a commercial vehicle and a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
  8. Having a minor in your car or child endangerment 

Take note of these aggravating factors because the law frowns at them, and it will be challenging for an attorney to argue favorably for you. 

If you have a DUI case, you need a distinguished and experienced DUI lawyer to help you argue for a lesser sentence and protect your legal rights during litigation. 

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