Driving under the influence is a serious offense. However, not all charges are the same. It’s important to understand the charges you are facing so you know how to move forward. Each type of drunk driving charge has different consequences. Our experienced lawyers can help you understand what determines your legal charges, from your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to other factors. An aggravated DUI is one of the cases where the charge you receive is not solely based on your BAC. Getting charged with this type of offense can have serious consequences.
Here is what you need to know about an aggravated DUI:
In most cases, the type of DUI charges you receive is based on your BAC. The legal limit for an adult over the age of 21 is 0.08%. This is called a standard DUI and is usually a misdemeanor if it is your first offense and there are no other aggravating factors. If your BAC is over 0.15%, it is considered an extreme DUI. The most severe charge based on BAC alone is a super extreme DUI, which is for readings over 0.20%.
An aggravated DUI is different from these categories because you can receive a conviction for it at any BAC over 0.08%. You can be charged when “aggravating factors” are present during your arrest. An aggravated DUI is also a felony, as opposed to most first offenses which are usually misdemeanors.
The term “aggravating factor” refers to a variety of conditions that can make your conviction more severe.
The factors that can lead to an aggravated charge include:
If you have had prior DUI convictions in the past seven years, this can be an aggravating factor.
If you are currently under a court order to drive with an ignition interlock device, then you can face aggravated charges for any drunk driving charges you receive. This includes if you tamper with your ignition interlock device to drive after drinking or if you drive drunk in a vehicle that does not have this device equipped.
If you drink and drive with a suspended license, this may be an aggravating factor. This is true whether your license was suspended for driving under the influence or for a different reason.
If a child under the age of 15 is present in the car during your arrest, this is considered an aggravating factor.
If you cause damage to another motor vehicle or to property, your charge can increase to an aggravated DUI.
If you injure or kill another person while driving under the influence, your charge can increase from a misdemeanor to a felony.
The best way to avoid DUI charges is to not drive under the influence. However, if you are currently facing misdemeanor or felony charges, we can help.