When you are charged with a regular DUI without aggravating factors, you may not expect the harshest penalties for your crime. You may expect fines, probation, and maybe some jail time, or even driver’s license suspension and enrollment in a treatment program. For instance, in California if you are charged with a DUI and there are no aggravating factors, you should only expect to be sentenced to 96 hours in prison to possibly a few weeks as well as losing your license. Aggravating factors make the crime much worse.
Situations That Constitute Aggravating Factors
When you have a blood alcohol content level of 0.15 or higher and got into an accident, these will usually be aggravating factors. Some of the things that could happen include major property damage to another person’s vehicle, personal injury, and even death. In these cases, your DUI case could be treated more severely in the eyes of the court. In California, an aggravated DUI occurs when you were driving particularly recklessly and posed a great risk of harm. In other states, if you have a child who is under 14 in the car with you when you are driving drunk, this is an aggravating offense.
If you have been charged with a DUI with aggravating factors, you may face additional charges, which you should be aware of. For example, you could not only be charged with a DUI but also sustain charges of reckless driving or being involved in an accident with physical injury. You could also receive child endangerment charges if there was a child in the vehicle at the time. You may face some of the most life-altering penalties such as paying for a treatment program out of pocket, face mounting insurance costs, and even struggle to win a custody case or maintain immigration status if these factors play a role in your life.
These situations are extremely serious and should be treated as such. This is why it is important to always have a defense attorney on your side if you have sustained a DUI with other aggravating factors. Attorneys who specialize in DUI are the best ones to handle these cases and convince prosecutors to agree to plea bargains and more. Rely on us today if you have been charged.