Fisher Law Office

Penalty enhancements for aggravated DUI

If a DUI arrest marred your recent holiday festivities, you may be wondering what to expect in the future. As the legal process unfolds, you are right to have concerns. A straightforward DUI, even a first offense, carries stiff penalties in California, not the least of which is a permanent mark on your record if a court convicts you. You may be especially worried if police charged you with aggravated DUI.

Numerous circumstances can result in the addition of an aggravating factor to your charges, and the result if you are convicted is the probability of facing harsher penalties for the offense. While each state has its own list of aggravating factors that lead to enhanced sentences, some are common to many. You would be wise to seek legal counsel from an attorney who is well familiar with the laws in California, if that is where your arrest took place.

Aggravating factors

An arrest for DUI generally means police had probable cause to believe you were legally over the blood alcohol concentration limit of .08. Police may have obtained this probable cause through a combination of observing your behavior, the results of roadside sobriety tests and the readings on a portable breath test. Aggravating factors are those circumstances that the law deems to add a more egregious element to an already serious charge of driving under the influence, for example:

  • Your BAC was extremely high, such as .15.
  • You had a child in the vehicle while you were driving under the influence.
  • You were driving excessively fast with a BAC of .08 or higher.
  • You were under the influence while driving through a school zone or an active construction zone.
  • Your license was under suspension at the time of your DUI arrest.
  • You already have one or more DUI convictions on your record.

One common aggravating factor is if you were involved in an accident while allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. If the accident resulted in serious bodily injury of one of your passengers, a pedestrian or someone in another vehicle, you may expect to face charges of aggravated DUI or worse.

Enhanced sentencing

Depending on the circumstances, enhanced sentencing if a court convicts you may result in years behind bars and thousands in fines. To ensure your rights are protected during this tense legal process, you would be wise to seek the assistance of a skilled legal professional who is familiar with California DUI laws and the most appropriate defensive strategies for your situation.

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Fisher Law Office

1322 Morro Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-4028

Phone: 805-706-0205
Fax: 805-542-0464
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