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What Is an Aggravated DUI?

The factors that determine sentencing after a DUI can either be “mitigating,” such as being a first-time offender with a clean record, or “aggravating,” which carries harsher penalties. In California, a DUI itself isn’t “aggravated,” but a DUI charge has aggravating factors, making the crime more serious or heinous in the eyes of the law.

Some examples of aggravating factors for a DUI include:

  • Prior DUI convictions: The more DUI convictions you get over time, the harsher the penalties will be, as it indicates to the judge you are a high-risk driver.
  • High BAC: If you had a high amount of alcohol in your system at the time of the offense, this will be used against you. Usually a high BAC is considered anything at or above 0.15%.
  • Reckless driving: Standard reckless driving alone is enough to put a convicted motorist in jail for up to 90 days, as well as fines between $145 and $1,000.
  • Excessive speeding: Driving more than 20 MPH over the speed limit is considered an excessive speed and can be an indication that your judgment was impaired while operating a vehicle.
  • Driving on a suspended license: If your license was canceled, revoked, or otherwise suspended, you are not allowed to drive by California law.
  • Causing injuries or property damage: A felony DUI involves injury or death to multiple victims, which result in a one-year prison sentence enhancement per victim, with a maximum penalty of three years.
  • Having a child in the vehicle: If a child under the age of 14 was present at the time of the DUI offense, it results in enhanced penalties, including increased jail sentences. Those convicted could face 48 hours in jail for the first minor-passenger offense, 10 days for the second conviction, and 30 days for the third offense.

California Aggravated DUI Defense

If your DUI charge involved aggravating factors, it’s important to secure legal representation from a skilled DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to strategize your case. It’s important to get sound legal advice for a DUI with aggravating factors because penalties are so harsh. A qualified lawyer can educate you on how the law applies to your case so you can decide the best way to proceed.

Contact us at the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C for a solid defense against DUI charges with aggravating factors. Call (707) 418-5352 today for a free consultation.