Not all DUI charges are created equal. In fact, certain extenuating circumstances
can actually increase the severity of your charges dramatically. These
escalated DUI charges are known as “aggravated DUI,” and carry
much heavier penalties if you are convicted. Some of these circumstances
have to do with egregiously breaking the law, while others are because
of a repeated criminal history. Not sure if your accusations could be
for an aggravated DUI? Here are some of the differences between a regular
DUI and an aggravated DUI.
Common Aggravating Factors
Generally, a DUI is escalated to an “aggravated DUI” when some
sort of factor is present that would warrant the change. Here are some
of the most common reasons why a DUI charge can be escalated to “aggravated” status:
Getting a DUI with an already-suspended license: if your driver’s license has been suspended for some reason, whether
for lack of insurance or from a previous DUI charge, your subsequent DUI
charge will be automatically escalated to an aggravated DUI.
Getting a DUI while on probation: One of the most common terms for probation is being forbidden from drinking
alcohol, or being forbidden from drinking in excess. Violating this and
driving can lead to an aggravated DUI charge.
Getting a subsequent DUI with one already pending: When you are arrested and charged with a DUI, your license isn’t
necessarily automatically suspended. However, it probably will be if you
are charged with another DUI while the first one is still processing (yes,
Getting multiple DUIs within 5 years: Repeat offenders are often given much harsher penalties, including the
possibility of being charged with an aggravated DUI.
Excessive speed: Often times officers who pull someone over for excessive speeding (more
than 20 miles per hour over the limit) may also find that the person speeding
was intoxicated. Doing so is extremely dangerous and warrants an aggravated
Having a minor passenger: Driving with someone under the age of 14 while intoxicated automatically
warrants an aggravated DUI offense and an increase in jail time (mandatory
increase of 48 hours in jail for a first offense and 10 days for a second offense).
Having multiple victims: If you are involved in a DUI accident that results in the death or serious
injury to more than one person, you’ll automatically be charged
with an aggravated DUI.
Aggravated DUI Penalties
Penalties for an aggravated DUI will depend on your situation, but generally
you can expect to receive a much longer jail sentence, heavier fines,
and a felony charge on your criminal history, as opposed to a general
DUI, which is usually considered a misdemeanor.
Accused of an aggravated DUI? Call Campbell Whitten today at 661-735-1038 for a